Saturday, May 31, 2014

[ABI]: 2B LTE Subscribers by '19; 56% to Use VoLTE

A new report by Marina Lu [pictured], research analyst, and Jake Saunders, VP and practice director of core forecasting, ABI Research finds that "By the end of 2013, global LTE-related cellular subscriptions surpassed 230.9 million, 3.3% of mobile subs, and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 36.6% between 2014 and 2019, to exceed 2 billion".

In early 2013 ABI forecasted 785M LTE subscribers by 2017 (here).
"The extensive presence of LTE networks is also stimulating the deployment of VoLTE. By the end of 2014, there are expected to be 59.6 million VoLTE subscriptions in place, and it is expected that nearly 56% of LTE-related cellular subscriptions will be using VoLTE services by the end of 2019 .. Mobile operators have continued to invest significantly in LTE network, which will cover around 64% of the world’s population by 2019"

See "Expanding LTE Coverage is Priming VoLTE Adoption and Mobile Devices Shipments" - here.

Flash Networks Optimizes LTE Upload Messaging Services

Flash Networks announced that it is the"..  first mobile optimization vendor to accelerate upload speeds for messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Snapchat. Flash Networks uses patented technology to optimize LTE bandwidth utilization, resulting in up to 30% faster upload speeds for an improved user experience.

Flash Networks’ TCP-4TE 
[see chart below for download optimization] uses inline high-speed congestion-detection algorithms to dynamically adjust transmission rates based on real-time network conditions to enable faster uploads of content to messaging services. TCP-4TE minimizes the inherent inefficiencies of standard TCP stack, making its data transmission methods more compatible with high-speed LTE networks".

See "Flash Networks accelerates mobile uploads for whatsapp, snapchat, and other messaging applications" - here.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Broadband Stats Translated into Activities

Wonder how all those internet Exabytes are created? Click on the animation below to see how all those capex investments are translated into our daily activities.

[see also "[Intel]: What Happens in One "Internet Minute"? " -here]

Click the animation to open the full version (via

Optimization Deployments [307]: Celcom [Malaysia] Optimizes the Radio With Nokia

Nokia announced that "Celcom Axiata Berhad (Celcom), Malaysia’s premier mobile telecommunications provider and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Axiata Group Berhad, has selected Nokia’s optimization services to enhance its network, voice and data quality in Klang Valley and Kuala Lumpur.

Nokia will use real-time network information combined with the latest geolocation techniques to plan and optimize Celcom’s 2G and 3G radio network infrastructure. By profiling device usage and behavior as well as traffic patterns, Nokia’s unique optimization service will pinpoint exactly where additional capacity or coverage is needed. Together, Nokia and Celcom will then plan the best solutions to handle rapidly growing data traffic, boost network performance and enhance the mobile broadband experience for each user. Network optimization is supported further by device profiling and the company’s Smart Device Insight which measures the actual user experience, enabling targeted and swift improvement actions".

See "Nokia’s optimization services to enhance Celcom’s network performance in Malaysia" - here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Amdocs Expands its Big Data Analytics Offering (with something)

Amdocs announced the ".. expansion of its big data analytics capabilities to become the first end-to-end provider of communications-specific big data solutions encompassing business and operational support systems (B/OSS), network and social media. The Amdocs big data analytics offerings include:
Amdocs big data applications .. Amdocs Insight Big Data platform ..  Amdocs DSaaS and Amdocs BI and Data Warehousing Services".

Somehow similar to a previous announcement from February - "Amdocs Announces Big Data, Hadoop Based Solution" - here. Unfortunately, it is not clear what are the new features and some of the new products mentioned above are not presented in the site.

See "Amdocs Announces Industry’s First End-to-End, Communications-Specific Big Data Analytics Portfolio" - here.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Active Broadband Launches a Subscriber / Application-aware SDN Controller

Active Broadband Networks announced the "..availability of the Active Resource Controller (ARC), a subscriber, service and application aware, telemetry-driven SDN controller for the broadband service edge. . ARC incorporates SDN protocols for dynamic control of Network Function Virtualization (NFV) infrastructure, IP flow telemetry data for visibility into network, service, subscriber and application usage, and Big Data technology for managing the vast amounts of data required for service personalization".

See "Active Broadband Networks Introduces First SDN Controller for Real-Time, Telemetry-Driven Service Intelligence at the Broadband Edge" - here.

