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Stay Skeptical on 4G Video Delivery Claims: The Streaming Company
4G cellular is a great advance, but don't rely on it for live video delivery. One expert says throughput claims are heavily exaggerated
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Now that 4G cellular networks are easily accessible, will we see a surge in live video delivery to mobile phones and tablets? Hold off, said Ben Kittow, CEO of The Streaming Company, speaking at the recent Streaming Forum conference in London: 4G isn't everywhere yet.

"We're obviously all talking about 4G and 3G, and we used to talk about 2G. Globally, we're not getting rid of 3G, much to possibly the idea that we get fantastic 4G," Kittow said. "A complete reliance on 4G, our experience is it doesn't always work, funny enough. Therefore, you need to be able to switch between any number of different delivery methods. I think it's fair to say that we will always -- particularly when you're on the run -- switch between mastered in 4G and 3G, and that's the nature of the game. You've got to pick up whatever connectivity you've got at the time."

What about claims that 4G cellular networks offer 14Mbps of throughput? Be skeptical, he said.

"We're now told that we might get up to 14Mbps. Again, it depends on how many people are using that particular cell at the time," Kittow explained. "Excuse my skepticism, but on the basis that I have to brief my client as to the assurance that a live event will carry on going seamlessly without any faults, we tend to look at these figures with a little bit of skepticism."

For more on streaming live video to mobile devices, watch the full address below and download Kittow's PowerPoint presentation.

Streaming Live to Mobiles and Tablets

Debating the challenges presented by the unique demands of streaming live to tablets and mobile phones, including differing screen sizes, streaming to 3G/4G vs. over wifi, buffering, latency, HLS, MPEG-DASH, and other formats. This session addresses these issues and more, using case studies from customers including William Hill and LexisNexis.

Presenter Ben Kittow, CEO, The Streaming Company