Saturday, April 30, 2011

TM Announcements: Stoke and Zhilabs' Integrated Offload And Optimization

Follow-up on Stoke's "Mobile Data Offload Ecosystem" (here): The vendor and Zhilabs, jointly announced that they ".. have teamed to create an integrated mobile data offload and traffic optimization solution that provides operators with the ability to manage explosive demand for mobile data. The combined capability delivers fine-grained visibility and control of traffic, enabling operators to apply management policies to reduce costs, improve use of network resources and a greatly improved customer experience".

See "Stoke And Zhilabs Team To Create Integrated Offload And Optimization Capability For Mobile Broadband Networks" - here.
"Operators can resolve specific traffic conditions and make optimization, offload and traffic re-direction decisions using the control point created by the Iu-PS breakout and management capabilities of Stoke's 3GPP-standard Mobile Data Offload gateway together with Zhilabs' insight into RAN and Core network conditions


Features of the Stoke and Zhilabs solution:
  • Combines granular visibility with precise control, dramatically enhancing the operator's traffic management tool kit
  • Offload and traffic redirection decisions can be made based on real-time network conditions
  • The resulting levels of control and resource optimization have been shown in large-scale trials to reduce capacity demand and associated capital and operations expense by 15% or more"

Does Netflix Replace P2P File Sharing?

Ryan Singel (picture) Staff Writer for, checks if the recent surge in Netflix streaming video traffic replaces the older way of sharing files "There’s plenty of anecdotal evidence and some logic behind the idea — why take a legal risk and wait hours for a movie to download if you can watch it instantly?"

See "Is Netflix Reducing Illicit File Sharing? Depends on Which Stats You Believe" - here.

The article shows statistics from Sandvine and Arbor, who present two ways on interpreting the data they collect (see also "Netflix: "Cord cutting became cord mending" - here):

  • According to Arbor Network’s chief scientist Craig Labovitz- "P2P has fallen to a single-digit percentage of North American network traffic (8 percent) down from highs above 30 percent in 2007 .. I think Netflix, iTunes and Direct Download all play a role in the diminishing P2P traffic volumes"
  • Sandvine says that - "it still saw “impressive” growth in P2P traffic in 2009-2010, even as Netflix traffic grew at an astounding rate .. From 2009 to 2010, Real-Time Entertainment grew to represent 42.7 percent (up from 29.5 percent) of total internet traffic in the evening .. In that same time, P2P File sharing also grew, from 15.1 percent to 19.2 percent. So, from 2009 to 2010 at least, P2P still grew at an impressive rate".
So - video is growing at all fronts, I guess - and an easy to use, affordable priced, good quality services take a bigger portion of the growing pie.

Visit the article to see what Ryan thinks.

Friday, April 29, 2011

[update-2] The Royal Wedding Challenge - Who will be the First to Publish Traffic Statistics? [Sandvine!]

Memories from the Royal Wedding are still fresh - and Sandvine (of Canada) has already released an initial report (see previous posts here and here).

Tom Donnelly reports to the company's blog that "Early observations show that over-all downstream traffic in North America this morning increased by around 20% over the same period last week, led by increases in video formats like RTMP (Real-Time Messaging Protocols) and Flash.  HTTP traffic also increased as a result of throngs of Royal Watchers reading the news online.  Over the course of the coverage, the peak was reached between 6:30am (EST) and 6:45am, before dropping off quite quickly".

Note the early hours for the North America viewers.

See "Sir Internet – A Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight Preview" - here and chart below.

Optimization Announcements: Onavo Offers "3rd Party" Compression Service

Onavo announced ".. an innovative new application, totally seamless and transparent. Once installed, you can go back to using your phone as normal. In the background, data usage from all apps is compressed, allowing users to double or even triple their existing data plan. Simply put, with Onavo, smartphone users can regain control of their data usage, understanding which apps are costing them and squeezing more out of every megabyte they download"

See "Onavo’s new app crunches data so users get more from their mobile" - here.

The company explains (here) that it works using an Onavo's cloud based server as a proxy server, and compresses downloaded (only) data  to Safari, Mail, Facebook, Google Maps, Twitter and other applications. The service, which is free for now, is going to be charged in the future.

Onavo's solution is a "3rd party" optimization solution and service. Similar solutions exist for long time from many optimization vendors (Bytemobile, Flash Networks, Vantrix, DiviNetworks, Mobixell), but require deployment by the operators (see an example here). As operators preferred to avoid the complexity of client based solutions, certain compression techniques (used by Onavo) could not be used, and optimization solutions are now focused on "one-sided" optimization of video content (which is not supported by Onavo).

Nevertheless, the company says that operators are "huge supporters of Onavo" however, unlike network based compression solutions operators may enjoy the congestion relief and less complaints to their help desks, but cannot charge customers for the actual volume consumed (hence the saving to the end-user).

[update-1] The Royal Wedding Challenge - Who will be the First to Publish Traffic Statistics?

Short update to yesterday's post (here) in which I urged the traffic management vendors to track internet use this morning - Sandvine has picked up the challenge. In his yesterday’s blog post, Tom Donnelly (picture) Sandvine's VP, Sales and Marketing promises:
 "How many people are going to watch it online and what impact will that have on both fixed and mobile networks?  Over the weekend, we’ll be working hard to crunch the data in order to get a clear picture of where, when, and how viewers experienced the wedding online.  Check back shortly early next week where we will post our full findings in our “Global Internet Phenomena Spotlight: The Royal Wedding”.  Until then, check out these fun wedding stats and enjoy the show!

See "The WWWedding – Global Internet Phenomena?"  - here.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Canada's UBB: Telus will offer "a really customer friendly" Service

Canada's metered DSL service story continues (background - here, here) the operators and ISPs are pretty active, at least on the announcement  side, saying that customer even like it.

Andrew Weichel reported to CTV News that Shaw's CEO, Bradley Shaw (picture), said in a Shaw executive conference call that " ..customers have shown a recognition that the principle of ‘if you use more, you should pay more' holds true .. customers professed little willingness to switch providers if usage-based billing is imposed"

Telus spokesman Shawn Hall (picture) told the reporter that "... his company will also be implementing usage-based fees later this year for anyone exceeding their monthly cap. It's going to be really customer friendly You'd be forgiven for the first month you go over. You'd get lots of warning, lots of notice that you were going over with options of moving to other plans."

see "Shaw planning to revive metered internet billing: critics" - here.

In parallel to the above, it is not clear if Bell can correctly measure consumption for its retail and ISP customers. Karl Bode reports to that "Bell in Canada, who recently acknowledged their DSL usage meter didn't work very well, and isn't particularly good at accurately tracking wireless data usage either".

See "Bell Still Struggling to Meter Usage Accurately" - here.

The Royal Wedding Challenge - Who will be the First to Publish Traffic Statistics?

Many of the traffic management and optimization vendors are regularly monitoring internet traffic and publishing reports from which we can learn the recent trends (such as the rise of streaming video). Tomorrow, Friday, is expected to be a special case, as for reasons that are beyond my understanding, billions of people around the world are expected to watch the "Royal Wedding" (a.k.a "William and Kate").

Paul Sonne from the Wall Street Journal provides some technical detials, on the "Internet-friendly event, with a live feed on YouTube and updates via Twitter, Facebook and an official royal-wedding website"

"But Internet services, along with the wedding site and video channel, are sure to be taxed by traffic from as many as 400 million people who could watch the ceremonies online Friday. Roughly two billion people are expected to view them on television .. Google's YouTube is managing the live streaming of the ceremonies on the monarchy's official YouTube channel. Though many online viewers will skirt the YouTube channel and instead visit the websites of broadcasters like the BBC or CNN for a live feed, the wedding could still mark YouTube's biggest live streaming event to date"

"Level 3 a network operator that delivers content across the U.S. and Europe [see "Level 3 vs. Comcast - Charging for Off-Net Internet Video?" - here], is delivering a live feed of the wedding to six major TV broadcasters in the U.S. and Canada, including CNN, and is also serving live Internet feeds of the event across its trans-Atlantic fiber network. Mark Taylor, vice president of content and media, said Level 3 has more than 15,000 servers around the world and delivering the wedding shouldn't be a problem"

See "Internet Providers Ready Receiving Lines for Royal Wedding" - here.

So: Allot (see "Allot: World Cup Generates 26% Increase in Mobile Broadband Usage"- here), Sandvine (see "Sandvine Traffic Report: Mobile Data Patterns Look Similar to Fixed" - here), Bytemobile (see "Bytemobile Forecasts Video to be more than 60% of Total Mobile Traffic in 2011" - here)  -- waiting for your reports!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Verizon on OTT Video - "It's not something that's top of mind for us"

While MSOs are going after OTT video (here), and "Verizon Invests $340M in OTT Video Distribution Services"- herethe carrier CFO, Fran Shammo (picture), says that "Verizon is putting all its attention on increasing the number of customers that subscribe to its FiOS TV service in order to help pay for the $23 billion it spent building a fiber network for FiOS .. It's [OTT Video] something that we've looked at. It's not something that's top of mind for us it would be hard to create a successful "over-the-top" business model without offering something that's very different to what consumers can already get".

See "Verizon CFO says not pursuing Web video for now" - here.

"Verizon said it ended the second quarter with 4.3 million FiOS Internet customers and 3.7 million FiOS TV customers in its quarterly report"

Cable Operators Move to OTT Video

A survey by Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Alan Breznick (picture), finds that "About 40% of cable operators plan to launch IP video services by 2012, and nearly 80% of cable providers have already launched or intend to start trials or full deployments by that time .. citing a one-year study of 50 to 60 MSOs from around the globe, said about 46% of operators expect IP-based set-tops to become a "mainstream" product by next year, with about 75% expecting the same by 2013"

See "Cable Gets Serious About IP Video" - here.

The article does not provide the reasons for what seems to be a redundant move, at least as far as the subscriber may see this (as he gets today linear and VOD services).

However, there are probably several reasons for that - breaking the limits of the MSOs current geographical reach and providing services for all type of screens, including of course mobile devices.

Nevertheless, once the customer moves to IP based video - there are many other choices - as we can see by the recent report from Netflix (here) and "Infonetics: OTT Streaming Services Doubled Set-top Boxes Sales" - here.

See also a Light reading interview with Roku's CEO Anthony Wood - here, and a presentation by Boxee CEO Avner Ronen (no relations) - here - and below.

Vodafone and T-Mobile Netherlands also Control Applications' Use

The Dutch site reports that it is not only KPN (see "KPN to Charge Extra for VoIP, Messaging and Streaming Video" - here) that is planning to charge extra for certain services - Vodafone and T-mobile have similar thoughts (or even actions).

See "Ook Vodafone blokkeert diensten" - here (Dutch ; the quotes below are translated using Google and Bing, to the best on my understanding)

"Vodafone blocks VoIP and sms over IP for sometime now, as it turns out after questions from For the basic subscriptions  - "call + sms + web" and a basic data bundle Smartphone Blox, Vodafone blocks VoIP. Customers that want to do use of these services should be paid extra .. In its terms document (here) of the "call + sms + web subscription" it states that the use of VoIP and SMSoIP is not allowed as well as "excessive" use of audio or video streaming is. WhatsApp is not covered by SMSoIP".

"T-Mobile would not comment .. but said in January 2011 that price differentiation is a way to manage the growing network traffic. "It is important that the quality of the network and the services offered thereon, safeguarded" said T-Mobile in January "One way to do it, is based on price". These statements are similar to KPN's recent announcement. However company spokesperson said that "T-Mobile does not mean that the measures are still being considered and whether a decision has been made".

See also " Vodafone Uses DPI and Policy Management to Improve QoE" - here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Netflix: "Cord cutting became cord mending .. data caps are actually a very poor way to manage demand"

Netflix tries to avoid conflicts with the major content distributors in the US (background - here). Now it tries to show that its customers are using the OTT service in addition to legacy video services, and not instead - "Our subscribers overwhelmingly enjoy both their Netflix and the variety of sports, current season TV shows, news and entertainment available through MVPDs [multichannel video programming distributor: cable, satellite and IPTV]".

In a letter to shareholders [here], following the release of Q1 results, Netflix' CEO, Reed Hastings (picture), and CFO, David Wells, explain that although the company added 3.6M subscribers globally (i.e. US and Canada), it did not intensified the "cord cutting effect". Netflix now has 23.5M subscribers (see table below).

"Since last year, online video use has more than doubled and the recession has receded somewhat. So, if online video use was driving cord cutting, the behavior would have intensified. On the other hand, if it was the recession that was driving people to drop MVPD subscriptions, cord cutting would have moderated. In fact, not only did cord cutting slow, it became cord mending with total U.S. MVPD households growing in the latest estimates.

Simply put, the data shows that Netflix is a supplemental channel to MVPD. While Netflix is likely to show huge growth again this year, we think MVPD cord cutting will be minimal to non-existent. We hear some stories from customers who have Netflix and no MVPD service, but these are generally people who rely on free broadcast TV (which is now in HD) and supplement with Netflix, rather than switching from MVPD to online".

Nevertheless, Netflix does not hesitate to go against usage-based billing or data caps.

They remind that "In response to these excessive $1+ per gigabyte fees, we’ve recently changed the default setting for Canadian Netflix members" (see "Netflix to the Rescue"- here).

Netflix states that "As a side note, data caps are actually a very poor way to manage demand and limit Internet congestion. All of the costs of supplying residential broadband are for supporting the peak loads, typically Sunday nights for residential customers. Bandwidth consumed off-peak is completely free; it literally has no marginal costs. If ISPs really wanted to limit their costs and congestion, they would limit speeds at peak times. But if their goal is instead to increase revenue, then making consumers pay $1 or more per gigabyte is an excellent strategy. When we state the marginal costs of residential wired gigabyte are below one penny, but are not zero, that is because we are making the appropriate costing assumption that some of an average gigabyte is transferred at costly peak times".

AT&T: We Need T-Mobile for the "wireless broadband revolution"

AT&T announced that it "filed with the Federal Communications Commission its Public Interest Statement regarding its proposed acquisition of T-Mobile USA. The filing demonstrates the numerous benefits of the merger, including the deployment of 4G LTE network technology to more than 97 percent of the population".

One of the benefits AT&T sees in the merger is (the full document, with its 381 pages, is available here):

"AT&T is using up its spectrum at an accelerating rate, and the wireless broadband revolution is just beginning.  Over the next five years, data usage on AT&T’s network is projected to skyrocket as customers “mobilize” all of their communications activities, from streaming HD video and cloud computing to a range of M2M applications like energy management, fleet tracking, and remote health monitoring. In just the first five-to-seven weeks of 2015, AT&T expects to carry all of the mobile traffic volume it carried during 2010".

AT&T explains that it "... has worked tirelessly to address this data explosion through a wide variety of means. For example, it has purchased spectrum on the open market when available and has added thousands of cell sites and additional backhaul capacity to its network grid. AT&T has also deployed distributed antenna systems, 24,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across the country, and Wi-Fi Hotzones in heavy usage areas—such as Chicago’s Wrigleyville, New York’s Times Square (here) [See below an example for the merged network in New York], and others—to off-load traffic from its mobile network. All told, AT&T invested $21.1 billion in capital expenditures to upgrade its wireless network between 2008 and 2010 [here]".

The press release "AT&T Files Public Interest Statement With FCC on T-Mobile Acquisition" is here and a special site - here.

See also "AT&T CEO Expects "a very significant increase in data throughput in a very short time" - here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Juniper Research: By 2015 63% of Mobile Traffic will be Offloaded to a Fixed Connection

Follow-up on today's earlier post on mobile offloading. Nitin Bhas, Research Analyst with Juniper Research, published a new research showing that "the majority of traffic (63%) generated by Smartphones, Tablets and Feature Phones will transfer onto the fixed network via Wi-Fi and Femtocells by 2015. This means that the annual mobile data traffic offloaded from operators’ networks via WiFi and Femtocells is forecast to reach nearly 9000 petabytes (PB) by 2015, which equates to a voluminous 11 billion movie downloads"

See "Relief Ahead for Mobile Data Networks as 63% of traffic to Move onto Fixed Networks via WiFi and Femtocells by 2015, finds Juniper Research" - here.

"Although currently WiFi accounts for over 98% of the traffic offloaded, Femtocells will account for a steadily increasing proportion over the forecast period .. Mobile data offloaded via WiFi from operators’ networks expected to reach almost 90% of total data offloaded".

Telesperience: "Mobile offloading: not being done very smartly"

Teresa Cottam (picture), Research Director at Telesperience, analyzes the current state of mobile offloading, concluding it needs more intelligence - including policy control. 

"Currently, offloading is happening whether the carrier is in control or not. While some carriers with both fixed and mobile networks have encouraged offloading to alleviate congestion in the radio network (Orange being a good example of this); others have encouraged it and dumped traffic onto fixed networks without business models being in place to compensate fixed providers; others have implicitly supported it; some haven’t encouraged it but their customers are offloading anyway".

See "Mobile Data Offloading – could be smarter, needs to work harder" - here.

"Done well, offloading can save CSPs money, offer a rapid solution to help maintain QoS in the face of rising data traffic, and therefore deliver a better experience to customers. By building in the capability to meter and charge for traffic, CSPs support commercial goals such as charging for offloading traffic or compensating third parties for carrying traffic"

Nevertheless, a recent survey, of the very same Telesperience found that "73% [of CSPs] will Use Offload" (here).

Sunday, April 24, 2011

KPN to Charge Extra for VoIP, Messaging and Streaming Video

KPN announced that its  "[Q1] Consumer wireless revenues lower than expected following accelerated change in customer behavior .. KPN is making significant wireless portfolio adjustments in the Netherlands to address SMS and voice substitution by moving from voice to data-centric portfolios to optimize the value per customer .. To further lower the cost base in the Netherlands, a new reduction program of 4,000 - 5,000 FTE, around 20 - 25% of the workforce in the Netherlands" - see "2011 EBITDA outlook adjusted downwards, free cash flow confirmed" - here and chart below.

KNP CEO, Eelco Blok (picture), said "To make our Dutch businesses more robust I have decided to accelerate the investments related to the new strategy. I’m confident that we are taking all necessary measures to strengthen and grow our businesses and I will share my detailed KPN Group plans during the 10 May Investor Day"

However, we do not have to wait till then. KPN's spokesperson, Steve Hufton (picture), explained to Arnoud Wokke from the Dutch site what are these "wireless portfolio adjustments" going to be: "Services such as browsing, VoIP, instant messaging and video viewing will get its own price tag, just as is the case with calling and texting .. We will allow everyone to take the services they intend to use and what they want to pay"

See "KPN: 'chatheffing' voor mobiel internet komt deze zomer - update" - here (Dutch; the above quote is a Google translation).

Saturday, April 23, 2011

DPI Announcements: Vedicis' DPI Based PCEF

Vedicis announced this month the ".. launch of its policy and charging enforcement solution for Mobile and fixed telecom operators. This software DPI – PCEF delivers policy control for user profile enforcement and real time charging to create usage-based service billing .. Vedicis Content Policy & Charging Enforcer identifies user traffic type and applications, enforces usage policies (access to services, bandwidth limitations…) from the policy server and trigger real time charging from the charging solution (quota, top-up offer…)."

See the vendors' news section - here. There aren’t too many details on the product itself, such as performance, H/W or PCRF interoperability.

Vedicis "provides policy enforcement and traffic intelligence solutions for telecom carriers to manage and monetize broadband for better user experience and new revenue streams .. [and] is headquartered in Paris, France".

The company lists Qosmos in its partners page (here).- a year ago Qosmos announced that "Vedicis chooses Qosmos for converged policy and traffic management solutions" (here) - see also a video interview with Vedicis CEO, Theodore Martin - here.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Converged Networks Challenges - Policy management and Real time Charging

Gary Rieschick, Director, Wireless & Broadband Solutions for Openet posted an article to the company's blog on policy management in converged networks (while claiming that convergence isn’t yet happening - ".. operators need to manage usage in a converged manner creating huge hurdles ahead").
As far as Policy management is concerned - "wireline networks are less complex than wireless and are chock full of legacy infrastructure. This means that operators have a hard time merging the two and deploying effective policy management strategies such as tiered services when the policy enforcement points have smaller sets of functionalities but this varies slightly from vendor to vendor ..
Nevertheless, how can operators benefit from converged networks? "There are many benefits, including offloading data, which can effectively reduce network capacity augmentation costs while supporting new business models…cross selling services across networks"

See "Let’s Get Together: Convergent Policy Management" - here.

Orga System says that convergence ".. has proven a challenge to the BSS vendors due to real-time requirements of the prepaid world and the number of subscribers ..end-to-end convergent billing solutions have to offer real-time charging, billing and financial management capabilities"

See "Convergence – old hat with new challenges" - here.

Related post - "AT&T Seeks Unified Policy Management for Wireline and Wireless" - here.

DPI Research: New Features are Needed (Encryption, User Profiling)

A "Proposition de Sujets de These" by Pr. Guillaume Urvoy-Keller (picture), from the Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, looks for a "candidate should have a solid background in networking and programming" to research DPI. "This work will be partly carried out in cooperation with Orange Lab, Sophia-Antipolis".

See "Internet/Intranet Traffic classification" - here.
In a previous work, "Hybrid Traffic Identification" - here, Pr. Urvoy-Keller proposes ".. a framework, called Hybrid Traffic Identification (HTI) that enables to take advantage of the merits of different approaches. Any source of information (flow statistics, signatures, etc) is encoded as a feature; the actual classification is made by a machine learning algorithm. We demonstrated that HTI is not-dependent on a specific machine learning algorithm, and that any classification method can be incorporated to HTI as its decision could be encoded as a new feature". 

He concludes that "We heavily tested HTI using different ADSL traces and 3 different machine learning methods. We demonstrated that not only HTI outperforms the classical classification schemes, but, in addition, it is suitable for cross-site classification. We further reported on the use of an HTI instance that takes its decision on the fly for all the traffic generated by the customers of an ADSL platform"

In the new proposal ".. we aim at investigating new problems related to traffic identification:
  • .. we want to further explore the process of adding features to the [above] classification tool . In addition to adding features, we would like to investigate new applications that might represent a minority of bytes when observing the overall traffic on the long run but might be considered as crucial by the ISP, e.g. streaming or social network traffic. Also, encrypted traffic is of high interest ...
  • So far, all works that rely on statistical approaches use deep packet inspection tools for annotating the pre-labeled trace used to train the classifier. No study has considered the reverse problem of how results of statistical tools can help improving deep packet inspection tools.
  • Traffic classification might be used to profile groups of users. It can also be used to inform anomaly detection, e.g., abnormal trends in a specific application. We started to investigate users profiling

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Resource: Ethernet QoS Overview

A new eBook from Fierce Telecom covers Ethernet QoS:

"While Ethernet has grown in popularity in recent years, the service still lacked the predictability and QoS and CoS elements found in traditional SONET, and later Frame Relay and ATM services. Maintaining Ethernet QoS becomes an even more acute problem when service providers have to go off-net to serve a particular customer location and work with a carrier partner. Such a scenario is a growing reality for both incumbent and even growing competitive service providers that are expanding their focus on medium and large businesses that have multiple locations".

See "Ethernet QoS: Trust, but always verify" - here.

Infonetics Sees Strong DPI Market (though US hesitates); Sandvine Leads

Infonetics Research updated its DPI market forecast. Shira Levine (picture), directing analyst for next gen OSS and policy at Infonetics Research, forecasts that ".. the standalone deep packet inspection (DPI) product market to grow to $2.1 billion by 2015 .. Sandvine once again is the revenue leader in the worldwide standalone DPI market, followed by Allot and Cisco". Previously, the forecast was for "$1.5B by 2014" (here).

