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Posts Tagged ‘Gaming’

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.

 

 

How to Deliver Outstanding Customer Service Support

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Challenge

Customer support relies on accurate information yet most network operators have only a very incomplete picture of customer problems. Current network monitoring solutions cannot routinely access client devices or monitor the performance of individual applications in the subscriber domain. They cannot look beyond the CPE or network demarcation point to “see” the problem that the customer experiences, either in real-time or historically. Without this data, network operators cannot efficiently solve customer problems that originate beyond their network boundary.

This can significantly increase the time taken to resolve individual subscriber issues and lead to unnecessary costs.

Solution

By installing GoS Agent on client devices, such as mobile handsets, broadband dongles and CPE gateways, customer support teams can view data on application performance, bandwidth problems and LAN-side issues. Each instance of the GoS Agent interacts with a centrally deployed GoS Manager, accessible to customer support agents, presenting them with the information required to solve customer problems quickly and efficiently, saving time and money.

Benefits

The combination of GoS Agents and GoS Manager provides customer support teams with:

  • Access to real-time and historic visibility of traffic arriving from the LAN and going to / from the WAN
  • The ability to remotely identify and resolve root-causes of customer issues on the LAN
  • The means to measure actual link performance and throughput, not network estimates
  • The ability to shorten customer support call duration and reduce costs
  • Improved customer satisfaction, reducing churn
  • Increased net referrals and customer advocacy
  • Reduced costs through efficient network optimisation and management
  • Revenue generation with assured, sticky services

GoS 360° is the only way to obtain the complete visibility of LAN devices required for 360° customer service assurance.

Examples

  • Fixed line broadband services such as IPTV
  • Measurement of streaming video user experience
  • Business services
  • Mobile broadband performance
  • Application specific management and support
  • Gaming

 

Video Gaming Growth: The Online Challenge

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

The gaming market continues to enjoy strong growth with surging demand expected until at least 2015, according to recent research. Online gaming is forecast to make a significant – and growing – contribution to the total. In fact, it’s predicted that online gaming will surpass the sales of physical units by 2013.

While that’s excellent news for the gaming industry – online models have significant cost benefits in terms of distribution and can generate recurring subscription revenues – it also presents challenges. Online gamers need to have sufficient bandwidth to enjoy an optimal experience – and this applies in both the downstream and upstream direction. They need guarantees of service to ensure that they really can obtain an experience equivalent to a localised version.

Some operators have already addressed this by developing enhanced broadband service packages that specifically address the gaming market and provide guarantees of delay, ping time, round trip and so on. The theory is that users will pay a marginal premium to enjoy an optimised quality of service. While that’s yet to be proven, the challenge is likely to continue to grow, as the devices through which players access games proliferate. A gamer might use a PC for a shared WiFi connection to a fixed DSL link for some of the time, move to a tablet or pad and then continue to play via a mobile device. They will come to expect the same service across all of these, but the network performance may vary considerably. They will also be competing with family members or users within the same cell for the available bandwidth.

That’s why operators need to think about how to account for the specific devices that users will access. They need to consider how to deliver an optimised experience across all devices. It’s one thing to offer such services and capabilities if you own the network, but how can such services be optimised if the user is accessing the same service across a different network?

This raises interesting questions about the ability of operators to offer enhanced services on a wholesale basis – and the importance of working hand-in-hand with the gaming industry to ensure that such optimised services can be made available. To achieve this will require some thought about how to deliver services across different networks but also how to deploy localised software on devices that enable applications to perform as required. The gaming industry is set to boom, but it’s clear that there are challenges ahead to provide the service that will ensure expectations are met.