Tuesday, January 31, 2012

VoIP Signaling Crashed NTT DoCoMo; Asks Google to help

Caroline Gabriel reports to :rethink wireless that "NTT DoCoMo has added its loud voice to the wave of operator criticism of how smartphones overload carrier networks with their 'signalling storm'. The Japanese cellco recently suffered a major outage in its network, which it is attributing specifically to an Android VoIP application, and more generally to the way Android constantly polls the network, even when users are inactive, generating huge levels of signalling traffic"

While DoCoMo goes to the source of the problem (at least one of them), there are also some ways to address the problem from the network side. Nokia Siemens Networks has been very active in this space. See "NSN: "VoIP Applications Create Huge Signaling Load" - here and "NSN: Android and Blackberry Phones Overload Networks with Signaling" - here
"DoCoMo, according to the Nikkei news agency, has demanded that Google rein in the signalling and data loads imposed by Android, particularly the habit of handsets transmitting control signals to the network, and pinging the servers, automatically rather than as-needed. These behaviors support constantly updated apps such as social networks, as well as the rising tide of cloud-based software, in which data and apps are held on the server and constantly sync with the device".

See "DoCoMo demands Google's help with signalling storm" - here.

DPI/Security/Analytics Market: Intel Invests $20M in Solera Networks

Solera Networks announced ".. it has secured $20 million in Series D financing led by Intel Capital. Intel Capital is joined by existing investors .. round follows a year of tremendous momentum – with domestic and international growth exceeding 100% in 201 .. Its award-winning DeepSee platform continues to redefine rapid and proactive threat response using advanced Deep Packet Inspection capabilities to capture, index and classify all network traffic in real-time".

See video below about Solera Application Classification capabilities.

See "Solera Networks Raises $20 Million in Series D Funding Led by Intel Capital" - here.

Monday, January 30, 2012

OTT is a Monetization Opportunity, the BTM Blog 2012 Survey finds

Let me start by thanking 84 of the blog readers that took the time to help us all understand how Broadband Traffic Management will help and be used by service providers to meet their current challenges: increase revenue, solve network congestion problems and compete with Over the Top (OTT) content and services.

Getting readers' feedback to these main issues is a great way to celebrate the Blog's 2nd anniversary!

The survey main findings are:
  • 88% of the survey responders said that mobile network operators should treat OTT service providers as a Partner or an Opportunity; 48% think that OTT providers should be charged for using the network
  • Using DPI based traffic shaping is the most likely way mobile operators will use for congestion management in 2012
  • Data caps is the most likely policy management use-case to be implemented by MNOs in 2012
  • Network intelligence reporting is the most likely DPI based use-case to be implemented by fixed operators in 2012. P2P file sharing control is no longer a major use-case. 
The survey has additional questions on Value-add Services, operators’ plans to deploy traffic management systems and more. For an executive summary of the survey's results - please contact me here; the full report is available for purchase ($245) - here.

[Guest post]: Policy and Charging: The Value of Independence

By Doug Suriano*, Chief Technology Officer, Tekelec

The integration of the policy server (the 3GPP-defined policy and charging rules function, or PCRF) with charging and billing systems is emerging as one of the key considerations in the 3GPP Policy and Charging Control (PCC) architecture. This architecture specifies several interfaces – Gx, Gy or Gz –to online (OCS) and offline charging systems (OFCS) through the policy and charging enforcement function (PCEF). However, the 3GPP doesn’t define how to implement this integration. As a consequence, vendors and service providers have pursued a variety of approaches.

More recently, the 3GPP introduced a new interface, Sy, to create a direct link between the PCRF and charging systems. The Sy interface eliminates the need to do usage tracking over both the Gx and Gy interfaces simultaneously, improving messaging efficiency and eliminating the possibility of accounting synchronization problems between the policy server and OCS. More importantly, it will eliminate the need for complex and costly pre-integration between the policy server and the OCS.

Integration between policy and charging systems is required to charge for services based on subscriber entitlements. Both multi- and single-vendor implementations can support this integration. However, a single-vendor platform that pre-integrates policy and charging functions can ultimately limit a service provider’s choices, flexibility, scalability, signaling efficiency and time-to-market for new services.

The Service Provider Point of View

In a June 2011 Heavy Reading survey, almost 75 percent of service providers said that the single biggest barrier in deploying a policy architecture is integrating policy and charging. When Heavy Reading probed deeper into the issue with Tier 1 operators in a November 2011 survey, they concluded that:

Source: Heavy Reading survey of Tier 1 network operator attitudes to policy and charging, November 2011

