Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MetroPCS LTE Service Plans: "Pay to use Applications"

3 months ago Bridgewater Systems announced a win for MetroPCS (See "PCRF Wins: Bridgewater Selected by MetroPCS" - here). The service plans announced then were very general, so I was wondering why MetroPCS needed a policy server.

It seems that the new Net Neutrality rules (see "Net Neutrality Approval Reopens US Market for DPI and Policy Management" - here) encouraged the carrier to go ahead with an innovative service plans.

MetroPCS announced yesterday 3 service plans for its new LTE services (see "MetroPCS' New 4G LTE Plans Offer Unprecedented Value and Choice with Prices Starting at Just $40" - here), where the cheapest one ($40/Month) allows "unlimited talk, text, 4G Web browsing with unlimited YouTube access". In other words - no VoIP, No P2P and discriminating (blocking) of non-YouTube video traffic.

If you want more - you should pay $50 (gets you "mobile instant messaging, corporate e-mail and 1 GB of additional data access") or even $60 ("unlimited data access").

Of course, to implement all this one needs a policy server and a DPI system - to identify YouTube, for example, and block other applications for the $40 customers.

See also my recent coverage of a presentation made by Allot and Openet suggesting a similar concept ("Allot - Openet: Monetizing and Controlling OTT Applications Use Cases" - here and chart below). Note that the PCRF is the MetroPCS case comes from Bridgewater.


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