Hybrid networks will help with increasing demand for video consumption

Speaking to top European Officials at Digital Venice 2014, SES CEO Karim Sabbagh highlighted the accelerating rate of digital video consumption and how hybrid networks can help to cope with these demands.

Mr Sabbagh used SES’s new white paper, ‘Satisfying Insatiable Demand with Infinite Choice’ to back up his claims. The paper clearly points to 4k or Ultra-HD as an active catalyst among other drivers of the global video market. Video experts will be no doubt already be familiar with the concept of Ultra-HD because with four times the resolution of 1080p HD, it is hotly tipped to become the next revolution of video.

The report details how industry forecasts project more than 1,000 Ultra HD channels will start broadcasting content, more than 500 million Ultra HD screens being sold and more than 400 million High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) set top boxes (STBs) to be installed by 2025.

As well as more people watching more videos online, the report also highlighted the fact that many people now work using multiple screens, which is likely to result in an unprecedented demand for bandwidth and network capacity. SES has in fact predicted that annual global IP traffic will reach a zettabyte (1,000-billion gigabytes) by 2016.

While this all sounds great to the end user, the question is how will existing networks cope with this ever-increasing demand? SES went on to explain that sending IP traffic over satellite through a communications protocol called SAT>IP can take Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) data from a satellite dish and transfer it to IP format. A SAT>IP server that is connected to a router can distribute content from satellite to any WI-FI enabled device in an entire household, therefore eradicating the problem.

Backing up their claims even further, SES went on to explain:

By providing DTH services to almost half a billion households, the satellite industry has already entered the Zettabyte Era. Therefore in order for Europe and the rest of the world to keep pace with rising video demand, satellite has to play an integral part. Terrestrial options cannot manage it all alone.

Concerns have been raised about the costs associated with implementing such complex technology upgrades, which have been estimated to come in at no less than 150 billion euros. There would also be extra and ongoing operating costs, which over time will add up to billions of euros. According to SES however, the solution is through a hybrid network the combines the strengths of satellite and terrestrial technologies for delivering content to as many households and users as necessary.

Hybrid networks have been known to provide many benefits that will only help to strengthen SES’s case. These networks are known to be flexible and are designed to handle the varying needs and usage of its users, they combine the best features of their parent topologies, and they are easier to configure, manage and troubleshoot, as well as being incredibly dynamic and practical.

With Ultra-HD on its way and demand for video content increasing in a big way, European decision-makers will no doubt be taking this information into account as they form the policies that affect the industry.