Thursday, April 30, 2015

SVA Published Open Cache Guiding Principles

The Streaming Video Alliance (SVA) published "..guiding principles and system attributes from its Open Caching Working Group. The SVA was established to create an open architecture, standards and best practices to support the future of online video"

SVA member list includes vendors such as Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco and Qwilt [see "Qwilt: "Open Transparent Caching" vs. Content Providers' "Black Boxes""- hereas well as CSP such as Comcast, KT, Telecom Italia and Telstra. However,major OTT VIdeo providers such as Netflix are not there.
"..  the Streaming Video Alliance has commissioned the Open Caching Working Group to develop proposed standards, best practices and policy to support a new layer of content caching within the ISP network, close to consumers. 

The Open Caching Working Group, commissioned earlier this year, has already developed a guiding principles document which will serve as the basis for a proposed Open Caching specification. This new Open Caching layer will perform a network function, optimizing network capacity utilization and quality of experience. Moreover, the Open Caching Layer will be open and universal, able to optimize any HTTP, HTTPS or other delivery protocols from any provider.

The attributes of Open Caching system include:
  • Open - Components of the system can be implemented by anyone
  • Universal - The system can serve any content provider stream, including HTTP, HTTPS or other delivery protocols
  • Shared Resource - The system optimizes the use of storage and compute resources for many content providers
  • Fairness - Content is treated objectively and in real time
  • Network Function - The system creates alternate network capacity and reduces congestion within the ISP network as well as reduces server capacity requirements for the content provider
  • Software-based - Components of the system can run as a software solution
  • Quality of Experience (QoE) - The QoE for end users being served by the Open Cache will meet or exceed the current QoE without the Open Cache in place.
See "Streaming Video Alliance Publishes Open Caching Guiding Principles and Attributes" - here.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Renesas Electronics Demos 200 Gbps Packet Processing and Classification Engine

  Renesas Electronics Corporation announced it is "demonstrating its Deterministic Deep Database Search Engine interoperating with Xilinx's FPGA-based packet processor

 .. Developed in close collaboration with Xilinx, this solution supports up to 200 Gbps of packet processing and includes advanced classification capabilities with over one million rules for application identification and access control lists to address the explosion of traffic and data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and devices.

The Renesas S-series network search engine provides two high-speed Interlaken Look-Aside ports and two independent memory banks enabling multi-threaded configurations. Based on over ten years of Renesas' extensive experience in ternary content addressable memory (TCAM) technology, the search database is fully scalable, while throughput and latency remain deterministic without the need for software realignment.

Xilinx FPGA board (left) and Renesas
evaluation board (right)

See "Renesas Demonstrates Deterministic Deep Database Search Engine Interoperating with Xilinx's FPGA-based Packet Processor at Japan IT Week 2015" - here.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

PCC Deployments [353]: Djibouti Telecom Manages Bandwidth with Alepo

Alepo announced that its "longstanding client Djibouti Telecom has decided to upgrade to the latest version of Alepo’s Service Enabler in order to deliver more advanced and flexible data offers to its rapidly growing subscriber base while achieving a significant reduction in OPEX. 
.. With Alepo SE, Djibouti Telecom gains real-time capabilities, such as the ability to enforce bandwidth policies and to offer features like “Bandwidth on Demand” to customers. What more, the upgrade will also help Djibouti Telecom make seamless offerings of discounts, promotions and communications via SMS, email in order to engage customers. The new functions in Alepo SE will help in greatly enhancing Djibouti’s capability to gain and retain subscribers"/

See "Djibouti Telecom Modernizes Fixed Broadband Network with Alepo BSS/OSS Upgrade" - here.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Sandvine Rates North-American OTT Services

HBO Now and  colleagues  on Apple TV
A recent post by Dan Deeth Sandvine's blog shows how the recent HBO recent OTT service, HBO NOW, did compared to the other popular services. "HBO NOW .. is distinct from HBO’s other streaming platform HBO GO in the sense that you can purchase an HBO NOW subscription without the aforementioned television package"

But first we need some DPI: ".. Even though the service went live in the middle of last week, Sandvine was able to provide our customers with a software update on Friday that allowed them to not only measure the service, but more importantly be able to do so in time for the launch for the new season of HBO’s most popular show Game of Thrones.

So what impact did Game of Thrones and HBO NOW have? Below is a snapshot of traffic mix from one fixed network located in the eastern United States taken at 9:30PM .. This is one network, on one day, and Internet traffic does fluctuate, so it is important to not take these figures to be representative of North America:

See "Sunday Night Streams – How Did HBO NOW Fare?" - here.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

CENTRI: Trials in LAT Show 35% Mobile Bandwidth Savings

CENTRI announced they have "..completed successful trials in Latin America proving that its BitSmart™ solution can help operators with an average of 35% savings on mobile bandwidth costs.

