Amit Kumar , Team Lead-OTT Division , Lebara Media

"The success of an OTT service provider depends on the extent of high-speed broadband connectivity. "

Nowadays everything is moving through the Internet.This is also true with regard to our TV channels and movies where the terminology used is OTT (over the top). It simply means delivery of media content over Internet, bypassing the traditional modes of distribution. OTT has gained immense popularity in the last few years, due to the freedom, flexibility, and convenience these services provide.

More than 50 percent of world's population is streaming their favorite live sports, subscribing to online video content, and are surfing movies on-demand. It basically resembles any service delivered through the Internet in collaboration with the ISPs.

OTT playback experience requires many different complex elements to work together successfully. These elements include the streaming device, origin servers, content preparation systems, the Internet, content delivery networks (CDNs), access networks, the home network, and all of the connections between these elements. Many different vendors provide these elements.

Viewing in OTT will not be hampered by rain or bad weather as in DTH. No STB is compulsory in OTT, channel accommodation capacity is more in OTT as compared to DTH because there is no satellite dependency.

Subscribers can view content from any device, including cell phones, PCs, and television sets. In addition, no special equipment beyond a PC is needed. Content is mobile rather than tied to a specific device, and the set-up is simple

Compared to television, OTT video streaming comes with few or even no advertisements.

OTT streaming is very different from the delivery of video using traditional broadband methods. To be successful, companies need to be aware of the technological basis behind OTT and implement strategies to monitor and address failures.OTT differs from other streaming methods due to its delivery method. Broadband streaming is IP-based, while OTT uses HTTP servers; videos are delivered as small files over TCP (transmission control protocol).

Vulnerability to server overload. Unlike broadband, OTT can become slow or even inaccessible during high-demand times. This is because high traffic crashes servers, which OTT relies on. OTT providers can respond to this problem by implementing adaptive streaming. In OTT, quality of the service depends on the bandwidth of the user. OTT works on the principal of ABR (adaptive bit rate) which means that streaming data rate is adaptable according to the user bandwidth (5G, 4G, 3G, 2G etc.). The success of an OTT service provider depends on the extent of high-speed broadband connectivity.

Less provider familiarity. Traditional content providers are accustomed to addressing problems with the delivery of broadband content, but OTT comes with its own set of potential issues that providers must be prepared to address.

The major difference between OTT and IPTV is that the OTT content is delivered over a public network and IPTV is delivered over a private network (something like UDP), which generally is the MSOs own infrastructure. OTT here can be a broader term from a consumer/viewer's point of view as they get to access a variety of content through an OTT service, aggregated on a single platform, along with the flexibility of accessing this content on-demand. OTT services not only provide more content on the go for viewers but also promise to boost higher-resolution image in 4K and high dynamic range (HDR) quality. In the meantime in Asia-Pacific markets, government-supported development of fiber infrastructure will likely enable OTT services to continue both their expansion and their foray into providing higher-resolution video.

OTT players have started coming with their own original series to woo viewers. This creates impressive traction and has viewers switching over from the expensive pay TV. People are demanding more and more live experiences for their favorite content over the top, especially for top content such as news and sports. Viewers demand the content later if they miss the live broadcast.

We are already seeing increasing competition in the OTT space, and the number of players will continue to increase in future.