Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Sandvine and Procera Analyze the Olympics Games

As we are expecting new [internet traffic] records in the 2012 Olympic Games (see "Prediction: Worldwide Traffic will Double during London's Olymics" - here), driven by streaming video and social network activity, it is interesting to see the analysis made by the DPI vendors for the first days.  

Sandvine, in a blog post by Dan Deeth ("Going for the Streaming Gold" - here) looked at "..how NBC’s Live Extra Olympic Streaming has contributed to fixed access network traffic in the US ..Below is a chart showing the volume and share of traffic for NBC’s Olympic streaming over the weekend. At its peak on Sunday at around 10:00am it accounted for almost 15% of total network traffic. At this time, we believe most people were likely streaming swimming preliminaries, a hypothesis reinforced by the fact that the second peak seen at around 3:00pm also coincided with a swimming event, the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay"

Procera Networks launched a new site ("Analytics In Motion" -here) dedicated to the grand event. Procera found that "A UK mobile operator that we are monitoring is seeing a decline of 18% in mobile BBC iPlayer traffic on their network for Friday and an increase of 7%on Saturday from normal activity rates. This indicates that the Opening Ceremonies were primarily viewed on fixed or broadcast networks, but people started to watch events online on Saturday .. Social Networking traffic (mainly Facebook and Twitter) is up 25% in North America over normal weekend levels .. YouTube streaming traffic is at normal levels .. nbc.com streaming is very active, with an average of 2% of subscribers streaming on Friday and Saturday"

Allot Buys Oversi for $16M in Cash; Replaces PeerApp OEM

Allot Communications announced that "..it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Oversi Networks, a leading global provider of rich-media caching and content delivery solutions for Internet video and peer-to-peer (P2P) traffic .. Under the terms of the acquisition, Allot will be paying $16 million in cash, as well as up to $5 million based on Oversi's performance during 2012 .. Oversi will contribute approximately $2.0 million in revenues per quarter .. The offering should reach break-even by the first quarter of 2013".
Allot is already partnering (OEM) with Oversi's competitor, PeerApp, and offers the MediaSwift caching solution. The reason for the switch maybe found in Rami Hadar (pictured), Allot's President and CEO, quote: ".. Over the past year, we have seen an increase in customer interest in video caching solutions, which made clear to us the critical need for Allot to own a leading solution in this growing market instead of reselling a third-party offering. With our shared vision of enabling service providers to monetize video traffic, we are excited about incorporating another excellent team and product offering into Allot"

See "Allot Communications to Acquire Oversi Networks" - here.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Telefonica: "We are also studying policy service implementation"

Huawei published in its Communicate Magazine (July '12 edition - here) an interview with Cayetano Carbajo (pictured), Telefónica Global Technology Director, about ".. the operator’s service platform and operation center innovations, as well as its All-IP transition process, and how they better suit customers’ changing consumption habits".

Mr. Carbajo said that "Quality of service (QoS) is also very important and the policy enforcement point is key ..To ensure QoS, you have to define the policy enforcement points. Today we have a QoS mechanism at nodes such as the gateway GPRS support node (GGSN) and broadband remote access server (BRAS). We are also studying policy service implementation. For quality of experience (QoE), it is more difficult as we are quite blind to end-to-end QoE, so we are implementing a solution to first monitor and measure QoE. With that information, we can make decisions and policies for enhanced QoE".

See also "Update: Sandvine/ALU Agreement Signed; $2.5M Orders Received" - here.
"There are lots of things to be modified in the network for managing video traffic. The QoS requirements for video services are different compared with legacy services, and the network needs to be restructured for carrying video traffic. There are many things on which we have to work. The first thing is the distribution of video content in the right way. For video-on-demand (VOD), video over-the top (OTT), and IPTV services, a content delivery network (CDN) is the right approach. For P2P or video communication services, you have to enable the core or control part for an IP multimedia database, so IMS will play a key role there".

See "Telefonica - Innovating All-IP and operations" - here.

Ovum: Operators Look for a Device-based Policy Solution for Wi-Fi Offload

An operator survey by Daryl Schoolar (pictured), principal analyst, Ovum on Wi-Fi offloading indicates that ".. many operators are still looking for features not currently available on a large scale". 

"Over half expect session continuity when moving between Wi-Fi and cellular networks, while over 90 percent are also looking for a device-based policy solution that would select the best network (3G/4G/Wi-Fi) based on cost, performance, and other policy-driven features.. Although most operators thought Automatic Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) and Hotspot 2.0 were important, only a small minority said they would deploy those solutions prior to their full standardization, even if the vendor said they were fully compliant with the standard".

