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The Demand-side Equation in Broadband

Next week, in preparation for the Telco 2.0 brainstorm on 4-5 Oct, we’re briefing Stuart Collingwood, VP Europe for Sling Media, makers of a rather nifty piece of hardware called the Slingbox. A big disruptive success in the USA, Sling Media is now rapidly expanding in Europe.

Stuart is a stimulus presenter in the ‘Broadband Connectivity’ workstream on Day Two. He’ll be talking about the ‘Demand-side Equation in Broadband’. Slingbox is a technology that all telco Broadband execs should fully understand.

Below is the first draft description of Stuart’s presentation. Next week I’ll be looking to de-code this to ensure we have a rich stimulant for our brainstorming:

“In the presentation Sling Media will discuss how the company’s positioned to be a great partner for Telco’s looking to push customers to broadband services as well as bumping them up via tiered services (faster download/upload speeds).

We can all agree that broadband usage is increasing, but what is driving adoption of more than just introductory levels of broadband? Certainly faster download speeds are great for music or video downloads, but the average consumer who just uses broadband for surfing the web or email is not going to look for faster downloads.

However, Slingbox drives the adoption of “Turbo Broadband” services given the fact the Slingbox uses the upload capacity of your broadband connection to deliver your home TV or video signal to you wherever you are in the world.

Slingbox in Europe is moving into the market of mobile TV on handsets as it has done already in the U.S. The novelty of having mobile video or live mobile television on a handset has worn off as mobile TV is now appealing to a small percentage of early adopters. What will drive adoption of handsets capable of displaying mobile TV and services capable of delivering mobile TV is content that is familiar and relevant to that customer. What will drive the adoption of broadband services on mobile handsets is compelling applications that justify much higher monthly services and actually use the large “pipe” that is now available to consumers.

This means mobile TV has to be familiar to the customer and relevant to that customer. We believe customers expect the content and the ability to control and manipulate that content on their home TV to be the same on a mobile phone. If you have a more robust home TV set-up like a DVR or Video on Demand or Pay Per View, you should be able to watch a recorded show, pause live TV, cue a recording if you forgot to at home, etc. on your mobile phone.

Finally Sling Media will discuss when the next leap forward will take place (is it happening now?) and how the traditional broadcast models have already changed and will continue to evolve as companies look to monetize these new distribution models. We’ll discuss how each part of the mobile TV food chain (carriers, handset manufacturers, Consumer Electronics companies, content owners and content distributors) can be successful in this market.

The Slingbox is an additive technology and also a convergence technology. That’s why it does not replace competitive offerings, but rather it will drive the adoption of upgraded and new technologies that will benefit other members of the mobile TV/video food chain.”

I think we’ll get a demo as well…

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