Monday, June 30, 2014

PCC Deployments [315]: Play[Poland] Selected Comverse

Comverse announced that "Play (P4) has selected the Comverse ONE Converged Billing & Active Customer Management solution to support expansion of services and functionalities for its advanced 4G/LTE network serving a rapidly growing subscriber base.

.. Upgrading to the new Comverse ONE product line addresses specific key Play requirements, such as: LTE Enablement ..  Virtualization and:
  • Advanced Personalization Real-time marketing capabilities including flexible event based notifications for greater personalization, increased upsell opportunities, enhanced policy enforcement
  • Rapid Time to Market: Native Diameter, advanced ordering workflow engine, reduced level of customized code for efficient support of new charging models and rapid response to future market needs at lower cost".
Play, is a consumer-focused mobile network operator in Poland with over 10.9M subscribers. During Q1 2014, Play continued fast roll-out of 4G LTE network, which reaches 30% of population. 

See "Play Poland (P4) Selects Comverse ONE Converged BSS to Power Real-Time Service Capabilities, New LTE Functionalities" - here.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

[Grand View Research]: Standalone is 75% of DPI Market; to Reach $4.7B by 2020

A new study by Grand View Research concludes that "The global Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) market is expected to reach USD 4,711.3 million by 2020 ..  In terms of product, standalone DPI dominated the global market and accounted for over 75% of the overall demand in 2013; mainly owing to features such as fair use, caching, video optimization and traffic offered by standalone DPI products"

  • Internet Service Providers (ISP) are likely to be the largest growing application over the next six years; the segment accounted for over 65% of the global market in 2013. ISPs are expected to remain the key application area as they provide enforcement functions, policy definition, copyright enforcement, targeted advertising, better quality of service, lawful intercept and tiered services
  • Asia Pacific is expected to dominate the market over the next six years, accounting for 37.4% of the global market revenue in 2013. Further, it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31.6% from 2014 to 2020, mainly on account of rise in number of subscribers in this region
  • Companies operating in the market include Procera Networks Inc., Sandvine Incorporated, Allot Communications Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Bivio Networks Inc., Qosmos and Arbor Networks Inc., etc. The market is marked by price sensitivity among consumers and is consolidated in nature. The development of efficient methods of DPI especially for high bandwidth application is expected to be an essential growth strategy over the forecast period". 
See "Global Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) Market By Product (Standalone, Integrated), By Application (Government, ISP, Enterprises, Education) Expected to Reach USD 4,711.3 Million by 2020: Grand View Research, Inc" - here.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Akamai Examines Ultra HD Streaming Readiness

In its Q1 2014 "State of the Internet" report (here), Akamai Technologies examines the Internet's 4K video readiness:

"Given the growing interest in the streaming delivery of 4K (“Ultra HD”) video, we thought it would be interesting to begin tracking a “4K readiness” metric in the State of the Internet Report. 

With 4K adaptive bitrate streams generally requiring between 10 – 20 Mbps of bandwidth, starting with this issue of the report, we’ll be providing insight into the percentage of connections to Akamai from a given country/region with an average connection speed above 15 Mbps, similar to the high broadband (>10 Mbps) and broadband (>4 Mbps) rankings that we have published for the last several years. 

Globally, just 11% of connections to Akamai in the first quarter were at speeds of 15 Mbps or above, as illustrated in Figure 18. This average is significantly lower than those seen across the top 10 countries/regions. Unsurprisingly, South Korea led the list with 60% 4K readiness, a level almost twice that of Japan, which had 32% of its connections at that level in the first quarter. The Czech Republic had the lowest level of 4K readiness among the top 10, coming in at 17%. 

Not surprisingly, the makeup of the top 10 list for this metric is very similar to the global high broadband rankings, with seven countries/regions appearing on both lists. Sweden, Norway, and Finland appear within the top 10 for this metric, while they are absent from the top high broadband countries list, with the United States, Denmark, and Belgium appearing on that list in their stead. 

