5G and the Edge Cloud for Streaming Video
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Please note that this is a DRAFT document. As such, details may change prior to publication. Also, the download button links to the current draft document housed in the Streaming Video Alliance member portal. Clicking on the button will open the portal which will require you to login with valid credentials of a paying member company.
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As mobile networks evolved, became faster and offered more and more bandwidth, consumer habits also changed. Users began to adopt data-hungry activities like streaming video, streaming music, and cloud gaming. As the networks have continued to improve, so too has our expectations of the amount and quality of content delivered to our devices negating many of the benefits offered by the latest network and radio infrastructure. The popularity of OTT services such as Netflix and YouTube are burgeoning and the demand for video content on mobile devices is rising exponentially placing massive demands on current 4G networks. Increased demand is just one aspect though. New formats like 360 degree video and XR in conjunction with higher definition including 4k and 8k are becoming common for videos viewed on connected devices, particularly those streaming content to big screen TV’s or head mounted VR units and as video quality rises, so does the need for faster connections to enjoy seamless streaming. The ability to stream high quality video HD content requires download of less than 5 Mbps while an ultra-HD 4k video requires around 15 Mbps depending on the codec and compression. Both are easily supportable with the constraints of the current 4G specification however when combined with massive catalogs and insatiable demand, shared bandwidth on a radio network quickly becomes exhausted. Even if the ability to stream at a high bandwidth is available, its not much use if the 4G radio network is not accessible. While operators continue to build out their 4G infrastructure we still experience far from ubiquitous coverage. When users lose their 4G connection the service is normally bumped down to 3G network which is typically 5 times slower making it impossible to initiate or continue to stream content. Clearly 4G cannot support the quality of service that most major content brands expect need to present to their consumers or the low latencies that XR and Cloud Gaming applications require. 5G has the potential to deliver a broad, disruptive user experience throughout the Media and Entertainment vertical, and will extend the metaphor of very simple content delivery to mobile devices that is prevalent in the market today, to an immersive, interactive and tactile shared experience for video entertainment, cloud gaming and extended reality (XR). With exceptional QoE combined with new business models that will include hyper-targeted advertising and enhanced QoE, 5G has the potential not only to bring content closer to the consumer, but also bring consumers closer together within the content ecosystem.