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Showing posts with label Data Traffic Management. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Data Traffic Management. Show all posts

Sunday, 10 November 2013

SIPTO Evolution


Couple of years back I did a post on SIPTO (Selected IP Traffic Offload) and related technologies coming as part of Rel-10. I also put up a comparison for SIPTO, LIPA and IFOM here. Having left it for couple of years, I found that there have been some enhancements to the architecture from the basic one described here.

I have embedded the NEC paper below for someone wanting to investigate further the different options shown in the picture above. I think that even though the operator may offload certain type of traffic locally, they would still consider that data as part of the bundle and would like to charge for it. At the same time there would be a requirement on the operator for lawful interception, so not sure how this will be managed for different architectures. Anyway, feel free to leave comments if you have any additional info.



Friday, 12 April 2013

Myths and Challenges in Future Wireless Access



Interesting article from the recent IEEE Comsoc magazine. Table 1 on page 5 is an interesting comparison of how different players reach the magical '1000x' capacity increase. Even though Huawei shows 100x, which may be more realistic, the industry is sticking with the 1000x figure. 

Qualcomm is touting a similar 1000x figure as I showed in a post earlier here.

Monday, 28 January 2013

Overview of 3GPP Release-12 Study Item UPCON

Mobile operators are seeing significant increases in user data traffic. For some operators, user data traffic has more than doubled annually for several years. Although the data capacity of networks has increased significantly, the observed increase in user traffic continues to outpace the growth in capacity. This is resulting in increased network congestion and in degraded user service experience. Reasons for this growth in traffic are the rapidly increasing use of smart phones and tablet like devices, and the proliferation of data applications that they support, as well as the use of USB modem dongles for laptops to provide mobile Internet access using 3GPP networks. As the penetration of these terminals increases worldwide and the interest in content-rich multi-media services (e.g. OTT video streaming services) rises, this trend of rapidly increasing data traffic is expected to continue and accelerate.


Here are couple of presentations on this topic:







Related blog posts:

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Data v/s Signalling Traffic in Dongles and Phones

From a presentation by Peter Zidar in the Small Cells Global Congress 2012.

The above picture shows that even though the amount data traffic carried by dongles is much more than the amount of traffic carried by the mobile phones, the amount of signalling is far higher from the mobiles than that of dongles. This is mainly because the mobiles need to conserve the battery power and for this reason they disconnect from the network as soon as there is no need for exchange of data. Remember the Fast Dormancy issue in the smartphones? If not see this post.

Related posts:


Saturday, 1 December 2012

Data growth from 0.6EB/Mo to 10.6EB/Mo by 2016 (18x)

A slightly old slide that I found while looking for some information but worth putting up here.

1 EB (Exabyte) = 1000000000000000000B = 1018 bytes = 1000000000gigabytes = 1000000terabytes = 1000petabytes

As we can see, Cisco predicts (and I agree) that the mobile data consumption will increase from 0.6 exabytes per month to 10.6 exabytes per month by 2016. What is really debatable is what actually is a mobile device and how much of this data will go through the operators network.

If for example a tablet contains SIM card but you use your own home/work WiFi. Does this qualify as a mobile device and is this data included. What if its exactly the same scenario and the device does not have a SIM card then would you say this is a mobile device? What happens when the operator allows you to use an Operator WiFi which is secured via login/password and you use the tablet without SIM card on an operator WiFi. Would you count this data, is the device considered as a mobile device.

The bottom line is that data usage will continue to grow but probably not on the mobile networks. WiFi would be a prime candidate for offloading, due to it being mostly free (or costing much less - except in the hotels). Some of the recent pricing by the operators make me feel that they do not want the users to use their network for every day use, only for important work.

See Also:



Monday, 3 September 2012

Cellular or WiFi: Which is the preferred network access?

I was going through this report by Cisco on "What do Consumers want from WiFi" and came across this interesting picture. 

With the ease and availability of easy WiFi, it would be the preferred access technology whenever possible. Cellular access would be generally reserved for mobility scenarios or where there is no wifi network to allow access.