Procera - $3.5M in 3 Orders from APAC, EMEA, and LATAM

Procera Networks announced it has ".. received three follow-on orders from Tier 1 broadband operators in APAC, EMEA, and LATAM totaling $3.5 million. The orders are for the continued rollout of PacketLogic solutions on their fixed and mobile networks to enhance the quality of experience for their subscribers. The orders include both hardware and software components that expand the operator’s existing deployment of Procera solutions. 

This revenue is expected to be recognized in the second quarter of 2014".

See "Procera Networks Receives $3.5 Million in Follow-on Orders from Three Tier 1 Broadband Operators" - here.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Allot's 5th Tera Deal - $5M Order (VF UK?)

Allot Communications announced that it "received a $5M order from a Tier-1 mobile operator for the Allot Service Gateway Tera. The Tier-1 operator requires the platform’s service enablement capabilities to introduce a large-scale subscriber offering later in the year. 

This is the 5th order for the Allot Service Gateway Tera from Tier-1 customers since the beginning of the year" [see "Allot Launched the New Service Gateway; Orders from 4 Operators (over $9M)" - here]. 

Rumors are that the customer is Vodafone UK. Vodafone announced recently a deal with Netflix for their 4G network (here) that could be described as "a large-scale subscriber offering".

Vodafone may need some support by the DPI equipment to support this considering, for example, that VF's largest 4G service plan has a 9GB data cap, which does not allow much of HD viewing time in addition to all other application used or even some video optimization capabilities.  

See "Allot Service Gateway Tera Gains Momentum amongst Global Operators" - here.

[Infonetics]: VoIP & IMS Market Grows by 37%, Due to VoLTE; ALU Leads

A new report by Diane Myers [pictured], principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS, Infonetics Research finds that "Worldwide service provider VoIP and IMS equipment revenue totaled $992 million in 1Q14, an increase of 37% from 1Q13, but a sequential decline of 9% .. the standout vendor in 1Q14 is Alcatel-Lucent, rising to the top due to strong growth of core IMS and voice application server revenue, particularly in North America"

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) continues to positively impact the service provider VoIP and IMS equipment market, though we look for the market to slow this year as operators commercially launch services and draw down capacity built over the past year .. Already this year we have seen AT&T, PCCW/HKT, and other operators launch VoLTE services, and NTT DoCoMo is set to do so in June"

See "VoLTE fuels 37% year-over-year growth in Q1 carrier VoIP and IMS market; Alcatel-Lucent rises to top" - here.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Qwilt: "Open Transparent Caching" vs. Content Providers' "Black Boxes"

Some quotes from a GigaOm post with Qwilt's CEO, Alon Maor [pictured]:
  • Since launching Qwilt in 2011, I’ve seen online video grow to be one of the hardest challenges network operators face today. In my role as CEO, I’ve overseen Qwilt’s engagements with more than 150 network operator customers worldwide - some of whom are experiencing 90% growth of video year over year which translates to 60% growth of their overall internet traffic [see "[Sandvine] NA Cord-Cutters Stream 3 Hours of Video a Day" - here]. This presents not only a tremendous opportunity, but also its own set of challenges.
  • .. content providers like Netflix and Google now regularly publish ISP rankings that expose both the best and worst performing ISPs by region .. Ultimately, these rankings ensure accountability lies with the network operator instead of the content provider when the consumer’s experience is unsatisfactory [not always .. - see "Netflix - Speed to Comcast Customers Continue to Surge" - here] and network performance is the cause.
  • A number of US cable operators, including Mediacom Communications [here], have deployed transparent caching technology to leverage the value of caching video deep in their networks, close to consumers.

  • Transparent caching deployed inside operator networks embraces an open architecture. This infrastructure is transparent, universal, neutral, trusted and secure. This open architecture stands in contrast to the closed cache systems operated by some content providers today which appear as black boxes to network operators [see "Netflix CDN Customers have More Fun" - here].

    These closed caches systems address only one content provider at a time and, therefore, reduce the ability of operators to optimize traffic on their networks. So, for example, content streamed from Content Provider A will not be cached by Content Provider G’s closed cache.
  • Content providers are considering further steps to obscure their content. Indeed, last November, Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman said, “Encrypting everything could end government censorship for a decade.”
See "Will cable operators, CDNs and ISPs make or break the future of online streaming video?" - here.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Google - "we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours"

A post to Google's Fiber blog by Jeffrey Burgan, Director of Network Engineering, describes what Google does to eliminate "buffering" without paid Fast Lanes - "We also partner with content providers (like YouTube, Netflix, and Akamai) to make the rest of your video’s journey shorter and faster. (This doesn't involve any deals to prioritize their video ‘packets’ over others or otherwise discriminate among Internet traffic — we don't do that)"

One question remains - what about all other content providers? how would startups compete with the giants?

