4G LTE (News - Alert) has delivered a great deal of value, particularly in the mobile communications market as next generation communications tools become increasingly more available with LTE as a backbone. New word from Strategy Analytics (News - Alert), however, suggests that there's one way providers can step up on this front: adopting LTE Broadcast to the current lineup.
LTE Broadcast—sometimes known as eMBMS—allows customers to access mobile television services via LTE, particularly live events that can bring in quite a bit of extra viewership. While the market for LTE Broadcast was running more to caution two years ago, reports note that the optimism factor ratcheted up significantly and now the new recommendations say to go with it whole hog. This is thanks in large part to the rapidly-increasing demand for mobile video, showing clearly there's a market for LTE Broadcast.
There are some resistances to the market going forward, though; perhaps the biggest is a comparative lack of support for LTE Broadcast on mobile devices. That's something that mobile operators might have a tough time changing unless market power is put to use, in that operators will only sell devices that work with LTE Broadcast. With no iPhone (News - Alert) model supporting LTE Broadcast, though, that may be a tall order.
Not far behind, though, is the lack of a useful monetization model, which makes putting the system in place less than useful in generating revenue for the operators who use it. However, with 2016's launch of the LTE Broadcast Alliance, that may change soon now that more firms are looking at it more closely.
Basically it's a cart-and-horse scenario. While mobile providers are putting the cart before the horse supporting LTE Broadcast in a market where few devices will actually handle it, having the cart in place should encourage the horse breeders—mobile device makers—to bring out more horses that can handle that cart. Even with the commercial release of 5G still three years out, it's entirely possible that LTE Broadcast could carry on after that, providing valuable new options for mobile providers and customers alike. That demand for mobile video won't go away after 5G shows up; if anything it will only get more pronounced.
People want to watch what they want to watch, when they want to watch it. Those who do the best job of providing the tools to meet that maxim will fare best in the open market. LTE Broadcast might be a worthwhile way to get to that point.
Edited by Alicia Young