The ability to deliver a superior experience for mobile video will be key to Clearwire’s success, its CTO John Saw has said. Speaking at the LTE North America conference, Saw described video as “the closest thing for a potential killer app for 4G”, due to viewing via LTE being quantitatively better than 3G.
“The opportunity is in mobile video. I don’t think that our industry has done a good job at how we give a better mobile experience for our customers. We believe that in order to support mobile video you need a lot of spectrum as it is very consumptive of capacity so we are looking at mobile video as a differentiator.
He revealed that 60 per cent of Clearwire’s network load was streaming video, up from 50 per cent a year ago, but that thanks to its large spectrum reserves it was able to cope with the increase while providing a superior experience to its network rivals.
Saw said that Clearwire was looking at both broadcast and unicast as a method of delivering video but said that you need a combination of both to be successful. He was looking to release 12 of eMBMS for a system that will be suited to deliver live events to a wide audience over the internet.
Clearwire says its large spectrum holdings will enable it to lower the cost per gigabyte to a greater extent that its network rivals. Saw said that due to the lack of spectrum, other operators would have to add small cells, “by the thousands” or add more spectrum in order to compete with Clearwire.
Saw was matter of fact in how it approached choosing which of its cell sites to upgrade to LTE saying that, “our business model is very revenue based. It’s about the dollar per gigabyte per cell site”.
Looking to the future saw Said that Clearwire was looking forward to 3GPP Release 12 to enable LTE Advanced via carrier aggregation and that every radio that Clearwire deploy’s today is LTE Advanced capable.
Saw said that this would offer, “more speed that we could use at the moment but I’m sure someone will release an app that will use all of it.”