Industry Blog

These 5 mobile traffic trends will impact your network in 2017

It is February. That can only mean one thing in telecoms! It is Mobile World Congress month. Look beyond the maddening crowds, the glitzy and flashy stands and there’s a mind-boggling array of different technologies.  If you attended MWC 2016, you will probably be asking yourself: “Has anything really changed in the last 12 months?”

And then of course the follow up question… “So what?

Ask most operators what’s changed and their reply is simple. Mobile data. It is growing at a phenomenal rate. Some would say that it is growing too fast. There’s a cocktail of diverse data travelling across mobile networks globally and operators are struggling to stay on top of it.

To help operators understand the true impact of these changes, our subject matter experts identified the top 5 trends affecting mobile networks. This has been released in an exclusive industry report: ‘5 Traffic Management Trends’.  Our report is for operators to effectively manage and monetize traffic streams in the face of multiple market and technology trends.

The e-book gives information that marketing, technology and business executives need to quickly understand the key traffic management trends and also includes comments from leading analysts at Strategy Analytics and ABI Research.

Here’s a sneak-peak into the 5 trends:

1. Why DPI is a Dead Piece of Investment

WhatsApp launched video calling. YouTube started 4K live streaming TV. Pokémon Go went viral. These were just some of the developments that took place in 2016. So, there’s one sure-fire certainty. OTTs will launch even more services in 2017. To deliver all of this, operators have the unenviable task of balancing the huge bursty traffic loads on their network capacity while managing subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE). Poor QoE leads to churn. So, what can operators do?

Conventional static Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) won’t cut the mustard. It needs to evolve. It needs to be agile and virtualized.  As networks migrate to the cloud, this becomes critical. Traditional DPIs do not migrate easily to a Cloud / Network Function Virtualization (NFV) environment. Far from reaching the clouds, static DPIs are grounding networks.

This chapter includes critical use cases and reveals how operators can meet today’s – and tomorrow’s – fast changing mix of mobile data, apps and encryption.

2. The phenomenal growth of encryption

Since 2009, there has been a significant push to encrypt all web traffic. Maybe it’s the Edward Snowden effect. Network providers used to be able to inspect, enhance and boost all data on their networks. Now they find themselves handicapped. Encryption protocols such as HTTPS and QUIC create secure ‘dark’ access for users. However service providers face significant new issues when it comes to managing the video streams in these ‘dark’ tunnels.

In some parts of the world, 60% of traffic on mobile network is encrypted and it will reach 80% by the end of 2017.  Why? OTTs such as Apple, Google, Facebook and others are introducing tighter encryption protocols.

This chapter will prepare operators to handle current and impending encryption protocols.  Learn what proactive steps operators can take to see in the dark.

3. Taming the growing dominance of QUIC

In 2015, Google began utilizing their experimental protocol for reduced connection and transport latency called Quick UDP Internet Connection (QUIC). As YouTube’s popularity has grown, so have the levels of QUIC on mobile networks. Unfortunately some operators have not been able to effectively identify and manage QUIC on their networks. Without the proper video traffic management tools, especially for encrypted content, QoE for subscribers suffer.

This chapter takes an in-depth look at QUIC and explores the options available to operators to tame this growing and dominant form of encryption. Why does this matter? Research in the US, Europe and more recently in the Middle East shows that when subscribers suffer poor QoE, one in two blame the carrier. Take action now or risk losing subscribers.

4. NFV virtualized networks (finally) arrive

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) is here. As more use cases become reality, NFV is expected to produce Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) savings through capacity utilization and reduce Operational Expenditure (OPEX) through software and process automation. It will transform the service provider business with dynamic service creation and configuration and the value they deliver. Operators will seek practical implementations of on-demand allocation of real-time service chains and dynamic resource allocation. This raises some key questions about Virtual Network Functions and its implementation.

This chapter reveals the strategies operators could adopt to practically move to NFV and grow revenues. Want to move to NFV stress free?

5. How to navigate the flood of IoT data and secure the network

20 billion. That’s the number of connected IoT devices Gartner expects to come online by 2020. Yes, everything from running shoes to lightbulbs and cars will have connectivity – but how can operators secure their networks? After all, 2016 saw one of the largest DDoS attacks to date, the Mirai IoT botnet.

This chapter examines the security threats posed by IoT and specifically DDoS attacks. Some in the industry fear that DDoS attacks could eventually undermine the internet. Even kill it. How can operators protect their networks from such attacks?

And with the likes of Microsoft Azure, Amazon and Salesforce building the application ecosystems for IoT – are telcos destined to be mere pipe providers? What steps can operators take to play a key role in IoT? This chapter reveals it all.

…and finally

As we begin the long transition to a 5G environment over many years, the ability to analyze, prioritize, and package data and services in new and differentiated ways will be paramount. Evolved packet and flow inspection methods capable of handling changing protocols, apps and server demands- while remaining agile and flexible – will be key to building and operating future networks. These architectures must also support the unyielding move to Cloud based architectures is that are beginning on a grand scale.

Operators need to seek out new traffic management solutions that can guarantee users’ QoE while ensuring fair bandwidth and capacity allocation among subscribers. These new solutions will allow operators to manage enormous growth in traffic over finite network resources – and still turn a profit. Between the demands of IoT connected devices and the insatiable appetite for multimedia among consumers, operators need all the innovation they can muster and all the help they can get.

Download your exclusive copy of 5 Traffic Management Trends today.