Flash Networks Study Reveals Quality of Experience Issues

Mobile users who experience eight or more seconds of video stalls (buffering) are 73 per cent more likely to abandon video viewing, according to a study carried out by Flash Networks. The data for the study was  collected from Flash Networks’ installed base of dozens of Tier-1 operators, representing hundreds of millions of subscribers, using Flash Networks’ Harmony Analytics platform.

The company says the information can be used to define and provide service levels that will ensure a positive quality of experience for greater subscriber satisfaction. Operators can use the information to determine what type of optimization technique to apply, and when to apply it, to ensure a smooth video viewing experience. This approach is being implemented in Flash Networks’ policy-based optimization solution. Relevant optimization techniques include dynamic rate adaptation, adaptive bit rate optimization, and multi-level transcoding.

The study also revealed that some subscribers receive more bandwidth than their usage requires, while others aren’t receiving enough bandwidth to ensure a smooth video viewing experience. To address this issue, Harmony pinpoints specific areas in the network that are experiencing traffic congestion, who the affected subscribers are, and the end-to-end experience for specific users, enabling operators to manage service performance proactively and promptly. Harmony is then able to reallocate bandwidth based on the true needs of individual subscribers.

In addition, says Flash Networks, by optimizing only where and when required, Harmony ensures a high quality of experience, within a small footprint. This, the company says, is especially relevant for ultra-high capacity LTE networks.

“Data traffic is rising exponentially and, at the same time, expectations and demands for mobile Internet quality of experience are increasing,” says Flash Networks president and CEO, Liam Galin. “While quality of experience reporting is a first step, it’s not enough to help operators minimize subscriber frustration; they must also have the capabilities to act upon this information to provide high quality of service and customer satisfaction.”