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Posts Tagged ‘Upstream data’

It’s Not Just Physics!

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

In our presentation at the recent Mobile Broadband World conference in London, we made the point that some mobile operators seem to consider their job done when content reaches the RAN. They do their best to build the network, but, ultimately, what happens in the RAN is down to physics and, therefore, beyond their control.

We heard the same from the provider of a major CDN at a video optimisation event in Brussels earlier in the summer – the CDN was optimised in the core, but when it came to transmission to the RAN, well, they did the best they could, but in the end, it’s just down to physics.

While there have clearly been great efforts to ensure that networks are designed to compensate for external factors, this is the kind of thinking that led us to suggest recently that, in today’s mobile networks, “end-to-end” really means “edge to edge”. This abrogation of responsibility is, we mused during our presentation, rather like launching a homing pigeon into the air on a race. You did a super job getting it into race fitness, you transported it to the point of take-off, but what happens now is beyond your control. It might be buffeted by winds. It might be eaten by a hawk. Who knows? It will probably arrive in one piece, but statistics – and experience – prove that some do not.

We don’t believe that it is just physics. We believe that you can take steps to ensure service quality and service experience even in the RAN. We believe that true end-to-end service management and delivery is possible. This can be achieved by extending the existing – and proven – policy control framework into the RAN and onto mobile devices.

By deploying PCEF capabilities onto mobile devices, operators can take responsibility for the service conditions in the RAN. Of course, physics takes a part, but we can do better than cast packets into the great unknown. We can exceed best effort and introduce service performance guarantees.

That’s the beauty of device level solutions – ensuring end-to-end service performance becomes a key operator asset that can be leverage for internal and external benefit, helping differentiate services, attract new partnerships and increasing customer satisfaction. A win-win all round.


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.

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.