Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sandvine CEO: "our sales funnel has never been larger"

Dave Caputo (picture), Sandvine's CEO was interviewed to Cantech Letter on the DPI market, Sandvine's technology and business status.

See "Cantech Letter interviews Dave Caputo of Sandvine (TSX:SVC)" - here.

Some quotes:

On Sandvine's Business:

"Telcos that offer DSL services are now the largest component of our customer base and we have very quickly grown a substantial base of mobile service provider customers a group that wouldn’t talk to us a couple years ago. .. One of the [Q1] customers  was our inaugural win with our new reseller partner Acision [here], a major systems integrator in the mobile market. We did not lose any notable deals in the quarter. We responded to more RFPs, RFIs and RFQs in Q1 than we did in the fourth quarter of 2010 and the sales funnel has never been larger ..  On a quarterly or annual basis, it’s more difficult to predict what will happen as one or two large deployments in one part of the world can skew our results over such a short period."

Products and solutions:

".. We can measure network quality, mitigate malicious traffic, like Spam, and enhance the efficiency of third party solutions, like network caches, by directing only the relevant network traffic to them (e.g., only cacheable traffic).. We also announced our new Policy Traffic Switch 22000 platform [here], which is ideal for both fixed line and new mobile LTE networks .. Deployed at the edge, the new platform will be able to intersect certain network links that let us gather critical information to enable unique policy opportunities for service providers to run their networks more efficiently and increase revenue opportunities. We already have a first customer for this exciting new platform. 

Ovum: Profit from "Ultra Broadband" Networks Using QoS and Efficiency

Light Reading's Heather Stanic interviews Nigel Pugh, Consulting Director for APAC, Ovum and former Telstra executive about "Ultra Broadband" networks, and what operators need to do to maximize their profits from building such networks.

In the APAC region, Ultra Broadband networks have been deployed in Japan, South Korea and Hong-Kong; Malaysia and China are in the process of deployment while other countries, including New Zealand and Australia, are getting ready to deploy.

Nigel talks about QoS, fair use, network efficiency and more.

See "Taking Broadband Into the QoS Era" - here and video below.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Who Shapes Traffic in the US?

New technology, developed by Partha Kanuparthy (picture) and Constantine Dovrolis from Georgia Institute of Technology, allows to detect if ISPs are using traffic shaping,

See "End to end Detection of ISP Traffic Shaping using Active and Passive Methods" - here.
"First, we develop an active end-to-end detection mechanism, referred to as ShaperProbe, that can infer whether a particular path is subject to traffic shaping, and in that case, estimate the shaper characteristics. Second, we analyze results from a large-scale deployment of ShaperProbe on M-Lab over the last few months, detecting traffic shaping in several major ISPs. Our deployment has received more than one million users so far from 5,700 ISPs. Third, we modify the Shaper-Probe detection algorithm so that it can be applied passively on the traffic of any TCP-based application".
So which ISPs are using traffic shaping? 4 case studies are presented in the paper; see also the table below:
  • Comcast - "We observed many shaping configurations in our observations between October 2009 and May 2011" (no need to repeat the Sandvine-Comcast history)
  • Road Runner - "94% of upstream runs did not detect shaping, while 64% of downstream runs found shaping"
  • Cox - "we found Cox to have a significant number of upstream shaping detections of 20%" (see - "Procera: Cox Generated $2.2M in 2010" - here)
  • AT&T - "We look at properties of the 10% of AT&T runs which were diagnosed as shaping.. we see that about a third of these runs show a strong shaping rate mode and an associated burst size mode"

ABI Research: OTT Revenues Up to $20 Billion in 2016

Another sign for the importance of OTT video to carriers (see "TDG: "OTT video to eclipse live broadcast TV around 2020" - here) - a recent ABI research forecasts that "The number of online video viewers worldwide is expected to eclipse 1.3 billion by 2016, growing from a current 2010 base of just over 780 million. As more consumers look to their broadband connections for content, the Over the Top (OTT) video industry will likewise grow with many companies such as Netflix, Hulu and Apple’s iTunes division aiming to capitalize on this market trend"

Sam Rosen (picture), Senior Analyst said: “Over time, more viewing of YouTube and historically Internet-based platforms will shift to the living room, opening up significant advertising revenues. This trend will be accelerated based on YouTube’s recently announced increase in VOD content”.

See "OTT Revenues Up to $20 Billion in 2016; Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube Set to Benefit" - here and "Over the Top (OTT) and Through the Middle (TTM) Video" - here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mobile Broadband - What are the Obstacles to Growing Revenues?

STL PartnersNew Digital Economics Executive Brainstorm & Developer Forum EMEA (held in London, May 11-13) brought together 250 execs from across the telecoms, media and technology sectors.

One of the sessions in the Telco 2.0 stream, "Mobile Broadband Economics", was covered by the Telco2.0 site - see  "Mobile Broadband Economics: LTE 'Not Enough'" -  here.

I selected two of the items:
".. We saw applications that allow users to monitor and control their network usage and services, ‘dynamic pricing’, and other innovative pricing strategies at the EMEA Executive Brainstorm. Despite growing enthusiasm for LTE, delegates considered offloading traffic and network sharing at least as important commercial strategies for managing costs .. The chart shows Ericsson's ‘Fuel gauge’ app to show how users could be better informed of their usage and be interactively offered pricing and service offers."

"Delegates voted on the obstacles to mobile broadband revenues and the impact of various measures on the control of costs":

Ofcom Report Shows Significant Differences in MNOs Performance - O2 Leads

A recent report from the UK regulator, Ofcom, shows the differences in performance of UK's 3G mobile operators - "The research found some differences between the performance of operators’ 3G networks. O2, Vodafone and 3 offered faster average download speeds than T-Mobile and Orange .. The research, conducted between September and December 2010 in partnership with broadband monitoring specialists Epitiro .. involved over 4.2 million tests and measured average speeds as well as the performance of the five mobile operators in areas of good 3G network coverage" (see chart).

Ofcom also found that "17% of UK households are using mobile broadband to access online services, with 7% using it as their only means of internet access, compared to 3 per cent in 2009".

See "Mobile broadband speeds revealed" - here, full Report - here and coverage by channel 4 news (here and below).


Saturday, May 28, 2011

ABI Research: PCRF market will grow from $350M in 2010 to $1.6B by 2016

A new report from ABI Research finds that "The PCRF .. is the key to implementing policy in a mobile broadband network. Although PCRFs have already been deployed for simple uses, particularly in North American and Western Europe, ABI Research sees significant growth in the PCRF business worldwide as operators try to manage their bandwidth problems and introduce more creative charging for data usage. The PCRF market will grow from approximately US$350M in 2010 to almost US$1.6B by 2016. There are currently 40 to 50 PCRF vendors (my list - here), and this study analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each vendor. The study also provides a detailed background on the evolution of policy solutions, and concludes with recommendations for network operators as well as equipment vendors".

See "Policy Management for Mobile Broadband" - here. The report also covers Policy enforcement and Diameter routers vendors (see also here)

Jim Eller, principal analyst, said: “Instead of trying to block or throttle data traffic, mobile operators need to figure out how they can profit from the huge opportunity that has fallen into their laps. With worldwide data traffic volume growing at a CAGR of more than 50% annually, trillions of dollars in data revenues are at stake”  (see press release - here).

In March, an Infonetics report found that "Policy management revenue grew 48% in 2010 to $418.7M, with the majority of spending occurring in the wireless market ..policy management market to nearly quadruple from 2010 to 2015, to $1.6B" (here).

