Tuesday, November 30, 2010

AT&T CEO Urged the FCC: "not to adopt regulations that lack sensitivity to ..."

"... the dynamics of investment in a difficult economy, or to the capabilities and challenges inherent in different broadband technologies (Phone call from CEO Randall Stephenson to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski on Nov. 23)", according to the story in the Washington Post, By Cecilia Kang.

See "AT&T ramps up lobbying effort against net neutrality at FCC" - here.

"The FCC has also met with Public Knowledge, the Open Internet Coalition, and Amazon -- who are all in favor of open Internet rules. MetroPCS has met with officials, urging against rules [see here why]. If the FCC were to pursue a net neutrality rule next month, its ability to do so would likely be challenged in courts, analysts say".

Sandvine Partners with Mobixell, Ortiva Wireless and Vantrix

Shortly after announcing the partnership with Acision [see "Going for a Service Gateway - The Sandvine Acision Partnership" - here], Sandvine announces that "it has partnered with three global companies for end-to-end media optimization solutions: Mobixell [here], Ortiva Wireless and Vantrix [here and here].. Operators can deploy such solutions with minimal investment due to Sandvine’s patent-pending, advanced, granular method for diverting traffic, which ensures that only appropriate traffic flows are redirected to optimization platforms. Similar solutions based on simple port-based redirection result in considerable network inefficiencies".

See "Sandvine Announces Media Optimization Solutions With Three Partners" - here.

Sandvine’s traffic redirection technology provides a flexible and reliable way for wireless service providers to deploy media optimization in their networks,” said Ron Garrison, VP Product Management, Ortiva Wireless. “Mobile video optimization amplifies the capacity of the existing network, deferring capex and reducing opex for service providers while at the same time improving their subscribers’ quality of experience.

Another step in creating a more complete multi-function traffic management solution (rather than independent "boxes" or point solutions) - and video optimization is surly one of more important add-ons to DPI/QoS management (or vice-verse) - preferably under the control of a single policy management entity.

Level 3 vs. Comcast - Charging for Off-Net Internet Video?

Is Comcast encouraged by its win against the FCC (here) and decided to take it one step further in order to support its own (or NBC's) video content- or this is just a business argument over settlement-free peering agreement?

Level 3 Communications [a CDN operator, won recently a new contract with the popular video streaming service NetFlix - here see map below] issued a press release saying that "On November 19, 2010, Comcast informed Level 3 that, for the first time, it will demand a recurring fee from Level 3 to transmit Internet online movies and other content to Comcast's customers who request such content".

See "Level 3 Communications Issues Statement Concerning Comcast's Actions" - here.

Thomas Stortz, Chief Legal Officer of Level 3, is quoted saying that "By taking this action, Comcast is effectively putting up a toll booth at the borders of its broadband Internet access network, enabling it to unilaterally decide how much to charge for content which competes with its own cable TV and Xfinity delivered content. This action by Comcast threatens the open Internet and is a clear abuse of the dominant control that Comcast exerts in broadband access markets as the nation’s largest cable provider .. Level 3 believes Comcast’s current position violates the spirit and letter of the FCC’s proposed Internet Policy principles and other regulations and statutes, as well as Comcast’s previous public statements about favoring an open Internet"

Comcast's response, by Joe Waz, SVP, External Affairs and Public Policy Counsel was "Level 3 has inaccurately portrayed the commercial negotiations between it and Comcast. These discussions have nothing to do with Level 3's desire to distribute different types of network traffic. Comcast has long established and mutually acceptable commercial arrangements with Level 3's Content Delivery Network (CDN) competitors in delivering the same types of traffic to our customers. Comcast offered Level 3 the same terms it offers to Level 3's CDN competitors for the same traffic. But Level 3 is trying to gain an unfair business advantage over its CDN competitors by claiming it's entitled to be treated differently and trying to force Comcast to give Level 3 unlimited and highly imbalanced traffic and shift all the cost onto Comcast and its customers."

See "Comcast Comments on Level 3" - here.

Complicated, but probably another opportunity for the traffic management market.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Cisco (on Traffic Management): "Customers are asking - how do we make money from this?"

Watch Jon Morgan, Senior Manager of Service Provider Product Marketing, Cisco, summarizing his impressions from last's week Broadband Traffic Management event (here).