  • Operators have run into major challenges implementing OCSs due to complexity and high costs associated with customization, professional services, and integration with gateways and policy servers (graph below). An operator provided insight into the size of the problem when he described a plan to move to a billing system capable of handling real-time, online transactions, and run pre-paid and post-paid on the same system. “This is a very complicated project,” he said, “and my guess is that it could take five years to fully implement.”
  • Almost 70 percent of Tier 1 service providers will use the policy server rather than the charging system to perform some charging and rating functions such as quota management (data allowance), rating, and balance management as a way of avoiding certain integration problems and offloading the charging system to reduce cost and complexity.
  • 3GPP standard interfaces are the most popular option for integration of policy and charging.
  • In the medium term, operators believe a significant proportion of policy rules will need to refer to charging systems for charging data such as spending limits. Said one service provider: “The important thing for us is that they [vendors] can demonstrate that they can meet policy use cases we have defined that need to refer to charging systems, and that they have done this before with other operators. We would need that re-assurance.”
  • Operators are planning deeper integration of policy with existing online and offline charging systems but they are not sure how to do it.
  • Less than 10 percent of operators intend to deploy pre-integrated policy and charging solutions in the medium term to resolve integration issues (graph below). One operator said, “We don’t think we need a vendor with both policy and charging expertise. We already have charging systems, so the policy vendor will be chosen independently. But we do need a vendor that has experience of integrating its policy product with third party charging systems—that’s the key thing. It’s important to us to know that the vendor can grow the system and achieve the integration we need in the longer run.”

Limitations of Pre-Integrated Policy and Charging 

Traditional charging and billing vendors propose solutions that pre-integrate policy and charging as an approach to monetizing mobile data. This single-vendor, pre-integrated approach has several drawbacks:
  • Costly and complex professional services and systems integration. Integrated policy and charging offerings often require higher professional services and systems integration costs to create policy rules and scale with network growth. In contrast, a network-based approach combined with an intuitive rules engine and carrier-grade software and middleware can provide a lower cost of ownership. Current Analysis recommends that “Operators should consider dismissing equipment makers that require operators to invest heavily in professional services in order to introduce new services or to modify existing service plans and service offerings.”
  • Proprietary interfaces. Integrated policy and charging systems can require extensive customization and professional services to interoperate with other control plane elements. Each new interface or use case often requires a separate statement of work and lengthy professional services engagements, resulting in a higher total cost of ownership and slower time-to-market for new services.
  • Poor scalability and reliability. As the network expands with multiple policy servers and charging systems, they need Diameter routing to direct messages to the appropriate system. A pre-integrated approach based on proprietary interfaces is not standards-compliant, making it difficult for the policy and charging infrastructure to scale. Furthermore, policy servers from charging vendors often lack key carrier-grade functionality required to ensure scalability and reliability when the network is congested.
  • Increased complexity and cost. Online charging systems are already taxed by a large number of complex integration with gateways, servers, and nodes as shown in the figure below. And as demonstrated in the Heavy Reading survey above, these projects are expensive, time-consuming, and complex. 
Source: 3GPP

An Alternate Approach

Dozens of tier one operators have elected to deploy a best-in-class policy server sold independently from charging equipment. The first requirement for this to succeed, of course, is interoperability with multiple vendors’ online, offline and legacy charging systems, in addition to a broad array of policy enforcement points.

High performance and scalability are pre-requisites as well, to meet the growing data and signaling traffic resulting from new service models and from the increased usage of data-enabled devices and applications. A policy server should have standardized Diameter interfaces and incorporate advanced carrier-grade functionality such as high processing power, capacity, overload controls, monitoring, and protection mechanisms. 

An independent policy server also needs advanced quota management capabilities. These allow service providers to do advanced usage tracking in the policy server for a wide variety of use cases. Examples include offloading complex charging systems and performing quota management of pre-rated data services (any prepaid or postpaid data service where the usage limits are pre-defined), postpaid customers, and fair usage in the policy server without an OCS. A policy server can accomplish this with pre-configured use cases and a user-friendly rules engine that allows policies to be deployed quickly and at a lower cost than through charging system customization.

In addition, an independent policy server must offer revenue-generating use cases for mobile data services. These offers include day passes, anniversary bonuses, happy hours and bandwidth boosts. Creating these programs requires policy and subscriber data management to meter multiple usage limits per customer and to zero-rate services based on application, time, and volume for different customer segments. Many of these services can bypass the charging system by using the rating engine and policy creation tools in the policy server. In this scenario, the monetary rating associated with a unit of data or time is pre-assigned, without the need for an OCS. 

Shared data plans are also becoming an important use case as the number of devices per customer grows and families, businesses, and machine-to-machine customers ask for simplified, pooled data plans. These plans require subscriber and device data management to assign multiple device identities to each customer profile. They also require policy analytics to track and analyze customer and group usage. 


Global service providers are adopting an approach that leverages a best-of-breed policy server with integrated subscriber data management and analytics for easy policy rule creation, quota and traffic management, and letting existing charging systems do what they do best – charge for services. They are also looking to the new Sy standard interface between policy and charging systems to ensure broad multi-vendor interoperability, eliminate costly integration and avoid lock-in. Finally, they are deploying a next generation Diameter signaling architecture to independently scale policy and charging systems to meet the demands of mobile data growth on their networks.


*Doug Suriano, CTO and Vice President of Engineering at Tekelec, has more than 20 years of telecommunications and technology experience. He is responsible for product innovation, leadership in standards bodies and industry forums, and advocacy for innovative mobile data solutions.