Overall, only 47 countries/regions qualified for inclusion in this metric. Of those, 23 countries/regions had 4K readiness rates above 10%, while just six had rates below 1%. The lowest readiness rates in the first quarter were found in India and China, which had just 0.3% and 0.2% (respectively) of their connections to Akamai at speeds above 15 Mbps

See "Akamai Releases First Quarter 2014 'State of the Internet' Report" - here.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Verizon Digital Media CDN (EdgeCast) Expands Globally

Verizon Digital Media Services announced that "Since its acquisition of EdgeCast Networks [see "Verizon Acquires EdgeCast; Will it Serve DT and TeliaSonera?" - here.. Verizon Digital Media Services has rapidly expanded the capacity of the Verizon EdgeCast CDN, adding more than 20 new points of presence, or POPs, in major cities around the world since January. These cities include Warsaw, Stockholm, Milan, Vienna, Melbourne, Helsinki, Kaohsiung, Batam, Jakarta and Sao Paulo. The company also expanded its presence with additional POPs in many cities already served, including London, Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam. These additions offer customers even greater connectivity and performance within these markets.

.. Each new POP is built securely on Verizon Digital Media Services’ latest generation of delivery servers, with pre-built dedicated space for rapid expansion. The POPs have multiple diverse connections into last-mile networks and are provisioned to support the full suite of Verizon EdgeCast services".

See "Verizon Digital Media Services Expands Global Content Delivery Network" - here.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Mavenir's Gateway Enables Seamless LTE <-> Wi-Fi Handover

Mavenir Systems announced the "availability of its Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG). For subscribers using Wi-Fi, the ePDG provides a secure connection to the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) network and enables seamless mobility between LTE and Wi-Fi.

Mavenir’s ePDG allows subscribers to maintain constant access to high-speed data and voice services whether they are in LTE coverage areas or using Wi-Fi at public hotspots, at the office or in the home. As subscribers arrive in the office, for example, the ePDG ensures that data sessions remain active and voice calls stay up while the device switches from LTE to Wi-Fi access

".. the ePDG is designed to support optimized packet processing, high throughput and per-user QoS to provide a transparent user experience regardless of access technology"

See "Mavenir™ adds mobility to voice over Wi-Fi" - here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

[ALU]: "signalasis" Undermining Customer Experience and Operator’s Reputation

An article by Josee Loudiadis [pictured], Director of Network Intelligence, Alcatel-Lucent, covers the "signaling spikes that can overwhelm available signaling capacity, undermining the customer experience and the operator’s reputation with it" and analyzes the signaling behavior of several common applications.

"There are three kinds of “signalasis”: microbursts that can be measured in seconds, extended bursts that can last minutes to hours, and suddenly sustained signaling growth where signaling jumps significantly at one point in time and continues to increase over weeks and months. Facebook’s 60% jump on Nov 2012 is an example of the latter" 
  • Extended bursts Viber outage: 
GGSN experiencing 92% jump in signaling
 for 4 ½ hours during Viber outage
On April 29th, CPU overload alarms reported that RNCs (Radio Network Control) were inundated with requests. The signaling spike could be matched to Viber – flows showed that Viber servers were no longer responding. Viber was down. But, why would this app outage have such a significant impact on signaling resources? The answer is in Viber’s call failure handling: the app would retry repeatedly to connect with the server, creating a larger signaling wave as more users tried unsuccessfully and repeatedly to connect. 
  • Microbursts:   Microsoft Exchange and iOS: 
GWs subjected to 36% signaling microburst at midnight
due to iOS-based Microsoft Exchange
This case exemplifies other short term outages where the signaling spike exceeded the signaling capacity on a daily basis. A 36% signaling jump occurred everyday at midnight, but the reason for the spike remained mysterious. The WNG narrowed it down: the signaling was initiated by devices trying to reach the Microsoft Exchange server. This interaction lasted less than 1 second in duration. It only involved iPhone devices and was more predominant with iOS version 6.1. Equipped with this information, operators could contact Apple and identify the root cause. A fix was issue in a subsequent iOS version update

See more  - "Anatomy of signaling spikes: Viber, Microsoft Exchange & a pre-loaded app" - here.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

ipoque Enhances Its DPI Package; Adds Metadata Extraction; VoLTE Performance Measurements

ipoque announced its " generation PACE 2.0 software that identifies thousands of applications and services and provides deeper insight on application attributes such as real-time performance metrics, all from a single solution .. providing high-speed application identification in real-time together with QoE metrics on VoLTE traffic at 40Gbps speed.

