Every major technology player in the market, from makers of mobile phones to TVs, action cameras, drones, and video streaming applications, have already released support for 4K video. Google just announced its latest gadget collection, which includes the new Pixel phone that will back everything up in the cloud with unlimited space — including all your 4K videos. It has also launched a new $90 Chromecast Ultra that will make 4K streaming possible and affordable for more people than ever before.
I think you get the picture — and it’s a 4K picture.
Compression and video encoders are doing a fantastic job of reducing the 4K video size but it’s still an 88% increase from the current 1080p. A single, compressed 4K video will take 375MB for each minute, which is approximately 22GB for each TV show that a user streams. The kicker is that streaming is no longer downstream, with new phones and gadgets all capturing 4K and sending data upstream to the cloud. The next step will be the inclusion of High Dynamic Range, or HDR, with 4KTV and phone manufacturers already supporting HDR video to display a wider and richer range of colours, deeper shades of black, and brighter whites. The combination of 4KTV and HDR will mean that subscriber bandwidth utilization is expected to increase more than 100% in a very short period of time. While operators are still trying to get hold on their downstream planning, upstream will become as congested as downstream.
The big question for network operators and planning engineers: Do you have the necessary tools to assist you in estimating and forecasting bandwidth utilization growth? Can you detect where you should be executing your network upgrades? And how much is it going to cost your engineering department to execute and upgrade the CMTSs for that service plan change that marketing is going to ask you about next week?
Discover the challenges involved in planning network capacity and how why service providers are turning to Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) technology to measure and manage capacity in this complimentary white paper: The Bandwidth Intelligence Imperative.