Meta and Vodafone team up for more efficient video delivery


The newly optimised video delivery is already operational in 11 of Vodafone’s European markets

This week, Vodafone and Meta have announced new measures to optimise the delivery of video content and increase capacity on mobile networks.

These optimisation measures – which have not been detailed – have reportedly been active in 11 of Vodafone’s European markets since the start of June, delivering a ‘meaningful’ reduction in network traffic without impacting video experience quality for customers.

Exactly how much network traffic has been reduced was reported, though Vodafone notes that results will vary “based on several factors including network load and end user devices.”

The move comes following successful tests conducted on in the UK back in April, which saw the optimisation measures applied to both 4G and 5G networks at busy locations. In these tests, a ‘low double-digit reduction’ was reportedly achieved.

“Meta’s willingness to optimise the delivery of video for its applications leads the way for a more efficient use of existing network resources,” said Alberto Ripepi, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone. “Vodafone and Meta have implemented these optimisations across Vodafone’s European markets and intend to continue collaborating to foster additional efficiencies.”

Meta and Vodafone say they will continue to work with one another to further optimise the network, noting they are “open to working with all players in the ecosystem to continuously improve the efficient use of network resources”.

In recent years, one of the hottest topics in the telecoms industry has been the so-called ‘Fair Share debate’, with telcos crying out for big tech companies to help subsidise the deployment and operation of mobile and fixed broadband networks on which they so heavily rely. The telcos’ main argument is that a handful of big tech companies account for the majority of data traffic; a study from the European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) back in 2022 found that roughly 55% of all data traffic is generated by just six big tech firms:  Google, Meta, Netflix, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft.

Naturally, much of this data traffic is video content – roughly 73% of all internet traffic, according to Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report – hence this collaboration between Vodafone and Meta is certainly welcome. Indeed, Vodafone is not alone in making such efforts. Telefonica, for example, is also working with Meta to reduce video traffic delivery on its networks.

Do these collaborations indicate that the telcos have given up campaigning for Big Tech to pay its ‘fair share’? Certainly not. But, with the European Commission having delayed making a decision on the topic until at least the end of this year, a pragmatic and cooperative approach to managing ever-growing network traffic is becoming increasingly necssary.

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