"Customers are asking - How do we make these networks profitable in the future ? .. We [Cisco] have a complete policy solution .. from our evolved packet core pieces, to our integrated in-line services [ASR-5000] to working with the various PCRF partners that we integrated into the solution"

"It was a good event!"

See "Cisco: Mobile Internet Monetization Case Studies - Verizon Wireless, Vodafone Hungary and Turkcell" - here and "Cisco Recommends: Partner, Enhance QoE and Monetize OTT Video" - here.


UK: Public Pressure on ISPs to Enforce Parental Control (Killing a VAS?)

Chris Williams reports to The Register that "Campaigners will meet with the internet minister, Ed Vaizey,  to lobby for ISPs to be forced to control access to pornography. Vaizey issued the invitation to Tory backbencher Claire Perry, (picture) who said the availability of sexual material online is "a fire is burning out of control". The minister offered to act as an "honest broker" between campaigners and ISPs in the hope that action will be agreed"

See also "Claire Perry MP calls for a new "Opt-in" Model for Accessing Internet Pornography" - here and the video below.

"As a mother with three children I know how difficult it is to keep children from seeing inappropriate material on the Internet. We already successfully regulate British TV channels, cinema screens, high street hoardings and newsagent shelves to stop children seeing inappropriate images and mobile phone companies are able to restrict access to adult material so why should the Internet be any different? British Internet Service Providers should share the responsibility to keep our children safe so I am calling for ISP's to offer an "Opt In" system that uses age verification to access pornographic material".

Source: Cisco

As can be seen from the posts below, web filtering regulation and service is indeed more common in mobile, as kids are using it outside of their parents’ reach. For fixed services, this may be offered as a Value added Service, part of a larger parental control package (which will also stop cyber bullying - inappropriate adult-child chats, messages, SMS and Emails).

However, any regulation - and certainly one that mandates Opt-in to allow access to adult material will take away the revenue opportunity for the ISPs.

A number of vendors of DPI and/or policy management products offer a network based, policy-controlled, paternal control solution (e.g. Sandvine and Bridgewater, Cisco (SCE), Cisco ASR-5000Radware, BroadHop).

Related posts:
  • DPI Deployment (15) : TalkTalk Uses Huawei to Detect Malware (or Parental Control?) - here
  • DPI Deployments (9): Orange France Selects Openet and Cisco for Parental Control and Tethering Prevention - here
  • Australia: Telstra, Optus and Primus Agree to Voluntarily Block Illegal Web Traffic - here.
  • Kosher Mobile Internet - Cellcom Israel Offers Web Filtering - here

Sunday, November 28, 2010

[Calcalist] Oracle and Platinum about to Acquire Comverse

Once again Calcalist has news about the long-time anticipated acquisition of Comverse Technology.

Today, the site reports (here, Hebrew) that in a joint deal, valued at $2B (30% above market price) Platinum will acquire the group's holdings in Verint and Starhome (following the previous acquisition of Ulticom) and Oracle will buy the company’s billing and value-added services business units (known as "Comverse" and includes the company's Mobile Internet Gateway product line. See "Oracle Shopping List - Comverse as an Entry Pass to the Telecom Space - GLG News" - here).  

Calcalist also says that the previous proposals from Huawei and ZTE (see "Comverse: New Bids from ZTE and Huawei; Ulticom Sold" - here) were rejected, assuming that the Israeli and US governments will not approve the acquisition, due to national security concerns.

Another Sign for PCRF Maturity - An Independent Training Course

Apis Technical Training is now offering a new course: "PCC - Policy and Charging Control".

"The PCC - Policy and Charging Control training course is developed for telecom professionals working with project and product management, marketing and sales, business development, system engineering, testing and verification, operations engineering."

Seems like policy management gets the right traction .. !

The event is scheduled in Stockholm, 25-26 January 2011- here.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

[Dean Bubley] "Why isn't the implicit cost of transporting adverts being paid by their originators or agencies?"

Dean Bubley posted a challenge to the traffic optimization vendors and mobile carriers on his Disruptive Wireless blog - "it surprises me that the compression & optimisation specialists (Bytemobile, Openwave, Vantrix, Acision et al) don't target adverts and spam as "low hanging fruit". Ad-blocking as a service would reduce users' bills, speed up their browsing and could be configurable / opt-in like the PC browser add-ons".

See "Will advertisers be made to pay for mobile data use?" - here.

