Light Reading
Latest mobile trends reports finds that bandwidth isn't being allocated based on a video's demands, which causes a degraded viewing experience for mobile users.

Allot: Bandwidth Out of Sync With Mobile Video

Sarah Reedy
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
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.

SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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.
SarahReedy
50%
50%
SarahReedy,
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   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
LRTV Custom TV
Exploring the Future of Cable Access

10|15|14   |   6:23   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Brett Wingo looks at where cable access architectures are heading, discussing the impact of DOCSIS 3.1, CCAP, Remote PHY, SDN, virtualization of cable networks and related technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Optimizing & Monetizing WiFi

10|15|14   |   5:53   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Vince Pandolfi outlines the reasons for cable WiFi's rapid growth, lays out the issues with the technology and explains the new Cisco tools that can help operators monitor and improve their WiFi delivery.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Emulex & Huawei Collaboration Mutually Beneficial

10|14|14   |   4:17   |   (0) comments


US company Emulex collaborates with Huawei in areas such as blade servers and workload documentation. Mike Heumann of Emulex believes that Huawei has done incredibly well moving from a telecom company into servers and networks, working closely with customers to realize their needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Chile's VZION Looks Forward to Seeing More of Huawei

10|14|14   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


VZION is a systems integrator company in Chile with a focus on virtulization technology. In this video, Cesar Alcacibar talks about the challenges in virtualization and how Huawei helps his company to achieve the best results possible. Alcacibar is expecting more adoption and integration of Huawei technologies in Chile.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pro-Datech & Huawei for a High-Tech Singapore

10|14|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


Pro-Datech Systems is a specialty IT solution provider based in Singapore. For an added value to its customers, the company uses Huawei's hardware and trusted performance and features for a total solution. It's looking forward to the creation of a lab, to be based in Singapore, for the two companies' coorporation on total storage solution.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Forget the Internet, Brace for Skynet
Stephen Saunders, 10/15/2014
HBO Will Go OTT in 2015
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/15/2014
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed