Although a subject of heated debate among net neutrality advocates when cable operators first began using it, DPI is expected to become commonplace as WiMAX and LTE since the technologies are ready-made in a 4G environment. As reported on Wireless Week, controversy over DPI specifically seems to have quieted but it is expected that eventual regulations on the issue will focus more on the unfair prioritization of traffic than underlying network management techniques. Deep packet inspection has valid uses for network management but it also allows Internet service providers to discriminate against traffic if they so choose.
“It’s unclear to what extent wireless operators are using DPI in their 3G networks. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile did not reply to requests for comment on the issue and AT&T declined to comment.
However, there is a near-consensus opinion among analysts that most carriers are experimenting with DPI in their 3G networks and will definitely be using it for WiMAX and LTE. Bridgewater Systems, which provides telecom companies technology that leverages DPI, says there’s been ‘increasing demand’ from wireless operators for its products over the past two years.
Analysts expect use of DPI and other in-depth network management tools to become commonplace as WiMAX and LTE networks scale across the globe, since the technologies are ready-made in a 4G environment. “