Digital Spy

Search Digital Spy
 

DS Forums

 
 

Three - Traffic Sense - How does it work?


Reply
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 25-08-2013, 22:12
Prof-x
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 230

Has anyone noticed the existence of 3s traffic sense?

Details seems sketchy, i wondered if anyone had more conclusive info about traffic sense, how it's triggered and enforced?

I've been away a lot recently, normally using 2-3Gb per month i can use up to 1Gb per day when i tether my ipad / laptop. Mainly netflix, iplayer, youtube.

I assume this wont be enough to trigger the traffic sense as i dont want to be speed restricted to any period of time.

The confusing bit is their official summary mentions three can decide to restrict bandwidth for p2p and tethering. A bit vague as that could suggest tethering users are automatically speed restricted when it is congested. In addition p2p is speed restricted at peak times, which seems to make sense. Just wondered if tethering regardless of data used is speed capped? And if anybody has seen the effects.
Prof-x is offline   Reply With Quote
Please sign in or register to remove this advertisement.
Old 25-08-2013, 22:14
jabbamk1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,600
I've used 70GB a month and it's not affected me.

Tbh as long as you're on the one plan you should be fine.
The only issues i've read about on here and XDA in the last year have involved people on pay as you go being throttled for tethering (which is against T&C) and people being throttled on P2P (which again is against T&C).

I think the only time traffic sense is imposed on tethering is if it's not included in the plan or if there is heavy congestion.

Three prioritize streaming now though so if that's all you're doing it should be fine.
jabbamk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 22:21
Thine Wonk
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 10,830
Has anyone noticed the existence of 3s traffic sense?

Details seems sketchy, i wondered if anyone had more conclusive info about traffic sense, how it's triggered and enforced?

I've been away a lot recently, normally using 2-3Gb per month i can use up to 1Gb per day when i tether my ipad / laptop. Mainly netflix, iplayer, youtube.

I assume this wont be enough to trigger the traffic sense as i dont want to be speed restricted to any period of time.

The confusing bit is their official summary mentions three can decide to restrict bandwidth for p2p and tethering. A bit vague as that could suggest tethering users are automatically speed restricted when it is congested. In addition p2p is speed restricted at peak times, which seems to make sense. Just wondered if tethering regardless of data used is speed capped? And if anybody has seen the effects.
I don't think anyone has the exact detail, but traffic sense is either software installed on their own servers or appliances.

They no doubt keep a database on the appliances which maps the subscriber identity reference IMSI to their data usage and type and then upon a pre-set limit or usage pattern they throttle. They will be able to set up their own profile based on times, data and what protocols are used etc.

I believe it's based on deep packet inspection, they would then use either QoS or well known TCP disruption mechanisms to slow down and rate limited the connection. The way TCP works is it doesn't know what the best rate of data throughput is, so it starts of and increases speeds until packets start to get lost and finds an optimum. There are known mechanisms to artificially throttle speeds by mimicking what would happen when the connection really reaches it's maximum throughput.

This is all supposition as I don't know exactly how Three do it. What profile they've chosen could be amount of data over a time period, any P2P may instantly trigger it, tethering on non tethering plans may instantly trigger it, who knows how they set it up. I think you have to use a lot of data to trigger it if you're not using P2P though.

There are people on Three using 80GB a month and I suspect they will be slowing those people down soon so that everyone gets good network performance and certain people don't hog all the resources.
Thine Wonk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 22:34
jabbamk1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,600
I don't think anyone has the exact detail, but traffic sense is either software installed on their own servers or appliances.

They no doubt keep a database on the appliances which maps the subscriber identity reference IMSI to their data usage and type and then upon a pre-set limit or usage pattern they throttle. They will be able to set up their own profile based on times, data and what protocols are used etc.

I believe it's based on deep packet inspection, they would then use either QoS or well known TCP disruption mechanisms to slow down and rate limited the connection. The way TCP works is it doesn't know what the best rate of data throughput is, so it starts of and increases speeds until packets start to get lost and finds an optimum. There are known mechanisms to artificially throttle speeds by mimicking what would happen when the connection really reaches it's maximum throughput.

This is all supposition as I don't know exactly how Three do it. What profile they've chosen could be amount of data over a time period, any P2P may instantly trigger it, tethering on non tethering plans may instantly trigger it, who knows how they set it up. I think you have to use a lot of data to trigger it if you're not using P2P though.

There are people on Three using 80GB a month and I suspect they will be slowing those people down soon so that everyone gets good network performance and certain people don't hog all the resources.
It's based on packet inspection. and i'm fairly certain tethering on a non tethering supported plan does trigger it farily quickly.

Apart from that i don't know much else. I do think you're on the right tracks about how it works though.

But for now it really hasn't affected a lot of people on the one plan.

