In the fourth quarter of 2018, one of America’s largest operators deployed mobile traffic management technology from Openwave Mobility. The deal worth several million dollars is a significant milestone. Now, two of America’s top operators are our clients – that’s a footprint of over 280 million subscribers. In other words, when 1 in 2 American’s access mobile video, it is a sure-fire certainty that our technology is powering their experience.
The mobile video management technology deployed is based on what’s known as Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) optimization and acceleration. TCP is the conventional standard of the internet to establish and maintain a network connection to exchange data. Traditional TCP was not designed for mobile networks. And any packet loss of data can adversely impact mobile internet transfer rates, web page loading times – and of course cause buffering etc. on mobile videos. This leads to poor Quality of Experience (QoE) for the subscriber.
Our technology dramatically cuts load times and increases transfer rates by maximizing the efficiency of the transport layer on the mobile network. It optimizes bandwidth utilization and TCP optimization, providing subscribers with faster browsing and more immediate access to mobile video content.
What’s more, our TCP Optimization addresses another problem inhibiting operator networks across the world – Over The Top (OTT) encryption. Secure protocols such as Google’s QUIC and Facebook’s 0-RTT have darkened networks and operators are literally unable to see what traffic is travelling on their network which means managing subscriber QoE becomes impossible. Currently 80% – 90% of traffic is secure and we predict that before long, 100% of traffic will be coated with OTT encryption.
Why is this detrimental to operators? That’s because when subscribers suffer poor QoE, they churn – and that adversely impacts the operator’s bottom line. Our technology provides operators a valuable lifeline, enabling optimization even for encrypted video.
The growth of mobile video
Video is growing at a phenomenal rate across the world and our research found that over 60% of mobile traffic is now video. Video is also making a critical difference in the race for mobile supremacy amongst America’s top operators. T-Mobile US, currently the third largest operator, is breathing down the necks of America’s two top operators and vying for the top spot.
In 2015 T-Mobile pioneered an initiative called Binge On by tapping into the rising popularity of mobile video. Binge On resonated with subscribers and T-Mobile beat Sprint into third place. It now has its sights set on 5G to leapfrog the competition.
The 5G battle lines are drawn
The battle for 5G is intense. A number of operators including Deutsche Telekom, EE, KPN, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone attended Openwave Mobility’s inaugural event, the Mobile Video Industry Council to discuss 5G and mobile video. One key finding from the event was that 90% of 5G traffic will be mobile video. (Openwave Mobility will publish these findings along with latest trends and facts on mobile video in the upcoming Mobile Video Index, March 2019).
Within the next few years, the volume of mobile video will grow exponentially. That’s why it is more important than ever for operators to have in place the technologies today, such as TCP Optimization, to meet the network requirements of tomorrow.
We continue to be at the forefront of mobile video traffic management, not just in the US – but across the world – for operators and will play a critical role in the mobile internet ecosystem. If you would like to find out more, get in touch.