Another interesting observation from above is that the survey puts WiFi and Cellular security to the same level. Though the cellular is more secure in case of an open public WiFi scenario where an eavesdropper may be able to get hold of login/password information it is generally at the same level of security to a secured WiFi. On the other hand with cellular, lawful interception may be much more easy as compared to using secure WiFi.

I am sure that the content of last paragraph are debatable and am happy to hear your viewpoints.

A slidecast of the Cisco whitepaper mentioned above is embedded as follows:



Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Twitter discussion on 'Data Tsunami' myth




Participants:


@disruptivedean - Dean Bubley
@StevenJCrowley - Steve Crowley
@WhatTheBit - Stefan Constantine
@labboudles - Leila Abboud
@twehmeier - Thomas Wehmeier
@jamncl4 - Jonathan Morgan
@wifidave - Dave Wright



@disruptivedean: Data tsunami myth washing further out to sea: Telefonica mobile data grew 35% YoY to Q1, vs. data rev growth of 28%. http://www.telefonica.com/en/shareholders_investors/html/financyreg/resultados2012.shtml


@disruptivedean: Increasingly convinced that some cellular data growth numbers & forecasts are over-inflated - mainly to sway regulators on spectrum policy

@StevenJCrowley: Wonder how much of Telefonica lower data growth is from Spain's unusually bad economy versus normal "S curve"

@twehmeier: Did you see that shockingly unbalanced story on data traffic in FT? Pure spin. Telefonica is v representative of Euro ops. The other factor is vendors perpetuating the myth to sell their products and services

@WhatTheBit: you should do some research into operator spectrum holdings versus actual utilization, I'm sure the results would B shocking

@twehmeier: The other factor is vendors perpetuating the myth to sell their products and services

@disruptivedean: Don't think Spanish economy that much an issue. Growth been flattening in UK & Germany for a while - http://disruptivewireless.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/smoking-gun-i-think-o2-uk-has-falling.html


@disruptivedean: The contrast in attitude between TF corporate vs. TF Digital is striking sometimes.

@labboudles: that's interesting, is it typical of others ops numbers, ie data makes them money so stop whining abt capex/google?

@disruptivedean: It's certainly true for VF in Europe - they have faster data rev growth than traffic growth. Caps/tiers fixed the problem


@disruptivedean: Basic pricing tiers/caps + user-controlled WiFi have "fixed" the problem. Has undermined need for more complex solutions & tech

@twehmeier: Indeed. amazes me how little emphasis placed on imprtnce of pricing. Next prob will be working out how to bring traffic back

@disruptivedean: Yes, especially with LTE - in some places/networks we're heading for overcapacity. Not quite as bad as fibre in 2001, but scary

@twehmeier: And that will likely lead to more naive pricing models that only serve to accelerate self-commoditisation of value of data!


@twehmeier: Telenor firsy reported faster data revenue growth versus traffic back in 2010. And that's in some of the world's most advanced smartphone and MBB markets...

@labboudles: thought so since that was case in France, but admit had not looked at all ops trends

@disruptivedean: Also beware that some operators (eg AT&T) have started adding in WiFi hotspot traffic to bump up the numbers

@twehmeier: Shameless lobbying....

@labboudles: where is there overcapacity?! Places where LTE has been built and already used?

@twehmeier: imagine a market where Wi-Fi is ubiquitous and all operators deploy LTE on top of pre-existing HSPA/HSPA+. And remember average utilisation of European 3G networks is typically only in the 35-40% range and pretty steady

@labboudles: that's a ways off in real world though


@labboudles: ok that I just don't understand, then why is my user experience of mobile Internet so crap n London, Paris ?

@disruptivedean: Depends how you calculate it. Bear in mind many MNOs don't "light up" all spectrum initially, but add extra capacity


@disruptivedean: Plenty of other bottlenecks - most notable is poor coverage, could be backhaul, stuff in core network, even DNS etc


@disruptivedean: Congestion often caused by too much signalling (setting up/tearing down IP conxns), not sheer data "tonnage"

@jamncl4: Actually I think we are also seeing the impact of the shift from laptops to tablets and smartphones


@jamncl4: People can't afford multiple data plans so they shift from laptop to Smartphones which inherently use less data

@wifidave: How did you arrive at 35%/28%? I found 15.4% YoY in "mobile data revenue", and couldn't find traffic figures.

