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 ensuring optimal user experience. The current 3GPP architecture proposes deployment of the PCEF/TDF functions in the network.
However, 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. Network-based deployments of the PCEF / TDF 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.
The solution is to extend policy control (PCEF and TDF) to the mobile device. The combination of the PCEF with the TDF on a user device delivers complete visibility of user traffic and application demands to MNOs, enabling them to have more optimal policy control. In addition, the improved visibility of what the user experiences ensures the correct policy can be applied under control of the PCRF. Device-based PCEF is the only way in which MNOs can accurately measure and manage the user experience within their overall policy control framework. The GoS 360° product consists of a network based manager component for interfacing to a PCRF, and a device based Agent. The GoS Agent combines PCEF and TDF functionality, enabling policy control directly to the mobile device, while the network-based manager offers a simple and scalable way for managing large numbers of devices in conjunction with the PCRF.
By deploying GoS 360°, MNOs can:
- Enhance and complement network-based PCEF solutions
- Leverage the scalable “power” of mobile devices in policy decisions
- Manage up-stream traffic before it reaches the network
- Control signalling load in the RAN, ensuring more efficient use of radio bandwidth and UE battery life
- Reduce signalling load to make CAPEX savings in the RAN
- Obtain a complete, real-time view of application performance on the user device, leading to improved customer care and support
- Optimise user experience on the device
- Deliver application and user specific policies to client devices
- Prioritise real-time traffic from different applications
- Rich Communications Suite (RCS)
- Video communication and collaboration
- On-demand streaming services
- Mobile broadband access via dongles
- RAN signalling traffic reduction
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