"So that your video doesn’t get caught up in this possible congestion, we invite content providers to hook up their networks directly to ours. This is called ‘peering,’ and it gives you a more direct connection to the content that you want .. We have also worked with services like Netflix so that they can ‘colocate’ their equipment in our Fiber facilities .. We give companies like Netflix and Akamai free access to space and power in our facilities and they provide their own content servers .. we also don’t charge because it’s really a win-win-win situation. It’s good for content providers because they can deliver really high-quality streaming video to their customers .. most importantly, we do this because it gives Fiber users the fastest, most direct route to their content"

See "Behind the scenes with Google Fiber: Working with content providers to minimize buffering" - here.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Ruckus Launches NFV based WLAN Controller; to be Used by Google

Ruckus Wireless unveiled the "industry’s first carrier-class virtualized wireless LAN (WLAN) controller, the Ruckus virtual SmartCell™ Gateway (vSCG), designed to streamline the creation of highly scalable and resilient cloud-based wireless LAN (WLAN) services .. designed for use with Ruckus Smart Wi-Fi ZoneFlex™ access points (APs), the Ruckus vSCG runs as a virtual application within either the KVM (Kernel-base Virtual Machine) or VMware vSphere virtualization environments .. Managed WLAN services represent a major revenue opportunity for MSPs as businesses of all types are looking to outsource this function". 

GigaOm reports that "Google is working with Ruckus Wireless to build a Wi-Fi network in the cloud" (here) - "It’s building a virtual Wi-Fi network in the cloud that could connect hundreds of thousands of wireless nodes".

".. The Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway was designed from the beginning for carrier-class deployments. In addition to being highly scalable, reliable, and easily manageable, the Ruckus vSCG can also support value added Smart Wireless Services such as location based services and analytics like Ruckus SPoT™ Smart Positioning Technology and Ruckus SmartCell Insight (SCI), provide data plane flexibility, and carrier-class features like Hotspot 2.0 and multi-tenant support. The WLAN control plane traffic is handled within the vSCG virtual appliance layer, while the WLAN data plane traffic may be forwarded via either centralized or distributed paths. This provides for some Wi-Fi user traffic to be forwarded directly from the AP to the Internet, while other traffic is forwarded to an operator, partner, or enterprise network for additional handling.

The Ruckus virtual SmartCell Gateway (Ruckus vSCG) will be available starting in June, based on a perpetual software license fee of $995 USD for each instance of the vSCG deployed, plus a perpetual license fee of $100 USD per each Ruckus ZoneFlex access point installed in each network. 

See "Ruckus Launches the virtual SmartCell Gateway for Carrier-Class WLAN Management in the Cloud" - here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Cisco Patent for Traffic Classification in Wi-Fi

A patent application by Cisco Technology (a subsidiary of Cisco Systems for patents and trademarks) for classification of traffic for application-aware policies was published.

Inventors are Chandrasekaran BalachanderNalamalapu Kasi, and Nayak Seema;


In one embodiment, a method includes performing stateful application classification on packets received at a controller and transmitting classification information to an access point. The classification information includes flow information and stateless rules for applying policies. The access point is configured to use the classification information to perform stateless application classification and apply policies to packets received from a mobile device. An apparatus and logic are also disclosed herein.

Network policies such as QoS policies are typically applied at either an access point or a controller in a wireless network. Each implementation has drawbacks for application aware policies. For example, since stateful application classification is based on multiple packets within a flow, classification at the access point results in throughput and roaming issues. Classification performed at the controller does not allow for prioritization of traffic from wireless clients across the wired network.

  • In one embodiment, the stateful classifier 18 is a classification engine configured for NBAR (Network Based Application Recognition) or other technology used to classify applications. The classifier 18 is operable to recognize a wide variety of applications, including Web-based and client/server applications. The applications may include, for example, Skype, YouTube, Netflix, WebEx, Google Voice, BitTorrent, Citrix, virtual desktop, PCoIP, or any other application. The classification engine may be configured, for example, to identify generic protocols and perform heuristic analysis for encrypted protocols. The classifiers 18, 22 are configured to perform deep packet inspection (DPI), which provides the ability to look into the packet past basic header information so that the contents of a particular packet can be determined. 
  • In one embodiment, the classification information 26 transmitted from the controller 12 to the AP 14 includes tuple information for a flow (e.g., source IP address, destination IP address, source port, destination port, and protocol), application identifier (ID), and stateless DPI information. Stateless DPI information includes classification and sub-classification information (e.g., fixed or variable offset with a pattern or regular expression) and rules for applying policies on the sub-classified packets. The policies may include, for example, drop packet, mark a DSCP (Differentiated Services Code Point) value in the packet, or rate limit the traffic.

Yahoo to Buy RayV?

Almost two years ago I covered RayV, a provider of optimized streaming video services turn-key solutions (see "VAS Announcements: RayV Exposes Turn Key Video Streaming to MNOs and ISPs" - here).

Orr Hirschauge (ex. The Marker) reports to the Wall Street Journal that "Yahoo is looking to bolster its Web-video technology with another acquisition. The Internet portal is close to finalizing an acquisition of video-streaming startup RayV Inc., according to people familiar with the matter .. RayV may help Yahoo improve the technology underlying its video efforts. Founded in 2006, RayV spent its first six years quietly developing software to improve high-definition video streaming over the Web and to mobile devices. Its software suite, launched in 2012, includes a content-distribution network, a content-management system and digital-rights management"

See "Yahoo Close to Acquiring Video-Streaming Startup" - here.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nokia: 41% of Subscribers Willing to Pay More for Excellent Network Quality

A new report by Nokia finds that "40% of customers globally planning to switch provider in the next 12 months and while the share of heavy users of advanced services keeps rising globally, currently covering 69% of all customers do not want quantity at the cost of quality. 

  •  41% of customers globally think an operator must offer excellent network quality, even if it costs more. Messaging and Internet service quality is below customer expectations in all markets with 60% experiencing problems with mobile data and application usage.
  • Security is another focus area for customers. The study report also shows that 75% of customers consider security to be the operator’s responsibility. Of those 89% who think security is important, 40% are likely to churn in case of security issues. 40% are also willing to pay extra for security protection.

See last year's report - "Survey: 'mobile broadband quality is a key deciding factor in their choice of operator"-here.

See "Network and service quality keeps customers loyal, Nokia retention study shows" - here and "Putting loyalty scores to work", by Miia Toivola, Networks business, Nokia - here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Vodafone: Our RED Service Plan Defends Revenues from OTT

In its annual report (for March 31st, 2014) Vodafone explains that for its consumer business - "Our Vodafone Red plans are now available in 20 markets and we had 12 million customers at the year end. These bundled plans provide our customers with unlimited voice and SMS, and generous data allowances.

We continue to enhance the Red proposition through the introduction of additional features, including improved access to technical support, attractive roaming packages, shared data and family plans [see "Vodafone Shows Shared Data Plans Benefits (to Vodafone)" - here], early handset upgrades, storage and back-up in the cloud, and device security. These enhancements provide customers with greater freedom of usage, whilst at the same time defending revenue from “over-the-top” applications and stabilising ARPU"

See "Vodafone announces results for the year ended 31 March 2014" - here.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cisco's New WAE Enables SP's Application-Aware WAN Services

Cisco announced it has added "..Cisco WAN Automation Engine(WAE) to its Evolved Services Platform (ESP), marking another key milestone in the company’s network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined-networking (SDN) strategy. These new capabilities will provide service providers with tools they need to analyze, visualize and control functions across multi-vendor, wide area networks (WAN)"

Cisco added quotes from Tencent, Italtel, TDS (Sandvine customer - here) , XO Communications and Wow! to the release, about the use of WAE or its predecessor, MATE.

Technology Highlights:
  • Situational and Predictive Analysis: Uses historical traffic data and anticipated demand to produce real-time and predictive models that increase overall service velocity; calculates high traffic “what-if” analysis while offering solutions for ultimate load balancing; utilizes flexible policy routing to enforce latency and utilization constraints for overall network optimization.
  • Traffic Visualization: Enables an accurate “total WAN” topology view with comprehensive modeling; collects and models traffic, equipment and topology data while maintaining the “state” of each and then maps everything together for holistic, real-time network transparency; utilizes time-sequenced global models to provide accurate forecasting across thousands of WAN nodes.
  • Control and Automated Provisioning: Extends Cisco ESP advanced orchestration and management across the WAN and dynamically assesses total traffic views to allow on-the-fly WAN reconfiguration of path calculations.

