The Performance of Streaming

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http://www.ericsson.com/real-performance/maximizing-the-streaming-experience
What happens when we access sound and video from the cloud instead of drives? And how can networks make the ever-growing number of streams run smoothly? With more than 9 billion mobile devices globally and a 10-fold increase in mobile data traffic expected by the end of 2019, the demands on mobile networks are changing, and nowhere more so than in the field of streaming.

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The Performance of Streaming

  1. 1. Streaming the future What happens when we access sound and video from the cloud instead of drives? And how can networks make the ever-growing number of streams run smoothly? With more than 9 billion mobile devices globally and a 10-fold increase in mobile data traffic expected by the end of 2019, the demands on mobile networks are changing, and nowhere more so than in the field of streaming.
  2. 2. Executive summary During the 2012 Olympics, around 33 percent of traffic went to mobile or tablet devices, rising to almost half of the content on weekends. Additionally, there were more views on mobile devices than on traditional TV during the entire Olympic Games. Music services like Spotify (whose number of global subscribers increased by 240 percent in 2012) and Rhapsody continue to grow, but it is video that is the key driver of data growth in mobile networks. Video is expected to make up more than 50 percent of all mobile data traffic by the end of 2019. YouTube now gets more than 1 billion views a day from mobile devices, which is 25 percent of the total views – a tenfold increase since 2010. Downloading comes from a point in the past when devices were not connected. Consumers who wanted to access their audio and video content on the move had to transfer it to their mobile devices – the devices were mobile, but their connectivity wasn’t. Streaming has changed all that forever as evidenced by the fact that video is the key driver of data growth in mobile networks. By the end of 2019, more than 50 percent of all mobile traffic data will be video, and operators that can deliver video traffic consistently and efficiently will have a crucial part in the streaming value chain. The real revolution has already started With more than 9 billion mobile devices globally and a 10-fold increase in data traffic expected by the end of 2019, the demands on mobile networks are changing, and nowhere more so than in the field of streaming. And as streaming outstrips downloading in terms of data traffic, it becomes even more clear, the revolution has already started. Consumers are rapidly moving from downloading content and storing it locally to streaming it from the cloud. They expect to be able to access it on demand and on a variety of platforms, wherever they may be. We’ve come a long way since the Sony Walkman made it easier for consumers to enjoy their media on the move in 1979. Apple’s iPod refined and expanded that experience in 2001 allowing us to transport extensive media libraries on devices that fit into our pockets. Back in 2007, it seemed to make perfect sense when Apple co-founder Steve Jobs stated that “people want to own their music, not rent it”. But the game changed rapidly and today more and more consumers want to rent their music, rather than own it – streaming is the new way forward. A whole new ball game The widespread adoption of streaming by consumers means we are now entering the third era of mobile entertainment, and this is where the real revolution takes During the 2012 Olympics, around 33 percent of traffic went to mobile or tablet devices, rising to almost half of the content on weekends. place. Not only for music and video, but also for real-time multiplayer gaming. Social and intelligent apps, smart network technologies, real-time streaming capabilities and subscription-based business models support spontaneous user behavior anytime, anywhere and on any device. But all of this depends on the network for delivery. The user experience is becoming more and more dependent on a network that performs consistently. A social user’s behavior, where content is shared seamlessly between consumers and creators in the forms of clips, playlists and mixtapes, increases the speed and accuracy of exploration. Sharing and recommendations are replacing albums, channels and magazines. 20 million users with 20 million songs can create 1 billion different playlists – the possibilities are almost infinite. Then there are live events like news, concerts and sports, which users don’t just consume on mobile devices, they comment on them and share them via social media, transforming them from individual events to communal experiences. Building for the future Service providers have been quick to respond to this multiscreen, online environment, granting access from a variety of platforms and allowing the consumer to choose whatever suits them best at any given time. In many cases, such convenience enables them to charge a premium for access from mobile devices. To satisfy the need to secure the user’s streaming experience, service providers also take the initiative to stabilize and improve performance from their end. Streaming is also making waves in other industries; for example, automobile manufacturers like Ford are integrating different music streaming apps into the in-car audio experience. Such new innovations accentuate the shift from platforms to apps as the way of the future. New methods, new models For operators, this new landscape offers different business models. Operators can seek to make the multiscreen experience work as flawlessly as possible, teaming up with content and service providers to offer a seamless experience to consumers, or to act as a retail partner to content and service provider by bundling entertainment and mobile connectivity. This focus on providing the best experience and offering to consumers allows them to attract loyal subscribers who are happy to pay a premium for great service and great content. Real Performance, real possibilities Real Performance is key to delivering such premium services and to attracting and keeping subscribers – simply being good is no longer good enough. The quality of the experience depends to a great extent on the network performance. There is a lot operators can do as they seek to develop and improve their network performance to provide a better streaming experience: One thing is to create service-aware networks that automatically enhance streams and create a differentiated experience. Secondly, content can be moved closer to users. Caching media content close to the users will improve the experience and optimize delivery while minimizing cost. Another way of optimizing the use of network capacity and improving the user experience is to manage streaming where people gather in large numbers. This could be done by letting users share a single stream through broadcast on demand, rather than serving them all individually. Also apply app coverage for streaming and ensure capacity and coverage in the network to provide a robust streaming experience. How operators respond to the challenges posed by streaming depends on a lot of factors. Existing infrastructure, user behavior and third-party relationships all contribute to making each set of circumstances unique, and there are as many solutions as there are circumstances. Whatever way service providers and operators decide to approach the streaming opportunity, the customer’s experience of streaming, and its performance is all that counts. We call it Real Performance. www.ericsson.com/real-performance
  3. 3. Ericsson is a world-leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators. Over 1,000 networks in more than 180 countries use our network equipment, and more than 40 percent of the world’s mobile traffic passes through Ericsson networks. We are one of the few companies worldwide that can offer end-to-end solutions for all major mobile communication standards. Our networks, telecom services and multimedia solutions make it easier for people, across the world, to communicate. And as communication changes the way we live and work, Ericsson is playing a key role in this evolution. Using innovation to empower people, business and society, we are working towards the Networked Society, in which everything that can benefit from a connection will have one. Our vision is to be the prime driver in an all-communicating world. Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson SE-126 25 Stockholm, Sweden Telephone +46 8 719 0000 Fax +46 8 18 40 85 www.ericsson.com The content of this document is subject to revision without notice due to continued progress in methodology, design and manufacturing. Ericsson shall have no liability for any error or damage of any kind resulting from the use of this document © Ericsson AB 2013

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