Friday, May 27, 2011

Allot Partners with NSN; Wins a 25M Subscribers Russian Fixed & Mobile Operator

Allot Communications announced that "a major Russian fixed and mobile operator with over 25 million subscribers has deployed Allot Service Gateway Sigma (SG-Sigma) platforms to offer revenue-generating parental control and anti-virus services to its subscribers.  Nokia Siemens Networks acted as prime integrator on this joint project, which is the first major win to result from the strategic partnership between the companies.  The solution has been initially deployed in two key hubs within the operator's network .. SG-Sigma acts as a nexus point in the operator's network, accurately identifying traffic in real time at high speeds, and enabling intelligent policy-based steering of subscriber traffic to these value added services.  The solution identifies those customers who have subscribed to the service and steers only their traffic to the relevant VAS platform, allowing optimized deployment of VAS infrastructure"

See "Allot and Nokia Siemens Networks Partnership Enables Major Russian Operator to Deploy Revenue Generating Services" - here.
See also "Allot CEO: "10% of 2010 Revenues Generated from VAS" - here.

Andrei Elefant (picture), Allot's VP of Product Management and Marketing said: "This deployment highlights how Allot and Nokia Siemens Networks have played a critical role in uncovering new sources of revenue for the operator by enabling them to offer a wide range of scalable, value added services".

Mobixell Wins 10 New Accounts - Sees "regional twists" in MNO Needs

Mobixell announced "..  that it has closed an additional 10 mobile Internet platform deals with worldwide mobile operators over a span of just 6 months ... these ten operators chose Mobixell Seamless Access, the company's Mobile Internet Platform because of its strong video optimization and policy driven service orchestration capabilities .. The combined subscriber base for the mobile operators involved in these deals tops 140 million with a combined traffic volume in the neighborhood of 40 petabytes per month".

See "Worldwide Mobile Optimization Trend Supported by 10 New Deals with Mobixell in Only 6 Months" - here.

"This trend is global, but with regional twists. In North America and Western Europe  .. mobile operators are looking to push off capacity investments. .. seeking out video and Web optimization technologies .. In Asia Pacific ..  immediate needs include implementing a unified, policy-driven Mobile Internet Platform with centralized management for all data traffic and services. However, Mobixell finds that mobile operators in APAC are also making it a priority to select platforms with strong video optimization capabilities to be ready when the inevitable data traffic crunch hits their region"

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Comcast on UBB: "we're not adopting it .. we are watching it"

During his presentation at Barclays Capital Global Communications, Media, and Technology Conference, Mike Angelakis (picture), CFO, Comcast Corporation was asked by James Ratcliffe, Analyst, Barclays Capital on Usage based Billing (or "metered billing"):

"How do you think about usage-based pricing around data? You folks have had a very high cap in bytes -- 200 gigabytes for a couple, I guess close to three years now, sort of targeting the small portion of the customers who are very high load on the network. I mean how do you think about that versus potentially more tiering --?"

The answer was:

"You know, usage-based pricing -- I don't think we've --first of all be clear, we're not adopting it. Obviously, we are watching it. We're very comfortable with our structure. Our goal is to really capture share and increase ARPU. And I think that -- and make sure that we have the best product that's going in the house or in the business. And I think that we absolutely do, whether it's in the business or in the house. So we're pretty comfortable with the model. We've deployed the instrumentation that people need to sort of gauge how much they're using, and if we ever wanted to go to usage-based billing or consumption-based billing, we could possibly do that. I don't know why we would disrupt a pretty good run we're having right now. We feel really good about our capacity and our capability to continue to manage additional bandwidth needs. So I feel pretty good"

Full transcript - here.

Did KPN Go too Far? The Dutch Government Thinks it did

After KPN (and other operators in the Netherlands) announced its plans to surcharge the use of certain mobile applications such as Skype or Whatsup (here), the Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs, Agriculture and Innovation Maxime Verhagen announced that the "Dutch telecom law will be amended to ensure free access to the internet"

See "Garantie vrij internet in telecomwet" - here.

"Some providers of mobile internet had announced a levy for certain services. This is because of the necessary investments in the network and the declining of voice and SMS traffic. Minister Verhagen is not against charging by speed of the data traffic, but charging on certain services such as Skype or WhatsApp, however, go too far   .in few week the telecom law will be amended, to ensure Net Neutrality and ensue consumers that specific internet services will not be blocked or subject for extra charge".