Doug earned his Master of Science in Information Technology at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School and a Bachelor of Science at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Comptel Acquires Analytics Company Xtract

Comptel announced it "is acquiring Xtract Oy, a Finnish software company specialising in advanced analytics, for a total consideration of EUR 3.1 million (enterprise value). Xtract has approximately 20 customers including telecom operators AVEA in Turkey, DNA in Finland (Comptel customer - here), Megafon in Russia and TeliaSonera in Finland as well as insurance company If, retail and media companies. Xtract’s net sales were EUR 2.4 million in 2011. Xtract has 27 highly skilled employees which are mainly based in Espoo, Finland .. This offering will enable operators to react quickly to events from the network and transform them automatically into relevant and timely actions that improve the customer experience.." 
See "Comptel takes next steps in executing its strategy by acquiring leading analytics company Xtract" - here ; see also "Policy Management Personalization: Comptel Deployments" - here

Optimization Market: Li Ka-shing and Motorola Invest in Onavo

Tzahi Hoffman reports to Globes that "Onavo Mobile, which is developing an app to compress data on mobile phones, has raised $10 million in a series B funding round .. The fundraising round was led by Horizons Ventures, the private investment arm of Li Ka-shing together with Motorola Mobility Ventures, the venture capital investment arm of Motorola Mobility Inc".

Onavo (see "Optimization Announcements: Onavo Offers "3rd Party" Compression Service" - here) offers saving in data roaming services to iOS and Android devices, with yet to be announced business model (here). 

Nevertheless, the company sees MNOs as partners, and says that (here) ".. Onavo increases operators’ revenues from data roaming services by bringing down barriers to usage and by offering more flexible data roaming plans, without changing the existing inter-operator agreements".

See "Data compressing co Onavo Mobile raises $10m" - here.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Google [Still] Claims there is a Faster TCP

Back in June 2010 I reported about Google's work on making the internet protocols (TCP, DNS) work faster (see "Google - [Our] TCP Can Do 12% Better" - here).

A recent post by Yuchung Cheng (pictured), Make The Web Faster Team, to Google's Code blog provides now additional details.

"Our research shows that the key to reducing latency is saving round trips .. [by] [1] Increase TCP initial congestion window to 10 (IW10) [2] Reduce the initial timeout from 3 seconds to 1 second [3] Use TCP Fast Open (TFO) [4] Use Proportional Rate Reduction for TCP (PRR) .. In addition, we are developing algorithms to recover faster on noisy mobile networks, as well as a guaranteed 2-RTT delivery during startup".

See "Let's make TCP faster" - here.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Monday's Guest Post: PCRF and Charging systems Integration Approaches

A new guest post will be published on Monday. In his article, "Policy and Charging: The Value of Independence", my 10th guest, Doug Suriano, will discuss the integration of the policy server with charging and billing systems, that is emerging as one of the key considerations in the 3GPP Policy and Charging Control architecture.

This architecture specifies several interfaces – Gx, Gy or Gz – to online and offline charging systems through the policy and charging enforcement function. However, the 3GPP doesn’t define how to implement this integration. As a consequence, vendors and service providers have pursued a variety of approaches.

Integration between policy and charging systems is required to charge for services based on subscriber entitlements. Both multi- and single-vendor implementations can support this integration. However, a single-vendor platform that pre-integrates policy and charging functions can ultimately limit a service provider’s choices, flexibility, scalability, signaling efficiency and time-to-market for new services.

Stay tuned.

If you like to propose a guest post, please send me a proposed subject, abstract and the author details.

Optimization Market: Verizon Invests in Skyfire

Skyfire management team
Skyfire Labs announced that ".. it has raised $8 million in its Series C financing. Verizon Investments LLC, a subsidiary of Verizon Communications Inc. participated in the round, alongside current investors .. Rocket Optimizer 2.0, the latest iteration of Skyfire’s powerful carrier-grade network video and data optimization platform, was launched in October 2011. With mobile video demand expected to rise steeply over the next three years, Rocket 2.0 aims to help carriers solve capacity issues linked to the rapid rise of mobile video streaming".
See also - "Mobile video optimization is a hot topic for 2012"; Shows Market Landscape" - here

See "Skyfire Gets ‘Fuel’ From Verizon and Three Existing Investors to Expand Its Rocket Platform With $8M in Series C Financing" - here.

Announcements: Azuki Helps Service Providers Manage OTT Media

Azuki Systems announced "the next generation OTT video delivery solution framework that seamlessly extends service providers’ managed set-top-box services to multi-screens, at home and on-the-go, with equivalent user experience and zero impact to existing DOCSIS and IPTV infrastructure .. With Azuki, service providers can ensure unmanaged networks behave and perform like managed networks, with no disruption to existing video operations, enabling service providers to capitalize on multi-screens and TV Everywhere initiatives".

