Friday, February 15, 2013

[Vendor Review]: Vasona's Cell Traffic Management

Biren Sood (Left) and Nery Strasman
Vasona Networks went out of stealth mode recently, announcing its SmartAir 1000 system (here).

To learn more on the company's offering, I met Biren Sood, CEO and Nery Strasman, CTO, in their R&D center in Tel-Aviv.

"We both came from making the cable networks better" (at Bigband, now part of Arris) says Biren, "we want to do the same to mobile networks".

Vasona claims it has founded a new category of products, with the ability to manage mobile traffic at the cell level with application-aware traffic management. I covered before a number of solutions from DPI companies claiming to do the same, but none is actually fully aware of all dynamic cell conditions, load and capacity - mainly because DPI system are installed at the core network where there is no visibility to the cell conditions.

Vasona's software optimizes traffic on mobile access networks (3G and 4G), runs on Intel-based servers, located between the RAN and the core network. Few dozen servers are needed to cover large networks, and offer a unique visibility into the cell conditions (our "secret sauce", says Nery "we understand the reception conditions for the devices connected at the cell"), capacity and identification of the applications used by the subscribers. Rules (policies) are set to define the actions taken when congestion occurs, and to optimize the user's QoE (with business considerations, I assume).

"We are not competing with DPI" says Biren "we add the visibility DPI systems do not have at the Core network's Gi interface, and we do not offer features like caching, video optimization, or content filtering as DPI system do. We focus on 3 things: mobility, high packet processing capabilities and media - the type of application used by the subscriber (video, voice, date etc)". 

Vasona's first version is "self-contained" - the traffic management rules are defined by the operator and set in the product by Vasona's team. Vasona says that they can integrate it with standard PCRF systems (using 3GPP Gx interface) , although they haven't seen market demand for that yet and are not sure that current PCRF systems will be able to support the scale needed,

Vasona has 30 employees and the system is in field trials with Tier-1 mobile operators.

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