Not a easy question in light of Net Neutrality and the ability of carriers to insert ads (see "[WSJ] Carrier Ad-Insertion Returns!" - here). After all, it is not just the advertising industry that profits from a free distribution system built by the carriers, but so are all content providers.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sandvine on Device Awareness (Tethering Use Case)

A good post on Sandvine's "The Better Broadband Blog" about device awareness, by Tom Donnelly.

Not an easy challenge, even for the "deepest" DPI devices, but it seems that Sandvine can provide it now. See the chart below, from Sandvine’s Network Analytics product.

And the use case - "One use case that Sandvine has assisted with, using device awareness, is enabling service providers to offer a special tier to those customers wishing to tether their mobile devices. Tethering is the use of your cell phone or other Internet-enabled mobile device as a modem for another device, like a notebook or PDA. It enables you to go online from your laptop, for example, in situations where there’s no other means of Internet access. By being able to identify “tethering” devices, a service provider can offer a service tier or package that caters to the subscribers’ needs".

Learn more in the following post - "Why Do Mobile Carriers Need Device Awareness?" - here and "Someone doesn’t like the iPad Tethering" - here.

Telenor Sweden VP: "Unlimited LTE Generates a Lot of Subscribers" [BUT for the long term ...]

Michelle Donegan writes to Lightreading about the newest LTE providers in Sweden - Tele2 and Telenor ASA (see "Swedish LTE Challengers Wield Unlimited Offers" - here) who both offer [for now, apparently] unlimited data service.

TeliaSonera, who offers LTE for sometime now in Sweden does have limits - see "TeliaSonera's LTE Comes with Traffic Management" - here.  

The article provides some candid statements from Carl-Erik Lagercrantz, chairman of Net4Mobility and VP of Telenor Sweden, who said at the Boradband Traffic Management event last week:

"[For 4G] we have unlimited subscriptions with fair usage and no caps on usage..that's not a long-term viable solution for an operator but it surely generates a lot of subscribers in the marketplace .. operators will need to manage the bandwidth on their 4G networks, [but] such tactics needed to be implemented intelligently so that users are not blocked from doing what they really want to do. .. Attempts to limit users' use of the network -- I find that in the longer term a little bit hazardous .. If you talk about traffic management in the network, you have to maximize what users want, not minimize what they want"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

HP Adds Qosmos DPI to its Data Retention Solution

HP announced that "it has integrated application probe capabilities from Qosmos into HP DRAGON [see chart below], the company's data retention solution that helps telecom companies and law enforcement agencies fight terrorism and organized crime .. The integration of Qosmos Network Intelligence probes broadens the already strong data collection capabilities in HP DRAGON"

See "HP enhances DRAGON Data Collection with Qosmos to streamline telecoms' fight against terror and crime" - here.

"Qosmos' technology queries the CSP's IP network in real-time as if it were a database, filtering only relevant data and creating call data records (CDRs) that are optimized for storage and analysis," said Thibaut Bechetoille, president and CEO of Qosmos. "As a result, HP DRAGON can help service providers respond quickly and cost-effectively to legal and investigative requests for electronic evidence."

"In contrast to storing raw network data, the HP and Qosmos technologies use aggregation and correlation to store data intelligently. This approach yields benefits for CSPs:
  • Improves the quality of the information stored in the repository
  • Improves performance by reducing record counts
  • Reduces storage requirements by storing a single intelligent record, not many individual records"
Related posts:
  • DPI Announcements: CommProve and Qosmos Offer Layer 7 Visibility into Mobile Traffic - here
  • DPI Announcements: Data Retention System from Bivio - here
  • DPI Deployments (37): Momentum Telecom Use VoIP CDRs to Troubleshoot and Generate Business - here

[WSJ] Carrier Ad-Insertion Returns!

While the FCC goes back to its Net Neutrality plans (see "FCC Moving on Net Neutrality?" - here), the Wall Street Journal had a front page (at least in its iPad edition) story on ad-insertion, or behavioral advertising, a revenue generation opportunity for carriers

I covered this space in the past, about companies that disappeared (Nebuad & Phorm - here and here) and those that are still there (Xerocole - here, Kindsight - here). The basic concept was targeted advertising, based on subscribers’ behavior with revenues shared by the vendor and the carrier.

DPI is needed for the ad-insertion process in order to analyze subscribers' traffic and make it more efficient by re-directing only relevant traffic to the behavioral processing. Privacy problem, and lack of disclosure made some of the players go away - and brought an investigation against BT that was secretly using Phorm back in 2006 (see "BT's Phorm trial lands UK Government in court" - here).