The trials included CENTRI’s BitSmart image and video optimization solution, which is the most advanced, and adaptable media optimization, delivery and policy enforcement solution in the industry. It provides the broadest capabilities coupled with superior performance and scalability to reduce network congestion caused by streaming video/audio, web content and application downloads while balancing network performance/costs with quality-of-experience". 

"The trials encompassed the testing of transcoding, caching, pacing and using patented optimization techniques while measuring entry data and exit data. CENTRI took various samplings showing the entry data, the exit data and amount saved through BitSmart. The testing produced impressive optimization results, including a few instances where specific data types experienced more than 70% savings, producing an overall average savings of 35% throughout the entire testing exercise. A chart of the optimization savings can be viewed below". 

See "CENTRI Completes Successful Trials in Latin America Saving Mobile Operators on Average 35% in Mobile Data Bandwidth Costs" - here.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Citrix Virtual WAN Reduces WAN Costs by 80%

Citrix announced the "CloudBridge™ Virtual WAN Edition, which reduces the cost of delivering applications, documents and IT services to branch offices by up to 80 percent, while ensuring nearly 100 percent application availability. The new CloudBridge Virtual WAN solution provides businesses with the flexibility to employ multiple cost-effective WAN technologies, offering the ability to scale WAN bandwidth at dramatically lower cost than traditional approaches".

"The solution also ensures the best possible user experience by securely sending mission-critical, delay-sensitive data over the highest performing path. The new CloudBridge Virtual WAN solution extends the CloudBridge platform and its integration with the company’s HDX and application acceleration technologies, to offer the most cost effective and highest performance solutions for securely delivering mobile workspaces with the applications, documents and IT services people need to work better in remote and branch offices". 

".. the new CloudBridge Virtual WAN solution allows enterprises to create a virtualized WAN by bonding multiple network services such as MPLS, broadband, mobile and satellite internet together to maximize WAN capacity and reliability. CloudBridge Virtual WAN constantly assesses the performance of paths within the virtualized WAN to instantaneously and automatically adapt to changing network conditions. This ensures constant connectivity of mission-critical applications without human intervention or complex routing table reconfigurations: 

See "Citrix Powers “Always-On” Branch Workspaces" - here.

Friday, April 24, 2015

CDN Deployments [352]: Wind [Italy] Selected ALU's Velocix (Joins Telus, Oi and TWC)

Alcatel-Lucent announced it is to "..provide Italy’s Wind Telecomunicazioni with content delivery network technology to support the launch of new video and TV services for its fixed and mobile subscribers. The provision of Alcatel-Lucent’s Velocix Content Delivery Network platform will enable Wind’s customers to manage video traffic on its network, providing an optimized experience for customers regardless of the device they use to access content". 

".. Alcatel-Lucent will deliver its Velocix 7810 Digital Media Delivery Platform, the market leading on-net Content Delivery Network system, used by some of the largest operators in the world, including TelusOi and Time Warner Cable, among others"

Related post - "Who is Using ALU's Velocix Solution?" - here.

Wind had 21.6M subscribers at the end of 2014. 

See "Alcatel-Lucent content delivery network technology selected by Wind to support its launch of premium video and TV services in Italy" - here.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

EZchip - New 20 Gbps SSL Proxy Solution for Traffic Visibility and Monitoring

EZchip Semiconductor unveiled its "Transparent SSL Proxy solution designed to enable traffic visibility for network monitoring and network security equipment. Targeted for integration by Network Monitoring and Security Appliance OEMs, the application delivers performance levels of 20Gbps of SSL Proxy throughput and over 30,000 new connection setups per second .. a Transparent SSL Proxy inspector is used to give IT staff the needed visibility into all traffic that is transiting through their network ..the Transparent SSL Proxy software solution is available now for evaluation.

The EZchip Transparent Proxy SSL software is a robust SSL inspection solution that incorporates the production-grade MatrixSSL™ security stack from INSIDE Secure as well as EZchip’s tStack high-performance user-space TCP/IP stack. The software has been designed and optimized to take advantage of the architectural and acceleration features of EZchip’s TILE-Gx processor to deliver scalability across the entire TILE-Gx processor family at industry-leading performance per watt.

The EZchip Transparent SSL Proxy software application may be paired with EZchip’s TILEmpower™ family of appliances or TILEncore™ intelligent PCIe adapters to accelerate time-to-market for OEMs and system integrators looking for a white-box solution. Vendors may also choose to design their own appliance hardware with the TILE-Gx family of processors and deploy the EZchip SSL Proxy software along with other advanced software functions on the same device".

See "EZchip Introduces High Performance Transparent SSL Proxy Application for Network Monitoring and Security Vendors" - here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Procera to be Acquired for $11.50/Share (Current Price $9.51)

Procera Networks announced that it has "signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by private funds managed by Francisco Partners Management, L.P., a leading global technology-focused private equity firm, in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $240 million.

