I am a huge football (soccer to Americans) fan. So imagine my consternation when on Thursday night I was stuck in the Denver airport during the time when the US National Team was going to be playing Ecuador in a very important Copa America tournament game. In past years, I would have either recorded the game and hope that I would not accidentally see the score and ruin the game for me, or watch Twitter or a text livestream from the game.
But WiFi is not what it used to be, so I decided to take a chance and see if I could watch the game using streaming video on my iPad. Risky you say? I thought so too, but YOLO!
I took out my iPad, connected to the free WiFi at Denver International Airport (which last year was said to be the best airport WiFi in the country) and launched my DirectTV app. DirectTV added the capability to stream live programming to their app if you have an account quite some time ago, and I decided to use this as my test app. It is legal streaming (no pirated feed for me!) and hopefully would adapt to any bandwidth fluctuations or quality issues.
To my pleasant surprise, the video stream of the pre-game show started up with a very high quality for the iPad (no stutters, no blurring, and at the right resolution). To my even greater surprise, the stream maintained that high quality (with only one glitch during halftime) throughout the entire game (spoiler alert – the US won the game).
When the game was over, it hit home what a huge milestone I had just participated in. Not that the US had made it to the semi-final of a major tournament (although that was pretty important for the team). Not even that DirectTV’s live streaming app was pretty darn good. But something that signals a potentially fundamental change in the consumer broadband landscape.
I was able to access a FREE WiFi stream at a fairly crowded airport and LIVESTREAM a sporting event on my mobile device WITH GREAT QUALITY.
FREE WIFI LIVESTREAM WITH GREAT QUALITY
Take those three bolded phrases together and you have a sentence that would probably be seen as a pipedream in the not too distant past. Procera has been working with WiFi operators and even I was not sure that this would work. We have done some really innovative work with our ScoreCard solution to help WiFi operators understand what QoE their networks are delivering and identifying the areas that need investment to improve quality. We recently joined the Wireless Broadband Alliance and will be attending the Wireless Global Congress in Liverpool next week. We really believe that WiFi is a viable access medium for high speed access, and are working to make my experience something that everyone can expect from their WiFi networks. If you are interested and going to be at the Wireless Global Congress, click below to meet with Procera.
"Cam is the Vice President of Global Marketing at Sandvine and responsible for Sandvine's overall global marketing. He is an avid follower of and the author of the Global Internet Phenomena report on network trends. He also loves football (the real kind played with a round ball) as well as an active blogger for Sandvine on a wide range of technology and business issues.
Areas of expertise: Internet trends, virtualization, analytics, network optimization, enterprise services