Video drives most online content. Since the creation of film and television (TV), the recording, reproducing or broadcasting of moving visual images has fascinated viewers all over the world, resulting in some instances an addiction that gets many glued to cinema or TV screens for hours on end
OTT is a networking phenomenon which describes the delivery of services, applications or content over the internet by relying on network infrastructure which
OTT is any service which users consume on the internet but is not provided by an internet service provider or telecoms company by a third party relying on their network to provide mostly a free service but with no relationship with the internet provider. They are essentially providing the pipe to deliver content. Essentially, OTT applications rely on the internet to provide media and communication services while bypassing traditional cable and satellite distribution systems.
For example, a client can watch a TV show on a pay per view network. In this case, the network provides the services over satellite or other means and charges the consumer based on options they select. In the case of OTT, the consumer typically downloads an application from their preferred service provider, pays for internet access and then proceeds to watch TV content and programming for ‘free’. Some premium OTT providers may charge a minimum monthly fee, while others may require customers to view adverts in lieu of paying. Leading providers in the OTT space such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Video offer video streaming services for a monthly subscription fee. The subscriber is able to consume their content such as TV shows, movies, videos, documentary or audio content over any internet-connected devices.
Usually, a lot of subscribers access these content on their Internet TV whereas consumers without such TV sets can purchase video streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV, Roku and Apple TV which transform their ordinary TV into an Internet TV.
Beyond the use of OTT to deliver streaming videos on TVs, OTT can be found in the area of voice/video calls, for
Net neutrality and OTT
A discussion of OTT cannot take place without net neutrality coming into play. Net neutrality can be described as the practice of internet service providers charging a higher fee for prioritisation of feed, which leads to faster content delivery. In essence, a consumer of OTT services pays higher or premium fees for their Internet use because they have signed on to value-
OTT In Ghana
There are basically three broad types of OTT applications or services, namely voice and messaging, application eco-systems and TV. In Ghana, WhatsApp (voice and messaging) is the most popular OTT application. The second most popular is application eco-systems such as Dropbox,
A question which always arises is the regulatory frameworks which should guide such endeavours carried out in a country. With regard to such a framework for Ghana, the National Communication Authority (NCA) press release issued on Monday, May 9, 2016 (https://www.nca.org.gh/assets/Uploads/Press-Release-OTT-Services-v2.pdf) states: “[We are] reviewing the situation and will in due course take decisions for an enabling regulatory environment that will benefit all stakeholders, including both the operator and consumer.”
Advantages and disadvantages of OTT
Lower cost of content delivery, free communication opportunities, increased usage of the internet and an increased opportunity for content creators to distribute their content to a larger local and international audience
Some disadvantages, especially through the eyes of telecommunications and internet services providers, include a loss of revenue from SMS and phone calls. Security concerns are also mentioned when it comes to OTT since there is