Operators cry out for solution to network signaling congestion

Signaling traffic coming from smartphones has been to blame for the growing congestion problems on the world's 3G networks, and executives from some of Europe's largest operators said during the Open Mobile Summit in London that more action needed to be taken to keep mobile applications from overloading their networks with that type of traffic.

Network signaling has become a problem for operators because smartphones make constant queries of the network as they move among cell sites to push email and access applications that constantly query the network for updates.

"Collective action is required," Daniel Gurrola, vice president of strategy consumer with France Telecom, was quoted as saying in Light Reading Mobile. "There is a need for issuing guidelines."

France Telecom is in the midst of negotiations with Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) to come to an agreement to find ways to reduce network traffic. During a panel discussion, operators indicated they wanted to work closer with application developers to help them find ways to make their apps less chatty. That could happen via the introduction of an operator-led initiative that could then publish best practices for app developers by an industry group such as the GSM Association.

Such a practice has already occurred in South Korea, where the government mandated that the country's three mobile operators--KT, SK Telecom and LG Telecom--collectively come up with guidelines regarding acceptable levels of signaling traffic to prevent outages. The mandate occurred because signaling from a third-party application took the voice-call success rate down to 10 percent on KT's network.

For more:
- see this Light Reading Mobile article

Related articles:
Report: Google, France Telecom may partner on ways to ease mobile network capacity strain
What's really causing the capacity crunch?
Smartphones causing network data overload, claims O2