My dislike for the rotten carrier commonly known as T-Mobile has brought me loads of flak in the last few years – the grass always is greener on the other side.
The US division of T-Mobile has now made a very stupid move in an attempt to fight net neutrality: they have openly admitted that a single app managed to bring their network down.
See it yourself in a PDF from the FCC, or read below:
T-Mobile network service was temporarily degraded recently when an independent application developer released an Android-based instant messaging application that was designed to refresh its network connection with substantial frequency.
The frequent refresh feature did not create problems during the testing the developer did via the WiFi to wireline broadband environment, but in the wireless environment, it caused severe overload in certain densely populated network nodes, because it massively increased signaling—especially once it became more popular and more T-Mobile users began downloading it to their smartphones. One study showed that network utilization of one device increased by 1,200% from this one application alone.
These signaling problems not only caused network overload problems that affected all T-Mobile broadband users in the area; it also ended up forcing T-Mobile’s UMTS radio vendors to reevaluate the architecture of their Radio Network Controllers to address this never-before-seen signaling issue.
Ultimately, this was solved in the short term by reaching out to the developer directly to work out a means of better coding the application.
I am pretty sure that this has done them more harm than good – let’s see how long it takes for another carrier to make fun of them…