Friday, November 30, 2012

CEM Deployments [207]: BT Selects ALU to Track Home Device Performance

Alcatel-Lucent announced that it was selected by BT ".. to strengthen its customer service capabilities by using a new set of data collection and management solutions in its broadband and IPTV support departments .. Under a four-year contract extension with Alcatel-Lucent, BT will upgrade its suite of Motive Customer Experience Solutions with latest-version software to support new features, and will deploy the new Motive Data Collection Manager (DCM), which is used to track the performance of the rapidly proliferating number of communication devices in peoples’ homes. The data is then made available to BT’s customer service teams – safely and securely – so they can proactively manage how the network and devices perform, ensuring a better overall experience for BT customers".

ALU's Motive Data Collection Manager

See "Motive Customer Experience Solutions from Alcatel-Lucent selected by BT" - here.

[F&S]: CEM Market to Reach $2.5B by 2018 ($865M in 2011)

A new analysis by Olga Yashkova (pictured), Program Manager, Frost and Sullivan concludes that "The need to assess the quality of communication services from an end-user's perspective has presented the global customer experience (CE) monitoring market with immense growth opportunities. To understand the impact of broadband data proliferation and consumer desire to do everything on-the-go with network efficiency and quality of experience (QoE), service providers world-wide are turning to CE monitoring systems .. the market earned revenues of over $865.1 million in 2011 and estimates this to reach $2.54 billion in 2018".

"The link between customer churn and QoE has been clearly established, which is why CE monitoring solutions have become a necessity ..With new high-capacity radio frequency access technologies gaining ground, such as long-term evolution (LTE) and LTE advanced, there is a real need to understand customer experience with networks and services .. Vendors need to build cost-effective systems with high performance and scalability .. Advanced solutions that can collect relevant information and provide applicable metrics will help boost adoption".

See "Frost & Sullivan: Network Operators Count on Customer Experience Monitoring Systems to Solidify Consumer Loyalty Globally" - here.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NI Deployments [206]: Cell C [South Africa] Uses CommProve to Measure KPIs

CommProve announced that Cell C is deploying their solution to "..measure network performance (KPIs) and to control customer satisfaction. The CommProve solution will be deployed across Cell C’s network by the end of the first half of next year .. As part of the agreement, CommProve will deploy its real-time data acquisition and mediation platform, CommProve Netledge as well as CommProve Insight, its software application suite .. The CommProve solution will enable Cell C to trouble shoot specific areas across both the radio access and the core layer of its network (2G-3G), providing protocol analysis as well as KPI reporting"

CommProve Protocol Analyzer

See "CommProve expands presence in Africa with Cell C win" - here.

RADCOM and HP Offer Policy-based, Cell Congestion Optimization Solution

RADCOM continues to expand its partnerships with policy management vendors with its RAN congestion probes. A month after announcing a joint solution with Amdocs (here), the service assurance provider announced a similar partnership with HP.

"RADCOM’s Omni-Q Service Assurance platform and HP Subscriber, Network and Application Policy (HP SNAP), in conjunction with Policy Enforcement and Video Optimization platforms (see below), monitor cell and Radio Access Network (RAN) congestion ..  available for demonstration in HP’s Solution Center, RADCOM’s probe-based Omni‑Q provides real-time QoE monitoring and cell congestion detection information to HP SNAP. HP SNAP orchestrates congestion resolution by managing Video Optimization and Policy Enforcement elements, using standard 3GPP interfaces, thus, reducing the bandwidth consumption for applications being used by subscribers in the congested cells".

HP SNAP is integrated with a number of policy enforcement ("HP SNAP <-> Sandvine/Cisco/Procera")- here) and video optimization  ("Mobixell Explains its Joint Solution with HP" - here) vendors.  

See "RADCOM Reveals Cell Congestion & RAN-Aware Video Optimization Solution" - here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

[BI Intelligence]: Mobile Video is Set to Explode, Unless ..

A new report from BI Intelligence finds that mobile video is set to explode! - unless carriers will not like it - i.e. won’t be able to monetize video traffic in a friendly way to the subscribers, in view of the infrastructure investments needed.

