Signals Ahead - Behind The Volte Curtain, Part 3 Benchmark Study Of Ir.94 And Multiple Over-The-Top(Ott) Video Chat Applications

  • ID: 3147650
  • Report
  • Region: Global
  • 70 Pages
  • Signals Research Group, LLC
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KEY HIGHLIGHTS FROM THIS STUDY

This report presents the results of an independent analysis of IR.94 and how it compares with multiple OTT video chat applications, including FaceTime, fring, Google Hangout, imo, ooVoo, Skype, Tango, and Viber. We conducted more than 200 tests involving different combinations of voice or video applications, test procedures, and network conditions.

Spirent Communications provided its Chromatic test platform for the video performance analysis and its Quantum Battery Life Measurement System to measure the current drain with the voice and video telephony/chat applications that we tested. We used the Accuver XCAL drive test tool and XCAP post-processing software to evaluate the impact these applications had on the network as well as the underlying network conditions during the tests.

Unlike VoLTE, the performance benefits of IR.94 are not obvious, especially when compared with Skype and FaceTime. The results also depend a lot on how the operator has implemented IR.94 and the operator has a lot of flexibility in that regard. Based on the KPIs we analyzed in our study, we give Skype the edge over FaceTime, but ironically Skype seemed to perform the best on an iPhone 6 Plus smartphone.

LTE is spectrally efficient, but IR.94 consumes a lot of bandwidth, although not nearly as much as some of the OTT video chat applications. An operator will need to balance the use of a guaranteed bit rate (GBR) and QCI=2 with the impact that these IR.94 features will have on its network.

IR.94 does differentiate in other ways, for example it is included as part of the native dialer on the phone. Additionally, the voice portion of the IR.94 video call uses QCI=1, thus allowing basic voice communications to continue unscathed even if the video component suffers. There is a tradeoff, however, which we discuss.

Unless things change, IR.94 will remain a niche application for the foreseeable future. Operator priorities, no foreseeable support for inter-network calls and roaming, OTT competition, and the lack of support from Apple top our list of reasons.

SIGNALS AHEAD SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATION

This report is included as part of a subscription to Signals Ahead or it can be purchased separately.

Signals Ahead is a research-focused product that is published on a periodic basis. Its clientele include all facets of the wireless ecosystem, including some of the largest mobile operators, the top handset suppliers, the major infrastructure vendors, subsystem suppliers, semiconductor companies and financial institutions, including Wall Street, Private Equity and Venture Capitalists, spread across five continents
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1.0 Executive Summary

2.0 Key Observations and Conclusions

3.0 Video Delivery Performance and Underlying Network Utilization Requirements
3.1 Sample Stationary Test Results
3.1.1 IR.94 and Skype Video – pristine conditions
3.1.2 IR.94 and FaceTime Video – pristine conditions
3.1.3 FaceTime Video and Skype Video – pristine conditions
3.1.4 IR.94 and Viber Video – pristine conditions
3.1.5 IR.94 and Google Hangout – moderately challenging conditions
3.1.6 FaceTime and Skype Video – Home Wi-Fi
3.2 Sample Mobility Test Results
3.2.1 IR.94 and FaceTime Video Drive Loop #
3.2.2 IR.94 and Skype Video (iPhone 6 Plus) Drive Loop
3.2.3 IR.94 Only – Loop #3 and Loop #4 Drive Loops
3.2.4 FaceTime Video and Skype Video Drive Loops

4.0 Network Utilization Requirements – detailed analysis
4.1 Network Utilization Requirements – stationary tests
4.2 Network Utilization Requirements – mobility tests
4.3 Other Interesting Analyses and Correlations

