Verizon CEO: 50% of our wireless traffic is video

LAS VEGAS--Video accounts for 50 percent of Verizon Wireless' (NYSE:VZ) network traffic today and by 2017 the carrier estimates video will make up two-thirds of all traffic over the network. Speaking at the National Association of Broadcasters conference here yesterday, Verizon Communications CEO Lowell McAdam said that the company's investment in its LTE network is what is making the delivery of that video possible. "With 3G you have video clips but there is buffering. With 4G you can stream video," he said.

McAdam's appearance at the NAB show was interesting considering that broadcasters have always had a fairly contentious relationship with wireless operators over spectrum. Perhaps that was why there were so many empty seats at McAdam's one-on-one discussion with NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith.  

McAdam used the NAB show to attempt to sooth concerns that some broadcasters may have about Verizon's plans for LTE Broadcast technology. At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, McAdam publicly discussed his desire to use LTE Broadcast technology to broadcast live events like the 2014 Super Bowl to Verizon's customers.

McAdam said that he doesn't plan to replace traditional broadcast TV because the majority of people will want to watch the 2014 Super Bowl in their homes over their existing television. "We don't want to get in the way of broadcasters," McAdam said. However, he added that there may be specific events like the Super Bowl where Verizon could "add a dimension and it becomes better." 

Interestingly McAdam also recounted a meeting he had with former Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs, who is now deceased. McAdam was trying to convince Jobs to make the iPhone 5 compatible with LTE. "I was really trying to sell him and he sat there without any reaction. Finally, he said, 'Enough. You had me at 10 Mbps. I know you can stream video at 10 Mbps.' And Apple's next phone was LTE," McAdam said.

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