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Here’s why QUIC is still worrying mobile operators

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Four years after it was published, “Why the Meteoric Rise of Google QUIC is Worrying Mobile Operators” remains one of Enea Openwave’s most popular blog posts. It’s not hard to see why people are still reading it today.

This article originally appeared in RCR Wireless

Google’s QUIC made its debut a few years ago and it quickly became a headache for operators. Why? QUIC is an encryption-based protocol and many types of traffic become invisible. Operators struggled to deliver content and manage subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE).

Fast forward to the present and that conundrum is still the case making QUIC. One thing that has changed is that QUIC is now even more widely used!

Meta, Apple and Microsoft mimic QUIC

In 2018, QUIC was 20% of total mobile traffic.  By the end of 2021, more than 75% of Meta’s (Facebook) internet traffic used mvfst. That is an experience-focused implementation from Meta of standardized IETF QUIC.

mvfst has shown significant improvements in several metrics. As per Meta, users experienced a 6% reduction in request errors, a 20% tail latency reduction, and a 5% reduction in response header size relative to HTTP/2. This also had a cascading effect on other metrics, indicating that peoples’ experiences were greatly enhanced.

The overall error count on video requests was reduced by 8%. The rate of video stalls was reduced by 20%. mvfst improved the video viewing experience, with an outsized impact on networks with relatively poorer conditions, especially those in emerging markets. Meta also deployed mvfst on Instagram for iOS and Android.

Read the rest of the article on RCR Wireless