Rogers looks to LTE for OTT video service

Michelle Clancy ©RapidTVNews | 29-11-2011

More than a few mobile operators are expecting the move to LTE 4G mobile broadband to supercharge their mobile video propositions. Among them is Rogers Communications.
The Canadian integrated operator is mulling an over-the-top (OTT) or pay-per-view video service for LTE and The Montreal Gazette reported that Rogers President and CEO Nadir Mohamed said that thanks to theoretical speeds of 100 megabits per second over LTE, the operator could deliver video to phones, tablets and TVs via the cloud with a TV Everywhere strategy, following a Netflix-like model.
Even though those speeds are about 10 times faster than the average home connection, he stressed that the idea would not be to provide a full-fledged cable replacement service to compete with other MSOs outside of its footprint, however.
"Will we replicate (our) cable platform outside the areas where we currently have franchises? I don't think of it that way," Mohamed told reporters. "I think people will be much more selective and it will appear much more like an over the top service provider." Rogers isn’t alone in its consideration of LTE as a video delivery platform for such a service; as RTVN previously reported, MetroPCS in the United States is also leveraging 4G to create a branded OTT television service. Despite the dazzling promise of superspeed, Mohamed is realistic about video deployment.
"I think wireless networks in the foreseeable future will not have the capability to deliver full-motion video to a large number of customers at the same time, even with LTE," he told the Gazette. "So what you will see is an integration of wired and wireless, where the wireless network will off-load the traffic to a wired network." Rogers covers about 5.5 million Canadians in Ontario, Newfoundland and New Brunswick with LTE, and last month launched its first LTE smartphone in Canada, the Samsung Galaxy S II LTE.