Mobile video growing 50-60% year-on-year

According to Openwave Mobility, over the past five years, video on mobile networks has grown on average 50-60% year-on-year (YoY) ...

According to Openwave Mobility, over the past five years, video on mobile networks has grown on average 50-60% year-on-year (YoY), while in some developing markets, the rate is more than twice that. The findings are part of the latest Mobile Video Index (MVI), now in its third edition. Along with live data from more than 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 difficult for operators to plan ahead. For example, the report indicates that 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% 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 are expected to grow exponentially with 5G, and forecasts from the Mobile Video Industry Council indicate that 90% 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.

"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 can be expected to shape the way video services evolve. The MVI also reports on the perspective of 5G's video capabilities from two major OTT organizations, Hulu and BT Sport. Both organizations outline how 5G provides the capability for new premium video services over mobile. The report summarizes 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 33 times 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."

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