"Mobile video has historically been held back by a single factor: bandwidth. But 4G LTE is changing that, and mobile video is already more popular on the faster wireless networks"

The main reasons for the expected explosion are: "Significant mobile device growth to come, Increase in 4G LTE accessibility and Mobile video viewing appears to be additive .. The big question is how carriers will respond to the resulting data demands. If carriers limit data with tiered plans and high prices, mobile video's potential could be stifled".

According to BI Intelligence "Mobile video already accounted for more than 50% of global mobile data traffic for the first time in 2011" although according to Ericsson the numbers are still lower (25-40% - here).
See "BII REPORT: Why Mobile Video Is Set To Explode" - here.

[Analysys Mason]: PSTN & Mobile Voice - 50% of Telecoms 2011 Revenues

Analysys Mason's Telecoms Market share report, by Larry Goldman (pictured), Partner, Head of Telecoms Software and Dean Ramsay, Analyst, for 2011 finds that:
  • PSTN and mobile voice services’ combined share of total revenue (see chart below) is in decline, but they still accounted for 50% of telecoms service revenue worldwide, down from 51% in 2010
  • Except for PSTN, all service types registered year-on-year revenue growth in 2011
  • The number of subscribers has increased by about 15% for all services except PSTN, which declined by 4%
  • Mobile voice revenue is still growing, at 4.8% in 2011 year-on-year, but the growth rate continues to decline. By comparison, the growth rate for 2010 was 5.2%


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leading CTOs: SDN has Great Potential; Needs Vision and Standardization

While Software­‐defined networks (SDN) is still a term used in many ways (eg. - "Ericsson CTO: Let's Redefine SDN" here), and maybe because of that, CTOs of major equipment vendors and operators feel it needs a  "strategic vision" and standardization.

Members of the ITU CTO Meeting forum (Cisco Systems, Ericsson, Etisalat, Fujitsu, Huawei, KDDI, NEC, NSN, NTT, Orange FT, RIM, Telecom Italia, Telkom SA, Verizon and the ITU - see names here) identified  SDN as a ".. potential means to allow carrier networks to develop and deploy new services with great speed and flexibility. SDN was recognized as an innovative and perhaps also disruptive technology. SDN enables programmable interfaces to a network’s control and data planes, including capabilities such as network resource virtualization and network resource orchestration that can potentially optimize the use of network resources".
"CTOs noted ITU-T’s current work and standards on network virtualization frameworks and architectures, and requested that ITU-T continue exploring the applications of SDN in access networks, mobile backhaul, broadband network gateways, metro networks, and optical transport networks".
See "CTO MEETING COMMUNIQUÉ (Nov 18, 2012)" - here.

[ISOC 2012 Survey]: Which Factors will Increase Internet Usage?

The Internet Society (ISOC) published the results of its 2012 survey, based on responses from 10,000 people from 20 countries asked about "..their attitudes towards the Internet and behaviors online".

Responses to questions on Internet usage, show that "Connection speed (73 percent) and reliability (69 percent) ranked slightly above more affordable monthly fees (68 percent) among factors that would increase usage. Other factors included more content in their local language (50 percent) and more online availability of government and/or community services (49 percent)".

The chart below shows the percentage of respondents answering with "Most likely" for the speed, reliability and cost factors that will "encourage you to use the Internet more often" for US, Germany, Russia, India and Globally:

See "Global Internet User Survey 2012" - here and the full results (here). 

Monday, November 26, 2012

[Informa]: "PCC is at the heart of NG mobile data services BUT .. "

A new report by Peter Dykes (pictured), Senior Analyst, Informa Telecoms & Media concludes that "Policy control in combination with online charging is at the heart of next-generation mobile data services and, although the possibilities are well understood, there are still substantial challenges to be met. The enabling technologies are now well-developed, however, implementation and standards issues need to be resolved before all of the revenue-generating opportunities can be fully exploited".

Related post - "BroadForward CEO: "We have a very ambitious 5 year growth plan" - here.

See "Policy-driven online charging: The key to monetizing mobile data?" - here.

Optimization Deployments [205]: Saima Telecom [Kyrgyzstan] Adds Bandwidth with DiViNetworks

DiViNetworks announced that Saima Telecom ".. has selected DiViNetworks as an additional IP capacity provider. The DiViCloud service enables Saima to satisfy the growing demand for bandwidth in Kyrgyzstan ..Saima’s network is served by the DiViCloud PoP in Moscow’s Internet Exchange".

