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					Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time
About the Author
Ilan Weizman, VP Marketing at Surf Communication Solutions, has extensive experience in multimedia applications and services in the mobile and entertainment arenas. Prior to joining Surf, Mr. Weizman held senior marketing and management positions at several organizations, including Intel, NexPerience and 3DV Systems, where he was responsible for strategic marketing, product positioning, and strategic partnerships. Mr. Weizman holds an MBA cum laude from the Haifa Graduate School of Management at Haifa University, and a B.Sc. in Computer Engineering from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.

Video Going Mobile
Video on the Internet has taken off in recent years. The rapid growth of online video has been driven by widespread broadband connectivity, a growing number of sites offering commercial video content, and the explosion of user-generated video (UGV) content. While online Internet video initially caught fire among younger users, it subsequently has moved into the mainstream market. Now video is ready to conquer the mobile arena as well. According to recent market study by Frost & Sullivan (2007), the number of mobile TV subscribers will expand rapidly to reach 180 million by 2010. And according to a research report by Berg Insight (2007), mobile media's share of total digital advertising expenditures worldwide is expected to grow substantially from less than 1% in 2007 to 7.5% in 2012. “Mobile video” covers a wide array of value-added services cutting across multiple categories: One-way streaming with optional return channel for interactivity – such as mobile TV and video on demand (VOD) Application-to-person services – such as Web browsing, dating and chatting that includes video content and video ringback tones Download (non-real-time) services – such as video ringtones and video clips In this paper, we will first examine the market drivers and competing service delivery technologies for mobile video. We will then review several leading mobile video services, and present selected video-processing extensions for mobile video delivery platforms. Finally, we will conclude by summarizing the benefits of mobile video for telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs) and systems integrators (SIs) on the one hand, and for mobile network operators (MNOs) and value-added service providers (VASPs) on the other. Surf Communication Solutions, Ltd. ▪ Tavor Building ▪ P.O. Box 343 ▪ Yokne'am 20692 ▪ Israel
Tel: +972 (0)73 714 0700 ▪ Fax: +972 (0)4 959 4055 ▪ e-mail: surf@surf-com.com ▪ www.surf-com.com

Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Mobile Video Drivers
A number of key developments are driving the growth of mobile video while enhancing the end user experience: Next-generation networks: From the technical perspective, the growing deployment of 3G3.5G networks with higher bandwidths is spurring greater demand for mobile video services. From the marketing perspective, mobile operators that have deployed such networks are looking for revenue-generating services to offset their large infrastructure investments. Advanced handsets: A growing number of new devices support the expanding array of mobile video services. Many of these handsets are built with significantly larger screens (QVGA and even VGA) and enhanced color depth to enable a significantly better video viewing experience. Improved video codecs: Advanced video codecs such as H.264 (also known as MPEG-4 Part 10 or MPEG-4 AVC) facilitate improved video compression by providing high video quality at significantly lower bitrates. Advanced codecs and standards also offer greater flexibility by being able to work in a wide range of network environments. Ad-funded video services: From the operator perspective, mobile video advertising can cover the cost of premium content and generate new revenue streams while offering subscribers more relevant, targeted and personalized ads. From the end user perspective, mobile video advertising can translate into highly discounted or even free ad-funded video services, thereby lowering cost barriers to usage.

