Saturday, March 31, 2012

Optimization Deployments [138]:PCCW [HK] Reduces Signaling by 25% with Huawei

Nokia-Siemens Networks and Huawei continue to educate the market, push and sell solutions which address a significant pain for mobile operators - application level signaling traffic that floods the radio and backhaul links, creating congestion and reducing quality of experience for actual data.

Huawei announced that "PCCW mobile has adopted Huawei's pioneering smartphone signaling optimization solution to further enhance its network performance and improve the mobile broadband experience for its customers. The 3GPP-Release-8 (3GPP-R8)-based smartphone signaling optimization solution can significantly reduce 3GPP-R8 smartphone signaling traffic by over 25%".

Mr. Ying Weimin (pictured), President of GSM,UMTS and LTE wireless networks, Huawei, said: "It took several months for Huawei and PCCW mobile to finish the testing of our signaling solution on existing networks. The high performance of this solution shows that Huawei is capable of innovation to help customers succeed".

See "PCCW mobile Pioneers Huawei's 3GPP R8 Smartphone Optimization Solution to Reduce Signaling Traffic by over 25%" - here.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Monday's Guest Post: New Approach to Policy Management Integration Challenges

A new guest post will be published on Monday. In his article,"Service innovation in Mobile Broadband: nothing standard about it", my 15th guest, Taco Schoute, will look into the challenges of integrating the various elements and inputs needed for successful implementation of policy management and enforcement systems.

".. in order to drive a higher return on investment, operators are now looking to introduce value-based service offerings. This is not possible with their newly acquired policy control capabilities alone. Increasingly more policy decision inputs from existing assets in their back office and IT domain are needed to enable more suited, more advanced Mobile Broadband services and tariff plans. Examples of services desired by the industry include time, location and congestion based offerings, notifications, shared data plans and loyalty schemes" says Taco.

Stay tuned.

Guest posts are welcomed! Please send me a proposed subject, abstract and the author details.

[Update] Cox: "No plans for Usage-based billing; Message was a Mistake"

I reported yesterday that Cox Communications may be preparing for Usage-based Billing (charge overage fees over today's data caps policy), based on a message seen by one of its broadband subscribers (here).
Todd Spangler reports to Multichannel News that Cox has no plans to do it, according to Cox's spokesman Todd Smith (pictured): "It was completely an error that was posted .. We have made no change to our existing policy .. Cox will continue to evaluate service delivery and billing options as the industry and needs of the customer evolve".

See "Cox: Still No Plans For Usage-Based Internet Fees" - here.

[Infonetics]: Small Cell Market to Reach $2.1B by 2016 ($700/unit)

Infonetics Research principal analyst for mobile infrastructure and carrier economics, Stéphane Téral (pictured), recent report forecasts that ".. the global small cell market to grow rapidly, with about 3 million small cells shipping and the market worth about $2.1 billion in 2016 ... Infonetics expects public space femtocells to make up more than 50% of all small cells shipped in 2012".
In the context of the report, small cells are "low power mobile network nodes known as microcells, picocells, and femtocells (public space, not residential) made by the "Big 5" RAN vendors -- Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia Siemens Networks, and ZTE – as well as small cell specialists like ip.access, Contela, Juni, Minieum Networks, Ubiquisys, and others".

" .. Small cell market growth is being driven by operators seeking to enhance saturated macrocellular networks that are currently struggling to maintain a decent mobile broadband experience for subscribers".

For example, 70,000 units may be required to cover just London during the Olympic games this summer - see  "A Year Before the Olympics - London is Running Out of Mobile Capacity" - here.
" .. the chief objective is to complement and enhance the macrocell layer from a capacity standpoint with a new breed of low-power nodes like public space femtocells and WiFi. But dividing the macro layers into smaller cells remains challenging due to inter-cell interference and backhaul issues. The question is: how small can the cell be? Because the smaller the cell, the higher the number of units required to cover an area, and that will determine the true size of the small cell market"
See "Small cell market to hit 3 million units in 2016, driven by urban area capacity upgrades" - here.

Related post - "[Infonetics]: Femtocell Market to Reach $3B by 2015" here and "[Infonetics]: Demand for Data Drives MNOs to Deploy Small Cells; Already Offload 10%" - here.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Optimization Deployments [137]: Frontier [US] Saves 24% with BTI Systems

BTI Systems announced that "Frontier Communications is using its comprehensive application-aware service delivery product suite to accommodate rapid growth in high-demand services such as over-the-top (OTT) video, while substantially reducing network operation and management costs".
"Frontier Communications, the nation's largest provider of communications services focused on rural America, is deploying the complete suite of BTI products, including WideCast, for application-aware networking. Video represents half of Frontier's traffic and the BTI product suite enables Frontier to overcome network congestion, deliver up to 24% in bandwidth savings and generate a solid return on investment of less than a year".

".. For example, by intelligently and transparently caching popular video content closer to subscribers, Frontier is improving content delivery speeds by more than 10% and providing customers with a better viewing experience, while reducing Frontier's network bandwidth requirements".

