Netflix is no bandwidth hog, wants co-operation, says Netflix

Written by on February 28, 2017 in News with 0 Comments

Netflix’s Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings reacts as he delivers his keynote speech during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, February 27, 2017. REUTERS/Paul Hanna

BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) – Streaming video pioneer Netflix held out a vision of cooperation to potentially sceptical telecom partners on Monday, saying it could deliver a quality experience to mobile phones without hogging bandwidth needed for other services.

In a first for a media executive, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings delivered the keynote speech on the first day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the telecom industry’s biggest annual trade fair.

Netflix needs partners such as mobile operators to increase its audience and shore up its tiny profits. It is expanding rapidly beyond its U.S. home base while spending at a furious pace on purchased and original content – which won it its first Oscar on Sunday.

Telecoms carriers are both resentful that Netflix can profit from their investments in network improvements and aware that offering customers a better experience in watching hit shows such as “The Crown” or “Marvel’s Luke Cage” can keep them more loyal.

“You can enjoy it and not be worried about data caps. That’s where I think it is going now,” said Hastings, referring to the fact that most carriers now sell unlimited data packages rather than the metred offerings of the past.

He said work that Netflix had done on optimising video for internet delivery meant it could deliver “amazing” pictures at unthreatening speeds as low as 300 kilobits per second “using the operator’s bandwidth”.

“We are investing at many levels … to ensure the experience on mobiles, desktops and the internet is just instant,” he said in an on-stage interview that skirted awkward subjects such as so-called net neutrality, the principle that all internet providers should be treated equally on a network.

Hastings is the latest in a series of top executives from industries with whom telecom operators have an ambivalent relationship to deliver a keynote at Mobile World Congress. His predecessors have included Google’s Eric Schmidt and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

“I’m sure there are plentiful discussions going on behind the scenes, but telcos and Netflix need each other,” said analyst Paolo Pescatore of UK-based research firm CCS Insight.

“Netflix is doing what it needs to do, solely focussed on content. But it needs scale, and this is where the telcos come in, especially those that do not want to invest sums in securing costly content rights,” he told Reuters.

Netflix, which is expected to hit 100 million subscribers this year and is available in most of the world’s countries – with the conspicuous absence of China – already has partnerships with a number of international mobile operators including Vodafone, Orange and Telecom Italia.

“A number of pioneering players will start providing unlimited data at lower speed,” Hastings said, without elaborating.

(Reporting by Sophie Sassard and Eric Auchard; Additional reporting and writing by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by Larry King)

Tags: , ,

About the Author

About the Author: Thomson Reuters is the world's largest international multimedia news agency, providing investing news, world news, business news, technology news, headline news, small business news, news alerts, personal finance, stock market, and mutual funds information available on, video, mobile, and interactive television platforms. .


If you enjoyed this article, subscribe now to receive more just like it.

Subscribe via RSS Feed

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.