Figure 1: Mobile Video on the Go

Compelling mobile video services offered over next-generation networks and handsets drive up service adoption, operator revenues and user satisfaction.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Mobile Video Service Delivery Technologies
As mobile video becomes more prevalent, a growing debate has centered on the best way to deliver video services to mobile handsets. There are two main delivery methods for mobile video – unicast and broadcast: Unicast: With unicast, data packets are streamed from the content source to a single destination such as a mobile handset. Unicast's main advantage is that existing 3G (WCDMA/HSPA) networks already support unicast transmissions over IP, so operators do not need to invest in new infrastructure. Additional advantages include native support for interactivity (fast-forward, rewind, voting, etc.), easy insertion of targeted advertising, and the consumption of transmission resources only during active sessions. The main disadvantages are that unicast supports a limited number of simultaneous users, and suffers from limited capacity. Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (MBMS) technology, a multiunicast streaming service that requires less investment in existing cellular network infrastructure, allows a limited amount of traffic channels to be shared simultaneously by all users connected to the same cell watching the same content. MBMS provides a hybrid approach that solves the problem of a large number of users connecting simultaneously to watch the same popular content (such as a live event or football match). Broadcast: With broadcasting, data packets are sent simultaneously from a single source to multiple destinations (point-to-multipoint, or PTM). Broadcast's main advantage is its ability to support an unlimited number of simultaneous users and subsequently reach a larger user audience. However, since existing mobile networks do not support large-scale broadcasting, this approach requires additional costly network and base station infrastructure investments, and utilization of expensive devices that consume more battery power. Other disadvantages include lack of native support of two-way interactivity, and continuous allocation of transmission resources. Emerging mobile TV broadcasting formats include MediaFLO in the US, DVB-H in Europe, T-DMB in South Korea, and ISDB-T (1seg) in Japan. Given the unique strengths and weaknesses of unicast and broadcast, both technologies likely will be used side by side in the coming years. Broadcasting is preferable for transmitting highly popular programs viewed by a large number of users, while unicasting is optimal for on-demand transmission of niche content found in the growing "long tail" of video content.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Figure 2: Hybrid Deployment of Streaming & Broadcast Technologies

In a hybrid approach, operators provide the most popular content via broadcast, and “long-tail” content to an even greater number of total users via streaming.

Mobile Video Services
Now we turn our attention to leading examples of value-added mobile video services. Mobile TV: This service entails the streaming of commercial video content to mobile handsets. Unlike traditional TV programs, which last 20 minutes or more, mobile TV usually involves shorter content that is better suited for mobile viewing. Such content can include traditional linear TV programs (frequently packaged as loop channels) as well as live TV broadcasts. Video on demand (VOD): VOD enables users to select and view video content whenever desired. For wireline, cable and satellite networks, VOD content can be delivered either as streaming or downloaded content; in mobile scenarios, such content is usually streamed due to limited storage and DRM (digital rights management) constraints. VOD includes a range of content options including music videos, comedy skits, news clips, and TV program synopses. Live cameras: Streaming video from live cameras is an increasing popular mobile video service, and includes an array of applications such as traffic, weather, tourism and security.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Figure 3: Live Camera Feed in Security Application

Streaming video from live cameras, as in the security application above, is an increasing popular mobile video service.

Video portals: Mobile video portals enable MNOs to offer a wide variety of video content and services to their subscribers. Through such operator-branded portals, subscribers can easily select and view desired VOD content (e.g. music videos, comedy skits), linear TV programs, live events, and live camera feeds. UGV: User-generated video (UGV) includes original content created by users, third-party commercial content uploaded by users, or a combination of the two. Such video content usually runs between a few seconds and a few minutes. The growing popularity of UGV sites, such as YouTube, attests to the importance of web-to-mobile content repurposing, namely real-time transcoding of content to match handsets' video capabilities. UGV is one of today's most significant contributors to the growing "long tail" of video content. Other streaming applications: These include popular video service applications, such as video blogs and dating services, which provide streaming video to the handset as a part of a community or a paid service subscription.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Figure 4: Video-Dating Application

Video-dating services deliver streaming video to handsets as a part of a community or a paid service subscription.

Mobile Video Delivery Platform Extensions
Due to expected growth in mobile video usage, manufacturers of mobile video delivery platforms require real-time, high-density, low-cost and scalable multimedia extensions that can be easily integrated into their systems. Surf Communication Solutions offers media processing solutions that enable multimedia convergence while supporting an easy migration path from voice to video. Surf solutions offer a number of advantages: Optimized terminal capabilities and user experience » Superb video quality » On-the-fly bit-rate adaptation to accommodate network conditions » Real-time transcoding from any-to-any supported format (codec, frame rate, size, bit rate) Easier content management and storage » Maintenance of a single copy of content (file or live stream) Ad-funded video services » Comprehensive video toolbox for any type of ad overlay on video in real time (logo, banners, text, etc.) » Mid-roll, pre-roll and post-roll ad insertion

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

Enhanced service personalization capabilities » Targeted ads » Seamless transition among live streams and files at any given time Best price-performance ratio » 5-10 times better than host media processing (HMP) platforms at the same power consumption and rack space SurfRider/AMC™ Media Processing Solution: SurfRider/AMC is a modular AMC form factor DSP resource board for flexible yet heavy-duty carrier-grade multimedia processing. The board introduces a highly innovative, patent-pending design featuring the SurfDocker™ plug-in, which allows it to carry up to four pairs of DSPs for a total of eight DSPs per board. SurfRider/AMC supports the standardsbased PICMG® SFP I-TDM protocol over Gigabit Ethernet, and is pre-integrated with ATCA and MicroTCA platforms. SurfRider/AMC is designed to meet the requirements of audio and video gateways, media servers, and session border controllers.

