taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for August, 2012

GoS Networks Joins the TM Forum!

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

GoS Networks is delighted to announce that it has joined the TM Forum. Recognised throughout the industry, the TM Forum is a global, non-profit industry association focused on enabling service provider agility and innovation.

Joining the TM Forum is another example of GoS Networks’ commitment to evolving best practice in the service provider community. Initiatives led by the TM Forum have acted as a unifying force across industries, enabling more than 900 member companies to solve critical business issues through access to a wealth of knowledge, intellectual capital and standards.

GoS Networks will use its membership of the TM Forum to forge closer links with service providers and help them overcome the challenges of delivering true end-to-end policy solutions, up to and including mobile devices.

As the industry moves to dynamic service activation and charging models, it’s essential to develop and exploit common frameworks. Future profitability and revenues will depend on the ability to deliver services reliably, efficiently and at the right level of performance. Policy management is critical to this and GoS Networks’ innovative solutions that enable the delivery of policy control directly to mobile devices provide clear differentiation for service providers.

The Forum provides a unique, fair and safe environment for the entire value-chain to collaborate and overcome the barriers to a vibrant, open digital economy, helping member companies of all sizes gain a competitive edge by enabling efficiency and agility in their IT and operations.

End to End Service Experience Must Mean Exactly That

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

The phrase ‘End to end’ is often used when discussing communications technologies but rarely given proper consideration. It can mean several things – a description of the life cycle of a service, for example – but more frequently, it’s used in the context of service quality between the end points in an act of communication.

At a simple level, that means between two handsets that are involved in a conversation, or between multiple devices that span different networks and are communicating in some way. In more complex terms, it can be used to describe service interaction between end points and servers in a network.

Since services are consumed by users, we cannot really conceive of them without some consideration of the end devices by which the service is accessed. And yet operators are forced to do just that because they lack the means to determine precisely what is going on in user devices. Without such knowledge, they can only obtain an incomplete picture of a service and certainly not an end to end understanding of user experience. They can only guess at what happens beyond the core of their network. Educated guesses, for sure, but guesses all the same.

This matters because services are increasingly complex and users may attempt many things at once, undermining the performance of a particular service. Users don’t differentiate between the needs of services, they just expect them to work.

To ensure that services are delivered as expected between all participants, operators have no choice but to attempt to build a true end to end picture. Fortunately, they can now do so, thanks to innovative software solutions that enable them to secure visibility and control of service performance in client devices.

It’s generally agreed that service control is now the domain of Policy servers, which are responsible for administration, initiation and access to services on behalf of individual users. By extending policy into client devices, operators can, for the first time, create a true end to end picture of their network and service performance from the perspective of the user.

And, it’s the users who really matter here – they pay the bills and make demands on the operator. As their demands grow, it’s going to be fundamental for operators to give end points proper consideration and remove guesswork from the picture.

 

Games in the Cloud

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

The growth of massively multiplayer online games is continuing to attract attention. Analysts have suggested that operators need to develop a strategy for securing the delivery of cloud-based gaming services, as part of their transformation from service providers to “experience providers”.

Operators are not in the business of delivering games directly. Instead, they are the channels through which online gaming providers reach customers, and operators therefore constitute an essential part of the value chain. Operators should be creating the conditions under which users can obtain the best experience from online games. Streaming game services need optimised, high-speed connections and, as Analysys Mason note in a recent viewpoint, operators are an essential part of the ecosystem necessary for their delivery.

Of course, customers can choose whichever gaming provider suits their interests, but the choice of operator is probably taken for granted. It’s just assumed that the service will be delivered as expected. But that’s quite an assumption and, as more and more players demand these services, particularly from mobile devices, the importance of the operator will grow.

According to Analysys Mason, cloud gaming services provide an opportunity for operators to “generate new revenue streams, differentiate service bundles [and] reduce churn”. They can achieve this by offering enhanced service and performance guarantees for gamers, delivering a superior quality of experience.

To do so requires the ability to identify and prioritise gaming traffic to ensure that the relevant performance parameters are met. This means delivering policy control to client devices, particularly in mobile networks where conditions are subject to greater variation than in fixed environments.

Recognising an opportunity to create value and revenue is one thing, but taking control of the means to capitalise on the opportunity is quite another. Operators must evolve their policy framework to address the gaming market and they must deploy suitable clients for mobile devices that enable them to extend policy control and management solutions directly to the user. Only by doing so can they begin to deliver the kind of optimised gaming solutions that users will increasingly demand. Having optimised connectivity for gamers, operators can build stronger relationships with the gaming providers, creating a mutually beneficial circle that delivers greater value for all stakeholders.

A successful cloud-based gaming strategy must encompass the complete value chain but it can be executed successfully simply by extending existing policy control solutions into the user domain. It’s a simple step, but a huge leap along the path to creating a truly differentiated user experience.