HD mobile video goes mainstream | Media Analysis | Business
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About 38% of all mobile video traffic globally is now high definition (HD) - far beyond the predictions of mobile operators.

iPhone with Stranger ThingsThis is according to an analysis of live operator data conducted by Openwave Mobility from more than 30 mobile operators around the globe from 2013 to 2017. It also found that while HD video was only 5.7% four years ago, it is now expected to reach at least 50% of video traffic by the end of 2018, reflecting the popularity of over-the-top (OTT) streaming video.

Today, more than 820 million people across the world watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices.

“OTTs have launched a land grab,” said John Giere, CEO of Openwave Mobility. “In three years, OTTs wiped out voice revenues. In 2.5 years they wiped out messaging revenues. Is mobile data next? You bet. Along with encryption obscuring mobile networks, operators have to grapple with the unstoppable appetite for HD video content from OTT players.”

The report found that three-quarters (75%) of all mobile traffic is now encrypted, which is stifling the mobile operator’s ability to maintain subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE) since encryption protocols prevent operators from being able to profile or optimise data using conventional traffic management tools.

Giere added: “As users get accustomed to HD quality at home, they expect the same QoE on mobile. Whether binge-watching Stranger Things 2 or ogling over cute pets, subscribers find mobile video more important than voice calls. That’s why QoE is a deal-breaker. For example, research shows that people only tolerate six seconds of video buffering before switching off in frustration. Facing an onslaught from OTT encrypted traffic, the challenge for operators is - how can you manage what you can’t see?”
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