Video telephony for end-consumers: Measurement study of Google+, iChat, and Skype

Yang Xu, Chenguang Yu, Jingjiang Li, Yong Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Video telephony requires high-bandwidth and low-delay voice and video transmissions between geographically distributed users. It is challenging to deliver high-quality video telephony to end-consumers through the best-effort Internet. In this paper, we present our measurement study on three popular video telephony systems on the Internet: Google+, iChat, and Skype. Through a series of carefully designed active and passive measurements, we uncover important information about their key design choices and performance, including application architecture, video generation and adaptation schemes, loss recovery strategies, end-to-end voice and video delays, resilience against random and bursty losses, etc. The obtained insights can be used to guide the design of applications that call for high-bandwidth and low-delay data transmissions under a wide range of 'best-effort' network conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number6528023
Pages (from-to)826-839
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Measurement
  • video conferencing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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