Among other features, the solution enhances the power of OTT video delivery by "Dynamically adjusting bandwidth usage so that user count can increase while total bandwidth remains within defined threshold, all while having standard formats and ABR" and "Delivering break-through innovation with Azuki’s connector-based technology, which provides seamless interface to DOCSIS and PCRF policy servers to dynamically monitor and manage traffic peak and network capacity at all times".

See "Azuki powers next generation video delivery solution for service providers" - here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Optimization Deployments [119]: Zimbabwe Online Use DiViNetworks to

DiViNetworks announced that Zimbabwe Online (Zol) uses ".. DiViCloud – data capacity from Paris and London is served in Harare, Zimbabwe, without the need for additional physical capacity, and at half the market price". See more about DiViCloud - here.

ZOL was founded in 1994, and in the 16 years of operation has grown into one of the largest ISPs in Zimbabwe it offers dialup, broadband, Wi-Max, UHF, fibre and copper. Few days ago, Liquid Telecom announced it will buy Zol (here). 

See "Zimbabwe Online (ZOL) gets local bandwidth from the European Cloud using DiViNetworks’ new DiViCloud service" - here.

O2 Uses Openwave to Insert Users' Mobile Numbers into HTTP Requests

The press reports that Lewis Peckover, system administrator, Probability, found that O2 inserts customers' mobile number into HTTP headers (x-up-calling-line-id field) sent to web sites. Lewis even set a web page (here) for O2 users (or anyone else) to see that. This is a common mobile proxy gateway, generally known as "header insertion".

According to the following article, x-up-calling-line-id field is generated by Openwave gateways, which are also used by O2. Equipment from other vendors does it as well, of course, see an example for that here. One reason to do that is to identify the user to 3rd parties, for chagrining or other purposes.

Few hours after his discovery, Lewis tweeted that "Looks like @O2 may have just resolved the issue. It has stopped showing my number. Anyone still seeing it?"

See report by Anna Leach for The Register - "O2 leaks 3G users' mobile numbers to every website visited" - here.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Saguna/Jet-Stream: Joint Acceleration and CDN Solution for Mobile Networks

Saguna's Solution
Saguna Networks (see "Saguna (Mobile RAN Optimization) Raised $1.5Mhere) and Jet-Stream announced a ".. strategic collaboration between the two companies on the delivery of federated Content Delivery Network solutions for mobile networks .. providing an integrated offering that combines Saguna Networks’ Saguna CODS™ for optimizing the delivery cost of web content and applications over mobile networks and Jet-Stream’s VideoExchange™ Content Delivery Network technology".

"The joint offering allows mobile network operators to leverage their RAN investment into an Intelligent Network that can actively manage and deliver content to mobile subscribers directly from the network edge. This innovative solution offers new monetization opportunities for mobile network operators and creates a CDN network that delivers valuable quality of experience that matters to content owners and subscribers".

Lior Fite (pictured), CEO at Saguna Networks said: “.. Mobile operators using our joint solution can now actively participate in the OTT market and offer CDN services that guarantee the best possible view experience for subscribers”.

See "Joint solution allows mobile operators to monetize content delivery for best available viewing experience" - here.

See also "" - here.

Cache Deployments [118]: Pelephone [Israel] Deployed PeerApp

While I was switching (last week) from Pelephone to a different mobile carrier, here in Israel, (the number was ported in 4 hours!), my old carrier "has deployed PeerApp’s UltraBand transparent caching platform in its network. UltraBand".

According the PeerApp's announcement "UltraBand transparent caching platform helps Pelephone speed content delivery and reduce network load by automatically detecting popular content and delivering it as close as possible to the subscriber".

Shmulik Bachar, PeerApp's VP of Products and Marketing, told me that "Our deployment with Pelephone works on the Gi interface, getting the content closer to the users and providing best quality of experience". Since Pelephone announced recently it has deployed a PCRF system (here), I asked Shmulik if the two systems are connected - the answer was "No PCRF integration".

Motti Alegresi, head of the packet core engineering division at Pelephone, said: “PeerApp’s UltraBand has helped us optimize our network to serve content at top speeds, while saving backbone and transit bandwidth costs”.

Pelephone is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Israel's incumbent carrier, Bezeq. It had 2.9M subscriber at the end of 2011 Q3. Pelephone migrated directly from CDMA to 3.75G/HSPA, with 60% of subscribers now using the new network (see chart).

See "PeerApp Helps Pelephone Deliver World’s Top-Rated iPhone Service" - here.

Related posts: "Pelephone Israel Reveals Mobile Internet Information" - here.

The BTM Survey Closes Today!

I would like to thank those who took the time to participate in the Broadband Traffic Management Blog 2012 Survey - you are helping us understand what really matters in the traffic management space.

The survey will be closed at end of day today, Wednesday, Jan 25th, So whether you work for an operator, a vendor of networking equipment, analyst firm or anyway else related to the space, please take the 2012 Broadband traffic Management blog survey!

The survey explores the current trends in DPI, policy management, Value-added Services, Over-the-Top competition and congestion management for mobile and fixed operators. The main focus is on HOW operators will be using the technology.