Ruslan Burangulov (pictured), CEO, Saima Telecom said: "The price pressure combined with the growing demand for bandwidth requires us to find non-traditional ways to gain affordable capacity"

See "Saima Telecom Selects DiViNetworks for International Capacity to Kyrgyzstan" - here.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

The EU Views on Net Neutrality for the Coming ITU Meeting

While ISPs in EU countries are using traffic shaping and DPI (see "BEREC: 'traffic management and differentiation practices are capable of being used for questionable purposes'" - here and "BEREC: Blocking/throttling P2P and VoIP with DPI is Frequently Done in Europe" - here) the European Parliament thinks that the world should be a better place, and expects the UN to lead that.

The Parliament published a decision related to the coming ITU meeting in Dubai from 3 to 14 December 2012, in view of its "resolution on the open internet and net neutrality in Europe" [see "EU is Getting Closer to Net Neutrality" - here].

Among other things:
  • Calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that any changes to the International Telecommunication Regulations are compatible with the EU acquis and further the Union’s objective of, and interest in, advancing the internet as a truly public place ..
  • Believes that the ITU, or any other single, centralised international institution, is not the appropriate body to assert regulatory authority over either internet governance or internet traffic flows ..
  • Is concerned that the ITU reform proposals include the establishment of new profit mechanisms that could seriously threaten the open and competitive nature of the internet, driving up prices, hampering innovation and limiting access; recalls that the internet should remain free and open; See "European ISPs Suggest New Internet Business Models" - here and  "ITU to Review QoS and Traffic Management vs. Net Neutrality" - here
See "European Parliament resolution on the forthcoming World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT-2012) of the International Telecommunications Union, and the possible expansion of the scope of international telecommunication regulations" - here.

Cisco Believes in CDN federations

A blog post by Marc Latouche (pictured), Manager, Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) Service Provider discusses how ISPs can expand their CDN solutions - "In addition to supporting their own operations, these CDNs provide a viable commercial alternative — or complement — to pure-play CDNs (such as Level 3 and Limelight), and enable SPs to earn extra income from the content flowing over their network .. The Cisco® Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) believes that CDN federations* will provide an even farther-reaching solution".

"Cisco IBSG has embarked on a three-phase exploration into the feasibility of CDN federations. Several innovative SPs are working with Cisco in a pilot program to validate key concepts required to make CDN federations a reality .. The work in Phase One and Two confirmed that SPs have an opportunity to deliver rich content services to media and broadcasters with improved SLA and guaranteed delivery. An essential ingredient to CDN federation success will be open, standardized solutions. The results of the CDN federation pilot are being leveraged to accelerate standardization of CDN interconnection and to create an industry roadmap".

"Phase Three of the Cisco IBSG CDN federation pilot is scheduled to run from January 2013 to May 2013. It will focus on more advanced functions, such as flexible CDN selection based on business rules, in-depth monitoring and analysis, and scaling. In Phase Three, the team will seek to involve a broader set of ecosystem players, including pure-play CDNs and content providers"

See "Cisco Pilot Proves the Value of CDN Federations" - here.

*Operators connecting their own CDNs

Saturday, November 24, 2012

[Analysys Mason]: How to Calculate the Cost of Data?

A paper by Amrish Kacker (pictured), partner, Analysys Mason, discusses the costing of data: "Costing of data is not an end in itself, but is the basis to understanding the key drivers that affect data costs and the cost boundaries within which the business can operate".

"A structured approach to costing can provide the information required for sound decision making, and needs to address the following key areas: Cost definition: what is the appropriate cost base? ..Cost recognition: what is the appropriate depreciation methodology in recognising the asset lifetimes and utilisation? .. Cost allocation: what is the appropriate basis for allocation of common costs across services?"

See "Mobile data services: a structured approach to data costing is the first step to profitability" - here.

How to Build DPI Products? (Part XX - Progressive Download Video Rate Traffic Shaping)

Research by Ran Dubin (pictured), Ofer Hadar from Communication Systems Engineering, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva, Israel; Rony Ohayon School of Engineering, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat-Gan, Israel; Noam Amram LiveU.


