Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Derek Weeks, Harry Trott, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Kevin Benedict

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Java IoT, Mobile IoT, Microsoft Cloud, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Video

Microservices Expo: Article

Why Did AT&T Enter the OTT Market and Streaming Video Business?

The opportunity to attract customers with an over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming and TV offering is significant

When the U.S. Appeals Court struck down the Open Internet Order's rules that prohibit Internet service providers (ISPs) from site-blocking and providing preferential service, the debate surrounding the true definition of an open and unfettered Internet reached fever pitch. Most of the large access providers in the U.S. are subsidiaries of traditional telecom carriers and cable companies. These companies fought hard for this ruling, so it is reasonable to expect that they already had their strategies in place and plans drawn up for the investments that will be needed to rebuild the Internet, or at least a part of it, according to their vision. It is about time too. Of all the technology companies that existed before the Internet, the telecom carriers and the cable companies were best-placed to take the lead in building the future. Yet in so many areas, the technical and service innovation came from new companies and organizations we had never heard of before - not from those traditional players. Phone and cable companies have never been leaders in the World Wide Web, cloud computing, social media, Voice over IP and many other areas. But now, they have changed the playing field (at least in the U.S.) to suit the game they want to play, and so, liberated from the fetters of the unfettered Internet, we have a right to expect new innovative services. With the gates opened to competitive differentiation, we're seeing interesting things, such as AT&T's $500 million joint venture with the Chernin Group to acquire, invest in and launch video-on-demand channels and streaming video services to compete with the likes of Netflix, Hulu and YouTube.

With more customers moving away from broadcast, cable or satellite TV, the opportunity to attract customers with an over-the-top (OTT) video-streaming and TV offering is significant, as is the opportunity for the right player(s) to deliver these services across multiple platforms (e.g., mobile) and distribution channels, thereby increasing revenue streams. OTT streaming services provide new players with the opportunity to deliver video content and new entertainment experiences to consumers outside traditional linear TV paths, such as cable, satellite or terrestrial. Since OTT services provide programming over the Internet and can come across the same wires as your cable TV service, the barriers to entry are greatly diminished.

It is no secret that AT&T has not been a fan of Netflix and the two are publicly quarreling over how much money the video service should pay for a direct connection to the AT&T network. It is worth noting that since the creation of the Internet, Web companies have negotiated peering and interconnection agreements where websites connect to intermediaries, which carry the traffic to ISPs, which deliver the content service to customers. Most people were not even aware of these interconnection relationships until February when Netflix agreed to pay Comcast to connect directly to its network. Though the Netflix CEO suggests that Comcast had strong-armed him into paying an "arbitrary tax," the deal ensures that Comcast customers have improved video quality for Netflix service.

Verizon has also asked Netflix to pay for a direct connection to its network, even as Verizon users (and AT&T customers, for that matter) complain of poor Netflix performance. Netflix has tried to avoid making payments, despite giving in to Comcast, and instead asked the FCC to issue net neutrality rules that "prevent ISPs from charging a toll for interconnection to services like Netflix, YouTube or Skype." Its request was rejected by the FCC when it indicated that it has no plans to expand its net neutrality rules to ensure that services like Netflix can connect to Internet providers' networks for free. In his response to Netflix, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler asserted that the government has an important role to play in overseeing how networks connect to each other, but peering and interconnection arrangements are not a net neutrality issue under review by the Open Internet proceeding.

This is a highly charged argument for both sides. Carriers always have options when faced with growth exceeding capacity: either charge higher fees to reduce traffic or let congestion run rampant for all travelers. Unfortunately both these options have a negative customer satisfaction result and are lose-lose situations for the carrier. If the service quality for a streaming video is less than desirable, customers will get grumpy and blame their ISP for a "slow" connection. Netflix argues that "Some big [ISPs] are extracting a toll because they can-they effectively control access to millions of consumers and are willing to sacrifice the interests of their own customers to press Netflix and others to pay." Netflix is clearly upset, but video streaming has turned into a mass-market service and is a capacity hog. If Netflix and other OTT players want to use an increasingly scarce resource to carry its service at the quality levels the service dictates, who pays? There are limits that will be hit and someone will have to pay to expand the network due to growth in streaming, the growth of mobile and the coming tsunami of the Internet of Things.

Although the AT&T/Chernin deal marks the first time a big U.S. ISP has decided to go over the top with a TV service, Verizon also has plans for a streaming TV service through its acquisition of Intel Media, and has created a video streaming service by partnering with Redbox. On the broadcast side, Dish Network has also brokered a deal with Disney to stream Disney-owned channels such as ESPN and ABC over the Internet to customers' smartphones, tablets, video game consoles and other devices.

As more consumers increasingly view content on their smartphones, tablets, game consoles and connected TVs, the ability of a provider to reach across multiple platforms will unlock new monetization opportunities for a multiplatform experience.

