EU funded project working on solutions for faster Internet

All internet users have at some time or another complained about slow surfing speeds or a tiresome wait for a video to load. A group of European engineers from Spain, Hungary and Sweden decided to try to counter such problems by monitoring traffic and tailoring services to meet demand. A number of leading communication companies have already taken up the newly developed methodology used for traffic measurements.

The Internet is a complex 'beast', made up of different networks that are managed by various service providers, who manage the data being sent and monitor the amount of traffic being used. When the data traffic on a network is too dense bottlenecks can occur, slowing the delivery of information to a computer and resulting in a slower internet experience. EUREKA, the European platform for research and development (R&D) funding, supported the research study.

The TRAMMS ('Traffic measurements and models in multi-service networks') project tried to solve this problem using experiences gained after monitoring internet networks in Spain and Sweden over a three-year period. This gave them an excellent insight into user behaviour, enabling them to accurately measure network traffic so that in the future service providers will know how much capacity is needed and can avoid any jams.

The research team pointed out that the project was successful because, contrary to the norm, they were allowed access to very sensitive data on internet traffic measurements

The project monitored internet protocol (IP) traffic (the flow of data on the Internet), routing decisions (the selection of which path to send network traffic), the quality of service (giving priority to certain applications such as multimedia) and available bandwidth. Indeed, the team managed to collect an astonishing 3,000 terabytes of data over the 3-year period. This was important as it allowed them to study trends and changes over an extended period of time amid a continuous influx of information.

Member of the project are now working on a follow-up project entitled IPNQSIS ('IP network monitoring for quality of service intelligent support'), which deals with the quality of experience in network services, such as voice over IP (VoIP), video on demand (VoD) and IP television (IPTV). These are sectors where network service providers are expecting huge revenue opportunities.