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Francisco Partners will commence a tender offer no later than May 5, 2015 to acquire all outstanding shares of Procera’s common stock for $11.50 per share in cash. This represents a premium of approximately 21% over the closing price of Procera’s common stock on April 21, 2015, and a premium of approximately 32% over the unaffected closing price on January 22, 2015, the last day prior to an article reporting the potential sale of the company. Procera’s Board of Directors has unanimously approved the transaction"

Contract is here.
Procera also announced preliminary results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2015:

"Revenue for the first quarter of 2015 is expected to be in the range of $19.5 million to $20.5 million. The ratio of bookings to revenue for the first quarter was below one. The company expects the gross margin percentage to be approximately 60% and to incur a net operating loss on a GAAP and non-GAAP basis for the first quarter of 2015. The company is not revising its previously announced guidance for the full year".

See "Procera Networks to Be Acquired by Francisco Partners" - here.

[Analysys Mason]: Will OTT VoIP Replicate the Success of OTT Messaging?

A new report by Patrick Rusby, analyst and Stephen Sale [pictured], Principal Analyst, Analysys Mason finds that "VoIP apps will probably not replicate the success of OTT messaging apps because the use case for OTT voice services is less clear"

Other findings:
    Kik App
  • "Penetration of OTT messaging (IP or social messaging), voice and video calling services varies significantly by country OTT messaging was the most commonly adopted category of OTT service, because it offers an improved user experience compared with SMS, at zero or minimal cost 
  • Penetration of VoIP on mobile handsets remains relatively low in Europe and the USA. In contrast to messaging, VoIP apps have not been able to offer a significantly differentiated user experience or price advantage for domestic calling
  • In Europe and the USA, Facebook Messenger, Skype and WhatsApp Messenger, the three dominant apps, were each used by over 30% of OTT messaging users in these regions. The market is characterised by a long tail of niche apps that appeal to specific groups, often based on age, and often within a specific country – for example, Kik in the USA and Snapchat in the UK". 

See "The Connected Consumer Survey 2015: OTT communication services"- here.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When Every Milisec Counts, You Need an Extranet

Colt announced the "launch of its financial services extranet Colt PrizmNet, which will connect providers of financial content – including market data, research and other services – to Capital Markets firms. A dedicated private network with deterministic low latency will guarantee reliable, consistent, and transparent content delivery. Providers already signed up to distribute content via Colt’s extranet service include NLX, Nasdaq, Japan Exchange Group (JPX) and Aquis Exchange.

The Colt PrizmNet service has been designed in consultation with over 20 investment banks, asset managers and brokers. It has four key differentiating features:

  • Guaranteed deterministic latency for the delivery of content to the consumer
  • Near real time network performance monitoring
  • Self-service portal for easy access to content and services
  • Superior business focused SLAs (Service Level Agreement)
The Colt PrizmNet service combines existing network and data centre assets as well as the financial services industry and low latency network experience of Colt, KVH and MarketPrizm. PrizmNet is available for all market participants across Europe today with similar services to follow across Asian markets and in key North American cities throughout 2015. Full functionality in all regions will be available by the end of 2015". 

See "Colt launches financial services extranet" - here.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Allot: 4 Contracts for Web Security Offering

Allot Communications announced that it has "won four contracts in the first quarter of 2015 to supply its Allot WebSafe Personal product, a carrier-class Web Security service that enables service providers and enterprises to deliver a safer and more protected Internet environment to their users.
  • The first two orders came from existing Tier-1 mobile operator customers in EMEA. These operators are expanding their SECaaS offerings with Allot Service Gateway Tera and Allot WebSafe Personal to enable rapid rollout of value-added parental control and anti-malware services. Allot’s technology will allow the operators to easily scale to the growing demand from millions of users for these security services.
  • A third order was from a new Tier-1 American operator customer that plans to monetize its security offerings by leveraging WebSafe Personal to offer SECaaS services.
  • The fourth order was secured from an existing Tier-1 operator customer in APAC that is adding WebSafe Personal to its Allot Service Protector deployment. The existing deployed solution is already being used to protect against high-volume distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. The expanded security capabilities now allow the operator to comply with government regulation by filtering harmful content"
Recently Allot released Key findings of the Allot MobileTrends Report H1 2015:
  • Of CSPs who offer SECaaS, 60% charge a premium for it at prices ranging from $1 to $5 per month per line.
  • Security services are mutually beneficial for broadband users and service providers. Users perceive parental controls and anti-malware services as high-value, while CSPs can quickly achieve positive ROI from delivering security solutions with incremental pricing
  • Network-based security SECaaS create customer stickiness that can reduce churn rates by as much as 2.4% annually, which can cover the cost of deployment and operation on its own
  • ROI on premium parental controls and anti-malware services can be achieved in five to seven months (six months on average), with ROI reaching greater than 250% in 12 months.
See "Allot Receives Four Orders from Tier-1 Operators to Enable Delivery of Security-as-a-Service and Comply with Regulation" - here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

BroadForward's DSC Gets Traction: Selected by 7 Tier1s

BroadForward announced that "over the course of last months, its flagship product BFX Interface Gateway has been selected by seven tier-1 service providers" [see - Polkomtel]. 