Related posts:
  • Smith Micro Helps MNOs with Smarter Offloading - here
  • Kineto Wireless Makes Wi-Fi Offload Easier; Used by Orange UK and T-Mobile US - here
  • Sprint Uses Birdstep for On-Device Access Management - here

ANDSF Solution, by GreenPacket

See "Ovum survey shows Wi-Fi offload as a growing part of operators’ infrastructure strategy" - here.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

[ABI Research]: OTT Messaging Cannibalizes SMS Revenue

While Infonetics Research data shows that "SMS growing every year from 2012 to 2016" (here) a new repost from ABI Research finds that "'Messages Sent' is also experiencing slow-downs but more so in emerging markets than developed markets .. A number of operators, such as Singtel and Vodafone, have started to counter OTT apps such as Whatsapp by increasing the quota of bundled SMS their end-users are allocated. Such initiatives may come across as closing the stable door after the horse has bolted. However, there are indications that OTT messaging platforms eclipse SMS in all aspects".

"Often Whatsapp end-users only use the messaging platform for a select number of contacts in their Whatsapp list. There have been privacy concerns regarding contact lists held on the Whatsapp server; slow delivery times when data coverage is sparse; as well as contributing to maxed out data quotas if the user is on a limited data plan".

See "OTT Mobile Apps Such as Whatsapp, Boost Mobile Data Usage and Cannibalize SMS Revenue" - here.

Security Deployments [167]: SaskTel Deploys CloudShield

It seems like SaskTel cares about security, and ready to be quoted on that.

Earlier this month Kindsight announced it has been deployed by the Canadian service provider (here), and now SAIC's subsidiary, CloudShield Technologies, announces that "SaskTel, a leading full service communications provider in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada, will utilize CloudSentry®, the latest platform offering from the company's Cybersecurity Business Unit, to bolster its advanced security posture across its networks. CloudSentry® is an active threat intelligence capability that leverages the company's CloudShield cybersecurity platform, a market leader in deep packet inspection (DPI) capability". 

"The platform works in line, in real-time to control network traffic at multi-gigabit speeds and provides organizations with actionable network attack intelligence that enables them to deliver advanced cyber countermeasures. In addition to providing the necessary hardware and software to implement the technology, CloudShield will work closely with SaskTel to implement and maintain CloudSentry protection to propagate best practices over the foreseeable future .. This new service provides CloudShield customers an active threat intelligence capability that aggregates a variety of public sources as well as the custom signatures developed by SAIC's Cybersecurity Incident Response teams"

See "SaskTel Selects CloudShield Advanced Cyber Countermeasures Solution To Secure Networks" - here.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

[Infonetics]: Operators Say they Need to Replace Convergent Charging Systems

An operator survey conducted by Shira Levine (pictured), directing analyst for next gen OSS and policy, Infonetics Research, shows that "Skyrocketing mobile growth has led to a dramatic increase in mobile transactions, driving some convergent charging systems to the limit and, in many cases, driving operators to replace the systems they already have in place ,, New service offerings and hybrid (prepaid and postpaid) accounts are highly rated applications driving convergent charging system deployments .. 'Supporting marketing initiatives' topped the list of business drivers behind respondents' convergent charging investments".

"In an open-ended question asking operators who they consider to be the top three convergent charging solution suppliers, operators most often named Amdocs, Ericsson, and Huawei".

In June Infonetics forecasted that carriers will spend $14B on convergent charging over next 5 years - see "Comverse, Huawei and Ericsson Lead Convergent Charging Market ($14B/5years)" - here

See "Operator survey: Scalability, reliability trump price in convergent charging market; Amdocs, Ericsson shine" - here

Optimization Announcements: Mobixell Dynamically Optimize Mobile MP4

Mobixell Networks announced that its "..‘Smooth DBRA’ technology is in pre-production tests at a leading Tier 1 European mobile operator ..  Integrated into the operator’s core network, Mobixell Smooth DBRA (Dynamic Bitrate Adaptation) technology senses changes on each connected mobile device and transrates (or adapts the output bitrate of) video files while they are playing to best suit changing network conditions: When bandwidth is available, DBRA maximizes a video file’s bitrate to deliver the highest available video quality. When less bandwidth is available, DBRA reduces bitrate so that a video can play without stalls and buffering. Then, when bandwidth becomes available again, DBRA restores maximal bitrate".

"Other DBRA solutions and video encoded with ABR (Adaptive Bitrate) can jump among only 3 or 4 pre-defined bitrates. However, Mobixell Smooth DBRA adapts video bitrate precisely to the level that is needed to match available network bandwidth. This ‘fine tuning’ creates a smooth viewing experience with the highest possible performance and quality and ensures that video is optimized only when needed .. In addition to MP4 support and fine-tuned transrating, Mobixell Smooth DBRA also reacts to changes in network conditions and adapts video bitrate up to twice as fast as existing solutions – within 1 to 2 seconds compared to 3 to 4 seconds".

Related posts: "Vantrix adds Optimization Features" - here "Openwave Adds Congestion/Location-Aware Optimization" - here.

See "Mobixell Unveils Unique Technology to Dynamically Optimize Mobile MP4 Video" - here.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Acme Packet CEO: "we are engaged in 27 opportunities for our diameter signaling controller"

During its Q2 Results call, Acme Packet's CEO, Andrew D. Ory (pictured) provided some details on their Diameter router (Net-Net Diameter Directorproduct success

".. The second major opportunity is LTE and Voice over LTE or VoLTE. We continue to see tremendous opportunities ahead of us in the delivery of both LTE data and VoLTE services. In terms of LTE data, we are engaged in 27 opportunities for our diameter signaling controller. This includes 4 architectural wins.

Earlier this week, we announced that Telefónica Germany is deploying Acme Packet's Net-Net Session Director 
[see "Telefonica [Germany] Deploys Acme Packet" - here] -- Diameter Director in addition to our Net-Net Session Router for its next-generation signaling core to support LTE services.

Our recently announced Net-Net 7000 platform was key in Telefónica's selection of our Net-Net Diameter Director. The high-performance diameter signaling capabilities of this platform has significantly improved our competitive position in the diameter signaling controller product category

See "Acme Packet Management Discusses Q2 2012 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" - here.

What does the EU Want to Know about Traffic Management?

The European Commission launched a public consultation " .. seeking answers to questions on transparency, switching and certain aspects of internet traffic management, with a view to its commitment to preserve the open and neutral character of the Internet. These questions have emerged as key issues in the "net neutrality" debate that has taken place in Europe over the past years, including the recent findings of the Body of European Regulators of European Communications (BEREC)".

See "BEREC: 'traffic management and differentiation practices are capable of being used for questionable purposes'" - here.

Neelie Kroes (pictured; see "It's not OK for Skype and other such services to be throttled" - here), European Commission VP said: "Today there is a lack of effective consumer choice when it comes to internet offers. I will use this consultation to help prepare recommendations that will generate more real choices and end the net neutrality waiting game in Europe. Input from this consultation will help turn BEREC's findings into practical recommendations".

Some examples for questions that are part of the consultation (here):  

  • Please explain briefly which traffic management techniques are usually applied by network operators or ISPs and how they are technically implemented
  • If possible, please provide a  definition and  examples of  genuine congestion management measures, i.e. measures which are  necessary to  avoid or  tackle  network congestion, as  opposed to measures which may be called congestion management  but actually pursue other purpose
  • Please give examples of "new business models" which could be developed on the basis of managed services (see "European ISPs Suggest New Internet Business Models"- here
  • It appears that the implementation of traffic management measures requires ISPs to analyse certain information  about individual data packets, for instance by deep packet inspection (DPI) techniques. 
  • Please explain which type of information needs to be read by ISPs to implement the different traffic management measures. In which layer can this information normally be found?
  • Are there any privacy risks arising from the use of DPI for traffic management purposes, and, if so, what are the implications for transparency and consumer protection?
  • Some ISPs currently apply 'fair use policies', which give them wide discretion to apply restrictions on traffic generated by users whose usage they consider excessive. Do you consider that, in case of contractual restrictions of data consumption, quantified data allowances (e.g. monthly caps of x MB or GB) are more transparent for consumers than discretionary fair use clauses?