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Openet Launches Dynamic Context Router

Openet announced " ..Openet Dynamic Context Router (DCR), a high performance, context-sensitive appliance. Openet’s Dynamic Context Router relieves policy, charging, profile and similar network elements of routing, traffic management and load balancing tasks.  By relieving the “mesh” of communication between these elements, Dynamic Context Router simplifies network traffic management and reduces costs to wireless operators as they evolve their networks".

See "Openet Launches Dynamic Context Router to Simplify Network Traffic Management" - here and "The Skinny on Dynamic Resource Allocation" blog post here.

I asked the company how their product is different from the offering of other vendors - such as Traffix Systems (here) and Tekelec (here).

Andrea Kavanagh, Openet's Marketing Communications Director, explained that "the Openet Dynamic Context Router doesn’t just route on static information when performing diameter routing. DCR is a high-performance stand-alone router that intelligently routes network traffic, using both static and dynamic context based routing rules. It is designed with a thorough understanding of the requirements of 3GPP diameter applications, and the resultant signaling burdens that come with the introduction of multiples of such applications".

Earlier this week, Traffix Systems announced "..the establishment of its LTE Diameter Interoperability (IOT) lab and calls for vendors and service providers to participate in testing their products for Diameter conformance standards and for interoperability with specific service provider network requirements" - see "Traffix Opens an LTE Diameter Interoperability Lab and Calls for Participants Promoting a Vibrant LTE Ecosystem, Traffix Welcomes Vendors and Service Providers to Take Advantage of Remote Testing Facilities in First Full Diameter Lab" - here.

Good initiative to the growing number of players in this space (PCRFs, PCEFs and Diameter routers).

NI Deployments (72): StarHub (Singapore) Selected Neuralitic for Usage Profiling and Monetization

Neuralitic Systems announced a ".. a new deal with Singapore’s StarHub. The mobile operator will utilize Neuralitic’s SevenFlow™ software suite to understand the data usage profile of its customers and monetize data traffic".

See "Neuralitic Expands its Customer Base with StarHub" - here.

StarHub, Singapore’s 2nd largest mobile operator, had 2.145M subscribers at the end of Q1, 2011 (see chart).

Joanna Chan, VP of Personal Solutions, StarHub said: “The insights provided by SevenFlow help us in understanding customers' data usage pattern so that we can develop products and initiatives that better cater to the needs of specific customer segments.”

Neuralitic’s SevenFlow is a Mobile Data Intelligence solution that gives marketing professionals and other decision-makers the critical insights they need to improve marketing ROI based on actual subscriber usage characteristics. Its Data Bus component extracts 100% of all mobile network data from a copy of traffic across an industry-standard network interface. The Data Bus also includes customizable business rules to filter data on an as-needed basis, and channels the data to the Knowledge Portal.

Among other functions, the Knowledge Portal presents protocol usage information on a wide range of distinct protocols (http, BitTorrent, ftp, etc.); and helps users measure the impact of particular protocols on the mobile network. See also a patent application - "A METHOD AND SYSTEM FOR ANALYSING A MOBILE OPERATOR DATA NETWORK" - here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

DPI Testing: Sandvine Chooses Spirent

Spirent announced that it was selected by Sandvine to "verify the performance of its network policy control solutions under mobile network conditions. With Spirent’s mobile core testing solution, Sandvine can ensure its Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) supports stringent mobile requirements such as high volumes of subscribers with dynamic IP traffic flows"

See "Sandvine Chooses Spirent for Mobile Core Testing of Network Policy Control"  - here.

"Also used by leading mobile operators worldwide, Sandvine is utilizing Spirent Landslide Mobile Core Test Solution to comprehensively emulate 3G/LTE mobile networks with millions of subscribers accessing a multitude of mobile applications and to test how its PTS responds in the mobile core network. As the industry’s only solution that emulates real-world traffic models, Spirent Landslide emulates all of the key mobile core data network elements, and combines control plane and data plane simulation. This provides realistic emulation of millions of mobile nodes in various stages of activation, deactivation, and hand-off between cells, all while transmitting and receiving real-world application data".

