& cplSiteName &

Allot: Bandwidth Out of Sync With Mobile Video

Sarah Thomas
2/19/2014
50%
50%

Despite different networks, handset sizes, and quality of content, it appears many mobile operators are still treating all video content the same, a practice that Allot says is harming the user experience.

According to deep packet inspection specialist Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT)'s latest mobile trends report, released Wednesday morning, the bandwidth allocation the network automatically does has no correlation to video stream requirements. That means that some video sessions aren't receiving enough bandwidth, which causes stalling and a poor quality of experience (QoE). Other sessions get more than their fair share. All of this makes inefficient use of network resources.

Allot's position at the core of the mobile network lets it collect data on every video transaction, including insights into the handset, browser, operating system, policy, bandwidth allocated, and quality. For this study, it tracked 300,000 video detail records from the millions that took place during one week in December on an operator in a developed country. The operator wasn't using any form of video optimization or management.

As Andrei Elefant, VP of product management and marketing at Allot, explains it, 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," he says.

The issue is only more pronounced on LTE, where Elefant says Allot found that the video transactions just fill to consume the available bandwidth even when unnecessary. Allot found the problem is most pronounced on laptops using dongles because of the higher resolution required for the bigger screens. (See LTE Speeds Up, But Doesn't Improve Mobile Video.)

Why this matters
It's not surprising that a vendor that sells mobile video optimization and analytics technologies also touts a study which suggests such optimization tools are necessary. But, the results are notable because mobile video easily makes up more than 50% of data on the network. It's a big reason many operators moved to tiered data pricing. Operators that don't address video efficiency will feel the pressure on their networks and in the QOE they can offer subscribers.

Those operators that have implemented optimization strategies have taken different approaches so far. Some, such as Verizon Wireless , optimize video quality to the type of device a user has, so a feature phone sees lower quality video than an iPhone. Some optimize all the content on their networks indiscriminately. Others are still deciding how to tackle video, or leaning on small cells and WiFi offload instead. (See Optimizing the Mobile Video Startup Space, Mobile Video Optimization Gets Smart, Verizon Tweaks Mobile Video for Data Caps, and Video Quality Isn't Hot Air for Wind Mobile.)

Related posts

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(11)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
ysulkes
50%
50%
ysulkes,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/20/2014 | 1:49:14 PM
Re: Quality concerns

Another way of looking at this issue is through the business lens, i.e. how is the end-user paying for the video experience. Value-based charging can change the way users consume video and thus can solve some of the inherent issues we face today.

Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 3:12:01 PM
Re: Quality concerns
Thanks for sharing, jhinman. I agree that it's an annoyance and even a hinderence to mobile video viewing. Perhaps there is more tolerance for it on laptops because users are more likely to be multitasking, so they can come back to the video. On mobile, if the experience is bad, you give up and blame the operator, not the content provider, for sure.

Seems like the content providers should be doing more to deliver video made for mobile first, but it's ultimately an operator problem.
Jay Hinman
50%
50%
Jay Hinman,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/19/2014 | 2:07:39 PM
Re: Quality concerns
Sarah, I found this Conviva data from last year really interesting (and spot-on) with regard to how tolerant viewers are with regard to buffering or stalling: http://www.frost.com/c/10107/blog/blog-display.do?id=2692287. Research we've done at my company also comes to the same conclusion: we (as a people) won't wait for stalling or buffering, and will tend to reflexively blame our operators (not content providers) when videos won't play.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 12:15:53 PM
Re: pCell: Unexpected Alternaive
The pCell stuff is really interesting. Antenna advancement and technologies like multipath TCP and carrier bonding are creating new options for bandwidth boosts. This will be a good one to keep an eye on.

In general, I think there will be continual network upgrades to support more activity on the network, but does that preclude the need for video-specific optimization? I think it doesn't, unless good-enough video still cuts it on the most advanced networks.
Jessie Morrow
50%
50%
Jessie Morrow,
User Rank: Lightning
2/19/2014 | 11:54:58 AM
pCell: Unexpected Alternaive
Just earlier this morning I heard about perhaps an unexpected alternative to the mobile bandwidth problem, pCell by inventor and entrepreneur Steve Perlman ( he sold WebTV to Microsoft ) which supposedly gives each mobile device its own  fast connection. Just from reading this it indeed seems if this pCell does what intended it looks as if it still very much in its infancy but nevertheless shows us the solution to mobile bandwidth shortage may come from an expected direction.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 10:54:36 AM
Re: Quality concerns
@Sarah we might be seeing some backlash for this, as well. It's still very new, so we'll have to give it some time to see what happens.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:52:44 AM
Re: Quality concerns
Interesting. That is talking about Verizon FiOS fixed broadband, but there's potential to do the same on mobile as well -- not without a huge backlash though.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 10:49:00 AM
Re: Quality concerns
see http://davesblog.com/blog/2014/02/05/verizon-using-recent-net-neutrality-victory-to-wage-war-against-netflix/ It's on the basis of this that a number of sites have reported Verizon's slowdown.
Sarah Thomas
50%
50%
Sarah Thomas,
User Rank: Blogger
2/19/2014 | 10:46:17 AM
Re: Quality concerns
What do you mean re Verizon? They aren't allocating bandwidth for all customers, just lower-paying ones, or for certain kinds of content? I haven't heard of any policy changes yet, but they are certainly doable.
Ariella
50%
50%
Ariella,
User Rank: Light Sabre
2/19/2014 | 10:43:28 AM
Re: Quality concerns
I heard that Verizon said it is not going to be so generous with bandwith for video, which could account for some stalling and such. However, some videos some to be set up somewhat off, so no matter how good your connection is, your video will be out of sync.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Interviews
BT's McRae Sheds Light on 4K Strategy

