Faster networks not necessarily better for mobile video | Mobile | News | Rapid TV News
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In a rather surprising conclusion, research from independent mobile network experience measurement firm OpenSignal has confounded received wisdom regarding the importance of data throughput to support mobile TV networks.
ooyala 14Dec2017
In its first State of Mobile Video report, examining end users' overall video experience on mobile networks in 69 countries around the world, OpenSignal sought to answer simply how good or bad was the video viewing experience on an operator's network.

The key finding was that even among the elite mobile video nations there was still room for improvement. While many countries provided a very good video experience, not one achieved the highest video experience rating, ‘excellent’, according to the criteria set. Eleven of the 69 countries analysed earned a very good rating on OpenSignal's video experience scale, meaning mobile video loaded quickly and rarely stalled even at higher resolutions.

Moreover, and more or less at odds with standard thinking about the key requirement for network providers hoping to offer broadcast quality experiences, the country with the highest speed and largest bandwidth infrastructure didn’t offer the best mobile video quality. South Korea offered by far the fastest network in the 69 countries analysed in the report, but 15 other countries actually ranked higher in video experience.

The best video experience OpenSignal recorded was in the Czech Republic. European countries topped the mobile video experience chart, tending to outperform the rest of the world in mobile video experience. Not only did an EU nation top OpenSignal's list, but of the eleven countries that earned a very good score, nine of them were in Europe.

OpenSignal said that its analysis showed that the relationship between speed and video experience was complicated. While it said video experience and connection speed were directly linked in countries where speeds are relatively slow, its date showed that once a country passed the 15 Mbps threshold in average overall download speed — the situation in places where 4G services were firmly established —the raw power of connections had little bearing on streaming video quality. Other factors were key into determining the quality of video consumers received, from network latency to resiliency of connections to the individual policies operators adopted.

“The most startling conclusion of our global analysis is that countries with the most sophisticated networks and the fastest speeds aren't necessarily those providing the highest-quality video-viewing experience," said Kevin Fitchard, OpenSignal lead analyst and author of the report. In the case of mobile video, faster isn't always better. If you already have a decent network connection, then an additional boost in speed isn't necessarily going to make your video experience better.”

The full State of Mobile Video report is available at: https://opensignal.com/reports/2018/09/state-of-mobile-video