YouTube driving more QUIC-based traffic on mobile: Vasona

Delivering a better video experience to consumers is front and center for a lot of operators, and Vasona Networks says it’s helping operators adapt to new challenges, including an uptick in QUIC-based traffic.

QUIC, which stands for Quick UDP Internet Connections, is a transport layer network protocol designed by Google to reduce latency compared to that of TCP. About a year ago, Vasona started to see blips of QUIC-based traffic on customer networks, but recently there’s been an uptick, so much so that in some areas, QUIC-based traffic delivered from YouTube comprises 20% of network traffic.

“At this point, we are seeing it mostly with YouTube and Snap traffic,” said John Reister, VP of product and marketing at Vasona. Of course, YouTube is a significant portion of overall mobile video traffic. While Snap is much, much smaller in terms of traffic volume, its use of QUIC is meaningful because it shows that other, non-Google-owned companies are adopting the technology, he added.

…“The development work we did to understand and decipher QUIC was more challenging than what we had done with encrypted traffic a couple of years earlier,” Reister explained via email. “Our team is always on the watch for anomalies that we can rapidly identify and respond to. In so doing, we have the ability to continuously improve to help our customers work with increasingly complex traffic management—whatever comes our way. We can deliver solutions rapidly that don’t increase operator costs.”

Of course, privacy continues to be a major concern for both users and content providers. “It is unclear whether we have reached a ‘plateau’ with a sufficient amount of encryption,” Reister said. “As I noted with the rise of encrypted traffic, these changes are quite impactful. Our traffic management techniques can accommodate encryption without breaking it.”

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