Video is ubiquitous. The performance of video services in mobile networks is fundamental to customer satisfaction and quality of experience. Video quality testing in mobile networks is challenging; but with the right tools and measurement approaches, it proves highly successful. 

Today, there is a general tendency towards higher resolutions. This is in line with increasing transport capacities of networks, high-resolution smartphone screens, and rising user expectations. For mobile network operators, however, the decision to deliver higher or lower resolution, and finally quality, may have a considerable influence on their infrastructure due to the vast amount of data to be or not to be transmitted.

Video quality testing in mobile networks

The trend for ultra-high resolution screens and the strong impact of video on customer satisfaction drive the necessity for video quality testing. In our recent webinar “5 Essentials for Accurate Video Quality Measurements in Mobile Networks”, we explained this dependency. Focusing on the main challenges that operators face with the steady increase in data consumption, we discussed in detail how dedicated Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing solutions can support their efforts to deliver exceptional quality of service and quality of experience. The webinar speakers in both sessions were Dr. Jens Berger, Head of Applied Research, and Arnd Sibila, Technology Marketing Manager.

In the webinar, Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing, pioneer of video services testing and developer of ITU-T approved methods to measure perceived video quality, examined the principles that influence the quality of video streaming applications. They concluded that an integrative, perception-based measurement is the most reliable way to evaluate all effects, ranging from compression and resolution degradation to jerky video display and complete pausing. These perceptual video quality measurements are ideally based on direct image analysis, predicting a visual MOS that relates to real user quality perception.

Audience and Q&A

The webinar attracted specialists working mainly for leading mobile network operators, testing service providers, and infrastructure providers. Participants and registrants came from many countries in North and South America, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and Europe.

During both webinar broadcasts, participants had the opportunity to engage with the speakers in a live Q&A session. Jens Berger and Arnd Sibila answered many questions in detail about our video-MOS solution based on ITU-T J.343.1. It concerns the relation between video MOS (mean opinion score) and RF topics (frequency bands, duplex schemes, forcing features) and considers resolution changes triggered by a video server/app.

Another Q&A focus was the challenge of mobile network operators not having full control over the performance and quality of OTT (over the top) video services. Quantifying this fact is nearly impossible, also because it differs from case to case. But being aware of it is critical; and to avoid bottlenecks, operators should take care of their network components’/servers’ connectivity to important third-party video servers. To evaluate the performance of the mobile network itself, Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing offers dedicated performance tests such as the Network Performance Test or Capacity Test; independent of third-party services hosted on the Internet, they eliminate influences that are beyond an operator’s control.

A third area of interest involved the scope and interpretation of video quality measurements, such as the amount of data necessary to identify systematic issues, the relation between services and environment, etc.

The huge popularity of this webinar and the manifold questions asked make it clear that testing the quality of video services in mobile networks is a concern. On our blog, you’ll find regular posts by Jens Berger discussing the challenges of mobile video services. 

Watch the recording of the webinar here.