Mobile video has potential to ‘wreak havoc’ on networks, says Strategy Analytics

Get ready for a tsunami of mobile video traffic thanks to new LTE tables and smartphones like those being demonstrated this week at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas.

A pair of new reports from Strategy Analytics, released during the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, forecasts substantial continued growth in use of mobile video services by consumers and provides detailed examinations of the technical strategies available to handle burgeoning demand for mobile video and technology solutions.

An executive summary of the two reports says that although video services aren’t the most used services on mobile networks in terms of the number of sessions or users, “video dominates mobile data traffic today and is on a rapid growth trajectory.”

Ironically, new broader band network solutions, such as LTE, aren’t the solution. Rather than solving network congestion, the summary says, LTE will promote greater use of mobile video. As a result, operators will be required to deploy solutions mobile video optimization solutions “that can scale with the growth of video traffic and QoE,” it says.

Without these steps, mobile video traffic will “wreak havoc” on networks that are unprepared for the increased traffic as consumers turn Google’s YouTube, Netflix, Hulu and other sources of video content.

“Leading operators, like Verizon and SK Telecom, are thinking big about quality video for LTE networks, particularly converged services that provide a seamless experience across mobile devices and big screen HD TVs and PCs at home for consumers who adopt tablets, smartphones and other connected devices,” said Susan Welsh de Grimaldo, Strategy Analytics director, Mobile Broadband Opportunities, and author of one of the reports.

“Without a well-planned strategy and range of solutions for optimizing and monetizing mobile video, operators will soon find even their new LTE bandwidth is overloaded at peak periods,” she added.

The reports examine the best approaches available for optimizing video traffic. According to Strategy Analytics, the type of approach offering the best solution will differ based on the type of video to be delivered and the type of network problems an operator faces. Adaptive bit rate streaming, transcoding, transrating, caching, progressive downloading, traffic steering and offload and deferred scheduling, are among the optimization solutions available to operators based on the type of video to be delivered, according to the reports.

The reports, “Mobile Video Optimization Takes on Video Traffic Challenges for 3G and 4G” and “Preparing for Mobile Video Growth: Vendors Positioning for Inflection Point in Mobile Video Optimization,” offer an in-depth examination of the optimization solutions available as well as a roadmap to future trends as optimization for mobile video matures.

Phil Kurz is a contributing editor to TV Tech. He has written about TV and video technology for more than 30 years and served as editor of three leading industry magazines. He earned a Bachelor of Journalism and a Master’s Degree in Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism.