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Techniques for Surviving Mobile Data Explosion

Cover Image Copyright Year: 2014
Author(s): Dinesh C. Verma; Paridhi Verma
Publisher: Wiley-IEEE Press
Content Type : Books & eBooks
Topics: Communication, Networking & Broadcasting ;  Computing & Processing ;  Signal Processing & Analysis
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      Front Matter

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      The prelims comprise:
      Half-Title Page
      Series Page
      Title Page
      Copyright Page
      Dedication Page
      Table of Contents
      Preface
      About the Authors View full abstract»

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      Technologies Supporting Mobile Data

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      Managing the growth of mobile data requires techniques that cut across three different areas of computer science and engineering. These three areas are those of cellular networks, Internet Protocol (IP), and mobile application development. Mobile applications run using communication protocols overlaid on top of IP, which are overlaid partially on top of cellular networks. Cellular networks and IP networks are specialized subareas of the general field of computer networking. Nevertheless, they are very different in nature due to their inherent complexity, differences in design objectives, and different history. Computer networks are developed in a layered manner, with each layer hiding aspects of its operation from other layers. Mobile applications are normally hidden from the nuances of both cellular networks and IP networks due to the layers of software. Issues related to managing mobile data growth cut across each of these three areas and require a basic understanding of each of them. This chapter provides a high-level overview of each of these areas. View full abstract»

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      Mobile Data Ecosystem

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      The ecosystem of any technology consists of the set of companies, organizations, and people whose business is impacted by the technology or whose business impacts the technology. In the ecosystem, any such entity has its own role to play, usually with a complex set of relationships to other entities in the ecosystem. The mobile data has its own ecosystem in which many different entities play. This chapter provides an overview of this ecosystem, defining different roles and clustering the roles in four groups. The groups are that of standard definers, manufacturers, service providers, and users. The group of standard definers includes the roles of standard organizations and regulatory agencies. The group of manufacturers includes the roles of component providers, either hardware or software; equipment makers for mobile devices; network equipment and servers; as well as developers of mobile applications. The group of service providers includes the role of mobile network operators, Internet service providers, and application service providers that operate on the Internet. The group of users includes consumers and enterprises. Any given company can take more than one role in the ecosystem. View full abstract»

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      An Overview of Techniques for Bandwidth Optimization

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      There are several general techniques for managing bandwidth in any type of computer network. Starting with an abstract model of a network with a congested link, this chapter looks at a variety of such techniques. The congested link is one that has more traffic required to flow on it than it has the capacity to carry. An expensive but simple approach is to add more capacity to the network to eliminate the congestion. Object caching is the technique of moving data objects so as to avoid traversing the congested link when accessing them. Compressing objects allows for reduction in the amount of data that needs to travel on the congested link. A variation on compression allows one to cache bytestreams and operate across multiple protocols. When several flows carrying the same content are flowing on the congested link, one can share content across all of these flows. Another technique is to modify some types of content (e.g., video) to a lower granularity resolution so as to reduce the amount of bytes required to transmit it. The use of rate control mechanisms provides for a fairer sharing of limited resources. Finally, dividing users into different categories and giving preference for one set of traffic over another provide for an alternative approach to deal with congested network links. View full abstract»

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      An Overview of Techniques for Cost Reduction

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      As mobile data grows, operators of mobile networks are looking for approaches that can reduce their cost of operation. This chapter looks at some of these cost reduction approaches. One method to reduce cost is to share the infrastructure required for running networks with other network operators. Virtualization technologies, which enable the creation of virtual networks that can be operated with isolation among different network operators, make the process of sharing infrastructure easier. Another approach that helps in reducing costs is consolidation. Consolidation consists of replacing a network consisting of large number of distributed devices by another network where the distributed devices become smaller in size and function, with the missing functions being provided by consolidated large devices in a few locations. Consolidation can significantly reduce the cost of operation of large networks. Another general approach to reduce costs is to migrate the network functions onto general-purpose servers and software. As the processing capacity of computers used in laptops and servers increases following technology improvements, it becomes feasible to replace hardware systems performing network operations with equivalent function being done as software on servers. This migration of the network towards software on servers can significantly reduce the cost of operations in many situations. View full abstract»

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      Bandwidth Optimization and Cost Reduction in the Radio Access Network

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      Chapter 5 combines techniques on bandwidth management described in Chapter 3 and techniques from cost reduction in Chapter 4 and applies them to the specific case of radio access networks (RANs). These provide for a set of techniques that allow for reducing the cost of RANs and managing with the demands of growing traffic usage. Both technical and nontechnical approaches that can be applicable to RANs are considered. Nontechnical approaches target adjusting user behavior to extend the life of current networks, while technical approaches provide adjustments to the network to adapt to user demand for additional bandwidth. Technical approaches include upgrading the network infrastructure, augmenting the network bandwidth, traffic offload, rate control, and service differentiation. The use of high-density RANs where spatial redundancy is used to provide additional bandwidth is discussed. Femtocells and the use of Wi-Fi networks provide alternative approaches for traffic offload. Nontechnical approaches include different pricing plans, incentives against bandwidth hogs, and prompting users to switch over to Wi-Fi networks when appropriate. View full abstract»

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      Bandwidth Optimization and Cost Reduction in Backhaul and Core Networks

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      Chapter 6 combines techniques on bandwidth management described in Chapter 3 and techniques from cost reduction in Chapter 4 and applies them to the specific case of radio access backhaul networks and cellular core networks. The backhaul is part of the network that connects equipment at cell towers to equipment to the core network. The backhaul may be designed using copper cables, optical fibers, or microwave. The cellular core network is the part of the network that consists of the wired part of the network connecting the backhaul to the IP network owned by the mobile network operator. This IP network in turn connects to and is part of the Internet. The bandwidth on backhaul and core networks is limited mostly by cost and business issues associated with upgrading the network capacity. Approaches like compression and traffic offload can be used to deal with the congestion of backhaul and core networks. Caching in the backhaul or core can be implemented but has to deal with the complexities of extracting packets bound to the Internet from the encapsulations of cellular protocols. Consolidation of functions works well in the core network and has led to a strong push for network function virtualization in the cellular core network. View full abstract»

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      Consumer-Oriented Data Monetization Services

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      One of the goals of mobile network operators is to extract more value from the data that is flowing on their networks. One possible way to get this value, or monetize the data, is to offer value-added services that the subscribers of cellular data would be interested in. This chapter explores some services of this nature. The mobile network operators are in a good position to offer some services because they can interpose themselves transparently between the mobile user and the Internet. This allows the operator to offer services like single sign-on or privacy. Single sign-on service allows mobile data subscribers to deal with the problem of exploding set of credentials on the Internet. The privacy service provided by a mobile network operator may be preferable over Internet-based privacy using onion routing to a select set of users. The network operator is also in a better position to provide a seamless experience for some services like customizing content so that it always appears in the preferred language of the subscriber. Providing services based on location of the user, as well as allowing commercial transactions using mobile phones, would open up new opportunities for generating revenues. View full abstract»

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      Enterprise-Oriented Data Monetization Services

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      In order to monetize the data flowing through their networks, mobile network operators can target enterprises in addition to their subscribers. The differentiating advantages that a mobile network operator has in offering services to an enterprise are that it can provide services to employees of the enterprise at a lower latency, intercept messages on its network transparently, and determine location of employees without requiring a power-draining application on the mobile handhelds. This allows it to offer services like caching and content distribution to reduce the load on employee networks from mobile phones in a seamless manner. The network operator can also provide transformation of existing applications to work better for mobile users. An extension of content distribution would be to execute applications at low latency, that is, offer cloud computing from locations with a low latency like cell towers. This so-called service like fog computing can be used to offer enhanced security and virtualization services for enterprises. View full abstract»

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      Application Service Provider-Oriented Data Monetization Services

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      In order to monetize the data flowing through their networks, mobile network operators can target service providers in the Internet in addition to their subscribers. A service provider is any entity that provides applications and websites for consumers to access on the Internet. The differentiating advantages that a mobile network operator has in offering services to a service provider are the same as that for enterprises, namely, it can provide services to employees of the enterprise at a lower latency, intercept messages on its network transparently, and determine location of employees without requiring a power-draining application on the mobile handhelds. Unlike an enterprise, where a network operator can strike a deal to supply mobile connectivity to most of its employees, most mobile network operators can only capture a fraction of users accessing an application service providers. They can still provide services like caching and content distribution to reduce the load on the websites, as well as services like fog computing. Mobile network operators would typically see a larger volume of traffic passing through all but a handful of application service providers; they can provide services to smaller application service providers that compete with the offerings of the larger application service providers. Mobile network operators can aggregate information like location and demography across users to provide interesting information to application service providers. They can also use the historical information about calling patterns to provide insights for better infrastructure planning to many application service providers. View full abstract»

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      An Introduction to Mobile Applications