@jamncl4: Same with tablets which also pull usage away from laptop except most tablets are wifi only


@jamncl4: WiFi is in enough places that I can't justify two data plans so I stick to wifi tablet and data pla smartphone

@disruptivedean: It's on page 6 of the results presentation, showing rapid convergence of traffic & revenue growth

@jamncl4: The smartphone will take a few years to catch up to laptops in terms of data requirements thus "slowdown" growth

@disruptivedean: Bear in mind rising % of people don't have "plans" but use PAYG for data. But yes, dongle traffic falling, phone rising

@jamncl4: But Smartphone require higher signaling than laptops due to apps & power saving techniques;massive signal growth

@disruptivedean: Tablet/laptop substitution (or not) largely irrelevant as both are generally WiFi-only & will most likely stay that way

@jamncl4: Multi device plans could be interesting moving forward and there impact on this


@jamncl4: I disagree. Majority of traffic has come from laptops in past so more wifi & tablets reduces the traffic

@wifidave: @disruptivedean OK, I see. The 27% is a subset of the 15.4%.

@jamncl4: I think the real issue is that people don't want to pay for 2 plans & the 1 plan in general is Smartphone for now. Multidevice PAYG plans will be interesting on their impact.

@wifidave: Ponder this > Assuming TF #s are cell data, they represent a mobile data Traffic/Rev YoY growth ratio of 1.29:1 . The same ratio for #ChinaMobile in Q4'11 was 1.28:1 . For #ChinaMobile, cell data grew at 56.1% traffic and 43.5% revenues.


@wifidave: ATT says that "wireless data traffic" doubled in 2011 from 2010. (http://www.attinnovationspace.com/innovation/story/a7781181). but elsewhere report that their Wi-Fi traffic increased 550% in Q4'11. (http://www.vision2mobile.com/news/2012/01/wif.aspx). all while wireless data revenues only grew 19.4% YoY in Q4'11 (http://www.att.com/gen/press-room?pid=22304&cdvn=news&newsarticleid=33762)


@wifidave: The real growth (337% and 550% for CM and ATT) is in Wi-Fi as Dean said. Not adding much to rev yet.

@disruptivedean: Absolutely agree more WiFi = less "big device mobile data traffic". Unconvinced it matters if big device = laptop/tablet


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Wednesday, 18 April 2012

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Discussion on 'Offload' and 'Onload'



An interesting discussion on Twitter about Offload and Onload that is reproduced below. Discussions have been edited for clarity:


@StevenJCrowley: Exhibit 1: In last year's VNI, Cisco estimated that in 2014, 23% of US mobile data would be offloaded. It's close to 50% today.


@dmavrakis: it depends how you define offload. Some of this 50% may be simple WiFi access rather than offload.

@StevenJCrowley: From what I see I'd suggest Wi-Fi (or femto) access is offload if the device is 2,3,4G capable but does not access a macrocell


@dmavrakis: So if I buy a SIM-only handset and not even put a SIM in and use WiFi, it's considered offload?


@StevenJCrowley: Seems to me that's not considered offload because without a SIM it's not a 2,3,4G capable device.


@StevenJCrowley: BTW my old AT&T iPhone 3G won't work as a Wi-Fi-only device without an old inactive SIM still in it. Don't know about iPhone 4.


@disruptivedean: I agree with @dmavrakis . Most smartphone WiFi use if "private WiFi", not offload. Some may even be onload (or "OTT WiFi")

@disruptivedean: Easy way to think of it: anything you'd do on an iPod Touch isn't offload WiFi if you do the same thing on iPhone


@disruptivedean: Other example: if I use WiFi to connect my phone to my printer (or corp WLAN) = traffic never destined for 2G/3G


@simonchapman: app downloads (500MB+ for some games), AirPlay etc are much greater than 2/3/4G use. Where is 50% figure from? 


@SteveLightley: the actual presence of decent connectivity encourages higher capacity activity. Is that offload?


