Future of video calling on mobile computing devices

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An analysis of the evolution video calling market in mobile devices - the current usage pattern and future predictions

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Future of video calling on mobile computing devices

  1. 1. Future of Video Calling in MobileComputing DevicesAn analysis of the evolution video calling marketin mobile devices - the current usage pattern andfuture predictionsNaufal K. 11
  2. 2. TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3MOBILE VIDEO CALLING ......................................................................................................................................................... 3NEXT GROWTH ENGINE .......................................................................................................................................................... 4 TABLETS : ENTERPRISE’S CHOICE ........................................................................................................................................ 5CONCLUSION ........................................................................................................................................................................... 5ANNEX ..................................................................................................................................................................................... 7 THE 3G-324M PROTOCOL AND STANDARDS ...................................................................................................................... 7 FACETIME(R) : A NEW AVATAR IN MOBILE VIDEO CALLING ................................................................................................ 8 VIDYO’S TABLET OFFERING ................................................................................................................................................. 9 POLYCOM’S TABLET OFFERING .......................................................................................................................................... 9
  3. 3. INTRODUCTIONVideo calling as a technology has been in existence for a few decades now, however the technology has not grown at ratesat which it has been predicted. However recently there has been a greater interest in videoconferencing with enterprisesadopting it. Enhanced productivity and reduced time-to-market being the main reasons companies for installing videoconferencing. Being able to meet spontaneously face-to-face not only allows people at different locations to get moredone faster, it also improves camaraderie, communication and employee morale.This growth in Video conferencing is predicted to be asymmetric, the Wainhouse Research 1 calculated that videoconferencing market is approximately 125,000 room systems and an equivalent number of enterprise desktop systems peryear, the potential desktop market for IP videoconferencing applications in the enterprise is between 5,000,000 and10,000,000 units per year for PC-based applications, an equivalent number on the PC consumer side, and as much as fivetimes that number for 3G mobile telephony usersMOBILE VIDEO CALLING3G mobile networks were first deployed in the early 2000‘s, the advantage of this technology was based on the enhancedservices enabled by it, notably in the areas of data and video. Video is delivered to mobile largely in one of two ways:either via "video calling" or via mobile data. Video calling is an intrinsic feature of 3G and allows voice, video, andcontrol information to travel on the standard wireless interface. This inbuilt video calling feature in 3G telephony is basedon the (circuit switched network) 324M protocol 2 . This allows person-to-person video calling, or perhaps moreinterestingly, services employing a "video gateway" and a network-based application.Though this technology has been around for almost a decade the usage has been very poor. Currently just 1% of existing3G calls are video enabled. Skype claims that its share of video calls stands at 40% of total customer interactions. Thisproves that an attractive market for video calling potentially exists. According to a GigaOM Pro report3 more than 30billion video calls are expected by 2015. The adoption of Mobile video telephony has been hindered by both cost(additional charges were levied on video calls) as well as quality which is due to the limited bandwidth. Apple withlaunch of FaceTime(R)4 has side stepped the bandwidth limitation by using the WiFi capability leading to a much bettervideo quality.Furthermore, the number of video call enabled Apple devices alone is set to exceed 100 million over the next twelvemonths. Though FaceTime has been credited with revolutionizing mobile video calling experience there‘s been noticeablecynicism about the staying power of FaceTime as an actual form of communication from many of people in thetechnology space. The most common reasons given are that people don‘t want to video chat most of the time, the need tobe in a WiFi-enabled area to use FaceTime, and not everyone has an iPhone 4 to FaceTime with. However some of theseissues