Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) may use its LTE Broadcast network technology to offer inexpensive machine-to-machine services like transmitting new video advertisements to a fleet of taxis. The company demonstrated the technology at the recent CTIA conference, indicating the carrier's interest in using LTE Broadcast for more than just broadcasting sporting events to its customers. The news also highlights how Verizon may profit from the rollout of LTE Broadcast.
Naveen Narayanan, senior product manager for Quickplay, said the company was involved with Verizon's CTIA demonstration. The demonstration transmitted video content from Verizon's LTE Broadcast network to a D-Link HDMI-capable dongle running Quickplay's software.
Narayanan explained that LTE Broadcast technology allows Verizon to more efficiently transmit video content. Instead of sending a separate video stream to each receiver, LTE Broadcast technology transmits one video stream to multiple receivers. Verizon calls the technology LTE Multicast; it is based on the 3GPP's eMBMS standard.
In an M2M scenario, such technology could support a variety of applications. For example, Narayanan said that the technology could be used to transmit new video advertisements to backseat TV screens in a fleet of taxis; instead of paying to transmit that video 100 times to 100 different taxis, a taxi fleet administrator may only have to pay for one video transmission. Narayanan explained that LTE Broadcasting becomes more efficient than unicasting after three users access the same video.
The LTE Broadcast demonstration from Verizon, Quickplay and D-Link potentially highlights one of the ways that Verizon might make revenue from the deployment of the technology.
So far, Verizon mainly has hinted that it would use LTE Broadcast technology for sporting events. For example, last year the operator conducted the first live test broadcast of an IndyCar Series race, incorporating video of the race as well as in-car footage and footage from cameras installed around the track. Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), Samsung, Sequans and MobiTV are among Verizon's LTE Multicast vendors.
However, Verizon has offered other use cases as well. Earlier this year, Visteon debuted a connected vehicle equipped with Verizon's LTE Multicast technology, showing off how the vehicle hub communicated with an embedded automotive telematics module designed to receive firmware over the air (FOTA) updates using LTE Multicast.
AT&T (NYSE: T) too is eying the technology. Earlier this year, the carrier conducted a live, in-stadium trial demonstration of AT&T LTE Broadcast technology for the Ohio State Buckeyes game against the Oregon Ducks.
LTE Broadcast likely won't violate net neutrality- and it probably won't be used much anyway
Unlike Verizon, AT&T takes its LTE Broadcast trial inside stadium
AT&T to launch LTE Multicast in 2015
Ericsson: LTE Broadcast will soon play starring role in TV distribution
AT&T 'exploring the possibility' of LTE Broadcast with eMBMS