5|25|17   |   4:45   |   (0) comments


At Light Reading's Big Communications Event 2017 in Austin, Texas, BT Group's Chief Network Architect Neil McRae talks about what it took for BT to broadcast live sports in 4K. Catch up with all our BCE coverage at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
From the Founder
How the NIA Aims to Advance NFV

5|25|17   |   08:07   |   (0) comments


Following a recent board meeting, the New IP Agency (NIA) has a new strategy to help accelerate the adoption of NFV capabilities, explains the Agency's Founder and Secretary, Steve Saunders.
LRTV Custom TV
Better Solutions That Address Growing Scale

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


For Comcast, the X1 rollout and 17-fold increases in broadband speeds in the past 16 years are among factors driving the need for Energy 2020 solutions that reduce cost and consumption, says Mark Hess.
LRTV Custom TV
Ethernity Network Delivers Instant Offloading of Network Functions With All-Programmable Intelligent NIC

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Levi, CEO of Ethernity Networks, explains that programmability of the hardware makes the company's All-Programmable Intelligent NIC uniquely beneficial for communications service providers that need advanced data appliances with agile support of virtualization. Utilizing the company's patented network processing technology, Ethernity offers data path ...
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Vodafone Gets Obsessed With Cloud-Native

5|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Vodafone's Matt Beal updates us on Project Ocean and explains why simple virtualization isn't enough of a goal for network transformation. Catch up with other BCE 2017 keynotes and news at http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE 2017: Intel's Take on Network Transformation

5|24|17   |     |   (0) comments


In this BCE 2017 keynote, Lynn Comp discusses Intel's vision for areas such as analytics, automation and service assurance. For more videos and BCE coverage, see http://www.lightreading.com/bce.asp.
LRTV Documentaries
Order From Chaos: The Steve Saunders BCE Keynote

5|24|17   |   17:27   |   (0) comments


Kicking off BCE 2017, Light Reading founder Steve Saunders lays blame for NFV's slow ramp-up and urges telecom to return to old-fashioned standards building and interoperability testing.
Think of this as the video sequel to the recent columns he's written about NFV and the prospect of a telecom app store. (See

LRTV Documentaries
Service Provider Panel: Partnering in the Digital Era

5|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Coopetition has always been part of telecom, but the ecosphere now includes data centers, vendors, apps developers, cloud service providers and Internet content providers. This BCE 2017 panel explores the new attitudes among network operators as to the value and variety of ...
LRTV Interviews
Site Demo: AT&T's IoT Flow Platform

5|19|17   |   04:25   |   (0) comments


At AT&T's R&D center in Tel Aviv, Israel, project leader Eyal Segev talks about the operator's Flow platform and how it helps to prototype IoT applications.
LRTV Documentaries
Agent of Change: A Q&A With AT&T's John Donovan

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


Carol Wilson talks with the man leading AT&T's transformation efforts about the challenge of change.
LRTV Documentaries
BCE Service Provider Panel: The New Business Realities

5|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


For virtualization to happen, the telecom industry first has to grapple with key functional aspects of SDN and NFV that need to be universal, such as onboarding of virtualized network functions and federation of software-defined networks.
LRTV Interviews
BCE Service Provider Keynote: CenturyLink

5|16|17   |   22:32   |   (0) comments


Aamir Hussain leads the Product Development and Technology organization at CenturyLink, which includes the company's information technology function. He is an experienced senior technology executive with more than 25 years of proven success in the implementation of global technology operations, operationalization of complex technology, infrastructures and business ...
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Cities Clamor for More Clout at FCC
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/23/2017
What's Blocking 4K TV Today
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading, 5/22/2017
Sonus & Genband Finally Combine to Form $745M Company
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/23/2017
Apple Looking to Cook 5G Test Devices
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 5/24/2017
Fright Wigs & Cocktails: BCE 2017 in Pics
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 5/19/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Animals with Phones
What Brogrammers Look Like to the Rest of Us Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.