AT&T's partnership with Chernin Group will bring a video-on-demand service to market, and presumably provide more content outside traditional broadcast options. If the content is rich enough, Comcast or Verizon FiOS TV subscribers can select the offering and put a wrench in the business of content companies.

There is an opportunity to go to market with original content that drives new customer experiences across mobile devices, social platforms and new technologies, thereby disrupting existing business models. There is a lot at stake for AT&T and it must ensure that its content is worth viewing to stand out in a crowded field of OTT providers. It would appear to be off to a good start with its Chernin partnership. The Chernin Group provides its media smarts and its majority stake in Crunchyroll, an anime streaming company, while AT&T delivers the potential for extensive distribution and access to its customer base and wireless networks.

Clearly, different and varied business models will need to be supported and monetized, whether they are advertising models similar to Google's YouTube, subscription fees like Netflix, or both advertising and subscription models like Hulu. As new partnerships and business models are envisioned, these will also have to be quickly launched and monetized at a pace not seen by carriers for traditional services.

Interested in learning more about these industry developments? Tweet us your questions!

More Stories By Esmeralda Swartz

Esmeralda Swartz is VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud, BUSS. She has spent 15 years as a marketing, product management, and business development technology executive bringing disruptive technologies and companies to market. Esmeralda was CMO of MetraTech, now part of Ericsson. At MetraTech, Esmeralda was responsible for go-to-market strategy and execution for enterprise and SaaS products, product management, business development and partner programs. Prior to MetraTech, Esmeralda was co-founder, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Lightwolf Technologies, a big data management startup. She was previously co-founder and Senior Vice President of Marketing and Business Development of Soapstone Networks, a developer of resource and service control software, now part of Extreme Networks.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that Akvelon will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Akvelon is a business and technology consulting firm that specializes in applying cutting-edge technology to problems in fields as diverse as mobile technology, sports technology, finance, and healthcare.
WebRTC is great technology to build your own communication tools. It will be even more exciting experience it with advanced devices, such as a 360 Camera, 360 microphone, and a depth sensor camera. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Masashi Ganeko, a manager at INFOCOM Corporation, will introduce two experimental projects from his team and what they learned from them. "Shotoku Tamago" uses the robot audition software HARK to track speakers in 360 video of a remote party. "Virtual Teleport" uses a...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Datera will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Datera offers a radically new approach to data management, where innovative software makes data infrastructure invisible, elastic and able to perform at the highest level. It eliminates hardware lock-in and gives IT organizations the choice to source x86 server nodes, with business model option...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named "Platinum Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business - from apparel to energy - is being rewritten by software. From planning to development to management to security, CA creates software that fuels transformation for companies in the applic...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Elastifile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Elastifile Cloud File System (ECFS) is software-defined data infrastructure designed for seamless and efficient management of dynamic workloads across heterogeneous environments. Elastifile provides the architecture needed to optimize your hybrid cloud environment, by facilitating efficient...
"We provide IoT solutions. We provide the most compatible solutions for many applications. Our solutions are industry agnostic and also protocol agnostic," explained Richard Han, Head of Sales and Marketing and Engineering at Systena America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that GrapeUp, the leading provider of rapid product development at the speed of business, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Grape Up is a software company, specialized in cloud native application development and professional services related to Cloud Foundry PaaS. With five expert teams that operate in various sectors of the market acr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Golden Gate University will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Since 1901, non-profit Golden Gate University (GGU) has been helping adults achieve their professional goals by providing high quality, practice-based undergraduate and graduate educational programs in law, taxation, business and related professions. Many of its courses are taug...
Recently, IoT seems emerging as a solution vehicle for data analytics on real-world scenarios from setting a room temperature setting to predicting a component failure of an aircraft. Compared with developing an application or deploying a cloud service, is an IoT solution unique? If so, how? How does a typical IoT solution architecture consist? And what are the essential components and how are they relevant to each other? How does the security play out? What are the best practices in formulating...
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arvind Radhakrishnen discussed how IoT offers new business models in banking and financial services organizations with the capability to revolutionize products, payments, channels, business processes and asset management built on strong architectural foundation. The following topics were covered: How IoT stands to impact various business parameters including customer experience, cost and risk management within BFS organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy named "Bronze Sponsor" of 21st International Cloud Expo which will take place October 31 - November 2, 2017 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud com...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DXWorldExpo has been named “Global Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation is the key issue driving the global enterprise IT business. Digital Transformation is most prominent among Global 2000 enterprises and government institutions.
21st International Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Me...
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, discussed the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insights from the vast t...
From 2013, NTT Communications has been providing cPaaS service, SkyWay. Its customer’s expectations for leveraging WebRTC technology are not only typical real-time communication use cases such as Web conference, remote education, but also IoT use cases such as remote camera monitoring, smart-glass, and robotic. Because of this, NTT Communications has numerous IoT business use-cases that its customers are developing on top of PaaS. WebRTC will lead IoT businesses to be more innovative and address...