Qualcomm joins net neutrality debate

US mobile phone chipmaker Qualcomm has called for measures to limit heavy data users as wireless networks reach capacity.

US mobile phone chipmaker Qualcomm has called for measures to limit heavy data users as wireless networks reach capacity.

US wireless network operators report that data usage has increased 50 times in the past three years.

Paul Jacobs, Qualcomm chief executive told the 2009 CTIA wireless industry conference in San Diego that traffic shaping is one way of solving the problem, according to the Financial Times.

Earlier this week, Julius Genachowski, head of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), warned of a looming crisis in the face of an explosion in wireless data traffic.

Jacobs said mechanisms should be introduced to prevent heavy users from hogging the available capacity to the detriment of other users paying the same for the service.

The approach flies in the face of supporters of net neutrality who say Internet providers should not block, speed up or slow down web content based on its source, ownership or destination.

Google, a supporter of net neutrality, has recently been in the firing line over its Google Voice IP telephony application.

US telecoms group AT&T has accused Google of benefiting from an unfair competitive advantage by ducking FCC rules, but Google says the rules apply to phone services not web applications.

Genachowski said the FCC is still considering measures to preserve an open internet and although the FCC wants to avoid heavy-handed legislation, mobile congestion issues need to be addressed.

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