Wednesday, July 31, 2013

PCC Deployments [263]: Bezeq Deployed Aradial for its NGN Network

Aradial announced that ".. BEZEQ Communications , a leading Israeli service provider, successfully deployed Aradial's RADIUS AAA and policy control to create a scalable and redundant IP-services platform that replaces the existing system and serving millions of users. Aradial implemented its RADIUS AAA and policy control in two sites for disaster recovery, each running two redundant Aradial servers for business continuity. The servers in each site run in active/active configuration serving all network elements in the BEZEQ network".

I hear that Aradial RADIUS AAA system replaced an Alcatel-Lucent system.

On March 31st, 2013 Bezeq had 1.185M broadband internet lines (DSL), representing a 5.7% yearly growth. Average speed was 10.4 Mbps, and monthly ARPU - NIS83 (~$23). 65% of the broadband lines were covered by Bezeq's NGN.

Yishai Levanoni [pictured], CTO, Aradial said: "In BEZEQ, Aradial interfaces with over 50 network access servers (NAS), including multiple Redback SmartEdge devices and Alcatel Lucent. The Aradial RADIUS AAA and policy control is serving more than one million NGN (ADSL) subscribers, Wifi and other IP services, enforcing an average of million concurrent sessions in real time. Aradial AAA server also provides a virtual RADIUS infrastructure to Bezeq corporate customers".

Aradial also supports Bezeq's "Public Wi-Fi" service (see "Bezeq [Israel] Launches a Public-Social Wi-Fi Sharing Service" - here).

See "Aradial Technologies Deploy RADIUS AAA and Policy Control at Bezeq PTT for NGN Network" - here.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vodafone India Offers Free Twitter Access

More on the Zero-Rate front (Viber-GlobeMobilinkAxisGoogle-AirtelVimpelCom-WikiPedia): Twitter is joining the party  

Vodafone India announced a ".. unique partnership with Twitter .. to drive faster, smarter and better mobile internet usage among its millions of customers. Under this arrangement, Vodafone India customers will experience the ‘Twitter for Android’ app and free of any mobile charges for three months .. Vodafone India is first operator in India and largest in the world to bring the Twitter for Android app to market in this way".

Vodafone warns in its twitter account that ".. Standard charges will apply for External links, pics, videos" and says in the release that "Vodafone and Twitter will ensure seamless and transparent browsing experience by clearly prompting and informing the customer on the applicable charges, especially when they are accessing links via their Twitter timeline and elsewhere on Twitter's network"

See "Vodafone India Partners Twitter" - here.

Monday, July 29, 2013

F5: SPs Love the Idea of A single Chassis for DPI, Policy Enforcement, NAT, Steering ..

John McAdam [pictured], CEO, F5, addressed the vendor's DPI/policy enforcement product (see "F5 PEM Has DPI - Made by Qosmos" - here and "F5 Announces DPI; 320Gbps/Chassis" - here) in the company recent earning call:
  • We have enjoyed great success in increasing the addressable market for our solution portfolio, especially in the security and service provider markets, with products like our Advanced Firewall Manager and the BIG-IP Carrier-Grade NAT and policy enforcement modules, and we will continue to expand and enhance the functionality of all these modules.
  • And meanwhile, in between, when we talk to service providers about our strategy of consolidation, where we talk about being able to do policy enforcement management, DPI, Carrier-Grade NAT, traffic steering, a whole range of areas where they have separate boxes right now to do these functions, if we can do them within the same chassis or within the same appliance, they'll love that strategy. So I think Manny's 18 months is probably spot on. But meanwhile, the consolidation approach we have is very attractive to them.
See "F5 Networks, Inc. (FFIV) Management Discusses Q3 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", By SeekingAlpha, - here.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Allot-Amdocs Solution for Cell Congestion

A recent report by HeavyReading concluded that "RAN Congestion is Getting Worse" (here) and that "A majority of operators want real-time or near-real-time information on congestion when applying controls".

A number of vendors, usually based on partnerships between networking devices and policy control offer solutions to the problem (see Vasona,  RADCOM/HP, RADCOM/Amdocs, Movik, SandvineBroadband Systems). 

Allot Communications and Amdocs published a presentation explaining their joint solution for policy-based cell congestion (note that the subscriber location is noted only when the session starts).

