Huawei has officially released its Huawei Video Cloud solution to accelerate the shift of the video distribution channel from satellite to IP network. Speaking on the sidelines of CABSAT, the largest broadcast, satellite and digital media event in the Middle East, Jim Deng, Director of Hybrid Video & Multimedia department at Huawei Middle East, discussed how the solution will address key challenges in the broadcast industry and enable organizations to slash costs while improving user experience.
Jim Deng cited a recent survey conducted across Saudi Arabia by Huawei in collaboration with Ipsos, which found that eighty percent of respondents were dissatisfied with their user experience. In order to address this issue, Deng remarked that video providers must improve the three key factors that determine user experience: quality of content, interaction, and viewing continuity.
According to Deng, satellites have reached the limit of their ability to continue to enhance user experience. Transponder capacity is limited, meaning that satellites can provide high-definition (HD) or ultra-high-definition (UHD), however, not at an abundant HD or UHD. Satellite TV is also more expensive than streaming videos across an IP network. He gave an example: a TV package includes 115 SD channels and 70 HD channels. It would cost approximately 46.2 million USD to distribute those channels to customers via satellite. Alternatively, it is possible to distribute those channels across the MENA region through an IP network at a cost of only approximately 2.2 million USD. IPTV and OTT have the potential to slash costs for TV operators.
Deng added that drastically reduced costs are not the only benefit of IPTV: it also enables customers to watch TV on demand across multiple screens and in multiple locations. The benefits of the technology are reflected in its growing popularity in the region. In 2017 alone, OSN launched a new over-the-top media service called Wavo, Zain established a joint venture with iflix, and Starz Play got more than 700K subscriptions in MENA.
The Huawei Video Cloud will make use of IPTV technology to circumvent key challenges that are acting as a bottleneck to improving user experience. The Huawei Video Cloud delivers E2E IPTV and over-the-top backend capabilities via cloud to telco operators. The solution makes use of big data-based analytics to improve end user experience. The business model is based on license rental, making time to market quick, agile and cheap.
“We see huge benefits to telco operators and consumers by moving towards a new framework of video distribution. As an enabler and accelerator, Huawei is keen to expedite the transformation from Satellite TV to IP video,” says Jim Deng, Director of Hybrid Video & Multimedia department at Huawei Middle East. “Huawei’s video cloud will shorten the distance between traditional media companies and telecom operators. This will facilitate collaboration between content providers and channel distributors to accelerate industry transformation.”
Huawei provides operators with a content delivery network in pay as you use model, as well as set-top box which can work for both IPTV and over-the-top service model under a wired or wireless network.