Spirent Landslide emulates up to 800,000 mobile nodes and 2,000 network components in a single chassis; up to 32 chassis can be used together.

See also:
  • MU Dynamics Tests Carriers' Application Aware Networks - here
  • How to Build DPI Products? (Part IV - Performance Testing) - here

Telstra to Differentiate on Traffic on the Wireline and Wireless Edge

Carol Wilson, Chief Editor, Events, report to Light Reading from TMForum Management World 2011, held this week in Dublin, on Telstra's plans for new services and traffic management.

Michael Lowery (picture), Executive Director, Architecture, Online and Media, Telstra Operations said that Telstra will introduce "A cloud-based service offering that is device and network agnostic would be delivered to consumers on the device of their choice, and they could also choose the level of broadband service to deliver content, services and programs .. Telstra would eliminate the multiple B-RAS devices that support broadband wireline services today and move new broadband network gateways as close to its wireline customers and to its wireless customers as well, moving it into the radio access network, if possible to the Node B level .. That will allow us to differentiate on traffic, and to be able to manage differentiated services as close to actual customer as possible .. Peer-to-peer traffic still counts for 40% of Internet bandwidth, and much of that is used to share pirated movies .. Traffic management also would enable Telstra to manage a potential deal with Netflix".

See "Mgmt World: Telstra Sees ASP Future" - here.

Carol assumes that Telstra "..would be using DPI or similar technology within these broadband network gateways, both to offer tiered services starting with best effort and moving up, and to ensure proper treatment of traffic types. Telstra already uses a tiered offering with bandwidth caps, something it has taken heat from in the past, but will make this next transition smoother" (see "Telstra Uses NSN PCS-5000" - here).

Monday, May 23, 2011

DPI Market: Rohde & Schwarz Acquires ipoque

Rohde & Schwarz has announced ".. it has completed the acquisition of German-based Internet traffic management and monitoring specialist ipoque GmbH ..ipoque was founded in 2005 in the community surrounding the University of Leipzig and today employs more than 70 people. ipoque’s focus is on deep packet inspections (DPI) solutions for network operators and broadband providers to analyze, monitor and optimize their networks to maximize investment and generate new subscriber revenues ..ipoque is now a subsidiary of Rohde & Schwarz and will continue to operate under its new name "ipoque – a Rohde & Schwarz company" with no change to existing customer relationships".

See "Rohde & Schwarz Acquires ipoque" - here.

FCC Net Neutrality doesn't Allow Application Surcharge

Recently we have seen several initiatives by mobile operators to impose usage fees for the use of certain applications, mainly those competing with their core services (VoIP, messaging and video streaming). See the case of KPN (here), TeliaSonera (here) and a recent win by Allot (here).

While US mobile services were exempted from some of the FCC suggested Net Neutrality rules (here), Karl Bode reports to DSLReports.com that Mark Wigfield, media relations for the FCC said that "Our rules do prohibit this kind of behavior ..See paragraph 99*, which pertains to mobile, and prohibits blocking applications that compete with the providers primary service offering -- voice and video telephony -- and you can make a strong case that text also competes with voice and so blocking SMS applications would be barred .. Also, paragraph 67** prohibits charging a fee in order to block"

See "FCC Tells Us Their Neutrality Rules Prevent Pay-Per App But ISPs Will Simply Argue They're Pricing Creatively..." - here.

See also:
  • FCC: VoIP Replaces Regular Phone Service with Annual Growth of 21% - here
  • FCC: We Need "Apps" to Monitor Naughty Service Providers - here
  • FCC: Usage-Based Pricing is Important - here 
 *Paragraph 99:

Source: Allot Communications
 A person engaged in the provision of mobile broadband Internet access service, insofar as such person is so engaged, shall not block consumers from accessing lawful websites, subject to reasonable network management; nor shall such person block applications that compete with the provider’s voice or video telephony services, subject to reasonable network management.