Figure 5: Advanced Mobile Video Services Architecture with SurfRider/AMC

SurfRider/AMC integrated within a MicroTCA platform empowers real-time bit-rate adaptation, video manipulation, content adaptation and stream multiplexing for mobile video services.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

SurfExpress/PCIe™ Media Processing Solution: SurfExpress/PCIe is a modular PCI Express form factor DSP resource board for flexible yet heavyduty enterprise-grade multimedia processing. As with SurfRider/AMC, the board features a highly innovative, patent-pending design featuring the SurfDocker™ plug-in, allowing it to carry up to four pairs of DSPs for a total of eight DSPs per board. Providing 2 Gbit Ethernet ports and a CT bus for additional TDM interfaces, SurfExpress/PCIe is designed to meet the requirements of VoIP enterprise-scale media servers, iPBXs, media gateways, 3G-324M video servers, MMSC content adaptation engines, and CTI applications. SurfWare-Media™ Media Processing Software: Both SurfRider/AMC and SurfExpress/PCIe come complete with SurfWare-Media, Surf’s comprehensive, telecom-ready media processing software. SurfWare-Media performs concurrent processing of audio, video and data (fax + modem) on the DSPs, enabling real-time intelligent resource management and load balancing for maximum flexibility. SurfWare-Media includes Surf’s real-time video processing toolbox that enables the insertion of text, logos and animated GIFs for targeted video advertising as well as picture-in-picture viewing.

Benefits of Mobile Video Services
For Telecom Equipment Manufacturers (TEMs) and Systems Integrators (SIs) Faster time to market (TTM): Surf's interoperable, field-proven products streamline development cycles and accelerate time to market. Proven interoperability: Surf products are interoperable with hundreds of types of mobile handsets. High integration: With the transcoder, streamer and video toolbox integrated into a single network component in a variety of form factors, Surf products save time and money. Improved manageability: Surf provides a single application programming interface (API) and shared resources for both voice and video. Cost-effective operations: Cutting-edge DSP technology enables the industry's highest processing power with the smallest footprint and lowest power consumption. Efficient transcoding: Surf's DSP-based real-time "any-to-any" transcoding represents the industry's most cost-effective, high-density transcoding option. Enhanced reusability and expansion: Surf products support an easy migration path to advanced platforms including ATCA and µTCA, and seamlessly integrate new codecs.

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Mobile Video Services: Ready for Prime Time

For Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Value-Added Service Providers (VASPs) Higher service revenues: Extending Web-based video services to the mobile environment drives increased operator and VASP revenues. Improved service adoption: A superior user experience enabled by Surf products leads to greater service adoption and usage. Rapid return on investment (ROI): Increased revenues from mobile video services and targeted video advertising translate into rapid ROI. Subsidized ad-funded services: Targeted video advertising allows operators to subsidize mobile video services and generate ad-related revenue streams. Enhanced differentiation and loyalty: Offering a broad portfolio of attractive mobile video services leads to improved market differentiation and subscriber loyalty. Greater personalization: Thanks to seamless transitioning between streams at any time, as well as targeted advertising, subscribers enjoy a more personalized experience that increases user satisfaction. Easier content management: Maintaining a single copy of video content (file or live stream) leads to more cost-effective content management and storage. Faster time to revenue: A fully integrated service platform incorporating proven Surf products cuts time to market and time to revenue.

About Surf Communication Solutions
Surf Communication Solutions provides media-processing solutions that enable convergence of voice, video and data across wireline and wireless networks. Surf’s solutions are predominantly utilized by media gateway developers, media server developers and network equipment providers (NEPs) in the telecommunication infrastructure field to significantly reduce time to market. For more information, visit www.surf-com.com.

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Description: Surf_Mobile Video Service