"BFX is used for various use cases including Diameter routing, multi-protocol interworking and mediation, LTE roaming, VoLTE, 2G/3G network interworking, M2M communications and network function virtualization (NFV). The Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) market is quickly developing, driven by the phenomenal growth in LTE rollouts and 4G data services"
Taco Schoute [pictured], CEO, BroadForward: “Our customers typically have requirements and roadmaps which go further than managing and controlling Diameter traffic. They select BFX for being the most advanced Diameter router in the market. BFX enables service orchestration across signaling assets and disparate technologies, without the need for any scripting or development. These aspects, in combination with virtualization and cost reduction, are fundamental in their decision process for core network investments.. Our recent high-profile wins are a testament to BroadForward’s leadership in the Next Generation DSC space

See "BroadForward announces seven tier 1 Diameter router wins" - here.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

BSS Deployments [351]: T-Mobile [Austria] Selected Openet's Virtualized Solution

Openet announced that "T-Mobile Austria has selected its extensive solution set to support a fully converged and virtualized charging solution. Openet’s Evolved Charging Solution (ECS) will provide T-Mobile Austria with next generation rating and charging capability to manage their existing services, as well as ensure new services are well supported and effectively monetized .. Openet provides a virtualized end-to-end solution capable of creating dynamic and personalised offers for T-Mobile Austria’s prepay, postpay, consumer and enterprise subscribers.

Niall Norton [pictured], CEO, Openet said: “We’re delighted to have successfully fought off some intense competition to secure T-Mobile Austria’s business. This deal not only validates the quality of our technology, it also demonstrates the technical strength of our team and its ability to carefully articulate the future value of virtualization to MNOs globally

At the end of 2014, T-Mobile Austria had 4M subscribers, a 1.7% decreased compared to the previous year.

See "Openet’s Evolved Charging will replace the existing legacy Intelligent Network to enable the flexibility to deliver on T-Mobile’s current and future real-time charging requirements" - here.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Procera Doubles NAVL Performance to 10Gbps/Core

Procera Networks announced "Network Application Visibility Library (NAVL) 4.3, the latest next-generation Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) software engine that provides real-time, Layer-7 classification of network traffic. NAVL 4.3 provides cutting-edge application identification and classification for today’s demanding consumer and enterprise Internet services, and offers a two-fold increase in performance .. NAVL 4.3 is generally available today for new and existing customers

..In recent benchmarking tests, NAVL achieved average performance gains of over 50 percent on standard x86 platforms, and doubled performance when utilizing an external connection management configuration. Leveraging an Intel Sandy Bridge processor 
Procera observed 10 Gbps of throughput per core and linear scalability as cores were added on a dual socket E5-2670 at 2.6 Ghz with HyperThreading and Turbo-Boost disabled. Integrators that require embedded DPI in specialized use cases like low-power devices (such as machine-to-machine [M2M] communication) or specialized CPUs (such as security) will especially benefit from NAVL 4.3’s global optimization. NAVL 4.3 also provides a simplified deployment process, consolidating hundreds of files down to one simple download".

Related post - "Procera: "lower than anticipated total addressable market" for NAVL" - here.

See "Procera Networks Releases NAVL 4.3, Doubling Performance for Embedded Internet and Application Intelligence" - here.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

SMART [Philippines] Deploys Sandvine's New "SmartService", Self-care App

Sandvine announced "SmartService App, a smartphone application designed to enable Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Mobile Virtual Network Operator’s (MVNOs) to offer subscribers the ability to instantly select, personalize and monitor their service plan directly on their device.

Sandvine’s SmartService App provides an on device storefront that radically enhances an operator's service creation capabilities. By placing a one-stop-shop for Internet data plans at the fingertips of subscribers, SmartService App provides the opportunity for operators to extend beyond traditional volume-based plans (by megabyte or gigabyte) to value-based plans that offer greater revenue potential by providing access to specific applications (e.g. YouTube, Twitter) or application groups (e.g. social networking or music streaming) that subscribers desire.

Smart Communications, the Philippines' leading wireless services provider, has already enabled a mobile Internet operator storefront application, branded locally as PowerApp [see "Smart [Philippines] Uses Sandvine for Application-Aware Service Plans" - here], using the platform and technology behind Sandvine’s SmartService App. One of the most popular uses in that market is “bite-size” mobile Internet plans that offer time-of-day usage by the minute, hour, or day for highly-valued applications". 

