Verizon exec: Go90 needs more spectrum

LAS VEGAS -- Verizon (NYSE: VZ) executives aren't yet releasing any metrics on how many consumers are using its ad-supported mobile video service Go90. But the wireless company is confident enough in the long-term growth of the platform -- and mobile video -- that it anticipates a longer term need for more spectrum.

Noting that mobile network usage is set to rise by 650 percent from 2013 to 2018 and that video is set to take up 75 percent of mobile network usage by 2019, Eric Fitzgerald Reed, VP of entertainment and tech policy for Verizon, said the critical issue is getting enough spectrum freed up as possible.

"More spectrum will enable all this interactivity customers are striving for," Reed said, speaking on a CES panel Tuesday broadly focused on multiscreen strategies. 

When asked after the event by FierceCable about the platform's early metrics, Reed would not divulge Go90's usage numbers after nearly four months on the market. He did say, however, that demand for the Go90 app has been high across both Android and iOS platforms. Analytics firm Apptopia has said the app was downloaded around 1.8 million times through Dec. 15.  

Although the service is targeted to young adults, older consumers are using the platform, too, Reed said. "I know there's a lot of press around millennials, as if they're the only ones accessing mobile video," he added. 

Addressing a wide number of video-related topics, Tuesday's panel -- moderated by former Comcast general counsel Terry Bienstock -- also made the unfavorable comparison of a CES buzz topic, virtual reality, to 3D technology.

"Three-D was a solution to a problem we didn't have," said Cameron Friedlander, a marketing technology lead with Kimberly-Clark Corp. While also forcing users to wear "ridiculous glasses," he added that at least virtual reality is relevant in niche markets like education. 

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