Peer-to-Peer Traffic Dominates

Summaries of Research and Inventions from Science and Technology Journals

3 min read

PROGRESS: Summaries of Research and Inventions from Science and Technology Journals

Using a newly designed monitoring system, researchers at Sprint Corp., in Overland Park, Kan., recently investigated how the company's data backbone is being used and found that during 2001 and 2002, peer-to-peer applications, such as Gnutella, generated up to 80 percent of the traffic on some of its links. The researchers also learned that streaming media accounted at times for a quarter of the traffic on some links but did not compare with peer-to-peer or Web traffic, which swung between 11 and 90 percent. More generally, they found that most of the links are working at less than 50 percent of capacity and that the data transmission times are dominated by the speed of light rather than by any traffic-related delays. Put succinctly, Sprint's network has plenty of backbone: you can't blame it if your voice-over-Internet Protocol (VoIP) software experiences delays.

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The Cellular Industry’s Clash Over the Movement to Remake Networks

The wireless industry is divided on Open RAN’s goal to make network components interoperable

13 min read
Photo: George Frey/AFP/Getty Images

We've all been told that 5G wireless is going to deliver amazing capabilities and services. But it won't come cheap. When all is said and done, 5G will cost almost US $1 trillion to deploy over the next half decade. That enormous expense will be borne mostly by network operators, companies like AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, and dozens more around the world that provide cellular service to their customers. Facing such an immense cost, these operators asked a very reasonable question: How can we make this cheaper and more flexible?

Their answer: Make it possible to mix and match network components from different companies, with the goal of fostering more competition and driving down prices. At the same time, they sparked a schism within the industry over how wireless networks should be built. Their opponents—and sometimes begrudging partners—are the handful of telecom-equipment vendors capable of providing the hardware the network operators have been buying and deploying for years.

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