@disruptivedean: I refer to extra use as "elastic". See chart on p18 of my Carrier WiFi paper http://www.scribd.com/doc/61910980/Disruptive-Analysis-Carrier-WiFi


@StevenJCrowley: Decent connectivity / more use is offload, as 3G4G w/o Wi-Fi is onload. U.S./FCC/Cisco perspective


@StevenJCrowley: I define "onload" as a 2nd operator capturing traffic via WiFi, eg Vodafone handset + O2 WiFi app


@dmavrakis: Also core network onload via WLAN gateways without local breakout.


@disruptivedean: A thought about "offload". I only "onloaded" to 3G data on my PC in the first place because WiFi wasn't everywhere I needed it. Now it is.


@StevenJCrowley: 50% rough estimate. AT&T said 40% of iPhone traffic on Wi-Fi in early 2010. Its Wi-Fi network data tripled since


@StevenJCrowley: Does not include femto offload. See also "#2" from this blog post bit.ly/wxHvRl


@StevenJCrowley: AT&T recently said macrocell data growth down to 40% a year.


@StevenJCrowley: I like Dean's chart. Offloading important in U.S. from 4G spectrum requirements issue.


@StevenJCrowley: And here spectrum debate is more political than technical, thus broad brushes.


@StevenJCrowley: It's basically, "We need spectrum to stream NetFlix." "No, you're inside and can use Wi-Fi."


@StevenJCrowley: Dean's and Ofcom's analyses are the types of things current FCC should be doing but doesn't


@disruptivedean: The whole spectrum reqts issue likely to take a hit as data growth << expected on many networks. S-curve not exponential


@disruptivedean: To be fair, Cisco is between a rock & a hard place with VNI. Scared people into making sure it didn't come true. Self-denying


@Gabeuk: To everyone discussing offload on my Twitter today, the premise seems wrong... connectivity & access is the start point. Will elaborate l8er


@SteveLightley: I struggle to understand how if it would never have happened how it can be classed as offloaded


@SteveLightley: a VoIP call on an ott or mno app IS offload but Netflix in Starbucks over wifi is not


@SteveLightley: looking forward to gabe's view on access etc when he gets here! 


@TMFAssociates: AT&T seems to have changed its tune over the last year as well http://gigaom.com/broadband/atts-vanishing-spectrum-crisis/


@StevenJCrowley: AT&T will spin it. "If only we had more spectrum we could have sent more data." Etc.


@dmavrakis: Arguably spectrum is the MNO's most valuable possession. Isn't it natural that they want more?


@StevenJCrowley: More spectrum than needed is an idle asset that costs the company money.


@TMFAssociates: But if you corner the market then you can foreclose the possibility of competition


@dmavrakis: I agree conditionally. Twitter is again not the best medium for this discussion

Couple of interesting posts related to the above:



What is your opinion?

Friday, 16 December 2011

Release 12 study item on Continuity of Data Sessions to Local Networks (CSN)

LIPA was defined as part of Release-10 that I have already blogged about. Imagine the situation where a user started accessing local network while camped on the Home eNode B (aka Femtocell) but then moved to the macro network but still wants to continue using the local network. Release 12 defines this feature and is called Continuity of Data Sessions to Local Networks (CSN). This study item was originally part of Release 11 but has now been moved to Rel-12.



From SP-100885:


Justification
Basic functionality for Local IP Access (LIPA) has been specified in Rel-10.
LIPA signifies the capability of a UE to obtain access to a local residential/enterprise IP network (subsequently called a local network) that is connected to one or more H(e)NBs.
The current study item investigates extending LIPA functionality to allow access to the local network when a UE is under coverage of the macro network and provide related mobility support.

LIPA allows a UE to work with devices in the local network – e.g. printers, video cameras, or a local web-server. If the local network offers services that enable exchange of digital content (e.g. UPnP) LIPA allows the UE to discover supporting devices and to be discovered.
Examples for services that become available by LIPA are:
·         The pictures stored in a UE’s digital camera may be uploaded to a local networked storage device or printed out at a local printer.
·         A portable audio player in the UE may fetch new content from a media centre available on the local network.
·         A UE may receive video streams from local surveillance cameras in the home.
·         A local web-server in a company’s intranet may be accessed by the UE.
·         Support of VPN.
LIPA does not require the local network to be connected to the Internet but achieves IP connectivity with the UE through one or more H(e)NBs of the mobile operator.
In Release 10  3GPP has only specified the support of LIPA when the UE accesses the local network via H(e)NB.
On the other hand an operator may, e.g. as a chargeable user service, wish to provide access to the local network also to a UE that is under coverage of the macro network. Access to the local network when a UE is under coverage of the macro network should be enabled in Rel-11.

