Telenor is promising its mobile customers around the world better performing 3G and 4G mobile video networks as a result of a deal with Alcatel-Lucent.
Norway's Telenor Group has signed a three-year global framework agreement that will give customers "fast, buffer-free mobile video" and "improve overall internet service quality".
Analyst firm Informa predicts mobile video streaming will represent 34 percent of all global mobile traffic by 2016, presenting a growing challenge for service providers trying to ensure demand for video does not affect service quality, and cause mobile subscriber churn.
Telenor operates mobile networks across Europe and Asia. Alcatel-Lucent will help it address the challenges caused by mobile users accessing “over the top” (OTT) video from sites like YouTube or Netflix.
In high-traffic locations or for popular content being viewed by several people at once, subscribers can be frustrated by slow connection times, interruptions to service and poor quality.
Telenor says it will deploy technology that optimises traffic going over its mobile networks, "ensuring a surge in demand doesn’t affect those using the network for other activities".
Alcatel-Lucent’s system automatically adapts video streams to "the most suitable format according to a customer’s mobile device, location and subscription level", said Alcatel-Lucent.
It said this reduces the amount of bandwidth needed and has the added benefit of enabling a consumer to watch more video within the data quota of their monthly user agreement. The system also temporarily stores copies of popular content on local servers to enhance the user experience.
Alcatel-Lucent will also provide professional services, including system architecture, design, planning and end-to-end integration and testing to provide a tailored solution for each of Telenor’s markets.
Alcatel-Lucent's offering includes Opera’s Skyfire Rocket Controller and Optimiser, which optimises video streams and web content in real-time on a per device, user and session basis; and ConteXtream’s Session Control to manage end-to-end sessions across the network. Alcatel-Lucent's Velocix 7810 Transparent Caching is also part of the package, which temporarily stores popular content closer to subscribers.
Witold Sitek, senior vice president of technology at Telenor Group, said, "We want to make sure we keep our network capacity and intelligence one step ahead of demand.”
That's something other network operators will also hopefully be doing closer to home. UK users on 3G networks often struggle to watch video clips on their smartphones. Operator Three suffered a sustained network outage earlier this month, which affected a large proportion of its customers.