See "Cisco Delivers Advanced Traffic Visibility and Control with New WAN Automation Engine" - here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

[Sandvine] NA Cord-Cutters Stream 3 Hours of Video a Day

Sandvine's recent “Global Internet Phenomena Report 1H2014” (based on data from a selection of Sandvine’s 250-plus communications service provider (CSP) customers spanning North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Caribbean and Latin America and Asia-Pacific) finds that:
  • Just over two years after its launch, Netflix has become the second largest driver of traffic on fixed access networks in the UK and Ireland .. Netflix is now the second largest source of traffic during the peak evening hours, accounting for over 17.8% of downstream fixed access traffic
  • North American subscribers who exhibit “cord cutting” behavior (top 15th percentile of video users) are dominating network usage:
    • Consuming on average 212GB a month, more than seven times the 29GB of a typical subscriber; [see "Comcast: 'we have no plans to announce a new data usage policy"- here]
    • Viewing the equivalent of 100 hours of video each month
    • Accounting for the majority (54%) of total monthly network traffic

"Recently AT&T made some pretty big waves at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) by announcing their intention to offer sponsored data to their subscribers [see "[Rumors]: AT&T "Sponsored Data" is Based on Openet's PCC " - here] . At Sandvine, we’ve been talking about ways operators could often innovative service plan for a number of years, in fact we first talked about it in our 1H 2012 Global Internet Phenomena Report.

As we predicted, it now looks like the near future is here, and 2014 will see the beginning of sponsored connectivity roll-out globally. This new model represents a complete new revenue stream for operators and great potential benefit for subscribers as well". 

See "Sandvine Report: Netflix’s British Invasion" - here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

TIM Brazil Uses Amdocs UC to Fight OTT Services

Amdocs announced that "TIM Brasil has deployed Amdocs Unified Communications to power its new "blah" service. blah provides an unmatched user experience across all the subscriber's devices centered on a unified address book, merging device and social network contacts. The app saves money for the subscriber and keeps them inside the TIM Brasil brand while they use messaging and communication services such as VoIP, video chats and rich instant messaging .. The blah app is available to any mobile subscriber, not just TIM Brasil customers"

Roger Solé, CMO, TIM Brasil said: "With the launch of blah, we are the first Brazilian operator to enable mobile subscribers to enjoy state of the art, over-the-top type experiences with an intelligent address book, keeping the interface with customers and facilitating all communication".

Rebecca Prudhomme [pictured], VP product and solutions marketing, Amdocs said: "Service providers are facing increasing competition for voice and messaging revenue from over-the-top players, and one way to combat this is to leverage their relationship to offer enhanced communication services to subscribers"

With blah you can talk simultaneously with up to four people via blah calls (VoIP) and Video calls, and up to 100 people in group chat. In the contact list, all contacts are identified by circles. This helps to identify contacts who are TIM Brasil customers, helping TIM Brasil customers make calls to other TIM Brasil customers and so save costs.
  • Multi-device support: Multiple devices using a single account
  • Smart Call: Automatically corrects the number format when placing a call.
  • SMS Interception: send and receive text messages alongside instant messages
  • Send Files: Share files like PDFs and Word documents with your contacts
  • Send location, pictures, videos and voice messages.
See "TIM Brasil Deploys Amdocs Unified Communications to Power "blah"" - here.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Research: Content Caching in Base Stations Helps Guaranteeing QoE

A research by Ejder Baştuğ, Mérouane Debbah [pictured] Alcatel-Lucent and Mehdi Bennis, Centre for Wireless Communications, University of Oulu, Finland - considers  "the problem of caching in next generation mobile cellular networks where small base stations (SBSs) are able to store their users' content and serve them accordingly. 

The SBSs are stochastically distributed over the plane and serve their users either from the local cache or internet via limited backhaul, depending on the availability of requested content. We model and characterize the outage probability and average content delivery rate as a function of the signal-to-interference-ratio (SINR), base station intensity, target file bitrate, storage size and file popularity. Our results provide key insights into the problem of cache-enabled small cell networks".

[See the technology in action: "Saguna's Optimization and Monetization Technology to be Deployed in 2014" - here and "NSN Base Stations to Support ChinaCache CDN" - here]

Conclusion: " .. telecom operators can either deploy more base station or increase total storage size to guarantee a certain outage probability for QoE. For this deployment problem, an interesting future work would be investigating the trade-off between density of base stations and storage size"

See "Cache-enabled Small Cell Networks: Modeling and Tradeoffs" - here

Ixia Launches Application Intelligence Capabilities

Ixia  introduced its ".. new ATI Processor for the NTO 7300 brings a new level of intelligence to the network packet broker. Distinct Application Fingerprints and a patent pending dynamic identification capability for unknown applications give network managers a complete view of their networks, including application success and failure tracking. By combining rich contextual information such as geo-location of application usage, handset or device type, operating system and browser type, the ATI Processor helps to identify suspicious activity such as unauthorized BYOD usage or business connections from untrusted locations.