Saturday, July 27, 2013

[YG]: Policy on Device - "an essential element in their overall policy architecture"

A new report by Jennifer Pigg [pictured] , VP, Yankee Group, concludes that "Service providers should approach policy on the device (PoD) as an essential element in their overall policy architecture. Wi-Fi offload should be the MNOs’ trial balloon for PoD, but MNOs should look to enhanced PoD use cases to provide differentiated services. Hotspot 2.0 will simplify Wi-Fi roaming, but at the same time will exacerbate the challenge of controlling the user experience when the subscriber roams off the network. MNOs will need PoD to maintain control of their subscriber base.

"A new class of policy on the device (PoD) vendors has emerged. These vendors use a variety of product, pricing and go-to-market strategies. Their PoD solutions will enable new revenues streams across a wide variety of usage models".

Related posts:
  • Openet Acquires Routing Policy Technologyhere and Openet Extends Policy Enforcement to the Device; Reduces Signaling Congestion - here
  • GOS Networks: DPI & Policy Control won't Help - Control Needed at the Device - here
  • Ovum: Operators Look for a Device-based Policy Solution for Wi-Fi Offload - here
See "Extending Network Policy to the Device" - here.

Friday, July 26, 2013

[UK]: Broadband Transparency Improves

Transparency is very important to the UK regulator (see "Ofcom: Getting Ready for Speed Advertising Guidelines"-  here; "Self Regulation doesn't Satisfy Ofcom; Publishes Minimum Disclosure Level" - here and "Transparency for Unlimited and "up-to" Service Speeds" - here).

Ofcom seems to be happy with its regulation efforts and is saying now that "UK consumers are receiving better information about the broadband speeds they can expect to receive from a new supplier, according to Ofcom research published today. Ofcom has carried out mystery shopping into whether internet service providers are giving consumers relevant information about expected broadband speeds .. Mystery shopping revealed a speed estimate in the form of a range was provided in four out of every five calls (80%), up from 68% in 2012" (see Comparison of ISPs’ compliance with speeds information requirements below). 

Just need to see that the information provided before joining the service reflects the actual service level.

Source: Ofcom

See "Consumers receiving better information on broadband speeds" - here.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

AT&T: 13M Subscribers on Shared Data Plans; Demand for Bigger Buckets

A recent report claimed that "Data Caps Raise ISPs Profit Margins" (here). AT&T recent Q2 results confirms that, showing transition to shared data plans, growth in total wireless data revenues (19.8%) and ARPU (17.6%) as well as demand for bigger plans.

 Ralph de la Vega [pictured], President and Chief Executive Officer - AT&T Mobility, said "Overall more than 70% of our smartphone base has moved to usage-based plans and data use on the smartphones is growing by about 50% year-over-year, so we have more smartphones on usage-based plans, data growth is strong and growing number of subscribers are taking bigger buckets of data from us. About 80% already take the larger data plans and we are seeing more than a quarter of mobile share accounts on data plans of 10 gigabytes or higher".

"In terms of wireless data and people hitting the caps or bumping against them. We are not seeing a lot of that. What we are seeing, which is part of our strategy all along, Tim, is we know that there is an explosion going on with tablets. Our firm believe, all the time, was we needed to get mobile share out in the market place, so customers could easily add a tablet and at the time they add the tablet, then the increase to size of the data bucket. That's exactly what is happening".
"We already have more than 35% of our smartphone subscribers on LTE".


See "AT&T Inc. (T) Management Discusses Q2 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", by SeekingAlpha - here.

ZCorum Launches Bandwidth Usage Management Product; Based on Active Broadband Technology

ZCorum announced the ".. launch of Bandwidth Commander, a next generation bandwidth usage management product ..  Bandwidth Commander monitors subscriber bandwidth usage on an hour by hour basis, enabling better control of peak time usage across the provider’s subscriber base versus establishing monthly usage caps. Net-neutral bandwidth management policies can be applied dynamically based on key parameters such as the time of day, the plan the customer is subscribed to and even the amount of congestion on the network at the time".

See "ZCorum Launches a New Bandwidth Management Tool that Helps Monetize High Bandwidth Use" - here.

In parallel, Active Broadband Networks announced that it has "..partnered with ZCorum to power the company’s new Bandwidth Commander managed service offering. ZCorum is using Active Broadband’s Dynamic Broadband Service Manager (DBSM) to actively monitor subscriber bandwidth consumption and apply bandwidth management policies on the fly.

