taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for April, 2011

Can Service Providers charge for video?

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

According to a vox populi poll at the recent IMS World Forum, the answer is no. Admittedly, this was just based on a show of hands, but enough service providers were in the room to suggest it was representative. Perhaps no-one was prepared to stand up and be counted.

Whatever the reason, the feedback suggests great uncertainty regarding charging models for video calling. But, it also raises more questions. Under what circumstances could video be something that does attract a premium? Can there be any such circumstances under which this might happen? Are users so accustomed to free video that charges will be unacceptable under any circumstances?

As service providers seek to differentiate their offers and plans -  and consider the addition of rich communications services – they are going to have to come up with some really good reasons why video could become a premium service, rather than one that is simply taken for granted.

End to end enforcement, charging and billing needs visibility at client level

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

End-to-End Ambitions Need to Go Beyond the Network

In a recent Heavy Reading survey on Policy Control, author and analyst Graham Finnie is quoted as saying “Can we easily and seamlessly integrate with all the enforcement elements, charging and billing systems? Can we make it easy to create and deploy policies? Can we do it end-to-end? In real-time, at cell level?”.

This is a terrific question. Currently, the answer is no: in reality, the end-to-end aspect is limited by the boundary of the network, whether fixed, mobile or converged. But, the devices used by subscribers are beyond the reach of existing policy management and enforcement systems.

This is where GoS comes in. The unique GoS software solutions extend visibility and control of subscriber application usage and behavior beyond the range of current policy solutions, enabling true end-to-end control right down to the client device.

What is needed to turn policy into #sexybilling?

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Pricing Transparency: Fair Play a Key First Step to Monetising Policy

At Informa’s recent Policy Control event in Amsterdam, a speaker from Bridgewater Systems made a strong case for end-user transparency as being critical for reducing “bill-shock fear” and encouraging spending. In related news, which also captured the attention of national newspapers and BBC Radio 4′s flagship current affairs programme, “Today”, it emerged that mobile subscribers in the UK are typically overspending to a dramatic extent on their mobile bills. According to the research, the reason for this, is that subscribers are often tied to an inappropriate subscription package, giving more minutes than are actually used, for example.

Instead of tying individuals to bundles that over-estimate their actual usage, MNOs might benefit from dynamic subscriptions that adjust to real subscriber usage, providing credits or taking additional fees as required. Such flexibility might even attract a marginal premium for providing greater predictability and removing any sense of wastage through not using available minutes, but users would be confidant that they would be billed appropriately. If end-user transparency is indeed critical for reducing bill-shock fear, dynamic pricing schemes, with appropriate tie-ins and commitments could be a key first step to introducing richer pricing bundles and further differentiated services, in other words, policy-driven charging.

If MNOs are to gain acceptance for the kind of advanced policy-driven pricing that is currently being mooted in conferences around the world, full transparency in price plans and tariffs will be essential. In the end, MNOs will benefit from being able to charge for a wider range of services and options – and subscribers will benefit from greater confidence in their service provider.