taking policy to the
smart connected device

Posts Tagged ‘Deep Packet Inspection’

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.


End-to-End Considerations for Policy Control

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

The policy market continues to grow with various forecasts being regularly updated to indicate a multi-billion market. Of course, it would be interesting to see forecasts for revenue that can be driven by the deployment of policy control solutions and we shall comment on this when we see it.

In an interesting summary of the various market forecasts, blogger Azi Ronen, has also included an illuminating diagram from Analysys Mason. What’s interesting here is what’s missing.

There is clearly an understanding that DPI / Policy Control solutions are part of the core and edge of the network, but the access devices and user equipment doesn’t form part of theoretical deployment of policy solutions, at least in this conception. As we know, this must change.

End-to-end policy depends on the deployment of software in end-user devices. Without this, policy solutions can only act at the network level. Users demand the best quality of service for both downstream and upstream applications; they may not know anything about QoS or still less care, but they do know when things don’t work as they expect.

By extending policy control solutions into user devices, network operators can ensure that connectivity and application performance are optimised in real-time. Applications that need real-time performance can be prioritised when required. Applications that are not real-time can be managed so that they consume less resources when bandwidth is required by more demanding applications.

It’s time for the picture to be updated. Policy management is rightly attracting a lot of attention and it’s an evolving market. But it’s also clear that there’s something missing. We complete the picture. With GoS 360º, operators can truly deliver end-to-end policy control that enables them to satisfy more of their customers, more of the time, saving costs and increasing profit.

#capcrunch Paying for resources? Whatever next?

Written by GoS on . Posted in News

A recent article by Tony Poulos of the TM Forum contained the following slightly contentious lines:

“Suggestions that those OTT entities that use up the most bandwidth delivering services to consumers take some of the responsibility and cost has, to date, fallen on deaf ears. There is the constant fear that any attempt to garner revenue from them will simply mean that they advise their own customers to change over to networks that don’t impose charges. What might be foreign to OTT players but is common practice in the telecom industry are inter-connect arrangements. It seems only fair that those that use the network resources should pay something for the privilege.”

 Hmm. The logic is irrefutable, but how widely such a view will be accepted is another point. The problem is that this is an emotive subject and leads directly into debates about net neutrality, among other things. However, that’s not to say it should not be discussed.

As we have noted, deployment of the high-speed broadband networks that consumers and enterprises are demanding requires investment. Investors typically expect to secure a return – if there is no way of passing the various investment criteria used, the investment simply won’t happen.

This has nothing to do with net neutrality per se. Rather, the issue of how carriers and network operators make money is central to the future of the digital economy. We all want to see faster and faster networks, but few understand the need to pay for them. This issue needs to be resolved quickly.

Network investment is for the long term. It needs the kind of returns that make it profitable, while ensuring that access is not for the few or privileged. It’s a difficult path to tread, but Mr Poulos is right: the industry needs to act now to secure its future. However, if it is going to do so, it will need the tools and capabilities to ensure that access to network resources is fair and according to the appropriate policies.

This requires more than just a PCRF and DPI solutions. It needs a comprehensive, end-to-end infrastructure that can help fully monetise the network and ensure fair and realistic charging and value generation – both for consumers and, potentially, for OTT players.