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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Need For New Ways To Manage Networks To Stop Tsunami Of Data Causing Havoc

With Nokia Siemens Network releasing a blog post called “Wake up Call: Industry collaboration needed to make beyond 4G networks carry 1000 times more traffic by 2020” it was seen as a call to arms to force fear and reality into the major operators as demand for mobile broadband services is set to massively outstrip the providers capabilities. The largest provider AT&T wireless is preparing itself for the barrage of demand, not only at the outer reaches of its network, but at the very heart where most of the demand will be as the world moves into the next generation with an all-IP upcoming service which will come complete with video services.

Coming straight from the middle of the AT&T Labs, Krish Prabhu said “Over the next five years, our traffic volumes tell us that when we launch LTE each one of our 11 regional cores will have a throughput of two to three terabits, and the national core will have a throughput at least 10 times that. … We are very involved in the solution to that problem. We’ve identified a layered approach to get us there even as we support the launch of our LTE network and get LTE to 90 to 95 percent of our end-users. That to me is the biggest challenge.”

This highlights just the magnitude of the problem facing provider as demand rockets to never before seen levels. The drastic rise in demand is mostly due to the transition from simple voice traffic to data; bringing not only an influx of extra transmissions but a requirement to change the way in which it is handled. Data traffic is often unpredictable and harder to anticipate where peaks will occur, which could lead to overflowing of the network. The providers are all working hard to see how apps act on the network and monitor their dataflow in particular as they search for a way to control the possible data rushes that may happen.

Instead of simply raising fear by the issue of the blog post, Nokia Siemens Network began to look at some potential ideas for maximizing every airwave to increase the abilities of the networks to transmit data across them, also going in the direction of looking at cognitive radios and self-optimizing networks, an idea that is at the front of many vendors suggestion as the networks become more complicated.

However the providers intend to deal with the growing situation, one thing is clear, the change is coming and it is coming fast, so they must work together to find a solution before the networks become overloaded with pressure.

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