Tuesday, March 9, 2010

DPI Deployments - Part3: Vodafone Hungary Case

It was probably a big surprise to Camiant when Vodafone Hungary (2.6M subscribers on Decmebr 31, 2009, #3 in Hungary) agreed to the press release they issued last year: Vodafone Hungary Deploys Camiant's Multimedia Policy Engine (here). Vodafone provided a quote to the release, and the release got nice coverage. A year after, Camiant still has a large homepage link to the release!

Camiant sells policy servers ("Multimedia Policy Engine"), to cable (PCMM architecture) and mobile (PCRF architecture) operators. PCRF is relatively new, and it seems that Vodafone Hungary is one of the pioneers in implementing the architecture.

In this case, the traffic control device is Starent ST-40 (now Cisco's ASR 5000) GGSN, who claims to have DPI (here).

The solution is describe as "Camiant's MPE, using 3GPP compliant interfaces in conjunction with Starent's ST-40 high capacity platform, provides Vodafone Hungary with dynamic bandwidth control for users that exceed their monthly limits. Traditionally, mobile operators have charged overage fees or stopped users from further using the network when they exceed a monthly usage cap. At Vodafone, Camiant's MPE enforces a moderated bandwidth level for these users but only during peak hours. This allows Vodafone's 3G users to get maximum value from their service but not at the expense of other users on the network."

Vodafone quote says "Mobile broadband is a critical part of our growth strategy," said Péter Török, Mobile Broadband Senior Manager of Vodafone Hungary. "Camiant's MPE technology allows us to differentiate our 3G services in the market, giving us a great competitive advantage and enables us to assure that our subscribers have the best possible end-user experience."

In the following diagram, Camiant shows how PCRF based policy server is implemented in a mobile network. Note that the policy server may control a number of network elements, including a GGSN (like our case here) and standalone DPI elements.

So while we don’t know exactly what policies Vodafone is implementing, and whether they control only subscribers or a combination of subscribers and applications, we see here a great example of an operator implementing a "fair-use" policy that limits few subscribers for the benefit of all others - and is brave enough to tell this to the world!

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