Several of my recent blogs could be summarised with the expression ‘content is king’. I believe that the telcos are moving beyond their traditional areas of competition, such as network speed, and into an age where what they offer on top of connectivity will be the key differentiator for customers.
The use of ‘white spaces’ in broadcast spectrum plays into this. Both Google and London Zoo have recently undergone trials where they used pockets of unused frequencies between broadcast TV signals to broadcast their own bespoke content.
The zoo is broadcasting pictures of various animals live and network specialist Nominet is using white space to monitor water levels in Oxford. Sky is now exploring how these gaps can be used for smart city projects.
At present this seems like a niche project, but this kind of innovative use of spare spectrum capacity can create many new ideas. We are able to use Wi-Fi Internet now because researchers explored how the radio signals used to open and close garage doors might be developed further.
But the underlying trend of content being a focus for the telcos is the important message. If there is spare capacity and the networks can facilitate free or very low-cost broadcast then what can they offer that will help to attract customers to their network?
People may not tune in often to the animals live-stream from the zoo, but it’s an interesting idea and it costs almost nothing to provide the content. Think for a moment of all the sports events and festivals around the country and the opportunities are endless – content that is low cost and could be of value. Imagine if Sky hooked up every non-league football club in the country to their network so every game was available – even just to a relatively small audience?
Network speed really is no longer the argument or marketing proposition, it’s what I can see on a network that makes me want to pay the monthly subscription.
Let me know your views by leaving a comment here or tweet me on @simondillsworth.
Photo by Bruce Thomson licensed under Creative Commons