Mobile broadband has witnessed incredible growth in emerging markets. Though growth and usage patterns have seen huge variability, traffic volumes have been registering exponential growth- mainly because of the rising deployment of 3G networks, the accelerated adoption of smartphones, the influx of application stores and the increasing use of bandwidth-intensive applications, such as video streaming.
In cases where multiple subscribers attempt to connect to the same telecom network at the same time, the network faces tremendous pressure. In such cases, the network can trip and cause internet outage, disconnection, etc. In order to prevent such a situation, internet service providers employ a broadband traffic management system to limit the maximum download and upload speeds.
What is intelligent broadband traffic management
Intelligent broadband traffic management ensures that all broadband subscribers connected to the same local exchange have an equal share of bandwidth. This arrangement provides a unique end-to-end quality of service (QoS) differentiation with content adaptation, caching and distributed delivery.
Broadband traffic management is employed when broadband providers adjust the download or upload speeds for certain tasks at peak times, to make sure that everyone using the network has a stable connection. In practice, every telecom provider has explicitly laid down a Broadband Traffic Management Policy, available for public disposal, to state it’s method of handling such critical cases beforehand.
- When traffic and content management blend together into the network, a more valuable mobile broadband experience is bound to be created while using up the minimum network capacity.
- It uses an integrated approach in traffic management, exercising control over network policy, optimization and delivery of content.
- Intelligent broadband traffic management promotes a fair and balanced usage of network resources.
- It ensures that operators are able to build customer loyalty by differentiating their offerings, as per the subscribers’ needs. In turn, this enables the operators to better map out the revenue potential of their existing customer base by offering tailored packages and services to each of them.
- When operators control delivery down to the device, they are capable of offering a unique and valuable service to the content rights holders. Intelligent broadband traffic management prompts in providing the best possible customer experience.
Traffic prioritization in broadband traffic management
Traffic prioritization assists in prioritizing the different types of broadband traffic directed towards the subscriber.It is used to create the best possible service when a large chunk of subscribers are trying to do more online than the given network can physically support at the time.
However even in prioritization, the service subscribed to remains unlimited and there’s no limitation put on line speed, usage or downloads and has no downside to the practice of prioritization.By prioritizing some of the time sensitive traffic, the operators are providing the best possible service and experience, particularly in a relatively slow broadband speed.
How is broadband traffic management achieved?
In practice, broadband traffic management is achieved by limiting a user’s maximum download and upload speeds during peak hours to distribute the bandwidth evenly and provide online access to all. There are various services that fall under this technique to serve the network better:
- Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF): The PCEF process combines the power of deep packed inspection (DPI), policy enforcement and charging function engines to inspect, adapt and enforce traffic management policies. The use of DPI makes it possible to find, identify, classify, reroute or block packets with specific data. It allocates the available resources to streamline traffic flow and achieve advanced traffic shaping and efficient bandwidth management. The PCEF optimization component helps network equipment and software vendors to enhance their strength of serviceswith protocol management capabilities.
- Traffic Detection Function: These are used to enable operators to optimize the delivery and performance of applications and services, personalize the user experience by providing tiered service plans. This even allows subscribers to manage their own usage and monetize network utilization, charging and controlling the usage, adjusting service availability and the cost. The Traffic Detection function is an important element in the network due to the increasing complexities in managing data services, the growing demand for personalization and the need for service differentiation.
- Traffic Steering: This element enables operators to accelerate service creation and deployment by intelligently routing traffic to the value-added services, that helps improve efficiency and scale the network services more effectively. Traffic steering is context-aware at both user and application level.By steering only the relevant traffic to each service in the chain, it achieves operational efficiencies, optimization and monetize the operator’s network.
Owing to the complexity and growing load on the network, operators resort to such unbiased measures, especially when it comes to real-time traffic management. The baseline is that such systems don’t stop or deliberately block certain applications; instead they make sure that the most important, time-sensitive activities get the highest priority.