Bandwidth Commander allows ZCorum’s customers to implement bandwidth policies and service pricing based on connection speed, usage and time of day. By moderating bandwidth consumption during periods of peak demand, broadband providers can effectively defer capital expenditures, increase revenue by migrating heavy users to higher-paying service tiers, and improve overall subscriber experience. Bandwidth Commander is a hosted solution that leverages the existing DOCSIS network infrastructure – no additional network hardware is required"

See "Active Broadband Networks Powers ZCorum’s Bandwidth Commander Service" - here.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

C Spire Selects Sandvine's Integrated DPI and PCRF Solution

Two weeks ago Sandvine announced its 3GPP complaint PCRF product (here), and now it announces a combined PCRF/PCEF deployment - "..selected by C Spire Wireless, one of the top 10 wireless operators in the U.S., to provide its unified policy control platform. C Spire was one of the 11 new customers that Sandvine won during its second quarter of 2013 .. Typical service plan development and implementation is structured in a rudimentary system where services are defined separately and then stitched together. Sandvine’s open and collaborative approach allows popular use cases like bill shock prevention to be defined and implemented in minutes. Integrating the PCRF and PCEF functions, Sandvine’s unified approach to network policy control extends the reach of service definition and implementation".

As I’ve seen other vendors claiming for PCC deployments by C Spire (See "Who is Using ALU's PCRF?" - here and "C Spire Wireless [US] Deploys Shared Data Plans and BoD with Openwave Mobility" - here) I asked Sandvine what products were actually deployed. 

Sandvine spokesperson confirmed to me that "Sandvine was selected by C Spire to provide them with a unified policy control platform. As part of this deal they have purchased both our Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) and our Service Delivery Engine (SDE)."

C Spire - " the nation's largest privately held wireless communications company, is the only U.S. wireless communications provider that offers customers a personalized wireless experience through apps and content that fit who they are, services that anticipate their needs and rewards that they receive just for using their phone in new ways. The company has nearly 1 million subscribers"

See "Sandvine’s Unified Policy Control Platform Selected By C Spire Wireless" - here.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

[DeepField]: Google Accounts to 25% of Internet Traffic; Deploys Cache Globally

A post to DeepField blog by Craig Labovitz claims that "Sometime over the last month, Google quietly broke an Internet record. Based on measurements of end device and user audience share, Google is now bigger than Facebook, Netflix and Twitter combined .. When we last published some large-scale measurements in 2010, Google represented (a now seemingly small) 6% of Internet traffic. Today, Google now accounts for nearly 25% of Internet traffic on average. Only Netflix has larger bandwidth, but Netflix peaks last only for a few hours each evening during prime time hours and during Netflix cache update periods in the early morning"

"By far the most striking change in Google’s Internet presence has come with the deployment of thousands of Google servers in Internet providers around the world. With little press coverage or fanfare, Google has deployed (Google Global Cache) servers in the majority of US Internet providers. By comparison, we observed GGC deployments mostly in Asia, Africa and Latin America when we last did a large scale study in 2010."

See "Google Sets New Internet Record" - here.

Monday, July 22, 2013

UK to Enforce Opt Out Network Based Web Filtering on All ISPs

More than 2 years ago the UK Government said it wants an Opt Out Parental Control (here). Now it decided to go for it - potentially creating some opportunities to DPI vendors (see related posts about Allot, Procera and Sandvine success for network-based filtering)

David Cameron, the UK Prime Minster [pictured] said he is about to "cracking down on online pornography and making the internet safer for children"

"Inside the home, on the private family network, it is a more complicated issue. There has been a big debate about whether internet filters should be set to a default ‘on’ position in other words, with adult content filters applied by default – or not .. Those who wanted default ‘on’ said – it’s a no-brainer just have the filters set to ‘on’ - then adults can turn them off if they want to and that way we can protect all children, whether their parents are engaged in internet safety or not ..  But others said default ‘on’ filters could create a dangerous sense of complacency ..  I say: we need both we need good filters that are pre-selected to be on unless an adult turns them off and we need parents aware and engaged in the setting of those filters".

Mr. Cameron analyzes the new family-friendly filter by access method:
  • "..So on mobile phones, it is great to report that all of the operators have now agreed to put adult content filters onto phones automatically.

