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MWC: Pilot Program Downloads Premium Video Before It's Requested
In a one-month trial, Ericsson, Telstra, and Fox Innovation Lab will pre-download new releases, which consumers can then buy or rent.

Ericsson, Telstra, and the Fox Innovation Lab announced a pilot program that will automatically download premium new releases to mobile devices before they're requested, then give consumers the option to rent or purchase access once videos are in place. The news comes out of the Mobile World Congress currently taking place in Barcelona, Spain.

The companies involved call this "pre-positioning" data, and emphasize that downloads will be scheduled so they don't reduce device performance, and will improve delivery while placing less strain on networks.

A limited number of Ericsson, Telstra, and Fox customers will test the system during the one-month pilot program. Rather than using their own mobile devices, they'll be given devices with a trial app installed. Downloads will match the consumer's interests and have 1080p resolutions.

Given the closed nature of this pilot, it's hard to say what useful results it could offer. In real world conditions, would customers want to give up a sizable chunk of their device storage for content they may not want? How much choice will they have over what gets downloaded? What will the prices be? And, most importantly, do people want to watch long-form premium content on a small screen when the trend is clearly for living room viewing? An Ericsson PR representative was unable to provide an immediate comment.

The announcement emphasizes that premium content will be secure thanks to the use of multiple digital rights management (DRM) solutions, as well as multi-layer watermarking. The pilot uses Ericsson MediaFirst cloud-based media storage and Unified Delivery Network, as well as Telstra's Media Optimized Network.

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