With the tremendous growth of video consumption taking place across operator networks there is a move on to improve the quality of what consumers see. One company, Vantrix Corporation was at MWC 2014 to show how this can be done. You might recall I reported on my meeting with the company's Mark Hopper last year. In a conversation today with Don Vendetti and Chris Witeck, I had a chance to learn how this 10-year old company is providing media transcoding and delivery solutions to mobile devices.
With more than 65 operators deployed the company's three product lines help improve efficiency, QoE and more recently helping operators improve mobile video revenue.
- Bandwidth Optimizer is one of the company's products and it focuses on OTT traffic and also provides analytics capabilities.
- Multiscreen Video Platform helps carriers with their own content - Videotron in Canada is one of the company's customers. The product does backend transcoding and encoding based on operator-owned content.
- Message Optimizer is an earlier product the company offers and focuses on interoperability between MMS platfoms.
The company's solutions are modularized and can be virtualized and cloud-enabled.
By 2018, Cisco predicts 69% of mobile network traffic will be video meaning higher costs for carriers without direct revenue increases. Vendetti explains that Vantrix helps carriers in closing this gap.
Specifically Bandwidth Optimizer helps reduce congestion, improve experience as mentioned earlier while enabling policy enforcement/traffic rerouting and media packet inspection which helps with real time KPIs and big data reporting.
Operators can set policies which handle pacing, caching, web optimization as well as offline optimization. Moreover, carriers can set up rules based on time of day, based on network speed (3G Vs. LTE) as well as web address and more.
They are also able to set policies for video quality and then transcode and test to see if the result hits the quality threshold. If not, content can be transcoded at a different level.
Coming soon is an Android tool - something like what was used for voice testing - it allows a carrier to test its network over a geographic area by deploying handsets perhaps in retail locations or in vehicles. The results of all these devices feed into a central system which can give a carrier a picture of how good the video quality is.
The company is focusing more on getting its reporting down to the user level and with a DPI solution they can help a carrier determine what policies to use based on traffic type.
They also support NFV and uses OpenStack. Moreover they provide external APIs allowing integration with other solutions in your network.
Vantrix really has the video efficiency thing nailed - it also uses its caching system to offload work from the MMSC so as to more efficiently send bulk MMS.
They are also working with Kontron's SymKloud solution based on Intel Haswell Core I7 processors to boost hardware processing based on a 2U chassis with 18 CPUs/72 cores and 18 HD graphics cores. This should yield a 4x reduction in footprint over its current ATCA solution.
In the real world, a carrier can provide up to 216 full HD streams per 2U box.
Finally, the three reasons the company thinks you should choose them are as follows:
- They have a highly flexibile set of solutions.
- Cross-domain expertise across media, IP traffic and Mobile devices & networks
- They have over 200 patents - lots of innovation and R&D spend.
There is no question that video traffic is going to continue to reduce carrier profitability as it continues to consume more bandwidth without commensurate revenue. How operators deal with the challenge will determine how profitable they will be. Certainly, solutions like those described above are a good first step.