What is Traffic Management?
"Traffic Management" (or "Traffic Shaping") is used to describe measures for the management of traffic across networks in order to ensure that networks operate in an efficient manner. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) may take measures to "manage" or "shape" traffic, for example, by prioritising some types of traffic over others; or by slowing down, restricting or rationing certain types of traffic. Such measures may be generally implemented or implemented only during peak periods.
Does M1 practice Traffic Management measures?
We undertake Traffic Management measures from time to time in order to ensure that our networks are always operating at optimal efficiency so as to deliver optimum performance and a consistent broadband user experience to our Mobile/Mobile Broadband subscribers.
What is the impact of Traffic Management measures on P2P activities?
Based on the diverse spread of Internet activities, P2P has been ranked first as a major consumption of resources over the broadband network although it may have been utilised by a relatively small number of subscribers. P2P protocol is based on an architecture that increases bandwidth consumption exponentially as more nodes peer with each other for data or file transfers. As a result, even if only a small number of Mobile/Mobile Broadband subscribers practice this method of file or data sharing, it will cause an uneven distribution of network consumption. This practice will subsequently cause congestion to the network and affect subscribers who are undertaking other Internet activities.
In order to provide a fair and consistent experience for our subscribers, traffic shaping is implemented to P2P activities during peak hours and is meant to ensure that such specific network traffic does not overwhelm our resources or affect general user experience. The methodology used involves the prioritisation of Internet traffic utilised by our subscribers once P2P protocol activities within the network reaches a certain predefined level. End user activities and contents are not monitored as this process only identifies the specific P2P protocols over the Internet.
From the perspective of a typical subscriber, the surfing experience will vary according to the activities they undertake. For example, a subscriber who surfs, emails or watches video streaming will not be affected by the traffic shaping policy which is primarily targeted at containing P2P subscribers from over-utilising the network with their exponential consumption. This is prevalent throughout the peak and non-peak periods for the typical subscriber who will enjoy the throughput consistent to their subscribed service level.
For the subscriber who is on P2P activities, the traffic shaping policies will only be activated when the aggregated P2P traffic consumption increases beyond our pre-defined level within our network. As a result, subscribers on P2P activities will find that their data or file transfer might slow down by up to three times the normal average speed. This can normally be expected during peak hours (from 8pm to 2am during weekdays and 11am to 2am during weekends) when more subscribers might be engaging in P2P activities. Traffic management is currently not implemented during off-peak hours. In addition, due to the nature of the P2P protocol, there are also other varying factors apart from our network management policies which may affect the data or file transfer speed such as the subscriber's own computer configurations, configuration of the P2P application, and the number of peering nodes facilitating the specific file that is being transferred. These factors combined will determine the actual speed at which P2P data or files are being transferred at any point in time.