taking policy to the
smart connected device

Posts Tagged ‘Video streaming’

Extending the CDN – How Policy on Smart Devices Can Enable Telcos to Add Value

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Speakers at the recent Mobile Video Optimisation event in Berlin agreed that the mobile cell is the next critical area for delivering high quality video services. At this point in the mobile network, the lowest common denominator rules. And yet, analysts are united in their predictions that mobile video consumption will enjoy spectacular growth – the only debate concerns the rate.

But if this growth is to be enjoyed with the quality of experience levels demanded by users, the network has to evolve to cope. At present, OTT video providers either leverage their own CDNs or form partnerships with specialist providers. Telcos that are entering the fray are building their own ‘telco CDNs’ or partnering with other providers. The point of the CDN is to bring content closer to the user, to reduce traffic across the network or the complexities of server connectivity. This is fine as far as it goes, but it still leaves the delivery subject to the conditions in the last mile or in the RAN.

There are a number of ways in which content delivery can be optimised for users in the RAN. One such that has attracted considerable attention is WiFi offload – many mobile subscribers automatically connect to WiFi networks as soon as they find one and MNOs can leverage this in several ways. By offloading bulk data delivery to WiFi networks, MNOs can save costs and, where the WiFi network offers a higher bandwidth connection than is available in the RAN, they can deliver a better user experience.

There are also moves afoot to bring content servers directly to the base stations as well as proposals to implement caching on user devices so that content can be delivered more economically, intelligently and efficiently. Such an approach can provide optimised pre-loading of user targeted content (either through promotions tied to analysis of viewer behaviour and viewing patterns) or based on explicit preferences that are expressed by the user. Either way, off-peak delivery and use of WiFi networks can be leveraged to reduce content delivery costs.

Extending policy enforcement and monitoring to smart devices enables policies to be established to enhance user experience where they are needed – on user devices where content is actually experienced – while, at the same time, remaining fully integrated with the overall network policy control and analytics framework. Although this remains some way off, there’s no question that smart devices will have a crucial role to play in managing video content delivery and optimising the user experience.

Given the growth forecast for video traffic and despite advances in network coverage and bandwidth due to the rollout of LTE, technologies such as adaptive bitrate codecs and high definition video present challenges. Adaptive bitrate is, by definition, unpredictable and MNOs cannot easily predict consumption. It’s even more difficult with capped mobile data plans, as the user may not be aware that changes to the codec may consume more of their allowance mid-session. However, this opens up the potential for increased dynamic control of bearer connections for real-time content delivery and increased bandwidth on a per session or mid-session basis. If more bandwidth is required for HD, then mechanisms need to be in place to provide such capacity and to inform the user if this has an impact on their data plans. This can be achieved more effectively and efficiently once policy monitoring and enforcement is available on smart devices.

Extending policy control functions to devices is essential in a world in which video traffic dominates mobile data consumption. Local caching will depend on close integration with policy engines to control delivery, charging and consumption monitoring – as well as quality. MNOs need to consider how to address this issue now to plan for the growth in consumption so that they pre-empt these issues. As has been proven time and time again with migrations to higher-bandwidth technologies, once LTE is available, users will find ways to consume more data – and MNOs need to be ready to support this at all levels.

Of course, MNOs will capitalise on such measures, but they also present opportunities to forge partnerships with other CDN providers. Since telcos and MNOs effectively dominate in the last mile (or cell), they are uniquely placed to provide solutions that can help CDNs as mobile video consumption gathers pace.

Why not talk to GoS Networks and find out how integrating policy enforcement and monitoring to smart devices can help manage and enhance the mobile video experience?

Learn how GoS is helping MNOs deliver reliable network services #MWC13 #PolicyControl

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Network operators must identify faults in the network and resolve them as quickly as possible so asin order to avoid service downtime and to ensure customer satisfaction. In orderTo achieve this and to deliverconsistent and reliable network services, operators need access to accurate information from the network. Yet , most network operators have only an incomplete picture of what happens at the level of user equipment and devices. That is why it is important to be able to implement policies and processes to identify, diagnose and resolve any reductions in service quality or device malfunctions, and all before users are affected.

Current network monitoring solutions cannot access client devices or monitor the performance of individual applications in the subscriber domain. This inability to “see” beyond the boundaries of the network can result in a reduction in the subscriber’s service experience quality and can even be linked to customer churn. Maintaining satisfactory service quality levels through real-time monitoring of client devices is the only way to guarantee QoS and is the best way to increase revenue.

By installing GoS 360° on client devices, such as mobile handsets, broadband dongles and CPE gateways, network operations teams can view data on application performance and bandwidth problems directly from smart connected devices.

The combination of GoS Agent and GoS Manager provides network operators with:

  • Access to real-time and historic visibility of traffic
  • The ability to remotely identify and resolve root-causes of customer issues in the RAN or LAN
  • The means to measure actual link and per application performance and throughput, not network estimates across multiple access technologies (e.g. WiFi, 2G, 3G and LTE)
  • The ability to shorten customer support call duration, improving customer satisfaction and reducing costs and churn.

Network operators can rapidly deploy end-to-end service assurance solutions with the GoS 360° client which can be easily downloaded to smart devices. The GoS Manager is deployed in the core network allowing operations teams to access data vital to managing customer experience, reducing downtime and costs, and increasing levels of QoS.

Device-based PCEF is the only way in which network operators can accurately measure and manage the user service quality while complying with their overall policy control structure. Deploying GoS 360° is the perfect solution to network service assurance.

See our Network Service Assurance use case for more information and why not meet with us as Mobile World Congress? We will be presenting our solutions at MWC, stand 7G79 at the Ireland Pavillion.

WiFi Offload and Distributed ANDSF

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Today, MNOs are exploring new ways to optimise the user experience. One such method of accomplishing this involves the ability for a smart device to access both 3GPP and non-3GPP networks, such as WiFi, simultaneously.

MNOs are looking to offer users a system that keeps them connected to a network that satisfies their needs. The solution is to deploy a new functional entity, the ANDSF.

The purpose of the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) is to assist user devices to discover non-3GPP access networks and to switch between them seamlessly. This enables operators to implement policies on the smart connected device that allow for either one or several active access network connections to be used, depending on the requirements of the user, the policies established by the MNO, and the demands of different applications. This way, users can relax and enjoy seamless connectivity literally to the best network that is available.

Instead of relying on only the conventional mobile network, users can benefit from automatic selection between 3GPP and non-3GPP networks, removing registration issues. The ANDSF allows operators to create and implement policies that enable optimised connectivity for mobile devices. Doing so ensures that users have suitable connectivity to do what they want. Users won’t need to worry about, for example, switching from 3G to WiFi manually to browse the Internet or upload content. Browsing with 3G is sometimes the best way of ensuring a connection; at others WiFi may be more suitable. It all depends on network conditions, network availability and what the user is trying to do. The way to achieve a better user experience is to make sure that the user is always best connected. The ANDSF solution standardises this, leaving the user to focus on what they want.

GoS Networks extends the ANDSF to the mobile connected device, enabling MNOs to implement device-level policies and to make decisions before traffic reaches the network. The GoS Agent and GoS Manager work together to provide users with an optimised experience by identifying applications and traffic types, implementing policy, and selecting the best access network(s); activities which are all performed seamlessly.

Want to learn more? See our WiFi Offload and Distributed ANDSF use case.