Communication Service Providers will be paying a lot of attention to their media optimization strategies. According to Cisco's Visual Networking Index (VNI) published by Cisco last month, IP video will represent 79% of all traffic by 2018, up from 66% from 2013. With the traffic generated by video and other rich content, including images and audio, media optimization becomes necessary to ensure the quality of experience for mobile users, and also to secure data revenues in future.
Mahindra Comviva, a provider of mobility solutions and Ovum Consulting highlighted in a recent joint research that 20% of sites today are still congested at any point of time. As subscribers access more content that is rich, quality becomes increasingly important as slight deterioration within the network delivery results in immediate reduction in the ability to consume the content. Long buffering times and low definition videos, for example, are a total put off for a lot of viewers. In worst cases, the content fails to load or pauses indefinitely, resulting in frustration on the viewers end. According to Mahindra comviva, there are a lot of complexities in optimizing the delivery of media across today's networks. The most important of them is the fact that CSPs must balance between adjusting the quality based on network conditions and retaining their revenue levels from consumption of high quality content. Mahindra explained that the broad application of optimization policies such as compression has negative fallout on revenue, especially for operators who predominantly extend volume based plans to customers. As an example, video optimization in a high-traffic location improves bandwidth utilization and overall browsing experience. However, the application of the same policy at congestion-free locations generates lower traffic volume, reducing the number of bytes and revenues per customers. The use of intelligent media optimization policies that delivers real-time invocation of business rules and policies is hence the answer, enabling CSPs to selectively apply performance-improvement techniques, based on a combination of variables including – cell traffic load, customer location, network type, application, device and ARPU profile.
Mahindra also shared Ovum Research's recent forecasts which said that global mobile broadband connections will cross 4.5 billion at a CAGR of 19% from 2012 to 2018 as demand for data connectivity from big- and small-screen devices continues while mobile broadband revenues will grow to approximately $278 billion in 2018 at a CAGR of 11%. Mahindra said that currently 20% operators have invested in intelligent optimization tools and another 60% would deploy intelligent media optimization within the next 12 months.