  • See "Digital Agenda: Commission opens public consultation on preservation of the open internet (net neutrality)" - here and here.
  • Thursday, July 26, 2012

    Juniper Integrates Riverbed Technology for Mobile Acceleration

    Juniper Networks announced a new technology partnership with Riverbed ".. in wide area network (WAN) optimization, application delivery and mobility to deliver market-leading technologies for enterprises looking to increase the efficiency of their IT infrastructures and securely deliver better performance of applications across devices, networks and clouds".
    Among other things "Riverbed and Juniper will begin a joint effort to integrate Riverbed's Steelhead® Mobile technology into the Juniper Networks® Junos® Pulse client to provide a mobile acceleration solution for mobile phones and tablets". 
    "With Steelhead® Mobile client software, companies of any size can give mobile workers LAN-like access to corporate files and applications no matter where they are in the world. Steelhead Mobile overcomes the challenges that plague mobile workers, including variable locations, inconsistent links, and high-latency environments, and it does so seamlessly and transparently. The result? Higher productivity and more efficient operations, access, and performance anywhere"

    See "Juniper Networks and Riverbed announce technology partnership to enable more secure, efficient delivery of applications across devices, networks and clouds" - here.

    Citrix Expects $15M Bytemobile Revenues in 4Q12

    Citrix added some more details about its Bytemobile acquisition (here) during its 2nd quarter results conference, from which one may estimate the mobile optimization market size, as Bytemobile is considered to be the market leader.

    While the acquisition price was already announced ("cash consideration of approximately $435 million"), Citrix explains that "This acquisition gives Citrix a strategic foothold in the core infrastructure of more than 130 mobile operators in 60 countries around the world, extending the company’s market reach and enhancing the broader Citrix strategy of powering mobile workstyles and cloud services .. Citrix and Bytemobile will be able to offer these operators combined solutions that deliver a high quality user experience to mobile subscribers, while helping operators manage the exponential growth of mobile network traffic with the best performance, visibility and efficiency. The acquisition builds on a strategic partnership announced earlier this year [here] that combined the Bytemobile Smart Capacity™ technology with the Citrix NetScaler® line of cloud networking solutions".  See "Citrix Reports Second Quarter Financial Results"- here.

    Related post - "Allot: Cost of Ortiva Acquisition - Less than $17M, in Cash" - here and "Bytemobile Update: 'Current focus remains unchanged; MNOs will adapt monetization solutions'" - here.

    In addition, Citrix presented the following slide (here):

    Wednesday, July 25, 2012

    Diameter Routing Deployments [166]: Telefonica [Germany] Deploys Acme Packet

    Acme Packet announced that "Telefónica Germany, a leading provider of fixed and mobile services, is deploying Acme Packet’s solutions for the next-generation signaling core, including the Net-Net® Session Router and Net-Net Diameter Director, to support its fixed-line voice over IP (VoIP), 3G mobile network, and future Long Term Evolution (LTE) services .. The solution protects Telefónica Germany’s core IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and Diameter servers from overloads, assuring service availability, while solving incompatibility challenges between vendors and networks with programmable interworking features".

    See more on Acme's Diameter Director - here and here.

    At the end of March 2012, Telefonica Germany has total access base (mobile and fixed) of 25M. Mobile broadband penetration expanded to 27% as a result of the market leadership in smartphone shipment share (above 95% of total handset shipments in the quarter. In mobile service, non-SMS data revenues increased 41.8% year-on-year in the first quarter. Total mobile data revenues grew 24.8% year-on-year vs. January-March 2011, so that they now represent 44% of mobile service revenues (+5 percentage points year-on-year).

    See "Telefónica Germany Deploys Acme Packet for the Next-Generation Signaling Core" - here.

    [Infonetics]:"Over 50% of SPs plan to deploy transparent caching or CDNs"

    A new report by Michael Howard (pictured), Infonetics Research’s co-founder and principal analyst for carrier networks, concludes that "The 3-headed monster of video, mobility, and the cloud is putting enormous pressure on operator networks, and throwing more routers at the problem isn’t the answer because traffic is rising much faster than equipment prices are falling"

    "This is driving a fundamental shift in how IP edge networks are being architected, with carriers combining their fixed and mobile networks for operational efficiencies and using caching and content delivery networks (CDNs) to move frequently used content closer to the consumer, speeding up response times and greatly reducing the amount of traffic crossing the network”.

    "Over 50% of service provider respondents plan to deploy transparent caching or CDNs by 2014". 
    See also - "[Heavy Reading]: Mobile Caching - 'part of larger traffic management solutions'" - here.

    See "Routing strategies survey shows 50% of operators to deploy caching, CDNs; Cisco, Juniper rule the roost" - here.

