Why CSPs Will Retain a Strong Position in Video Services

Next Generation Communications Blog

Why CSPs Will Retain a Strong Position in Video Services

By: Paula Bernier, TMC Executive Editor

Facilities-based service providers that own the access network are ideally positioned to distribute video both today and in the future, according to Chris Croupe, who works in strategic marketing at Alcatel-Lucent. Video comes in a variety of forms, its applications continue to expand, and this kind of content continues to multiply, Croupe notes in his recent TechZine posting, Future of video content: Evolution toward 2020.

Calls leveraging video have become widespread, he adds, noting that 59 percent of smartphone users under 35 years of age make at least one video call a month, and 37 percent of this group does so at least once a week.

Online video is also multiplying in terms of both available content and its applications. While online video caught on primarily a source of entertainment. (Do you remember watching one of the popular cat playing piano YouTube videos?) Today, it’s also commonly used in business. Indeed, most major companies, and many other organizations of various sizes, are leveraging online video to promote their brands and educate customers on their offerings. Alcatel-Lucent is one example of this, Croupe says, note the company’s New Guy at the Office series.

Meanwhile, the quality of video continues to improve, with 4k Ultra-HD technology adoption expanding by camera and TV manufacturers, and creators of content, says Croupe.

All of the above have contributed to a large upswing in global bandwidth consumption, which Bell Labs expects to be in the neighborhood of 1 Zb a year this year and to reach 4.3 Zb a year by 2020.


New connected TVs and other devices that make it possible for viewers to access video streams delivered over their television also make it possible for service providers like the telcos to make their mark in the over-the-top video space with content and video delivery networks. However, OTT video is just part of the opportunity going forward, and perhaps not as singularly important as it may seem, Croupe argues.

As the posting points out, while the way in which we consume video continues to evolve and expand beyond the TV, the television set remains the primary device of choice for watching video across different genres (comedy, drama, documentaries, movies, news, sports) of content. Indeed short form content is the only type of content for which the TV is not the preferred device for watching video, according to Alcatel-Lucent.

While we hear a lot about the wild growth and growing business for OTT streaming services, revenues in this space are markedly lower than those from linear video service providers on a global basis, according to Alcatel-Lucent. OTT services revenues do have high growth rates, but that’s not difficult considering that they started from zero.

Alcatel-Lucent also points out that video streaming providers depend upon high-bandwidth connections. Without them, users will abandon such services.

“Going forward, some content will be delivered as part of a linear package and other content will be streamed in an on demand fashion,” says Croupe.

“Operators can use local and consumer contextual data to provide discovery and delivery options for their customers and provide individually curated ads based upon the manner in which the content is being consumed and other consumer data where permitted,” he adds. “Overall, we believe the service provider’s position in video content delivery will remain extremely strong.”

Given all of the concerns about OTT encroachment on value-added services, particularly video ones, the Alcatel-Lucent message should be welcome news to communications service providers assuming they embrace the opportunities ahead and understand not just the competition but cooperation that will enable them to remain as critical parts of the evolving video-centric world. 

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