This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book. | June 2008 | 33
And aside from the MXtv platform deliv-
ering what Hambridge claims to be a wider
The WiMAX new entrants are
channel selection and better quality of service
than is possible with 3G or dedicated broadcast
more disruptors from their
networks (such as Qualcomm’s MediaFlo and
business model point of view
the Nokia-backed DVB-H standard), a key part
of the WiMAX TV proposition, he says, is the
than they are from technology
lower cost base. Th is allows WiMAX operators,
he argues, to make inroads into what is a very
Peter Elliott, PA Consulting
price sensitive market.
“By being able to simply plug in a content
delivery network into the ASN gateway, the
WiMAX operator is able to deliver some-
thing that would take hundreds of millions operators to reduce their subscriber acquisi- through rates achieved by Google, which are a
of dollars [on spectrum and infrastructure] tion costs, he says, and to create a basis from thousand times higher than traditional broadcast
if using a dedicated broadcast network,” says which to build up subscription and advertising CPM rates,” says Hambidge.
Hambidge. “For WiMAX operators, there is revenue later. Th e number and type of services that WiMAX
no incremental capex on spectrum and on “One business model that looks promising operators can off er over and above basic connec-
the radio access network. WiMAX has a huge is for operators to offer, say, ten free channels tivity will, of course, depend on the amount of
inherent cost advantage.” of mobile TV that are ad-supported,” he says. spectrum they have at their disposal, and which
For a WiMAX operator holding 10MHz of “The EPG [electronic programming guide] markets they are targeting.
spectrum, the MXtv platform can deliver 20 would then guide the user to pay-per-per “In emerging markets we can off er gaming,
channels (at up to 30 frames per second) and view opportunities or a subscription pack- along with basic broadband and voice services, by
still leave 60 percent capacity available for age. The business model would progress using between 25MHz and 30MHz.” says Devid
basic mobile broadband connectivity services. from free, which can attract subscribers, to Gubiani, CEO of Unwire! Asia, which is plan-
NextWave has already announced Huawei, gradually attracting more revenue from the ning to off er WiMAX services in Malaysia, Laos
Alcatel-Lucent and WiChorus as infrastructure subscriber base.” and Indonesia by the end of 2008. “In the more
partners but no operator customers have yet As part of the MXtv platform, NextWave mature market of Malaysia, where performance
been announced. However, the MXTv platform offers—through its Packet Vision subsidiary— expectations are higher among consumers, we
will only work with WiMAX operators who MediaFusion, which can offer targeted adver- will need between 55MHz and 60MHz.”
have ‘full’ Wave 2 equipment, which supports tising based on customers’ user behaviour and Th e jury is still out on how much spectrum
MBS (mobile broadcast services). personal details logged with the operator. WiMAX players will need—as a bare mini-
But Hambidge doesn’t see TV as an im- “Our goal is take the CPM [cost per thou- mum—to make a success out of their innovative
mediate revenue source. It is more of a way for sand] rates on WiMAX up to the Internet click- business models.
WiMAX Forum plays in the sandbox
In May 2008 the WiMAX Forum WiMAX Forum board member and
announced it had opened its fi rst VP of marketing. “The philosophy
applications lab in the US. Based in the is to provide a place for application
University of Maryland’s Maxwell Lab, it developers—a sandbox—using open
complements the WiMAX Forum’s fi rst interfaces on the network and the
ever applications lab, which was set up in devices. It is an incubation environment
Taiwan in October 2007. for new ideas.”
Both applications labs count on Although it is still too early to say which
innovative input from industry and WiMAX-based applications and services
university students—the Taiwan WiMAX customers would be willing to pay for, and
applications lab is operated and which will make WiMAX operators stand out conditions for service innovation that
owned by ITRI (Industrial Technology from the broadband crowd, Shakouri feels is key. “The WiMAX business model
Research Institute) and located on the that location-based services, online social disruption is in the actual platform, with
ITRI campus—and both are set up to networking and vertical applications are its fl exibility and capability,” he says. “By
provide a real-life WiMAX environment promising areas. adding a wide range of devices, this will
on which application developers can “A lot of [successful] applications allow WiMAX players to be successful.”
test out their ideas and provide a proof will be localised and that is why the The WiMAX open model is in stark
of concept. WiMAX Forum is looking to set up more contrast to the 3G world, argues Dr
“The WiMAX Forum has been applications labs in different parts of the Shakouri, where mobile operators run
working on building a model, similar world,” he adds. “We already have plans higher investment risks by having to rely
to the Linux open source model, on to set up another lab in India.” on a small number of services. “A lot of
which applications and services can For Dr Shakouri, second-guessing investment has been made in 3G but I
be developed for the WiMAX industry,” which applications will be successful don’t see a successful business there
explains Dr Mohammad Shakouri, is not necessary. It is providing the outside of SMS,” he says.
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