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How we are shaping the next generation of mobile content delivery

How we are shaping the next generation of mobile content delivery

In the 15th century, the Portuguese revolutionized the way goods were transferred worldwide. They gathered the best knowledge, mobilized a small country towards a vision and made the most effective use of the scarce resources available to disrupt and improve how the world was connected. We believe that one of most valuable goods today, digital content, is ripe for a similar revolution. A revolution that can dramatically improve mobile content delivery to end users worldwide.

By 2021, 63% of total IP traffic will be from WiFi or mobile devices. In 2016, it represented only 49%. At the same time, to ensure faster content delivery, the industry is investing in optimizing core network infrastructures, increasing their geographic presence and speeding-up routing processes.

Sounds weird but, while wireless traffic is dominating the internet, the industry is investing in the wired part of the problem. Don’t take me wrong: infrastructure and core network technologies are very important in ensuring a good quality of experience for mobile users. However, it is the wireless part of the link that plays the most crucial role in delivering mobile content at maximum speed.

The root of the problem: the protocol

The industry has also been optimizing wireless technologies. The WiFi standard and the mobile technologies, such as the state-of-the-art 4G and the upcoming 5G, have been continuously evolving. However, 86% of the users are still experiencing performance issues in mobile apps and 75% of these problems are related to the network (source).

Being a shared medium, the wireless link is and will always be intrinsically unstable and unreliable, resulting in packet loss and jitter, for example. This instability severely impairs standard protocols like HTTP. For you to have an idea, “only” 0.1% of packet loss can drop the speed of an HTTP download by 5 times. Therefore, it becomes obvious that the wireless content delivery problem must be tackled on its root: the protocol.

A new protocol to answer wireless challenges

Standard protocols use feedback packets to recover from every single lost packet. As a result, these protocols assume that all packet losses occur due to congestion. This is a fundamental flaw, since, over a wireless link, losses happen for many other reasons. This is why we have built Bolina, a new transport protocol designed from scratch to overcome the challenges presented by wireless links.

Instead of making incremental modifications to a flawed approach, we use network coding techniques to overcome the unreliable nature of the wireless link. Bolina is capable of maintaining high speed even with increasing packet loss and latency.

As a result, it leads to achieving 2 to 3 times faster mobile content delivery, significantly improving mobile apps UX. In addition, since Bolina is highly robust to latency, it also enables optimizing infrastructure costs: servers can be placed in the regions where traffic (and CPU) is cheaper while maintaining high-speed content delivery everywhere.

I can guess what you’re thinking, now: changing the protocol sounds like a lot of work. Actually, not: if the mobile app is HTTP or HTTPS based, just install Bolina SDK and that’s it! And it works on any cloud infrastructure.

Fast and simple, right? At Codavel, our mission is to deliver content at maximal speed and efficiency. For any user, any device, any network, any content. We want to make every app blazingly fast.

Stay tuned and join us in this revolution.