ITU Blog: Always-on Internet and the importance of traffic management to 5G and OTT

Enabling free and open exchange of information was one of the founding principles of the Internet. Upholding this principle calls for constant innovation, with the ICT community always in search of smarter ways to increase the carrying capacity and routing efficiency of the world’s networks. This search is endless. The volume of traffic running over the Internet is always growing, as is the variety of available services, applications and content.

Operators’ decisions in network management are informed by the needs of their subscribers, whose appetite for over-the-top (OTT) services seems boundless.

The ICT industry has come up with innovation after innovation to satisfy the world’s hunger for bandwidth. Greater connectivity and broader bandwidth were achieved with Next-Generation Networks (NGNs), optical broadband and IMT-Advanced (4G) mobile-wireless systems. Following NGNs and 4G, Future Networks and IMT-2020 (5G) systems will do the same. With each step forward, the industry finds new ways of supporting an increasing number and diversity of bandwidth-hungry services and applications.

ITU-T standards offer blueprints for highly configurable smart networks with the flexibility necessary to account for large and unpredictable changes in bandwidth use. Efficient traffic management is essential, especially in catering to the different requirements of different forms of traffic.

ITU-T standards for traffic management – coupled with effective measures to increase the transparency of such techniques to consumers – can improve the extent to which commercial incentives align with regulator’s objectives to ensure that the Internet remains true to the principle of free and open exchange of information.

Read the full text authored by Chaesub Lee, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau.

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