5.0 Latency Implications with Background Applications

6.0 Current Drain and Estimated Battery Life Implications

7.0 Test Methodology

8.0 Final Thoughts

9.0 Appendix

Index of Figures & Tables

Figure 1. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 2. IR.94 and Skype Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario
Figure 3. IR.94 and Skype Network Resource Requirements, II – Test Scenario
Figure 4. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 5. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 6. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 7. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 8. IR.94 and Viber Video Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario
Figure 9. IR.94 and Viber Video Network Resource Requirements, II – Test Scenario
Figure 10. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 11. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 12. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 13. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 14. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 15. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 16. Observed Frames per Second Geo Plot – Test Scenario
Figure 17. Video Segment Impairment Time Geo Plot – Test Scenario
Figure 18. IR.94 Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario
Figure 19. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 20. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 21. Observed Frames per Second Geo Plot – Test Scenario
Figure 22. Video Segment Impairment Time Geo Plot – Test Scenario
Figure 23. IR.94 Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario
Figure 24. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario 59 and Test Scenario
Figure 25. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario 59 and Test Scenario
Figure 26. Observed Frames per Second Geo Plot – Test Scenario 59 and Test Scenario
Figure 27. IR.94 Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario 59 and Test Scenario
Figure 28. Downlink MAC Layer Throughput Geo Plot – Test Scenario 57 (by device)
Figure 29. Band 4 and Band 13 Network Conditions – Test Scenario 59 and Test Scenario
Figure 30. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario 1 and Test Scenario
Figure 31. Audio/Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario 1 and Test Scenario
Figure 32. MAC Layer Throughput Geo Plot – Skype
Figure 33. Skype Video Network Resource Requirements – Test Scenario
Figure 34. Band 4 Network Conditions – Test Scenario
Figure 35. Downlink and Uplink Resource Block Requirements – by voice and video chat application
Figure 36. Downlink and Uplink Resource Block Requirements – by video application
Figure 37. Downlink and Uplink MAC Layer Throughput – by voice and video chat application
Figure 38. Downlink and Uplink MAC Layer Throughput – by video application
Figure 39. Skype Voice to Video MAC Layer Throughput Acceleration
Figure 40. MAC Layer Downlink Throughput Distributions – by video chat application and test scenario
Figure 41. MAC Layer Uplink Throughput Distributions – by video chat application and test scenario
Figure 42. Downlink Resource Block Utilization Rates – by video chat application and test scenario
Figure 43. Uplink Resource Block Utilization Rates – by video chat application and test scenario
Figure 44. Downlink Resource Block Allocations versus SINR Scatter Plot – Skype Video
Figure 45. Downlink Resource Block Allocations versus SINR – Skype Video
Figure 46. Downlink Resource Block Allocations versus SINR Scatter Plot – IR.94 Video
Figure 47. Downlink Resource Block Allocations versus SINR – IR.94 Video
Figure 48. Downlink Resource Block Allocations versus SINR – IR.94 Video with QCI=
Figure 49. Uplink MCS Value versus SINR – Skype Video
Figure 50. Uplink MCS Value versus Resource Block Allocation – Skype Video
Figure 51. IR.94 Latency without Background Applications Running on the Smartphones
Figure 52. IR.94 Latency with an FTP Download Occuring in the Background
Figure 53. Skype Video Latency without Background Applications Running on the Smartphones
Figure 54. Skype Video Latency while Downloading an Application from the Google Play Store
Figure 55. IR.94 Latency in a Poor RF Environment
Figure 56. Current Drain for Various Voice Chat Applications – challenging RF environment
Figure 57. Estimated Battery Life for Various Voice Chat Applications – challenging RF environment
Figure 58. Current Drain for Various Video Chat Applications – challenging RF environment
Figure 59. Estimated Battery Life for Various Video Chat Applications – challenging RF environment
Figure 60. Current Drain for Various Voice Chat Applications – pristine RF environment
Figure 61. Estimated Battery Life for Various Voice Chat Applications – pristine RF environment
Figure 62. Current Drain for Various Video Chat Applications – pristine RF environment
Figure 63. Estimated Battery Life for Various Video Chat Applications – pristine RF environment
Figure 64. Test Set-up
Figure 65. Chromatic Test Solution
Figure 66. Video Markers
Figure 67. XCAL in Action
Figure 68. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 69. Video Delivery KPIs – Test Scenario
Figure 70. Observed Frames per Second Geo Plot – Test Scenario 1 and Test Scenario
Figure 71. Video Segment Impairment Time Geo Plot – Test Scenario 1 and Test Scenario

Table 1. Summary of Results
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- FaceTime
- Fring
- Google Hangout
- Imo
- OoVoo
- Skype
- Tango
- Viber

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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