  • On public wi-fi – of which more than 90 per cent is provided by six companies – O2, Virgin Media, Sky, Nomad, BT and Arqiva - I’m pleased to say we have now reached an agreement with all of them that family-friendly filters are to be applied across the public wi-fi network wherever children are likely to be present. 
  • I appointed Claire Perry to take charge of this for the very simple reason that she is passionate about this issue and determined to get things done.She has worked with the big 4 internet service providers TalkTalk, Virgin, Sky and BT  [see the previous "self-regulation" act - "UK: Top 4 ISPs Committed for Opt-In Parental Control" - here]who together supply internet connections to almost 9 out of 10 homes and today, after months of negotiation, we have agreed home network filters that are the best of both worlds. By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account the settings to install family friendly filters will be automatically selected"

See "The internet and pornography: Prime Minister calls for action" - here.

[France]: Free's Traffic Management does not Discriminate

ARCEP, the French regulator, is happy with its ability to monitor ISPs for non conformance to Net Neutrality rules (see "France Implements Monitoring System to Track QoE and Net Neutrality" - here).

This follows a complaint it got against the relations between Free (ISP) and Google (with which the French government has its own issues - see "France Vs. Google (Weapon: bandwidth management)" - here) and inquiry made by ARCEP, trying to understand if users or applications were discriminated.

The agency announced it ".. closes the administrative inquiry involving several companies, including Free and Google, on the technical and financial terms governing IP traffic routing. If the inquiry did not reveal any discriminatory practices in the terms governing interconnection and IP traffic routing between the two companies, it did confirm the relevance of ARCEP’s monitoring of these issues, and its goal of providing internet users with clear information on the quality of internet access services in France" 

".. Over a six-month observation period, the enquiry made it possible to ascertain:- that traffic between Free and Google is relayed both directly, via peering, and indirectly through paid interconnection involving several international transit providers;- that Free’s interconnection and IP data traffic routing capacities are congested during peak hours, as use of the most bandwidth-hungry applications continues to rise. This is an issue that all ISPs are having to contend with. The inquiry did not reveal any discriminatory practices in the terms governing interconnection and IP traffic routing between the two companies".

".. The inquiry did not reveal that Free was employing traffic management techniques on its network that differentiated traffic routing conditions based on the type of content, its origin, its destination or the type of protocol used"

See "Net neutrality" - here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Vodafone: 15% of Data from LTE; Shows Per-Country Data Usage

While Verizon claims for 59% of data traffic coming from LTE (here), for Vodafone (in European markets; VF has LTE in 10 markets - Spain, Australia and Czech Republic added during the quarter) it is still 15%. Total data usage has increased by 60% compared to the same quarter last year, and continues to be the major growth area. The chart below shows the growth in major countries - see more detailed information below. Note the growth in Egypt (+95%), despite (or because of) the "Political and social unrest".

Source: Vodafone 

Some slides from its Q1 2013/14 (June 30) earning call (see "Vodafone Group Plc Interim Management Statement" - here):

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Verizon: "59% of our total data traffic is carried on the 4G LTE network"

Some quotes from Verizon's Q2 earning call:
  • Our Share Everything Plans have been very successful. The plans have been available since June 28 of last year and customer adoption has been very strong. In just one year, more than 36% of our postpaid accounts are on a Share Everything Plan. The value proposition is simple and straightforward and customers increasingly recognize the value of shared data across multiple devices.

  • Adoption of 4G LTE smartphones and devices continue to accelerate. One-third of our retail postpaid connections are now 4G LTE compared to just 12% one year ago. 46% of our smartphones and more than two-thirds of our Internet devices are 4G LTE. Currently 59% of our total data traffic is carried on the 4G LTE network, which is 5 times more efficient than the 3G network.

  • So when you look at that and you look at the usage, currently 59% of the data traffic is now running on the 4G network and that is being driven by 33% of the base. So again from just a growth perspective on the top line, we have always said again that as customers move into Shared and they realize the viability and speeds and the consistency of this 4G network, it's going to drive them to use higher usage. If you look at where video is going in the future, obviously that's going to continue the proliferation of the usage on this network.

