Feeds

3 to start shaping traffic on Monday

We know what you'll be doing all weekend then

Boost IT visibility and business value

3UK is to start limiting mobile broadband traffic from Monday, throttling P2P application and restricting video streaming on overloaded cells.

From Monday morning a congested cell will automatically limit peer-to-peer traffic and reduce video streaming to 400Kb/sec per customer, in an attempt to share out the available bandwidth between users.

The company is branding the steps an attempt to improve the "customer experience", and say they'll only be applied in congested areas. Differential levels of service, with different tariffs, will come later.

The idea that everyone gets the same service is outmoded and customers should be at liberty to pay for faster connectivity or take a discount deal with more-limited speeds. The technology to do that exists today, but 3 won't be deploying it initially: for now the emphasis is on throttling down those perceived as using an unfair proportion of the available bandwidth.

Bandwidth is a limited resource and 3 would much prefer to support 200 users on a cell with only a few hundred kilobits each, than 20 users downloading video files while the rest can't get at their email - though the 20 users concerned might not feel the same way.

More granular control over data rates is obviously going to be an important revenue source in the future. The flat rate (effectively) unlimited tariff is encouraging exactly the kind of price war that voice bundles were designed to defuse: it's in the operator's interest to make pricing too complicated to compare, but flat-rate data makes that difficult.

Chopping up the allowance by application, and allowing customers to pay for greater speeds and priority access, will make things much more complicated. Those prepared to spend a few days working out the details will probably save money while the rest of us just pay more for the convenience of not having to think about it.

3 hasn't gone that far, at least not yet, but it's certainly the first step down that road. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE accused of silencing customer gripes on social media pages
Hello. HELLO. Can EVERYTHING EVERYWHERE HEAR ME?!
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
prev story

Whitepapers

A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.