This blog is by Gerald Reddig, head of Smart Labs Marketing from Nokia Solutions and Networks.
Recent OTT service outages in cloud service provided by Google hit mobile operator radio access networks with an unexpectedly high signaling load. Online services rely entirely on the service availability in large data centers provided by Google, Amazon and Microsoft, for example. NSN Smart Labs verified that a cloud service outage can trigger smart phones to generate signaling loads up to 20 times greater than normal. This is an important heads up for mobile operators to prevent chain reactions that could lead to network outages.
Cloud services such as Google DRIVE, Apple iCloud or Microsoft Sky DRIVE are an attractive source of memory capacity for smart phones. But what’s the effect on mobile networks when the service is down? Case in point: Google Drive suffered three separate disruptions during a week in March and another outage in August.
A smart phone maintains “always-on” connections to a cloud server in order to receive push messages. It sends periodic “keep-alive” messages, for example, every three minutes to push servers. When the service is unavailable, however, the previously connected smart phone begins frequent reconnect attempts with the cloud servers, approximately every ten seconds. Such smart phone behavior generates signaling peaks of up to 20 times greater than normal.
For the test, NSN Smart Labs utilized one popular high-end Android smart phone. Now multiply that signaling storm by thousands of smart phones simultaneously and radio access networks would definitely be compromised.
Are you keen to evaluate how certain applications and smart phone behavior might impact your live network settings?
Smart Labs consults mobile network operators to help guard against networks outages caused by overloads. Our labs are fully equipped to assist with end-to-end 3G/LTE technologies and are located in America, Europe and Asia. Check out our services here.