Chat apps waste RAN resources while idle, researchers claim

Communications apps such as Facebook, Skype, or WhatsApp are unnecessarily communicating with their network server when in idle state, wasting RAN resources (radio access network).

Those are the results of a new lab test conducted by mobile Internet optimization and monetization solutions company, Flash Networks.

Flash Networks says that, while idle, these apps communicated with their server six times per hour (basically every ten minutes). By minimising unnecessary communications, apps can establish 22.7 per cent fewer radio connections. For a carrier with 10 million subscribers, that could mean the reduction of 600 million unnecessary messages daily, Flash Networks estimates.

That would allow the company to support 20 per cent more users without adding extra resources.

“The need to beef up capacity to keep up with the insatiable demand for mobile data combined with falling revenues is putting the squeeze on operators to make the most of existing radio resources,” said Ofer Gottfried, CTO at Flash Networks.

“In the near future operators will be faced with buying more radio capacity or using their existing resources more efficiently, and xtraAir can provide them with a solution to delay or reduce the needed investment.”

According to Flash Networks this discovery is important, as the IoT devices heading into the mainstream will force network operators to optimise their hardware to support new devices coming to the network.

Image source: Shutterstock/Twin Design