Source: Wall Street Journal

Now, the Wall Street Journal (see "Shunned Profiling Method On the Verge of Comeback" - here) reports that business sees a comeback (following Japan? - here). I guess the choice of the word "profiling" (not allowed in the US) shows the authors' sentiment for the move. Some quotes, from a rather long article:

Now, two U.S. companies, Kindsight Inc. and Phorm Inc., are pitching deep packet inspection services as a way for Internet service providers to claim a share of the lucrative online ad market.

Kindsight and Phorm say they protect people's privacy with steps that include obtaining their consent. They also say they don't use the full power of the technology, and refrain from reading email and analyzing sensitive online activities Two large ISPs in Brazil—Oi, a unit of Tele Norte Leste Participacoes SA, and Telefonica SA—currently have deals with Phorm 

Mr. Gassewitz [top picture] says six ISPs have tested Kindsight's security service on subscriber groups as big as 200,000. Mr. Gassewitz says, "There was no profiling occurring, no advertising occurring, no data collection occurring."

Oi's Mr. Pedro Ripper, Oi's strategy and technology believes that the technology's time has come. "The Internet is becoming more and more a platform to deliver very targeted messages," he says. As for deep packet inspection, "Everyone is going to get there. It's just a matter of timing"

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cache Deployments (44): QualityNet [Kuwait] Uses PeerApp for Video Optimization

This time - a video clip from Fox Business Network's program "Inside Business Review," hosted by Fred Thompson. Other than profiling the company, it also quotes Mishary Al-Faris, QA Manager,QualityNet an ISP from Kuwait.

See also a matching press release - "PeerApp Featured Nationally on Fox Business Network" - here and a presentation by Mr. Al-Faris - "Experiences in Peer 2 Peer Caching" - here (see chart).

I hope everybody will have a better experience than I had watching this (I was waiting for "buffering" more than the length of video piece itself).

See also - "Video Caching Market Finally Growing" - here and "Caching Market: PeerApp OEMs to ALU, Allot and BTI Systems" - here.

Going for a Service Gateway - The Sandvine Acision Partnership

Sandvine announced today that "it has partnered with Acision, a world leader in mobile data.  The Sandvine-Acision partnership provides operators with detailed traffic insight and capabilities such as traffic flow control, subscriber control, service creation and differentiation, as well as intelligent content optimization for mobile networks."

See "Sandvine Announces Global Partnership With Acision" - here.

It makes sense that the different features and services offered now by DPI and mobile gateway vendors will consolidate into a single solution to reduce complexity and traffic latency while enjoying accurate application and subscriber awareness. DPI vendors are offering some of the gateway features today (they usually call it Value-added Services or eco-system) and the Sandvine-Acision partnership looks like a good first step for creating best-of-breed solution. I believe that this will lead for both product tighter consolidation (single chassis) as well as M&A in this space - creating a strong solution against competitive GGSN offerings.

The Sandvine-Acision partnership offers solutions such as:
  • Selective Video and Web optimization that manages data traffic peaks and increases quality of experience [Acision]
  • Traffic optimization that ensures fair usage for all network subscribers using flexible real-time policy control  [Sandvine]
  • Policy Management and real-time rating which enables operators to differentiate their offerings, tailored to meet the demands of their specific market segments 
  • Business intelligence that provides detailed insight and visibility into subscriber consumption and application analysis [Sandvine]

PCRF Deployments (43): Charge by Application? Dutch Operator Deployed Openet PCRF

Openet announced that - "[anonymous, unfortunately - I thought we are beyond that already] leading Netherlands operator has deployed Openet’s Policy and Charging Controls (PCC) architecture and fully compliant 3GPP PCRF Policy Manager platform to control bandwidth and implement network policies for millions of subscribers. The operator has also selected Openet’s complementary solutions, Fair Usage and Tiered Service Controls, which enable the carrier to offer more flexible service plan options and improve its control over subscriber traffic. All Openet solutions were deployed in tandem with Cisco’s (formerly Starent Networks’) GGSN."

See "Leading Netherlands Operator Selects Openet to Maximize Network Visibility" - here.

