Vasona rolls out edge app feature set to address congestion in encrypted mobile traffic

Vasona Networks unveiled the latest feature set for its SmartAIR 1000 edge application controller and SmartVision analysis suite, both aimed at addressing all that HTTPS traffic coming from streaming media, social networking and other popular apps.

The company also is rolling out a SmartConnect feature to share real-time data collected by its platforms with third-party systems, and a SmartVision Daily Dashboard feature that provides regular network performance and user experience reporting.

SmartAIR now assesses characteristics of encrypted content from application types such as streaming, social media, email and file transfers and can intelligently manage their resource usage during periods of network congestion, Vasona said in a press release.  

The solution provides mobile operators with a way to manage the rising share of encrypted applications and content. There's an increasing trend of encrypting, and "with HTTPS really becoming prevalent, we're seeing the proportion of traffic rapidly going from 8 to 12 percent a few years ago" to something that is rapidly approaching 50 percent in some places, said John Reister, vice president of marketing and product at Vasona Networks.

When considering today's commercial networks, traffic in the radio access network (RAN) is very "spiky," with a lot of big spikes shooting up and valleys going down, and all of this is occurring in the span of, say, 15 seconds, Reister told FierceWirelessTech.

While some vendors talk about reducing traffic, or reducing the size of a video, for example, in order to manage traffic, that's not what Vasona does. "You're hurting the operators' revenues and when you reduce video from a megabit to 750 kilobits, it gets fuzzier and fuzzier as you go," he said, adding that it's not a feasible approach with HTTPS. "We don't modify content, ever. We're about managing congestion and making it so your network utilization goes up, not down--filling in the valleys and making it so services don't stall out."

Reister explained that a user can be completely stationary and get adequate capacity for watching a video while sitting on a park bench, for example, but the amount of capacity can drop by half or double in the space of a few seconds because someone drove by and a new user handed into or out of the cell. The cell has to reallocate its resources, so the capacity fluctuates all the time. And different applications have different needs: Video is very sensitive to packet loss whereas an email file transfer is not as sensitive to latency.

Vasona's technology sits in between the RAN and the core. "We're close enough to the edge that we can understand exactly which cells are congested and where the traffic is going" and close enough to the core that "we're easy to manage," he said.

Vasona, a Fierce 15 2013 winner, has deployed its technology with Cellcom in the U.S., and it has commercial deployments in Latin America, with pilots in Europe and Asia. The company will be showing off its latest solutions during Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, March 2-5.

For more:
- see the press release

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