Upload Times For Mobile Video Podcasts

If you have seen my previous entry you might have noticed that I am starting to expand my web activities from blogging to podcasting. The next step could be mobile video (pod)casts as my Nokia N70 has excellent video capabilities. With a resolution of approx. 352×288 pixels, mobile video capabilities have advanced far advanced beyond the first stamp size videos of doubtful resolution and quality.

The downside, however, is the amount of data that is generated. A movie of 30 seconds generates around 2 MB of data. With 1 GB flash cards available for less than 30 Euros today, storage space is no issue. For mobile video-casting on the other hand, 2 MB data transfers require quite some time. Here’s a list of upload times for a number of different wireless technologies. Upload times are calculated for a 2 MB video file which is put on a blog or other web site via eMail. eMails tend to increase attachments by at least 50% due to the coding used for attachments which is why the times below are calculated for a total transfer volume of 3 MB:

  • GPRS: 19 minutes, based on an uplink speed of 25 kbit/s (2 timeslots)
  • EDGE: 5.5 minutes, based on an uplink speed of 90 kbit/s (2 timeslots, good uplink quality)
  • UMTS: 7 minutes, based on an uplink speed of of 64 kbit/s
  • UMTS: 3.5 minutes, based on an uplink speed of 128 kbit/s
  • HSDPA: 1.5 minutes, based on an uplink speed of 384 kbit/s (only few networks and mobiles support this uplink speed category today)
  • HSUPA: 45 seconds, based on an uplink speed of 800 kbit/s (no networks support this today but coming soon)

Quite obviously, mobile videocasting only makes sense with EDGE or UMTS, as GPRS is just too slow. What astounds me most is the huge difference in upload times between the oldest technology (GPRS) with 19 minutes and the latest technology (HSUPA) with just 45 seconds. Less than a decade is between these technologies. GPRS was introduced five years ago in 2001. HSUPA is not quite here yet, but expect it late next year or early 2008. Just 7 years between 19 minutes and less than one. Makes me wonder where we will be in 2015…