Filippo Giachi and Rahul Mughal of DOCOMO Digital unpack the booming sector of cloud gaming in a two-part panel session, to mixed reviews. Giachi was joined by Andreas Schmidt, head of international data sales at A1 Telekom Austria; Rashid Ali Al-Ali, VP of international sales at Etisalat; and Malek Hammoud, chief investment and digital officer at Zain Group to discuss cloud gaming and how telco operators can advance to the next level.

Ali Al-Ali began the discussion with a general overview of the cloud gaming market, which he described as maturing very quickly. He said that it’s a full blown ecosystem that promises a lot for cloud businesses, mobile services, for the wholesale business, connectivity-wise, data center, and at Etisalat are watching this community very closely.

Schmidt of A1 believes that the future of gaming is potentially huge, comparing its growth to that of Netflix or another pay-per-view aggregator, and that cloud gaming and the telco business fits perfectly together.

When the topic of game publishers and the B2B model came up, Hammoud explained that it all comes down to infrastructure.One of the key use cases for 5G technology when it was first introduced was how to get the most out of a technology that is as fast as 5G. As a result, they had to evolve our infrastructure to include a strong wholesale offering, as well as a proper data center that met the needs of large publishers with high demand plus the game publishers wanted a network.

In the case of A1, Schmidt claims that the company is employing a multi-tiered strategy. A marketing strategy that makes the aggregator visible in its home markets is one example.

Gaming publishers, according to Ali Al-Ali, are less concerned with traffic volume and are more concerned with latency and getting closer to the players themselves.

Schmidt concludes by urging a distinction between the types of gamers, players, and viewers, as well as what they might require and how 5G can provide it.

Hammoud’s case explained that it’s all about the experience.

On the subject of payment integration, the discussion came to a close. For the gamers, it must be seamless, easy, and quick, and for the aggregators and publishers, it must be safe, Hammoud believes.

Following up on this panel, Rahul Mughal, DOCOMO Digital’s Global Marketing Director, spoke with Greg Beitchman, Antstream Arcade’s Chief Revenue Officer, and Yiannis Pagkalos, Google Stadia’s global head of Stadia business development and product partnerships.

Antstream Arcade, a publisher/aggregator, sees the cloud gaming market as a promising opportunity, according to Beitchman a new way for consumers to easily access content without having to download two devices, or having to play a game using a specific process or device. However, they see it as allowing for new types of experiences.

In terms of 5G, Beitchman agrees that it provides a ton of opportunity with that processing power, closer to the consumer, and also through more advanced devices that consumers will have.

They will realize a lot of the benefits of very low latency connectivity, which is obviously essential for cloud gaming delivery, Pagkalos says as 5G evolves and moves more strongly into millimetre wave implementations.