An executive summary of the survey results will be mailed to you (please supply your address when answering the survey).
Thank you in advance!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

DPI Deployments [117]: Regional Wireless Operators [US] Deployed Sandvine Fairshare

Sandvine announced that ".. it has successfully deployed its Network Policy Control solutions in three North American wireless networks, BendBroadband, FRC/The Blue Zone and Main Street Broadband. All three operators became Sandvine customers in fiscal 2011 and provide fixed-wireless service using a variety of access technologies including WiMAX, satellite, 3G and 4G .. These regional service providers have deployed Sandvine's Fairshare Traffic Management product to help provide quality service. This product helps manage inherent competition for limited network resources so that the best possible quality of experience is preserved for the maximum number of subscribers for the maximum amount of time". 

See "Sandvine helps regional wireless operators provide differentiated services" - here.

Bytemobile Update: "Current focus remains unchanged; MNOs will adapt monetization solutions"

In the past few weeks there were certain rumors on Bytemobile. An anonymous comment made to one of my older posts (here) said the company laid off significant percentage of its staff; few days later, in an interview to Phil Goldstein from RCR wireless, a spokesperson for the company confirmed that "the company recently let go of a "very small percentage" of its staff .. the main reason for the changes was "to realign teams to better support the ongoing success of our video and web optimization solutions and the momentum of our adaptive traffic management platform. We are confident that this will result in better alignment with growth opportunities" (see "Bytemobile confirms small number of layoffs" - here).
This comes few months after the company launched its new platform (see "Bytemobile Launches Integrated DPI, Caching, Optimization and NI Solution" - here) presumably let it enter a new domain in traffic management, beyond optimization - the much bigger market of DPI.
So to better understand the current company focus, I checked with Chris Koopmans (pictured), Byte's Chief Operating Officer, who provided the following statement:

"Bytemobile’s current focus remains unchanged – Smart Capacity solutions for mobile network operators.  We plan to continue building our global market footprint in video optimisation and developing market opportunities for Adaptive Traffic Management.  We agree that video optimisation is one of the infrastructure solutions most likely to be adopted by MNOs in 2012 – since video constitutes anywhere from 40% to 60% of the data traffic on mobile networks today.  Furthermore, we believe that MNOs will increasingly adopt solutions that enable them not only to manage traffic but also to monetise it through service differentiation based on quality of experience.  In 2012, we expect to see MNOs’ business rationale for mobile data management expand from cost reduction to revenue growth and profitability". 

UK 2012 Olympic Delegation: All Available Frequencies (and Athletes)

Back in October I had a post predicting hard time for mobile services during the London Olympic Games this summer:

"London mayor Boris Johnson, Three CEO David Dyson and others have warned that London will run out of mobile capacity within a year, and that the influx of visitors to the 2012 Olympics was likely to crash the existing networks" (see "A Year Before the Olympics - London is Running Out of Mobile Capacity" - here).

It turns out that the UK regulator, Ofcom, wasn't ignoring the challenge and "has been working on a plan since 2006 to ensure that viewers will not miss any of the sporting action".

In a new report, Ofcom says that ".. The event presents a unique logistical challenge never faced before by the UK, with a need to assign up to 20,000 wireless frequencies to be used for the Games in London, more than double the number usually assigned in a year" and lists how the demand for capacity will be met:

"To meet the extra demands of broadcasters, media and the London 2012 Organising Committee (LOCOG) during Games time, Ofcom has developed a plan to secure additional capacity. This will be achieved in four main ways:

  • By borrowing spectrum on a short-term basis from public sector bodies, such as the Ministry of Defence
  • Ensuring that civil spectrum is used efficiently by making unused frequencies available. An example of this is spectrum that will shortly be auctioned by Ofcom, but is currently not being used
  • Making use of spectrum freed up by the digital switchover
  • Using spectrum that is available without the need for a licence
See "Record spectrum demand at London 2012 Games" - here.

Resource: Diameter Gy Interface Tutorial

If you found the 3GPP Gx tutorial interesting (here), you probably want to learn also about its companion, GyBart Barton explains Gy in his "LTE and Beyond" blog.

"Gy is between Online Charging System (OCS) and PCEF. In most cases PCEF is based inside PDN GW (Packed Data Network Gateway) or just short PGW. Gy interface allows online credit control for service data flow based charging"

See "Gy interface - sitting between OCS and PCEF" - here.

Monday, January 23, 2012

PCRF Market: Looks Strong in 2012 (Heavy Reading)


A tweet by Graham Finnie (pictured), Chief Analyst, Heavy Reading

Chatting to a policy vendor CEO today... "We've been inundated with RFPs since Nov-- had more in 9 weeks than in the previous 9 months."

PCRF Vendors .. you know what to do.

CRTC to Rogers: We Know what you are doing ..!

Back in October, the Canadian regulator, CRTC, asked Rogers, the cable operator, to fix its DPI system, as it confuses games with P2P file-sharing (see "CRTC to Rogers: Fix your DPI System!" - here).
This is not over yet, and the CRTC had to send another letter (here), this time by Andrea Rosen (pictured), Chief Compliance and Enforcement Officer.

