This projection is based on current trends and the upward trajectory of mobile video traffic, which has grown more than 50% year-on-year.
The Council meeting at their inaugural gathering discussed recent trends in mobile video traffic and content, and operator concerns over RAN capacity, service differentiation and Quality of Experience.
Growth in volumes of video traffic was, unsurprisingly, a major discussion point. What is surprising is the reason for this growth. For most operators, growth in mobile video from 2010 to 2015 came as a result of increased video watch times. But, since 2015, growth in mobile video has come significantly as a result of a move to higher bandwidth HD content, rather than greater watch time only. This has also meant higher levels of obfuscated encryption protocols such as QUIC (Google) and 0-RTT (Facebook and Instagram) flooding the network impeding operators’ ability to deliver a consistent QoE. The Council, including Tier 1 mobile operators Deutsche Telekom, EE, KPN, MTS, Orange, Telefonica, Telus and Vodafone, in fact debated the conflicting components of QoE i.e. Quality of
Delivery (reduced buffering) versus Quality of Picture (resolution) and the implications.
A special OTT content providers’ session with Hulu and BT Sport shed light on the problems of shoe-horning TV content into mobile and the launching of new companies developing new video content “made for mobile”. The Council also highlighted the stress placed on networks by live events, especially sporting occasions, such as Russia 2018. Here data consumption during a match was found to be double the data consumed during the “busy hour” for the remainder of the year.
John Giere, President and CEO of Openwave Mobility said: “When 4G was launched, it was all about mobility and connectivity. 4G provided the impetus for companies like Uber, Waze and Spotify. 5G will have far more data intensive services that operators may struggle to grapple with. For example, Augmented Reality can be 33x more data intensive than 480p video, and once 5G comes to the fore, it is expected that OTT services will have more subscribers than pay TV customers.”
Openwave Mobility launched the Council for mobile operators to determine strategies to manage video on 4G and 5G networks. Industry analysts from ABI Research, Analysis Mason and Strategy Analytics held interactive roundtables on 5G, NFV and the RAN.