**Paragraph 67:

67. Some concerns have been expressed that broadband providers may seek to charge edge providers simply for delivering traffic to or carrying traffic from the broadband provider’s end-user customers. To the extent that a content, application, or service provider could avoid being blocked only by paying a fee, charging such a fee would not be permissible under these rules.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Metering and Billing Wireless Data for 20M Subscribers is not Trivial

Few months ago a lawsuit was filed against AT&T claiming that (see video below from NBC's Today show) - " .. the company's billing system records data use up to three times the actual use, including "phantom" charges that occur when the phone is not in use".

See report by Chris Foresman (picture) to arstechnica - "How a law firm tested "phantom" AT&T smartphone data use"  - here
The article presents the "The independent tests were conducted with multiple devices over a period of four months, and allegedly show that AT&T's billing system regularly recorded data use that exceeded actual use by 7-14 percent, on average. In some cases, AT&T reportedly recorded data use as much as 300 percent of the actual use. To confirm the "phantom" data charges, a computer engineer hired by the law firms involved in the case took a brand new iPhone, turned off all push notifications and location services, did not set up any e-mail accounts, and made sure no applications were running. After 10 days of sitting idle, AT&T recorded 35 instances of data use totaling over 2MB".

AT&T spokesperson Seth Bloom said that "all activity, including checking e-mail, Web browsing, and streaming music, uses data. But so do many mobile apps, such as weather apps and stock tickers, which update using data from the network. Games connect to networks like Game Center, and visual voicemail services download data from the network. The company also claims data could be transmitted or received by background processes that users simply aren't aware of .. AT&T captures your data activity nightly to create a bill record in our systems .. This will appear on your bill to be a late night 'charge,' but in fact, the time stamp reflects the time that your device established a connection to the [billing system], not the time that you sent or received data."

BT To Test Bandwidth On Demand, Using Openet's PCC

Peter Willis (pictured), chief data network strategist, BT Innovate & Design said: “Liquid bandwidth services will empower customers to purchase bandwidth when needed in a cost-effective and timely manner that closely tracks their real hour-by-hour and day-by-day bandwidth requirements with the comfort that the network can 'flex' to meet any unanticipated demands

"The project will be showcased during TM Forum Management World, and will show how carriers can offer innovation and network monetisation via a programmable network API linked to the TM Forum MTOSI Services standards"

See also Openet's Dynamic Desktop Datasheet - here.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

[Update 38: Cisco's IPCF] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

The PCRF-DPI matrix was updated to reflect Cisco's new PCRF (see "Cisco Adds Its Own PCC to M.O.V.E" - here).

I asked Jim O'Leary (picture), Sr. Market Development Manager, Cisco, whether the new product interoperates with other vendors' PCEFs (after all, that's the idea behind standards compliance). Jim said that "We interface today with other vendors from our GGSN, PGW, DPI etc… Some of those partners had supplied us with PCRF and other functions like HSS, OCS, OFCS. Our Intelligent Policy Control Function – (IPCF ) does interface standard Gx, Gxa (R7-R9)".

So, not yet.  


DPI Deployments (71): Hondutel (Honduras) Selected GENBAND's P[rocera] Series

GENBAND announced that ".. through a unique contract alliance approved by the Honduran Congress [part of a $50M, 10 years project - see "Laticom inks deal with Hondutel" - here], Laticom will deploy and oversee Hondutel’s nationwide expansion  of IP-based multimedia broadband services .. Utilizing the GENBAND GENiUS™ platform, Hondutel will deliver advanced telephony, data, IP and integrated multimedia services to its customers .. Within the Hondutel network, Laticom is deploying GENBAND GENiUS as the common platform for the majority of GENBAND products, which include GENBAND’s C20 Converged Softswitch for comprehensive call control; the A2 Converged Application Server for full featured telephony and multimedia applications; the S3 Session Border Controller with extensive security, policy enforcement and session management capabilities; and the P Series portfolio of Traffic and Policy Management solutions".

