Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Global user experience rankings for networks soon: Ookla

New Delhi: US-headquartered Ookla, best known for its global index measuring internet speeds, is planning to publish its rankings for video and gaming experiences from across the world. It is also working on new metrics like loaded latency or responsiveness to measure mobile internet speeds following the roll out of 5G networks.

In an interview, co-founder and chief executive Doug Suttles said apart from sharing all relevant information on quality of experience metrics with carriers to help improve their networks, it will also start publishing global rankings based on these metrics from 2024.

“We’re very focused on bettering the quality of experience around the world, as we do for performance. We have not publish the rankings yet, but telcos have access to findings for self-improvement and assess what’s wrong. But with time, we will start providing the rankings publicly as well.” “Creating a global index or some kind of ranking is probably a next-year thing, because we are still fine tuning our methodologies,” Suttles said.

Besides, Ookla is also measuring loaded latency on telecom networks which is akin to conducting speed tests of network, which has applicability in real-time applications like video calls, gaming or potential applications like live translation while using virtual reality headsets, he added.

“Measuring speeds is the core of what we do and that’ll never change but there’s other metrics that matter as much and maybe will start mattering more over time. The big one is latency, responsiveness, how much data can you send back and forth and how quickly. It is becoming important, and it’s a metric we are trying to highlight,” Suttles said.

Countries with advanced infrastructure may have better loaded latency metrics as their backhauls and their complete network was capable of delivering very high speeds, he said.

Globally India’s ranking has risen significantly from 118th last September to 69th in January 2023 with mobile speeds rising 115% since the launch of 5G services. “Each generation will give us far more capability or more capability to configure networks. It’ll be a world (segment) where minimum speeds will be talking about as much as maximum,” Suttles said.

Suttles added that 5G and 6G in the future would surely offer higher speeds than current 4G levels, but importantly, they could enable minimum guaranteed speeds, which would be a sea-change from present times where telcos are unable to guarantee a minimum internet speed over mobile phone at any time.

He said that the base levels of guaranteed internet speeds would be possible on the back of network slicing or creating a virtual network on top of an existing network that will be used for a specific purpose, which could find its way to consumer use cases such as connected cars besides enterprise use cases including mechanical or factory automation.

While high internet speeds would become a marketing tool for telecom service providers, the quality of service in terms of experience for consumers will eventually become more important which will depend on the quality of networks and spectrum obtained by carriers.

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