Eli5: Why do we need an Internet connection to make video calls? Why can we just do it through the cell towers like a normal call?

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Eli5: Why do we need an Internet connection to make video calls? Why can we just do it through the cell towers like a normal call?

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5 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

I’m guessing you’re referring to internet connectivity over Wi-Fi? The simplest answer is because video takes up a *lot* more bandwidth than audio, and cellular frequencies have limited bandwidth space due to the hundreds/thousands of other people all trying to use the same antennas.

And while there are video compression tricks that allow you to use your cellular connection to watch video via YouTube, Netflix, etc., you’re only downloading the video signal. With a video call you’re no only downloading a video from the network, you’re also uploading a video of your own at the same time, meaning you need twice the bandwidth of someone watching a YouTube channel.

As a result, most providers won’t even entertain the idea of cellular video calls; the network would be overloaded pretty quickly.

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