In Rel-10 it had been required for a UE to be able to maintain IP connectivity to the local network when moving between H(e)NBs within the same local network.
However, access to the local network may be lost as a UE moves out of H(e)NB coverage into the macro network, even if other services (e.g. telephony, data services, SIPTO) survive a handover to the macro network and are continued. This may result in an unsatisfactory user experience.
The current study item will allow continuation of data sessions to the local network when the UE moves between H(e)NB and the macro network.

Therefore, in Rel-11, the 3GPP system requires additional functionality to allow
·         A UE to access the local network from the macro network
·         A UE to maintain continuity of data sessions to the local network when moving between a H(e)NB and the macro network

Objective:              to propose requirements and study feasibility for the following scenarios:
Provide a capability to the mobile operator to allow or restrict
­        Access to an enterprise/residential IP network when a UE is under coverage of the macro network, assuming that the IP address of the local IP network (e.g. residential/enterprise gateway) is available to the UE.
­        Continuity of data session(s) to an enterprise/residential IP network when a UE moves between a H(e)NB in an enterprise/residential environment and the macro network.
The support of Continuity of Data Sessions to Local Networks should be an operator option that may or may not be provided by individual PLMNs.

Service Aspects
The user should be able to decline access to the local network from the macro network. The user should also be able to decline continuity of data sessions to local networks when moving between H(e)NB and the macro network (e.g. in the case when data sessions to local networks is charged differently if accessed from macro coverage or via the H(e)NB).
A difference in QoS may be noticeable by the user when the local network is accessed from the macro network or via the H(e)NB.

Friday, 2 December 2011

Mobile Video is more than 50% of the data traffic

With the popularity of video streaming, its no surprise that video is already more than 50% of the data traffic flowing through the network.

Monday, 14 November 2011

Overcapacity or Capacity Crunch?

A Qualcomm presentation from not too long back:
And another report from the UMTS Forum that is suggesting that the data traffic will grow 67 times from 2010 to 2020, summary embedded below:

Then I came across this interesting discussion on Twitter and a blog post by Dean Bubley in Disruptive Wireless blog.

Overcapacity has been summarised in few words as: Overcooked forecasts + WiFi offload + optimisation + LTE + more spectrum + caps/tiers + well-designed apps

In the blog post Dean's mentioned about the falling data usage that has been reported by O2. I would strongly recommend reading it.

From the network point of view, I think overcapacity is better for the time being as we are prepared for the short term future. In the long run, new devices and innovative apps may suddenly start driving up the data demand again and hopefully by that time we have sorted out some more of the capacity crunch issues.

What do you think?

Friday, 26 August 2011

Two interesting NGMN papers on Backhaul

There are some interesting blog posts on Broadband Traffic Managemenet on Backhaul. Here are few excerpts:

Traditional network management practice says that network element usage level should not exceed 70% of its capacity. If it does - it is time to do something - buy more or manage it better. So, according to a recent Credit Suisse report - it is time to do something for wireless networks, globally. For North America, where current utilization at peak time reaches 80% it is even urgent.

Phil Goldstein (pictured) reports to FierceWireless that - "Wireless networks in the United States are operating at 80 percent of total capacity, the highest of any region in the world, according to a report prepared by investment bank Credit Suisse. The firm argued that wireless carriers likely will need to increase their spending on infrastructure to meet users' growing demands for mobile data .. globally, average peak network utilization rates are at 65 percent, and that peak network utilization levels will reach 70 percent within the next year. .. 23 percent of base stations globally have capacity constraints, or utilization rates of more than 80 to 85 percent in busy hours, up from 20 percent last year .. In the United States, the percentage of base stations with capacity constraints is 38 percent, up from 26 percent in 2010"