Dirk Czepluch [pictured], President and CTO, ipqoue said: “ipoque is focusing on key telecom industry challenges including the management of quality of experience for voice and video services on modern LTE mobile networks. This not only requires the fast application detection that PACE 2.0 provides, but also extensive metadata extraction and measurement in real-time of key performance indicators. This level of performance is particularly critical for the traffic steering of time-sensitive VoLTE & video apps, for deeper analytics to monetize new services and to assure services based on improved application monitoring and troubleshooting".

New on PACE 2.0: 
  • New all-in-one protocol and application classification engine also capable of advanced metadata extraction. 
  • More efficient for customers to get deeper application insight, and the granularity of detail is 100% configurable. 
  • Advanced accuracy of application detection with clear separation of protocols, applications and services, including a packet processing toolkit. 
  • Fully optimized to work with leading third-party acceleration solutions e.g. Napatech and Intel.
  • QoS/QoE Analytics to enable VoIP/VoLTE performance measurements 
See "ipoque enhances IP application detection to meet the QoE demands of VoLTE and video on mobile networks" - here.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Dali Wireless Unveils High Capacity RF Router

Dali Wireless unveiled ".. High Density System (HDS™) ..  HDS is the only solution on the market that can allocate coverage and capacity dynamically and simultaneously ..  based on the RF Router technology, HDS delivers the high capacity of a macro-cell, the flexible coverage of DAS with the tiny footprint of a pico-cell without traditional interference challenges .. It is technology-, vendor-, and band-agnostic .. HDS can dynamically pool capacity together, and route it to where and when capacity is needed. 

..HDS supports up to 10Gbps / 300MHz over a single fiber .. With Dali’s patented dynamic capacity allocation and digital RF Router technology, it has an optical link budget sufficient for operators to deploy over a long range, as high as 40km, without signal degradation. This results in less noise interference and less equipment required.

.. HDS transforms any radio frequency signals from base stations into IP, CPRI, or IP/CPRI-like packets to allow “any-to-any RF routing” within a software-defined virtualized radio distribution network". 

See "Dali Wireless Unveils HDS™ (High Density System) for Intelligent Wireless Coverage and Dynamic Capacity Allocation" - here.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Optimization Deployments [314]: Cellcom [US] Improves Performance by 30% with Vasona

Vasona Networks announced its " with Cellcom to improve mobile broadband performance. The Wisconsin-based operator has deployed both the Vasona SmartAIR™1000 edge application controller [see "[Vendor Review]: Vasona's Cell Traffic Management" - hereand SmartVISION™ analysis suite [see "Vasona Adds Cell-Level Analytics" - hereto gain real-time visibility of network congestion and improve the overall mobile broadband experience when cells are overloaded. 

During periods of congestion, Cellcom realizes more than 30 percent improved bitrate performance for video and web browsing, and a 35 percent reduction in mobile service latency .. By working with Vasona Networks, Cellcom helps subscribers reduce or avoid the “spinning wheel” waiting experience when accessing media".

See "Cellcom partners with Vasona Networks for better app performance when mobile data traffic overloads cells" - here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Zhilabs and Stoke Partner to Offer Intelligent Analysis of LTE

Zhilabs and Stoke have "..signed an agreement to bring to market a joint RAN analytics solution that enables mobile broadband operators to pinpoint trouble spots in 3G/LTE networks with greater speed and accuracy and take more rapid corrective action.