See "EDITED TRANSCRIPT VZ - Q2 2013 Verizon Earnings Conference Call", by THOMSON REUTERS STREETEVENTS - here.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Google Chrome New Compression Proxy Reduces Data by 50%

Google's latest Chrome for iOS (released this week) includes support for Google's bandwidth optimization service: "Over the coming days, we are also rolling out an experimental data compression service to help you save bandwidth, load pages faster, and browse more securely on your iPhone and iPad. Finally, this update brings fullscreen browsing to your iPad and the ability to access your browsing history from the menu". 

"The latest Chrome browsers for Android and iOS can reduce cellular data usage and speed up mobile web browsing by using proxy servers hosted at Google to optimize website content. In our internal testing, this feature has been shown to reduce data usage by 50% and speed up page load times on cellular networks! .. The connection from the mobile device to the proxy runs over SPDY, an optimized protocol for the Web that is supported by Chrome, Firefox and Opera, and is also the basis for the forthcoming HTTP/2.0 standard being developed in the IETF .. secure connections (HTTPS) are routed directly from your mobile device to the destination, bypassing the optimization proxy – only HTTP requests are routed through and optimized by the proxy".

See also "Google - [Our] TCP Can Do 12% Better" - here.

See "Better integration between Chrome and Google apps" - here.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Vantrix Enhances Message Optimization; Increased efficiency

Vantrix announced the "..availability of Message Optimizer 12.1, a market-leading solution that optimizes MMS messages sent between mobile devices .. Capabilities and benefits of the new platform and release include:  .. Increased efficiency - multithreaded transcoding and a highly scalable HTTP proxy .. Centralized management framework– provides for faster deployment and management of multiple servers/sites, particularly for large-scale implementations .. Enhanced metrics and reporting - expanded real-time metrics and multi-selection metric reporting"

See "Vantrix Advances Its Multimedia Message Optimization Solution" - here.

Cache Deployments [262]: MTN [Cyprus] Selected PeerApp

PeerApp announced that it has been "..selected by MTN Cyprus to provide its UltraBand transparent caching platform. UltraBand will help MTN Cyprus deliver Internet content, including video and multimedia, with improved quality, while reducing associated network congestion and costs.

MTN Cyprus, a member of the MTN Group, offers integrated telecommunications solutions for mobile, fixed telephony and broadband services based on its advanced fiber and HSPA+ networks, for private and business clients.

See "PeerApp Transparent Caching Helps MTN Accelerate Internet Content Delivery for Cyprus" - here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

IETF Proposed Framework for Application Visibility

A new IETF Internet Draft "provides a framework for communicating information elements (a.k.a. metadata) in a consistent manner between applications and the network to provide better visibility of application flows, thereby enabling differentiated treatment of those flows. These information elements can be conveyed using various signaling protocols, including PCP, RSVP, and STUN".

Authors are: Toerless Eckert, Reinaldo Penno, Amine Choukir and Charles Eckel [pictured] - all from Cisco.

See "A Framework for Signaling Flow Characteristics between Applications and the Network" - here.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

CDN.Net Adds Streaming to its CDN Service announced it has "..launched a new live video streaming service, with mobile device and tablet support, across its global content delivery network (CDN - see "CDN.Net Offers a Customizable and Usage-based CDN" - here). The new service delivers rich live-streamed video closer to audiences around the world, eliminating long load times and quality issues with a flexible CDN, priced to location and usage ..  Enabled by Wowza Media Server 3®, the leading high-performance media server,’s global live streaming service is launching from premium, affordable locations in North America and Europe, with Asia Pacific Points-of-Presence (PoPs) to be added soon.’s global CDN is powered by more than 2,000 OnApp clouds in 70 countries".

Wowza Media Server Specifications

See " Launches Affordable Live Streaming with Mobile Support" -here.

[Analysys Mason]: CSPs will begin investing in SDP; Market to Reach $7.3B by 2017

A new report by Anil Rao, Analyst, and Glen Ragoonanan [pictured], Senior Analyst, Analysys Mason forecasts that "Efforts to launch new services and win more subscribers in order to monetise mobile and fixed broadband networks will drive SDP spending to grow at a CAGR of 9.5% over the next five years .. Over the forecast period, CSPs will begin investing in SDP systems to explore and enable new digital service opportunities and business models, as they adapt to changes in the telecoms value chain. Customer experience management (CEM), analytics, and content and over-the-top (OTT) partnering to deliver bundled or integrated, competitive, 'anywhere' cloud services, as well as machine-to-machine (M2M) and digital home services (such as home security and m-health) will not have a significant impact until 2016 onwards".