BTI uses transparent caching technology from PeerApp (see "BTI and PeerApp Partner to Optimize Streaming at the Network Edge" - here).
See "BTI Redefines Metro Networks with the Industry's First Integrated Services Delivery Platform" - here.

Does Cox Prepare for Usage-based Billing?

Will Cox Communications move from data caps to metered usage, with overage fees?
Karl Bode reports to DSLReports that "..a user offers up the screenshot below from the company's own usage tool that indicates Cox will ultimately begin billing users for passing their cap. Customers are informed that the allowance portion of the meter website "shows the amount of data usage included in your plan each billing cycle," and that users can consume more, but "will be billed for any amount you use over your allowance .. Cox currently imposes caps on their service but it varies by local market competition, regional congestion and tier -- all broken down here".

Cox uses Procera's DPI equipment (here), and the company announced a number of orders received from Cox, recent one this week (see "Procera Awarded $2.5 Million Fourth Follow-On Order by Tier-1 US MSO for Continued Network Expansion" - here).
See "Cox Will Begin Charging Overages - At Least According to Their Own Website" - here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Which is the Internet's Greatest Tool?

DPI? Policy management? Diameter? not even close.
The Internet Society (ISOC), is defining the "Moments of the Internet - As part of our 20th Anniversary celebration we want to, with your help, come up with the defining moments of the Internet. Over the next few weeks, we'll be running a series of polls that will allow you to let us know what you think".

One of the polls is about the "What helped make the Internet one of the greatest tools of our lifetime?". RFC Series, WWW, Email, TCP/IP, Search Engines, Mobile internet are among the candidates.

See "Defining Moments of the Internet" - here.

PCRF Deployments [136]:ViaSat [US] Deploys Volubill

Policy management goes into new territories, beyond cable (PCMM) and mobile (PCRF). We are still waiting for the fixed (DSL/fiber) service to join this successful, best-of-breed control-enforcement, model (here).

Volubill announced that "California-based ViaSat Inc. has selected Volubill’s Business Solution (VBS) to deliver dynamic service fulfillment and wholesale invoicing. ViaSat recently launched its new Exede broadband service, which brings together the highest capacity satellite in the world, state-of-the-art ground equipment and breakthrough web acceleration technology, all optimized to deliver high-speed, high-quality streaming to consumers. With a growing Exede subscriber base, the VBS solution is now “live,” serving as the AAA platform for the Exede service. The platform includes provisioning, policy management system and wholesale billing systems"

Todd Lewis, VP of IT for ViaSat said: “By selecting Volubill, we gain critical back-office capability and expertise to complement our innovative technology. Volubill’s VBS suite enables us to manage our product line quickly and flexibly, implement customer-focused programs and promotions, track and report subscriber data utilization more efficiently

See "Volubill Selected by ViaSat to Support Exede℠ Broadband Service" - here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

VAS/Security Deployments [135]: VimpelCom [Russia] Deployed Symantec's Web Filtering

VimpelCom and Symantec Corporation recently announced ".. the offering of new Child Safety service, an integrated network-based online security service, which combines internet filtering, internet surfing reports, and network-use time control .. this service is already available via VimpelCom’s network in Russia under the Beeline brand (total of 4.6M broadband subscribers, see chart below)".

Vimplecom, Russia  - Q4, 2011
".. The Child Safety service blocks the malicious and inappropriate online content from the users that are configured to not receive such content. This service enables parents to define and execute policy-based controls for children of various age groups, such as under 7, 7-12 and over 13 years of age. The solution also automatically categorizes new frequently visited web sites and adds those to the existing category database. Access to search engines and encyclopedias can be left open to all age groups, however, search results can be filtered-out for restricted and inappropriate content"
"The solution uses a website categorization database, provided by RuleSpace (since October 2010 a subsidiary of Symantec), a recognized global leader in parental control services; URL filtering, safe search, context advertising, and content audit

See "Symantec and VimpelCom Enable Safe Access to the Internet for Children" - here.

[Infonetics]: "Global policy management market to top $1.9B by 2016"

Infonetics Research provided more details from its policy management market review, by Shira Levine, directing analyst for next gen OSS and policy (See also - "Openet Leads the Policy Management Market" - here and "Policy Management Market Grew in 2011 by 41% to $589M" - here):

  • Infonetics forecasts the global policy management market to top $1.9 billion by 2016 (previously - $1.6B/2015; current forecasts - here)
  • Many operators in more developed markets continue to make policy vendor selections in conjunction with LTE trials and deployments
  • Openet ended 2011 in the lead position in the policy management software market once again, followed by Huawei, Tekelec and Amdocs (formerly Bridgewater Systems)
  • Operators will use policy management to launch new capabilities via secure APIs with third-parties, such as guaranteed video quality for streaming video for over-the-top providers 

See "Policy management market grew 41% in 2011, vendor shakeups expected over next few years" - here.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Survey: Mobile Users are Willing to Pay for Better QoS, Download Speed and "Turbo Boost"

A survey by independent research firm Vanson Bourne (commissioned by Comptel), asked 2,000 consumers from across the U.K., France, Germany and the U.S. about their "mobile usage and spending habits, and their relationships and satisfaction with their mobile operators".

Some findings:

  • More than one in five respondents reported experiencing poor quality of service (QoS) at least once a week. Yet, the majority (72 percent) of consumers agreed that if their mobile operator apologised and sent special offers to compensate, it would make up for the poor QoS and would increase their loyalty
  • If mobile operators offered faster download rates, 59 percent of respondents said that they would pay for it .. nearly one in five consumers said that they would be willing to pay more than five pounds, euros or dollars extra monthly for such an upgrade

See "Survey Reveals Customers Need More Love From Their Mobile Operators" - here.

DPI - A Client Approach for Application Identification

A new paper by Tomasz BujlowKartheepan BalachandranSara Ligaard HaldM. Tahir Riaz and Jens Myrup Pedersen (pictured) from Department of Electronic Systems Networking and Security Center for Network Planning of Aalborg University descibes a new approach for traffic classification.
"To overcome the drawbacks of existing methods for traffic classification (by ports, Deep Packet Inspection, statistical classification) a new system was developed, in which the data are collected and classified directly by clients installed on machines belonging to volunteers".

I wonder how such technology could be used by ISPs for traffic management (why would someone agree to install it?), or even for analytics (privacy concerns). Nevertheless,  some more quotes from the publication follows:
"Our approach combines the information obtained from the system sockets, the HTTP content types, and the data transmitted through network interfaces. It allows to group packets into flows and associate them with particular applications or types of service. This paper presents the design of our system, the implementation, the testing phase and the obtained results. The performed threat assessment highlights potential security issues and proposes solutions in order to mitigate the risks. Furthermore, it proves that the system is feasible in terms of uptime and resource usage, assesses its performance and proposes future enhancements. We released the system under The GNU General Public License v3.0 and published as a SourceForge project called Volunteer-Based System for Research on the Internet".

"Obtained results proved that the system is feasible, and capable of providing detailed information about the network traffic. Therefore, it can be useful for creating different applications traffic profiles".

See "Volunteer-Based System for classification of traffic in computer networks" - here.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

CNET: Verizon Uses Network Intelligence to Manage Congestion


Marguerite Reardon , CNET's "Ask Maggie" explains to its readers that like AT&T, "Verizon does slow down the heaviest data users on its unlimited data plan. But the way Verizon "throttles" users is different from the way that AT&T has implemented the policy .. Like AT&T did initially with its policy, Verizon also targets the top 5 percent of the heaviest data users. But the company uses network intelligence to only slow down those heavy data users when the network is actually congested".
"Once the congestion has subsided or you move to a different cell site that isn't congested, your speed returns to normal. Depending on how congested the network is your service could be slowed for a few minutes or for several hours. The policy only applies to customers with unlimited data plans on the 3G network. Verizon doesn't slow down data for 4G customers".
See "Did you know Verizon also throttles unlimited data service?" - here. See also here.

[Infonetics]: Openet Leads the Policy Management Market

Infonetics Research releases its new review of the Policy Management market very slowly (see the first piece "Policy Management Market Grew in 2011 by 41% to $589M" - here).
The latest update comes through Openet, who announced that according to the new report "Openet Captures 8.9 Percent of Overall Market, 9.8 Percent Share of Wireless Policy Management .. This is the second year in a row that Openet has been named the top company for this report, despite a growing number of competitors entering the market".
An official press release hasn't been issued by Infonetics yet, as they usually do with new research.
Michael Manzo (pictured), CMO of Openet said: “The policy market is growing not only in revenue, but in the number of competitors .. Despite a flood of new offerings on the market, Openet has come out on top once again due to our continued dedication to policy innovation and key deployments of our ‘trifecta’ of policy, charging and subscriber data management”.
See "Openet Leads in Policy Market for Second Consecutive Year, According to Infonetics Research" - here.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Tekelec: The New iPad Challenges LTE Networks

A guest article in Forbes, by Doug Suriano (pictured), CTO, Tekelec explains that "As the first LTE-enabled iPad, this product will have a huge impact on North American LTE operators, and likewise for operators in markets where LTE will soon be deployed – in a way few have considered .. With LTE, operators will need to handle network signaling messages .. it will escalate the volume of network signaling on LTE networks to new levels .. Each time a subscriber moves to or from an LTE coverage area, the new iPad will register on the correct network technology, introducing a new type of signaling to the tablet market".

"In fact, one large tier one customer told us that the number of concurrent sessions per subscriber, a measure of the number of separate mobile data activities, has increased 50 percent in the last year. We expect that number to increase at least another 50 percent in the next year, due to the LTE iPad and the expected arrival of the several new LTE smartphones".

Fortunately, we now have products for this:

  • [Infonetics]: Diameter Signaling Router Market to Grow at 106% (!) CAGR Through 2016" - here 
  • Diameter Router Products here 
  • How does/will Verizon Wireless Use Tekelec's Diameter Router? - here 

See "How The New iPad Creates 'Signaling Storm' For Carriers" - here.

Friday, March 23, 2012

VAS/Security Deployments[134]: HT Mostar [Croatia] Deploys Optenet to Protect Mobile Users

Optenet announced that "HT Mostar, Croatia, one of the three official telecommunications operators in the country along with BH Telecom and Telekom Srpske, has selected Optenet’s WebSecure solution to provide protection from internet threats to their mobile community [ERONET] .. With this new solution, the protection comes from the cloud which means that customers are protected from digital attacks in the mobile internet before they reach the end user devices. In addition, customers will not need to install updates and the performance of their mobile devices will not be affected with the new solution. As the numbers of mobile devices increase so are internet threats increasing rapidly in the mobile network".

See "HT Mostar Croatia (JP Hrvatske telekomunikacije d.d.) to provide new Mobile Security solution to protect against digital attacks, based on Optenet’s WebSecure solution" - here.

US ISPs Agreed to Combat Major Cyber Security Threats

While US ISPs get ready to fight piracy by watching for illegal content downloads (here) they have also agreed to ".. better secure their communications networks and protect consumers and business".
An FCC press release announced that ".. an industry advisory group for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Communications, Security, Reliability, and Interoperability Council (CSRIC), unanimously adopted recommendations for voluntary action by Internet service providers (ISPs) to combat three major cyber security threats, including botnets, attacks on the Domain Name System (DNS), and Internet route hijacking .. Chairman Genachowski applauds voluntary commitments by nation’s largest Internet Service Providers, including AT&T, CenturyLink, Comcast, Cox, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile and Verizon".
  • Under the Anti-Bot Code, ISPs agree to educate consumers about the botnet threat, take steps to detect botnet activity on their networks, make consumers aware of botnet infections on their computers, offer assistance to consumers whose computers are infected and collaborate with other service providers that have also adopted the Anti-Bot Code
  • DNSSEC is a set of secure protocol extensions that prevent such fraudulent activity
  • CSRIC recommended an industry framework to prevent Internet route hijacking, which is the erroneous routing of Internet traffic through potentially untrustworthy networks 
Some examples from other countries: Sri-Lanka, Nigeria, Egypt, India, Korea, Argentina. AT&T also announced several security initiatives (here here and here).    

See "FCC advisory committee adopts recommendations to minimize three major cyber threats, including an anti-bot code of conduct, ip route hijacking industry framework and secure DNS best practices" - here and more details (here).

Thursday, March 22, 2012

[Update 53: HP SNAP <-> Sandvine/Cisco/Procera] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

HP updated me that "..we work with Allot, Cisco, Sandvine .. We also have an installation with Procera on the Gy side .. Other vendors we integrate with for enforcement are Mobixell (see "Mobixell Explains its Joint Solution with HP" - here) and Flash".

The compatibility matrix was updated to reflect these updates.

[Infonetics]: Policy Management Market Grew in 2011 by 41% to $589M

A short tweet by Infonetics Research says - "Global Policy Management Software Market Hit $588.8 million in 2011".

Last September, Shira Levine (picture), Directing Analyst, Next Gen OSS and Policy, forecasted that 2011 will show 49% growth compared to 2010 - i.e from $418.7M to $623.9M. According to the revised numbers the growth in 2011 was 40.6%,

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

[Chetan Sharma]: "Policy management and data offload have emerged as top two solutions"

A new report by Chetan Sharma covers the recent trend in US mobile data market - "The US market generated $67 billion in mobile data revenues in 2011 accounting for 39% of the overall revenues for the country. The mobile data market grew 4% Q/Q and 19% Y/Y to reach $18.6B for the quarter. For the year 2012, we are forecasting that mobile data revenues in the US market will reach $80 billion"

"Mobile data traffic growth continued unabated doubling again for the 8th straight year. We expect the mobile consumption to double again in 2012. Data now constitutes over 85% of the mobile traffic in the US .. Approximately 30% of the smartphone users average more than 1GB/mo. As new devices and new network technology roll-out keep pace in 2012, the data traffic will grow at the expected pace. The signaling traffic is expected to grow in even faster".
"While the spectrum debate rages on, in addition to the network and backhaul upgrades, policy management and data offload have emerged as top two solutions that operators deploying around the world. Signaling management solutions like Diameter routing are also getting good traction" (more here - "Which Solutions will Gain the Most Traction for Managing Mobile Data?" - here).
"While 2011 was the year of figuring what the opportunities are in the new connected era, 2012 is starting to focus on how to monetize those opportunities".
See "US Wireless Market Update Q4 2011 and 2011" - here.

[Infonetics]: SDP Market to Grow from $3.2B in 2011 to $5.8B in 2016

A new research by Shira Levine, Infonetics Research’s directing analyst for next gen OSS and policy, finds that "The global service delivery platform (SDP) software and services market grew 16% between 2010 and 2011, to $3.2 billion .. Infonetics forecasts the SDP software and services market to hit $5.8 billion by 2016".
Previously Infonetics forecasted $5.2B for 2015 (here). Analysys Mason's most recent forecast is $6.3B for 2015 (here).
"Ongoing capital constraints are driving operators’ interest in service delivery platform solutions that go beyond the traditional software licensing model .. We’re seeing growing demand for alternatives such as cloud-based delivery, turnkey application storefronts for consumer and enterprise customers, and revenue-sharing models, and we expect that trend to continue as operators look to create a more predictable cost structure around their SDP deployments
More highlights:

The SDP market is experiencing double-digit percent annual growth in large part due to operator interest in: 
  • Developing app stores – not just for consumers but increasingly for enterprises, such as those in the M2M, healthcare, retail, manufacturing, education, and transportation verticals
  • Offering customized mobile advertising
  • Managing exploding levels of content downloads by mobile broadband subscribers
  • Developing API exposure strategies that enable them to create a richer ecosystem of content partners 
See "App stores and enterprise drive service delivery platform (SDP) spending" - here.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Amdocs to Resell Flash Networks Optimization Solution

Flash Networks announced that ".. it has signed a reselling agreement with Amdocs .. Amdocs can offer its customers Flash Networks’ Harmony solution – an innovative mobile Internet data services gateway – to complement Amdocs’ [former Bridgewater Systemspolicy management, charging, and partner settlement offerings".
"Harmony is a network-based solution that optimizes use of RAN, backhaul, and transit network resources across all types of networks, including faster networks such as LTE, by: Working with policy management systems to apply policy-based rules in real-time to compress or cache data content such as video for faster serving, or to filter content to decrease network load; Identifying over-the-top (OTT) content sources at the network level, and working with charging and partners settlement systems to offer special price plans for OTT offers and settle with OTT partners;"
See "Flash Networks Signs Reseller Agreement with Amdocs" - here.

Indian ISPs need to Block Sites - Will they Use DPI?

Courts in several counties issued recently orders to ISPs to block access to certain sites to prevent copyright infringement (UKBelgiumFinland as well as the SOPA legislation in the US).

Jayesh Limaye (pictured) reports to techtree that ".. the Calcutta High Court has issued a diktat to all the ISPs in India to block 104 domains who have been found to distribute music illegally. In a verdict that will cause the Indian Music Industry (IMI) to rejoice, the court has ordered a ban on websites such as The ISPs have been given 36 hours to comply, by either blocking domain \ IP addresses or by using Deep Packet Inspection to ban the offending URLs".

A list of ISPs in India is available here.

See "Indian ISPs Told To Block Music Sharing Sites" - here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

OTT Announcements: Comigo Unveils a New Smart STB

 Adrian Pennington reports to streaming media about Dov Moran's new start-up - Comigo.

Moran (pictured), the man who invented the USB flash drive, presents "a new smart TV platform .. revolutionary personalization and interactive socialization capabilities .. It is aimed at telco and OTT operators .. The set-top box smart TV solution will be integrated into the Android OS. There is client software for iPad and iPhones as well as Android devices. The platform is being readied for availability in July, possibly with an Isreali operator on board as a first customer in Q3".
Our customers are operators, telcos and OTT .. We think service is important to them and that our system can practically provide their customers with many more services and activities. The system is built in such a way that more applications can be added. We will we provide an API and SDK to be able to do that”.

Related (or should I say, complementary) post - "RayV Exposes Turn Key Video Streaming to MNOs and ISPs" - here.
See "Dov Moran Launches Comigo, New Smart TV Platform" - here.

DPI Deployments [133]: Telekom Austria Selected Procera

Yet another Telekom Austria deployment - last week it was Flash Networks' optimization product (here) - and in just few days we get a 2nd vendor announcement, this time for fixed and mobile networks.
Procera Networks announced that "a new contract to provide Telekom Austria Group .. with a Services Optimization Solution based on Procera Networks award winning PacketLogic™ hardware and software platform. Following extensive market evaluation, the contract, which is worth an undisclosed value, will cover products and services to all Telekom Austria Group companies"
See "Telekom Austria Selects Procera for Multi-Country Fixed and Mobile Deployment" - here.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

ALU: "Smart revenue is smarter than dumb pipes"

A post to Alcatel-Lucent by Laura Merling, SVP of Applications Enablement at Alcatel-Lucent (pictured) looks new business models for MNOs, which will allow them to monetize on OTT services.

".. while the strain on network use is much greater, many exciting new monetization possibilities are rapidly arising. All those apps – in particular, the ones that hog all the bandwidth – increasingly rely on carriers for much more than mere connectivity. The app economy can drive carrier revenue, but only if carriers move away from charging for bandwidth .. Take the argument that over-the-top providers should be charged for bandwidth use. Turn the equation around and make it about quality of service. Give over-the-top players service level agreements with guaranteed bandwidth and charge them for quality of service".

"Smart revenue is better than dumb pipes. Think of LTE as set of services such as QoS, broadcast messages, and security that are sold to third parties who build the end consumer applications and experiences"

See "The death of the dataplan, the rise of smart revenue" - here.

[IDC]: "Fixed and mobile operators will have to deal with a new reality"

A new research by Matt Davis (pictured), Program Director, IDC finds that "Internet-generated broadband traffic will increase approximately 50% year over year on fixed networks and double on mobile networks .. fixed and mobile traffic volumes are driven by power users that are gorging themselves on a disproportionate amount of bandwidth, a practice that has some network administrators reaching for the Pepto-Bismol .. Web browsing, peer-to-peer file sharing, audio/video streaming, and a host of other applications are all driving bandwidth consumption .. HD video content will drive a new level of bandwidth demand, with more than 50% of video and audio streaming destined for a connected TV (either directly or indirectly), an iPad, or another mobile device or tablet".
"Fixed and mobile operators will have to deal with a new reality that will tax network resources to the limit —and perhaps past the limit". 
See "Power Users Drive Worldwide Internet Broadband Bandwidth Demand, According to Research from IDC" - here and the report page.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

[iGR]: U.S. Mobile Backhaul Demand will Grow @58% CAGR

iGR forecasts in a new study ("U.S. Mobile Backhaul Forecast: 2011-­2016" - here)  that "the demand for U.S. mobile backhaul will grow at a CAGR of nearly 58 percent between 2011 and 2016, with the overall demand growing by 9.7 times. And the growth of fiber backhaul, the preferred method for providing mobile backhaul, is expected to reach a CAGR of nearly 85 percent over the same period
Iain Gillott (pictured), president and founder of iGR said: “Just as the radio networks are transitioning from 3G to 4G and adding more small cells, so the mobile operators must also upgrade their mobile backhaul from legacy TDM to Ethernet .. The upgrade of the mobile backhaul networks presents a significant opportunity for cable MSOs, IP equipment and infrastructure vendors, tower companies, and the telecommunications services providers”.

Related posts:
  • [Juniper Research]: MNOs Need to Spend $840B By 2016 on Backhaul - here 
  • [Dell'Oro Group]: Mobile Backhaul Market to Reach $9B by 2015 - here
  • Yankee Group: Average Cell Backhaul Bandwidth will Grow to 100 Mbps by 2015 - here
  • Infonetics: Mobile Backhaul - Ethernet vs. Microwave - Market Size - here
See "U.S. Mobile Backhaul demand forecast to grow more than nine times in the next four years" - here.

Friday, March 16, 2012

US ISPs to Start Anti-Piracy Actions on July 12

Last July the Center for Copyright Information published a "fact sheet" explaining the system that will be used by ISPs so "Parents and other ISP subscribers will benefit from a new state of the art system of alerts -- similar to fraud alerts consumers receive about their credit card accounts -- that let them know when their Internet accounts have been identified as being misused for content theft" (here).

Greg Sandoval reports to CNET that Cary Sherman, (pictured) CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), said on Wednesday during a panel discussion at AAP Annual Meeting that "Most of the participating ISPs (Comcast, Cablevision, Verizon, Time Warner Cable and other bandwidth providers) are on track to begin implementing the program by July 12"

".. Each ISP has to develop their infrastructure for automating the system for establishing the database so they can keep track of repeat infringers, so they know that this is the first notice or the third notice. Every ISP has to do it differently depending on the architecture of its particular network. Some are nearing completion and others are a little further from completion".
See "RIAA chief: ISPs to start policing copyright by July 12' - here.

Procera Files Shelf Prospectus for $100M; Market Hype or Opportunity?

Encouraged by the rally of DPI shares this week (see chart below) Procera Networks filled a shelf-prospectus for $100M (here). Last year, Allot Communications went through the same process, eventually issuing new shares for close to $80M on November.

While many expect the DPI market to grow significantly (here), with LTE deployments, extensive video consumption on fixed and mobile networks and even due to the new iPad, there are many risks to the pure players of standalone DPI devices (Allot Communications, Procera and Sandvine).

This includes offering from TEMs with integrated devices (see posts about  - Ericsson, Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco), new offering from new competitors (F5, Bytemobile) changes in traffic composition (streaming video vs. P2P downloads - here) and new business models for DPI and more. The DPI vendors should respond to these challenges quickly to justify the current high valuations (see "DPI Market - Allot Insiders Sell Shares" - here).

As a reminder, the 3 players generated $211.6M in revenues during the FY2011, compared to $167M in 2010 (+26.7%) (here).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Ericsson - "Volume deliveries of SSR 8000 are expected in 2012"

Ericsson published its annual report for 2011 (here) in which it discusses a number of times its Smart Services Router SSR 8000 family, that was announced during 2011 (see "Ericsson Smart Services Router to Include DPI and Video Caching" - here)

"Volume deliveries are expected in 2012. It is the first router ever to be built on a common platform for fixed and mobile applications" - See also "Ericsson Updates: SSR (w/DPI) Scheduled for Q4" - here.

Ericsson is not the only vendor to offer a common mobile/fixed platform - see "ALU Positions the 7750-SR as a DPI based Mobile Application Assurance Gateway" - here

"Network performance is the key operator differentiator when it comes to user experience. in 2011, we launched the SSR 8000 family, a series of smart services routers. they support delivery of services across fixed and mobile networks and enable faster introduction of new user services. For operators, the SSR 8000 family provides a simple, smart and scalable solution. For users, it means access to advanced services, with telecom-grade quality from any device anywhere"

Cisco Acquires NDS for $5B

Calcalist reports that "Former Israeli company NDS, which operates a large R&D center in Jerusalem, is in advanced acquisition talks with information technology giant Cisco, Calcalist reported Thursday. The company, which develops software solutions for multi-channel television networks and is owned by the Premira fund and News Corp, is expected to finalize the sale within days in a mega-deal estimated at $5 billion".

NDS also develops solutions for OTT/Internet TV.

See "Cisco set to buy NDS for $5B" - here.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

VAS/Security Deployments [132]: Sri Lanka Telecom Deploys Optenet

Opetnet announced a "a new partnership with Sri Lanka Telecom, the nation's number one integrated communications service provider and the leading broadband and backbone infrastructure services provider in the country. This is a new initiative for Sri Lanka Telecom in the Cloud Security space, and the telecommunications giant has deployed Optenet WOLF and Optenet WebFilter technology delivered with Optenet’s Multi-tenant architecture. The new service now provides web filtering to the residential market in particular counting over 50,000 End Users. Sri Lanka Telecom can expand their value added security services faster due to the high availability and scalability Optenet’s unique multi-tenant platform".

Source: Sri Lanka Telecom 2011 Annual Report
See "Sri Lanka Telecom Chooses Optenet’s Technology to Offer Consumer’s Protection to over 50,000 End Users" - here.

Optimization Deployments [131]: Telekom Austria Selected Flash Networks

Flash Networks announced ".. an agreement for the implementation of Flash Networks’ Harmony Web & Media Optimization in Telekom Austria Group’s network .. Harmony accelerates Telekom Austria Group’s network and reduces video stalls, providing improved user experience".

At the end of 2011 Telekom Austria group had 20.3M mobile subscribes, in 8 countries (see chart below). A year ago, its CEO said that "We own the infrastructure. We should decide who uses it" (here) - I wonder if this is part of the plan.

See "Telekom Austria Group Implements Flash Networks’ Harmony Web & Media Optimization" - here

[Calcalist]: Avaya Acquires Radvision for $230M

After a year of rumors about potential acquisition of Radvision (NASDAQ:RVSN) by Avaya, Samsung or HP, Calcalist reports (here, Hebrew) that it is finally about to happen.

Avaya will acquire Radvision for $230M, 22% above its current market cap at end of trade yesterday.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Celtro Assets for Sale; Estimated at $10M

Celtro (see "Celtro User-Aware Mobile Backhaul Traffic Management" - here) is going into liquidation, a process that started last week in the Israeli District Court.

Asaf Gilad reports to Calcalist (here, Hebrew) that the receivers estimate the value of assets by $10M - "..based on the evaluation of patents, equipment and inventory, service contracts, $4.5 [expected?] receivables and goodwill".

Earlier this week the company fired 33 of 78 employees.

[Telesperience]: "Offloading is like a chess gambit – those who do it well could win out"

Wi-Fi offloading is getting traction recently, with carriers deploying large networks of "carrier Wi-Fi" hotspots - usually in order to reduce congestion and churn, as well as preserving QoE (see - KDDI, MetroPCS). 
In most cases, when a mobile subscriber is offloaded to a carrier Wi-Fi, the service is free; data usage does not count towards the monthly quota (for example - AT&T: "Using Wi-Fi is convenient and helps you save on your mobile data usage")

Why? For technical reasons? Commercial?
Teresa Cottam (pictured), Research Director at Telesperience, covers the current status of Wi-Fi offloading services and examines the different strategies CSPs may (or should) take for Wi-Fi offloading: 
".. The problem is, that when CSPs offload their mobile data traffic before the GGSN they cannot meter that traffic; one of the functions of the GGSN they are also bypassing. When I pointed this out to a number of operators at MWC they retorted they didn’t wish to charge for offload so that didn’t matter. Firstly, this is a mindset issue, and it is also an artefact of the industry in many developed markets. In contrast, CSPs I spoke to from developing markets were far more likely to understand the problem and say “why wouldn’t we charge?” The point is that in future you may wish to, and if you don’t build in this capability (for example, by sending the traffic through a gateway) then you cannot easily change your mind in future. Furthermore, you build up an expectation that traffic offloaded to WiFi should be “free”. As with all-you-can-eat data plans this can be a hard expectation to change" (see also "Smarter PCC Solutions Open the Door for Wi-Fi Charging"- here).
"It is critical that CSPs regard offloading as an integral part of the service they provide, and not just as a knee-jerk reaction to congestion".
See "WiFi offload – beware the hidden commercial dangers"- here.

