HD video traffic grows on mobile thanks to YouTube and Netflix

HD video traffic forecast on mobile devices
38 percent of all mobile video traffic is High Definition (HD) — driven by YouTube and Netflix, according to analysis of live telecom operator data conducted by Openwave Mobility.

The mobile data traffic management solutions provider said HD video is expected to reach at least 50 percent of video traffic by the end of 2018 from only 5.7 percent four years ago.

The growth in HD video reflects the popularity of Over The Top (OTT) streaming video services such as YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices. Over 820 million people across the world watch YouTube and Netflix on mobile devices.

Openwave Mobility’s Mobile Video Index report is based on analysis of data from live deployments in more than 30 mobile operators from 2013 to 2017.

75 percent of all mobile traffic is encrypted and this is stifling the mobile operator’s ability to maintain subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE). This is because encryption protocols prevent operators from being able to profile or optimize data using conventional traffic management tools.

UDP-based encryption has grown faster. Google’s QUIC protocol has grown at CAGR of 284 percent – in two years since its debut. Based on observations, Openwave Mobility predicts that by November 2018, approximately 90 percent of all mobile internet traffic will be encrypted.

“In 3 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,” John Giere, CEO of Openwave Mobility said.

Research shows that people tolerate 6 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?