Traffic management will become even more important with the advent of all-IP mobile networks in which real-time services, such as voice and video calls, and less urgent services, such as email, will all be delivered as packets of data in the same way.
From a mobile network operator’s point of view traffic management has always been essential for the efficient delivery of services and creates an environment for investment. Mobile network operators are pragmatic that traffic management helps to deliver consumer choice.
To make a fully-informed choice, consumers and businesses need transparency and the GSMA works with mobile operators to ensure consumers have clear explanations of how their mobile Internet connection is managed in order to deal with congestion, the efficient operation of services and the quality of the end user experience.
A few examples of traffic management practices used in mobile data networks are provided below.
Some popular websites appear to download very quickly because an ISP has stored their content dynamically on local servers, so that they do not have to retrieve packets of data from the original website, which may be on the other side of the world.
Content control and filtering:
Children are prevented from accessing adult content by ISPs’ software filters, which require customers to prove they are over 18.Many also take steps to block access to websites that have been identified as carrying child sexual abuse content or other illegal material. In many countries, ISPs are also legally obliged to intercept Internet traffic at the request of law enforcement agencies.
To ensure they maintain a good quality of service, ISPs actively monitor the performance of their networks, measuring the proportion of packets lost and the speed of customers’ connections. They also take steps to react and prevent denial of service attacks, designed to bring down websites or other services, and the spread of malicious software or viruses.