See "Sandvine Unveils Carrier Branded SmartService App" - here.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

[Analysys Mason]: Smartphone Traffic Uses Wi-Fi (81%) and Generated at Homes (90%)

A new report by Martin Scott [pictured], Practice Head, and Aris Xylouris, Research Analyst, Analysys Mason analyses the smartphone usage of consumers in France, Germany, the UK and the USA.

The finds that "19% of all smartphone traffic observed in the panel was carried over the cellular network. LTE will make cellular networks more attractive relative to Wi-Fi, but we still expect the proportion of total smartphone traffic carried over the cellular network to decline to 16% by 2019. The volume of data will grow significantly on both types of network

.. 90% of panellists’ Wi-Fi traffic that we were able to categorise and identify came from home Wi-Fi connections and 89% of panellists connected to such networks. This is not necessarily a single residential connection – for example, many people connected to multiple home Wi-Fi networks, presumably those of friends and family.

  • Beyond the home, the narrative is more fragmented – 60% of consumers connected to operator-branded hotspots (for example, AT&T, BT or O2 hotspots that were not also branded as community Wi-Fi), but this accounted for only 2.1% of all Wi-Fi traffic generated. The greatest value of such hotspots, it seems, is not generally in easing the congestion of particular macrocells, but in reinforcing brand presence and improving QoE in areas with poor cellular data performance. 
  • The role of tethering is a complex part of an operator’s strategy and can, in some situations, help (with the generation of further monetisable traffic) and sometimes hinder (when the tethering is used instead of higher-priced dedicated tariffs).[The chart above] indicates tethering where the smartphone was not the cellular bearer – the cellular connection was shared from either a Mi-Fi device, a tablet or another smartphone.
See "Consumer smartphone usage 2014: mobile data usage" - here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

To be Connected: 1B Homes, 342M Cars

While an Infonetics report forecasts 1B fixed broadband connection (by 2019, here), a new report by James Hodgson [pictured], Research Analyst, ABI Research finds that "Connected Automotive Infotainment Systems will exhibit a CAGR of 33.8% over the next 5 years, with a rapid expansion in connected navigation and in-car Wi-Fi driving growth. Developed regions, which accounted for over 60% of shipments in 2014, will account for only 37.4% of shipments in 2020. Indeed, just over half of all systems shipping in 2020 will do so in the Asia-Pacific region.

..Many OEMs have made commitments to equip the majority of their consumer vehicles shipping in 2020 with embedded connectivity. Nevertheless, a significant number of vehicles are still expected to rely on smartphone integration for their connectivity, with shipments of telematics systems supporting such integration on average expected to exhibit a CAGR of 60.6% between 2015 and 2020.

.. it is unlikely systems such as Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink will serve as the vehicle’s sole infotainment system. Rather, they will complement the OEM’s own proprietary system, as is the case with the new Volvo XC90

See "Over 342 Million Connected Automotive Infotainment Systems to Ship between 2015 and 2020" - here.

Monday, April 13, 2015

[Infonetics]: 1B Fixed Broadband Subscribers by 2019 (5% CAGR)

A new report by Jeff Heynen [pictured], principal analyst for broadband access and pay TV, Infonetics Research finds that "global fixed broadband subscribers, including DSL, cable broadband, FTTH, and FTTB+LAN subscribers. (Infonetics tracks mobile broadband subscribers in its Mobile Services and Subscribers report.) grew 8 percent in 2014, reaching 733 million as service providers around the world continue to steadily add subscribers" 

The report forecasts that "global fixed broadband subscribers to grow at a 5 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2014 to 2019, led by China, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam.

  • Though DSL remains far and away the largest technology choice for fixed broadband, subscriber growth is being driven by FTTH and DOCSIS 3.0
  • FTTH subscribers jumped 22 percent in 2014 from 2013, crossing the 100 million threshold for the first time"
See "Infonetics Projects Fixed Broadband Subscribers to Approach 1 Billion in 2019, Led by China" - here.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Airtel: The Internet, with Our Airtel Zero, is Neutral

Last week Bharti Airtel announced the "launch of ‘Airtel Zero’ – an open marketing platform that will allow customers to access mobile applications at zero data charges. Akin to the established concept of toll-free voice calling, ‘Airtel Zero’ will allow everyone from big marketers to small-time application developers to make parts or their entire mobile app free for customers – thus reviving interest of dormant customers, attracting new potential users and increasing retention. 

The platform will be a big win for customers as it will allow them to access their favourite mobile applications at no data charges, and also encourage them to try out new applications .. We invite all application developers to register their interest in ‘Airtel Zero’ and see the compelling reach it can deliver to Airtel’s 200 million plus customers across India".

