Live streaming can scale, according to the largest group of respondents in a recent Telco Transformation poll. But such streaming needs the right technological approach to make it work.
Live streaming both major events and individual social media activities is becoming increasingly popular. Social platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are keen proponents. However, the high bandwidth for video streaming, coupled with the viral nature of user-generated content, could create significant challenges. Operators will struggle with network capacity and end users' quality of experience could be adversely affected.
Can Live Streaming Scale for Broadcast Events?
Source: Telco Transformation Flash Poll, April 2017
In our poll, we asked respondents "Can live streaming scale for broadcast events?", and many were optimistic. Nearly half (47%) selected "Yes; it just needs the right technological approach," while no respondent dismissed the idea entirely. One respondent believed it was already here, saying "To my mind, it already does and has -- just not highly popular [events]," citing high-profile government hearings streamed on YouTube.
The next-most popular option was "Not today, but maybe someday," with 23% selecting it. This was closely followed by "Yes; but the business case is rarely viable," almost even at 20%. As one respondent put it, "Money is the motivation for putting on a show for most people and businesses." Another agreed, stating "… at the end, [it] is the bottom line [that] counts..."
A further 7% felt that it could be done, but only with severe compromises of quality. One respondent seemed incredulous, asking, "Has a massive live streaming event with tens of millions of viewers tuning at the same time really been put to the bandwidth test?"
It seems that the large majority of respondents felt that live streaming would be able to scale up to broadcast levels -- but perhaps the right technology isn't quite in place today.
— Aditya Kishore, Practice Leader, Video Transformation, Telco Transformation