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Posts Tagged ‘WiFi’

Policy on the Device is now “Essential” Says Yankee Group

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Policy on the Device (PoD) is now essential according to industry analysts Yankee Group. Mobile Network Operators have been able to understand what their subscribers are doing for a long time. But what they cannot do is to extend their reach into the RAN so that they can implement policies that act at the level of the device in order to enhance user experience. As Yankee puts it “they can look, but the couldn’t touch”.

As we have long argued, the only way to solve this problem – for the benefit of users and MNOs – is actually to go further and extend policy control not only to the RAN, but beyond, all the way to mobile and smart devices. By deploying PEP solutions on devices, the real experience of users can be taken into account. It seems the industry is starting to agree and the benefits of making devices PEPs are becoming clearer. So much so that there is now an identifiable, quantifiable market in PoD solutions – in which we play a leading role.

Yankee identifies WiFi offload as a key initial driver for the deployment of PoD solutions, largely because users are independently opting to connect to WiFi rather than cellular networks when in a fixed location – which in turn is slowing the much-feared growth in mobile data. Active PoD solutions can make the customer experience in selecting between access networks simpler, seamless and automatic.

But while WiFi offload may be driving early-stage deployments, we know there are many other use cases that are contributing to uptake of PoD solutions. These include reducing the impact of chatty applications, extending battery life, ensuring QoS guarantees and others that are addressed by the GoS Networks solution. In fact, that’s a critical point: to be efficient and effective, any PoD solution should not be limited to a single use case, but rather available as a platform to support a range of use cases that can be extended as and when required.

That’s why GoS Networks is at the forefront of this emerging technology domain. Why not talk to us and find out how we can help MNOs make the most of PoD and support an expanding range of use cases to suit changing network and user requirements?

The Interesting Thing About Mobile Data #PolicyControl #Telecom

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

Much of the research published about mobile data tends to focus on the predicted volume that is expected to be demanded by users. While there is some disagreement on the absolute numbers, there is a solid consensus that it’s going to be large. Of course the interpretation of this varies. One recent report has provided useful insight, which points to an area that MNOs will have to address.

According to industry analysts Juniper, 60% of mobile data traffic will be carried, not by conventional mobile networks, but by WiFi . The network of tomorrow will be a mix of LTE, legacy technologies such as 3G, and a diverse set of small cells that leverage WiFi and related technologies.

This means that MNOs must increasingly consider how they will route traffic in their network. Until now, users have often unilaterally selected WiFi access to obtain faster download speeds, avoid costly roaming charges, or to bypass their plan limits. This manual selection has the result that they typically leave their MNO’s network for a competing WiFi solution where one is available.

By deploying a greater mix of WiFi, small cells and macro cells, in other words, moving to heterogeneous networks, MNOs will increasingly include alternative access technologies as part of their offer. This will help them retain customers and fully leverage their investments.

But, to ensure that users leverage these, MNOs need to help them in network selection. They need to be able to seamlessly connect users to the best available network and to do so selectively, based on the demands of different applications and traffic types.

This is where the ANDSF comes in. It’s early days for this new(ish) entity, but it is likely to assume a central role in future networks. Juniper’s research implies a significantly increased role for the ANDSF, as something has to manage the selection of the most appropriate access technology and this is the most likely solution.

It’s not going to be sufficient, however, to simply deploy centralised ANDSF solutions. MNOs will need to extend ANDSF and TDF functionality into mobile devices, to ensure that traffic management and access network selection decisions are made according to local conditions and demands.

The network is evolving and migration to LTE will lead to many changes. But headlines about the growth in mobile data traffic don’t tell the whole story. MNOs need to consider the likely mix of data traffic on their network as well as the kinds of applications that drive it. This level of detail will help them determine the appropriate mix of access technologies in their (heterogeneous) networks. MNOs will need to explore how a distributed ANDSF architecture can help them achieve optimal traffic routing. Device-based ANDSF solutions will complement those in the network, helping deliver the best customer experience and ensure that users stay connected to the MNO network.

#WiFi is a Strategic Tool – but the ANDSF is Essential #PolicyControl

Written by GoS on . Posted in Blog

According to analyst and consultancy firm Arthur D Little , offloading mobile traffic to WiFi is “essential”. In the annual report from Arthur D Little and Exane BNP Paribas, it is claimed that WiFi offload will be a “key element of mobile operators’ network strategy”.

The primary reason given for this is that it can lead to significant efficiencies in spectrum utilisation. Although in the long term, 4G gives many benefits in terms of achievable speed, there is still a need for network diversity and small cells to complement macro sites. By using a mix of small cells that do not use valuable 3G and 4G spectrum, operators can use the spectrum that they own more efficiently.

To benefit from these efficiencies, MNOs need to develop a WiFi offload strategy. But it’s not sufficient to install small cells and simply obtain additional coverage, relying on user selection. They need to be able to make the process of switching between WiFi and 3G / 4G networks seamless, so that customers are given dynamic and automated routing options.

This is where the ANDSF comes in. It’s a new element that helps co-ordinate the selection of available access networks in line with the policy of the network operator. By deploying ANDSF solutions, MNOs can enable the automatic selection of adjacent WiFi networks for either all traffic from an individual user or even on a dynamic basis, according to the needs of each application.

Such solutions can dramatically simplify choice for users, enabling automatic registration and seamless handover, depending on configuration by the MNO. The ANDSF is essential to implementing an effective WiFi offload strategy.

However, to ensure optimum performance, the ANDSF must be able to support different policies for different users. One user might have a different price plan and access rights from another. In this case, ANDSF functionality needs to be available at the level of individual user devices.
GoS Networks’ ANDSF solution adopts the innovative step of decomposing the functionality between the GoS Agent and GoS Manager. The GoS Agent acts as distributed ANDSF client that can be deployed on mobile devices (UE), while the GoS Manager provides co-ordination, policy administration, distribution and backend database functionality securely in the network, managing all active distributed ANDSF clients via the S14 reference point.

By deploying distributed ANDSF clients under the co-ordination of a central server in combination with GoS Networks’ distributed PCEF functionality, MNOs can establish a range of policies to meet the dynamic needs of the network and users, obtain visibility and control of local conditions, and increase user satisfaction and customer experience.

If WiFi is to really make a strategic contribution to MNOs’ businesses, they need to consider how this can be achieved. Only by complementing their small cell deployments with the means to integrate fully into their policy framework will they be able to maximise returns from their investments. Deploying a distributed ANDSF client is a necessary step to reaching this goal.