taking policy to the
smart connected device

Archive for September, 2012

News from Mobile Broadband World 2012: Quality of Service is the Next Dimension of Choice.

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

At the Mobile Broadband World conference in London today, we heard from a number of operators that are actively considering launching service plans based on QoS as a differential. QoS, according to at least one speaker, would offer the next generation of choice for users.

To date, we have primarily considered two dimensions on which broadband plans can be differentiated (beyond a simple yardstick, such as price) – speed and the mode of access. The addition of quality as a third dimension opens up the possibility for new models and new revenue streams, potentially heralding a new generation of associated services.

First, quality can be paid for directly by the end user – perhaps dynamically to increase download speed or to guarantee quality for a video session. Secondly, quality can be paid for indirectly by the end user, as in cases where the service provider delivers an enhanced package but pays the network operator for the additional quality levels, the differential being transparent to the paying consumer.

At least one of the operators present is taking the first steps towards such a model, distinguishing between different traffic classes, such as “conversational” “streaming” “interactive” “background” in plans that are offered to paying customers.

This is a key step forward. Cementing the concept of quality as a service within price plans and business models is a necessary step to the goal of capturing more value from consumers and delivering the kind of intelligent services operators will need to protect and grow revenue and margin.

Of course, these are early days and these ideas are bound to evolve. But, incorporating QoS into pricing plans is a clear recognition that operators can add value to subscriber sessions in ways that are uniquely within their control. This is an opportunity to claim more value – both to downstream customers and to upstream service providers.

 

 

GoS Networks to Present at Mobile Broadband World 24 – 26 September 2012, Hilton Canary Wharf, London

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Why We Need Policy Control on the Client Device

Growing consumer demand for smart phones, coupled with the continuing performance growth of such devices, means mobile users are increasingly using applications that make bandwidth and connection demands of the carrier network. There is already a lot of data traffic on mobile networks and at peak periods that might mean congestion and slower access to data.

Network Operators, in order to deal with such demand, deploy network-based PCRF and PCEF/TDF solutions that respond to the network traffic at that particular time and offer a level of control according to various access policies.

The 3GPP framework architecture for Policy and Charging Control specifies the PCRF and other essential elements, such as the PCEF and TDF. The PCEF is concerned with reporting user-initiated events and enforcing relevant policy decisions made by the PCRF, while the TDF detects and manages traffic. As such, the PCEF and TDF are critical entities for creating the appropriate level of choice for data traffic as well as ensuring optimal user experience.

The current 3GPP architecture proposes deployment of the PCEF/TDF functions in the network but it can only respond to up-stream traffic after it has left the RAN and entered the network, and cannot fully protect against contention for resources in the RAN itself.

This is where network operators are faced with a problem. As the number of smarter mobile devices increases, so too does the need for improved mobile services that match the user profile, sending more strain upstream to the RAN where there are limited resources. The solution is to extend the PCEF functionality to the mobile devices.

Find out how by attending our presentation at IIR’s Mobile Broadband World Conference 2012! If you are unable to attend in person, our presentation will be available on Slideshare after the event.

 

Despite Slowdown, Capacity Investment Still Required

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

A recent report from Telegeography has captured the headlines, as it points to a slowdown in the growth of Internet capacity. To some, this means that the data ‘tsunami’ is mythical and that we are victims of yet more hype in the industry.

But this misses the point completely. Yes, growth rates have slowed, but overall capacity requirements have more than doubled in the last two years, as this chart clearly shows.

Traffic volumes continue to grow rapidly, particularly as higher-speed broadband connectivity is rolled out. The advent of LTE will also have a significant impact in the next few years.

As the authors point out, “even with the use of CDNs and caching technologies, the compounding effect of rapid traffic growth will continue to require carriers to make considerable investments to expand network capacity”.

In other words, traffic and capacity requirements are still growing and we can’t ignore the problem. Misinterpreting data doesn’t let anyone off the hook or make the problem disappear.

Operators and carriers still have to plan ahead for how to manage traffic growth – in the core as well as in the access. In addition to considering the provision of additional capacity, what they need to do is consider ways to manage bandwidth more efficiently before it reaches the network. This means delivering policy enforcement and optimisation solutions to mobile devices.

By managing traffic in the RAN, user experience can be optimised cost-effectively ensuring that capacity investments are delivered more efficiently.