".. Based on the preliminary results of our ongoing investigation, Commission staff is of the belief that Rogers Communications Inc. (“Rogers”) applies a technical ITMP to unidentified traffic using default peer-to-peer (“P2P”) ports. On the basis of our evidence to date, any traffic from an unidentified time-sensitive application making use of P2P ports will be throttled resulting in noticeable degradation of such traffic .. Within two weeks, I look forward to you either presenting us with a rebuttal of our evidence or providing us with a plan to come into compliance with the Act".

From the "Summary of Evidence":

".. As Cisco is Rogers’ vendor, the Compliance and Enforcement Sector had and continues to have tests conducted against information from the website of Cisco Systems, Inc. (“Cisco”). Preliminary testing results indicate that unidentified traffic using default P2P ports, as identified in the Cisco SCA BB Protocol Reference Guide is throttled. Such results further indicate that:

  • default P2P ports for TCP traffic are subject to throttling, except port 6969, and
  • until December 20, 2011, all default P2P ports for UDP traffic were subject to throttling"

[Infonetics]: Femtocell Market to Reach $3B by 2015

New research by Richard Webb (pictured), directing analyst for microwave, mobile offload and mobile broadband devices at Infonetics Research, finds that "Year over year (3Q10 to 3Q11), global femtocell revenue is up 37% and 4G LTE femtocells are expected to start shipping in late 2012".

"Femtocell market leader Airvana is the first to break through the US$25 million quarterly revenue threshold, expanding its revenue market share lead significantly .. The Cisco/ip.access partnership maintains its lead in terms of femtocell unit share, and increased its quarterly femtocell revenue to its second-highest level to date, but did not gain revenue market share as other players also posted notable gains, including Huawei and NEC/Ubiquisys"
"This year the femtocell market will scale up significantly and break out into clearer market segments: consumer, enterprise, and rural and metro public space femtocells. As price points continue to come down, we expect to see global femtocell revenue nearly double this year while unit shipments grow at nearly 140% compared to 2011".

See "Femtocell market set to double in 2012, Airvana expands lead" - here.

Only 3 Days Left!

I would like to thank those who took the time to participate in the Broadband Traffic Management Blog 2012 Survey - you are helping us understand what really matters in the traffic management space.

The survey will be closed at end of day, Wednesday, Jan 25th - So whether you work for an operator, a vendor of networking equipment, analyst firm or anyway else related to the space, please take the 2012 Broadband traffic Management blog survey!

The survey explores the current trends in DPI, policy management, Value-added Services, Over-the-Top competition and congestion management for mobile and fixed operators. The main focus is on HOW operators will be using the technology.

An executive summary of the survey results will be mailed to you (please supply your address when answering the survey).
Thank you in advance!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Resource: Diameter Gx Interface Tutorial

If you need to better understand 3GPP's "LTE, 4G, MME, PGW, SGW, Interfaces and beyond" visit Bart Barton's "LTE and Beyond" blog.
His recent post covers the Gx signaling protocol - "The Gx reference point is used for provisioning and removal of Policy and Charging Control (PCC) rules from the PCRF to the PCEF and the transmission of traffic plane events from the PCEF to the PCRF. The Gx reference point can be used for charging control, policy control or both by applying AVPs relevant to the application",

See "Gx interface - sitting between PCRF and PCEF" - here.

Arbor Networks: How Popular was Megaupload(2)?

Jose Nazario, Senior Manager of Security Research, Arbor Networks, helps us to analyze if what " Friends of mine from elsewhere in the world have been joking that the Internet seems to be running a bit smoother today. That may be, given how much bandwidth appears to have been freed up." it true, line Sandvine did 2 days ago (here).
"..  With enough global data, you can actually see the traffic drop when the shutdown occurs. Based strictly on the traffic rates it appears that the shutdown started just after 19:00 GMT on January 19, with traffic plummeting down over the next two hours. The graphic here shows three main client regions – Asia-Pacific, Europe, and the US. Over the past 24 hours, the top countries (in aggregate) using MegaUpload were the United States, France, Germany, Brazil, Great Britain, Turkey, Italy, and Spain, although dozens more countries are represented".

While the Sandvine chart seems to show an immediate drop to 0 bps at time of closure, Arbor shows a slowdown, and even some growth, in the hours following the disconnection. 


See "The MegaUpload Shutdown Effect" -here.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sandvine: How Popular was Megaupload?

Matt Tooley, VP of Professional ServicesSandvine, published in the company's blog some statistics on the activity of Megaupload, the filesharing (or backup, if you wish) site that was shut down recently (you can see exactly when in the chart below). 
According to Sandvine, Megaupload - "counts for roughly 1% of total traffic on fixed access networks in North America. Also involved in the shutdown were Megaupload’s affiliate sites, which included MegaVideo, MegaPix, MegaLive, and MegaBox"

As many ISPs consider the traffic to these storage sites the same way they were treating P2P file-sharing traffic (i.e. using DPI/throttling to control it). Sandvine was following the traffic in recent years - "The table below shows the combined usage of Megaupload and MegaVideo on fixed access networks in several regions from our Fall 2011 study" 

There are many other options for file-sharing - so this traffic will soon go to other sites. Sorry for those who were really using the service for backup! 

