Czech Republic ‘outstrips South Korea’ in mobile video quality

25 September 2018 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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South Korea has the world’s best speed for mobile video, but the Czech Republic is best in the world for overall video experience – with South Korea falling to number 16.

A new global survey by OpenSignal ranks Hungary, Norway, Belgium and the UAE just behind the Czech Republic – but none of them score “excellent” in the survey company’s rankings.

Even the Czech Republic scores only 68.52 out of 100, qualifying as “very good” but missing OpenSignal’s 75 out of 100 that is the minimum for excellent video experience.

“We’re focused on the real world,” CEO Brendan Gill told Capacity. “We collect data from read-world people with our own app on Android and iOS.”

The industry has “an increased focus on network experience”, he added. “Video is critical, and it’s the majority of mobile traffic. It’s absolutely what mobile operators care about.”

OpenSignal has designed its app to test the experience using a model based on the International Telecommunication Union’s standards. “This is an industry first,” he claimed.

“South Korea is top for speed but not for video experience,” he confirmed. “Speed doesn’t guarantee a good video experience. Speed is not telling the whole story.”

One of the key criteria is fast load time, he said. Users are disappointed “when you press a button and nothing happens. Latency is a huge factor.”

For high-definition mobile video “5Mbps is about enough”, said Gill. OpenSignal measured South Korea’s mobile networks. “They are fast enough but you need that speed to be consistent.”

The lesson is that networks need to worry about where they place content, he said. “Are you caching the content at the edge of the network? You really need to look at the content end-to-end to provide a good experience to all. It’s not just the radio network.”

The analytics “are a strategic business guide to help telecom operators worldwide prioritise network investments”, he said. “We’re measuring the full end-user viewing experience, from loading and stalling rate through to picture quality, to provide the most accurate view of what it’s like for typical users to watch video on a mobile device.”