BEREC: Blocking/throttling P2P and VoIP with DPI is Frequently Done in Europe

Back in December, the EU TRANSPORT, TELECOMMUNICATIONS and ENERGY Council published a document summarizing its current work and consolations on Net Neutrality (see "The EU Takes its time with Net Neutrality: It is Important, but Let's Monitor and Study First" - here).
One of the action items was to "Monitor, jointly with BEREC, the issue of traffic management to allow for a smooth flow of proportional, necessary and transparent traffic management practices that do not affect net neutrality" and "Continue studying, with the support of BEREC's investigations, any aspects of net neutrality where significant and persistent problems are substantiated, including charges and conditions that mobile operators impose on VoIP users as well as throttling of content, applications and services".

Now, BEREC, the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications, announced that it ".. has submitted to the Commission its preliminary findings on reported Internet traffic management practices, following a Europe-wide data collection exercise launched jointly with the Commission in December 2011".

"The most frequently reported traffic management practices are the blocking and/or throttling of peer to-peer (P2P) traffic, on both fixed and mobile networks, and the blocking of Voice over IP (VoIP) traffic (mostly on mobile networks, usually based on specific contract terms). When blocking/throttling is implemented in the network, it is typically done through deep packet inspection (DPI) .. BEREC also found a wide variety of data caps and “fair use” practices - these were not the main focus of its investigation, since (with some exceptions) in general they do not imply differentiated treatment of traffic"

"About one quarter of respondents provide justifications for certain traffic management practices based on what could be described as “security and integrity” concerns".

See "BEREC preliminary findings on traffic management practices in Europe show that blocking of VoIP and P2P traffic is common, other practices vary widely" - here.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Does Orego [Lebanon] Block SkypeOut to all ISPs?

Two months ago Lebanon's Acting Chairman and CEO of  Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Dr. Imad Hoballah, said in an interview that ".. Broadband service providers and operators are at risk of becoming dumb–pipe providers .. . The first option [to monetize OTT services] is to avoid competition with those [OTT] providers by delivering an extra layer of value that only they can provide" (see "Lebanon's Regulator Presents Business Models for OTT Monetization" - here). 

It seems that the reality is different, and the DPI equipment mentioned by the regulator as a tool to provide a an "extra layer of value" is used differently:

An Internet user in Lebanon complains at Lebgeeks that "For the past month, I have no been able to make any successful calls. The phone rings on the other side, when the call connects none of the parties hear anything. After a certain number of seconds, the call is automatically dropped. I have reproduced this on TerraNet, IDM and Alfa 3G [here]. Can anyone confirm this? Note: I am talking about the situation where you are calling from your PC to a landline or mobile phone. This does not affect PC-to-PC calling, which is working fine".

Few hours later, the user reports that "Update: I just talked to Nuclearcat (who works at VISP), it seems that Ogero has indeed blocked SkypeOut. This means all (legal) ISPs are affected. It seems that deep packet inspection is being used. Any further technical info about the filtering would be appreciated".

See "Skype (PC-to-Phone) being filtered?" - here.

OGERO (Organisme de Gestion et d'Exploitation de l'ex Radio Orient) was established in 1972 to manage and operate the telegraph and submarine telecommunications of Radio Orient (the early 1900's ). It is 100% owned by the government and acts under the supervision of the Minister of Telecommunication.

Orego also charges customers by usage levels - "The Customer can download 24h/24 but he will be paying extra charges when his upload/download exceeds certain thresholds. These thresholds are as follows depending on the subscription plan: 
4 GB for the 1 Mbps connection.
10 GB for the 1 Mbps connection.
20 GB for the 2 Mbps connection.
25 GB for the 4 Mbps connection.
30 GB for the 6 to 8 Mbps connection. 

40 GB for the HDSL 2 Mbps connection" (here)

[Analysys Mason]: SON can Reduce Total Cost of Network Deployment and Operations by 25%

SON - Self-organizing Networks or Self-optimizing Networks gained some traction recently - see: "AT&T Deploys Intucell SON Solution (Est. $55M Over 4 Years)" - here and "Ericsson automates optimization of mobile networks" - here.
Last November Infonetics said ".. SON is about to skyrocket: we forecast global SON software revenue to grow at an 84% CAGR from 2010 to 2015" (see "Infonetics Sees $3B Mobile Optimization and SON Market by 2015" - here). 

A new white paper by Mark Mortensen (pictured), Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason and Gerry Foster, Director of Technology Engineering, AIRCOM International, discusses "Self-organising networks (SON) features, which allow for the automation of several tasks in mobile networks, are being standardised by 3GPP with a goal of reducing LTE opex costs by 60% while optimising network operation, equipment use and user experience ... This white paper discusses a model of the likely benefits that can be realised in a realistic network. In the base model, the operator introduces SON features (in a hybrid architecture) in both UMTS and LTE over a period of three years, while LTE is minimally deployed and UMTS capacity augmentation primarily meets the increasing data needs. The paper also outlines the additional benefits that can be gained through an aggressive LTE roll-out"

"The model finds that the total cost of network deployment and operations can be reduced by 25% or more through the deployment of a hybrid SON architecture, leading to an EBITDA 5% larger than if the SON features were not implemented".

See "Hybrid SON ROI in realistic deployments of mixed 3G/4G networks" - here.