.. The joint solution leverages the inherent data collection capabilities of the Stoke security gateway rather than network probes, which are increasingly viewed as expensive and hard to manage, to provide a far more cost-effective and reliable alternative to probes. Combined with the massive processing and insight capabilities of Zhilabs' technology, the solution provides actionable insight to enable precise remediation of RAN to core traffic issues in real time in the challenging RAN-to-Core area".

See "Zhilabs and Stoke Team to Provide RAN Analytics Solution Enabling Early Pinpointing of LTE Network Trouble Spots" - here.

Diameter Deployments [313]: Transatel Uses Diametriq

Diametriq announced that "Transatel, a leading MVNE, has deployed their Diameter Interworking Solution™ in its Global MVNE network. Transatel needed their NextGen Diameter-based 4G LTE OCS to interwork with CAMEL based legacy networks. Diametriq’s Diameter Interworking System™ (DIS™) solved this problem by providing interworking between CAMEL and Diameter protocols [see "Diametriq Adds Support for Pre-Paid Roaming between 3G and LTE" - here].

Diametriq’s CAMEL IWF has been designed to support all features to enable prepaid subscribers including quota reservation, balance checking and IVR interaction for both voice and SMS delivery. The system currently supports over 10,000 concurrent sessions.

In the initial deployment the Diametriq DIS™ is being connected to over twenty networks using core network elements from all major vendors around the world. Integration has been successfully completed with core networks from Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Nokia Siemens. Integration with additional core network vendors is planned.

See "Transatel MVNE Deploys Diametriq’s Diameter Interworking Solution" - here.

Friday, June 20, 2014

MTS India Deploys Allot with Video and TCP Optimization

In a post to Allot Communications' blog, Matan Trogan, Regional Product Manager for APAC, covers the vendor's recent APAC customer event in Phuket, Thailand.

Among the case studies presented at the event, Matan mentions that a "customer explained that video traffic from their 10M subscribers comprises 40% of downlink traffic and that video stalling and buffering have a negative impact on their customer satisfaction scores. To improve video quality of experience (QoE) and prevent churn they are implementing “just-in-time” video optimization and acceleration powered by Allot VideoClass – one of the value-added services that is fully integrated with and hosted in the Allot Service Gateway".

I understand that this customer is MTS India. In addition to Video optimization, they are also using Teclo Networks' TCP optimization, as an integrated add-on to Allot (related post - "MTS [Armenia] Deployed Teclo TCP Acceleration" - here). MTS are also using a video caching solution from PeerApp, a former partner of Allot before the acquisition of Oversi (see "MTS [India] Selected PeerApp" - here),

See "Use Cases Steal the Show in Phuket" - here.

Bell Labs and net mobile Improve In-Car Streaming Video QoE

Alcatel-Lucent announced that "Bell Labs and net mobile AG (net-m) have reduced the probability of poor video streaming quality on the move with a new technology that can deliver a six-fold improvement over today’s streaming levels - without consuming any extra network capacity.

The new technology – Context-Aware Video Streaming - is based on Bell Labs’ Context-Aware Radio Access (CARA) solution. This makes smart use of location-based information, including road and network coverage maps and radio performance data, to deliver algorithms that predict upcoming network performance. Based on this prediction, more seconds of the video are downloaded to the consumer’s device in areas of good coverage before the vehicle enters a poor coverage area. This results in a dramatic reduction in video stalling and the quality of experience is greatly improved for the consumer.

The gains in quality were measured during test drives across Düsseldorf in Germany over a conventional mobile network. The routes consisted of highways, tunnels and other typical areas for consumers travelling through the city in a car or public transport vehicle. A video shows the difference in quality of video streaming on-the-road between two devices, one with context-aware technology and one without"

See "Bell Labs and net mobile AG reduce the problem of poor quality video streaming in vehicles on the move" - here.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TM Deployments [312]: Smart [Philippines] Uses Sandvine for Application-Aware Service Plans

Sandvine announced that "Smart Communications is using Sandvine’s Network Policy Control solutions to support PowerApp – the world’s first mobile Internet store – which allows users to purchase “bite-sized”, application-specific, mobile service plans to fit their particular preferences and needs. 

