Big Data in Telecommunications: Seamless Network Discovery and Traffic Steering with Crowd Intelligence

Big Data in Telecommunications: Seamless Network Discovery and Traffic Steering with Crowd Intelligence

Yen Pei Tay (Quest International University Perak, Malaysia), Vasaki Ponnusamy (Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia) and Lam Hong Lee (Quest International University Perak, Malaysia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8505-5.ch004
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The meteoric rise of smart devices in dominating worldwide consumer electronics market complemented with data-hungry mobile applications and widely accessible heterogeneous networks e.g. 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi, have elevated Mobile Internet from a ‘nice-to-have' to a mandatory feature on every mobile computing device. This has spurred serious data traffic congestion on mobile networks as a consequence. The nature of mobile network traffic today is more like little Data Tsunami, unpredictable in terms of time and location while pounding the access networks with waves of data streams. This chapter explains how Big Data analytics can be applied to understand the Device-Network-Application (DNA) dimensions in annotating mobile connectivity routine and how Simplify, a seamless network discovery solution developed at Nextwave Technology, can be extended to leverage crowd intelligence in predicting and collaboratively shaping mobile data traffic towards achieving real-time network congestion control. The chapter also presents the Big Data architecture hosted on Google Cloud Platform powering the backbone behind Simplify in realizing its intelligent traffic steering solution.
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In the effort to curb mobile network congestion, the challenges facing mobile operators are far more complex than just scaling up their network infrastructure. As fluctuating mobile data demand varies from area to area, on-demand network capacity allocation is almost a mandatory requirement. Despite the advancements in software-defined radio network technologies, which allow mobile operators to flexibly configure network capacity on the fly, such deployment requires costly upgrade to existing radio base stations. Instead, the immediate priority should focus on optimizing existing mobile network traffic by reducing the cost per megabyte while maintaining good user experience.

One immediate remedy to ease mobile congestion is to employ Wi-Fi offloading solution, diverting mobile data traffic towards Wi-Fi networks. Cisco (2014) has reported that approximately 45 percent of global mobile data traffic (1.2 Exabytes per month) was offloaded onto the fixed network through Wi-Fi and Femtocell in 2013. This figure is expected to reach 51 percent (17.3 Exabytes per month) by 2018. In this section, as a prelude to our work on Simplify, we will first focus our evaluation on contemporary Wi-Fi offloading solutions and other related work in relieving mobile network congestion.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Femtocell: A micro cellular base station designed for use at homes and small businesses with its backbone connected to fixed broadband network.

SSID: The name or identifier broadcast by a WLAN access point.

ANDSF: Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) is an network element within Evolved Packet Core (EPC) responsible for propagating network policies containing access network discovery information and selection based on time, location, network preference and device type.

4G LTE: A fourth generation wireless communication standard defined by 3GPP for high-speed mobile data communication network evolved from Global System for Mobile (GSM) communication.

IFOM: IP Flow Mobility is a mechanism for a mobile device to simultaneously connect to 3GPP cellular access and WLAN enabling exchange of different IP flows belonging to the same or different applications being moved seamlessly between a 3GPP access and WLAN belonging to the same network provider.

3G: A set of third generation mobile network systems standardized by Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) comprising of Wideband Code Division Multiple Access (W-CDMA), High Speed Packet Access (HSPA), Evolved High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) and 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) technologies.

WLAN: Wireless Local Area Network.

EPC: Evolved Packet Core, the core network of 4G LTE systems introduced by 3GPP in its Release 8 standard.

IEEE: The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is an organization that develops global standards in a broad range of industries including power and energy, biomedical and health care, information technology, telecommunication, nanotechnology, information on assurance, etc.

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