Mobile video has fast become a preferred medium for communications as well as entertainment. The demand for mobile video services like mobile TV and mobile SMS are changing the scope of application possibilities entirely. To find out some more about mobile video, the market, and its future, I asked Maggie Smith, NMS Director of Product Marketing a few questions on the topic.
There has certainly been a spiked interest in Mobile Video and other Mobile Value-Added Services recently. Why do you think this is so?
End user demand is fueled by smarter and more sophisticated mobile phone handsets (such as the Apple (News
) iPhone) that can send and receive mobile video with ease. It doesn’t take long to convince smart handset owners that it is more fun to play a graphically intensive video game or watch a recent music video clip while riding on a train or bus
than just to make a call or check email. In a recent report, analyst firm Frost and Sullivan reported that revenue from mobile video services in the United States is expected to reach $1.6B by 2011 and IDC has reported that revenues from mobile video and mobile TV applications in Western Europe are expected to reach nearly $2 Billion by 2009.
Where is Mobile Video most beneficial and where is it being used most?
In regions such as Europe and Asia, where people have long been accustomed to the ubiquitous presence of mobile phones and where 3G
networks prevail, the evolution of the mobile phone into an entertainment device is a natural step.
The types of video applications delivered are boundless. Interactive video applications for entertainment exist that empower the user to search and browse available content with simple and easy-to-use handset based commands. This same user interface can drive interactive video games, such as driving a motorcycle through the streets of Paris or flying a plane.
An emerging application involving mobile video is video avatar messaging—an outgrowth of text SMS. Video avatar messaging allows a mobile phone user to either create their own video message or use a chosen avatar and then send the talking video message over 2.5 G or 3G networks. They can then respond using their own voice and the avatar of their choice or create their own video based response, if the handset is 3G video capable. Compared to basic text messaging, video avatar messaging has the convenience of allowing users to record messages with out having to key them in, plus the added touch of personalization that comes with the user’s voice and video.
Is there a potential for Mobile Video that you feel hasn't been explored yet?
The market for mobile video services promises to expand rapidly over the next several years. Some imaginative services might include:
· Video enabled contact centers: for streaming video responses to commonly asked questions such as cinema previews, instructional aids, and promotional advertising
Viral video sharing: sharing of user generate video, (ala YouTube (News
)) with the rest of the world
· Conversational video and video ringback tones: see callers and let the callers see who is calling
· VLOGS: publish a video-based diary that can be seen from a mobile phone
What do NMS Communications offer for building Mobile Video applications?
NMS offers purpose-built platforms and toolkits for mobile video applications. These platforms and toolkits are designed to shield developers from the technical details of mobile video and let them focus on what they do best—creating exciting, profitable new applications and services.
NMS Video Access software toolkits and Video Software Transcoder form the foundation for a wide range of powerful applications, including 3G-324M-to-SIP gateways, IP
video media adaptation servers, and wireless video messaging and streaming servers. Developers can easily implement new video-based applications using flexible Video Access APIs in conjunction with NMS's renowned Natural Access development environment.
NMS Vision VoiceXML server and Vision CX Video Gateway (News
) offer highly integrated, carrier-ready platform to further simplify the development of interactive voice and video applications. The Vision VoiceXML server provides integrated 3GP video support as an extension to the VoiceXML 2.1 language and can act as a video media server supplying 3G and SIP
based video logic between and application and the handset. With its flexible architecture, the Vision CX Video Gateway supports real time bi-directional streaming of video between PSTN
devices and multiple IP-based media applications, such as video ringback tones, video enabled portals, and interactive video contact centers.
To ensure the effectiveness of its mobile video solutions in real-world networks, NMS takes a leadership role in the interoperability testing activities of the International Multimedia Telecommunications Consortium (News
) (IMTC). Through rigorous inter-vendor testing, NMS ensures the compatible operation of its platforms and toolkits in multi-vendor infrastructures. Frequent testing cycles help NMS reach early compliance with emerging 3G-324M standards components such as MONA.
You recently announced a new Mobile SMS application in the Philippines. What does this provide?
SMART Communications, a leading wireless operator based in the Philippines, recently launched a “Video Avatar” service that allows users to send and receive video messages featuring either live video or a chosen avatar. SMART delivered the service on NMS technology.
SMART customers receiving a Video SMS with an avatar hear the sender’s voice while seeing the avatar speak using matching lip synching. Both 2G and 3G-enabled customers can view a recorded video message from the sender. They can then respond using their own voice and the avatar of their choice or create their own video-based response, depending on the handset. Compared to basic text messaging, Video Avatar has the added convenience of allowing users to record messages without having to key them in, and the added touch of personalization that comes with the user’s voice and video.
NMS’s technology is becoming a springboard for operators around the world launching mobile video services. Service providers and operators, including RTL Group, Europe’s largest TV and radio broadcaster, Globe Telecom (News
), a leading wireless provider in the Philippines, and CSL, Hong Kong’s leading mobile operator, are capitalizing on growing customer demand for mobile video services by using NMS’s technology to grow revenues, attract new customers and increase existing customer loyalty.