How does Surging OTT Content Affect Bandwidth Consumption?

Binge-watchers rest assured, OTT content providers show no sign of slowing down. New reports from Digital TV Research show global online TV and video revenues over fixed broadband networks will reach $42.34 billion by 2020. This forecast is warmly received by major OTT companies like Netflix, a content provider estimated to be aiming for over 104 million international subscribers by 2020.

With such high forecasts continuing into the next decade, service providers must ensure that their systems can keep up with the escalated bandwidth consumption required for OTT content. Typical consumers use about 29GB of bandwidth data on average per month, while OTT consumers are using more than 213GB — a significant increase.

The need for effective congestion management and automated policy enforcement will continue to become more necessary as these increases happen. Providers need a way to automatically enforce fair-access policies during heavy consumption periods, so that everyone on their network is receiving a fair share of bandwidth resources. An automated policy management system can be used to mitigate this task. 

To ensure that subscribers remain in control of their plan, a system should automatically identify and notify top-talkers who are exceeding, or close to exceeding, their bandwidth quota. Providers can efficiently monetize high-traffic users by offering short-term upgrades or service plan changes, or alternatively offer a speed-reduction agreement for the remainder of a subscriber’s billing cycle. To keep QoE high for business subscribers, it’s important that a policy enforcement system can determine if the subscriber plan is for residential or commercial use.

Providers can benefit from utilizing an automated and flexible policy enforcement system to not only manage the pending increase of bandwidth consumption with temporary speed reductions, but to also monetize top-talkers on their network.

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