The new service raised Net Neutrality concerns in India. The Hindu reports (see "Net neutrality: Airtel defends data pricing" - here) that Bharti Airtel chief for strategy Shyam Mardikar [pictured] said that "an operator has a right to maximise its revenue from customers .. stating that the Internet is neutral and will continue to be so ..we are confusing here is the concept of service neutrality to net neutrality"

"How will ‘Airtel Zero’ work?
  1. Mobile app makers register with ‘Airtel Zero’ to give customers toll-free access to their apps
  2. Airtel informs customers about these toll-free apps
  3. Customers download and access these apps at zero data charges – and enjoy their favorite online tasks (e.g. entertainment, shopping) for free – even at zero mobile balance"

See "Airtel launches ‘Airtel Zero’: A win-win platform for customers and marketers" - here.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Tektronix Adds Virtual Probe to Access Subscriber Usage Data in Real-Time

Tektronix Communications announced the ",,addition of two new solutions, GeoSoft ™ and GeoBlade ™, to its GeoProbe® family:
    • GeoSoft is a revolutionary software-only or ‘virtual’ probe that has been developed in response to a number of carrier needs, including the move towards virtualized network environments. It supports both physical and virtual networks providing real-time and historic end-to-end session trace data, network-wide KPI visibility and enables the delivery of more innovative services, thereby improving customer experience as new services are launched.  
    • GeoBlade™ combines elastic software and modular hardware, to cope with the demands of today’s massive data traffic growth, whilst providing the opportunity to scale at speed whenever needed. GeoBlade has the ability to support data transfer speeds from 10 Gbps to 100’s of Gbps, collecting and correlating massive amounts of data in real-time.  
      The GeoBlade platform enables the operators to optimize OPEX due to the ingrained capability of handling network topology, configuration and capacity management in a programmatic and automatic fashion, and improves data integrity with a built in innovative load balancing architecture. This capability to interact in real-time with service operators’ orchestration management layer also makes the GeoBlade platform a perfect choice to operate in a NFV environment where there is a need for a high density probing infrastructure".
    See "Tektronix Communications Expands GeoProbe® Family" - here.

    Friday, April 10, 2015

    Sandvine Sold its Holding in Xerocole to Akamai

    Sandvine released yesterday its Q1 results (revenues of $32.4M - here). The release also states that "Net income for the quarter includes $2.8 million of other income related to a gain on the disposition of an investment in a private company".

    Sandvine's financial report explains that "On February 27, 2015, the Company sold its preferred share investment in a private company for consideration of $3,057. Consequently, the Company has recognized a gain related to the disposition of its preferred share investment of $2,778. Subsequent to February 28, 2015 the Company collected $2,595 with the balance held in escrow and due August 27, 2016" (here).

    According to SeekingAlpha's transcript of the earning call (See "Sandvine's (SNVNF) CEO Dave Caputo on Q1 2015 Results - Earnings Call Transcript" - here) - "approximately $2.8 million of current quarter net income resulted from a gain on the sale of a minority investment in Duracool, which related to a spin out of our 2007 acquisition of Simplicita. Duracool was recently acquired by [indiscernible]".

    To be more exact, the name of the private company is Xerocole. 

    Simplicita built behavioral advertising solutions and was acquired by Sandvine in 2007, Xerocole was spawn-off in 2010 (see "Sandvine Spins-off Simplicita as Xerocole" - here). Its site explains that its mission is to "simply deliver, for service providers, the smartest and most personal DNS platform on the planet We relentlessly pursue DNS technology and service excellence and perfect how users control the right websites and right time for each. We believe that a great Internet experience begins with great DNS technology and services".
    On March 2nd, Akamai announced it has acquired Xerocole (see 'Akamai Acquires Xerocole" - here) - explaining that "Xerocole's intelligent recursive DNS technology was designed to provide carriers with security, speed, and the ability to dynamically and flexibly set DNS policy and user preferences".

    Thursday, April 9, 2015

    Saisei Helps SPs Conform to Net Neutrality

    DPI vendors are offering fairness-based traffic shaping solutions for more than 15 years now (such as Fair Use Management by Allot, Fair Use Policy by Sandvine and "Procera Networks and Openet Partnership Delivers Advanced Fair Usage to APAC" - here).

    These solution support throughput of  hundreds of Gbps in an appliance or using a virtual s/w deployment (Sandvine, Procera, Allot), but one should never skip a good marketing opportunity - such as the anticipated (US-centric) new Net Neutrality rules.

    And indeed - Saisei announced "Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box, a simplified version of its powerful FlowCommand™ Network Performance Enforcement (NPE) software, that is specifically targeted at solving the network issues relating to the pending fair Internet usage mandate stemming from recent US FCC recommendations as well as growing enterprise network congestion.

    Saisei’s Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box comes preconfigured with Saisei’s unique “Host Equalization” enabled on start up. Using Host Equalization in-line, the Saisei solution automatically identifies, monitors and controls every single flow on a critical broadband link – up to millions of concurrent data, voice and video sessions – in real time without any impact on network performance.

    Host Equalization gives every host – user – on a link exactly the same percentage of the available bandwidth that every other user has, regardless of what application(s) they may be running. Aggressive applications, including peer-to-peer apps like BitTorrent, high volumes of YouTube traffic or file transfers, that used to grab huge percentages of link bandwidth and crash other users, will now get the same percentage of a link’s bandwidth as every other user on the network.

    Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-Box can be deployed either as a VM under Hypervisor – VMware or KVM – control or, for customers preferring a traditional hardware solution, on Saisei-certified bare-metal x86 server cores as a bump-in-the-wire on routed IP links. Currently, links up to 10G are supported, with higher bandwidth solutions now under development"

    See "Net-Neutrality-in-a-Virtual-BoxTM from Saisei Instantly Enforces Equal Access for all Broadband Network Users at the Click of a Button Regardless of Network Load" - here.

    Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    Oracle's Diameter Signaling Calculator

    Oracle has a tool for service providers, enabling them to "understand how to dimension their networks based on the number of subscribers they have to support, and the applications and services to be supported. This unique tool is built from years of modeling in live networks, and from signaling experts that understand the traffic flows introduced in Diameter networks when new services are implemented".

    [Related post - "Diametriq Presents: LTE Diameter Traffic Calculator" - here]

    "This tool is available online, and will provide some guidance to help engineers and planners understand the impacts of services at a high level

    The following chart has been prepared by the tool for a network that starts with 200,000 LTE subscribers in year 1, through 400,000, 1M, 2M, 4M subscribers in the following years upto 5M in 6th year.

    This imaginary network is located in Western Europe, and has 4% of inbound and 5% of outbound roamers.

    See "Plan for Future Growth of LTE Diameter Signaling" - here.

    Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    Juniper (W/Maxeler Technologies) Unveiled an Application & Packet Flow Accelerator

    MaxelerLow Latency Platforms
    Juniper Networks unveiled the "..QFX5100-AA, a new application acceleration switch, and the QFX-PFA, a new packet flow accelerator module, together providing a ground-breaking data center switch that consolidates compute resources and customizable logic into the network. 

    Building on Juniper’s proven QFX product family, the QFX5100-AA and QFX-PFA in partnership with Maxeler Technologies’ customizable software logic will significantly accelerate business-critical applications in latency-sensitive computing environments.

    Available in Q3 2015, the QFX5100-AA and QFX-PFA will enable financial services providers to streamline their network operations while empowering their customers to make split-second analysis based on significant amounts of data. Specific benefits will include:

    • A holistic data center network architecture that builds on the Juniper Networks®QFX5100 with a new 40G Ethernet switch that combines the Intel® Xeon™ processor E3-1125C v2 with Broadcom switching silicon, and the QFX-PFA module based on the Altera multi-100G field-programmable gate array (FPGA).
    • QFX5100-AA and QFX-PFA work with Maxeler Technologies’ dataflow programming environment for specific application programming that enables customers to develop and customize applications that best suit their requirements.
    • Performance acceleration at the application level provided by using customizable logic to offload processing of compute-intensive, real-time, deterministic, latency sensitive applications"
    See "Juniper Networks Advances Application Performance and Acceleration with New Compact Compute-Integrated Network Switch" - here and "Require high performance and application acceleration? Meet the new QFX5100-AA Switch" - here.

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    [Guest post] Virtualizing Subscriber Intelligence through Data Federation

    By Indranil Chaterjee*, VP Product Management, Marketing & Strategy,  Openwave Mobility

    Of course Subscriber Data Management is not new, but what is new is the fact that the Internet of Things is changing the very definition of what we call “a subscriber”. As we approach 2020 and the 50 billion connected devices that Ericsson and Cisco forecast, the range and sheer volume of subscriber data” is soaring and will overwhelm those operators who are unprepared. Just as we saw and are still witnessing a tsunami of video data, so too we are beginning a wave of subscriber data which can either overwhelm operators, or provide for new types of monetization as cars, CCTVs, and multiple office, retail and home devices take on the role of “subscriber” and begin uploading their subscriber data.

    Today in almost every mobile operator this diverse data is stored in multiple stand-alone silos in a fragmented state. Fragmenting data related to subscriber profiles, billing, and device details across logical and physical architectures and locations increases power consumption and network footprint while compounding network complexity and inefficiencies. This makes management, operation, and maintenance of the infrastructure much more challenging than it should be. Subscriber Data Federation (SDF), a form of Data Virtualization, eases this complexity by helping operators create a robust connection between the data and the repositories that they sit in within having to physically merge all the data into a single, central repository.

    By providing a unified view of subscriber data as well as dynamic and transactional information, mobile operators have the agility to rapidly introduce new services and establish new revenue streams by leveraging data regardless of its format or which database servers they happen to be stored on. Data federation allows applications and tools to access data from multiple repositories and storage structures, access languages and APIs. Through virtualized data architectures, mobile operators can reap the benefits of federated data while allowing all other applications to use the various data repositories directly. This way, operators can focus on what matters – improving the customer experience and increasing profitability by monetizing this subscriber information.

