Mobile network operators are turning to gaming – how can they reduce mobile gaming latency?

| 2 mins read
Operators such as Deutsche Telekom are rushing to capitalise on new revenue opportunities from gaming. They hope to bypass consoles and deliver effective gaming from the cloud. But with latency an ongoing challenge that can undermine user experience, how can they deliver a consistent experience to mobile gamers? Tambora solves this problem.
Deutsche Telekom (DT) recently announced the launch of a new gaming platform, Magenta Gaming, for its customers. The intention is to deliver a growing portfolio of games streamed from the cloud to browsers or to an application, bypassing traditional consoles. Currently via invitation only, the games platform will be made generally available in 2020.
The service will be accessible through Wi-Fi for now, although it is planned to be delivered over LTE and 5G in due course. Of course, experience is critical for gamers, so DT plans to address this via a network of decentralised servers. The move is intended to capitalise on surging demand for online gaming, with increasing adoption of subscription-based services, potentially creating a valuable new revenue stream.
Performance is, of course, critical to a high-quality gaming experience. Managing latency, which can seriously undermine this is a fundamental challenge. According to DT, decentralised servers are part of the solution, but more is needed to reduce mobile gaming latency.

Reduce latency for individual gamers on mobile devices

Another approach is to work directly on the device and user session. That’s what Tambora does – it monitors game performance in real-time from the user device, while a network application server makes policy-driven decisions that allow new bearer and quality settings to be enabled to a given user.
This technique allows mobile operators to reduce mobile gaming latency – trials in a Tier 1 network have shown that latency can be decreased by 50%, without the expense of deploying edge servers.
That’s a considerable impact and the value of this approach can be seen alongside that of other techniques. Edge servers are part of the solution, but to reach the widest community of gamers, other, complementary approaches are required, such as Tambora’s Boost, based on gQoE.

Ensure consistency for mobile gamers

Operators that seek to monetise gaming need to be sure that they can deliver an appropriate experience – particularly as games are likely to become ever-more sophisticated. The key to mobility is consistency, so it’s not sufficient simply to deliver a home-based or static solution. Instead, they must strive to deliver an experience in any domain and, particularly, for those travelling or mobile.
Disappointing the avid constituency of, for example, mobile gaming commuters, is likely to have a disproportionate impact on user feedback. This is particularly relevant for multi-player games, in which users may drop in and out of sessions whenever they have a spare moment. Operators simply cannot ignore the mobile dimension.
As a result, operators must ensure consistency to mobile users – and that will require a combination of techniques. Tambora’s Boost solution provides the real-time monitoring and dynamic allocation of resources to reduce mobile gaming latency. It’s an essential element of the mobile gaming experience.