Mobile multimedia streaming techniques: QoE and energy saving perspective

Mohammad Ashraful Hoque, Matti Siekkinen, Jukka K. Nurminen, Mika Aalto, Sasu Tarkoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


Multimedia streaming to mobile devices is challenging for two reasons. First, the way content is delivered to a client must ensure that the user does not experience a long initial playback delay or a distorted playback in the middle of a streaming session. Second, multimedia streaming applications are among the most energy hungry applications in smartphones. The energy consumption mostly depends on the delivery techniques and on the power management techniques of wireless access technologies (Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G). In order to provide insights on what kind of streaming techniques exist, how they work on different mobile platforms, their efforts in providing smooth quality of experience, and their impact on energy consumption of mobile phones, we did a large set of active measurements with several smartphones having both Wi-Fi and cellular network access. Our analysis reveals five different techniques to deliver the content to the video players. The selection of a technique depends on the mobile platform, device, player, quality, and service. The results from our traffic and power measurements allow us to conclude that none of the identified techniques is optimal because they take none of the following facts into account: access technology used, user behavior, and user preferences concerning data waste. We point out the technique with the best playback buffer configuration, which provides the most attractive trade-offs in particular situations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-114
JournalPervasive and Mobile Computing
Issue numberPart A
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Measurement
  • Performance analysis
  • Power consumption
  • Quality of experience (QoE)
  • Wireless multimedia


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