Mobile video streaming contributes a fast growing portion of mobile data traffic. This paper compares the cost and energy efficiency of streamed video with prefetching video using real usage data from a mobile video application that employs algorithmic prefetching. Empirical energy measurements are used to evaluate the power consumed when prefetching over Wi-Fi and streaming of content over cellular networks. The energy model and price data for communications costs are then used together with the usage data to evaluate the cost efficiency of prefetching. The results strongly indicate that algorithmic prefetching can provide sufficient performance improvements to significantly reduce both battery use and the costs of video delivery from user and operator points of view.
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