Bandwidth Has No Correlation To Mobile Video

by CXOtoday News Desk    Feb 21, 2014

mobile video

Even though networks, handset sizes, and quality of content vary significantly, some mobile operators are still treating all video content the same, which in turn is hurting user experience, says a new study by digital specialist firm Allot that also states that the bandwidth allocation by the network has no correlation to the video stream requirements.

In other words, the study titled “Measuring the Mobile Video Experience,” and explores the factors that impact video delivery quality over mobile data networks, reveals that while some video sessions do not have enough bandwidth, which causes stalling and a poor quality of experience (QoE), some others get more visibility and all of this makes inefficient use of network resources.

The report examines how download bandwidth, duration, resolution, mobile operating system (iOS, Android) and video container (3GP, MP4) affect stalling, as well as how they interact to influence the overall video viewing experience. The statistical information presented in the report includes a randomly selected sample of 300,000 representative video detail records (VDRs) from hundreds of millions of unmanaged mobile video transactions during a given week in December 2013.

Experts at the research firm explains that the container of the protocol used to deliver video - 3GP or MP4 - might require narrow bandwidth, but the network isn’t aware of that stipulation. It doesn’t understand the content of the video, he says, so it simply allocates the bandwidth it has. “The network is allocating bandwidth in an inefficient way that can impact the quality of video and impact other apps using the network resources at the same time,” the report noted.

The issue is only more evident on LTE, where Allot found that the video transactions just fill to consume the available bandwidth even when not required. Allot found the problem is most pronounced on laptops using dongles where higher resolution is required for the bigger screens.

Some of the key findings of the mobile video delivery include:

* Actual bandwidth allocation by the network has no correlation to the video stream requirements.

* Laptops with dongles experience more video stalls than smartphones, however laptop users will continue to watch the video for longer durations, regardless of stalls.

* The video delivery container directly affects the mobile viewing experience.

* Insufficient allocated bandwidth for the video session will result in video stalls.

* Videos watched for longer durations are likely to have more stalls.

“Since customers tend to judge the quality of their mobile network based on the quality of their video viewing experience, it is crucial for mobile operators to be able to accurately measure the experience and better understand the factors that affect it,” says Andrei Elefant, VP Marketing and Product Management at Allot Communications.

“This report clearly demonstrates that video analytics together with video management and optimization tools can help mobile operators improve the video experience, thus making them more competitive.”