According to Infonetics Research (March 2013), the SDP market forecast to reach $5.9B in 2017, from  $3.6B in 2012 [see "[Infonetics]: $3.6B SDP Market Led by Oracle and Huawei" - here].

See "Service delivery platforms: worldwide forecast 2013–2017" - here.

Monday, July 15, 2013

[F&S]: Network Recording Market to Reach $2B by 2020

A new analysis by Olga Shapiro, Frost & Sullivan on the network recording market (NRM) finds that the " earned revenue of $345.5 million in 2012 and estimates this to reach $2.04 billion in 2020. It covers the segments of 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) as well as 10 Gbps and above. The 1 Gbps market segment accounted for 47.2 percent of the total sales in the NRM in 2012 and the 10 Gbps and above segment contributed the remaining 52.8 percent .. Vendors have many reasons to feel optimistic about their prospects, with end users expanding their storage of network data in order to save data for longer periods (six months and more). End-user desire to capture all packets, and retrieve history data for analysis without any loss, will further thrust the NRM market's efforts, making the most of the rising network traffic

See "Frost & Sullivan: Proliferation of Bandwidth-hungry Applications Fuels the 10 Gbps Segment of the Network Recording Market" - here.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

[Infonetics]: Why Operators Need Subscriber Analytics?

While we saw carriers planning to monetize on their collected analytics (see "Telefonica to Monetize on its Mobile Analytics Data" - here), it seems that the main reasons for being the "big brother" are different, and many are developing their own solution rather then buying products.

A new survey, by Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence, Infonetics Research, conducted in partnership with TM Forum to explores ".. operators’ deployment and use of subscriber intelligence solutions, as well as their supplier preferences"

The conclusion is that "Subscriber intelligence solutions will grow in popularity because they enable operators to better pull together and analyze subscriber data to gain a unified, holistic view of their customers and how they’re using the network"

"When asked to identify the business drivers behind their investment in subscriber intelligence solutions, operator respondents most often named better understanding subscriber preferences .. Over half of respondents do not plan to make subscriber information available to outside third parties Standalone analytics vendors are respondents’ top choice to supply subscriber intelligence solutions, though a large number operators said they plan to build their own analytics tools"

See "Operators' subscriber data intelligence plans unveiled" - here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Viber Offers Globe Telecom Subscribers Free Chats

Viber continues building partnerships with Asian MNOs.

Following "1-800" deals with Mobilink and Axis the OTT VoIP provider announced an ".. exclusive deal with Globe Telecom to offer its subscribers call, text, and mobile Internet services bundled with Viber. The Globe Prepaid GoUNLI25 is a bundled prepaid offer with unlimited texts and unlimited calls to Globe/TM plus unlimited Viber Chat services without the need for Wi-Fi or additional data charges".

Globe also offer free access to Google services (here)

" This affordable and flexible plan provides multiple ways for Globe customers to use Viber to communicate freely with their friends. With multiple price points, customers can choose exactly the plan that’s right for them and enjoy messaging via Viber and HD quality voice calls".

"Regular rates apply for calls via Viber"
See "Viber Announces Exclusive Partnership with Globe Telecom in the Philippines" - here.

Friday, July 12, 2013

EU Checks DT, Orange and Telefonica Use of DPI for Traffic Discrimination

It's action time for the EU!

While its stand on Net Neutrality is not clear (see "EU: Traffic Management, Pay for QoS - are all fine!" - here Vs. "What does the EU Want to Know about Traffic Management?" - here) it decided not to wait any more and look for the use of DPI by leading carriers as a mean to discriminate services.
Jennifer Baker reports to Computerworld that the "The European Union's top antitrust watchdog has carried out unannounced raids on Telefonica, Deutsche Telecom and Orange. The European Commission is concerned that the three companies may have violated E.U. competition rules prohibiting the abuse of a dominant market position, it said Thursday .. The Commission is understood to be looking into network operators' use of deep packet inspection, a technique that allows them to identify the type of content that runs through their networks and allows them to throttle traffic from particularly demanding applications such as video streaming or VoIP calls".

