TMN speaks with Indranil Chatterjee, SVP of Products, Sales & Marketing at Openwave Mobility about what to expect from a new report on the impact of encryption and video on mobile networks.
How is mobile data growing globally and how long have you been tracking the metrics cited within the MVI?
Our analysis reveals the exponential growth of encryption and HD streaming – this is a major threat operators around the world face. The data within the MVI has been aggregated from our live deployments in more than 30 global mobile operators from 2013 to 2017. 43% was in EMEA, 30% in the Americas and 27% in APAC.
The most glaring trend is not the staggering increase of traffic; it’s the rise of encrypted traffic.
The report highlights the dramatic growth of encrypted traffic. What’s the impact of that on an operator’s bottom line?
Plain and simple, encryption impacts the operator’s business case. Over the past five years, industry estimates show that mobile data traffic increased 18-fold. The most glaring trend is not the staggering increase of traffic; it’s the rise of encrypted traffic. In the past, mobile operators were able to use conventional traffic management technology to manage subscriber QoE. Not anymore. As a result of encryption, subscribers can suffer poor QoE including buffering. Our research has shown that subscribers will only tolerate six seconds of poor video QoE before switching off and blaming the operator. Poor QoE leads to churn – which adversely impacts the MNO’s bottom line. Operators can’t turn a blind eye to encryption.
It would be fair to say that nobody saw Google QUIC coming.
You charted the rise of Google QUIC and 0-RTT. Why should operators be concerned about encryption protocols?
Encryption is growing at an alarming rate and there are variations in encryption protocol which mean the infrastructure has to be agile to adapt. QUIC and 0-RTT are two manifestations of that. Google QUIC has grown at an astonishing CAGR of 284%. It would be fair to say that nobody saw Google QUIC coming. 0-RTT is an experimental protocol developed by Facebook – and as Facebook has grown in popularity, so has the deployment of the protocol. So why are these encryption protocols causing such a headache? Effectively the internet has gone dark in just 4 years. Put simply, encryption protocols have darkened the network – and operators can’t manage what they can’t see – and they certainly can’t monetize it either.
Levels of HD streaming are growing fast – what are the consequences for operators?
38% of video on mobile networks worldwide is HD. HD requires 3-4x as more bandwidth to deliver than standard video. This has grown rapidly with a CAGR of 61.2% over the past four years. That’s not surprising given that today over 820 million people alone watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile– and there’s a whole host of other streaming services. The explosion of mobile streaming has stretched some networks to breaking point. But there is more to come. The impact of HD streaming is two-fold. Firstly, the content is encrypted. Secondly, the increase in bandwidth adds extra pressure on the network for the same video, in other words for what the user may perceive as the same thing will cost 4x the data volume. This is double jeopardy for operators who want to manage their subscribers’ QoE and monetize their data.
The explosion of mobile streaming has stretched some networks to breaking point. But there is more to come.
What does the MVI forecast for 2018?
In terms of encryption, we predict that by November 2018, approximately 90% of internet traffic will go dark. Google QUIC will be 32% of global internet traffic. HD video on mobile networks is likely to be at least 50% of total video traffic and video traffic will grow to approximately 62%.
What will the next edition of MVI include?
We will provide trends in average video playback times and quality -real user based mean opinion scoring MOS times and stall times. Along with that, we will provide data on the YouTube versus Facebook video and the mix of Skype, Twitter and live streaming services. This will include trends in video playback time and quality – and regional variations.
Finally – who should download this report?
*CTO as if affects the technology of the client, server & infrastructure
*CMO as it is about quality of service and marketing data plans in the dimensions user’s understand – video
*CIO as it affects capacity planning & projection; CFO as it affects procurement.
In addition, this report is a must read for anyone within a mobile operator responsible for:
*Managing data/network traffic
*Marketing and monetising mobile data
*Please note this report is only available to Mobile Network Operators.