    Tuesday, July 24, 2012

    Bezeq [Israel] Launches a Public-Social Wi-Fi Sharing Service

    Bezeq, Israel's incumbent carrier announced a new "Public Wi-Fi" service, in which every subscriber that is ready to allocate 10% of his home bandwidth to the public will be able to use other subscribers' Wi-Fi hotspots. Bezeq says it has 850,000 DSL subscribers with Wi-Fi routers.

    The shared network (with a special SSID) will be separated from the subscriber's home network, for security purposes. 

    PCRF Deployments [165]: Telus [Canada] Selected Openet

    Openet announced that "..TELUS, one of the largest telecommunications service providers in Canada, has selected Openet Policy Manager to offer an enhanced subscriber experience and extreme flexibility to gain a competitive advantage in the Canadian wireless market .. Openet Policy Manager enables TELUS to drive revenue through an improved subscriber experience and a “customer first” focus .. The Openet PCRF introduces additional intelligence into the TELUS mobile networks. The solution provides a foundation to improve subscriber roaming experiences through real-time updates, and enables TELUS to enrich its identity-oriented services".

    In its Q1, 2012 Telus reported that "Total wireless subscribers are up 5.1 per cent from a year ago to 7.36 million and the proportion of high value postpaid subscribers has increased 1.9 points to 84.1 per cent. Smartphone subscribers now represent 56 per cent of the total postpaid subscriber base of 6.19 million as compared to 38 per cent a year ago .. Data revenue increased by $132 million or 36 per cent to $498 million this quarter and now represents 39 per cent of network revenue, up from 30 per cent one year ago. Data ARPU increased by $5.12 or 29 per cent to $22.83. These increases were due to continued strong adoption of smartphones and related data plans, increased use of mobile Internet devices and tablets, increased revenues from pay-per-use text messaging, as well as higher roaming volume".

    See also "Canada's UBB: Telus will offer "a really customer friendly" Service" - here and "TELUS and Comcast Partner with Skype" - here.

    See "TELUS Selects Openet Policy Manager to Offer Unparallel Subscriber Experience" - here.

    Monday, July 23, 2012

    Verizon: Why Shared Data Plans are Good for Our Business

    During its Q2 results call, Fran Shammo (pictured), Verizon's CFO explained why shared data plans (see "Verizon Wireless Adds Shared Data Plans (1-10GB)" - here) are good (for Verizon):

    "Our Share Everything plans, which became available on June 28, represent a new and innovative pricing framework, providing a unique customer value proposition and at the same time creating an optimal way for us to monetize increasing data usage. The strategic thrust of these plans is to encourage device adoption and stimulate usage. Our plans are designed to make the decision to upgrade to a smartphone or add a tablet much easier. By allowing up to 10 devices to share data, these plans also provide for the creation and adoption of all kinds of new connected devices".
    "Early feedback has been great, and our customer adoption is tracking with our expectations. We are seeing a wide variety of customers and family share accounts opting into Share Everything, including existing smartphone customers with unlimited data plans".

    Later, answering a question on whether "we should be looking for some ARPU headwind in the third quarter", Mr. Shammo added: 

    "It is very preliminary. We just launched this on June 28, so we just started in on this. I think some of the positive factors that we are seeing is that obviously your early adopters are always your optimizers. But to be honest, based on where we are at right now, we are actually tracking ahead of where we thought we would be, and we don't see any ARPU impact in the third quarter or fourth quarter. I think our trend will continue that we have established here in the first and second quarter".

    "And the benefit, though, that we do see is that we are seeing some 3G Unlimited customers move into our 4G shared data plan product, and that is excellent for us from a cash flow position on capital efficiency and cost reduction metrics. So there is some interesting things there. And then again, the other thing on ARPU here is as Internet device ARPU continues to improve, that gives us better opportunity to accelerate our overall ARPU growth".

    See "EDITED TRANSCRIPT - VZ - Q2 2012 Verizon Earnings Conference Call" - here.

    Prolexic Q2 Report: "Shorter, but higher volume DDoS Attacks"

    Prolexic released an updated report showing that "Even though the total number of DDoS denial of service attacks increased 10% this quarter, the Prolexic Security Engineering & Response Team (PLXsert) logged an 8% decline in application layer DDoS attacks, which accounted for 19% of all attacks. Infrastructure attacks (Layer 3 and 4) against bandwidth capacity and routing infrastructures totaled 81%".