[see the plan's FAQ - here]

PowerApp, developed by Smart Communications’ technology partner, Chikka Philippines, communicates with the data network to enable applications to dispense mobile data on demand, at precise speeds and bandwidths for highly valued services. 

Integrated with Sandvine’s Usage Management solution, PowerApp offers users service plans, such as Email, Chat, Photo and Social packages, in 15-minute, 3-hour or per-day unlimited access, depending on the particular application and plan, for an incredibly low fixed price. The packages provide “always-on” access to top apps anywhere, without the need for a Wi-Fi connection".

What are the available PowerApp packages?

See "Philippines’ Smart Communications Using Sandvine To Offer “Bite-Sized” Mobile Internet Plans" - here.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

NI Deployments [311]: AIS [Thailand] Selected Tektronix to Monitor VoIP and More

Tektronix Communications announced that it has been ".. selected as the provider of monitoring & assurance solutions to optimize network performance and quality for Thailand’s market-leading operator, AIS.

.. In Phase 1 of the project, Tektronix Communications will monitor pure voice and VoIP session traffic across all parts of the core network using its Iris Session Analyzer and Iris Packet Inspector solutions. Furthermore, given the importance of Thailand’s growing tourism industry, Tektronix Communications will also monitor and analyze inbound roaming data via its RIA solution. A small pilot will also be carried out for monitoring AIS’ Radio Access Network

At the end of Q1, 2014 AIS had 42,4M subscribers, of which 62% were on its 3G network and the rest on 2G. 33% of its revenues came from non-voice services (data) with 15.8M data subscribers.

See "Tektronix Communications expands AIS Thailand relationship to provide end-to-end monitoring & assurance for new 3G network" - here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Procera's Customer Adds Parental Control as S/W Upgrade

Procera Networks announced it has ".. received a follow-on order for ContentLogic from an existing Tier 1 EMEA Mobile operator customer .. The mobile operator is leveraging the capabilities of ContentLogic to offer Parental Control services to its subscribers without deploying additional hardware in the network, saving both capital and operational costs. This capability can be activated in PacketLogic deployments with a software license, requiring no upgrade and immediately offering new service options for broadband operators".

Related post - "Procera Adds High Performance Web Content Categorization & Filtering" - here.

See "Procera Networks Receives ContentLogic Order from Tier 1 EMEA Mobile Operator" - here.

Monday, June 16, 2014

How does Netflix Use Big Data to Improve QoE?

Nirmal Govind, Director, Streaming Science & Algorithms, Netflix, explains how "we use big data for deep analysis and predictive algorithms to help provide the best experience for our members ..  the types of problems we're solving [I am quoting 2 of the items]
  • Understanding the impact of QoE on user behavior
To improve the streaming experience, we look at QoE metrics that are likely to have an impact on user behavior. One metric of interest is the rebuffer rate, which is a measure of how often playback is temporarily interrupted while more data is downloaded from the server to replenish the local buffer on the client device. Another metric, bitrate, refers to the quality of the picture that is served/seen - a very low bitrate corresponds to a fuzzy picture. There is an interesting relationship between rebuffer rate and bitrate. Since network capacity is limited, picking too high of a bitrate increases the risk of hitting the capacity limit, running out of data in the local buffer, and then pausing playback to refill the buffer. What’s the right tradeoff?

  • Determining what movies and shows to cache on the edge servers based on member viewing behavior [see "Netflix CDN Customers have More Fun" - here]
A set of big data problems also exists on the content delivery side. Open Connect is Netflix's own content delivery network that allows ISPs to directly connect to Netflix servers at common internet exchanges, or place a Netflix-provided storage appliance (cache) with Netflix content on it at ISP locations. The key idea here is to locate the content closer (in terms of network hops) to our members to provide a great experience.

One of several interesting problems here is to optimize decisions around content caching on these appliances based on the viewing behavior of the members served. With millions of members, a large catalog, and limited storage capacity, how should the content be cached to ensure that when a member plays a particular movie or show, it is being served out of the local cache/appliance?

