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I had a great week of listening and learning the past week. First, I had the opportunity to meet in New York City with Dennis Bauer, the co-founder of San Francisco based GIGs. GIGs is a “global operator in your pocket, without the hassle,” and is an embeddable, API-first operator that lets companies sell voice and data plans to their customers without having to set up an MVNO in every market. (More on GIGs in my next article).
I also had the great experience of sitting down with the CEO of Sky Peak TechnologiesTM, Cat Coughran-McIntosh, and her team to learn more about their start-up. Sky Peak Technologies, based in Grand Junction, Colorado has patent-pending technology, CORASM ME (Content Optimization and Routing Algorithms Mobile Edge), which significantly optimizes streaming video content; therefore, reducing data usage and the demands on bandwidth.
In general terms, CORA ME is about Rightsizing Content for Mobile Devices
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With the convergence of consumer demand for viewing more streaming content on mobile devices and ever-increasing 5G bandwidth delivering that content with higher data loads, paying for data costs continues to eat more and more into operators’ bottom line. Recent reports further illustrate this storm:
- Growth in mobile data traffic per smartphone can be attributed to three main drivers: device capabilities, increase in data-intensive content, and continued performance improvements of networks. [Ericsson Mobility Report Nov 2021, p20]
- Mobile network data traffic grew 42% between Q3 2020-21. Over the long term, traffic growth is fueled primarily by more viewing of streaming content. [Ericsson Mobility Report Nov 2021, p19]
- Mobile data traffic will grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 46 percent from 2017 to 2022, reaching 77.5 exabytes per month by 2022. [Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2017-2022]
I asked Cat what this means in the big picture. “Our mission is democratizing mobile content world-wide,” she explained. HUH? That means, “making something accessible to everyone.” Cat went on to state “Globally, mobile network data traffic has doubled in the last two years, driven by continuing growth in smartphone usage, mobile broadband, and the digitalization of societies and industries. By the end of 2022, the average monthly data usage per smartphone is expected to surpass 15 GB and then grow to 40 GB by the end of 2027.”
“According to a survey of users in the United States, in 2021, 54% of respondents used their smartphones to watch online video content weekly. When the age group is narrowed to 18 to 45-year-olds, the percentage of smartphone video watchers increases to 72%, and every year, mobile video consumption doubles. Content providers create and send video content as data inflated as possible, leaving it up to the network to handle the load. In the case of video being viewed on a smartphone, the resolution delivered is many times greater than needed for a satisfactory user experience. This creates an unnecessary consumption of data transmission resources and energy.”
Sky Peak Technologies’ solution is to “right-size” the data on mobile devices through an easily installed mobile app (available for operators to offer to their subscribers through Sky Peak Technologies’ Operator Program). Their on-device intelligent content shaping saves resources and money, decreases network burden, expands the efficiency of available bandwidth, and enhances device performance. Additionally, it helps operators improve network performance as well as the operator’s relevant communications and service plans that can help with subscriber acquisition, retention, and satisfaction. By leveraging the power of the device, both subscribers and operators win.
“By enabling the device to control the amount of video resolution it requests, and therefore is sent, data consumption is reduced over the entire delivery stream,” Cat shared.
Our conversation shifted to the convergence of consumer demand for viewing more streaming content on their mobile devices, and ever-increasing 5G bandwidth delivering that content with higher data loads, and that paying for data costs continues to eat more and more into operators’ bottom line.
“Passing the cost on to subscribers makes carriers less competitive, creating subscriber churn, decreasing top-line revenue,” Cat said. According to the most recent CCA survey, "All [carriers] are looking for increased revenue or lower costs to offset mandatory, unfunded investments that are typically driven by regulatory or ‘must-have’ business offerings."
What Are the Customers Asking For?
“In our focus groups, carriers have told us that there is great interest in finding a solution to offset the impact of video streaming. Additionally, the solution must have no need for network infrastructure, require no capital outlay, be easy to deploy, and not adversely impact user experience.”
To me, it seems that Sky Peak Technologies has addressed this issue with its mission to decrease data consumption and costs for mobile operators and enterprise consumers of satellite data through the progressive idea of right sizing content for mobile before it is sent the "last mile" to the device.
It’s an easily downloadable App that basically allows the user to stream more content while using less data. An attractive proposition to regional and smaller MVNOs which may help level the playing field vs. the tier one carriers and larger MVNOs with regards to access to capital and spectrum to special strategic relationships with content providers.
Wow, This Looks Interesting!
Interesting. Very interesting. Especially with the projected growth of data streaming, Sky Peak Technologies just might have created the secret sauce in decreasing operator’s infrastructure costs and increasing customer satisfaction. How? With Sky Peak Technologies’ solution, there is “no need for costly network-based technologies that are time-consuming to deploy and provide incremental data savings at best. Tactics that affect subscribers such as data limits, throttling, and de-prioritization are blunt instruments for controlling the cost of delivering this data-intensive content.”
MVNOs need to look at this solution to best serve their customers and bottom line. Need more information? Check out Sky Peak at https://www.skypeaktechnologies.com/ and tell them that Atrium Unlimited Consulting sent you (https://atriumunlimited.com/).
Good Selling and Good Savings