"..the service provider is using Policy Manager and its associated solutions to better monetize network traffic. This includes implementing fair usage policies for all subscribers and segmenting data services into tiers of service as defined by network speed, data usage and other usage conditions. Some of the control variables this operator can now use to optimize network performance include:
  • Application monetization for network control—operators can assign pricing for specific applications  
  • Network usage load—determines what kinds of content/applications/services are being accessed across the network and regulates according to individual data plans"
The first feature (although the release only says that it "can" be implemented) represents a higher level of sophistication in service management and monetization which we haven’t seen so far. It will be interesting to see if operators will take this path and whether it will be supported by higher QoE for the charged applications. And if Net Neutrality will address this.

See previous Openet-Cisco projects - here.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

DPI Market: Tellabs Acquires Zeugma Systems' IP

Tellabs announced recently that it "is adding key technology, intellectual property and IP (Internet Protocol) expertise from Zeugma Systems Inc., to create a new research and development office in Vancouver. Former Zeugma personnel will join Tellabs’ Vancouver facility to focus on developing Tellabs® Mobile solutions. Tellabs Mobile Solutions add intelligence to the wireless networks, so service providers can cut costs while delivering better user experiences on the mobile Internet"

See "Tellabs opens mobile Internet R&D office in Canada" - here.

Tellabs entered the mobile internet space with the acquisition of WiChorus in 2009 for $165M adding GGSN, Wimax and LTE products to its portfolio (see "Tellabs acquires WiChorus to revolutionize the mobile Internet" - here).

Originally Zeugma Systems planned to build an "intelligent BRAS" - (to be an edge router for fixed networks) with DPI based application awareness and value-added services (such as content filtering).

The current product, Zeugma Services Node, is described as "a service delivery router (SDR), uniquely combines massive compute resources with next-generation capacity, service awareness, and subscriber management in a carrier-grade, fully redundant system".

Zeugma has also a companion OSS product "The Zeugma OSS (ZOSS) is a powerful companion to the Zeugma Services Node.  Not only does it provide configuration and health management of the ZSN, it also extends the Zeugma Open Application Sandbox (OAS) with capabilities that may require database services and offline processing."

See current solutions - here.

To help our mobile customers succeed, we’re adding more IP expertise to enable the smart mobile Internet,” said Rob Pullen, president and CEO. “Vancouver offers a unique talent pool that can accelerate our delivery of differentiated solutions to customers. We welcome our new employees to Tellabs.”

Alcatel-Lucent Launches Wireless Optimization Services [w/ Case Studies]

Alcatel-Lucent launched "the Wireless Network Optimization Solution, a set of services and software tools based on Alcatel-Lucent’s extensive experience of network management and the modeling abilities of Bell Labs"

See "Alcatel-Lucent launches Wireless Network Optimization solution helping operators manage the mobile data traffic explosion" - here.

A white paper - "Optimization - Secrets to network success: small changes deliver big results" - is available here (see process chart below)

"Alcatel-Lucent optimization experts have conducted over 200 wireless network assessments and optimizations around the world for customers such as Vivacom [Bulgaria], helping network operators to each achieve up to 11 million Euro in savings, and greatly exceed subscriber Quality of Experience expectations". See one of the cases (taken from the white paper) below.

In an interview to the ALU site (here) Christophe Blachier, Practice director for Alcatel-Lucent’s Network Design & Optimization describes the new service:

"..we bring to our service provider engagements over 60 tools built in-house, 20 co-developed with Bell Labs.  With these tools and our team’s expertise we address the four main aspects of optimization: forecasting, real-time monitoring, reporting and analysis.  For example, in our forecasting, we apply advanced methodologies that take into account mobile data impact on networks with bottom-up forecasts based on usage by specific types of devices and applications – rather than just mapping generic data traffic growth.  And not just a fuzzy success but actually helping them [Customers] reach their key performance indicator (KPI) targets by improving end-to-end network QoE, and maintaining customer satisfaction in the face of exploding data traffic, and unpredictable applications on new devices."

Monday, November 22, 2010

Cisco: Mobile Internet Monetization Case Studies - Verizon Wireless, Vodafone Hungary and Turkcell

A new presentation from Cisco "Monetization and Policy & Charging Control for the Mobile Internet" (here) provides a good overview of the new mobile internet market challenges and opportunities.

The presentation discusses monetization opportunities (chart below) and shows case studies for Verizon Wireless (right chart), Vodafone Hungary and Turkcell.