See "GENBAND GENiUS Platform to Enable Transformation of Nationwide Honduras Communications Network" - here.

GENBAND P Series are ATCA solutions OEMed from Procera (here).

Friday, May 20, 2011

France Hadopi - Shows Success (while working)

2 interesting stories about France's HADOPI government agency responsible to IMPLMENT the Internet 3-strikes anti-piracy law (See "The French Internet Police: 100,000 Warring Emails have been Sent" - here) published by The Register.

First, it seems (or at least reported in the UK) that the French 3-strikes system works and supported by the public (!):

"[UK] Shadow culture minister Ivan Lewis [picture] has cited new research from France to support anti-piracy enforcement online. Lewis quoted research suggesting that 50 per cent of internet users state Hadopi prompts them to use more legal content and 41 per cent said it persuaded them to change their net habits, while 50 per cent supported the Three Strikes system".

See "Labour: France's pirate-bashing Hadopi laws work" - here.

However does the system work? Is it safe?:  "Eric Walter, France's secretary general of internet piracy, made the announcement over Twitter on Tuesday, saying that Hadopi, short for the High Authority for the dissemination of works and the protection of rights, was taking control of Trident Media Guard “following the leak of IP addresses.”

See "France's official P2P monitoring firm hacked" - here.

PCRF Announcements: Cisco Adds Its Own PCC to M.O.V.E

Few days ago, Cisco announced an in-house ".. enhancement to the Cisco M.O.VE (Monetization, Optimization, Video Experience) strategic framework, we are introducing our next generation Cisco Policy and Charging Control Solution with the insertion of our Cisco Policy and Control Rules Function (PCRF) that addresses the performance, reliability, and scalability challenges of mobile networks".

See "Cisco M.O.VE. – New Tools for Mobile Policy and Charging Control" - here. See also "Cisco MOVEs into Video Optimization and Monetization; New Mobile Services Edge Gateway" - here.

The Cisco solution consists of three new components:
  1. The Cisco Intelligent Policy Control Function (IPCF): A 3GPP-compliant Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) to support volume usage management in both centralized and distributed environments.
  2. The Cisco Subscriber Service Controller (SSC): A 3GPP-compliant Subscriber Policy Register (SPR) function for exchanging both static and dynamic subscriber profile data with the Cisco IPCF. With the optional Decision Center functionality, the Cisco SSC enforces aggregate volume usage rules across groups of subscribers sharing a common account.
  3. The Cisco Policy Provisioning Tool (PPT): A graphical user interface for facilitating the definition of policy rules and managing their distribution to the deployed Cisco SSC and Cisco IPCF nodes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

DPI Announcement: Tilera 50 Gbps Network Intelligence 2U Linux Server

Tilera announced the ".. the highest performance network intelligence Linux server solution, at a whopping 50 gigabits per-second. The solution runs Qosmos [see here] technology software stack on the Tilera-based S2Q server, available from Quanta Computers. The server combines up to eight Tilera TilePro64™  [see chart below] processors into a 2U form factor, enabling dramatically increased performance in a standard Linux environment. Other solutions in the market today require exotic ASICs which are hard to program or expensive high-power servers to achieve the same performance".

See "Tilera and Qosmos Collaborate to Offer up to 50 Gbps of Network Intelligence in a 2U Linux" - here.

Vijay Aggarwal (picture), VP of Business Development at Tilera, said: “With up to 512 cores, integrated 10 Gig ports, and low power consumption, this server is the highest performance and performance per-watt Linux box in the industry

TeliaSonera to Charge OTT VoIP Usage

The trend of charging by application (or protecting legacy revenues) continues. Following announcements from KPN (here) and Allot (here), Michelle Donegan, reports to Light Reading from TeliaSonrea keynote at LTE World Summit 2011: "on over-the-top voice-over-IP (VoIP) services and pledged that they will not come for free on its 4G network".

