Openwave Mobility announced 38 per cent of all global mobile video traffic is now high definition (HD), and predicted the figure will hit 50 per cent by end-2018.
The company, which provides mobile data traffic management for operators, noted the current percentage is “far beyond what operators had predicted”: HD video comprised only 5.7 percent of traffic four years ago, and the huge increase reflects the popularity of OTT streaming video services including YouTube and Netflix on mobile, it stated.
Today over 820 million people across the world watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices, the company noted in its Mobile Video Index report .
John Giere, CEO of Openwave Mobility, said: “operators have to grapple with the unstoppable appetite for HD video content from OTT players.”
“OTTs have launched a land grab. In three years, OTTs wiped out voice revenues. In two-and-a-half years they wiped out messaging revenues. Is mobile data next? You bet,” he added.
Openwave Mobility also found 75 per cent of all mobile traffic is now encrypted, “stifling” operators’ ability to maintain subscriber quality of experience as encryption protocols prevent them from profiling or optimising data using conventional traffic management tools.
Giere continued: “As users get accustomed to HD quality at home, they expect the same quality of experience on mobile…subscribers find mobile video more important than voice calls. That’s why quality of experience is a deal-breaker.”
He explained users 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?”
Openwave Mobility’s research is based on analysis of data aggregated from live deployments in more than 30 mobile operators around the globe from 2013 to 2017.
The report included analysis from ABI Research. Dimitris Mavrakis, research director at ABI commented: “If AR/VR, 360-degree video, tactile internet applications and new use cases achieve commercial success and come to the mass market in the next few years – all estimates will yet again be blown out of the water.”