back to article Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum

Ericsson and SoftBank in Japan have demonstrated a system which lets the network control not just how much bandwidth you have but how much spectrum each user gets to play with. Throttling heavy users and giving more capacity to those on higher tariffs usually takes place at an IP level, but now Ericsson and SoftBank have shown …

  1. JetSetJim Silver badge

    Been done before

    I saw UMTS networks that gave users different data rates based on their subscription type. Not a huge leap to "optimise the network" (aka penalise/throttle heavy users) via policy control in this way just by expanding the enum for "subscription type" to include that information, ignoring the probably extensions added into the LTE specs - this could be set to only kick in when there's congestion, or run all the time..

  2. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    this could be set to only kick in when there's more gouging wanted.

  3. ShadowedOne

    I already pay for what I get. The related question is, 'Do I get what I pay for?'

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This doesn't look like throttling to me

    Or at least not "just" throttling. If you have some users that are heavy bandwidth users and some that are using very little, why would you want to allocate them the same amount of spectrum. Yes, this could be used to give less spectrum to heavy users and slow them down, but it could also be used to give less spectrum to the light users, making more efficient use of spectrum.

    The technology is good, and something that would help everyone. That it can be put to bad purpose by carriers is irrelevant, as they can already throttle customers at the IP level. If they're going to throttle, this would be a better way, as it would free up some of the spectrum that would be wasted if they're throttled at the IP level to improve service for other users.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Could this be used to prioritize emergency calls on congested networks? I'm thinking large scale emergencies where everybody jumps on at once.

    Something like user dials emergency number*, base station ensures bandwidth for the call by limiting the speed of data connections and people connected to non-emergency numbers (i.e. reporting they're OK to family.)

    * Assuming there is enough bandwidth to initiate the call.

    1. veti Silver badge

      It absolutely could be used to prioritise emergency calls.

      But then the problem arises, what happens when a tube train derails and 1500 people call emergency services all at once?

      The congestion is going to happen somewhere, it's just a matter of who has to soak it up.

    2. JetSetJim Silver badge

      There is already call preemption for emergency calls. If the network is congested it will dump calls to handle an emergency call request

  6. Someone Else Silver badge

    Please check your BS Bingo cards everyone...

    "To accommodate our subscribers and data traffic growth bottom line, it is critical to optimize our spectrum. By enabling us to dynamically allocate the best radio resources on a per-user, per-terminal basis, Ericsson Mobility-based Policy has the potential to increase our network flexibility ability to gouge while reducing signalling traffic access to our lower paying users network wide - this efficiency new cudgel drives additional opportunities to improve both the user experience and network performance raise our rates while treating recalcitrant users who won't ante up with the disdain they deserve."

    There, Fixed it for ya.

    (And, I think I have Bingo even after I fixed it....)

  7. bigdish


    ...Resource Blocks occupy 180kHz of bandwidth (12 subcarriers with a spacing of 15kHz per subcarrier)...

    ...and normal LTE resource allocation takes place by assigning one or more RBs to each active user on a subframe by subframe basis... if that's how 'normal' LTE resource allocation works I'm not sure I really understand what's new or different about the feature that Ericsson has announced? Or maybe I'm missing something...? unless what they're saying is that higher priority users are allocated RBs that have the best reported quality and that can therefore carry the highest data rates in that cell - so it's a kind of 'radio quality-based' prioritisation scheme?

  8. TRT Silver badge

    Spectrum management?

    I suppose the core software is Kernel White.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Spectrum management?

      I suppose the core software is Kernel White. the Library, with the candlestick?

  9. ilmari

    Emergency calls

    emergency calls, and calls in general, are surely already prioritized over data?

    Though one wonders what the point is for many people to call about the same emergency, congests the call centre and prevents them handling other emergencies elsewhere.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022