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Thursday, July 13, 2006

Disproportionate resources.....

Hmmm. You know what I said yesterday about deep packet inspection etc only being useful for the use case of "Limit/throttle any person using an app which consumes disproportionate amounts of network resource" ?

Well, thanks to James over at the Chaotica blog it appears that this use case might be needed pretty soon. Something I've used as a "case study" for a while is at fruition. P2P-over-3G from a smartphone.

Put this app on your shiny new HSDPA Windows-Mobile device (like the numerous upcoming variants of the HTC Hermes, including the "vanilla" non-operator own-brand TyTn) , attach an "unlimited" data plan, sit in a basement with 10 of your friends, and hey presto! An accidental denial-of service attack, and the cell collapses ("breathes") down to the size of a coin, while the backhaul connection gives up too.

So OK, in this eventuality, yes, I'll give in and admit that some form of protection in the network is a necessity. There's a big difference between crass anti-competitive blocking of things you don't like from a commercial standpoint (eg Skype, Google) vs protecting the overall functionality of the infrastructure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There's a world of difference between the Wired/WiFi Internet and Mobile networks. On the face of it 3G mobile looks bad - 1 cell using all possible channels in an operator's licence still has less throughput capacity than 1 802.11G home WiFi gateway. But which would you prefer for an urgent voice call? or if you needed to be further away than the walls of your house?

Operators are grappling with the tradgedy of the commons creeping into mobile. If something has little or no cost ('Unlimited data plan') then it will be overused, to everyone's loss. Operators must implement VoIP/TV/whatever to meet customer expectations whilst ensuring QoS and retaining voice functionality. Tricky.

The Internet never was free. It will be even less so on mobile. You get what you pay for, and the sooner the technocrati stop banging on to the public about how hard-done-by they are with things like mobile data caps in place the better. Everything needs rules, and for the foreseeable future the extremely finite resource of mobile spectrum will need evolving means to ensure you continue to get what you pay for.

Some operators have better networks, more adventurous business plans and can see P2P turning a profit. Hence the gulf in thinking between 3 and T-Mobile/VF re Skype etc. But everyone's bound by the laws of physics and the need to pay the bills to keep cellsites humming.

Mike