Consumers are increasingly turning to smartphones and tablets to access online services whether it’s streaming videos or “over-the-top” Internet services and this is driving demand for mobile data through the roof. Now, the mobile Internet needs a content delivery management mechanism – like Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) for wireline Internet – that optimizes mobile data traffic and content delivery for the constraints of wireless networks.
Until last year, the prevailing model for users to access content and internet services was from a personal computer through a fast speed fixed line. The mass migration to everything mobile along with the adoption of cloud-based technology is rapidly changing the access model. More content is stored in the cloud and more users are leveraging increasingly sophisticated mobile devices to access content on the go, anywhere, anytime. A recent study from the Pew Research Center shows that 27% of Americans are now reading news from a mobile device.
Wireless networks are simply not designed and are not ready to handle the resulting traffic load. In addition, mobile apps, whether they are web-based or installed on the device, still rely on technologies and protocols designed for a “wireline” Internet and generate an unprecedented level of chattiness and signaling overload when used over wireless networks.
CDNs have been very successfully applied to the “wireline” Internet to speed up content traffic. While the technical model is different in the wireless world, the concept can be leveraged on carrier networks to reduce traffic all the way up to network nodes close to the cell tower. However, what is not addressed by traditional CDNs is what can be referred to as the “last mile problem,” which is translated in the mobile world to the wireless link between the mobile user and the cell tower she/he is attached to.
Optimizing traffic for the wireless last mile requires an end-to-end solution that covers the entire mobile ecosystem from the device to the content that is being accessed in the cloud.
Open Channel, SEVEN’s traffic optimization solution, rethinks scaling mobile for the Internet by truly reshaping and coordinating the interaction between the device and the network in an effective way: optimizing all application traffic rather than addressing the challenge one application at a time or one type of content at a time.
Early tests with of the solution show that by eliminating the unnecessary requests it can reduce the time the device is on the network by 40 percent without impacting the user experience. This translates into a data traffic reduction of up to 70 percent and an increase in battery life by up to 25 percent without application or network changes.
Just as CDNs improved the way that consumers share and receive data on wireline networks, traffic optimization is helping wireless operators to manage content to provide a better overall mobile experience. Stay tuned for more on Open Channel in the coming months.