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08.07.2013
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Survey contradicts widely held view of cable TV operator attitudes about OTT

A new report from broadband software provisioning and service activation solutions provider  Incognito Software asserts that a sizable majority of cable TV and broadband providers view OTT service as a net positive for their business.

The report, “The Growth of OTT Content: Opportunities and Challenges for Service Providers,” examines the effect the rapid adoption of OTT services is having on subscriber bandwidth usage and the way cable and broadband operators are adjusting their subscriber monitoring and data management strategies as a result of growing OTT content consumption.

Contrary to a prevailing industry view, cable TV and broadband providers do not see OTT content consumption as being detrimental. According to a survey conducted for the report, nearly 70 percent of providers surveyed recognize new business opportunities presented by OTT services, far more than the number of respondents perceiving OTT as a competitive threat.

“The widespread growth and popularity of OTT content across multiple devices is forcing cable operators to rethink their business models and how best to add value to their subscribers — and the survey results show that there is no single answer when looking at operators of different sizes and across multiple geographies,” said Stephane Bourque, president and CEO of Incognito Software.

For the survey, the company polled operators of varying sizes — ranging from regional players with up to 100,000 subscribers to large operators with more than one million subscribers. It included companies across North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Among the report’s findings are:

  • OTT is driving network capacity upgrades. Nearly 82 percent of respondents have already upgraded their network infrastructure to cope with increased subscriber bandwidth usage.
  • Of the providers who reported growth in bandwidth consumption, 75 percent attribute the increase to streaming video sites. This is consistent across operator size and geographic location.
  • On a global level, the most popular strategies employed to manage OTT are fair usage policies (40 percent), followed by bandwidth caps (34 percent), and proprietary OTT services (22 percent).
  • Proprietary OTT services and service add-ons — such as unlimited video streaming or speed boosts — are expected to see the most growth in adoption rates over the next 12 months.
  • The vast majority of respondents employs more than one strategy, or plans to employ more than one strategy in the future (70 percent).
  • International operators are more likely to view OTT as a threat.


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