An EU memo explains that "The European Commission can confirm that on 9 July 2013 Commission officials initiated unannounced inspections at the premises of a number of telecommunications companies active in the provision of Internet connectivity in several Member States" (here).

See "EU competition watchdog raids Telefonica, Deutsche Telecom and Orange" - here.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

[Update 63: Sandvine PCRF/DPI Compatibility] PCRF - DPI Compatibility Matrix

The DPI-PCRF compatibility matrix (here) was updated with the following:
  • Sandvine's new PCRF was added (see "Sandvine Will Compete on PCRF Projects" - here), right now supporting Sandvine's PCRF
  • In addition, Sandvine updated me that its DPI product also supports PCRF products from Ericsson, Huawei, Netcracker, Oracle, Orga Systems and  ZTE
  • Housekeeping - product links and some other updates  

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Tango Telecom Offers Cloud-based Policy Management

Tango Telecom announced the "..availability of its cloud-based Policy Control solution for the North American market. Cloud-based policy control by Tango Telecom offers carriers all the benefits of a best of breed policy solution to drive mobile data revenues while reaping the cost and resource savings of a cloud deployment model .. Cloud based service deployment allows carriers to concentrate on operating profitable services and not on deploying and running hardware and software installations. Tango Telecom’s Policy in the Cloud can be managed remotely by the carrier’s own technical team or the company also offers a fully managed service when required".

See "Tango Telecom delivers Cloud-based Policy to CCA members" - here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Sandvine Will Compete on PCRF Projects

Following today's announcement (See "Sandvine Adds PCRF Functionality" - here) and my recent post on Sandvine's "Service Creation" positioning (see "What's Behind Sandvine's "we are 1-2 years ahead of competition in service creation" Statement?"-  here)  I asked Dan Deeth [pictured], Sandvine's Media and Industry Relations Manager for some clarifications on the new SDE.

Can this be deployed with other (non-Sandvine) PCEF?

Yes, this can be deployed with a non-Sandvine PCEF. 

["The SDE also offers a 3GPP Release 11 compliant PCRF, complete with a Diameter Gx out interface, letting it serve as the policy decision interface to external network elements and systems. In a Policy and Charging Control (PCC) deployment, the SDE signals enforcement to, and collects usage from, any 3GPP compliant PCEF using Diameter Gx"]

Is this your own, self-developed product?

Yes, it’s our own development.

Is it based on the “historical” product of CableMatrix you acquired several years ago? [see "Sandvine Announces Two Acquisitions" - here]

It is an evolution of SDE which came from CableMatrix. The SDE was always PCRF to PTS and this release we are just extending its functionality to a 3GPP release 11 compliance PCRF (Gx out enforcement to third party PCEF like GGSN and P-GW).

So this means that you will be competing now in the PCRF space, even when DPI (PTS) is not involved?

Yes. We will now be going after PCRF deals even without the involvement of our PTS. However, having a single vendor with a common policy engine across both the PCRF and PCEF is beneficial to the customer, in terms of faster time to market due to seamless interoperability.

Will you be supporting your competitors DPIs?

Our PCRF will support any PCEF that adheres to the standards. Sandvine has always had a focus on our three solution areas: Business Intelligence, Service Creation, and Cost Reduction. Enforcement on a third-party PCEF via Gx allows us to support additional customer configurations to satisfy their solution needs.

Sandvine Adds PCRF Functionality

Sandvine is now offering its own PCRF.

The vendor announced the release of its "..latest Service Delivery Engine (SDE) platform version with new Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) functionality to roll out revenue generating services faster than ever before, such as roaming notifications, bill shock prevention, family plans and data bundles.

Sandvine’s SDE is LTE standards-compliant, conforming to 3GPP Release 11, and offers an open architecture that closes the gap between the control and data planes. Sandvine’s SDE is a fully-compliant PCRF product. It can work in conjunction with Sandvine’s Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) to provide a unified platform for network policy control in fixed, mobile and converged operator networks, or alternatively the SDE interfaces with third party Policy and Charging Enforcement Functions (PCEFs)".

See "Sandvine’s Service Delivery Engine Strengthens PCRF-PCEF Interface" - here.

