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Verizon Multicast LTE video coming in 2015
Recently, Verizon CFO Fran Shammo mentioned that their upgraded multicast wireless video capabilities will be commercially available in 2015. According to Light Reading, Shammo is quoted as stating that Verizon will start to embed multicast chips in handsets by the end of 2014 while the LTE network will be ready in 2015.
Shammo went on to explain the difference between 4G wireless streaming video and multicast video as:
“If everybody in this room was to watch the same video today we would probably bring down the cell site, because there wouldn’t be enough channels in that cell site to deliver the same video to everybody. With multicast, it’s one channel and one cell site and you can all watch the same video on the same channel.” – LightReading
I think that says more about the fragile nature of Verizon’s 4G network but we digress.
Multicast video is based on evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services. Verizon is hoping that this technology will allow it to compete with broadcasting. Additionally, Verizon hopes that LTE Multicast will solve the many issues that carriers have with be the ability to serve large numbers of customers gathered in one place such as a stadium without broken functionality in that area.
One of the biggest issues continues to be the fact that existing devices cannot receive the service. Another issue is that Broadcasters see this as a direct threat to them.
“It is clear that in the future we have laid out for us that the wireless carriers wish to be our primary competitor. We have said this repeatedly over the past many years: We are at war with the wireless carriers. They want our spectrum; they want our viewers; they want our advertisers; they want our business.” – TVNewsCheck, Mark Aitken, VP of advanced technology at Sinclair Broadcast Group.