The Speed Triangle - speed promises, growing traffic and capacity in balance (2022)

By Robert-Jan van Minnen, Liberty Global – Liberty Tech

The ‘speed’ of internet is typically conceived as the main indicator of the quality of our internet connection. Operators have been using the available top speed as a selling argument. For good reasons because cable could deliver a lot.

As usage grew the race for higher speeds was on. The race could be fueled by adding more and more capacity. But there are limits as spectrum is not free and expansion needs time and investment. Fiber can provide the next order of magnitude but doesn’t come for free as well and over time will also require upgrades.

This paper focuses on the question how we can optimize the capacity we deploy in relation to the growing traffic and speed promise.

A simple formula is proposed, tying capacity together with traffic and speed performance. It is an evolution on the k-factor (re. Tom Cloonan, CommScope). This formula is translated into practical applications to plan into the future and to (virtually) measure the actuals of today.

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