OS Updates Putting Excessive Strain on Mobile Networks: Flash Networks


Flash Networks, a provider of mobile Internet optimization solutions, has released data that shows mobile operating system updates consuming a significant amount of network bandwidth, even threatening network performance, particularly when delivered during peak traffic hours.

Traffic figures measured during Mobile Windows and Android updates in North America and Europe reportedly showed mobile OS upgrades eating up even more bandwidth than YouTube videos. If the latest trends are any indication, this phenomenon is likely to increase when Apple iOS5 over-the-air (OTA) operating system upgrades become available and with new Android apps, bug fixes and upgrades being released almost everyday.

OS upgrades usually bring scheduled functionality and security patches distributed over global mobile networks. Flash Networks observed that the network bandwidth needed to deliver Android software upgrades shot up on certain days and hours by as much as 15% of total traffic. The tricky bit is there are times when the scheduled delivery of an upgrade during an off-peak period in a particular region can conincide with the peak time of another. In such situations, a network in the peak-hour region can reach a stage close to full capacity.

Flash Networks' idea behind revealing this data is to make its customers aware of the surge in mobile data and to help them with solutions to reduce the pressure on mobile networks. The company believes "advanced analytics, combined with adaptive policy-aware optimization" can enable "operators to uncover the underlying causes of additional strain on mobile networks, providing them with the opportunity to take corrective action to ensure a superior customer experience."