Saturday, June 18, 2011

NSN: Android and Blackberry Phones Overload Networks with Signaling

Nokia Siemens Networks'  "Smart Lab" published a new whitepaper analyzing the problem of signaling traffic generated by smartphone in mobile networks. This keep-alive/chatty/heavy signaling problem is a real issue to both mobile operators (sometime even more than bandwidth usage) and to the customers.

The extensive use of signaling overloads network resources (beyond just bandwidth), drains batteries (both sides do not like that), resulting charges for traffic the subscriber is not aware off (see "Metering and Billing Wireless Data for 20M Subscribers is not Trivial" - here) and more. See more - "T-Mobile Netherlands Reduces Data Signaling by 30% with NSN Cell_PCH" (here) and "StarHub Uses Huawei to Reduce Network Signaling by 83%" (here)

See "Understanding Smartphone Behavior in the Network" - here.

NSN says that while total traffic in Western Europe grew by 65% between December 2009 and July 2010, signaling traffic grew by 177% (without signaling optimization).
Nevertheless, while Apple iOS devices (here) are compatible with the 3GPP Fast Dormancy feature, used to solve the problem (and implemented by NSN's Cell_PCH feature), NSN finds that both Google's Android and RIM's Blackberry phones are generating much more signaling than the share of the total traffic, while laptop dongles (generating 60% of traffic) only generate 1% of signaling traffic (see charts) and are not supporting Fast Dormancy correctly.

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