Progressive download (PD) is a video streaming method over HTTP. Although PD is the most common streaming method over the internet it is highly inefficient from the internet service provider (ISP) point of view. ISPs need to compete with increasing competition, declining profitability and increasing client demand for network bandwidth (BW). ISPs, therefore, depend on the ability to optimize their network traffic, where video streaming has become the number one task.

As ISPs depend on deep packet inspection (DPI) systems in order to optimized and control their network, client/server shaping solution cannot be leaned on. Furthermore, such solutions are traditionally created by different buffer-based systems such as Leaky Bucket., but it is problematic to implement them on buffer -limited systems. Therefore, a highly efficient video traffic solution is needed.

This paper presents a buffer -free video streaming traffic shaping solution, based on TCP window size and  scale modification which depends on the CBR video encoding rate and network conditions. Our solution  can save up to 60% percent of bandwidth per connection under certain viewing habits conditions .Our simulation, which consisted of 3600 users over the time span of one hour, managed to achieve better network utilization by up to 25%.

See "Progressive Download Video Rate Traffic Shaping Using TCP Window and Deep Packet Inspection" - here.

Friday, November 23, 2012

[Yankee Group]: "Aito Technologies and Neuralitic will play key roles in CEM"

A new research by Declan Lonrrgan (pictured), VP, Yankee Group, concludes that "While today’s U.S.$1 trillion mobile broadband marketplace presents many challenges to operators, it also provides many opportunities. Operators that embrace OTT, adopt new business models for network data, cloud and video, and leverage their unique subscriber relationships to deliver optimal customer experiences will be best positioned to not only cope with but capitalize in this volatile segment".

"Operators will look beyond connectivity for sustainable differentiation. During the next two to three years, we expect to see more bundling of OTT communications apps with LTE subscriptions as well as operators increasing their portfolio of cloud-based solutions, including offering bundled content-storage and backup with premium LTE services

"Vendors will step up in the customer experience realm. New players including Aito Technologies and Neuralitic will play key roles, as will traditional stalwarts such as Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN), Alcatel-Lucent and Huawei".

See "What's Next for Mobile Broadband" - here.

CDN Deployments [204]: Orange Selects Akamai as its CDN Solution

Orange and Akamai Technologies announced that ".. Orange has agreed to use technology from Akamai's Aura Network Solutions to provide CDN services to business customers .. The partnership between the two companies is intended to provide enterprises with access to Akamai's optimization and acceleration technologies through Orange Business Services. By combining Akamai's expertise in improving Internet performance for end users across multiple devices with Orange's network, both companies look to address the growing market demand for content delivery".

See "Orange and Akamai form Content Delivery Strategic Alliance" - here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Ericsson: Online Video 25-40% of Mobile Traffic Volume; Tethering - 2-4%

Ericsson published its Mobility Report for Q3, 2012 with lots on interesting data on mobile traffic, devices, coverage speed and penetration. See "Ericsson Mobility Report Shows Rapid Smartphone Uptake and Doubling of Mobile Data Traffic" - here and here and the report itself (here).

Among the more surprising finding is the relatively low percentage of on-line video - 25-40%, even for tablets. While 20% were classified as "others" and some other classes (like social) may also carry video this is still lower share compared to other reports (which usually shows 40% as the lowest value).

Tethering also shows small percentage (2-3%) - so either the surcharges prevent users for using it, it is too complicated to use or just not useful ...

Some highlight related traffic management:
  • Traffic Mix - the chart below ".. shows how the most widely used online applications contribute to overall mobile data traffic volumes, and how these contributions vary by the type of connected device. This is based on average values from the measured networks. Actual values in individual networks can differ a lot. Regardless of device type, online video is the biggest contributor to traffic volumes (25-40 percent), followed by web browsing (15-20 percent). Traffic drawn from mobile PCs is notable for having significantly higher file sharing activity than other devices. Online audio, email, software downloads and social networking are also important contributors to data traffic on tablets and smartphone devices. The file sharing part under smartphones comes from tethering traffic
  • Tethering - The next chart "shows the penetration of tethering from mobile phones with different operating systems. Tethering can easily be set up on the majority of Android and iPhone devices currently available on the market. This is one reason why these devices are the ones most commonly used for tethering. There is a large variation between networks created by different operator policies towards tethering. On the average network, around 3.5 percent of Android smartphones are used to tether other devices and enable internet access. The tethering penetration is around six percent in the network with the highest amount of Android tethering users. One trend is that operators increasingly charge consumers for tethering devices. However, some regulator and consumer interest groups have opposed introducing tethering fees to data plans.
    Mobile data tethering traffic was identified correlating the IMEI TAC (terminal identifier) of the terminal accessing the HSPA network and the user agent HTTP header field containing information about the end user terminal and application. Identifying tethering with the same terminal model is thus not possible. Measurements were performed during one week. The percentage of tethering users would be higher if measured over a month. Only subscriptions with data traffic are considered, voice-only subscriptions are excluded

