Report Shows Bottleneck Effect of Mobile Operating System Updates

Flash Networks released data showing that the amount of network bandwidth consumed by mobile operating system updates can threaten network performance.

Herzliya, Israel, January 31, 2012 – Flash Networks, the leading provider of mobile Internet optimization and monetization solutions, released today data showing that the amount of network bandwidth consumed by mobile operating system updates can threaten network performance, especially if delivered during peak traffic periods. Based on traffic measured during Mobile Windows and Android updates in Europe and North America, it was found that operating system upgrades sometimes consumed even more bandwidth than YouTube videos, creating significant bottlenecks. This phenomenon is expected to be dramatically increased in the near future by the availability of Apple iOS5 over the air (OTA) operating system upgrades.

Operating system upgrades typically consist of functionality and security patches that are distributed at scheduled times over global mobile networks. For example, Microsoft accumulates security patches over a period of one month and then dispatches them all at once on “Patch Tuesday”, the second Tuesday of each month. Microsoft also releases other smaller updates on a daily or bi-weekly basis. Normally pushed out in the background without any intervention from the subscriber, this distribution creates a block of network data of up to 10 MB per user that moves simultaneously “over the air” while connected to the network. This burst in traffic can bring networks dangerously close to full capacity if the upgrades coincide with busy hours, such as commuting times, or popular browsing times late in the evening.

After one Patch Tuesday, it was discovered that for a European operator the amount of network bandwidth consumed by operating system upgrades rose from 3.7% to 18.2% of total bandwidth, coming second only to YouTube, which burned up 29.2% of network bandwidth. Similar results were discovered in the US where Windows updates increased upgrade traffic from 4.5% to 20%, an increase of more than four-fold.

In a few other cases observed by Flash Networks’ systems, the network bandwidth required to deliver an Android software upgrade climbed, on certain days and hours, up to 15% of total traffic and exceeded the bandwidth used for watching YouTube videos. In addition, the scheduled delivery of the upgrade during a quiet period in one region coincided with the peak period of another, bringing the network there close to full capacity.

“At Flash Networks we are committed to keeping our customers ahead of the surge in mobile data,” said Merav Bahat, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development at Flash Networks. “Advanced analytics, combined with adaptive policy-aware optimization, is enabling operators to uncover the underlying causes of additional strain on mobile networks, providing them with the opportunity to take corrective action to ensure a superior customer experience.”

Flash Networks’ Harmony is a network based solution that optimizes backhaul and transit capacity using dynamic, policy-based rules that can apply the most relevant optimization technique to each cell based on information about users, devices, network bearers, and real-time network conditions. Harmony adjusts TCP parameters, eliminates HTTP inefficiencies, optimizes content presentation, and more – providing a consistent, richer, and more satisfying browsing experience.

About Flash Networks
Flash Networks, the leading provider of mobile Internet optimization and monetization solutions, enables operators to provide exceptional quality of experience, reduce network operational expenses, and monetize the mobile Internet. With in-depth traffic analytics and user insight, Flash Networks’ Harmony Mobile Internet Services Gateway helps operators manage the explosion of mobile data traffic while generating revenues by offering personalized and targeted content. With offices in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia, Flash Networks services over 500 million subscribers daily and is proud to count among its customers top-tier mobile carriers including MTS, Orange, SMART, SingTel Group, T-Mobile, and Telefónica Group. For more information, visit

Contact Information:
Flash Networks
Naomi Rabbie
Phone: +972-9-961-0841
Mobile: +972-54-7744539

Spicetree Communications
Monica Maron
Mobile: +972-545-429-529

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