Over-the-top (OTT) devices and services have captured consumer attention in recent years, a trend that shows no signs of slowing. And that's good news for fiber.
According to a new report from Grand View Research, the global OTT market is expected to reach $165.13 billion by 2025, its growth compounded by fast-rising numbers of mobile and consumer electronics devices. To put it in perspective, the number of mobile phone users alone is expected to pass the five-billion mark by next year.
Here in the United States, OTT streaming video accounts for more than two thirds of all Internet traffic, Go-Globe finds. By 2020, streaming video is expected to account for a whopping 82% of all Internet traffic, the web application and development firm says.
OTT's popularity with young adults in the United States -- about six in ten US young adults use streaming as their primary way to watch television, says Pew Research -- also indicates it will continue to be a market mainstay well into the future.
This is all exciting news for those of us working in fiber broadband. OTT services depend on reliable, high-speed, low latency Internet connections and the ability to consume an immense amount of data -- and fiber leads all other access technologies in delivering each of these capabilities.
Fiber consistently provides faster download and upload speeds, maintains signal strength longer and further, has fewer service disruptions and offers less wait time than other technologies. It's no wonder, then, that overall satisfaction with fiber is, on average, 50.7% higher than DSL and cable services. Nor is it any surprise that people living in fiber-fed buildings also report they are satisfied with the property nearly 17% more than those who dwell in non-fiber-fed buildings, according to research from RVA.
Fiber also is prepared to take on the onslaught of data demand now, without the same need for expensive modifications and replacements that other technologies require. Fiber's quality and performance may have improved over time, but the basic design has stayed the same. On the other hand, copper has faced six major updates to its cabling structures since the 1990s alone. At the same time, cable's DOCSIS' continuous upgrades reflect how much consumers are demanding better, faster broadband from cable providers. Fiber is "future-proof." It can handle streaming traffic today, and will be able to reliably handle increasing traffic tomorrow.
The conversation about OTT and fiber broadband will continue as the industry pushes further into the connected future. In fact, in just a few days OTT will be the subject of a panel -- featuring speakers from the American Cable Association, UTOPIA Fiber, C Spire and MobiTV -- at our annual Fiber Connect conference in Nashville. Panelists will discuss where they see the OTT market going and fiber's role in that future.
OTT is a true opportunity for fiber to, once again, prove its immense value in an evolving marketplace.
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The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.