A recent study conducted by Alcatel-Lucent's (News - Alert) Bell Labs shows by 2020, people will be watching seven hours of video each day versus 4.8 hours today, with a dramatic shift from broadcasting to on-demand video viewing. With Christmas expected to generate more owners of tablets, smartphones and other such mobile devices, the new research from Bell Labs (News - Alert) suggests that increasing consumption of video content on such devices will push the wired broadband networks that carry this traffic to their absolute limits over the next decade.
Significantly, the research also points to a dramatic shift in viewing habits, as consumers switch from broadcast content to video-on-demand services, which will grow to 70 percent of daily consumption compared with 33 percent today. The projections also indicate a twelve times increase in Internet video content as cloud services, news sites and social networking applications become more video-based and continuously accessible anywhere, anytime on tablets and smartphones.
Furthermore, the study shows that as the delivery of video content rapidly moves from traditional broadcast TV to the “unicast” delivery of personalized content to individuals, disproportionate pressure will be placed on the IP edge of these networks. According to the researchers, IP edge is the part of the network where most of the intelligence needed to deliver sophisticated video and high-speed Internet services is located. Since broadcast is a much more efficient way of delivering video services, the move to unicast creates enormous bandwidth demands on networks, says the Bell Labs study.
In a statement, Alcatel-Lucent’s CTO Marcus Weldon, said, "Delivery of video from the cloud and from content delivery networks to tablets, TVs and smartphones - with sguaranteed quality - presents an exciting new revenue opportunity for communications service providers, but only if they are prepared to take advantage of it. Left unmanaged, the rapid growth in video traffic can turn into a deluge and spell disaster. It is important to look at where service providers' investments can have the most impact, and this research makes clear that the IP edge of both wireline and wireless networks – which are increasingly becoming one and the same - offers the greatest opportunity to improve network performance. At the same time, it also presents the greatest source of risk if not managed appropriately."
The study shows that on-demand video services, such as HD premium movie services as well as video sharing sites, will become even more popular over the next five years. As a result, on-demand video will command an increased share of viewing hours, causing peak-hour traffic at the 'edge' of new IP-based networks to grow 2.5 times faster than the amount of traffic on the broadband connections reaching households.
To address this challenge comprehensively, service providers must maintain their ability to deliver high-quality residential multimedia services to consumers, says the Bell Labs study.
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