Packet scheduling

QTA Multiplexing

The broadband industry is beginning to appreciate that there is more to effective service provision than simply capacity. The dramatic shift to home-based working during the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the increasing need for ubiquitous assured services beyond ever-more best-effort bandwidth, delivered using existing broadband infrastructure. Enterprise-quality connectivity is now needed not merely between offices but also to individual residences. It is becoming essential to assure those aspects of the service that impact end-user experience (UX), in particular the packet delay and loss characteristics of the end-to-end transport, in order to deliver on the promise of ‘network as a platform’.

We are able to model the customer experience, map this to application outcomes, and specify a fit-for-purpose network supply to ensure those outcomes. A new scheduling mechanism to ensure that this supply works appropriately has been developed by PNSol. It is based on the ∆Q Framework and called QTA Multiplexing.

QTA-Multiplexing (previously known as ‘contention management’) is a novel network function for data transport service assurance, that is able to deliver consistent bounds on quality attenuation while enabling efficient use of network resources. Unlike current QoS approaches that require considerable trial-and-error experimentation, QTA-Multiplexing is based on rigorous mathematics that enables powerful automation, while addressing issues of overbooking.

QTA-Multiplexing also has a low processing cost (which allows it to be embodied in low-cost CPEs) and high scalability (which enables cost-effective delivery to a large subscriber base). Together these permit deployment of assured differentiated services on a far wider scale than at present.

Service Assurance Wrapping

QTA-Multiplexing maintains assurance even when resources are saturated, allowing scarce and expensive network assets to be run ‘hotter’, delaying upgrades. This is particularly important for delivering assured services to subscribers using commodity broadband connections.

Point-to-point, point-to-multipoint and even fully meshed services can assured using PNSol QTA-Multiplexing technology. By ‘wrapping’ vanilla data transport services with real-time traffic management, high efficiency can be combined with assured delivery of differentiated services, while managing service complexity and limiting the number of bearers per customer, thus allowing an incremental roll-out.

The low computational cost of QTA-Multiplexing enables easy deployment as a VNF or within a CPE, enabling affordable delivery of assured services such as home/remote office functionality. Its linear scalability permits highly granular service assurance, with the capability to aggregate and dis-aggregate flows to contain configuration complexity. This can be used to deliver various combinations of:

  • Toll-quality VoIP;
  • High-integrity disc systems;
  • Remote working and flexible/distributed organisations;
  • Affordable videoconferencing;
  • Telehealth;
  • Smart grids;
  • 3/4/5G Small cells (3GPP over IP).
Interested in assuring service outcomes? Contact us!