TCP Optimization: Opportunities, KPIs, and Considerations
An Industry Whitepaper
The Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) is the engine of the Internet. Due to its ubiquitous use in video streaming, web browsing, file transfers, communications, and other application types, TCP typically represents 85% to 90% of fixed access Internet traffic and as much as 96% of mobile Internet traffic.
However, for a number of reasons explained in this document, TCP performance on today’s networks is sub-optimal. Far from a minor inconvenience, this reality costs communications service providers (CSPs) enormous sums due to inefficient use of expensive resources, poor subscriber quality of experience (QoE), and other factors.
By taking control of TCP with an optimization solution, a CSP can improve TCP execution in five ways, by:
- Reducing the time to reach available bandwidth
- Maintaining available bandwidth
- Adapting to changes in available bandwidth
- Handling packet loss in last-mile networks
- Handling congestion in last-mile networks
By doing so, a CSP (and the CSP’s customers) benefit from dramatically improved TCP performance, including:
- Higher average TCP transfer speeds
- Lower and more consistent TCP round-trip times
- Lower retransmission rates
- Increased goodput
- Improved network efficiency
By truly understanding the ways in which TCP performance can be optimized, the KPIs by which these optimizations can be measured, and the related considerations, a CSP will be in a position to make an informed decision and choose the most suitable solution.