See "Optimizing the Netflix Streaming Experience with Data Science" - here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Zen Internet: Unlike Other UK ISPs - We do not Shape Traffic

A post to Zen Internet's (UK) blog states that "All ISPs manage the data running across the network – the traffic – to some extent, but some larger ISPs are more intrusive. In some cases they throttle speeds, deliberately slowing down connections when users exceed what the ISP terms acceptable use. In others, they use a technique called Deep Packet Inspection to monitor usage and throttle the connection when you’re using specific bandwidth-intensive applications, such as Peer to Peer file-sharing.

.. At Zen, we think this is wrong. We don’t use traffic shaping or deep packet inspection in any form. We feel that our customers deserve services that are open, honest and easy to understand. That’s why our products use a fully transparent system of allowances, where customers simply pay for blocks of additional usage when they go over their generous monthly allocation, and where unused blocks can be held back for another month".

However, we understand that broadband usage patterns are changing. More of us are doing more online through more devices. That’s why we doubled the usage allowances across our product range and why we invest heavily in the network to ensure we can provide reliable speeds and quality of service.

See "No throttling, no squeezing: The Zen approach to Traffic Management" - here.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Cisco: The Internet Needs Prioritization

Grant Gross reports to Network World about Cisco's approach to Net Neutrality "All bits running over the Internet are not equal and should not be treated that way by broadband providers, despite net neutrality advocates' calls for traffic neutral regulations, Cisco Systems said". 

Cisco's Recent  Visual Networking Index Predictions

Jeff Campbell, VP government and community relations, Cisco says: "Some Web-based applications, including rapidly growing video services, home health monitoring and public safety apps, will demand priority access to the network, while others, like most Web browsing and email, may live with slight delays .. We really have a multiplicity of applications and services that are now running across the network, some of which require dramatically different treatment than others".

This is of course, the easier part of Net Neutrality - prioritize traffic according to its network needs - and may be part of "Reasonable traffic management" - rather than prioritizing traffic according to its content provider which may create unfair competition.

See "Cisco: Broadband providers should not treat all bits the same" - here.

How did Cable ONE Get Google's "YouTube HD Verified" Certification?

Cable ONE announced that "Google recently rated Cable ONE High Speed Internet “YouTube HD Verified” - a certification given only to Internet Service Providers (ISPs) who consistently offer a connection stable enough to stream HD (720p) video without interruption or buffering .. Cable ONE offers speeds ranging from 50Mbps to 70Mbps - ideal for streaming multiple movies or videos at the same time, offering more power for online games, and giving customers the ability to share photos in the blink of an eye." (See "Google Rates Cable ONE 'YouTube HD Verified'" - here).

Brian Santo, reporting to CED Magazine, adds: "Brad Ottley. Cable One’s director of internet operations, said that Cable One delivers YouTube video through a peering arrangement with Level 3. In a written exchange, Ottley attributed Cable One’s results with Google/YouTube to “Low latency with Level 3 and Internet speeds of 50MB contribute to our YouTube HD Verified status. Transparent caching is a technique for smoothing out the delivery of web-based content (video and otherwise). Ottley said Cable One used transparent caching only in its system in Fargo".

See"Cable One excels at delivering YouTube, says Google" - here.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Allot's DPI Displaced Ericsson at Telkomsel

4 Years ago I covered Ericsson's announcement on deploying its "Dynamic End-to-End Policy Control solution enabling service differentiation" solution by Telkomsel Indonesia (see "DPI/QoS Deployments (14): Telkomsel (Indonesia) Uses Ericsson for Service Differentiation and Traffic Control" - here).

Recently I heard that one of Allot's recent wins is with Telkomsel.

At the end of 2013, Telkomsel had 131.5M subscribers of which 2.5M are post-paid. The mobile netwrok has close to 70,000 base stations.

