‘Late Summer’ Debut for Verizon’s OTT Service

Carrier Lining Up Video Partners for 'Mobile-First' Offering
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Verizon still hasn’t pinpointed a launch date for its coming over-the-top video service, but  it’ll be available to the masses before the summer is over.

“As far as the over-the-top launch, we are absolutely going to be ready to go by late summer,” Fran Shammo, Verizon’s CFO and EVP, said Tuesday on the company’s second quarter earnings call. “It won't be the full entire of everything that we contemplate within the product set.”

Verizon has already signed on several content partners for the coming service, including Vice Media, Scripps Networks Interactive, ACC Digital Network, Campus Insiders, CBS Sports, ESPN, 120 Sports and Awesomeness TV. The service, which will target millennials, will be coming online as Verizon FiOS TV sub growth shows more signs of slowing

Shammo noted that content from AOL,  acquired by Verizon last month, will also be offered on the service, which will offer a mix of on-demand and live content.

Verizon has also confirmed that the mobile-first offering will include “ad-sponsored data” and live and on-demand content.  The service will be network-agnostic, but will be optimized for Verizon’s mobile network.

Shammo reiterated that Verizon will use bandwidth-friendly LTE multicast technology to deliver some content, likely of the live event variety.

LTE multicast is being supported in most Verizon smartphones. As for overall LTE device activations, Verizon activated 11.3 million of them in Q2. About 85% of those activations were smartphones, and the rest mostly tablets. Roughly 87% of Verizon Wireless’s total data traffic is on the carrier’s LTE network, and overall traffic on LTE has about doubled in the past year, Shammo said.

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