QoS vs QoE

My CBR 600F Side viewI have been meaning to write my thoughts about this for quite some time as its one of those conversations I have with both partners and customers on a regular basis.  After having a really interesting conversation with Simon Horrocks at Psytechnics and spending a few hours on my motorbike with no radio to entertain me,  I think I now can summarise it into one post.

Quality of Service is a good thing,  don't get me wrong,  I understand the reason why it sometimes needs to be in place but when you sit down and think about it,  it really only solves one type of problem.  Quality of Service looks at the packet header ensuring the packet gets from A to B in time with minimal packet loss,  jitter and latency.  That's all very good but it doesn't really tell you much about the quality of the payload i.e. the actual conversation.  All the packets could be getting there in time and in the right order but if there is a hiss on the line,  its too quiet or people are speaking over each other then they experience isn't very good at all.

Quality of Experience however looks at the information within the payload,  looking to see if there is an echo,  checking the conversational quality and listening quality to see if its too quiet,  too loud or has any imperfections.  With this level of inspection you can then truly know if the call is a 'good call' or not.

As a new motorbike rider,  I see the difference between QoS and QoE in action every day I got out for a ride.  All of the cars on the road get people from A to B,  providing the basic transportation of packets (people) from one place to another (good QoS).  However,  this is all for nothing unless the quality of the payload (the driver) is up to scratch,  if there is one thing I have learnt quickly its that the quality of the driver is more important than the quality of the vehicle they are driving.

Points to take away from this post

  1. Understand both Quality of Services and Quality of Experience and that there is no point getting the packets to their designation if the call experience is bad

  2. Continuously assess the quality of your driving (QoE),  I or another motorbike might be behind you and we will be assessing your quality and acting accordingly ;-).  If this post causes one less person to pull out in front of me or another fellow motorcyclist then I will be happy

Two things there for you to think about on your drive home 🙂

Comments (1)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hi Mark,

    To continue your analogy….what you actually need is somebody to oversee you, your colleagues and the rest of the general public’s journey home and take into account both the cars, the quality of driver and the importance of the journey….and then manipulate the traffic and the size of the road according to those factors….only then can you guarantee that every driver/rider will have a faultless stress free journey home.

    ….which is why we developed our Application Assured Infrastructure approach, where we can deploy the apps and then monitor and manage performance across our network within thresholds, by the application performance, not just the packet performance….perfect for UC

    And my pitch here is done 😉

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