[Strategy Analytics]: Smartphone Traffic Forecast, by Application

A new report by David MacQueen [pictured], Executive Director Apps and Media, Strategy Analytics predicts a ".. strong growth in data traffic to mobile phones for the coming 5 years. This presents network challenges for carriers to ensure end user satisfaction with data-hungry smartphones .. Data traffic has been almost doubling annually as smartphone penetration has increased and attractive, compelling media services have launched".

See "Handset Data Traffic to grow over 300% by 2017 to 21 Exabytes" - here.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Oracle Enhances Services Gatekeeper w/Analytics, OTT Monetization

Oracle introduced recently "Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper 5.1, which enables communications service providers (CSPs) to consolidate and expose network capabilities to accelerate service development and monetize partner and over-the-top network usage. The new release provides comprehensive analytics and partner management portals and introduces pre-integrated solutions to enable CSPs to rapidly deploy Network as a Service offerings, opening the door to a multi-sided business model .. In addition, Oracle Communications Services Gatekeeper is a highly extensible, future-proof system. The solution runs on commercial-off-the-shelf platforms, and offers built-in integration to Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF -see "Oracle Launches PCRF" - here), online charging systems and network call control.

See "Oracle Introduces Solution to Help Communications Service Providers Monetize Next-Generation Network Services" - here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

What's Behind Sandvine's "we are 1-2 years ahead of competition in service creation" Statement?

In its recent earning call, Sandvine CEO, David Caputo [pictured] stated that "we believe we are ahead of folks on service creation… don't know what investments they are making… i suspect we are a year to two years ahead of folks" (see "Sandvine Q2 Conference Call Notes" by douglasm, here).

Sandvine defines service creation as "Enhance the Internet experience while unlocking new revenue opportunities with personalized value-added services. Service Creation helps operators better meet subscribers’ needs by deploying tier-based or targeted service plans that retain existing customers and attract new ones".

As all DPI vendors offer and sell such solutions to mobile and fixed operators world-wide, I asked Sandvine what make their more advanced compared to others. 

Here's what Dan Deeth told me:

I think there are a number of areas where we are well ahead of our competitors, but three spring to mind immediately:
  • Direct Gy integration – Because we interface over Gy directly with an OCS, rather than via an intermediary node as many of our competitors do, we are able to offer reliable, real-time charging in prepaid with no revenue leakage. Why is this important? Competing systems are forced to check how much is left in a subscriber’s wallet at a certain time interval (often 15 minutes), while we do so in real-time. In a high-cost, high speed, high-data example, if I only had $1 left in my pre-paid wallet, but was roaming on an LTE network and watching Netflix, a network using Sandvine would be able to stop my data usage as soon as I ran out of credit, while a competing solution that uses a time interval could overshoot by multiple gigabytes, resulting in the operator having to absorb those costs.
  • Our policy language SandScript - Much more than the typical rules-based systems that severely restrict the user and cannot execute orthogonal policy conditions, SandScript allows freeform policy expression to link any condition to any action. Whether via our ServiceDesigner GUI or via a command line interface, it allows operators to quickly define new and innovative service plans without the need for expensive and time-consuming custom code to be written by a third party integrator. We purpose built our products from scratch around service creation, which is what lead to the creation of SandScript. Our competitors tried to build service creation into traffic management, which leaves them with clumsy concepts of ‘pipes’ and ‘virtual circuits’.
  • A good example here would be our work with Vox Telecom. Our products helped them partner with a local retailer, so that when consumers purchased a video game in a retail store, the received a free trial of their new gaming tier.

  • Our proud history of innovation – Over the past 10 years, we’ve helped make over 200 network more intelligent, and over 80 of them through our Usage Management product specifically. Our people take the knowledge gained from all of those deployments and it not only guides the products we make, but also makes us a valuable consulting sales resource to our customers. In 2011, we were the first to bring application based service plans to market for Telefonica’s Movistar [hereproperties, and those plans are still cited as the benchmark for innovation, by industry analysts and even our competitors (See pg. 12 of Allot’s Q2 2012 MobileTrends Charging Report attached below) to this day.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

NI Deployments [261]: Bouygues Telecom [France] Monitors LTE with Astellia

Astellia announced its ".. collaboration with Bouygues Telecom during its LTE network trial phase to help them guarantee the best quality of service. Astellia’s Nova monitoring solution allows Bouygues Telecom to analyze network performance, handset behavior and mobile applications usage and how they interact with each other".

See "Bouygues Telecom partners with Astellia for 4G service launch" - here.