See also:
  • Openet/Cisco Joint Policy/DPI Projects - Orange Group, Turkcell, Mobilkom Austria - here
  • DPI Deployments - Part3: Vodafone Hungary Case - here 

Verizon - Speed and Usage Price Tiering

Roger Cheng and Shayndi Raice report to the Wall Street Journal that Verizon Wireless "are exploring ways to charge consumers based on the speed of their wireless data connection in addition to the amount of data they use .. The speed factor throws in another wrinkle in how carriers are looking to price their data plans".
See "Verizon Rethinks Pricing" - here.

Verizon Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo (picture) said  "If you want to pay for less speed, you'll pay for less speed and consume more, or you can pay for high speed and consume less ..Verizon's 4G network, which is based on technology called Long-Term Evolution, can deliver between 1 and 12 megabits per second of data, allowing for tiered pricing structure similar to home wired Internet service.

Chief Executive Ivan Seidenberg said "he expects the number of data users to jump to about 75% of Verizon's contract customers over the next three to four years from 23% today, regardless of the device .. by 2016 or 2017, it wouldn't surprise us if 30% of our customers are using a gig[abyte] a month"
See also Vodafone Growth Strategy: "transitioning our data pricing plans to tiered plans and differentiated service levels" - here and TeliaSonera's New Business Model: Value-based Pricing - here.


Sunday, November 21, 2010

IETF: Experiments to Harmonize P2P Technology with the Infrastructure

Application-Layer Traffic Optimization (ALTO) is an IETF group charted to "design and specify an Application-Layer Traffic optimization (ALTO) service that will provide applications with information to perform better-than-random initial peer selection. ALTO services may take different approaches at balancing factors such as maximum bandwidth, minimum cross-domain traffic, lowest cost to the user, etc. The WG will consider the needs of BitTorrent, tracker-less P2P, and other applications, such as content delivery networks (CDN) and mirror selection" (more - here).

A new from the group "provides some suggestions about ALTO architecture through experiments made by P2P Network Experiment Council in Japan. This document also introduces experiments made by the Council in Japan to harmonize P2P technology with the infrastructure. Specifically, this document describes Hint Server technology, which is similar to ALTO technology"

See "ALTO-Like Activities and Experiments in P2P Network Experiment Council draft-kamei-p2p-experiments-japan-04" - here.


Saturday, November 20, 2010

PCRF Vendors Publish Performance tests - now it is BroadHop

Following Bridgewater Systems (here), BroadHop also engaged the European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC) to measure its policy management server performance.

The company announced that " Quantum Network Suite, BroadHop’s 5th generation policy management and control solution, successfully completed an in-depth and independent set of policy tests designed to measure scalability, performance, and real world use required for today’s rapidly evolving networks".

See "BroadHop Sets New Performance and Scalability Benchmarks for 3G, 4G LTE Mobile Networks Policy Control" - here.

"Key findings from the BroadHop Quantum Network Suite Performance and Scaling Tests:
  • Demonstrated support for 20 million active mobile user sessions from a single, 10U server chassis with sixteen server blades
  • Demonstrated support for 28,000 TPS with 16 blades in a single 10U chassis
  • Demonstrated support for 13K TPS with 8 blades in a single 10U chassis while applying policy and charging rules to multimedia voice and data traffic (Gx/data and Rx/VoIP)"
I was not able to find comparable results from Bridgewater.

See also:
  • "Heavy Reading - "[performance boosted] policy management can play a vital role a telco’s overall product and service strategy" - here
  • "Bridgewater and Broadhop are Getting Closer to Cisco" - here.

Openet: Get Ready for Mother's Day (or: Predictive Congestion Management)

A new whitepaper from Openet may help mobile operators to intelligently solve mobile access congestion.

The document, "Predictive Congestion Management – Improving subscriber quality of experience by intelligently addressing the causes of RAN congestion", is available for download from Lightreading site,  here (registration required).

Openet summarizes their solution to the problem as follows:
"Only Openet’s solution goes beyond point solutions that offer “just” policy management, or “just” invoking DPI policies, or “just” quota management. Unlike RAN congestion solutions from equipment suppliers, or probes that cannot always inspect RAN backhaul traffic, the Openet solution is designed to help operators reduce investments in infrastructure. By predicting and managing congestion, operators can improve the QoE for the greater whole of customers in a proactive manner. Unlike trigger-based solutions that address network bottlenecks reactively, Openet brings to the table a proactive solution that minimizes the complexity and costs of managing congestion “before” it occurs."

