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Data plans are the biggest obstacle to mobile video’s future

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Consumers are increasingly turning to their phones to stream video, but there’s one major obstacle that still holds many back from watching video on mobile devices while outside of their own home: data plans. That’s one of the findings in the most recent Ericsson ConsumerLab TV and Media report.

consumerlab report 1

Almost half of consumers (46 percent) believe the data cost for accessing video on mobile devices is too high, according to the report, which [company]Ericsson[/company] released this week. Interestingly enough, there is a close second reason: 45 percent of consumers think that the cost of content is too high. Still, smartphones are on the rise as a video consumption device, while desktop PCs are declining.

consumerlab report 2

Overall, video consumption is growing and is starting to become as important as linear TV, at least with regard to the number of times people access each medium.

consumerlab report 3

8 Responses to “Data plans are the biggest obstacle to mobile video’s future”

  1. the sam miller

    This is missing the amount of online video watched on the television. With the rising popularity of Roku et al, I think the “Main Screen” is becoming the main source of online video consumption. I certainly watch more Hulu/Netflix/Amazon on a TV than I do on a tablet.

  2. “I’ll be honest, I WANT unlimited mobile broadband, and I hate the current situation carriers have created in the U.S. I would be first in line to ditch my antiquated DSL service for fast 4G. Yet I feel the future of mobile broadband, and the widespread adoption of having “internet everywhere”, is at stake even as I write this.

    Please, Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T and Verizon; give Americans competition, and make the dream of having internet everywhere finally affordable. Better still, show me something that will make me a customer for life. ”

    This is from an article I wrote way back in 2012. Sadly, this exactly the kind of thing that stifles innovation and progress. You can put the blame corporate greed for the U.S. falling behind other developed countries when it comes to internet. Feel free to peruse the full article here:

  3. Chattphotos

    I’ve been hammering on this for years, too much $$ for too little data, if content providers want a boom on mobile/tablet access, the LTE needs to be set free! No data caps, no restrictions, no evil. However Verizon is clamping down hard on so many restrictions.

    Lets start a revolution people!

  4. John Luther

    IMO, some of the blame here falls on video content distributors. Video compression technologies today can deliver far more efficient results than many providers are using. For example, I looked at some Vine videos delivered to the mobile app, and they were encoded at ~1 Mbps (H.264, 480×480, 30fps). This results in 6-second videos that are almost 1MB in size, which is crazy for mobile delivery. Most Vine videos are selfies and other low-motion content. With the right settings they could probably knock those bitrates down to the ~300Kbps range and see no quality difference.

    Also, adaptive streaming technologies are still pretty crude. i think the device capability features in MPEG DASH have a lot of promise in this area.

  5. I second jjj comment: “Data plans are the biggest problem to mobile’s future in general ” If in the 30’s they had charged that much for other prime services (e.g. electricity) we would have lost a century in mankind evolution

  6. Capitalism leads to concentration, high prices and lousy service. As usual competition has been steadily decreasing but there is nothing that all Capitalists agree upon more than competition is a bad thing. Without strong regulation to prevent the lose of competition through “market concentration” pure financial Capitalism will always make a mockery of whatever merit is provided initial by industrial Capitalism. The American cell phone market is pathetically over concentrated and getting worse each year.

  7. Data plans are the biggest problem to mobile’s future in general and to IoT.
    Not only carriers are allowed to cap traffic but they are also allowed to charge on a per device basis, Wired internet is not per device,you get the pipe and you connect as much as you need to to it. And then carriers are also allowed to mess with devices, lock them ,add bloat and spyware and so on.
    Sooner or later either the technology or regulators must take the carriers out of the equation. But it’s kinda sad ,even now most people around the world can’t even afford unlimited calls and the world had decades to fix that.

  8. duh, wireless data is kept artificially high to prevent wireless from taking over home isp business. Much in the the same way mobile has all but decimated the home phone market