Opera Software’s Skyfire optimisation unit, which the company purchased in 2013, has added streaming audio optimisation to Rocket Optimizer, its NFV-ready video and data optimisation platform for mobile operators.
A recent study by research firm Strategy Analytics into consumers’ mobile music habits in the United States, China, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom found that 77 per cent of mobile users listen to music on their phones – with 70 per cent claiming to do so at least once per week or more. Seventy-two per cent also said that they use their mobile phones to listen to music at least once a week when the service is bundled into their operator data plan.
So Rocket Optimizer aims to manage streaming audio traffic in the same way that it optimises mobile video traffic, using its built-in Experience Assurance functionality to automatically detect when the end-user’s live audio stream is about to stall, buffer or drop off entirely due to a poor connection – in real-time, before the problem starts. Rocket Optimizer then adapts the audio stream to fit the available capacity in the network.
“With devices getting smarter and networks getting faster, streamed music – like video – is rapidly growing in popularity among consumers, and operators need to prepare their networks to deliver the superior quality of experience that consumers expect,” said Nitin Bhandari, Skyfire CEO and Opera SVP of Operator Products. “While audio is generally streamed at a lower bitrate than video, users often stream audio for hours at a time – consuming significant network bandwidth. Furthermore, quality assurance is hugely important, as users are extremely sensitive to stalling in audio streams. Rocket Optimizer’s audio optimization saves bandwidth where it is needed, while improving the overall consumer experience.”