Mobixell Networks, a global provider of intelligent mobile Internet solutions, has announced that its new ‘Smooth DBRA’ technology is in pre-production tests at a leading Tier 1 European mobile operator. Patent-pending Smooth DBRA constantly senses network conditions and adjusts the bitrate, mid-stream, of most mobile video formats to match the changing conditions. These constant adjustments help ensure high performance, high quality video experience using minimal network resources. Smooth DBRA also includes unique technologies that overcome the challenges posed by MP4 video – the most common video output format used on smartphones.
Mobile data network conditions change constantly between varying states of bandwidth availability and congestion. This constant fluctuation, plus the signal strength on the mobile device affect how individuals receive mobile data. The most noticeable way that data subscribers experience these changes is when congested network conditions cause videos to buffer and stall.
Integrated into the operator’s core network, Mobixell Smooth DBRA (Dynamic Bitrate Adaptation) technology senses changes on each connected mobile device and transrates (or adapts the output bitrate of) video files while they are playing to best suit changing network conditions: When bandwidth is available, DBRA maximises a video file’s bitrate to deliver the highest available video quality. When less bandwidth is available, DBRA reduces bitrate so that a video can play without stalls and buffering. Then, when bandwidth becomes available again, DBRA restores maximal bitrate.
Other DBRA solutions and video encoded with ABR (Adaptive Bitrate) can jump among only 3 or 4 pre-defined bitrates. However, Mobixell Smooth DBRA adapts video bitrate precisely to the level that is needed to match available network bandwidth. This ‘fine tuning’ creates a smooth viewing experience with the highest possible performance and quality and ensures that video is optimised only when needed.
“For a number of reasons, Smooth DBRA is a remarkable video optimisation technology,” commented Yehuda Elmaliach, Mobixell CTO. “We developed it keeping in mind that the most important thing is always customer experience. Smooth DBRA also tackles the MP4 problem. Since MP4 file headers declare the file’s bitrate before its content starts to play, other DBRA solutions cannot dynamically adapt the video bitrate. We’ve found a way around this limitation that gives mobile operators the ability to optimise video only when needed and, therefore, improve customer experience. Mobixell is already in various stages of live implementation of Smooth DBRA technology.”
In addition to MP4 support and fine-tuned transrating, Mobixell Smooth DBRA also reacts to changes in network conditions and adapts video bitrate up to twice as fast as existing solutions – within 1 to 2 seconds compared to 3 to 4 seconds. If the difference of 1 or 2 seconds in reaction time does not sound like much, consider waiting for 3 seconds while a video is stalled compared to 1 second: the effect on user experience is very significant. The combination of response speed and fine tuning is how the ‘smoothness’ is achieved in video that is optimised with Mobixell Smooth DBRA.