A Verizon executive revealed Tuesday that the operator is now expecting to launch upgraded "multicast" wireless video capabilities in 2015, after a couple of years of talking up the technology.
Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) CFO Fran Shammo said on the operator's second-quarter earnings call that the operator is now gearing up to go live with multicast. "We won't launch commercially until 2015," Shammo said.
"We will start to embed [multicast] chips in handsets at the back-end of this year," Shammo explained. "The [LTE] network will be ready in the third quarter."
This is how the CFO explained the difference between today's 4G wireless streaming video and the future upgrade to multicast in March this year:
- If everybody in this room was to watch the same video today we would probably bring down the cell site, because there wouldn't be enough channels in that cell site to deliver the same video to everybody. With multicast, it's one channel and one cell site and you can all watch the same video on the same channel.
Verizon has been working on this capacity, which is based on eMBMS (evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Services) standards capabilities, for a while now. "We're also developing a service to broadcast live video over LTE," Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said of multicast in his CES keynote in January of 2013.
The operator, which is partnered with the NFL, had originally hoped to enable multicast for Super Bowl XLVIII on February 2, 2014. "We'd love to be able to broadcast that Super Bowl to everybody mobiley in the 2014 timeframe, so we're shooting for that," McAdam said back in 2013.
You can see McAdam's keynote below. He talks about when Verizon hopes to deliver LTE multicast for the NFL at the 25-minute mark.
Better luck with multicasting Super Bowl XLIX, eh, Verizon?
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading