@ pcMobile: Mobile Video And The Coming Bandwidth Crisis

Mobile TV

It does to TV rights holders, but for consumers — it depends what they’re watching, panelists at the pcMobile 2011 conference. Jon Dube, past president of the Online News Association and formerly an *ABC* News digital exec, noted that in the U.S., networks use 30 percent of the bandwidth. So is there a bandwidth crisis coming? Or is it already here and just getting worse?

“My guess is that [the telcos and networks] are working on it,” said Marc Sokol, SVP, Marketing & Business Development, NeuLion. Most of the bandwidth of video is via wifi. But if it gets to the point where there’s a 3G device that’s under $300, the problem will get worse. But no matter what, you can never get enough bandwidth.

In terms of mobile video, bandwidth has been a fairly recent problem. “Prior to Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and iPhones, no one wanted video on their phones,” said Daniel Heaf, digital director of the BBC Worldwide. “If you can’t get market, you can’t get demand and that’s a waste of valuable spectrum.”

During the Q&A, one audience member asked about the broadband crisis by focusing on streaming problems across Android, which has a highly fragmented system because it runs on so many different devices. “It isn’t just the expense of managing a platform,” Heaf said. “We spit out 30 to 40 file formats per show. The industry need some standardizing. Maybe Html5 will help solve that.”

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