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Posts Tagged ‘Real time visibility’

How Can MNOs Capitalise on the Emerging $10 billion Mobile Video and TV Market?

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

A recent report from Juniper Research has identified significant opportunities in the growing mobile video and TV market. However, it also identifies major challenges, particularly for mobile operators. According to the research, MNOs “will face continued pressure on their network capacity whilst at the same time striving to attract revenue from video and TV usage”.

As the authors note, “some operators are able to leverage this opportunity through Wi-Fi offload and the services that they already offer via their triple-play bundles”. However, “other [MNOs] need to innovate and adjust their business models to the burgeoning OTT opportunity”.

In order to meet these challenges, there are two clear requirements. First, MNOs need to be able to manage offload to Wi-Fi networks in order to efficiently manage network resources and to meet consumer expectations of video playback and streaming quality. Secondly, MNOs must integrate offload and service assurance solutions into price plans and charging methods.

To efficiently meet the first requirement, MNOs should deploy ANDSF solutions that enable automatic network selection. But, they need to go further and extend ANDSF functionality directly to smart devices so that network selection can be optimised to the specific requirements of individual users. By distributing the ANDSF into smart devices, MNOs can more enable a richer user experience by selecting the optimum access network for specific applications.

Doing so will also enable MNOs to more effectively meet the second requirement. The distributed ANDSF can be fully integrated with the overall network policy architecture, enabling MNOs to manage and monetise consumption. With ANDSF enabled on smart devices, MNOs can implement policies that enable content to be delivered according to the network conditions and price plan of individual customers.

For example with the distributed ANDSF / PCEF solution from GoS Networks, they can automatically switch to the best available connection in real-time depending on the application. This means that they can immediately enhance or maintain the experience for those customers with premium plans or offer real-time upgrade options for those with data caps or basic packages. While MNOs may not necessarily offer content directly, with a distributed ANDSF solution, they can offer value to their customers and generate revenue from increased video and TV consumption.

How to Intelligently Manage the User Experience to Prevent Churn and Attract New Subscribers

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Mobile network operators can do much to optimise services and conditions for their users. They have control of the network but there are limitations. MNOs cannot take action to manage conditions in user equipment. As smart devices have proliferated and as users have enthusiastically adopted more and more bandwidth intensive applications and services, the need to be able to manage user experience in devices has become increasingly pressing.

An additional complication comes from the fact that networks are increasingly heterogeneous. That is, in addition to the RAN technology deployed – UMTS, or, increasingly, LTE – complementary technologies such as WiFi are being deployed to increase coverage, provide backhaul and offload solutions.

MNOs are striving to provide the best experience for their customers. They want them to use the best technology for their applications and will be deploying solutions such as the ANDSF to manage handover and switching between different access networks.
But to do so intelligently requires detailed knowledge of what the user is doing – both in terms of active applications that require bandwidth and in terms of applications that consume resources in the background via automated updates and so on.

This means that MNOs have to take steps to obtain information on application demands and consumption from inside smart devices, so that they can efficiently manage network resources and connectivity to the most appropriate access solution. All of this must be managed in real-time: some applications – for example, video streaming – can have fluctuating demands, which need to be managed. MNOs need both to be able to monitor application requirements from devices in real-time and to be able to manage connectivity and resource consumption locally so that an optimised experience can be delivered, all of the time, taking into account the needs of other adjacent users.

One solution is to deploy specialised client software such as the GoS distributed ANDSF / PCEF in smart devices. GoS can both report to centralised platforms such as the PCRF and execute policy control functions, including handover to alternative access networks or managing excess signalling in order to ensure an optimised user experience.

It is only by extending their reach to smart devices that MNOs can overcome limitations to their network management capabilities. If they do not extend QoE and policy frameworks into smart devices, they will be unable to deliver the user experience required. Network performance and quality will be key differentiators in the future and there are already signs that users are churning to networks in the expectation and promise of better performance. MNOs have to take steps to ensure that they can really deliver on their promises and client-based solutions can help them to achieve this goal.

The Growing Importance of #WiFi in Mobile Data Management

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

According to research published by Informa Telecoms and Media, an increasing proportion of mobile data traffic is carried over WiFi access. This is something that has been recognised in a number of reports – including the famed Cisco VNI. Informa’s data suggests that in the UK, WiFi traffic from smartphones exceed data carried over mobile networks by a factor of 4:1. Globally, Cisco reports that WiFi offload traffic accounted for 33% of all mobile data in 2012 – and that this will rise to 46% by 2017.

We can explore the factors behind this in another post, but the results and forecasts have clear implications. First, user behaviour strongly suggests that migration to WiFi is inevitable, irrespective of the quality of the 3GPP access type available: even with LTE, users are likely to want to use WiFi. This may change, but it’s a challenge today and, even once LTE becomes ubiquitous, there’s no indication that this behaviour will change.

Secondly, mobile operators must recognise this and take advantage of the fact. While today it can be advantageous to offload from 3GPP mobile access to WiFi, as it moves traffic (ultimately) to fixed connections, the mobile operator is not involved in this choice. Similarly, nomadic mobile users, logging into hotspots when they reach a destination or venue are migrating to other networks without any mediation from their mobile provider.

How and should MNO’s be involved in this process?

MNO’s have the ability to provide ‘seamless’ roaming with WiFi networks, as they do with other mobile networks today. This can enable a better user experience by removing the need for credit card payments for access to WiFi, or signing up through ‘splash’ pages with personal data in exchange for ‘Free’ WiFi access. This seamless roaming can be secured through the use of authentication of both the device and the user by using the same subscriber identity module (SIM) as is used for authentication on the mobile network.

In addition, this seamless experience can be enhanced by providing service continuity through technology such as mobile IP to ensure existing sessions such as voice communications and video streaming are not interrupted during handover between networks.

Quality of user experience can also be provided by dynamically reviewing the performance of the connected network and making policy decisions on the device: for example, whether or not to remain connected to the WiFi network to cater for highly congested WiFi networks.

Secure service over 3rd party WiFi can also be provided through the use of encryption of the data session provided and secured by the SIM credentials in the same way as mobile data is today. This ensures that mobile financial transactions and account access performed over the WiFi network are as secure as those over the mobile network.

The need for such solutions is clear – and it’s now becoming equally clear that users need such capabilities to be available on their devices. Since the lowest common denominator in any service is the last mile (or in this case, the RAN), MNOs need to move the management of access network selection into smart connected devices, enabling per session management of network connectivity.

Why not talk to GoS Networks and discover how our unique distributed ANDSF solution can help MNOs improve user experience of mobile data management?