Source: PT Telekomunikasi Selular 2013 Annual Report

[Calcalist]: Flash Networks Fires 25 Employees

Asaf Gilad reports to Calcalist [here, Hebrew] that "Following the acquisition of Mobixell [for $15M, see "No Longer a Rumor: Flash Networks Acquires Mobixell" - here], Flash Networks initiated a process of letting 25 of its Israeli employees go.. the employees are from both companies and all ranks .. in order to reduce redundancies. Flash Networks has 200 employees in Israel and another 100 internationally".   

Flash commented that "Flash Networks acquired its competitor, Mobixell, in the beginning of 2014, and doubled its size dramatically turning it to the biggest vendor of mobile networks' optimization and monetization with over 40% market share [see "Flash Networks (40%) and Citrix (30%) Lead the Mobile Optimization Market" - here]

We are sorry that some employees have to leave .. it is part of the merger process .. the company is going to expand in the coming years into new markets".

source:{Core Analysis} 2014 Market report

Thursday, June 12, 2014

PCC Deployments [310]: Sprint Selected ItsOn to Enable New Services

ItsOn announced that ".. Sprint will use the ItsOn Smart Services™ Platform to enhance Sprint’s mobile network capabilities and enable new types of mobile services. The multi-year agreement provides Sprint with the ability to design and implement granular service policy control for various data, text and voice services using ItsOn’s SaaS cloud solution.

Sprint will be integrating the ItsOn cloud capabilities into its existing network architecture and the ItsOn Smart Services™ device software will be embedded in all new Sprint Android devices sold through all distribution channels going forward".

At the end of Q1, 2014 Sprint had close to 54M mobile subscribers. Related post "Sprint's Reasonable Network Management Practices - Fairness, Limit top 5%, Video Optimization" - here.

The Smart Services Platform from ItsOn Inc from ItsOn Inc on Vimeo.

See "Sprint to Use ItsOn Smart Services™ Platform" - here.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

[Infonetics]: Convergent Charging Grew by Expansions; To Reach $5.3B by 2018

A new report by Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence, Infonetics Research finds that "Much of the recent growth in the convergent charging market has been in expansion of existing deals, with operators buying license capacity and related services to support additional subscribers and new lines of business" .. The global convergent charging market totaled $2.3 billion in 2013, and is forecast by Infonetics to grow to $5.3 billion in 2018". 

Related post - "[Infonetics Survey]: Convergent Charging Goes Into 2nd-Gen.; Led by Ericsson, Amdocs and Huawei" - here.

"Convergent charging allows operators to offer service tiers, location-based pricing, over-the-top (OTT) content packages, shared data plans, and sponsored data"

See "Network expansions driving convergent charging market, dominated by Asia Pacific" - here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

TM Deployments [309]: Zain [Saudi Arabia] Trials Nokia's Liquid Applications

Nokia announced that "Liquid Applications, a Nokia solution which enables innovative services and revolutionizes the mobile broadband customer experience, was successfully demonstrated by Zain KSA and Nokia in Saudi Arabia last week. The demonstration was first of its kind in the Middle East and Africa, and was carried out in Zain’s live network, powered by Nokia’s radio and core network elements. The demonstration showed improved throughput and more efficient transmission between the base station and core network".

"Liquid Applications, an industry first solution, brings superior services to mobile broadband customers. This is achieved by bringing applications, services and content into the base station to allow local storage, along with access to real-time radio and network information. This turns base stations into hubs for local service creation and delivery"

See also 'Rumors: NSN's Liquid Applications Uses Saguna's Technology" - here.

At the end of Q1, 2014, KSA had 8.4M active subscribers, the 3rd largest MNO in Saudi Arabia (17% market share). 94% werepre-paid customers and data revenues rose by 52% compared to the same quarters in 2013.

KSA has close to 6,000 network sites.

See "Zain KSA, Nokia run Liquid Applications on live network, a first for Middle East & Africa" - here.

Monday, June 9, 2014

[Guest Post]: Brazil 2014 Goes Mobile!

By John Giere*, CEO and President, Openwave Mobility

Mobile devices guarantee that this will be the most watched World Cup ever, but low video quality and data-charge fears will let down a third of Europe’s World Cup fans.