    [the chart shows the largest value measured in one of the networks, Average value of the measured networks’ values (black line) and the smallest value measured in one of the networks]

DPI Deployments [203]: Millicom (9 affiliates) Deployed Allot

Allot Communications announced ".. the completion of a deployment project at 9 affiliates of Millicom International Cellular S.A (Tigo) .. Allot was selected by Millicom due to its integrated Allot Service Gateway solution, enabling a multitude of value-added services, deliverable in flexible packages within a single chassis".

Millicom provides "affordable, widely accessible and readily available prepaid cellular telephony services to more than 30 million customers in 13 emerging markets in Latin America and Africa:

See "Allot Completes Deployment for Millicom (Brand Name: Tigo)" - here.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

NI Deployments [202]: Algar Telecom [Brazil] Uses RADCOM to Improve QoE

RADCOM announced it has been selected to "..monitor the complete mobile network of Brazilian operator, Algar Telecom (previously CTBC). RADCOM’s Omni-Q Service Assurance Solution will monitor voice and data services of Algar’s traffic to improve network Quality of Service & Experience. In the initial implementation of RADCOM’s system, Algar Telecom determined that RADCOM could help provide better Quality of Experience to their customers, by identifying potential problems on the Algar network".

At the end of September 2012, Algar had 684,000 revenue generating mobile subscribers, of which 82,000 had mobile broadband access.

See "RADCOM Selected to Monitor Algar Telecom’s Mobile Network" - here.

Sandvine Expands Analytics with Routing Efficiency Dashboard

Sandvine announced the ".. launch of its Routing Efficiency Dashboard, the latest dashboard in its Network Analytics library. Sandvine’s Routing Efficiency Dashboard provides a detailed look into the costly routing and transit links and interconnect relationships that affect operational expenses on fixed and mobile networks".

"The Routing Efficiency Dashboard highlights high-demand traffic using high-cost transit links, allowing communication service providers to reroute traffic toward more appropriate routes such as private peering. Identifying the most efficient links for high-demand traffic creates an immediate cost savings and helps ensure a consistent quality of experience for subscribers. Operators can also measure the quality of links based on their ability to carry rich media and consequently make routing decisions based on quality".

  • The Routing Efficiency Dashboard provides operators with interactive visibility into interconnect relationships, including: Autonomous System (AS) Name & Number; Peak Rate Upstream and Downstream, Video QoE and 2nd Hop and Origin AS drill-down.
  • The Application Analysis tab (see chart) reveals the impact of application traffic across Autonomous Systems (AS): Downstream vs. Upstream Traffic; Hop Level: 1st Hop, 2nd Hop, Origin; Rate at Peak; Daily Average and Video QoE.

  •  Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) information including: Trend Charts and Pie Charts

Don Bowman (pictured), CTO, Sandvine, said: “Large CSPs have many complex peering and transit arrangements and their Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) designates the best available routes for subscriber traffic. Linking route-knowledge to application, cost and quality is an essential part of optimizing network operations, reducing costs and improving subscriber quality of experience

See "Sandvine Launches Routing Efficiency Dashboard" - here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

[Volubill]: Poll on On-Demand Mobile Services

A recent poll conducted by Volubill finds that ".. approximately 80 percent of mobile industry professionals consider on-demand mobile services as an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ advancement in sophisticated mobile policy. Driving this industry trend are advancements in policy control, real-time charging and efficient bandwidth management abilities"

See "Volubill Survey Results Indicate On-Demand Services as the Next Wave in Mobile Policy Control" - here.

