Report: Mobile networks expanding use of deep-packet inspection

Mobile operators are increasingly using deep-packet inspection for more than mere traffic management and are expanding DPI technology to enable value-added services, tiered services and sophisticated pricing models, said market research firm Infonetics.

Aided by increased DPI use in wireless networks, the service provider DPI market is forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 34 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2011 to 2016. Further, DPI product revenue is on track to pass the $600-million mark this year.

"Traffic management is still the primary use case for DPI technology, but we're seeing a growing interest in folding DPI into larger solutions, such as video optimization, content caching and usage-based billing," said Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence at Infonetics.

Source: Infonetics Research

By gaining more visibility into network traffic, operators can more easily enable new service models and pricing plans to support new architectures such as software-defined networks (SDNs), said Levine. Deployments of LTE are driving the desire for more granular traffic management and enablement of value-added services.

Privacy advocates are alarmed by the growing ability of mobile operators to tell at any given time exactly which videos individual customers are watching on their handsets, whether they're on social networking sites and if they're uploading user-generated video. Verizon (NYSE:VZ) earlier this month launched its Precision Market Insights effort, which sells aggregated customer data to marketers who want to know how Verizon customers are using their mobile devices to browse the Internet and what apps they are using in particular locations.

Operators will push DPI deeper into the access network and eventually to the device level via enforcement agents that enable greater network and service control on smartphones, tablets and set-top boxes, said Infonetics.

Vendors offering standalone DPI products include Allot, Arbor, Cisco, CloudShield, Huawei, Procera, Qosmos and Sandvine.

For more:
- see this Infonetics release

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