See "TeliaSonera: No Free VoIP on Our 4G" - here. See also "TeliaSonera's LTE Comes with Traffic Management" - here and "Review of Current LTE Pricing" - here.

Tommy Ljunggren (picture), VP of system development for mobility services at TeliaSonera, said:
"We will not offer VoIP for free.. TeliaSonera hasn't worked out yet how its customers will pay for these services .. VoIP is "excluded" from TeliaSonera's 4G service for now, just as it is on its 3G networks. The operator either blocks or throttles VoIP over its 3G networks .. It could be by paying more for a better service tier for which TeliaSonera will guarantee quality of service (QoS) levels for VoIP, for example"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Review of Current LTE Pricing, by Openet

Openet published a white paper that "examines some of the pricing and packaging used by operators in launching LTE services".

The operators covered are: TeliaSonera [here], Netcom Norway, Telia Denmark, Sonera Finland, EMT Estonia, Omnitel Lithuania, MetroPCS [here], A1 Austria, Verizon wireless [here], CSL, Vodafone Germany [here], NTT DoCoMo and Deutsche Telekom

The document "LTE Pricing and Packaging - Current Operator LTE Pricing and Packaging Overview" is downloadable here.

".. The specific usage limits imposed by mobile operators vary dramatically, ranging from 20-30 GB/month in many European markets, to 10GB/month or less in the US and 5GB/month in other markets like Japan. Once these caps are reached, operators are applying a mixture of throttling and overage charges, with no uniformity .. As of May 2011, it can be seen that LTE is focused on meeting the needs of a small subset of users. Operators are starting to innovate with their data plans and during the writing of this report several operators changed their pricing plans in a drive to attract new LTE subscribers"

Sandvine: "individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans"

Sandvine released a new edition of their Global Internet Phenomena Report, with spring 2011 data ".. from North America, Latin America and Europe, with specific spotlights on events such as Netflix adoption and March Madness® On Demand.  Overall insights since the last report in the fall of 2010, reveal a growing appetite for on-demand applications that will continue to drive data consumption and network quality requirements"

See the press release "Sandvine’s Spring 2011 Global Internet Phenomena Report Reveals New Internet Trends" - here and download the report here.

Main conclusions relate to entertainment traffic and particularly:
  • Real-Time Entertainment traffic* is continuing its journey to network dominance, particularly in North America, where it represents 49.2% of peak period fixed access traffic. If this rate of growth is sustained, Real-Time Entertainment will make up 55-60% of traffic by the end of the year. See also "TDG: "OTT video to eclipse live broadcast TV around 2020" - here.
  • Netflix is the undisputed bandwidth leader on North America’s fixed access networks. See also "Does Netflix Replace P2P File Sharing?" - here.
  • The continued growth of Real-Time Entertainment enables a seemingly contradictory conclusion: P2P Filesharing is here to stay, at least for the immediate future, as evidenced by the marginal drop in share from 19.2% of peak period traffic in Fall 2010 to 18.8% in Spring 2011
  • In Europe, Real-Time Entertainment continues a steady climb, rising to 33.2% of peak aggregate traffic, up from 31.9% last fall. BitTorrent, a peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing protocol, is the largest single component of both upstream (59.7%) and downstream (21.6%) Internet traffic during peak periods.
  • In the UK, BBC’s iPlayer is 6.6% of peak downstream traffic, reflecting the demand for localized content in many markets.
  • Overall, individual subscribers in Europe consume twice the amount of data as North Americans (monthly mean of 39.6 GB vs. 23 GB, see charts below)
*Real-Time Entertainment protocols and applications are: "Streamed or buffered audio and video (RTSP, RTP, RTMP, Flash), peercasting (PPStream, Octoshape), placeshifting (Slingbox, home media servers), specific streaming sites and services (Netflix, NCAA, Hulu, YouTube, Google Video, Spotify, BBC iPlayer)"