    ".. GET Floods, the most popular Layer 7attack type, continued to decline in popularity. In Q2 2011, GET Flood attacks accounted for 22% of all DDoS attack campaigns mitigated by Prolexic. In Q2 2012, GET Flood attacks account for just 14% .. PLXsert also identified a rise in popularity for certain types of infrastructure-directed DDoS attacks: ICMP, SYN, and UDP floods. In Q2 2011, these attack types accounted for 55% of attacks mitigated by Prolexic. In Q1 2012, they accounted for 59% and this quarter, the total percentage has increased to 67%".

    See "Application Layer (Layer 7) DDoS Attacks Decline According to Prolexic’s Q2 2012 Report" - here.

    Sunday, July 22, 2012

    Video Panel: "The Truth about Bandwidth Caps"

    A panel hosted by Tom Merritt (Twit) with Dane Jasper (sonic.net), Christopher Mitchell (muninetworks.org), Reid Fishler (Hurricane Electric) , and Benoit Felten ( Diffraction Analysis) discusses "The real story behind bandwidth caps from people who work in the industry". 

    See "Twit Live Specials 133 - The Truth About Bandwidth Caps" - here and video below.

    How to Build DPI Products? (Part XVII - QoS, Queuing)

    A [10 years old, but still true!] presentation by Prof. Dimitri P. Bertsekas (pictured), Department of Electrical Engineering, M.I.T. "provides some basic understanding of queuing phenomena, explains the available solution approaches and associated trade-offs and give guidelines on how to match applications and solutions".

    See "Traffic Behavior and Queuing in a QoS Environment" - here.

    Saturday, July 21, 2012

    FCC: Cablevision has "improved remarkably in a flight to quality"

    The FCC released the " ..results of its ongoing, nationwide performance study of residential wireline broadband service in its second “Measuring Broadband America” report .. broadband providers’ promises of performance are more accurate. In the time period measured for the August 2011 Report, the average broadband provider delivered 87 percent of advertised download speed during times when bandwidth demand was at its peak. During the time period measured for the July 2012 Report, that number rose to 96 percent. FCC analysis indicates that the improvements of Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in meeting their advertised speeds were largely driven by improvements in network performance, and not downward adjustments to the speed tiers offered". 

    The charts below show "Average Peak Period and 24-Hour Sustained Download Speeds as a Percentage of Advertised" to this year's report and last year (see "FCC: "Most ISPs delivered actual download speeds within 20% of advertised speeds" - here).

    Looks like Cablevision took last year's report seriously! Leaping from the last place with ~50% of   Advertised to the first one this year with ~120%.

    See "FCC releases second “measuring broadband America” report; nationwide test of wireline broadband service reveals improved broadband performance" - here.

    NSN: MNOs/OTT Partnership Model - Quality for Revenue Share

    A post by Carlijn Adema (picture), Nokia Siemens Networks’ Services team, discusses NSN's favorite subject - signaling / chatty applications / keep-alive messages problem and suggests to MNOs how to share revenues with OTT providers, in return for higher quality VoIP.

    ".. Recent results from a Nokia Siemens Networks Smart Labs study showed that mobile online poker can generate up to 4,000 extra signals per smartphone. When an app like this takes off, radio resources can be impacted, causing congestion and potential quality issues .. Nokia Siemens Networks can analyze these patterns and improve the network performance for smartphone users, helping to extend smartphone battery life and enhance the user experience. But there is even more…". See also "[NSN]: Chatty Android Phones should Move on to Network Controlled Fast Dormancy" - here.
    Apple's FaceTime
    "..Nokia Siemens Networks’ latest innovation in data service optimization is the optimization of VoIP services. Why? Voice still has a major stake in operator revenue, but VoIP solutions such as Skype and FaceTime are gaining popularity and putting operator voice revenue under pressure. With VoIP optimization, LTE operators can offer their own VoIP service. If operators consider other options, they can keep voice in GSM and 3G technologies but this will cut spectrum management flexibility whilst new ‘over the top’ (OTT) VoIP providers take advantage of their 4G data plans. In this case operators can decide to partner with an OTT provider, and offer quality through VoIP optimization, in exchange of a revenue share".

    See also "[Infonetics]: Global OTT mVoIP Subscribers more than Doubled in 2011"- here and "European ISPs Suggest New Internet Business Models" - here.

    See "Mobile operators: Are your mobile data services on a slippery slope?" - here.

    Friday, July 20, 2012

    Vodafone Q2 Data Growth: Traffic 26%, Revenues 17%; SMS and Voice Decline

    While analysts still see a future for SMS and voice (see "[Infonetics]: Despite All - SMS Revenues will Grow!" - here), Vodafone shows that the future is in data, after all. 