Saguna's Investor: ADVA Optical Networking ($1M, 10%)

Earlier this month I reported on Saguna Networks' $3M funding round (here), led by a "German communications equipment supplier". The mystery is solved now as ADVA Optical Networking announced ".. it has made a strategic investment inSaguna Networks and its Content Optimization Delivery Systems (CODS) technology .. With this investment, on a fully diluted basis, ADVA Optical Networking acquired a 10% stake in Saguna Networks".
Brian Protiva (pictured), CEO, ADVA Optical Networking said: “.. Based on the strong working relationship we’ve developed with Saguna Networks, our USD 1 million investment clearly highlights our belief in its technology and in our shared vision for mobile networks. People want mobile content wherever they are and whenever they need it. To achieve this, cell site caching and mobile optimization are critical. This not only guarantees a greater user experience but also enables mobile operators to harness their existing infrastructures and drive profitability. That’s why we’re combining our technologies to build a totally unique solution”.

See also "Is Cache King in Mobile Networks?" - here.

See "ADVA Optical Networking Makes Strategic Investment in Saguna Networks" - here.

Cisco: Meraki Offers Land Acceleration, Security and Application Visibility and control

During Cisco's conference call on the recent Meraki acquisition [$1.2B, here], the following answer was given by Robert Soderbery (pictured), SVP and GM, Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco:

[question is ".. about the kinds of the outside of security.. other things that they’re doing in layer 4-7 that are interesting and innovated for that midmarket sort of customers"].
"So from L[ayer] four to seven perspective today Meraki offers land acceleration, they offer security and they offer application visibility and control. Increasingly clients are seeing that they need more control over their applications to the granular level in important force policies in areas like BYOD and enforce them with optimization whether to be on the wireless links or the RAN links. Underpinning Meraki’s architecture is a deep packet capability on L[ayer] four to seven allowing them to implement these services on top of their architecture. Additionally, we believe the Meraki platform is a very extensible platform and well architected platform and will be able to continue to offer new services and capabilities, again all focused at this midmarket opportunity".
See also - "DPI/QoS Announcements: Meraki's Traffic Shaper" - here
See "Cisco Systems' Management Discusses Intent to Acquire Meraki Conference (Transcript)", by SeekingAlpha, here.

Monday, November 19, 2012

UK: Usability Limits Wi-Fi Offloading, Although Operators have 3,516,000 Hot Spots

The recent Ofcom infrastructure report (here) provides some interesting information on Wi-Fi usage by fixed and mobile operators:

"Another way to manage the growing demand for mobile data is to offload the data onto a fixed network. Many mobile devices are also Wi-Fi enabled and can connect to fixed networks using Wi-Fi hotspots. Mobile data use in these devices can be offloaded onto a residential Wi-Fi network or onto public Wi-Fi hot spots".

"For this report, we gathered data from the main fixed and mobile operators, who manage around 16,000 public Wi-Fi hot spots in the UK (excluding BT Fon hotspots). BT claims to have 3.5 million hotspots [here] throughout UK and Ireland (including their Fon hotspots). There are public Wi-Fi hotspots provided by other companies, who are not fixed or mobile operators. These have not been included in our analysis" [See also "London 2012 - 500,000 spectators, 500,000 Wi-Fi HotSpots" - here].

"The data we gathered from our sample of operators on the use of public Wi-Fi hotspots shows that the volume of data through public Wi-Fi is just 3.8% of that going via mobile masts, even though hotspots are available in many areas of high footfall. A possible reason why they are not used more widely is the complexity involved in authenticating to Wi-Fi access points (i.e. the need to log in and the need to reregister with new hotspots when on the move). Lack of interoperability between different operators may also be a contributory factor. However, the majority of smart phone users do use Wi-Fi at home suggesting that customers are willing to use Wi-Fi and are aware of its benefits, which leads us to believe that there is an untapped demand for Wi-Fi hotspots".