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      The design of mobile applications has a significant impact on the amount of mobile data they use. This chapter provides a high-level overview of mobile applications. Mobile applications typically have a component on the handheld device and another component running on a server in the Internet. The communication protocol used between the two components defines the nature of the application. Web-based mobile applications rely exclusively on the Hypertext Transfer Protocol for such communication, while native protocols use their own private protocol written over the mobile operating systems. A hybrid mobile application uses a mix of these two approaches. Developers of mobile applications have to deal with the issues related to standard software engineering practices. Some of the challenges of normal software development are exacerbated in case of mobile applications because of a large number of devices that exist and the rapidity with which the underlying operating systems change. View full abstract»

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      Power Efficiency for Mobile Applications

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      Chapter 11 looks at the subject of making power-efficient mobile applications and the techniques an application service provider writing mobile applications can deploy to make that application more power efficient. Battery power is a rather limited resource on the mobile phone, and writing applications that put the minimum drain on the battery is highly desirable. Power management is largely under the control of the operating system on the mobile device, and only a few controls are available to the mobile application developer. Nevertheless, there are some useful techniques that can improve the power efficiency of applications. Clustering power-expensive operations like network communication can improve the power consumption profile of an application. Similar clustering of computation operations allows the operating system to use duty cycling to conserve power, as well as better manage the different power modes the device may be capable of supporting. Some of the best practices that improve power efficiency are minimizing content on devices, maximizing computation on the server side, batching of network requests, and designing for minimum screen brightness and context awareness. View full abstract»

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      Bandwidth Efficiency for Mobile Applications

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      This chapter explores the issue of developing bandwidth-efficient mobile applications. It presents a set of techniques that can be used to make applications more bandwidth efficient and a set of best practices that can help in writing bandwidth-efficient applications. The application developer is in a unique position to implement techniques that can run efficiently over bandwidth-constrained networks because of the ability to control both parts of the application, the part that runs on the mobile device and the part that runs on the server backend. Preloading most of the data needed for running the application at the time of installation avoids the need to access data during the runtime of the application. Clustering of communication generally reduces the overhead required for getting useful information to the device. Understanding the context of the application can help to reduce network communication costs, for example, by preferring communication when connected via a Wi-Fi network rather than when connected to a cellular network. Approaches like caching of content and compressing content before communication can further reduce bandwidth usage. Attention must also be paid to the amount of control traffic that may be generated on the cellular infrastructure. View full abstract»

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      Mobile Data Issues for the Enterprise

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      The growth of mobile devices in enterprises is growing at a significant pace. While the impact of increased data growth is not a significant issue for an enterprise network that is provisioned with sufficient Wi-Fi capacity, mobile devices create other issues in enterprises that need to be handled. One of the issues is dealing with the security issues related to mobile devices. Mobile devices may be lost, leading to loss of critical enterprise data. The infrastructure supporting mobile devices also needs to be secured using appropriate security procedures. Many enterprises have applications that predate mobile devices. These applications have to be provided with a mobile front end so that they can be used effectively by mobile device users. The bring your own device (BYOD) approach may require upgrades to the current network infrastructure as well as properly articulated security processes. View full abstract»

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      Related Topics

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      The final chapter in the book looks at some of the topics that are related to the issue of mobile data growth, but not directly associated with it. Machine-to-Machine (M2M) communications consist of communications happening between sensors or machines deployed over a wireless network and a computer in the Internet. M2M communication workload has a different profile than communication over cellular phones, and it would typically use less video and high-bandwidth application compared to phone-based data communication. The Internet of Things refers to an environment where several items are interconnected using mobile networks. A larger number of connected devices may potentially cause more load on the mobile data network. Participatory sensing uses the cell phones as sensors. With the large number of cell phones that are ubiquitously present in modern society, information collected by the cell phones can provide a sensing infrastructure that will allow the collection of real-time information at an unprecedented scale. This can allow automatic determination of attributes of a locality such as air quality or potholes that may be present. The growth of mobile devices can significantly transform the processes used in many businesses; for example, one can replace the traditional clients used in several businesses with mobile applications. Examples range from replacing retail point-of-sale terminals with mobile apps to systems that use phones to pay cash in a variety of ways. Mobile first is the philosophy that dictates that applications be developed with an eye towards the mobile user. Another related area is that of network analytics, which processes the data flowing through the network to understand how to adapt its behavior. The analysis of mobile data can lead to significant insights into how to operate the network better. View full abstract»

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      References

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      Index

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      IEEE Press Series on Digital and Mobile Communication

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