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Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

When it comes to loading mobile networks with signaling traffic, the popular Angry Birds mobile app on Android devices looks more like Hitchcock's The Birds to operators. (See Operators Urge Action Against Chatty Apps .)

That's because the gaming app generates significantly more signaling traffic on devices based on Google (Nasdaq: GOOG)'s Android OS than on other smartphones, including Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPhone, according to recent tests conducted by Nokia Networks ' Smart Labs.

NSN found that when measured against their smartphone baseline of 688 signals sent to the network per hour, Angry Birds on an Android-based Samsung Corp. Galaxy smartphone, with mobile advertising, generated 2,422 signals in one hour of play, which is a whopping 352 percent increase. By comparison, Angry Birds on an iPhone with no advertising generated 8 percent more signaling traffic than NSN's smartphone baseline after an hour of play.

The main reason for the significant difference in signaling traffic is the addition of mobile advertising in the Android Market version of Angry Birds, according to Leslie Shannon, NSN's marketing manager for mobile broadband. Each time a player reaches a new level in the game, a mobile ad is delivered that requires a network connection, she explained. "You can see the effect this has on the network," she said.

Angry Birds creator Rovio Mobile Ltd. is aware of this signaling issue. Rovio founder and "Mighty Eagle" (yes, that's his official title) Peter Vesterbacka told Light Reading Mobile at the Open Mobile Summit in London last week that his firm is working with NSN and taking steps to optimize the mobile app.

"We want to make sure we're a good ecosystem citizen … we want to play nice," Vesterbacka said. "So, operators will, let's say, not create any problems.

"There's a lot we can do in the app [to resolve this problem] and we can do it faster than the handset manufacturers," he said.

Why this matters
Angry Birds is just one mobile app, but this example shows how apps can behave differently on different smartphones when it comes to the amount of signaling traffic they generate.

It's this unpredictability that operators are struggling to deal with as certain apps and devices cause erratic spikes in signaling traffic on their networks -- sometimes with the ultimately devastating effect of making voice calls impossible. And the troubles with signaling traffic are a key reason why operators have recently started talking about the need for better cooperation with apps developers and device manufacturers.

For more
Coping with signaling traffic load, while not the most glamorous of subjects, is an important issue for mobile operators today.



— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

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sarahthomas1011 12/5/2012 | 5:02:15 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

They're what a peacock uses to attract a mate.

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:15 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

What are signaling feathers?

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:14 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

that's not bad. 

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:02:14 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

These numbers from NSN are interesting because they highlight the impact in-app mobile ads can have on the network. 

Michelle Donegan 12/5/2012 | 5:02:14 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

Honestly, such a snobby editor! You know, SIGNALING feathers! ;-)

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 5:02:13 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

snobby? me? i'm so surprised my monocle just fell on my desk.

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:02:13 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

I wonder if Apple's in-app ads are tracked differently?

paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 5:02:11 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

 


So, to the dedicated posters here like Stevery, Sailboat, rj, fg...Ever wonder what it must be like to work for Phil?  I think there is enough of us to do a "Profile" of the man - the myth - the legend...


 


Now if the paid coorespondents want to chime in that is fine as well.  Just remember, Phil can change your pay grade - but no sucking up!  


 


So, here to kick things off.  I always imagine Phil hunched over a keyboard with a eye patch on one eye and a plushy of Larry on his shoulder.  Instead of a sword, he is packing an iPhone.  Sort of Jack Sparrow crossed with Revenge of the Nerds.


:)


seven


 

joset01 12/5/2012 | 5:02:10 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

Wow, uncanny! Now just imagine the iPhone dropping out every two minutes to complete the picture!

yarn 12/5/2012 | 5:02:10 PM
re: Angry Birds Ruffle Signaling Feathers

That man definitely got a chimp on his shoulder:-)

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