"Predictive" means that "the solution analyzes previous network activity (historical data) and projects what the network will do (trending data) based not only on straightforward trending, but also by considering “calendar events” (e.g., Mother’s Day or special sporting events), as well as seasonality and the effect of recent changes to a network"

"Managing Congestion" is done "Through interaction with policy control enforcement functions, certain enforcement actions can take place, such as:
  • QoS controls—increasing or decreasing the Kbps and priority of sessions or services on the uplink or downlink separately;
  • Blocking of traffic—block session or services as instructed by PCRF;Blocking of traffic—block session or services as instructed by PCRF;
  • Redirection of traffic—manipulate IP packets to redirect specific services such as HTTP to landing pages/portals" 

Friday, November 19, 2010

PCRF Deployments (42): Agri-Valley Selected Bridgewater PCRF for Personalized Services in LTE

Bridgewater Systems announced that "Agri-Valley selected the Bridgewater EPC 500 system which provides subscriber and device data management, policy control, and interworking functions for the LTE Evolved Packet Core. It includes the Bridgewater® Home Subscriber Server and Policy Controller (PCRF) both anchored by Bridgewater's Subscriber Data Broker. The EPC 500 is fully compliant with LTE specifications and features extensive, multi-vendor interoperability"

See "Agri-Valley Selects Bridgewater for LTE"  - here.

"It enables Agri-Valley to deliver innovative, personalized services to attract and retain subscribers including nomadic and casual usage services"

Thursday, November 18, 2010

DPI Deployment (41): Vodafone Uses DPI and Policy Management to Improve QoE (and the vendors are..)

Lightreading reports from the Boradband Traffic Management Event that "Vodafone Group is beefing up its traffic management capabilities in an effort to improve its customers' service experience, make its network more efficient, and stem the impact of the data deluge that's hitting its network.. Faced with mobile data traffic growth of 100% per year in Europe, it's no longer adequate for Vodafone to provide a best effort service"

See "Vodafone Flexes Traffic Management Muscle" - here.

Andy MacLeod, Vodafone's group network director, said that "As for what that traffic comprises 70% is Web browsing and video, which are about evenly split, and the remainder of the traffic is mostly peer-to-peer (P2P) .. A very small number of users generate most of the traffic. Mobile data isn't terribly mobile and the usage is mainly from home"

"To address the mobile data volumes, traffic patterns, and user behavior, MacLeod highlighted some of the capabilities that Vodafone is working with, including traffic inspection, application optimization, content caching, and traffic offload (in the access network as well as in the transport network).. the personalization that traffic management enables is what improves the customer experience and can lift customer satisfaction .. The biggest upside [of traffic management] is having the ability to help us personalize the experience for customers and optimize yield and profitability"

The DPI and policy management solutions used by Vodafone are provided by Allot (the company did not disclosed this, but Daniel Meron from RBC (pictured), the analyst covering Allot, was quoted here  in Hebrew estimating that "Allot's large mobile operator contract is with Vodafone" ) and Tekelec (Camiant PCRF - here).

[Update 27 - Sandvine Announces 4 PCRF Partners] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

Sandvine announced that "it has completed interoperability testing of its Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) with Alcatel Lucent, Intracom Holdings, Redknee, and Tekelec's Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) platforms. In January, Sandvine and Openet demonstrated operability via a joint customer win. Earlier this quarter, Sandvine had announced interoperability with Bridgewater Systems' PCRF".

See "Sandvine Announces Interoperability With Four Partners" - here.

My last PCRF-DPI compatibility table already has an indication for interoperability between Sandvine and Redknee and Tekelec - and I am adding ALU now. Intracom is not yet on my table.

"Sandvine's network policy control solutions include:
  • Scalable quota management based on subscriber entitlements using optimized rules-based Gx interface between Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) and PCRF network elements
  • Fair usage policies that allocate network resources among subscribers using flexible real-time policy control and advise subscribers of actual usage as policy thresholds are exceeded
  • Enforcement of parental controls for limiting children's Internet usage based on time-of-day, application, and duration
  • Unified policies to support subscriber mobility across converged fixed/mobile access networks. "

PCRF Vendor

PCRF Product








Aptilo Networks

Aradial Technologies






Cisco (Starent)

Digital Route



Flash Networks




Kabira (Tibco

Mobixell (724)

Nokia Siemens

PCS 5000


Orga Systems



Tango Telecom

Tekelec (Camiant)