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The importance of deep packet inspection in wireless nets

Posted: 18 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile broadband? wireless network? deep inspection packet?

Mobile broadband is today's growth engine for wireless network operators. Even in the current economic downturn, wireless network operators continue adding new subscribers on their data plans. In fact, Verizon Wireless reported 41 percent growth in data revenue for Q4 08, and while AT&T's overall profit was down 23 percent in Q4 08, it also added 357,000 broadband subscribers. This is great news for wireless network operators, and the even greater news is that the growth potential remains very strong: The number of wireline Internet users continues to grow, surpassing one billion users in 2008, according to comScore. In short, we have a "perfect data storm" in the making as all of these users are potentially subscribers of mobile broadbandas long as the wireless industry is able to deliver high-quality data services.

The biggest challenge network operators continue to face is how to keep up with seemingly insatiable demand for mobile broadband. The basic paradigm in mobile wireless networks has been to have a shared data channela big "fat bit pipe"in every cell site whereby all the data users in that cell site share the channel capacity. Unlike voice, for which dedicated channels are allocated, for the most part data channels (both uplink and downlink) are shared. Theoretically, the paradigm works well for data networks because data is considered to be "bursty" in nature, meaning the shared resource is typically available because each user's relative consumption of it is generally quite small and fast.

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