See "Megaupload Gets Shut Down" - here.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Major ISPs will Participate in 2012 IPv6 Day

The Internet Society announced that "Major Internet service providers (ISPs), home networking equipment manufacturers, and web companies around the world are coming together to permanently enable IPv6 for their products and services by 6 June 2012 [here] ..Organized by the Internet Society, and building on the successful one-day World IPv6 Day event held on 8 June 2011, World IPv6 Launch represents a major milestone in the global deployment of IPv6. As the successor to the current Internet Protocol, IPv4, IPv6 is critical to the Internet’s continued growth as a platform for innovation and economic development"

"ISPs participating in World IPv6 Launch will enable IPv6 for enough users so that at least 1% of their wireline residential subscribers who visit participating websites will do so using IPv6 by 6 June 2012. These ISPs have committed that IPv6 will be available automatically as the normal course of business for a significant portion of their subscribers. Committed ISPs are: AT&T, Comcast, Free Telecom, Internode, KDDI, Time Warner Cable and  XS4ALL"

See "The CTOs of Arbor and Sandvine Analyze "World IPv6 Dayhere.

See "World IPv6 Launch Solidifies Global Support for New Internet Protocol" - here.

3UK: New Year's Mobile Traffic Growth: Voice +10%; SMS +28%; Data +471%

While many mobile operators are concerned  that OTT data services will cannibalize their legacy services revenues (see "Study: Majority of MNOs Worried of Revenues Decline due to OTT Applications" - here), 3 UK shows a different view.

Data (unlimited for smartphones in their case) is rising, but traditional services are growing as well at least by the recent statistics, comparing New Year's Eve 2011 to 2010 traffic. 3 seems to be happy with the mix.

"The amount of data Three’s smartphone customers used on New Year’s Eve leapt from 14 terabytes (TBs) in 2010 to a massive 80TBs in 2011. The trend continued through New Year’s Day, with 74TBs used compared to 14TBs the year before .. Traditional mobile traffic grew too, but this growth was hugely outstripped by data. SMS levels grew from 36m on New Year’s Eve 2010, to 46m this year, while calls went from 19m last year to 21m
"Facebook was one of the most popular services as people rung in the New Year, with a 20% jump in traffic between midnight and 1am".

Thomas Malleschitz (pictured), Three’s Marketing Director, said: “.. It also shows just how important data bundles are becoming – and of course the value of plans which offer genuinely All-you-can-eat handset data allowances

See also - "Skype Grew by 48% in 2011 - Generating 25% of all International Minutes" - here.

See "Smartphones drive huge new year’s eve data surge" - here.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Security Announcements: ALU Integrated Arbor's DDoS Mitigation into its Routers

Alcatel-Lucent and Arbor Networks announced that are ".. offering a joint solution that provides advanced DDoS protection and security capabilities to help address this escalating challenge .. Service providers can deliver denial-of-service ‘scrubbing’ as a cloud-based service from the same platform as virtual private network (VPN) and business Internet services, with minimal incremental investment"

ALU integrates Arbor's Peaklflow SP TMS into its 7750 Service Router. Recently, ALU positioned the 7750 as a mobile gateway (here) and published some data on it DPI capabilities (here).

ALU solution page explains the DDoS mitigation facility protects ".. networks and enterprise services from a wide range of threats, including:
  • TCP stack/generic flood attacks
  • Fragmentation attacks
  • Application layer attacks
  • Vulnerability exploit attacks
  • Malware pipes
See "Alcatel-Lucent and Arbor Networks team up in the fight against ‘denial-of-service’ attacks" - here.

DNS Blocking to be Removed from the SOPA Proposal

US Congressman and House Judiciary Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (pictured) announced a change to the SOPA ( Stop Online Piracy Act, here) proposal:

"After consultation with industry groups across the country, I feel we should remove Domain Name System blocking from the Stop Online Piracy Act so that the Committee can further examine the issues surrounding this provision. We will continue to look for ways to ensure that foreign websites cannot sell and distribute illegal content to U.S. consumers"

The Internet Society said that while they agree with the need to "combat illegal online activities such as child pornography, infringement of intellectual property rights and cybercriminal activities", they find that "policies and regulations that require the interruption of the DNS infrastructure, whether by filtering results or through domain name seizure have serious deficiencies. These techniques do not solve the problem, interfere with cross-border data flows and services, and undermine the Internet as a single, unified, global communications network" (here).

Like always, I will quote Ofcom "All site blocking techniques can be circumvented". This refers to 4 techniques for site blocking: by IP address, DNS response, by URL response alteration or by using Shallow or Deep Packet Inspection (or hybrids of the above). 

See "Smith to Remove DNS Blocking from SOPA" - here.

