BARCELONA -- Mobile World Congress -- The HQME Steering Committee, a newly formed group of mobile and content industry leaders that includes SanDisk Corporation (NASDAQ:SNDK), SoftBank Mobile, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Orange, today announced a proposed industry standard aimed at addressing the current and growing challenges of efficiently managing and delivering data from mobile networks to mobile devices.
HQME (High Quality Mobile Experience) is a proposed industry standard that leverages local storage and intelligent content caching to relieve network congestion and accelerate data delivery to the mobile device. HQME aims to create a more enjoyable mobile multimedia experience by more efficiently delivering bandwidth-intensive content and allowing users to consume it while bypassing common data delivery pitfalls and reducing negative impact to the overall network.
An Industry-Wide Problem
Consumer demand for mobile content is set to outpace spending and innovation in network capacity for years to come. The resulting bandwidth constraint impacts users’ mobile experience, causing them to stare at loading animations as a video prepares to play, and then again throughout playback as the video pauses to re-buffer. The suboptimal user experience is expected to worsen as mobile devices proliferate and consumers, with a growing expectation to consume bandwidth-intensive data on their mobile devices, increase their demand for more content.
According to Cisco, overall mobile data traffic is expected to grow to 6.3 exabytes per month by 2015, a 26-fold increase over 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 92 percent from 2010 to 2015.1
“This issue affects all members of the mobile ecosystem, including content owners, network operators, device manufacturers, memory providers and app developers,” said Flint Pulskamp, research director, wireless and wired communications semiconductors, IDC. “The proposed solution requires an industry-wide approach so that it is both effective and sustainable.”
The Proposed Solution
Under the proposed IEEE P2200 standard, memory on the mobile device is viewed as the ‘last node on the network.’ This calls for compliant applications to download content when the mobile device is connected to AC power and Wi-Fi instead of during peak hours the next day. Preemptively downloading content to the device’s local storage allows consumers to access the content they want while circumventing the bottlenecks associated with mobile network congestion during peak hours.
"HQME's innovation is to align key players in mobile content delivery to minimize the inconveniences associated with acquiring content over capacity-constrained mobile networks," said Susan Kevorkian, research director, mobile connected devices, IDC. "Intelligently coordinating content delivery in advance to local device storage lets consumers enjoy their video, games, periodicals, books and music when they're ready, and may help mobile operators and service providers to reduce churn by improving the perceived quality of the experience. The importance of this type of industry-standard solution will only grow as adoption of mobile broadband enabled devices proliferates in tandem with mobile entertainment services."
“Solving the problem takes an industry-wide effort, and that’s the purpose behind the HQME steering committee,” said Robert Khedouri, vice president and general manager, software and solutions, SanDisk. “The HQME initiative and end result will take some time, but progress has already been made by putting our collective heads together to propose a standardized solution aimed at increasing customer satisfaction.”
HQME Steering Committee Formed
The IEEE working group P2200, which currently includes SanDisk, SoftBank Mobile, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Orange, will drive the development of the HQME standard. The steering committee is responsible for the coordination of the standards body and the development of business models that implement the standard. Details of the IEEE draft specification P2200 can be found at http://standards.ieee.org/develop/project/2200.html.
“In an increasingly mobile and connected world, it’s critical that we work together across industries to find the solutions that will give consumers the quality, reliability and choice they deserve,” said Mitch Singer, CTO of Sony Pictures Entertainment and president of the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem.
“The adoption of mobile multimedia will massively grow in the coming years, and we need to provide our customers with the best user experience,” said Guillaume de Riberolles, vice president, mobile multimedia, Orange.
“This is about anticipating our customers’ needs and serving them exactly what they want, when they want it,” said SanDisk’s Khedouri. “Want to watch that new episode of your favorite TV show? It’s already there. In fact, it’s in higher quality. That’s what we are striving for in this initiative—a high quality mobile experience.”
In addition to its steering committee, HQME has the support of other existing coalitions and key standards bodies, including the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and the Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) LLC. Steering committee members will be participating at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, February 14-18. For more information, visit hqme.org.
SanDisk Corp. (Nasdaq: SNDK)