Video traffic forces change in optimisation measures

When looking for ways to deal with the explosion in data usage many eyes in the industry fall upon the next generation, bigger, faster, better technologies. But with so much legacy infrastructure still in use, optimisation is a key issue for all network operators. However, optimisation methods must move with the times too. caught up with Georges Antoun, Ericsson’s head of product area IP & broadband networks, at the Broadband World Forum in Paris this week. Antoun warned that while he’s seeing growing usage of broadband network optimisation, the type of traffic the network is carrying has changed. “Video is now the dominant traffic type. If you asked the same question five years ago it would have been peer to peer (P2) and that’s what used to kill the network. But now 90 per cent of all IP traffic is video and the characteristics of video are forcing us to deal with the network differently,” he said. “I can deal with delays and latency in most traffic types, but I can’t deal with a lot of delays in video, so you have to deal with video differently.”

Antoun said that optimisation has changed a lot. It was a technology that used to fall under the umbrella of convergence or some form of traffic shaping but is now talked about in terms of distributed architecture and the collapsing of optical and IP technologies and putting some intelligence in the network via policies. “We need to understand who the users are in the network and what they’re trying to do,” Antoun said. “Intelligence is driving efficiencies in infrastructure but it’s also about driving applications and value added services, and the brokering of these services with the end user.”

And there’s more the vendors can do beyond providing technology solutions. Antoun believes that wireline broadband operators will take a lead from the wireless world and out source more of their operations. Ericsson is already one of the leading managed service providers in the wireless industry and Antoun sees a pattern emerging in the fixed world.

“Vendors are taking over more network management and there will be more network management carried out by vendors on the fixed line network. It’s going to happen,” he said. “Not just yet because some if the operators’ operations are still separate, although some are bringing their networks together. But it will in the future and we are talking to customers about partnering with them from an end to end perspective,” he said.

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