Now who doesn’t want to watch a HD movie on a mobile phone? Ok, so here is how it all works. When a mobile is a connected to a network, for data access, a pipe is created for the same in the network. The pipe gets fatter as you pay higher below in simple words.
Voice call is circuited switched. That is when you make a voice call direct connection is established between calling device and called device.
The connection is established unless either of the parties hang up. This, however, is not the case with data network. Data service is best effort service where there is no direct connection or one path established.
When GPRS was introduced, two new nodes were introduced in the network which are called as SGSN and GGSN. Typically these are very power full devices(routers) with lot of intelligence.
So when mobile connects to the network, an IP address is assigned to it and also a “PIPE” is created between the two nodes(SGSN & GGSN). All the data that is being accessed by that particular mobile flows in this particular pipe and users are charged for these pipes.
As thousands of mobiles connect to the network, thousands of pipes are created. Each pipe is clearly differentiated and is charged for the data that flows in it.
One important thing to note is that these pipes are at operators mercy, which means the pipes can be made fatter or thinner based on network conditions and charges. An operator doesn’t have much control over the radio network, but a lot can be done over these pipes. So if a mobile is consuming all the radio channels, operator can intelligently “thinner” the pipe, thus releasing the radio resources.
The control over pipes allows the operators to block and allow traffic. When 3G is fully functional, there is good chance that operators may block services like skype or google voice chat because it might reduce the revenue. People start using skype to make calls instead of voice calls? Well, atleast geeks would try it for the fun of it.
For next few years it will be pipes every where. Operators trying to make them intelligent and subscribers wishing for more.
More to come! Stay tuned.