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Posts Tagged ‘ott’

Policy as a Service is Coming – But it needs to be End-to-End

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

One of the key themes addressed at the recent SDP Global Summit held in Rome last week was the potential for operators to offer APIs that enable control of network policy. Such APIs can be for internal use – to enhance service offers – or could be offered to a range of third parties.

A consensus emerged around the idea that network ‘policy as a service’ represents a unique asset that can be leveraged by operators. Since they own, operate and manage networks, they are in a unique position to control Quality of Services for applications and users.

A variety of business opportunities have been proposed – from using policy APIs to secure service level agreements for customers with demanding applications (think enterprise here) to offering the same APIs through secure gateways to OTT application providers without network assets of their own and which may wish to enhance service delivery for their applications.

But there is something missing from this discussion. While it’s necessary to expose APIs from policy server and to create an infrastructure to leverage what remain as unique assets, it’s not sufficient. What is needed is the ability to go beyond the physical boundary of the network and to take into account the experience and demands of the user, as well as local resources that are available.

That’s why operators intending to expose policy as a service capabilities – whether to internal users or to third parties – need to consider deploying Policy on the Device solutions. PoD solutions can provide real-time information regarding application demands and the QoS that is available. They can interact with policy control points to ensure that applications that require particular QoS levels are prioritised on demand. What’s more, they can also provide a means to selectively switch between different access networks in a mobile environment, depending on the best available connection option for the specific service or application requested.

Policy as a service makes a lot of sense. It leverages a core operator capability and competence but it is incomplete without taking into account the specific experience of users and their devices. In order to deliver policy as a service, it is essential to incorporate PoD capabilities. Why not talk to GoS Networks to find out how to deliver true end-to-end policy control and enable successful launch and effectiveness of policy as a service offers?

OTT Video Revenues Continue to Rise – Growth Demands Quality

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Recent research has identified continued growth in the delivery of OTT video rentals – which is likely to overtake revenue from current subscription video on demand services in the near future.

While on the one hand, this is a clear demonstration of how OTT providers are monetising their services and building viable business models, on the other it points to an increasingly competitive future. In this competitive future, OTT players will be challenged by service providers with IPTV offers, broadcasters with VoD solutions and so on.

There will likely be new players that emerge and further enhancements to video formats. What’s more, viewers will increasingly demand a multi-channel and multi-device experience, switching between devices and expecting streaming delivery as well as cached or stored playback.

In such a world, user expectations of quality will increase – while users are discriminatory, quickly adopting new formats when they perceive an advantage, they also show less tolerance for an inconsistent experience across devices. A key question is what is the role of the network operator in this ecosystem? How can they increase their stake in the value chain?

It’s clear that all providers of video need to pay attention to service quality and this provides an opportunity for network operators to build and deliver value in video on demand and rental markets.

OTT players need to collaborate with network operators to ensure that delivery and playback experience is optimised. Network operators are best placed to ensure this but to do so requires end-to-end control of QoS. This can only be achieved by enabling policy control on user devices – particularly in the context of mobile networks where bandwidth delivery can be more challenging than in fixed.

To support the growth of video services in general to the mutual benefit of all service providers, the network operator has a key role to play. Extending policy directly to mobile devices is a critical step to ensuring that they remain relevant and can participate in a market poised for significant growth.

MNOs Can Differentiate to Capitalise on Two-Sided Business Models

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

The two-sided business model has fascinated the telecoms industry since the concept first started to gain credibility some years ago, largely through the pioneering efforts of STL Partners. The theory is well-known and some operators are starting to deliver on the concept with innovative platforms and packages aimed at business partners from both sides.

It’s a corner stone of the concept that, for example, mobile operators have access to resources and assets that can be of benefit to other parties. Moreover, it’s axiomatic that these assets are unique and are not available to other providers, such as OTT providers who deliver applications directly to customers in MNO networks but who don’t (currently) pay for the privilege.

This point needs further exploration: it’s really a question of identifying a unique capability and leveraging it. And, something that is unquestionably an asset is the network and the ability to deliver quality of service – and guarantee effective quality of experience – to customers. But there is an area that has been overlooked – the RAN is a key territory that is owned by MNOs and cannot be colonised by other players. It’s critical, therefore, that MNOs seek to optimise their ability to deliver outstanding and controllable QoE in the RAN.

This requires innovation. They need to extend their QoS framework into the RAN itself in order to protect and enhance their unique assets. They can do this by leveraging existing frameworks and extending them into the RAN and the domain of the client device. Take the PCEF for example. While this currently sits in the network, taking PCEF functionality into the RAN via handset-based deployments significantly enhances MNOs ability to deliver something unique and hence create differentiation that will support their ability to capitalise on the promise of the two-sided business model.

Differentiation requires unique assets. MNOs have many, but they can also work to extend and enhance these assets in ways that increase their value.