NEC takes on location signal storm
Japan's NEC has unveiled new technology that aims to tackle the “signalling storm” generated through managing location information over mobile networks.
The new technology is designed to estimate the location of a mobile device in order to cut back on the network strain involved in keeping track.
Currently when a mobile operator needs to send a signal to a device, signals are broadcast to all base stations, including ones in areas the users just left. This process, called paging, causes unnecessary workload for the base stations in areas where the device is not located.
But NEC's technology uses a custom algorithm to predict the mobility of devices – for example, using a a broad management area for devices that move at high speeds and a narrow management area for those that move at low speeds.
NEC claims the technology can reduce the frequency of renewing location registration by up to 50%, and the amount of signal processing for paging by up to 75%. This would allow operators to accommodate a greater number of devices with their existing management servers.
The technology is still at the development stage. The research project was supported by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
NEC recently announced it is exiting the smartphone business due to increased competition and declining shipment volumes.