There is always a question in the mind of users, ‘which telco is the best in terms of providing a strong network experience?’ When users talk about network experience, they are often concerned with the kind of speed they are getting. But the download/upload speed is not everything that a user should be talking about. Mozark in a report offered its views on what a network operator should focus on in terms of enhancing network experience. The company utilises “cutting edge” technology to measure the performance of the service delivered to the end users. Mozark is said to be often engaged with telecom operators, building owners and others to enhance quality of experience delivered to users. The company said that the play start time and video rebuffering rate are two of the most important metrics for understanding how good a network actually is in providing a good video streaming experience to the user. More on the story ahead.
Better PST and Video Rebuffering Rate Seen with Jio Compared to Vi and Airtel
In its study, Mozark recorded the data in a way which helped it measure the actual app experience that a user goes through without changing any of the codes or SDK integrations. The company is said to have used AI-enabled bots which commanded the smartphone in the same way an average human user would. Mozark focused on two key things for the test, a) play start time (PST), and b) video rebuffering rate. For checking the video rebuffering rate, every test included playing a video for 60 seconds and then measuring the percentage of time which was taken to buffer the video.
To conduct this test, Mozark is said to have used six Over-the-Top (OTT) applications including YouTube, Disney+ Hotstar, Netflix, SonyLIV, ZEE5, and Voot. The company is said to have conducted the test on the networks of Jio, Vi (Vodafone Idea), and Bharti Airtel.
According to Mozark, the test showed three key results. Firstly, 14 Mbps speed is what the network operators should look for providing to each of its users. Because it can deliver the result of PST (play start time) under 4 seconds which is how a lot of users want it to be. This result was similar across all the networks. Further, it was discovered that the PST is the most sensitive to fall steeply when the network speed falls under 5 Mbps. However, when the network goes above 5 Mbps, the improvement in PST is said to remain quite flat.
From the study, it was found that Jio provided users with a better PST and video rebuffering rate on the same network speed as compared to operators. Airtel and Vodafone showed quite similar results with Airtel said to be marginally ahead of Vi.
Relationship Between Apps and Operators Necessary
The second result of the study suggested that a close relationship between apps and the network operators is necessary. The study highlights that the apps such as YouTube and Disney+ Hotstar performed better when the speed wasn’t that great but with Netflix, the quality of experience for the user fell quite steeply. So the app developers and companies need to look at how they can improve the app overall so that it needs less and less network speed to perform better. This could require a heavy investment in the delivery network amongst other things.
The third result of the study conducted by Mozark suggested that the Indian telecom space is far away from delivering the MOT (minimum operating threshold) network speed which is required for ideal video experience. Only 20% of the samples could touch the MOT network speed of 14 Mbps which clearly means that more investments are required by the sector to improve its performance.
Mozark concluded the study by suggesting that the network operators must understand the MOT network speed required for each use case. The use case taken for this study was video streaming. But it was said that there are many other use cases as well. It is high time for the network operators to start focusing on the metrics which matter rather than the metrics which are easy to measure.