Geographical distribution of Wi-Fi hotspots (hotspots per 1000 premises) source: Ofcom

Argon Blaster - Flow Simulation at 10 Gbps

Argon Design announced the launch of ".. Argon Blaster, the industry’s first flow simulation solution for generating realistic, Internet scale traffic loads and applications to test networking and security equipment. Blaster delivers a line-rate, timing-accurate, flow-simulation application on an affordable PCIe acceleration card for use in standard x86 platforms ..Blaster pricing starts at $9,999, including 12-month warranty and customer support"

"Blaster is a simple-to-use application for custom flow and packet generation that runs on standard Linux server platforms accelerated by Netronome's flow processors [see "Netronome Launches a 200 Gbps Flow Processor" - here]. Combining a Netronome Flow Engine PCIe acceleration card with an intelligent software application from Argon Design, Blaster is capable of saturating a 10 Gbps link with application traffic with accurate, consistent, per-flow rate control for up to a million unique flows".
See "Argon Blaster Delivers Industry’s First Flow Simulator and Traffic Generator" - here.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

[Ofcom] UK Traffic Management; P2P Might be Reduced by 99%

In its 2012 update, Ofcom, the UK regulator reports also on the status of traffic management in the UK. Ofcom says  [see also "UK: Broadband ISPs (except Sky) Still Limit P2P; Some Prioritize VoIP!" - here]:
  • We looked at the traffic management polices used by fixed and mobile operators and found that there is often significant variation in fixed ISPs’ and mobile operators’ traffic management practices. While most apply traffic management in some form, others do not and use the fact that they have no traffic management as a part of their promotional message (e.g. advertising their service as ‘truly unlimited’ in terms of both data use and throttling of certain services). 
  • Most commonly, ISPs tend to apply traffic management to P2P services such as BitTorrent. P2P traffic is most likely to have restrictions placed on it because of the way it works: the nature of P2P software is such that it increases data usage along a network to fill whatever capacity is available. That, and the fact that P2P downloads are not typically as time-dependent as other types of application mean that many ISPs and mobile operators find that controlling P2P traffic is an approach to keep down network infrastructure costs
  • The impact of traffic management on users of P2P services can be significant – in some cases speeds of P2P traffic can be reduced to a fraction of the speed of other traffic on the network. We asked operators to estimate the impact of traffic management restrictions. Although most told us that such calculations were too difficult to make, others told us that the impact could be significant, e.g. one fixed ISP said the estimated impact of its traffic management policies was to reduce P2P traffic to 1% of what it would otherwise be at peak times
  • P2P is not the only type of traffic which is subject to traffic management. For example, O2 restricts the speed of video traffic on its lowest priced broadband package to 0.8Mbit/s, and offers higher-priced broadband packages that do not use traffic management for video traffic.
  • In some cases, particular types of traffic are given greater priority and consumers who particularly value a type of service can choose packages that prioritise such traffic. For instance, Plusnet offers a premium broadband service for an additional £5 a month which gives priority to gaming traffic and traffic for virtual private networks (VPN).
See more - "Infrastructure Report - 2012 Update" - here

[TorrentFreak]: How will AT&T, Verizon and TWC Handle Piracy?

Ernesto, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, TorrentFreak reports how US ISPs will handle copyright infringements, following the voluntary MOU to stop piracy (see "US Anti-Piracy Delayed; ISPs will not Terminate Accounts" - here):
  • AT&T - "From leaked AT&T training documents we learned that the company will block users’ access to popular websites until they complete a copyright education course. However, none of the participating Internet providers have publicly commented on the measures they plan to take, until now
    Source - TorrentFreak- here

  • Verizon - Link Hoewing (pictured), VP Internet and Technology Issues, Verizon, said his company will employ a three stage process. The first two alerts will result in a simple notification email informing the users that their connection has been flagged for copyright infringements. After the second warning comes the acknowledgment phase in which a popup is delivered users. Once received subscribers are required to read and confirm, a process designed to ensure that they are aware of the unauthorized sharing that’s taking place via their account.If the infringements continue punishments become a reality on the fifth and the sixth alerts. Hoewing said that these repeated infringers will have their Internet connections throttled resulting in significantly slower download speeds. The throttling is temporary and will be lifted after two or three days.
  • TWC Fernando Laguarda (pictured), VP External Affairs, Time Warner Cable said "his company will take a slightly different approach. The notification and acknowledgment phases are fairly similar, but instead of reducing connection speeds they will restrict users’ Internet browsing by directing them to a landing page".

See "Verizon Will Reduce Speeds of Repeated BitTorrent Pirates" - here.