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Posts Tagged ‘PCRF’

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?

Mobile Tethering is a Fact of Life. Plan for it and charge for it

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Until recently, there has been a range of contrasting positions to the growing phenomenon of mobile tethering. Some MNOs have been resolutely opposed to the practice, while others have steadfastly ignored it. However, new research by Analysys Mason suggests that it’s time to formalise arrangements and convert tethering to a revenue opportunity.

According to Analysys Mason, 37% of users in a number of key markets have used mobile tethering at least once. However, the percentage is higher among those users with tablet devices. Rather than using mobile broadband packages to obtain connectivity for tablets, users are instead opting either to use Wi-Fi or else connect via tethering to their smartphone.

The conclusion from the research is that MNOs need to consider including tethering options for multiple devices in their smartphone data packages and to capture revenue for them. While dongle-enabled mobile broadband for laptops remains popular, increasingly users will shift to tablets, which in turn, means that they will need more connectivity. Introducing flexible, multi-device packages for smartphone users will help meet this need.

What this means is that MNOs will need to be able to manage connectivity better. They may want to charge for this capability via the delivery of flexible and dynamic policies. Alternatively, they may seek to incorporate it into existing plans and simply to manage the experience. In either case, MNOs will need the ability to adjust network conditions to optimise the experience for applications accessed while tethering.

MNOs need a reliable way to identify mobile tethering and to deliver their chosen policy. Since tethering is activated on the mobile device, the ability to recognise tethering could enable the support of additional services, such as the dynamic selection of best available network. They will need to take advantage of Policy on the Device (PoD) solutions to deliver a range of tethering policies and to cope with an increasing range of devices that connect indirectly to the network via mobile broadband.

The solution is to deploy GoS 360°. This consists of two elements, the GoS Agent and the GoS Manager. GoS Agent resides on the handset and can determine when tethering has been activated and report this, via the GoS Manager, to the PCRF across the Gx interface. Once a tethering session has been identified, the MNO can implement its chosen policy.

The GoS solution enables MNOs to manage tethering according to the range of policies they offer customers. This means that they can more easily combine tethering with other, complementary services, such as dynamic network selection and WiFi offload. Why not contact us to find out more?

Policy on the Device Continues to Attract Attention

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

There’s been a spate of news recently about the increasing importance of Policy on the Device (PoD) solutions. Operators are becoming aware that, in order to effectively deliver end-to-end policies and QoS, they have to extend policy monitoring and control capabilities to smart devices.

Just a couple of years ago, PoD was a relatively unknown area, in which pioneers such as GoS Networks were innovating advanced solutions that enhance the user experience, optimise service delivery and reduce operator costs.

Today, as Cassio Sampaio of Bell Canada noted, speaking ahead of this year’s Broadband Traffic Management Event, “Policy on the device will continue to gain traction and perhaps move past the “shiny demo” stage we are currently in. There is a clear space for an increase in the level of self-serve features to be provided to subscribers driving direct cost savings and potentially creating other revenue opportunities”.

We agree. PoD can solve both specific challenges – end-to-end service assurance, RAN optimisation as well as delivering side effects such as enhanced device battery life – but it can also provide a platform for a wide range of new services and capabilities.

This is an interesting time for the evolving policy segment. We’ve had policy 1.0, 2.0 and we think the next phase is coming. Once PoD solutions are widely deployed, they will enable and unlock new services that cannot currently be created or delivered. That’s why it’s so exciting. Operators need to think strategically – using short-term benefits that can be delivered today to enable a richer set of opportunities in the future.

Little wonder, then, that PoD is starting to attract such attention. Why not talk to us and find out how you can benefit today from innovative PoD solutions – and build a framework to enable future innovation? Or, check out the Yankee Group report on the subject by following this link.