New ITU-T Recommendation P.1203

Supports Quality Estimation of Adaptive Bitrate Video Streaming Services

video streaming

In December 2016, ITU-T SG12 approved recommendation P.1203, which describes algorithms (“models”) that estimate the end user media quality for adaptive streaming sessions. The recommendation is applicable to non-intrusive in-service quality monitoring and contributes to the development of high-quality adaptive bitrate video streaming services. By using P.1203, service providers and network operators can now monitor the quality of their video services, and thus take actions if the targeted quality is not reached.

P.1203 was created jointly by seven companies: Deutsche Telekom AG (with Ilmenau University of Technology), Ericsson AB, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, Inc., NTT Network Technology Laboratories, OPTICOM Dipl.-Ing. M. Keyhl GmbH, SwissQual AG / Rohde&Schwarz GmbH & Co. KG.


Video streaming is one of the most used internet services today and adaptive bitrate streaming mechanisms are often used to balance the media delivery according to any variations in the available bandwidth. This is also important for mobile scenarios, where the bandwidth can vary due to interference and user movement. While adaptation improves the possibility of an interrupt-free delivery, it also creates quality variations in the audiovisual media which can be disturbing to the end user.

About Recommendation P.1203 and Future plans

The standard comprises individual models for short-term video and audio quality estimation, and a final integration model. The integration model combines the short-term outputs from the video and audio quality models into a long-term audio-visual quality estimation, and also includes the effect of stalling (freezing). The standard describes different model realizations for different levels of content encryption and computational complexity.

The seven participating companies submitted their initial model candidates for an ITU-T evaluation procedure. These candidate models were tested using extensive subjective data, and the best performing algorithms were finally merged into one single standard.

P.1203 currently supports adaptive bitrate video streaming services for H.264/AVC-encoded videos up to HD format. As a next step, in its ongoing work ITU-T is extending the standard to cover up to 4K / UHD format video, then including three video codecs, namely H.264/AVC, H.265/HEVC and VP9. More in-depth information about P.1203 can be found here:

About ITU-T SG12

ITU-T SG12: The International Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Standardization Sector (ITU-T) is one of the three Sectors of the ITU. Study Group 12 (SG12) of ITU-T is responsible for Recommendations on the end-to-end transmission performance of terminals and networks, in relation to the perceived quality and acceptance by users of text, data, speech, and multimedia applications.

About Deutsche Telekom AG 

Deutsche Telekom is one of the world’s leading integrated telecommunications companies, with some 156 million mobile customers, 29 million fixed-network lines, and more than 18 million broadband lines.

About Ilmenau University of Technology

Ilmenau University of Technology is the only technical university of the state of Thuringia in Germany, training engineers of excellent reputation since 1894. Today, the profile of our modern university includes engineering, natural sciences, business studies and media.

About Ericsson AB

Ericsson is a world leader in communications technology and services with headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden. Our organization consists of more than 111,000 experts who provide customers in 180 countries with innovative solutions and services. Together we are building a more connected future where anyone and any industry is empowered to reach their full potential.

About Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.

Huawei is a leading global ICT solutions provider. As a responsible and robust business player, innovative information society enabler, and cooperative industry contributor, Huawei is committed to building a Better Connected World. Through our dedication to customer-centric innovation and strong partnerships, we have established end-to-end capabilities and strengths across carrier, enterprise, consumer, and cloud computing domains. Huawei’s 170,000 employees worldwide create maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one-third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company that is fully owned by its employees. For more information, please visit Huawei online at


NETSCOUT SYSTEMS, INC. (NASDAQ: NTCT) is a leading provider of business assurance – a powerful combination of service assurance, cybersecurity, and business intelligence solutions – for today’s most demanding service provider, enterprise and government networks. To learn more, visit or follow @NETSCOUT on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

About NTT Network Technology Laboratories

NTT Network Technology Laboratories is responsible for formulating an R&D strategy toward an information and communications network infrastructure of the future. For more information, please visit our website at

About OPTICOM Dipl.-Ing. M. Keyhl GmbH

OPTICOM Dipl.-Ing. M. Keyhl GmbH, Erlangen, GERMANY, is a leading provider of standardized ‘perceptual measurement’ technology for Voice, Audio and Video quality assessment and licenses OEM software to T&M vendors, Smartphone manufacturers, network equipment suppliers and operators worldwide. –

About SwissQual AG, a Rohde and Schwarz company

Rohde & Schwarz is a leading global supplier of mobile network testing solutions. The company’s extensive and diverse product portfolio provides sophisticated, cost-effective test solutions for mobile operators, infrastructure vendors, testing service providers, installation companies and government regulators. For more information about Rohde & Schwarz mobile network testing, please visit our website at