A broad survey of mobile phone users conducted for Mobixell Networks by On Device Research, indicates that 74 per cent hold operators most responsible for their video stalling, buffering or taking too long to start when streaming over their mobile network. In light of the sharp increase in mobile video consumption forecast for the coming years, this revelation should raise serious concerns among mobile operators as they find it more and more challenging to ensure a satisfying mobile video experience for consumers with increasing expectations.
According to the survey, which polled over 1,000 mobile phone users, consumers themselves predict a dramatic increase in their data usage as mobile networks move from 3G to 4G/LTE. The survey found that a total of 91 per cent would browse and use more Internet services, watch more streamed videos, play more games, or download more files if their network performance was 10 times faster than it is today.
As mobile video consumption rises faster than the rate of network capacity expansion, network congestion is more likely to lead to an increase in both browsing interruptions and inconsistent video streaming. The survey found that slow browsing speed would cause 43 per cent of respondents to consider switching operators, while another 24 per cent said that buffering and poor video quality would cause them to consider switching. Further, 47 per cent of mobile users said they are frustrated when video takes too long to play and 45 per cent are most put off by non-continuous, interrupted play.
“This survey highlights the importance that mobile subscribers attribute to video quality and the steps they would consider taking when it is unsatisfactory,” said Noam Green, VP marketing at Mobixell. “New mobile devices and 4G networks will further inflate mobile data demand and, therefore, congestion, in the coming years. To continue to meet user expectations for continuous, no-buffer video, operators are embracing video optimization with real-time congestion prediction.”
All indications point toward always on, always-there mobile devices becoming the preferred way for mobile subscribers to stream video, even when wired broadband or Wi-Fi connections are available. In fact, 36 per cent of survey respondents claimed that even at home they stream video using their mobile network.