Carriers struggle under P2P traffic boom

07 Jun 2007

Broadband operators are struggling to monetize the ever-increasing flow of P2P and Web2.0 apps across public networks, the BBWF Asia heard Wednesday.

Wayne Cullen, senior manager of product and solutions marketing for Cisco's service provider group, said broadband operators today now under great network pressure, as "disruptive" applications like P2P and video-oriented services like YouTube were pushing up average user's traffic to 50-100% per year.

However, the fact that most of the traffic was "out of control" and that traffic growth was outpacing the decline in equipment cost was putting broadband operators in a dilemma. On the one hand, he says, they see increased traffic, on the other, they have to deal with the bandwidth problem and need to pay for that bandwidth.

Tang Xiongyan, deputy chief engineer at China Netcom, concurs: "P2P has brought big challenges to China Netcom. P2P applications now account for 40-60% of our total network traffic, but without creating additional revenues."

"So we have to take some measures to control the volume of the P2P traffic," he says.

To meet the challenges, broadband operators around the world are taking different approach. While some try to ignore it, others will block the service, or simply embrace it.

Yet there is unclear whether it would effectively address the need, says Marc Morin, co-founder and CTO at Sandvine Incorporated.

"Everybody is hunting for a solution - some try to block the services, while others try to collaborate, but I don't think the industry knows the solution yet," he says.

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