IP Traffic Management or DatApocalypse Now!

March 1, 2016, 5:08 p.m.

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There is no end in sight! That’s what mobile broadband operators tell me in the run up to 5G. All new traffic is wireless, a mix of cellular and Wi-Fi, and no one is going back to the wire. The only thing for sure is that mobile broadband gets faster, better, and cheaper. And that is the dog whistle for the never-ending drive for more data traffic.

We’ve all seen the now-clichéd scissor diagram illustrating the hapless operator and their inability to cope, but that only represents the beginning of their woes as they face “The horror, the horror!” of DatApocalypse Now! Endlessly rising data demand, overloaded networks, and declining revenues stand in the way as operators strive for profitability.

Next in line is the second woe, the widespread adoption of encryption and light-touch protocols such as QUIC and UDP that render legacy DPI and traffic management tools nearly worthless. I’m sorry, but it’s just not your grandfather’s TCP/IP anymore, so get used to it.

And just when an operator thinks it’s had enough and can’t take it anymore, the third woe rolls in with the tide, and that is the wholesale business and network transformation brought on by virtualization.  The top-tier operators are racing forward with SDN/NFV and now everyone faces a shakeup in their established business models and processes. 

Have you had enough? Well the last-ditch buildout to handle traffic demand for network densification and 5G is looming.  These developments will only accelerate the traffic growth and exponentially increase the difficulty in managing all these developments. 

So what is an operator to do? One approach, though not recommended, is to just give up and muddle through earning subsistence profits, delivering a bare-bones mobile broadband experience. In essence turning to a passive, low-cost leadership strategy. Or, the operator can take a proactive approach to achieve profit and growth by managing the traffic so that the value-adding services can perform well and delight its customers.

Operators should look to a state-of-the-art traffic management solution. One such solution is Openwave Mobility’s IP Traffic Manager (IPTM).  IPTM effectively reboots DPI with a lean VNF that delivers real-time packet and flow classification for unencrypted and encrypted data streams in a virtualized C.O.T.S. environment. The IPTM plugs seamlessly into Openwave Mobility’s Integra™ platform, and thus brings added capability for real-time monetization and analytics solutions including ad-blocking, parental controls, targeted ads, offers and upsells, QoE monitoring and video optimization services.   For additional insight, be sure to download ABI’s traffic management briefing,  “New Approach to Mobile Traffic Management Needed.”