Mu's Quadrant of Miscreant Apps

12:00 PM -- There's not much debate around the fact that video is the culprit for driving data and encumbering wireless networks. But not all video is created equal.

As part of Mu Dynamics 's new application-testing platform, TestCloud, the vendor has access to data on individual apps and the effect they're having on the network. Its initial report suggests that popular scapegoat YouTube Inc. is actually the most friendly video app to both consumers and wireless operators in standard or high definition. (See Mu Helps Operators Shape App-Aware Networks.)

Mu defines consumer friendliness as consuming the least amount of bandwidth, which will be especially important as usage-based pricing plans become more common. Operator friendliness, or the amount of network resources consumed, is measured by the number of connections established by an app within a given session.

Hulu LLC , which streams full-length TV shows and movies, was the least operator friendly in SD and HD, while Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) was least friendly to consumers in both resolutions. Amazon's video content was found to be more friendly to operators in HD than it was in SD.

Developers of apps like these should play a role in building services that are network aware and don't hog resources, but most of the responsibility for mitigating the effects of the traffic falls to the wireless operators. Knowing how certain apps affect them differently will help operators determine what policies to set on apps, such as giving consumers incentives to watch full episodes in off-peak times or on carrier-managed Wi-Fi.

Video traffic is going to continue to increase on Long Term Evolution (LTE), but being aware of what's causing it at least puts the operators a step ahead of where they were when 3G apps caught them by surprise.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile

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