Global IP Solutions (GIPS) has released a survey showing that US mobile operators and equipment vendors are supportive in the drive toward real-time video.

The provider of IP multimedia processing solutions found that over 50 per cent of US wireless operators interviewed plan to launch, or increase access to, real-time video services over the next 2 years.

GIPS believes mobile video will make the shift to the mainstream in the US market over the next few years.

The study, carried out for GIPS by Ovum, questioned most of the top US mobile operators, smaller/regional wireless carriers and mobile application developers.

It also found that in order to compete with larger players, smaller operators are offering more Internet access and are pursuing flexible IP communication applications from 3rd parties.

Almost half of operators surveyed expressed enthusiasm for delivering "open platforms" for 3rd party software developers.

Mark Radoff, of Ovum, said the study’s findings showed that real-time video is coming to the forefront for mobile operators.

"Both the small and large operators are keen to launch these services and determine ways to productize real-time video, to differentiate their services and potentially increase ARPU," he said.

While only AT&T Wireless has so far launched a video conferencing service, most carriers indicate the service is coming.

The study found that operators launching video conferencing applications would likely provide opportunity for software vendors.

While operators have growing confidence in their networks, respondents indicated that optimization is still an issue, as well as usable applications and integration with social networks.

GIPS pointed out that more than half of the respondents showed enthusiasm for open platforms, whereby software vendors can launch real-time video applications on an operator-approved handset.

Emerick Woods, CEO of GIPS, said most US mobile operators are running what is classified as a 3G network or 3.5G or equivalent network, which allows them to ensure high quality VOIP and video-based services.

"Now, with 4G and sophisticated WiMax networks beginning to emerge, there are fewer barriers to offering quality, real-time video and VoIP on mobile phones and networks," he said.

Woods said the study confirms GIPS’ belief in the accelerating movement toward mobile video adoption and validates the activities from mobile operators and device manufacturers in making it a reality in the next few years.

We’d be interested in hearing your view on this. Will real-time video go mainstream in the next couple of years?

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