".. US operators hesitant to do any widespread deployments of deep packet inspection (DPI) technology .. We anticipate particularly dramatic growth in emerging markets in Asia, the Middle East and Africa .. Over time, the influence of DPI technology that is integrated into network equipment will limit growth in the standalone DPI market; however, Infonetics believes operators will continue to implement both in their network environments, possibly deploying standalone DPI products at the core of their networks and integrated DPI capabilities further out toward the access points"

See "Standalone deep packet inspection (DPI) market to top $2 billion by 2015" - here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

EU: "It's not OK for Skype and other such services to be throttled"

The EU is taking Net Neutrlity "very seriously" as stated by Neelie Kroes (picture), European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda.
Ms. Kroes presented the EU report on Net Neutrality ("The open internet and net neutrality in Europe" - here) in a press conference held in Brussels on April 19. She started by stating:
".. This is a timely report because it comes just one month before the new EU telecoms rules are due to come into force in all Member States on 25 May [see below]. As you know, I am a firm believer in the power of competition to promote consumer interests. That means I see a clear role for using these pro-competitive new rules to ensure an open and neutral internet"

And then - directly to the heart of the issue. Few quotes:
  • For example, I am informed that some internet providers practise so-called "throttling", where they slow down certain types of traffic, such as video streaming provided by a competitor, in order to degrade the quality of content. Some mobile internet operators block voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services
  • One UK operator is said to make Skype calls technically impossible in afternoons and evenings without warning users. Others scare users from using the service or ban it altogether
  • Today's report shows a general consensus that traffic management can be useful. For example, it is important to keep video calls running smoothly even if that means an email is delayed by a few seconds
  • The Commission will spend 2011 closely looking at current market practices
See "Neelie Kroes European Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda The internet belongs to all of us Press conference on Net Neutrality Communication Brussels, 19th April 2011" - here.

Regarding the rules mentioned above [here]:

"There is no set definition of 'net neutrality' but it will be a legal requirement under EU law as from 25 May 2011 that Member States' telecoms regulatory authorities promote the ability of internet users "to access and distribute information or run applications and services of their choice" (Article 8(§4)g of the telecoms Framework Directive 2002/21/EC, as amended by Directive 2009/140/EC). Other rules directly relevant to net neutrality that enter into force on 25 May as part of new EU telecoms rules include requirements concerning:
  • transparency (e.g. any restrictions limiting access to services or applications, connection speeds)
  • quality of service (regulators can set minimum quality levels) and
  • the ability to switch operator (within one working day).
See also "EU "Open Internet" Public Consultation - Neutrality Needed - but Works Fine Today, without Regulation" - here.

Akamai to Use P2P for Video Streaming

Ryan Lawler (picture) reports to Gigaom that "Akamai could soon begin leveraging peer-to-peer (P2P) technology to enable its media customers to stream live or on-demand videos to end users",

P2P, which is usually associated with downloading of copyrighted content, is going to be very different with such use. It will set a new challenge to DPI vendors and operators regarding the ability to properly classify traffic and enforce the commercially-correct QoS/Traffic management policies to it.

See also "BitTorrent Works with Content Producers for "content 'discoverability’, distribution and monetisation" - here.
Back to Ryan's post - "The benefits of P2P-based delivery are huge, as client-side technology drastically reduce the number of bits that a CDN has to deliver. More importantly, if implemented in the right way P2P technology can source bits from viewers closer to the end user, which takes much of strain off the global Internet architecture. P2P advocates have claimed for years that the only way the Internet will be able keep up with traffic demands is if video files can be streamed and sourced through local ISP networks"

See "Akamai to Launch P2P-Based Streaming Video Client" - here.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

DPI Deployments (65): Tele2 Expands the Use of Procera to its LTE Network

Procera continues  to do well (see previous news here) in its home market - Procera's DPI origins and R&D center are in Varberg, Sweden.

