Video analytics the battleground for monetising next gen content distribution networks
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Skyfire adds smarter analytics for video optimisation. Understanding actual user experience key.

Yesterday we reported the views of one operator network strategist that video optimisation platforms would not be fit for purpose as operators develop their networks into something that looks more dedicated for video content distribution.

Today video optimisation company Skyfire showed that optimisation providers are addressing some of those concerns by becoming the latest optimisation company to announce the launch of new video analytics capabilities.

Opera Software's Skyfire unit has released Rocket Insight as part of its Rocket Optimizer platform. The idea is to provide real-time analysis of mobile video so that operators can view metrics such as stall rates, video start times, bitrate distribution and mean opinion score, and then use this data to improve their overall network traffic management.

Interestingly, Skyfire has not tied the analytics platform to its own optimisation platform; it can be deployed alongside existing mobile video optimisation hardware. Skyfire also said the module is compatible with its traffic steering partners such as F5, Procera Networks and ConteXtream.

The company said that traffic management analytics have been limited to packet or URL-level data, which were often a poor proxy metric for application session quality, and did not allow for session mitigation actions in real time. By contrast, Rocket Insights enables operators to see the impact of video on their networks, down to individual subscribers and their (anonymised) location in the network.Th

"Video stall rates are the one KPI that a mobile operator in 2014 should never be without", said Nitin Bhandari, Skyfire CEO. "In a world in which video QoE is an essential part of the overall customer experience, we're happy to have risen to the challenge of quantifying mobile video playback analytics in an immediately actionable manner for operators with the release of Rocket Insights."

That focus mirrors a demand made by EE's Stagg (see linked article above), that operators need to get video to be "good" first, and then think about moving to monetisation on top of that good experience.

Certainly increasing analytics capabilities is not just something on Skyfire's to do list. In February Kontron and Vantrix announced a combined approach to provide high performance data optimisation and analytics on Kontron's SymKloud platform. The messaging from the companies heralded much of Skyfire's.

For example: "Operators are challenged to make accurate business decisions because they do not have enough insight or analysis of the traffic flowing across their networks, the quality with which it is delivered and the usage patterns and viewing habits of their subscribers. This solution provides rich insights into that traffic for making strategic decisions."

Also in February Citrix announced ByteMobile Insight, another "Big Data" platform - this time aimed at a more all-encompassing analysis of mobile data usage as against a targeted video analytics approach.

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Keith Dyer


15th April 2014


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