Broadband Providers: What are the Implications of Virtual Reality?

CircleID CircleID: Broadband service providers take note, personal virtual reality (VR) platforms are going to reshape the industry sooner than you think.

We've seen a constant stream of VR-related news coming from major industry tradeshows, online broadband publications, and even broadband CEO blog posts. I'll try to generalize their comments succinctly: personal VR platforms are expected to bring massive sales, huge increases in bandwidth consumption, and dramatic shifts in subscriber quality expectations. This is an exciting time for broadband service providers, but it's essential to consider what implications VR will have on your organization.

Here are some key questions to answer if you want to stay ahead of the VR trends:

Which Access Network Delivers the Bandwidth Required for VR?

Bandwidth usage is about to go way, way up. Major League Baseball has recently teamed up with Intel to announce a new project, where they will deliver one live-streamed game per week in virtual reality. This represents a new age for sports enthusiasts, who will be able to tune in from the comfort of their homes to watch live, 360 degree footage of a baseball game as if they were in the stadium. The bandwidth required to not only deliver this footage, but to maintain high quality throughout, will be unprecedented. Forbes Magazine recently broke down what gigabits per second it would take to generate a digital experience at the full fidelity of human perception, predicting that humans can process an equivalent of nearly 5.2Gbps of sound and light — more than 200x what the FCC predicted to be the future requirement for broadband networks (25 Mbps).

Operators who want to stay ahead of the curve have to make important decisions about what access network will best fit their subscribers' needs. Fiber, DOCSIS 3.1 (Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1), and converged approaches all have their benefits.

How Much Network and Subscriber Visibility is Required to Optimize Services?

The simple answer: A lot.

Providers looking to satisfy the needs of their subscribers as next-generation content delivery platforms like VR enter the mainstream need a holistic view of the network, but they also need holistic vision beyond the network edge into the subscriber premises. This can be achieved with a combination of TR-069 standards and Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) data, which allows operators to monitor the access network as well as customer edge equipment. By gaining a picture of the entire services network (including beyond the last mile), you can ensure service quality issues are minimized while also proactively resolving network and customer equipment issues, many times before the subscriber is even affected. This also leads to better network intelligence, meaning faster issue resolution when subscribers have to phone the customer call center.

Increasing visibility over the usage habits of your subscribers also enables you to make better predictions when planning for future capacity requirements. As an added bonus, you will open up new avenues to optimize and personalize the user experience like never before, which brings me to the last question.

Will Traditional Service Models Still Meet Subscriber Needs?

Service usage habits are changing more rapidly than ever, and customer preferences are becoming more unique. The era of simple tiered service plans is reaching an impasse. Broadband providers must look for ways to implement strategic service plans that can deliver the right services at high quality to the subscribers that need them, while ensuring subscribers who require less bandwidth aren't affected with network congestion and buffering. Diversity among service plans is essential. Early adopters of VR must have the bandwidth available that they need to stream live events in high quality, or play videogames without being interrupted. Traditional cable and Internet subscribers, on the other hand, don't want to get penalized in the process.

With usage-based service plans and accurate analytics platforms, operators can turn this concept into a reality. Trending subscriber habits with this level of accuracy also uncovers new monetization opportunities. Subscribers utilizing large amounts of bandwidth during specific periods of time — for instance, during a weekly live streamed baseball game — could be targets for value-added services such as temporary speed-boosts or even increased bandwidth allotments. By charging subscribers for these services, operators open up new ways to increase sales on their existing customer base. The insights gained from accurate analytics are extremely valuable to Sales and Marketing departments, but the key to these monetary benefits is transparency, or making sure subscribers are aware of their current usage during a billing period.

Developments in VR have already caused quite a bit of change in the broadband industry — and more is coming. Future-cognizant organizations are taking steps to prepare. Will you be ready?
Written by Stephane Bourque, Founder, CEO and President at Incognito Software SystemsFollow CircleID on TwitterMore under: Access Providers, Broadband

The post Broadband Providers: What are the Implications of Virtual Reality? appeared first on iGoldRush Domain News and Resources.

Continue reading

7 Generic Sports Domains and How They’re Used

NamePros NamePros: It's often said that generic domain names can add value to a brand. The best domain in any category can elevate your project or website, giving it instant credibility. In this article, we take a look at seven sports domain names to see how what they display, and whether they are being used to their full potential.

Rugby.com

Originating in England, Rugby is a popular contact sport across much of the World, with over 6.6 million people estimated to be playing either...

The post 7 Generic Sports Domains and How They’re Used appeared first on iGoldRush Domain News and Resources.

Continue reading

Tucows shares up 12% today

Investors liked Tucows’ earnings report. Shares in Tucows (NASDAQ:TCX) shot up 12% today to close at $59.20 after the company reported earnings yesterday afternoon. The company’s record earnings per share and revenue were driven primarily by its acquisition of domain name reseller platform Enom earlier this year. Combined with Tucows’ OpenSRS reseller platform and retail […]

The post Tucows shares up 12% today appeared first on Domain Name Wire | Domain Name News & Views.

Continue reading