The company announced today that "mobile operator Tele2 is deploying Procera’s PacketLogic in its 4G LTE network. This expanded installation is a combination between Procera’s flagship PacketLogic PL10000 series and its recently introduced PL8820 product (here)"

Tele2 has 31 million subscribers in 11 countries (see map) and was one of the first operators in the world to launch a commercial LTE service late last year (here).

See "Tele2 Deploys Procera in its LTE Network" - here.

DPI Announcements: Comverse Adds Policy-Aware Congestion Control solution

Comverse announced it has enhanced its Mobile Internet Hub product with a Congestion Control solution (see "Comverse New CEO to Continue with the "Comverse 3.0" Plan" - here).

" .. Linking smart detection and dynamic policy decisions with effective congestion control actions enables enforcement of congestion policies [here] based on multiple parameters: congestion severity level, traffic/device type, time of day, subscriber data plan, etc. Real-time measurements and smart traffic heuristics facilitate identification of congested cells and heavy users; optimal congestion control policy is then efficiently enforced with pinpoint accuracy where needed — utilizing DPI [here], video optimization and QoS modification capabilities".

See "Comverse Policy-Aware Congestion Control Solution Puts Mobile Internet Users in the Fast Lane" - here.

Clare McCarthy (picture; see also here), Principal Analyst at Ovum, said: ".. To address advanced use cases like congestion management, it is critical for operators to adopt a proactive approach that integrates detection, policy and enforcement. An effective congestion management solution with DPI and video optimization capabilities puts operators in a position to alleviate the load on network capacity while delivering an excellent user experience".

See my coverage of competitive solutions from Volubill (here), GENBAND (here), BroadHop/CommProve (here), Allot (here),  Openet (here) and Sycamore (here).

Monday, April 18, 2011

".xxx" Top Level Domain is Set to Go

In June 2005 the ICANN approved the new "xxx" TLD (see more details - here, video below and try

Only 6 years later, and since last week-end, the new domain is alive, and ICM Registry takes registration orders and name reservations  - expected to make $30M in the first year (see "XXX domain names go live" - here).

Will this make web filtering services, based on categorization of URL (here), redundant?

Amdocs on Barron's List for Private-equity Leveraged Buyout

Barron's published a list of "companies could be the next targets [for Leveraged buyouts] ..  Randy Udell and Ben Canet (picture) of the UBS U.S. special-situations equities sales team, recently listed 27 potential targets. Two prior lists, published in March and July 2010, had a good hit ratio of LBOs and other takeovers, such as King Pharmaceuticals, bought by Pfizer in March".

Amdocs in on the list - see "LBO Hunt: Who's Next?" - here.

Note that Barron's published some speculations on Amdocs' acquisition rumors in the past:
  • "Oracle could buy Amdocs" according to FBR Capital analyst David Hilal (April '10, here)
  • FTN Midwest Securities analyst Doug Ashton asserted in a research note today that he is  “hearing about a potential blockbuster deal in which SAP would acquire Amdocs" (March '07, here)
Is it the spring or Passover that brings us these speculations every year?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

PCRF Deployments (64): Tango Telecom PCRF used for QoS based Pricing Plans

Tango Telecom announced "the successful deployment of its Mobile Data Charging & Policy Control Platform (iAX™ Data) with a leading APAC carrier .. Tango Telecom’s iAX™ Data platform [covered - here]  was used by a mid-tier APAC carrier to launch an unlimited data plan to its prepaid subscriber base while sustaining profitability by varying quality of service (QoS)

.. In order to manage this growing appetite for these bandwidth-hungry data services, yet insure that revenues are increasing at a similar pace, the carrier used a tiered service-level plan, which allows for adjusting QoS download speed and implementing Fair Usage Policies .. By dynamically controlling QoS on a per-subscriber basis, Tango Telecom’s Data Charging and Policy Control Platform enables carriers to offer innovative service and pricing plans to encourage spending, yet still increase profits".

See "Tango Telecom Enables Mid-Tier APAC Telco to Increase Profits on Mobile Data Services" - here. It was released during the Rural Cellular Association (RCA) show held in Las Vegas between 17-20 April.