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Are Asian operators ready to welcome Netflix?

Karl Horne, CTO, Asia Pacific, Ciena | Dec. 9, 2014
How can operators respond efficiently to the upcoming and unavoidable increasing demand for broadband due to media entertainment services like Netflix, QuickFlix and Hulu?

Cable operators must rise to the challenge and address their capacity and connectivity requirements. They can improve network agility by removing technology hurdles imposed by legacy network architectures. This will become even more important as ultra-high definition (UHD) becomes the industry standard, making the quality and agility of the network a competitive differentiator. This is happening already. Netflix is an early supporter of 4K Ultra HDTV, using it for several popular shows. These programs require at least a 20 Mbps broadband connection.

Now more than ever, networks play a critical role in providing the type of experience users demand. The benefits of a programmable optical network should not be underestimated. Optics enable content to be transported in any format across the network, over any distance. It also has the capabilities to dynamically adapt to changes in capacity requirements, varying traffic types, latency needs, user or application locations, and address industry security needs for valuable network-based content. In addition, advances in software will enable truly on-demand experiences, enabled by network functions virtualisation (NFV) and software defined networking (SDN), they can automatically reallocate resources in response to end-user application's needs, as well as improve video content storage, delivery and management. In short, advanced network architectures transform the abilities of network operators to effectively, efficiently and safely connect users to content, and content-to-content for optimal viewing.

Monetisation to stay competitive
Netflix will drive a massive shift in traditional TV viewing in Asia Pacific in the coming years, causing changes to business models and user consumption patterns. All those involved in the ecosystem — operators, triple-play providers and other digital pay-TV platforms — need to be prepared for these changes. Not only do video on-demand (VOD) services need to be reliably delivered, they need to be able to adapt; be flexible to allow for innovative ways to attract viewers, increase subscriptions, adopt flexible pricing strategies and appealing packages - and the network is not only central to ensuring a quality experience but it should also be seen as a platform for differentiation.

A programmable network that can adapt to the on-demand world, enables new innovations, facilitates the fast provisioning of new services and can scale as needed to accommodate unprecedented spikes. It will also ensure that the best possible experience is delivered to users and help operators diversify beyond their traditional markets. 

 

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