It is no exaggeration to say that the future of entertainment is mobile and that the future of mobile depends on reliable networks that are able to deliver more capacity. As more and more people watch video on their mobile devices (tablets and laptops as well as smartphones), so the strains on the mobile infrastructure continue to mount. For the mobile industry, this is a never-ending challenge.
But this challenge is one that, to date, the industry has met. Mobile video is now more than half of all mobile data consumed in the U.S. And more people are not just downloading video to mobile devices, but streaming content directly. In fact, 60 percent of those that stream video told iGR in a recent survey that they watch streaming video at least once per day.
In addition to watching video ‘on-the-go’, people are also using what is known as LTE to consume entertainment at home. While this may seem paradoxical when over 90 percent of homes have Wi-Fi, in the many cases where the Wi-Fi is congested, consumers turn to LTE. In fact, up to 19 percent of U.S. consumers who choose to use their mobile data network, even when they are at home.
Think of a college student in a dorm or apartment – no surprise that Wi-Fi gets overloaded due to the high demand, so students will often turn on LTE and stream directly from the smartphone. Using their parent’s cellular rate plan of course!
For today’s millennials, who have grown up in a connected world, streaming content is the new normal. This is also increasingly true of older generations, who become more comfortable with streaming services as each new season of ‘House of Cards’, ‘Blacklist’, or any other streaming hit is released. And if streaming is‘normal’, then that means consumers will not just demand, but expect, continuous broadband connectivity.
The entertainment industry therefore has a vested interest in the wireless infrastructure and its continued development. As demand for mobile video bandwidth will increase, so mobile networks will have to expand coverage and capacity. And the continued success of video streaming services depends on the ability of mobile operators to provide strong reliable connections at affordable prices.
*Read the full Whitepaper on the Wireless Infrastructure Association’s website: https://wia.org/resource-library/