Your Opinion Matters!

I would like to thank those who took the time to participate in the Broadband Traffic Management Blog 2012 Survey - you are helping us understand what really matters in the traffic management space.

The survey explores the current trends in DPI, policy management, Value-added Services, Over-the-Top competition and congestion management for mobile and fixed operators. The main focus is on HOW operators will be using the technology.

The survey is still open - so whether you work for an operator, a vendor of networking equipment, analyst firm or anyway else related to the space, please take the 2012 Broadband traffic Management blog survey.

An executive summary of the survey results will be mailed to you (please supply your address when answering the survey).
Thank you in advance!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Telenor CEO: "The communications industry can think in terms of maintaining a share of the consumer’s wallet"

The CEO of Telenor joins the other telcos (Telefonica, DTOrange(FT), VerizonTelekom Austria) and asks for revenue sharing/cooperation with the bigger OTT content providers - or smarter billing plans for his subscribers.

In an interview to Diana ben-Aaron, Bloomberg, Chief Executive Officer Jon Fredrik Baksaas (pictured) says that "The communications industry can think in terms of maintaining a share of the consumer’s wallet and we shouldn’t shy away from this ambition .. It’s a question of if Facebook and others will be confident enough from their perspective to say we don’t need the telcos, or could they reach a more rapid buildup on the other kind of business model that we entertain .. Everyone is talking to everyone to find different forms of how to cooperate".

"Norwegian text messaging volumes peaked in 2009 and customers increasingly use social networking and platform- specific systems like iPhone and BlackBerry messaging to communicate .. Systems like Skype and Apple’s Facetime shift voice and video calling into the data bundle as well, adding to the pressure to recoup money for networks and profits from users on all-you-can-eat data plans .. Operators are starting to charge more for better quality services and differentiate between peak and off- peak hours .. Time-based usage is also growing, borrowing a model from emerging markets, where people top up day by day"

At the end of Q3, 2011 The Telenor group had 133M mobile subscribers, of which 3.1M were in Norway, 2.2M in Sweden and 2M in Denmark. Telnor had then 870K fixed-broadband subscribers in Norway.

See "Telenor CEO Fights Facebook for ‘Wallet Share’" - here.

DPI Win: Procera Gets $2M Follow-on Order from US MSO

Procera Networks announced that "it has received a $2 million follow-on order from a leading North American Cable MSO. This third follow-on order comes just three months after the MSO awarded a $6 million follow-on order in September 2011 [here]

Related posts: " Procera: Cox Generated $2.2M in 2010" - here.
Brian Ahearn (pictured), who was recently appointed as Procera's VP of Worldwide Sales [here] said: "Cable operators are continuously looking for new and innovative business models to better serve their customers. Personalized services are a key option to add value to their customers"

See "Procera Receives $2 Million Third Follow-On Order From Leading North American Cable MSO" - here.

PCRF Deployments [116]: 3 Scandinavia Selects Aptilo for 3G and LTE Service Flexibility

Aptilo announced that its ".. Policy Manager solution has been selected by 3 Scandinavia as the core component for their 3G and LTE (4G) mobile broadband service delivery .. The system is designed to be flexible to allow 3 Scandinavia to add unique, dynamic service configurations that can be constantly modified according to the needs of their customers, with minimal cost and effort".

"The Aptilo Policy Manager is built on the new Aptilo Service Management Platform™ ALE architecture in which functionality is divided into three distinct layers: a management layer for configuration and monitoring, a control layer for protocol-level interactions with external systems and an execution layer for application logic processing". 

3 Scandinavia uses Procera's DPI (here). At August 2011, 3 had 2M subscribers in Denmark and Sweden.

See "3 Scandinavia Selects Aptilo Networks for 3G and LTE Service Delivery" - here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

PCC/VAS Announcements: Openet Updates Parental Control - Content, Usage and Spending

Openet announced a "a significant update to the Openet Parental Controls solution .. Available controls include: 
  • Activity monitoring and blocking for calls, texts and data usage 
  • Rule definition and enforcement for services and time of day 
  • Content filtering 
  • Usage limits 
  • Spending limits"
Openet told me that the solution updates include the following features, and they believe these are core differentiating features:              
  • It is a comprehensive solution that provides control across voice, text and data applications (many of today solutions just cover one of these areas) 
  • Parents can set rules and monitor activity in real-time from their smartphones as well as via PC 
  • The solution will work across multiple devices, controlled via a single account 
* Caveat: if the user is using Wi-Fi, it doesn’t go through the operator’s infrastructure so there is no control of data usage.

"Openet Parental Controls delivers a comprehensive and flexible solution based on four products from Openet's PCC Suite: Policy Manager, Profile Manager, Balance Manager and the Subscriber Engagement Engine [see " Openet Adds PCC Self-Care Facility" - here]. The ROI for this solution is shown to far surpass traditional offerings, which are complex and expensive at best, and ineffective point solutions at worst".

See "Openet Parental Controls Solution Mitigates Risks to Children Posed by Smart Devices" - here.