Splitting data, video charges could tame the video 'beast'

As mobile operators seek to monetize content and keep from becoming dumb pipes that simply cater to over-the-top providers, one industry executive is recommending that they split out the charges for data and video.

"Video is another beast" and should be treated as a unique data element, said Vikram Chadha, senior marketing director at United Arab Emirates-based operator Du, during TM Forum Management World last week in Dublin. Chadha's comments appeared in an article on Total Telecom.

According to the article, Chadha said Du has created a number of different service packages, including a basic plan for feature phone users dabbling in mobile Internet services as well as a premium video package catering to power data users who have both a smartphone and a tablet.

Chadha suggested operators explore application-centric charging as well as pricing based on quality of service. He also noted that operators and over-the-top content and apps providers can work together, citing NTT DoCoMo's partnership with video streaming service Hulu, which allows both companies to sell the service though the largest share of the revenue goes to the one that actually makes the sale.

OTT competition is a growing issue for mobile operators worldwide, as OTT services often undercut operator business models while simultaneously adding heaps of data traffic to a mobile network. Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) CTO Tony Melone said during a panel at the recent CTIA show that the OTT phenomena is one of the most important questions facing operators today. "What will the over the top model look like?" he asked, noting that Verizon is considering mechanisms that would allow content suppliers to pay for users' access fees.

For more:
- see this Total Telecom article

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