have been addressed in the equivalent applications from the likes of Tango and Fring. These applications aresupported on both iOS and Android operating systems and calls can be made over both 3G(data) and WiFi. As the call ismade either through WiFi or through data rate plan – there is no additional cost involved 5. These new mobile videocalling solutions are attractive, perform well with crisp clear pictures and sound great too. These applications allow thepossiblity to switch between voice and video smoothly without hanging up.1 http://www.vcnews.co.uk/index.php/2010/12/20/scaleable-video-coding-the-key-to-widespread-vc-adoption/2 Refer Annex: THE 3G-324M PROTOCOL AND STANDARDS3 http://gigaom.com/video/wwdc-video-calling-on-iphone-4-with-facetime-wi-fi-only/4 Refer Annex: FACETIME(R) : A new avatar in MOBILE video calling5 http://www.radio-electronics.com/news_item.php?id=9dd9cb58e46ab53c
  4. 4. FaceTime and the other applications have evoked a lot of interest in Video conferencing in general more specifically inMobile Video Conferencing. The screen size of the iPhone coupled with the higher resolution supported by FaceTimeenhances the quality of Video; making the argument for Video calling compelling. Northstream predicts that Videocalling in its latest avatar as demonstrated by Apple and its peers will result in a larger adoption of this technology in ayear than what 3G operators have been able to do in 10 years.Though we see an obvious advantage of moving to an IP based video conferencing over 3G Video Telephony (3G-324M)is not completely dead. A few advantages which are currently keeping it alive are.6 It is the only viable video telephony solution available today for mobile handsets. It is mandatory by service providers in Europe and Asia. Packet based (IP) mobile access networks are also susceptible to performance issues like varying availability of mobile bandwidth, packet delay, jitter, packet loss or audio-video synchronization (i.e., lip-sync). 3G-324M was designed to deliver reliable, high quality two-way conversational mobile video services. The 3G- 324M protocol has been broadly adopted across mobile access networks as a solution to the QoS limitations of packet networks across a wireless air interface.NEXT GROWTH ENGINESmartphone was believed to herald Mobile Video communication, this however changed in 2010 with introduction of newclass of products –―Tablets‖. Tablets though a product which had been talked about for a long time it had failed to achievelarge scale adoption until iPad was introduced by Apple in 2010. The market responded very positively to this productmaking it a free for all space. Now the market is flooded with products such as Samsung‘s Galaxy tab, Dell‘s Streak andmany more announced this CES like Motorola‘s XOOM , RIM‘s PlayBook. These devices are equipped with internetaccess through one or more of WiFi, 3G and/or 4G capability.According to says Ira Weinstein, senior analyst and partner for Wainhouse Research though Videoconferencing has beenavailable for years on laptops and, more recently, netbooks but the latest technologies have aligned to make extremelymobile videoconferencing a reality now. "The 4G and, to some extent, 3G networks are just now able to supportvideoconferencing. And the mobile devices, especially those with 1GHZ processors such as the HTC Evo 4G smartphone,are now powerful enough to provide the experience."Videoconferencing on Smartphone‘s and tablets makes a lot of sense for enterprise users, Weinstein says."Communications have to go where you go, not the other way around. If youre waiting in an airport lounge, or youre atyour sons baseball game, and you need to be a video call, it makes sense to make the call using the device you have withyou--your Smartphone or your tablet."Most enterprises are "in the early adopter/proof of concept period" at the moment, Weinstein says. Theyre either justtalking about deploying videoconferencing systems on Smartphone or tablets or theyre testing them before rolling themout to their user base. The network, the devices, and the videoconferencing software are only going to improve in the next12 to 18 months, he notes, spurring widespread adoption7 . while most users are content to consume content on a verysmall screen, employees need to actually be able to pick up on the nuances offered by videoconferencing for it to be an6 http://blog.radvision.com/voipsurvivor/2010/01/20/mediatek-and-our-3g-324m/http://blog.radvision.com/voipsurvivor/2010/09/16/facetime-for-android-a-post-webinar-post/7 http://www.enterprisemobiletoday.com/features/communications/article.php/3901416/The-Era-of-Videoconferencing-on-Smartphones-and-Tablets-is-Here.htm