If it affects you you'd notice your speeds dropping at exactly 3pm and then speeding up after midnight. And according to the traffic sense documents this should only happen when you are tethering and not on the phone side.
jabbamk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 22:47
Zee_Bukhari
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 1,063
me and my friend are on PAYG and tether perfectly fine
Zee_Bukhari is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 22:49
jabbamk1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,600
me and my friend are on PAYG and tether perfectly fine
I can tether on my OLD pay as you go account just fine as well.

But if i buy a new pay as you go sim i can't tether at all or get throttled. Like i've said in the past on here, it really varies as to whether someone gets blocked straight away or can get away with it.
jabbamk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 22:55
Prof-x
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 230
thanks all

I have been on the one plan since June this year and very pleased with speeds.

I'm currently tethering as i'm away from home and the speeds are very variable in this particular location. One minute a speedtest is recording 5Mbps solid, the next 0.6Mbps. However i have no problems streaming something on netflix, although it's not HD.

How you explained traffic sense working does seem pretty neat, figuring out a max theoretical throughput, almost like load balancing.

The one reassuring thing is it doesn't seem like streaming loads of netflix over tethering is going to lead to problems with speed throttling for me.
Prof-x is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 23:01
jabbamk1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,600
The one reassuring thing is it doesn't seem like streaming loads of netflix over tethering is going to lead to problems with speed throttling for me.
Yeh, they do prioritize streaming. But unsure if that's just on mobile or both on tethering and mobile as well.

Like it mentions in the traffic sense article, tethering can be traffic managed. (heavy tethering)

So far i've personally not noticed it though.
jabbamk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 23:40
Aye Up
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Somewhere only I know
Posts: 3,031
As I understand it from the guff that has been issued by Three follows a pattern similar to other networks although incredibly lenient in the process. Where cells are heavily used, it will load balance it so everyone on that cell gets an acceptable level of service. I do understand it traffic sense refers not to just individual lines being managed but also a site. The term is rather broad, something Three is reluctant to even discuss in much detail.

Its ironic is one sense, 3 offers the most liberal of plans when it comes to tethering (i.e. the One Plan). But I would certainly argue its the most aggressive in enforcing usage restrictions. Example: putting a One Plan sim card in an iPad, would throw a fit and advise the sim plan isn't designed for that kind of use. Where as the other big boys don't appear to enforce it in that kind of way. I am no expert but Three's traffic management I would certainly argue is industry leading as it is able to distinguish very easily between the differing forms of traffic and usage.
Aye Up is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 25-08-2013, 23:53
jabbamk1
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: London, UK
Posts: 7,600
Its ironic is one sense, 3 offers the most liberal of plans when it comes to tethering (i.e. the One Plan). But I would certainly argue its the most aggressive in enforcing usage restrictions. Example: putting a One Plan sim card in an iPad, would throw a fit and advise the sim plan isn't designed for that kind of use. Where as the other big boys don't appear to enforce it in that kind of way. I am no expert but Three's traffic management I would certainly argue is industry leading as it is able to distinguish very easily between the differing forms of traffic and usage.
It's also understandable due to Three offering truly unlimited data, uncapped speeds and tethering. A proposition no other network can offer. So it does make sense why they are so strict on the one plan or other phone sims being used in non phone devices, or people tethering on other plans (where tethering is not allowed) being throttled and cut off.

The only thing i don't agree with and find very strange is that Three also enforce a tethering block on limited data plans as well. Something that ultimately doesn't matter as there is a data cap anyway.
jabbamk1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2013, 02:59
Aye Up
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Somewhere only I know
Posts: 3,031
It's also understandable due to Three offering truly unlimited data, uncapped speeds and tethering. A proposition no other network can offer. So it does make sense why they are so strict on the one plan or other phone sims being used in non phone devices, or people tethering on other plans (where tethering is not allowed) being throttled and cut off.

The only thing i don't agree with and find very strange is that Three also enforce a tethering block on limited data plans as well. Something that ultimately doesn't matter as there is a data cap anyway.
I am inclined to agree with you, there have to be some limits so to speak when a network offers unlimited. Whether that is balancing or "managing" heavy users then it is fair. TBF if I was a customer of Three I personally wouldn't mind stuff like P2P and the like being throttled as long as I was able to browse OK via tethering then I would be cool with that. Speed isn't the big thing I think for most people anyway its the ability to get to page or service they want.

I think on the iPad plans for example they do allow tethering I was previously on a 10gb rolling and they allowed me to tether no problem. Having a sim from another network didn't allow me and that was even less data.
Aye Up is offline Follow this poster on Twitter   Reply With Quote
Old 26-08-2013, 20:32
thebtman
Forum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 682
Its based on cell load, usage type and plan.

A VPN wont help throttling but will enable usage of some blocked streaming sites.

99% of my data use is via Tethering but I split it over two devices on [30 day] One Plans.
thebtman is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply



Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 
Forum Jump


All times are GMT. The time now is 07:14.