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Meta and Vodafone partner to optimize video delivery across European networks


Meta, the parent company of Instagram, has partnered with Vodafone to enhance the delivery of short-form video content across 11 European mobile networks. This collaboration aims to free up network capacity without compromising the viewing experience.

Video demand drives data usage growth

The demand for video on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube has significantly increased data usage on mobile networks. 

According to Ericsson’s 2024 Mobility Report, global mobile traffic grew by 25% in the year leading up to Q1 2024, with video accounting for 73% of all mobile traffic by the end of 2023.

Telecom operators, including Vodafone, are concerned about the financial burden of upgrading networks to meet this growing data demand. 

While they invest in network improvements, they argue that major tech companies benefiting from these enhancements do not contribute financially.

EU’s 5G investment initiative stalls

Efforts by the European Union to require Big Tech companies to contribute to 5G infrastructure investments stalled last year. 

Telecom operators are left to shoulder these costs alone, with little hope of the initiative being revived before year-end.

Vodafone sees its partnership with Meta as a practical solution to the fair share contributions debate. 

By working directly with tech companies like Meta to optimize data delivery, Vodafone aims to make more efficient use of its existing network resources.

Vodafone and Meta see success in trials

In a trial conducted in April on Vodafone’s British network, the optimization efforts led to a low double-digit reduction in Meta’s data traffic. This freed up capacity in busy areas such as shopping centers and transport hubs, demonstrating the potential benefits of the collaboration.

Alberto Ripepi, Vodafone’s chief network officer, emphasized the importance of these optimizations, noting that Meta’s willingness to work on video delivery efficiency sets a positive example for the industry. Vodafone and Meta plan to continue their collaboration for further efficiencies.

Meta’s vice president of network engineering, Gaya Nagarajan, highlighted the company’s commitment to working with innovative partners, including device manufacturers, equipment vendors, and the broader digital ecosystem. This approach aims to push the boundaries of video optimization and enhance network efficiency.

Spain’s Telefonica has also partnered with Meta to optimize video traffic delivery on its networks, signaling a broader trend among telecom operators to collaborate with tech companies for improved data management.

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