ATI Processor features include:
  • Dynamic application intelligence capabilities to identify known, proprietary, and even unknown network applications.
  • Enhanced insight including geo-location, handset type, operating system, browser and other key user data.
  • Empirical data generation to identify bandwidth usage, trends and growth needs delivered via API or Ixia’s IxFlow extensions to NetFlow.
Application intelligence delivers real-time application data to monitoring tools so that users have more accurate application data in order to make better decisions. It does this by providing rich data on behavior and location of users and applications, in any format needed – raw packets, filtered packets, or metadata. This allows IT teams to identify hidden network applications, mitigate network security threats from rogue applications and user types, and reduce network outages and/or improve network performance due to application data information.

Source: A Paradigm Shift for Network Visibility, Ixia, May 2014

See "Ixia Advances Network Visibility with Real-Time Network and Application Intelligence" - here.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Comcast: "we have no plans to announce a new data usage policy"

David L. Cohen [pictured], Executive VP and Chief Diversity Officer in Public Policy, Comcast posted to the MSO's blog, in order clarify some "misunderstandings" (see "Comcast Data Cap: Controversial Usage-Based Billing Plan Reportedly Comes To Light At MoffettNathanson Summit" - here).

 "Yesterday, I spoke at the MoffettNathanson Media & Communications Summit in New York City about a range of topics. Since some of my comments have been picked up out of context and misinterpreted in a number of places, I thought it was worth clarifying a couple of things about the Internet, data caps, and prioritization"
  • Data Caps are "flexible data consumption plans" 
[see also "Comcast Response to Recent Claims: Higher Base Cap w/Tiered Plans or Overage Fees" - here]

"To be clear, we have no plans to announce a new data usage policy .. We have been trialing a few flexible data consumption plans, including a plan that enables customers who wanted to use more data be given the option to pay more to do so, and a plan for those who use less data the option to save some money .. It’s important to note that we remain in trial mode only .. We're now also looking at adding some unlimited data plans to our trials"
  • Net Neutrality
"First, I expressed my support – and Comcast’s support, for legally enforceable Open Internet rules .. Second, an Open Internet is about much more than "fast lanes" and "paid prioritization". What I said about those issues was (1) that I wasn’t even sure what the definition of "fast lanes" and "paid prioritization" were; (2) that they were not covered by the 2010 Open Internet Order and that, therefore, I did not believe that they were illegal".

See "Clarifying Data Caps and Prioritization" - here.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Infonetics Increases SDM Market size Forecast

A new report by Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence, Infonetics Research finds that "..the subscriber data management (SDM) market reached $1.1 billion in 2013 and demand for solutions that enable operators to consolidate and manage subscriber data more efficiently to drive the SDM market to $2.5 billion in 2018 .. the next big thing in subscriber data management will be monetizing that unified data. Many operators are already leveraging consolidated subscriber data for internal use, and some are exploring options for brokering that data externally
Last November, Infonetics predicted a a $1.9B market for 2017 (here), and a year ago a $1.8M for 2017 (here). It seems like the market growth rate accelerates. 

"Opex continues to drive SDM spending, but voice over LTE (VoLTE) is providing the real momentum, with operators migrating subscriber data from front-end applications to a consolidated back-end system that enables management of data across multiple network domains"

See "Data brokering is next frontier for subscriber data management" - here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Netflix - Speed to Comcast Customers Continue to Surge

Netflix published its ISP index for April (here) showing a significant improvement in Comcast speed. Since the two reached the peering agreement (end of February, here), the service to Comcast subscriber has improved by 83%! (blue line at the chart below).

The service to Verizon subscribers (DSL, Orange line and FIOS, Brown line) has also improved in April (see "In line with the New Net Neutrality: Netflix Adds Verizon to its Peers" - here). Let's wait for May results to see the effect of the peering agreement.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

[Analysys Mason]: SDP Market (Incl. PCC) Generated $5.2B in 2013

According to a new report by Glen Ragoonanan [pictured], Principal Analyst, and Gorkem Yigit, Research Analyst, Analysys Mason "The service delivery platforms (SDP) market generated USD5.2 billion in revenue worldwide during 2013, up 12% from USD4.6 billion in 2012. In 2013, communications service providers (CSPs) spent on service delivery platforms (SDP) solutions to monetise LTE and FTTx infrastructure investments. Voice (IMS/VoLTE) and video (multi-screen) services also continued to drive CSPs’ SDP spending as they compete with over-the-top (OTT) providers. 