And

The Yankee Group provides the following forecast for mobile backhaul:
Average macrocell backhaul requirements were 10 Mbps in 2008 (seven T1s, five E1s). In less than three years, they have more than tripled to 35 Mbps in 2011, and by 2015, Yankee Group predicts they will demand 100 Mbps.
There were 2.4 million macro cell site backhaul connections worldwide in 2010, growing to 3.3 million by [2015?]
Yankee's new research conclude:

"The market for wholesale backhaul services in North America will grow from $2.45 billion in 2010 to $3.9 billion in 2015, with the majority of this growth coming from Ethernet backhaul. Successful backhaul service providers will be those that can demonstrate price/performance and reliability, have software tools in place and can meet the specific needs of the mobile market.

And recently:

A Dell'Oro Group report forecasts that "Mobile Backhaul market revenues are expected to approach $9B by 2015. This updated report tracks two key market segments: Transport, which includes microwave and optical equipment, and Routers and Switches, which includes cell site devices, carrier Ethernet switches, and service provider edge routers .. routers and switches expected to constitute 30% of mobile backhaul market "

Shin Umeda, Vice President of Routers research at Dell’Oro Group said: “Our research has found that operators around the world are concerned with the rate of mobile traffic growth and are transitioning to Internet Protocol (IP) technologies to build a more efficient and scalable backhaul network. Our latest report forecasts the demand for IP-based routers and switches will continue to grow through 2015, almost doubling the market size of the Router and Switches segment in the five-year forecast period”

I have some basic posts on why Backhaul is important, here and here.

NGMN has timely released couple of whitepapers on the Backhaul.

The first one, 'Guidelines for LTE Backhaul Traffic Estimation' document describes how a model is developed to predict traffic levels in transport networks used to backhaul LTE eNodeBs. Backhaul traffic is made up of a number of different components of which user plane data is the largest, comprising around 80-90% of overall traffic, slightly less when IPsec encryption is added. These results reveal that the cell throughput characteristics for data carrying networks are quite different to those of voice carrying networks.

The purpose of second one, 'NGMN Whitepaper LTE Backhauling Deployment Scenarios' is to support operators in their migration from current architectures to new, packet-based backhaul networks. With the introduction of LTE operators need to look at how the backhauling network, the network domain that connects evolved NodeBs (eNBs) to MME and S/P-GW, is capable of adapting to the new requirements, namely the adoption of a packet infrastructure, without disrupting the existing services. This paper introduces some reference architectures, moving from a pure layer 2 topology to a full layer 3 one, discussing some elements to be considered in the design process of a network.

They are both long but interesting read if you like to learn more about Backhaul and the best way in future proofing the network deployments.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Billing based on QoS and QoE

With Spectrum coming at a price the operators are keen to make as much money as possible out of the data packages being provided to the consumers. The operators want to stop users using over the top (OTT) services like Skype thereby losing potential revenue. They also want the users to stop using services that are offered by the operator thereby maximising their revenue.

A valid argument put forward by the operators is that 90% of the bandwidth is used by just 10% of the users. This gives them the reason to look at the packets and restrict the rogue users.

As a result they are now turning to deep packet inspection (DPI) to make sure that the users are not using the services they are being restricted to use. AllOt is one such company offering this service.

The following presentation is from the LTE World Summit:
They also have some interesting Videos on the net that have been embedded below. They give a good idea on the services being offered to the operators.

Smart Pipes
View more videos from alenaor
Finally, a term QoS and QoE always causes confusion. Here is a simple explanation via Dan Warren on twitter:

QoS = call gets established and I can hear what is being said, everything else is QoE

Friday, 3 June 2011

Carrier Aggregation with a difference

Click on picture to enlarge

Another one from the LTE World Summit. This is from a presentation by Ariela Zeira of Interdigital.

What is being proposed is that Carrier Aggregation can use both the licensed as well as unlicensed bands but the signalling should only happen in the licensed band to keep the operator in control.

Note that this is only proposed for Small Cells / Femtocells.

The only concern that I have with this approach is that this may cause interference with the other devices using the same band (especially ISM band). So the WiFi may not work while the LTE device is aggregating this ISM band and the same goes for bluetooth.

Comments welcome!