A new report from Ovum, commissioned by Huawei, forecasts that 75% of all 4G traffic will be video by 2020.

Not much of a surprise there, perhaps.

But for service providers, video is much more than just additional traffic.

Of course, transporting video requires a lot more bandwidth than for voice, texts or email.

But we’re also much less tolerant of glitches and dropouts than for voice calls, so the quality of service has to be more tightly managed. Higher-grade alternative routes must also be available in the event of outages (planned or unscheduled).

Spikes in video traffic will be much more dramatic. In response to any kind of unusual event, especially in busy cities, the increase over steady-state demand will be many times what it is today.

And much more so than for voice calls, new and upgraded consumer devices will hike up demand for bandwidth, as we move to higher definition video. And this will happen according to the release schedules of the device manufacturer, not the service provider.

As a result, service providers will have less control and less predictability over a much higher proportion of what their networks are carrying.

In a video-dominant future, it’s not just more capacity that service providers will need. It’s also a change in how networks are planned, managed and optimised to meet customer expectations.

Aria Networks helps service providers optimise service delivery for video and across the service mix. You can read a case study here.