  5. 5. effective collaboration tool—and that requires a larger footprint than smart phones deliver. Thats where tablets offervalue and performance phones cant match—without the bulk and connectivity requirements of a full-fledged PC ordesktop/executive video device.Tablets : Enterprise’s ChoiceIn 2011, more than 25% of all tablet computers will be bought by enterprises. Although some commentators view tabletsas underpowered media-consumption toys suitable only for consumers, more than 10 million of the devices will likely bepurchased by enterprises in 2011. Consumer demand for tablets is forecast to remain strong; however, enterprise demandis likely to grow even faster, albeit from a lower base. Four factors are driving enterprise tablet adoption. First, manyconsumers initially buy tablet computers as personal media devices, but quickly discover they are useful for work.Second, certain industry sectors seem poised to use tablets in large numbers (e.g., retail, manufacturing and healthcare),due to the device‘s ease of use, long battery life, lack of moving parts, minimal need for training and rapid application-development environment. Third, enterprise software providers are quickly responding to Fortune 500 customer requestsfor tablet- specific software. Fourth, the tablet is driving adoption in the boardroom because it can be placed flat on aconference table and accessed unobtrusively. These growth drivers are likely to foster significant tablet diversity, andalthough certain form factors and operating systems dominated the market initially, the different requirements of variousenterprises mean that ―one size‖ (form factor, operating system, price, features, etc.) will probably not fit all. Though iPadis the unchallenged winner in the consumer tablet segment, the enterprise segment will be a different ball game.Companies like Cisco, RIM are introducing their version of Tablet which might find larger acceptance. For an enterprise,a key challenge will be deciding whether to support multiple types of tablets or standardize on a single type.8CONCLUSIONEarly video conferencing solutions suffered from poor images and audio. The video images would scatter a great deal andaudio often would be delayed from the video so that it was hard to understand someone talking. With bettercommunication links and much more sophisticated software, the video conferencing experience is much better andacceptable in most situations. Sensing a huge opportunity in mobile video conferencing a a number of companies areproviding mobile extensions to their video conferencing solutions for the enterprise, including Adobe (Connect 8), Cisco,Damaka, LifeSize, Polycom, Sony, Tandberg, Vidyo and Radvision (Scopia).The current circuit based switching (3G-324M) technology though guarantees Quality of service lacks the impact possiblethrough packet based switching (3G data, WiFi) as . The packet based switching presents its own challenges WiFi – Limited availability 3G - varying availability of mobile bandwidth, packet delay, jitter, packet loss or audio-video synchronization Both these issues will be addressed when 4G networks are introduced which is completely packet based. There have beennine commercial LTE deployments this year, and a further 44 additional launches are anticipated for 2011. In total, 113operators have publicly committed to the technology across 46 different countries with 43 LTE trials currently inoperation9.8 http://www.deloitte.com/assets/Dcom-Canada/Local%20Assets/Documents/TMT/ca_en_TMT_Canadian_Predictions_2011_011811.pdf9 http://www.cioinsight.com/c/a/Latest-News/LTE-Mobile-Video-Calling-to-Rise-in-2011-Report-486762/
  6. 6. After having been proven wrong by phenomenal sales of iPad in its first year analysts have turned extremely positiveabout future of tablets. The analysts are predicting anywhere between 35 Million to 75 Million tablets being sold in 201110alone, a 300% jump from last year. This increase is influenced by the increased mobile broadband availability. The superior video calling capability made possible by the latest LTE(4G) technology relative to HSPA(3G) variants8combined with the increased computing capability and screen size makes Tablets the next growth engine for enterprisevideoconferencing. The 3G-324M standard would not thus not find favour with enterprises and wThough today‘s 3G mobile networks use a combination of circuit-switched and packet-switched wireless accesstechnologies. Members of standards bodies, like the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), expect mobilenetworks will eventually become exclusively packet-switched.10 http://gigaom.com/2010/11/29/gartner-cuts-pc-shipment-estimates-as-tablets-gain/
  7. 7. ANNEXTHE 3G-324M PROTOCOL AND STANDARDS11Widespread compliance with the 3G-324M standard is a key ingredient in the growth of 3G conversational video services.Developed under the auspices of the3GPP (GSM) and 3GPP2 (CDMA) networking standards organizations, 3G-324M isnot just one standardized communications protocol, but is a suite of protocols that synchronizes the interaction of voiceand video communications in a deterministic fashion between the circuit-switched 3G wireless radio access network andthe core network.The 3G-324M Protocol SuiteThe 3G-324M protocol suite, depicted in Figure 1, provides for multiplexing and de-multiplexing of audio, video andH.245 signalling on a 64 Kbps circuit-switched connection. Along with the compression efficiencies inherent in codectechnology today, this minimal bandwidth can deliver multiplexed audio, video and control information over the samechannel while delivering a