Re: [Apn] [arch-d] Questions for APN: Q#5

Christian Huitema <> Tue, 22 September 2020 15:29 UTC

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From: Christian Huitema <>
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Subject: Re: [Apn] [arch-d] Questions for APN: Q#5
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On 9/21/2020 11:44 PM, Lars Eggert wrote:

> Hi,
> On 2020-9-22, at 9:02, wrote:
>> [Shuping] Again APN is aimed to work within a controlled and limited operators’ network domain not for Internet.
> that significantly limits the attractiveness of this proposal to application vendors. They can either buy into APN and ship an app that only works in some (initially, very few to none) operator networks. Or, they can ship a slightly less optimal app that works on the entire Internet with its billions of users.
> More broadly, I'd like to point out that during the entire history of the Internet there were application classes that the deployed networks at the time were struggling to support. There were always claims that something like APN was needed, i.e, solutions that were intending to improve network performance and quality but that were also adding significant complexity and often required application changes.
Yes indeed. In the 90's the argument was around video conferencing,
which "obviously" could not work on a plain best effort service. And
then we got Skype.
> What always happened so far was that Moore's law solved these problems, by improving the performance and quality of the general Internet so that best effort was sufficient to support all these "special" applications a few years down the road.
Yes. Indeed the whole history of wireless is driven by Moore's law. For
example, the theory of MIMO has been known for some time, put the
application and the use of large number of input and output is only
possible because of progress in electronics.
> The same will happen with the use cases presented to motivate the need for APN. The general Internet may struggle to support them now, but in five years or so - which is about the time horizon for any APN enablement of any operator network to happen - these will just work.

More bandwidth solves a lot of these issues. But we can also expect
improvement in transport protocols and in queue management. Active Queue
Management techniques can isolate different data streams and prevent
stupid issues like "my daughter playing video games is degrading my
VPN". New congestion control protocols like BBR actively manage queuing
delays, resulting in significantly lower latency overall. And then
application just get smarter in their use of caches, redundancy, gap
filling, etc. All that is guaranteed to improve over time.

-- Christian Huitema