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Mobile Video Optimization: The Second Wave
Mobile video optimization (MVO) involves the delivery of video content to mobile users in a way that optimizes their quality of experience (QoE) while ensuring that demands on the operator's network are minimized. Different techniques are available to achieve these twin aims: The challenge for operators and their MVO solution vendors is to ensure that the solutions deployed meet needs now and in the future. This isn't easy because the world of video delivery, particularly of over-the-top (OTT) video, can alter very quickly, and because operators' priorities respond to technical, market and commercial change.

Commercially, there is a balancing act for operators to perform; revenues are often related to data consumption. "Optimization reduces the amount of data consumed by the user. Operators need to make sure that their data-plan-based revenues are protected, while ensuring that the user's quality of experience is as high as possible," notes one vendor interviewed for this report. Operators are now looking for ways to monetize OTT mobile video traffic, knowing that it's important to users; QoE management can help.

The bringing together of multiple functions to realize an intelligent optimization concept is reflected in the way that MVO solutions are constructed. Previously separate boxes are being integrated into appliances that combine several functions.

So in parallel with the functional integration driver toward more capable appliances is an economic driver: Operators don't want the capex and integration cost of putting more boxes into their networks than they must. Vendors have also been shifting their solutions from proprietary hardware implementations to standard blades and ATCA hardware to reduce costs.

After two years when MVO meant "compress all video to reduce the pressure on network capacity," MVO is now entering its second phase as operators begin to consider how delivery of OTT content can be monetized through optimized delivery that maximizes the user's QoE according to policy and under conditions of network congestion.

It is the potential to be more intelligent in applying optimization that is currently driving the market. There are many vendors whose solutions can deliver intelligent optimization functionality, and all are keeping on top of developments in video format and transport protocol changes. The choices operators must make are based on the match of vendors' optimization effectiveness.

Mobile Video Optimization: The Second Wave looks at the techniques available to reduce the network impact of OTT mobile video, while meeting customers' increasing expectations for mobile video quality. It examines how an "optimize everything" philosophy is giving way to an intelligent, targeted approach based on measurements of congestion and of user QoE. It considers the evolution of MVO from a stand-alone process to one more closely integrated with other network functions, the impact that falling compute resource costs are having on MVO techniques and the ways that solutions are deployed. Finally, the report compares the offerings of leading MVO solution vendors and profiles those vendors.

Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (4gltei1113_toc.pdf)
In response to the changing drivers of optimization discussed in the introduction, MVO vendors are adding intelligence to their MVO solutions. By this they mean adding the ability to decide which video streams to optimize, then steering some flows for optimization, while allowing other flows to be delivered without optimization. In this way, optimization resources are optimized and so is the user's QoE.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies profiled in this report include: Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU); Allot Communications Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALLT); Avvasi Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Citrix Systems Inc. (ByteMobile) (Nasdaq: CTXS); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC); Flash Networks Inc.; Mobixell Networks Inc.; Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK); Openwave Mobility Inc.; Skyfire Labs Inc., an Opera Software ASA company; and Vantrix Corp.
Total pages: 23
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