quality, interactive video experience for the user.H.223The key functions of the H.223 protocol include: Interleaving video, audio, data and control streams into a combined bit stream. Dynamic allocation of bandwidth within a singlenm4 Kbps channel amongst the individual streams. Error detection and correction.H.2453G-324M uses H.245 as a terminal control protocol and performs the following key functions: Master-slave determination is provided to determine which terminal is the master at the beginning of the session. Capability exchange is provided to exchange terminal capabilities, such as optional modes of multiplexing, type of audio/video codecs, data sharing mode and its related parameters, and/or other additional optional features. Logical channel signaling is provided to open/close the logical channels for media transmission.11 http://www.radisys.com/prebuilt/imms/downloads/3G_324M_VideoServWP_2.pdf
  8. 8. Round-trip delay measurement is provided to enable accurate quality characteristic measurementVoice Chanel —The AMR CodecThe 3G-324M specifications define the Adaptive Multi-Rate (AMR) codec as mandatory, but also include the use ofG.723.1. The AMR codec was originally developed and standardized by ETSI for GSM cellular systems. Optimized formobile networks, it dynamically adjusts the number of bits allocated to voice coding and error control, providing the bestpossible voice quality based on radio conditions.The Video ChannelThe 3G-324M standard specifies the H.263 codec as mandatory, with H.264 as a recommended video processing codecthat is commonly supported in 3G-324 deployments. H.263 is a legacy video codec that is used by many existing H.323wire line video devices. However, resiliency and high efficiency make the H.264 codec particularly well suited for 3G-324M mobile environments. MPEG-4 is much more flexible and offers advanced error detection and correction services,which is beneficial when delivering video over a wireless network.FACETIME(R) : A NEW AVATAR IN MOBILE VIDEO CALLINGFaceTime is Apples first foray into video calling. FaceTime will work between any iPhone 4s that have access to a WiFinetwork. No setup is required; simply select the FaceTime feature when you make a call. You can use either the front- orrear-facing camera, in landscape or portrait orientation.FaceTime is built around open standards, including h.264, AAC, SIP, STUN, TURN, ICE, RTP, and SRTP. Apple plansto release FaceTime to a standards body to ensure that other manufacturers can use its technology to bring videophoneservice to all the newest Smartphones.12Requirements: Both users have to installed the FaceTime mod to get the 30 FPS. Works on iPhone iOS 4 and iOS 4.xDefault FaceTime FPS:-Minimum 15-Maximum 15FaceTime Mod FPS:-Minimum 6-Maximum 301312 http://macs.about.com/od/peripherals/gr/iphone-4-preview.htm13 http://www.crunchitech.com/2010/08/11/facetime-double-you-video-quality-by-fps/
  9. 9. VIDYO’S TABLET OFFERINGMulti-Party Video Conferencing For Tablets Enabled by Vidyo, ElisaVidyo‘s low-cost videoconferencing technology is coming to the Samsung Galaxy tablet and phone in an enterprise-grade pilot program offered by Finland telecom provider Elisa. Vidyo works over any IP network — the Internet, Wi-Fi,or even 3G/4G,‖ he said. ―Vidyo‘s architecture leverages H.264 SVC to be highly error resilient so that inherent packetloss from non-QoS networks is no longer a problem.‖Explaining the attraction of the Vidyo service for enterprise customers, Pasi Maenpaa, Elisa‘s corporate customersbusiness unit director, said in a statement: ―Smartphones and tablet PCs allow enterprise personnel to be flexible andmobile (to) conduct ‗on the go‘ informal meetings. Travel time and waiting at airports can now be used productively andefficiently. Desktop, and now smartphone and tablet computers, offer much untapped potential.‖The Elisa service based on the Vidyo technology is compatible with WLAN and Elisa‘s 3G and 4G networks.Vidyo also has alliances with HP, Adobe, and Japan‘s KDDI for different versions of its videoconferencing solutions.POLYCOM’S TABLET OFFERINGGalaxy Tabs to soon have access to HD videoconferencingComputerworld - Polycom announced that it has reached an agreement with Samsung to embed high-definitionvideoconferencing capability in Samsungs new Galaxy Tab tablet computer.Polycom has demonstrated the videoconferencing capability on the Galaxy Tab, but the Samsung tablet wont include thattechnology when it first goes on sale later this week through some of the nations wireless carriers, a Polycom official saidMonday."Its coming to Galaxy Tab not too far in the future," said Joseph Burton, Polycoms chief technology and strategy officer,in an interview. He added that Polycom expects versions of the tablet with high-definition videoconferencing to be"broadly shipping" over the next two quarters.Galaxy Tab users will be able to connect with one another in videoconferencing sessions by using the Polycom software.They will also be able to connect to other standards-based telepresence and videoconferencing systems and applications,Burton said.

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