Adoption of high definition mobile video streaming is growing significantly faster than the mobile industry had been predicting, and is on track to reach at least 50% of video traffic by the end of next year, according to Openwave Mobility.
An analysis of data aggregated from the mobile traffic management company indicates that HD video already accounts for 38% of mobile video traffic globally, up from just 5.7% four years ago.
Today over 820 million people across the world watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices and demand for high definition content is increasing.
This issue will only be compounded by the potential mass market adoption of augmented and virtual reality streaming, 360-degree video and other new use cases for the mobile network.
In a further challenge for mobile operators, the report found that 75% of all mobile traffic is now encrypted, limiting operators' ability to maintain a high quality of experience by profiling or optimizing data using conventional traffic management tools.
Openwave Mobility has predicted that by November next year around 90% of all mobile internet traffic will be encrypted.
“OTTs have launched a land grab. In three years OTTs wiped out voice revenues. In 2.5 years they wiped out messaging revenues. Is mobile data next? You bet. Along with encryption obscuring mobile networks, operators have to grapple with the unstoppable appetite for HD video content from OTT players.” Openwave Mobility CEO John Giere said.
“As users get accustomed to HD quality at home, they expect the same QoE on mobile... For example, research shows that people only tolerate six seconds of video buffering before switching off in frustration. Facing an onslaught from OTT encrypted traffic, the challenge for operators is – how can you manage what you can’t see?”