Where is the Speed Bottleneck in Telecom World?
Have you ever tried to measure your network access speed from your computer? It is easy; there are plenty of sites that offer this service for free. You choose your location and test server location (that should be close to you) and it will conduct the test. I have access to a 10 Mbps connection at our office; whenever I choose a server in California I can see more or less 10 Mbps, but as soon as I choose a server in East Coast the speed will reduce to 4-5 Mbps. Switch to a server in Europe it will be around 3 Mbps! My “access speed is 10 Mbps” but my end to end speed reduces a lot; because of core network limitations.
During 90s access network was the main bottleneck. Starting with dial up going to cable modem, to wireless data networks, 1-2 Mbps was the ultimate goal for end users. If we reach that speed the world would be perfect! Since couple of years ago, by improving access networks and increasing speeds in the access networks, customers start to see the bottleneck is moving to core network.
Couple of weeks ago, one of our broadband subscribers with 10 Mbps access link was complaining his end-to-end speed to his other office in Iowa is just limited to 4 Mbps! As a regular business owner (and not a technology geek!) he was complaining that I bought 10 Mbps and now I just receive 4 Mbps. It took our customer care service couple of days to teach networking to our customer and convinced him that this not an access network issue. Then he asked the most interesting question “if the core networks are not upgraded, what is the point to have all of this 10-50 Mbps access networks”!!! I guess after 10 years, we reach the point that Telco’s need to upgrade core networks. Late 90s was the hype time for core network mania. Everyone was expecting core networks will collapse but dot com bust of early 2000 slow it down. Now it is the right time, access networks are good enough folks, lets look again at core network for a while.