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.
Operators such as Verizon have committed to investing in thousands of miles of fiber to support their 5G infrastructures, a vital component of this next-gen cellular technology that's expected to transform the world.
The strength of natural disasters like hurricanes is worsening, scientists say, and it's imperative that broadband infrastructures can withstand or be speedily repaired post-catastrophe, writes Fiber Broadband Association President and CEO Lisa Youngers.
Over the next two years, approximately 60% of service providers (both large and small) will adopt virtualization on a wide scale across their networks, according to the latest survey report from Ovum. Why are providers making these moves? Is there an easy way to start?
Learn how and why service providers are using virtualization to transform their networks. This webinar will look at how providers are leveraging virtualization to create more flexible and agile networks while also providing a better customer experience. Expert speakers from netElastic and Heavy Reading will address the industry drivers for network virtualization, the benefits that can be realized, the challenges to face and the results of virtualization being achieved by providers today.
Key topics will include:
Current network infrastructure and the move to virtualization
Benefits and challenges of network virtualization
How providers can get started
Service provider success stories: the decision to virtualize, the solution, and results