New tech puts LTE network optimisation into the base station (users already overloading 4G networks)

With the rise of 4G as LTE slowly rolls-out across the globe it’s tempting to think that data optimisation technology will become redundant. No longer will users have to squeeze YouTube cat videos (and it really is video that’s pushing operators hardest now) down feeble 3G connections. Not so, say experts Mobixell.

The firm – which specialises in video optimisation and web acceleration- is launching a solution that moves optimisation (that many operators are already doing via cloud services) into the LTE network equipment itself:

Mobile network traffic management is traditionally performed in the core network. There are, however, advantages to moving data optimisation and caching out to the access network, closer to end user devices. Fewer backhaul resources are required for traffic management and detection of congestion at the cell site is more accurate. Accurate congestion detection is a critical component in ensuring that optimisation resources are applied only to data that contributes to the degradation of network performance.

The firm has just completed field-testing this approach with a ‘leading European mobile operator’ (no, we don’t know who) and – it turns out – the arrival of LTE is actually increasing the need to optimise data in this way the firm’s CTO Yehuda Elmaliach says:

While LTE is faster, it will not eliminate network congestion … LTE is more likely to increase congestion on mobile networks. As mobile subscribers discover how fast they can stream video with LTE, they will want to consume more and more mobile bandwidth.

…a major mobile operator recently reported that the 12% of their subscriber base that has adopted LTE are already using 35% of the network’s bandwidth.

Mobixell are keen to highlight the benefits of their solution, which can target specific areas of congestion by placing their optimisation technologies closest to users at the very ‘edge’ of the network. Whilst few consumers will care too much about the technical detail it could well be this type of enhancement that enables mobile operators to deliver some of the over-promises they’ve been making for 4G of-late. The next challenge will be explaining this intangible benefit to customers.

Perhaps even the dumb-pipe can’t afford to be dumb any more?

By Ben Smith

Ben is an expert on enterprise mobility and wireless data products. He has been a regular contributor to Mobile Industry Review since 2007 and is also editor of Wireless Worker.

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