This March, there was another type of madness going on. Meerkat Madness. Without warning, news about this hot new live streaming app popped up everywhere, from TechCrunch to Fortune to Vogue. Piggybacking off of Twitter (which is blog-Our prediction live streaming retaliating with Periscope),  Meerkat allows anyone to become a broadcaster with a few taps that starts your live stream and sends a tweet to all of your followers to let them know that you’re doing something worth dropping everything to watch. 

What could that be? Well as with any social app, uploads can range from the mundane to the magical. Dan Pfeiffer, President Obama’s former senior advisor, thinks the app’s power goes far beyond filming your children skiing for the first time or the view from the front row at a U2 concert. He predicts that Meerkat will be a game-changer for the 2016 US presidential election by giving anyone with a mobile device the ability to live-stream video and turning all voters, reporters and campaigners into independent, guerilla broadcast networks. With Meerkat, gone may be the days of reading campaign trail recaps filtered through the media’s points of view. Knowledge will be the force of progress as viewers form their own opinions of the 47 percent moments caught on Meerkat. 

This application may be to the 2016 election what Facebook and Twitter were to 2008 and 2012 because communications networks have grown to support the real-time push of millions of 140 character tweets, selfies with presidential hopefuls and now, video livestreams. Cambium Networks’ broadband wireless solutions are optimized for streaming video, voice and data in challenging environments like the open ocean or the desert. We have seen video streaming shift from something only the military needed to monitor ports and bases to something every home required when Netflix debuted. With live video streaming gaining traction, networks will need to be equipped with configurable uplink and downlink ratios to facilitate the direct contact between voters and campaigns Pfeiffer purports will determine the outcome of 2016. 

Worldwide, Cambium Networks strives to proliferate this immediate, direct access to information that citizens care about and have a right to know. We’ll be watching the development of Meerkat and its use in the upcoming U.S. elections with interest, and look forward facilitating the use of similar applications in unconnected/under-connected communities.

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