Telekom Austria prepares OTT-style mobile TV trial

Telekom Austria announced plans to trial an over the top (OTT)-style mobile broadband TV service to complement an existing fixed-line service.

The operator said it will begin trialling a mobile TV service called A1 Now using a sample of around 1,000 Austrian mobile users from all three of the country's mobile operators. Telekom Austria is examining mobile delivery as a means of competing with OTT services by fully utilising the capacity of high-speed mobile broadband networks.

The operator said such networks are enabling "a new kind of convergence between telecom operators and classical media," that can be used to differentiate operator services from "pure-play OTT" offers.

A1 Now offers access to 40 live TV channels on smartphones, tablets and the Internet. Users also gain access to around 3,000 on-demand films and TV series that can be accessed on up to five different devices. The service also includes a cloud recording feature that enables users to store programmes for seven days, and save up to 10 hours of content for three months.

Telekom Austria said it is developing the service to account for changes to consumers' media consumption patterns, noting that many mobile operators are increasingly optimistic about recouping their investment in high-speed mobile broadband networks through innovative converged services.

"Telecom providers are currently profiting from the growing usage of streaming services and devoting concerted efforts to developing premium offerings to seize the new media opportunities," the operator said, adding. "The rollout of network infrastructure towards high-speed broadband allows for higher transmission rates and data volumes, thus creating the necessary preconditions for a perfect media experience."

Industry experts last month said European mobile operators will be forced to get creative in order to maintain revenues after the European Parliament, Council and Commission agreed to abolish roaming fees in the European Union within two years.

Emma Mohr-McClune, service director, global consumer services at Current Analysis, said the move potentially opens a door for OTT players to launch pan-European services using a hybrid MVNO and Wi-Fi model, while Mark Windle, head of marketing at OpenCloud, said operators must act more like OTTs including Google and Facebook to make up for lost roaming revenues.

For more:
- see this Telekom Austria announcement

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