Monday, March 8, 2010

DPI Deployments - Part2: Why Hiding?

Operators are implementing DPI and Traffic Management solutions - it is a fact - as we know that DPI vendors are successfully selling and publishing those anonymous wins (see "part1: the anonymous riddle" - here).

So why operators proudly announce their infrastructure vendor selection (e.g. Verizon Wireless picks Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent for LTE buildout or AT&T selects Alcatel-Lucent as LTE equipment supplier ) and are so shy when it comes to DPI?

Because of a relatively small number of very loud customers and the recent US Net-Neutrality initiative.

The following chart shows how, potentially, DPI may be used - in a varying degree of the problem it imposes to the operators:

In 10 years of existence, most DPI implementations were designed to handle congestion - operators could not supply the demand for bandwidth created by the extensive use of P2P filesharing. Once this was detected by the heavy file-sharers community - it became a "bad PR" to publish the deployment of traffic control - although it did well for the vast majority of subscribers (According to AT&T, the top 5% of their DSL customers use 46% of the total bandwidth).

So while using DPI for security, or regulation is either good or a must, and using DPI for profiling subscriber behavior is a big No-No (companies is this space disappeared – see: NebuAd grilled over hot coals in Congress on privacy) - the most common use of DPI should be good, and is even supported by the current Net Neutrality guidelines (under "reasonable network management") - but operators are still afraid of telling their customers they do it.

But we do have some brave operators.

To be continued.

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