    Mobile operators that lack data federation are limited to building applications from specific repositories – such as those within an optimal geographic range to minimize latency – and have to work within the protocols of various data structures and storage types. Typical repositories tend to have varying capabilities. For example, certain silos are allocated more resources for ultra-fast access to information for real-time applications while others are created for non-time-sensitive access and can afford some latency. If changes are made to a certain application, operators are required to make the changes in all repositories across the board that is associated with the particular application. This can clearly become a complex and resource-intensive task that not only risks the integrity of network information but also increase time-to-market for new monetization opportunities. In the ever-evolving mobile ecosystem, time is money after all, and lacking a federated approach to data integrity cuts into the bottom line.

    While the network utopia of having a truly unified architecture is an eventual goal for most operators, not all organizations are ready to make the jump. Indeed disparate teams within an operator organization may have vested interested in managing their own repositories. They may not want to risk the integrity of the silo which they have grown to know and understand and which benefits them most by integrating it with another. From a technological standpoint, these separate teams may not want the full responsibilities of managing a unified data architecture because of the associated complexities. Fortunately, data federation provides a flexible interface between data silos that reads and writes data to existing systems, allowing for a consolidated view of all subscriber data, and allows mobile operators to transform their repositories to a unified architecture over time. Data federation is thus essentially a stepping stone to a single shared repository. By scaling the virtualization process of their repositories and engaging in a hybrid approach to federating data, operators can continue to support the dual strategy of consolidation (such as the case of Subscriber Data Management or SDM) and federation. By deploying data federation, those applications that need data federation get the benefits of federation, while other applications can continue to use their data repositories directly as required.

    The ultimate benefit of virtualizing a data ecosystem is having a flexible interface among silos to both read and write data to existing and new systems. An integrated, holistic view and methodology for storing and accessing data without having to physically unite all silos will help mobile operators to seat their existing assets and efficiently leverage all their subscriber data effectively. This empowers them to minimize the Total Cost of Ownership for their networks while maximizing profitability without disrupting existing silos and the systems that depend on them.


    *Indranil Chatterjee has over 15 years of experience in product management, marketing, strategy and software development in the mobile communications and IT industries. Prior to joining Openwave Systems, Indranil was director of product management at Syniverse Technologies, responsible for new product development for wireless applications and mobile analytics. Before joining Syniverse, he served as Director of Wireless Solutions for Alcatel-Lucent. Indranil is a member of the Board of Governors of 4G Americas.

    He holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) – BHU, India.

    Sunday, April 5, 2015

    [Analysys Mason]: Fixed Broadband Consumers Buy on Price; VAS Increases ARPU

    A new report by Aris Xylouris, Research Analyst, and Martin Scott [pictured], Practice Head, Consumer Services Research, Analysys Mason analyzes the ".. approaches that fixed operators are taking to promote superfast broadband in their respective markets".

    According to the report "Consumers are reluctant to pay a premium for faster speeds [see chart below]. This, combined with the lack of clear applications for high bandwidth services for many users, diminishes potential consumer interest in superfast broadband

    Consumers’ expectations of the quality of experience tend to increase along with advertised speeds, which can lead to dissatisfaction with the service for users on top-level speeds."

    Criteria consumers intend to use when selecting their next fixed broadband service, by age range

    "Operators should supplement superfast broadband offers with value-added services (VAS). They can charge more for such bundles, and this can increase ARPU. Services that benefit from higher access speeds – such as multi-screen TV and video-on-demand (VoD) services – are the best candidates. Services such as these will enable operators to compete with over-the-top (OTT) players, and monetise customers’ online media usage more effectively".

    Percentage of tariffs that include value-added services,
     by download speed and service type, Europe, 4Q 2014

    See "Multi-play pricing benchmark 4Q 2014: superfast broadband pricing and marketing strategies" - here.

    Saturday, April 4, 2015

    UK: LTE Performs Better than 3G!

    Finally, a prove that the huge investment in LTE pays off!
    A new research by the British regulator, Ofcom, finds that "Overall, 4G networks performed much better than 3G networks in five sample towns and cities tested - Edinburgh, Leeds, London, Newcastle and Poole/Bournemouth - where both 4G and 3G networks have been rolled out. In these areas, 4G networks delivered an average download speed of 14.7Mbit/s (compared with 5.9Mbit/s on 3G) and took 0.72 seconds to load a web page (compared with 1.04 seconds on 3G).

    Source: Ofcom

    Average download speeds, by provider, Q4 2014 Source: Ofcom

    "For web browsing speed, the research measured the time it took to load a standard web page. Web browsing is one of the most popular activities on 4G. Across all 4G networks tested, average web browsing speed was 0.72 seconds"

    Average web browsing speeds by provider, Q4 2014 (lower is better) Source: Ofcom

    See "Ofcom today published research into 4G and 3G mobile broadband performance" - here.