An IP network is what you need for your video calls

Video communications is (still) in the early adopter stage of the product lifecycle curve (PLC). As I hinted previously in my blog, it was given a big push up the ramp last week with the launch of the iPhone 4, but what it needs for mass success is ubiquity in the core network.

ubiquity graphic.png

I believe that there are two good reasons why Apple might have chosen to provide the FaceTime video chat application over Wi-Fi only:
  1. Video chat is possible over a 3G connection, but is inherently limited to a low bitrate by the nature of the 3G network
  2. In contrast to 3G networks, IP networks are ubiquitous
A video call on a 3G mobile network provides a low bandwidth for the video, so that careful choice of frame rate and resolution is needed to keep within the constraints. When 3G video capable devices were first introduced, screen sizes and the resolutions possible over the network were well matched. Reasonable video quality (QCIF, 176x144 pixels) could be achieved, despite 3G bandwidth restrictions. However, mobile device technology has moved on - would someone spending £500 on an iPhone 4 with its large, high resolution screen and fast processor be happy with a video chat feature that couldn't make use of the full screen? - probably not, especially if they were paying for the video call.
3G video, based on the 3G-324M protocol, may be past its sell by date - but fear not, IP-based video communications is a viable alternative, and 4G networks (that use IP technology at their core) are around the corner.
My second point is that, at least for paid-for applications, you would want to be able to make video calls, perhaps conference calls, with a multitude of end-points:
  • Other users on mobile devices
  • Office-based users at their desks (using PC-based video communications software or a device such as the just announced Cisco Cius
  • And perhaps to your corporate video conferencing suite where you would be conferenced with a team of people using life size telepresence equipment
You would only want to pay for such a service on a mobile device if it could offer the highest possible quality. Since the office-based video conferencing devices are already IP-based, it is better to stick with the same technology for the mobile connectivity.
So I believe Apple got it right - while it may seem limiting to only allow Wi-Fi connected video calls at present, it was done for good reasons. And it is hopefully going to be the push up the PLC curve for video communications that we have all been waiting for - we just need to keep up the momentum!

About me
Andrew Nicholson is a Product Manager at Aculab responsible for the Prosody X and Prosody S media processing products, which are used to enable voice, data and video communications in a wide range of
telco and enterprise applications and service delivery platforms.
| 0 Comments | 0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to sites that reference An IP network is what you need for your video calls:

An IP network is what you need for your video calls TrackBack URL :

Around TMCnet:

Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • Houston CRM: Integrated communication is the new wave and it benefits any read more
  • los angeles unified communications: Having all types of communication integrated makes things so much read more
  • Kevin Rodak: Leaked military protoype test video ... lots of capability read more
  • Eddie Marietta: Extremely useful and informative article. I wish i can do read more
  • Erin Locknane: Stumbled into this site by chance but I’m sure glad read more
  • David: This is good information on FoIP, and you may want read more
  • Jules Turnner: Good job! read more
  • Ebonie Behrman: Awesome blog! read more
  • Aculab: Steve, Interesting scenario you have, and I am sure one read more
  • Steve Klinger: Hello Andrew, We have 14 offices across the world with read more

Subscribe to Blog


Recent Entry Images

  • zeus
  • evolution.jpg
  • Traditional_vs_cloud_based_deployments.png
  • Prosody X - boxed
  • Telephony_paas2.jpg

Recent Activity


  • Aculab tweeted, "New Blog: 'The kiss of life for caller authentication' Ian Colville explores the benefits #voicebiometrics bring to caller authentication; how to address common challenges & how to deliver a #secure and efficient CX #VoiSentry "


  • Aculab tweeted, "If you're thinking about adding #voicebiometrics to your contact centre or customer service application, this guide will help with areas such as user enrolment, multi-factor authentication & handling identity claims #CustomerExperience #HearTheDifference"


  • Aculab tweeted, "Welcome #VoiSentry from @aculab to the DevConnect Marketplace! VoiSentry is voice biometrics tech that enables speaker verification, cost-effectively, to virtually any telephony-based application. …"




  • Aculab tweeted, ".@aculab voice #biometrics solution now ‘Avaya Compliant’ …"


  • Aculab tweeted, "Lab-quality voice recordings can be used to accurately identify people diagnosed with Parkinson's disease. These researchers made these assessments more cost-effective and practical by using telephone-quality recordings: … @SomervilleOx @aculab"
  • Aculab tweeted, "Check out the FindBiometrics Directory where you'll find the leading solution providers for #financial, #enterprise, #government, #healthcare biometrics and more! @Neurotec @AimBrainHQ @innovatrics @aculab @AratekBio @Veratad"


Around TMCnet Blogs

Latest Whitepapers

TMCnet Videos