Analysis Mason's SDP refers to "four application sub-segments: telecoms application servers (TAS), content management and delivery (CMD): fixed (FCMD) and mobile (MCMD), policy management (PM) and subscriber data management (SDM)"

The top-five suppliers in this market were the same as in 2012, thanks to numerous acquisitions. Ericsson maintained its leadership, followed by Huawei Technologies, Nokia Solutions and Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, and then Oracle.

According to the above charts, vendors' revenues for 2013 (subject to rounding errors) have been:

See "Service Delivery Platforms: Worldwide Market Shares 2013" - here.

Monday, May 12, 2014

[ABI]: 10.5M Wi-Fi Hotspots by 2018 to Maximize Coverage

A new report by Marina Lu [pictured], Research Analyst, ABI Research finds that "Worldwide Wi-Fi deployments reached a total of 4.2 million hotspots in 2013, and will continue to grow at a CAGR of 15.0% between 2013 and 2018, to exceed 10.5 million .. The number includes Wi-Fi hotspots deployed by mobile and fixed-line carriers as well as third party operators .. Wi-Fi helps to offload 3G/4G mobile Internet users to Wi-Fi networks, which is a more cost-effective method for both mobile carriers and mobile users.”

In Asia-Pacific, China alone has deployed 620,000 Wi-Fi hotspots, of which 420,000 have been built by China Mobile, followed by China Telecom with 128,000 hotspots, and China Unicom with 72,000. 

In Latin America, Brazil’s carrier Oi [see "Oi [Brazil] Uses Aptilo to Create a Public Wi-Fi over Home/SMB Routers" - here] has completed its target of 500,000 Wi-Fi hotspots by the end of 2013, ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.

.. Wi-Fi also represents a good opportunity for fixed-line operators to join in the mobile broadband field. The UK fixed-line operator BT with 200,000 of Wi-Fi hotspots (excl. homespots) is also providing Wi-Fi roaming services to mobile operators and other Wi-Fi providers"

See "Global Wi-Fi Hotspots Will Grow to 7.1 Million in 2015 as a Method to Offload Traffic" - here.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Sprint's Reasonable Network Management Practices - Fairness, Limit top 5%, Video Optimization

Tammy Parker reports to FierceWireless that "Sprint's pledge of unlimited data [see "Will New Competition Drive AT&T to Bring Back Unlimited Data?" - here and "Sprint CEO: 'we have no plans go to tiered data pricing'" - hereis looking increasingly less sustainable, as the carrier maneuvers to rein in network traffic generated by its heaviest data users and ensure quality of service for the majority of its customers. Postpaid as well as prepaid Sprint customers, including those on its Virgin Mobile USA and Boost Mobile sub-brands, have begun receiving notices alerting them to new data "prioritization management" the operator will employ as of next month to prevent network congestion .. Prioritization can include a reduction of throughput or speed for those targeted users connected to congested sites".

Sprint's "Open Internet Information" page (here) says that 
  • Sprint uses various tools and techniques to manage its network .. Sprint's network management activities may include identifying spam and preventing its delivery to customers, detecting malicious Internet traffic and preventing the distribution of viruses or other harmful code or content, allocating spectrum and network resources amongst customers, devices, and price plans, and using other tools and techniques to deliver the best possible broadband Internet experience of Sprint's customers
  • Network bandwidth isn't infinite. In times of network congestion, the network segment or sector impacted doesn't have enough bandwidth to fully serve all customers requesting it. The network is designed to dynamically allocate available bandwidth in a way that is fair to all users. The fairness algorithms below describe the approach. The resulting impact to the end-user experience is that the user may temporarily experience slower-than-normal data speeds until the congestion has passed.
    • On the Sprint 3G (CDMA) and 4G LTE networks, Sprint uses a proportional fairness scheduler algorithm that allocates network resources based on radio frequency signal quality and other metrics. During times of congestion, the proportional fairness scheduler algorithm ensures no one user is deprived of network resources.
    • On Sprint's 4G WIMAX network, Sprint may periodically measure a user's bandwidth usage on a specific network segment or sector, as compared to the overall bandwidth usage for all users on that segment or sector. At times when an individual user is consuming high amounts of bandwidth and at the same time the overall bandwidth is being used by all users on that network segment or sector at high levels, Sprint 4G customers may experience a temporary adjustment in available network resources until the conditions for network congestion have passed.

