Wednesday, May 25, 2011

3G and 4G: how we will pay more for the same service

Continue our momentum with the information we have obtained at Amdocs, a specialist in billing services for mobile operators. Today, talking about an interesting technology on the merits, but that poses problems in terms of privacy and how it will be implemented. We have already explained, by the admission of the unlimited operators died.

The idea, developed in a dedicated news, is to limit the offerings at speed or at the amount of data transferred. A problem quickly arose: if the connection up to 384 kilobits per second (for example), how to watch a video so comfortable? We had an answer to this question at Amdocs: operators will implement the DPI (Deep Packet Inspection), albeit not say so directly.

The CIO is the nemesis of the followers of net neutrality, for good reason: this technique is to determine what is in a "packet" by analyzing in depth, which determines the type of data transmitted. From this perspective, the CIO is an interesting idea. In practice, PGD is used to analyze data streams and adapt the bandwidth allocated to the content.

Typically, the DPI to block VoIP on a mobile network and artificially slow exchange for certain services. In addition, DPI technologies are also very effective for analyzing communications, which is obviously not to the liking of those followers of the protection of privacy. The example we've had is interesting: it showed a person watching a video on a shelf, via a 3G connection.

The load was very slow, jerky video. Typically what is found in an operator that limits its offers to the UMTS (384 kilobits per second). Then, a small button appears on the screen: the "turbo". It increases the bandwidth allocated at time t for improving reading comfort. Once the button is pressed, the video loads quickly and the quality increases.

Obviously, this is not free: access to some faster network has a cost. Either the person pays to act - for example $ 1 for one hour of video - or simply the day. To the question "why pay more so that existing services can already watch the video? "The answer was simple:" users pay for applications without interest, they will pay to watch a video so comfortable.

" In addition, the "turbo" remains an option, that is to say that if it helps improve the comfort, service must be accessible without the purchase option, at least in theory. In absolute terms, the idea is interesting. In practice, there are some pitfalls. First thing, it is necessary to install systems for IPR reliably identify the user watches a video.

Second thing, the temptation will be great for operators to detect that a user watches a video and curb its output directly to very low values for "hold" to pay? Third, consider that users can continue to pay is an illusion, appears well with the tablets relating to subscriptions, sales are focused mainly on models sold without 3G connectivity.

The monetization of the bandwidth is a typical example of a false good idea: an interesting concept but in practice will only serve those who earn money. Detection of playing a video (or any other content) is a double-edged sword: if you can detect that the user needs for bandwidth, it can also deprive him of the latter in that he needs to have artificially.

Conclude with a point by cons is rather interesting: 4G access to the application. The concept here is simpler than the flow detection, and is instead linked to companies that have many mobile workers. The idea is to provide a permanent base access - 3G or 4G well with a limitation in terms of flow rates - and allow the company to "unlock" the connection to demand.

For solutions such as netbooks Google Chrome, it would be interesting when the user is in the offices of the company, it uses Wi-Fi and connect to mobile networks is very little use and the passage in 4G does shod if the person is moving. If operators play the game, such offers should reduce the load on mobile networks while contenting users.

Remains that such offers should be limited to the professional world where they could have some success. Hopefully - for the sake of users - that DPI technologies are never implemented on mobile networks, although it is very tempting for operators. Tomorrow we'll talk about a related topic: why Google, Facebook or Netflix are not (yet) willing to pay the operators.

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