What is Network Congestion?
Mobile trends emerge faster and more extensive than any of us could have imagined. Subscribers’ insatiable demand for content translates into an exponential increase in mobile data traffic. Mobile networks often become congested at busy times of the day, or some cells may become congested due to a lack of radio resources or network capacity. This causes random and unpredictable Quality of Experience to applications without consideration for the sensitivity of the application to network interruptions. While data growth is now an unavoidable fact, network congestion can be alleviated before it negatively affects the subscriber experience.
During the busy hour, many subscribers of a mobile network are connected to the same cell and consume data. As a result, all subscribers suffer from poor Quality of Experience and slow response time. This is network congestion – overloading with data. It prevents mobile operators from providing a good customer experience to their subscribers.
Common Causes of Network Congestion
To understand how to resolve network traffic congestion in mobile networks it is necessary to realize the causes. The most important element to provide coverage for all users in the mobile network is the Radio tower and Cells/Sector implemented on the tower. Although network capacity is growing exponentially, the load is not distributed evenly over deployed cells; over time-of-day cell load shifts from one area to another, based on user habits. For example, on working days people wake up at home and drive to work, creating daytime congestion in city downtown areas, business districts, etc. During the nighttime, cell load shifts to populated residential areas. During network overload the Radio packet queues are overloaded along the transmission path, introducing latency and packet loss, a relatively large amount of data is retransmitted, the Congestion Window is decreased, and the mobile network rate is reduced.
Congested Cells usually deliver poor Quality of Experience or no service to subscribers, resulting in mobile operator plans for adding new cells and towers for expansion and densification. Expansion and densification are not easy tasks, requiring detailed planning, real estate, and infrastructure acquisitions. In addition, environmentalists and municipalities often block mobile operators from the desired deployment of cell towers.
Do Flash Networks Offer Fixes for Network Congestion?
Flash Networks is a leading provider of network optimization solutions that enable mobile operators to improve RAN spectral efficiency, detect and remove network congestion, boost network speed, optimize video and network traffic and generate over-the-top revenues from the mobile Internet. With offices in North America, Europe, Israel, Latin America, and Asia, Flash Networks services over 500 million subscribers daily and is proud to count among its customers' top-tier mobile operators from all over the world.
Network Congestion Solutions
- Adaptive Bitrate Streaming Management (ABM)
ABM optimizes the use of network bandwidth by adjusting the compression level and video quality of streams, and by streaming videos in smaller blocks.
To provide an operator the ability to satisfy their customers’ growing demand for video-hungry bandwidth, Flash Network’s Adaptive Bitrate Management (ABM) is now effective also on higher resolution video streams. As networks can now support 8K video, ABM settings now support Adaptive Bitrate Management to 4K and 2K levels.
- Cell-based Congestion Solution
The Flash Networks alternative to immediate expansion is called Cell-Based Congestion Solution. The Flash Networks Cell-based congestion solution allows a carrier to choose the cells to be optimized and allows control & monitoring of the specific cell load. This enables the operator to serve double the number of users on the same cell, relieving quality of experience degradations and providing the time-space for the carrier to make long-term plans for network expansion.
- Just In Time
Just-in-time (JIT, patented) content delivery maintains the minimum traffic load on the network while still meeting demand by ensuring data arrives when needed, but no sooner.
Flash Networks Harmony introduced an innovative breed of Radio optimization technologies, which improves the scheduling fairness of Radio Cells, with a content-aware dimension, and without any video resolution change.
In a manner like HTTP Video pacing, JIT provides a significant data load reduction as a function of the video abandon rate. Thus, if a subscriber views only part of the video - there will be network data load reduction and free up of PRB.
- Cloud Gaming Streaming
Improve customer gaming experience while enabling added-value marketing data plans with cloud gaming and future-proofing your offerings.
Harmony now recognizes, reports, and optimizes Cloud Gaming services traffic.
The optimization is by a specially managed bandwidth consumption of the cloud gaming traffic or the other large flow to improve user traffic quality.
Results of Flash Networks Congestions Solutions
Optimizing traffic only in congested cells minimizes the costs for mobile operators. Enabling more value from the existing network infrastructure gives mobile operators options for better ROI.
Evaluation and Improvement of Network Congestion Solutions
An integral part of Flash Networks' service policy is the continuous evaluation and improvement of the services we provide to our customers. With your feedback, Flash Networks learns what works and what could be better and uses this information to improve our services accordingly. We know that without you, our loyal customers, we cannot be exceptional.
Staffed by technical experts and highly experienced project managers, the Flash Networks service group complements our exceptional product offering. Together, our products and services comprise a comprehensive solution, driving data traffic and enhancing the subscriber experience for any wireless environment. We offer a broad range of services to assist you at any point in your infrastructure deployment, or in post-deployment operations.
Flash Networks is helping some of the largest mobile operators in the world. Flash Networks' technological strength provides mobile operators the best-of-breed revenue-generating services, mobile data acceleration, and video optimization technologies. We have a lot of intelligent solutions.
About Ofer Gottfried
Ofer Gottfried is CTO at Flash Networks. He has more than 20 years of experience in defining and building market-leading products in the Mobile Network industry. He served as General Manager at the US Office of Flash Networks before being appointed Chief Technology Officer. Before that Ofer worked in an Internet security company, telecom companies, and VoIP producers for the telecom market. Today he is the person at Flash Networks who can answer questions in detail of mobile operators who need to improve the quality of experience for their subscribers.