  • Sprint currently employs prioritization to improve data experience for the vast majority of users on Sprint’s CDMA and LTE networks. The heaviest data users consume a disproportionate share of network resources and cause a negative user experience for the rest. To more fairly allocate network resources in times of congestion, customers falling within the top 5% of data users may be prioritized below other customers attempting to access network resources, resulting in a reduction of throughput or speed as compared to performance on non-congested sites .. in addition to the heavy user treatment outlined above, Sprint also reserves the right to alter the priority of other customers on specific devices or plans on the Sprint network. Customers on devices or plans subject to prioritization management may experience a reduction in throughput or speed
  • Optimization is deployed for RTSP and HTTP video traffic and all HTTP web traffic [by Citrix/Bytemobile - here]. Video optimization uses four basic technologies [see "Sprint Migrates from a "Basket of Tools" to Consolidated Video Optimization Solutions" - here]:
    • Video Delivery Synchronization: Delivers video "just in time" to the mobile device. Intent is to eliminate network waste associated with transmitting video that isn't watched.
    • Quality Aware Transcoding: Matches video quality with network conditions in real time. Optimizes video for the bandwidth available to the user. Intent is to minimize or eliminate annoying video stalling. Similar in concept to the optimization techniques already employed by sites using adaptive streaming.
    • Video Transcoding: Transcodes video with intent to optimize the video experience for the user while efficiently using network bandwidth. Provides for the elimination of video waste using techniques like replacing less efficient video codecs with more efficient ones. Optimizes video for the mobile device the customer is using.
    • Intelligent Caching: Caches optimized video in the network with the intent of eliminating delay associated with internet video sites.
  • Web optimization uses three basic technologies:
    • Caching: Caches web pages to help avoid delays associated with retrieval of the same internet content multiple times.
    • Text/Binary Compression: Lossless compression of data and binary files using standard compression techniques supported by HTTP-compliant browsers.
    • Image Compression: JPEG and GIF compression designed to reduce the size of images while maintaining no user perceptible loss of quality.
See "Sprint slams on the brakes for top 5% of data users in congested areas" - here.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

TeliaSonera IC Launches Diameter Roaming Exchange Service

TeliaSonera International Carrier (TSIC) announced it launched its "Diameter Roaming Exchange (DRX) service, an innovative roaming solution that enables mobile operators to seamlessly provide subscribers with high-speed, high-quality 4G services outside of their domestic coverage footprint. The DRX service also carries an industry-first managed option that simplifies operations and reduces operator hardware investments, while providing end-users with enhanced quality of experience as well as high performance connectivity backed by TSIC’s global IPX network.

Chief among the customers already actively benefiting from the DRX service’s managed option include the TeliaSonera Group´s mobile operators in Sweden, Norway, Spain, Finland and Denmark, with the Baltic and Eurasian operators to swiftly follow. The IPX-based Diameter roaming service successfully carried multiple gigabytes of data roaming traffic for 4G roamers traveling from Sweden and Norway to Spain’s Mobile World Congress earlier this year, an event that converged over 85,000 delegates"

See "TeliaSonera International Carrier launches industry-first managed Diameter signaling service" - here.

Business Intelligence: Akamai (32%), Limelight (20%) Lead the NA CDN Traffic

A new report by Mark Hoelzel [pictured], Research Analyst, Business Intelligence, finds that:
  • More and more video traffic is flowing through this new infrastructure [CDN]: The content delivery networks or CDNs will collectively account for nearly three-fifths of consumer Internet traffic in the U.S. in 2014.
  • Pricing is complicated: Pricing for CDNs and for the more specialized transit providers that optimize video delivery, balancing performance and cost, varies a great deal. These players offer plans based on factors like bandwidth, time of day, and volume. Bandwidth is the key factor in pricing, but far from the only one. And special agreements dictate quality parameters.
  • Which is why more and more content providers are building their own CDNs: Google and Netflix have these in place, and rumors are building that Apple is also assembling its own infrastructure.

  • Peering agreements are the big point of contention: The price of connecting video pipes directly has become a fraught issue in the video world. Netflix is striking up agreements with ISPs [Verizon, Comcastto guarantee video performance, but at the same time crying foul that they have to do so. Regulators seem undecided on whether this is a good practice. We dive into the hard business decisions driving the debate.
  • All the sides — content providers, transit providers, and ISPs — have misrepresented the mechanics and economics of the digital video industry in the context of "net neutrality." We expect more peering agreements that balance the needs of both — and the consumer. The disputes over video streaming fees boil down to who should pay for the exploding popularity of streaming video, and at what quality of service.
See "The Online Video Ecosystem Explained: The Main Players And Conflicts In A Fast-Growing Industry" - here.