taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for March, 2012

End-to-End Policy Management with GoS 360°

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Have you thought about how to deliver true, end-to-end policy management?

GoS 360° extends policy control all the way to client devices in fixed and mobile networks. GoS 360° software can be embedded in devices and identifies different traffic streams and can prioritise high-value data traffic in both upstream and downstream directions.

 GoS 360° integrates with PCRF / Policy Engines via Gx, JSON or SOAP, and enables reliable, consistent delivery of network policies with optimised QoS.

With GoS 360°, service providers can achieve superior policy enforcement to the client device and deliver outstanding QoE. GoS 360° helps service providers manage bandwidth effectively for all users, saving CAPEX and OPEX.

GoS helps service providers deliver outstanding customer experience – contact us to find out more.

Moving up the value chain in M2M: The connected life and lessons from Amazon

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

There have been numerous forecasts regarding the growth potential for connected devices and M2M communications in the past year or so. Non-human device communication is expected to be the next major growth area for mobile communications. But, while many operators have been busy developing M2M strategies, it’s also recognised that many near-term M2M opportunities involve the transmission of relatively low-value and low-volume data traffic, albeit at potentially massive scale. Such a business must inevitably suffer from price competition and downward pressure on end-user prices.

However, in an interesting paper on business model innovation, the GSMA has analysed various approaches and drawn new insights from a comparison with Amazon’s growth in recent years. The way in which Amazon moved from a focus exclusively on books to become a channel through which customers could buy products from 19 different categories is, the authors reckon, instructive. In this process, Amazon outlined a focus on different kinds of customers – consumers, sellers and developers.

The paper summarises the shift by Amazon in three key points:

  • Adding a higher-quality of service to a basic value proposition
  • Expanding retail role
  • Facilitating platform innovation1

1Source: Connected Life – The Need for New Business Models (GSMA)

The GSMA go on to suggest three steps to evolve M2M services to add more value and build stronger MNO business models:

  1. Managed connectivity
  2. Stewardship services
  3. Platform innovation

What does this mean in practice? It means that MNOs need to go beyond simply offering connectivity, transport and devices for M2M services. They need to consider how to manage connectivity, offering different levels of service according to the needs of a particular application or resource, which may change.

They need to provide what is termed “stewardship” co-ordinating or facilitating connectivity across a range of applications for the same customer or a household with multiple users, catering to a range of different needs and being able to scale and flex capabilities to serve them, while providing a single entity to deliver the required services.

Finally, they need to deliver platforms that enable further service innovation possibilities and allow others to innovate on the same platforms. Essentially, this points to a future in which M2M services will be highly variable: some will be classic low-bit rate, low demand services that we see today, but others will be much more complex and will require a new set of capabilities – potentially yielding much better returns.

This means that MNOs need to look beyond today’s M2M business models and consider how they can evolve to add more value and encompass a broader set of attractive services. They may need to consider how to evolve end devices to ensure that these capabilities are available when required, which means incorporating the means to control and monitor device and application demands end-to-end.

Positioning for future evolution of M2M services is going to be a fundamental element of MNO strategy in the coming years. The GSMA’s initiative suggests a possible template for helping guide strategic thinking. But, one thing is clear: to increase the value of M2M communications available to them and to avoid diminishing returns from the value of bits, MNOs need to address how they deliver more innovative services on an end-to-end basis – and that means giving due consideration to the needs of the devices involved.

OTT Partnerships – Part of an Evolving Strategy

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

There’s a lot of debate about how traditional operators can interact with OTT providers. We’ve moved from fear to general understanding of their business models and their role in the ecosystem and recognition that many are a source of real service innovation, but not necessarily beyond that. New research from STL and leading policy specialists Openet highlights the current lack of clarity and vision from the traditional telco industry with respect to OTT providers. The question is, where do we go from here?

Well, while many MNOs, for example, are understandably concerned about declining voice revenues, there are plenty of opportunities for fruitful and profitable engagement with OTT providers.

Let’s consider network resources. These are scarce and operators – rightly some might say – want to make an appropriate return on their network investments. But, they also need to be able to offer access for all and this has led to a sense that they are in opposition to other providers who effectively “piggyback” as free-riders on their investments. Such a view is limiting, as it doesn’t allow for the possibility that they can monetise their network assets in new and innovative ways.

In the case of network resources, it’s one thing to offer open access, but quite another to offer enhanced service levels or guarantees that enable better, faster and richer services. For example, operators with network assets and resources can implement solutions that enable them to deliver quality of service as a service in itself: providing enhanced access to resources for a premium, not only to their own customers, but to third parties.

This is hardly a new concept – after all, many operators have been offering differentiated quality of service to their enterprise customers for years. What’s different is the ability to offer this as a service to other providers. This represents both an opportunity for all operators and an area in which differentiation can be achieved. How?

First, operators can provide exposure to attributes such as QoS via APIs from today’s generation of policy control solutions, which can be tightly integrated with network resources. But secondly, operators can go beyond this and extend policy control to client devices or gateways by deploying solutions that are embedded or downloaded directly to such devices. GoS 360° software, for example, delivers the ability to prioritise high-value data traffic in both upstream and downstream directions.

Once deployed, operators can guarantee policy delivery and control directly to end users, enabling them to differentiate their services in ways that are beyond OTT providers. And, by exposing access to PCRF and policy engines to third parties, operators can sell QoS as a service for demanding applications, enabling OTT providers to broaden their offer and deliver even more innovative services.

This is a real opportunity for engagement with the OTT community, by delivering something that is uniquely available to operators with network assets and connected customers. By doing so, they can realise revenue from their own customers and, increasingly, from OTT providers who can benefit from launching their own differentiated service offers.