    Q2 results from Vodafone show a strong growth in data (+17.1%), and decline in voice (-4.4%) and messaging (-1.2%) revenues, compared to the same quarter last year (organic rates).

    Data traffic grew by 26.5% YoY, from 49 to 62 PB. Investments in backhaul and RAN continue. See charts below and "Interim management statement for the quarter ended 30 June 2012" - here.

    [Heavy Reading]: Mobile Caching - "part of larger traffic management solutions"

    A new report by Aditya Kishore (pictured, see also "LTE will enable pushing cache into the base stations" - here), Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading looks at mobile data growth and caching solutions. 
    "In a sense, the mobile caching space is not a separate market as much as it is an extension of other, adjacent markets. Caching is unlikely to be deployed on a mobile network in isolation; we anticipate most solutions will be integrated, partnered or part of larger traffic management solutions. Mobile optimization, network infrastructure, policy and RAN intelligence-type capabilities will all be leveraged alongside caching to better manage network traffic. This is evidenced by the types of vendors that are targeting this market".
    "Broadly speaking, mobile caching vendors can be categorized into four groups, based on their history and the types of solutions they offer. Individual vendors within the same grouping have similar objectives, strategies and opinions. Unsurprisingly, they also demonstrate many similar strengths and weaknesses, though they do have individual attributes".

    Posts related to companies mentioned in the table below, and their cache solutions: PeerApp, Qwilt, Saguna, Bytemobile, Mobixell, Vantrix, Velocix, BlueCoat, VerivueHuawei,   

    See "Crossing the Gi: Will Edge Caching Be the Key to Managing Mobile Traffic?" - here.

    Thursday, July 19, 2012

    AT&T CEO on FaceTime Surcharge and Toll-free Data; Launched Shared Data plans

    Anthony Ha reports to Techcrunch on AT&T's CEO, Randall Stephenson (pictured) response to the recent news about charging extra for Apple's FaceTime service over cellular and 1-800 Data service (here and here).

    So - will AT&T follows the South Koeran MNOs ("Korea's Net No-Neutrality: MNOs may Surcharge for OTT VoIP and Messaging" - here) ?

    According to the article, Stephenson "didn’t rule the charge out" for FaceTime, and said that "I’ve heard the same rumor .. for now, AT&T is focused on working with Apple to get the technology stabilized, so it’s too early to talk about pricing”.

    A post by Dan Deeth to Sandvine's blog "FaceTime Facts and Figures" (here) compares Skype and FaceTime traffic (as seen over mobile and fixed networks in North America, yet FaceTime does not support 3G directly yet) and shows that "Skype is the undisputed video call leader, consuming over 50 times the bandwidth of FaceTime on fixed access networks"

    As for 1-800 data ("where app developers pay for their users’ data usage") Stephenson "acknowledged that this is something people get “emotional” about .. but he compared it to toll-free, 1-800 phone numbers. Just as it helps Sears to pay the bill for calls from its customers, there are mobile companies that have “business models premised on traffic,” so why not pay to remove any barriers to that traffic? In fact, Stephenson claimed this is something that some of the content providers are asking AT&T for".

    See "Will AT&T Charge For 3G FaceTime? CEO Randall Stephenson Says It’s ‘Too Early’ To Know" - here.

    AT&T also launched shared data plans (1-20GB, here) - "With new AT&T Mobile Share plans, available in late August, new and existing customers can share a single bucket of data across smartphones, tablets, and other compatible devices, plus get unlimited talk and text. AT&T Mobile Share plans make it easy for customers to manage their data, voice minutes and texting, without needing to keep track of multiple plans".

    Optimization Announcements: Vantrix adds Optimization Features; ATCA Appliance

    Vantrix announced the general availability of the ".. latest release of its Video and WEB traffic optimization solution – Bandwidth Optimizer .. Bandwidth Optimizer 3.0 incorporates and improves upon a broad set of key capabilities including: Inline Visual Quality Metrics, Realtime MP4 video container transcoding, Comprehensive Key Performance Indicator dashboard, WEBM/VP8 support, WEB page image optimization and caching, Enhanced Smart Caching architecture". 

