Posted by: Tom Nolle
3G, 4G, DPI, femtocells, IMS, traffic management
O2 has been deploying DPI for traffic analysis (and possibly management) in its upgraded 7 Mbps upgrade to 3G, and some of the information the company has gained could have a significant impact on 3G/4G planning worldwide.
The company found, not surprisingly, that 5% of users consumed 80% of bandwidth. This skewing of the old 80-20 rule is one of the primary reasons why operators say that some form of traffic management is essential to insure that the broad population gets good service at a fair price. The data also shows that most usage is in the evening and at home, however, which means that femtocells would offload considerable traffic were they widely deployed.
Many operators tell us that while 3G femtocells are possible, the application of IMS and 4G would make it far easier, particularly if self-organizing principles were applied to cell setup. How valuable all this intelligence will be may depend on regulatory trends, though; many countries are seeing considerable public advocacy pressure against traffic management.