Bell Labs: consumers just can’t get enough video, and it’s pushing networks right to the edge
By 2020 people in the US will be consuming 7 hours of video per day - mostly video on demand - which will place disproportionate stress on the IP edge of broadband networks
Bell Labs recently delivered a comprehensive study on the growth of video and its impact on broadband networks. The study explored the viewing behavior of consumers in the United States and revealed a fundamental shift in viewing habits from broadcast video to video-on-demand (VoD). This shift will drive bandwidth levels to new highs well into 2020, and also will place a disproportionate amount of stress on the IP edge of broadband networks. Key findings include:
The proportion of time spent watching managed video-on-demand services will grow from 33% to 77%. This will come at the expense of traditional broadcast TV services, whose relative share of time will drop from 66% to 10%.
Internet-based video consumption each year will grow twelvefold, from 90 Exabytes to 1.1 Zettabyes.
Managed video-on-demand consumption is expected grow at 28 percent annual rate, from 44 Exabytes to 244 Exabytes.
The study also reveals that the bandwidth crunch will happen much sooner than most forecasts suggest. Over the next five years, as the efficiencies of broadcast TV are replaced with the huge bandwidth demands of unicast-based VoD services, peak-hour traffic at the IP edge will grow 2.5 times faster than traffic on broadband connections reaching households. As traffic levels accelerate, so will the challenges for service providers that rely on a centralized IP Edge based on legacy Broadband Network Gateway (BNG)/Broadband Remote Access Server (BRAS) routers:
As unicast replaces multicast/broadcast - and video traffic levels surge - centralized content injection will drive up the cost of video delivery in the IP service network, as well as video server and link congestion, and impact service availability and quality.
The extra expense of maintaining multiple networks, one for managed video and one for high-speed Internet service, will become prohibitive.
BRAS routers simply do not have the capacity to handle the increased traffic load or the service intelligence to support the personalized video and Internet services customers are demanding.
Service providers looking to embrace and generate new revenue from this surging tide of video are faced with two fundamental business challenges:
How to prepare the broadband IP network to deliver compelling new VoD services at the lowest cost per bit.
How to control the escalating costs of traffic from Over-the-Top (OTT), web-based video providers without impacting the freedom of choice their subscribers crave.
Preparing for the Tablet Generation
Alcatel-Lucent is ideally positioned to help service providers through the necessary transition from centralized BNG/BRAS networks to distributed IP Edge networks. Our extensive experience with residential service networks is anchored by the industry-leading service router platform, the 7750 Service Router (SR).
By shifting to a distributed IP edge architecture based on the 7750 SR, coupled with Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix Content Delivery Network (CDN) caches, service providers can meet future residential bandwidth and services demand while significantly reducing video transport costs. Elements of the Alcatel-Lucent solution include:
7750 SR terabit-speed capacity and performance to consolidate residential networks and accommodate surging video traffic levels for many years to come. The FP3 network processors on the 7750 SR are designed for 400 gigabit per second (400G) speeds to ensure all features are supported at line rate so that service providers can create, monitor and control new feature-rich video services without impacting performance.
7750 SR integrated service intelligence to control and generate revenue from OTT video traffic while delivering on subscriber demands for a more personalized broadband experience. The 7750 SR can monitor traffic at the application level and limit, boost and re-prioritize that traffic on a per-subscriber, per-session or per-application basis.
Distributed Velocix caches (co-located with the 7750 SRs) that move the content injection point closer to customers. The result is a significant bandwidth reduction between centralized video storage and distributed caches during peak times when concurrency is highest. And because the content travels a shorter distance to the subscriber, the quality of experience for customers is far higher than anything an OTT provider can provide through their Internet-based streaming servers.
Velocix CDN that enables optimal use of the distributed caches and a host of new revenue generation opportunities from video as consumers move from broadcast TV to interactive, personalized VoD.
In terms of concrete strategies, the Bell Labs study illustrates that service providers that adopt a distributed IP edge with CDN caches can lower total cost of ownership of their network by more than 33% vs. those that maintain today’s centralized architectures.
For more information on the Bell Labs video study or how the 7750 Service Router can help transition your broadband network to embrace the surging tide of video:
Bell Labs Video Study Press Release
Bell Labs Video Study document
Energize the IP Edge
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