Research from Openwave Mobility has found that over the past five years, video on mobile networks has grown on average 50-60 per cent year-on-year (YoY), while in many developing markets, the rate is more than twice this. The findings are part of the latest Mobile Video Index (MVI), now in its third edition. Along with live data from over 30 mobile operators globally, the latest edition of the MVI also features insight from the Mobile Video Industry Council, an industry group that includes BT, EE, Deutsche Telekom, Telefonica, MTS, Telus, KPN, Orange and Vodafone.
Along with the phenomenal growth in mobile video, the MVI examines mobile data traffic patterns – which are highly irregular, making it almost impossible for operators to plan ahead. For example, the report documents how one of the largest operators in the world has a ratio of peak to average traffic of over three times, while another operator sees 80 per cent of the day’s traffic in just two hours – straining the Radio Access Network (RAN) to the limit and impacting subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE).
Traffic volumes with high resolution videos will grow exponentially with 5G, and forecasts from the Mobile Video Industry Council show that 90 per cent of 5G traffic will be video. In such an environment, QoE becomes a delicate balancing act for operators that have to juggle video picture quality with video delivery quality. The MVI reports on this and provides insight on the effective use of key performance indicators (KPIs) by some operators on aspects such as buffering versus higher resolutions.
“5G is not just another G” according to both Analysys Mason and ABI Research, both of which held roundtables at the Mobile Video Industry Council. They explained how 5G deployments will shape the way video services evolve. The MVI also reports on the unique perspective of 5G’s video capabilities from two major OTT organizations, Hulu and BT Sport. Both organisations outline how 5G provides the capability for completely new premium video services over mobile. The report summarises strategies to build OTT partnerships using premium video and advertising, as all ecosystem players fight to be at the heart of the new mobile video ecosystem.
“Operators have invested billions in 5G, but it is not the panacea that some think it is,” said Matt Halligan, CTO and Head of Engineering at Openwave Mobility. “5G will open the door to even more competition – from new categories of players – and the promise of low latency means AR and VR services will be high on the menu for subscribers. QoE is already hard to manage, and immersive video services are 33x more data intensive than 480p video. So, unless operators have a robust strategy to differentiate their service, they could be sleepwalking into a 5G nightmare.”