    In addition, Vantrix has now a "Turnkey compact Appliance - With its built-in switching, load balancing and traffic blades, Vantrix's carrier grade appliance offering built on the ATCA platform, provides operators with a turnkey, compact enclosure that can be deployed directly in the data traffic path (Gi/Gn) or alternatively behind a traffic steering element such as a DPI. This provides a flexible, more cost effective and scalable solution on a compact footprint"

    See "Vantrix Launches Third Generation Mobile Bandwidth Optimizer Solution" - here.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2012

    PCC Deployments [164]: WIND [Italy] Extends Use of Volubill to Mobile

    Volubill announced that "WIND Italy will be extending the use of Volubill’s solutions that currently cover wireline service management to include mobile broadband connectivity as a single convergent platform. This presents a 1000 per cent increase in traffic managed by Volubill’s VBS system. WIND Italy boasts 20 million [21.1M at Q1 2012, see chart] mobile subscriptions and continues to grow rapidly year on year. With the influx of new traffic, the company is implementing strategies to facilitate successful and seamless subscriber onboarding. Volubill’s VBS system, including convergent AAA and PCC, has been adopted as an essential tool in the effort".

    See "Volubill Enlisted by WIND Italy to Optimize Network Traffic Management Efficiency" - here.

    Australia - Bill Shock Prevention Self-Regulation is Coming

    The Australian regulator, ACMA, announced that it ".. agreed to register the new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code, giving long-suffering telco customers materially greater protection on the big telco issues such as bill shock, confusing mobile plans and poor complaints-handling .. The 2011 Reconnecting the Customer report addressed all of the various customer lifecycle touch points: better advertising practices, more effective information for consumers, tools to avoid bill shock, streamlined complaints-handling, a customer care reporting framework and changes to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) scheme".

    See also "24 Operator Groups (4B Subscribers) to Adopt Bill Shock Prevention Measures This Year" (here).

    According to ACMA's Reconnecting the Customer report: 

    "Bill shock can also be costly for industry. One estimate suggested that wireless broadband-related bill shock had cost one provider, Telstra, as much as $90 million in the 2010 financial year, through waiving fees or writing-off debts owed by consumers who cannot pay their bills".

    "As required by the self-regulatory policy underpinning the Telecommunications Act, the ACMA proposes to invite the industry to develop a code that requires service providers to offer measures that allow customers to monitor the accumulation of charges during a billing period. For plans not subject to a hard cap or shaping, this should include: 
    • an equivalent platform-based notification (SMS for phone, email for internet) that alerts consumers at either consumer-nominated or provider-specified (for example, 80 per cent) expenditure/usage points 
    • a consumer-nominated expenditure/usage point that cannot be exceeded without a consumer’s express consent and includes notification at a particular expenditure/usage point 
    • Details about the expenditure/usage point reached, the consequences of any limitations and unavoidable exclusions".
    See "A better deal for Australian telco customers" - here.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2012

    Openet: US Tier1 MNO Signaling Optimization Win; Will Save $45M in 3 Years

    Openet announced that "a tier one U.S. mobile operator has selected Openet Interaction Gateway (see "Openet Extends Policy Enforcement to the Device; Reduces Signaling Congestion" - here) for signaling optimization, resulting in projected savings of more than $45 million over three years".

    AT&T is among Openet's US customers (here, here).

    See "Tier One US Carrier Selects Openet for Signaling Management" - here.

    There is always another Way to Download

    Peter Sunde, co-founder,
    Pirate Bay
    Mark Jackson report to ISPreview that "One of the country’s largest broadband ISPs has revealed that the recent censorship of The Pirate Bay website has had only a short-lived impact upon overall P2P file sharing traffic, with data volumes dipping 11% immediately after the ban before returning “pretty much back to where they were before“.

    See "UK ISPs Ordered to Block Pirate Bay" (here) for background on the censorship, as well as what the UK regulator, Ofcom thinks of web blocking ("Ofcom: "All site blocking techniques can be circumvented" - [The Leaked Document]"- here).

    It is not clear if users accessed Pirate Bay or other site/s to reach copyrighted material, or used P2P for other file transfers.

    Mark explain that "In fairness it should be said that ISPs generally only keep a very vague record of overall network activity, which cannot identify precisely what type of files are being transferred over P2P networks (legal, unlawful or illegal content etc.). As a result it’s difficult to know what the real impact has been, although users of such content tend to switch over to a different site or simply work their way around the block itself. In any case overall P2P traffic, which was the primary focus of The Pirate Bay, appears not to have suffered".

    See "Big UK ISP Claims the The Pirate Bay Block Had Little Impact on P2P Traffic" - here.