How will you be watching the Brazil World Cup? That’s the question put to over 2200 football fans across three of Europe’s smartphone-savvy, soccer-loving nations: Spain (current champions), Germany (three times world champions) and the UK (well….aspiring champions!). The independent survey was commissioned from Censuswide and took place in May 2014. The findings make very interesting reading. Unsurprisingly, more people than ever want to watch the action on a mobile device. But fears of bill shock and appalling video quality are keeping some football fans firmly glued to their TV screens.

Is Spain set to retain the World Cup?

If the World Cup was decided on mobile usage – Spain would be crowned World Champions yet again! Why? Because 68% of Spanish mobile subscribers will watch at least part of the action on their mobile device. That’s three times the number of people watching on mobile in the UK! Only 1 in 4 Brits (21.6%) will turn to a mobile to watch the Brazilian tournament. Even in Germany, just under half (39%) of their fans are opting to watch the matches on their mobile. To put that another way, Spain’s mobile subscribers are clearly reflecting their country’s chances of lifting the cup again!

Was that a goal? 

Imagine this. It’s the knock out stages and Brazil is playing Argentina. It’s 0-0 into the 85th minute and Messi closes in on the goal and kicks a brilliant curler... and …. and the video on your mobile starts to buffer. A genuine fear of missing those crucial moments is putting off subscribers. 

Amongst the Europeans, German supporters complained the most about poor video quality. In fact almost half (44.3%) of Germans who would like to watch the 2014 World Cup on their mobile device are worried about appalling video quality. In the UK, that figure is 1 in 3 (27.4%) and 1 in 4 (23%) Spanish fans are worried about poor quality video. 

And if poor video quality was not enough, European football fans are also complaining about bill shock.

Who’s afraid of the bill?

No one wants to pay more than they anticipated paying, and that’s keeping some footballs fans well away from their mobile devices. Of the people who would like to watch the games on mobile, a similar number of Brits (30.04%) and Germans (31.8%) fear bill shock. In Spain that figure goes down slightly to 25.40%.

Interestingly, despite fears over unknown data charges, Europe’s smartphone savvy football fans are willing to pay a fixed subscription fee to watch the matches in HD quality. 43% of Spanish, 34% of German and 21% of British subscribers were all happy to pay a fixed one-off fee, i.e. a video-service subscription fee, to their mobile operator for HD quality World Cup footage. This idea of Application Based Pricing has been around for a while now but so far only a few operators have cottoned on to its full potential.

And how much were they willing to pay? In the UK and Germany it was £5 (around US$8). However subscribers in Spain were willing to almost double that and fork out €10 (around US$14). All the signs that Spain’s mobile subscribers have high expectations from this year’s event! The serious point is that clearly consumers are happy to pay a fee for a service that delivers quality and gives them a great user experience. It’s more important than ever for mobile operators to meet the insatiable appetite for mobile video and monetize their data. Application Based Pricing is one of the ways to do just that.

The rise and rise (and rise) of mobile video

We also looked at the growth in mobile video from the 2010 South Africa World Cup. Across Europe we saw 2 to 4 times as many people wanting to view at least part of the 2014 tournament on mobile. This is not just down to an increase in smartphone penetration – that was already high in 2010. Rather, it clearly demonstrates the increasing penetration of mobile video as an activity people understand, can engage with and enjoy. Mobile operators must capitalize on the exponential demand for video. A major event like the World Cup does not only generate instantaneous revenues, it can also change habits as people who were not mobile video users realise that this is a great way to keep up with the action. It’s now more important than ever for mobile operators to intelligently monetize their data.

*John Giere has over 20 years of wireless industry management experience in sales, product management, marketing and business development. Prior to his role as President and CEO of Openwave Mobility, John served as GM of the mediation business unit for Openwave Systems. Before Openwave Systems, John served as CMO for Alcatel-Lucent and CMO for Lucent Technologies. Before joining Lucent in 2003, John worked for Ericsson in various strategic marketing and business development roles. John currently serves on the Board of Sonim Technologies. He holds an MBA from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University.