Saturday, August 31, 2013

[Strategy Analytics]: SDN can save MNOs more than $4B CapEx by 2017

A new study by Sue Rudd [pictured], Director, Service Provider Analysis, Strategy Analytics (sponsored by Tellabs) finds that "SDN can save mobile operators more than $4 billion in capital expenses by 2017. Savings stem from 5 key SDN applications for mobile backhaul networks [see below]".

The highest % of savings relates to Wi-Fi Offload and video redirect (over $1B). 

"The Tellabs Congestion Control Application, which it demonstrated earlier in 2013 [here], is one example of SDN in action. The application applies SDN to head off bottlenecks and reroute traffic in the backhaul network before users are aware of any problems with their service. For this demonstration, Tellabs’ approach was to add the SDN controller to its existing Tellabs® 8000 Intelligent Network Manager. This means that customers can deploy SDN seamlessly without the need to rebuild the network to achieve the advantages that SDN brings"

See "New Study Reveals: SDN Could Save Operators $4 Billion in Capital Expense by 2017" - here.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ixia Scales-up Testing with New Load Module

100/40/10GE module
Ixia announced a "new family of products designed to enable enterprises and service providers to handle more traffic and increasingly sophisticated services. The XcellonTM-Multis solution delivers enterprises and service providers the flexibility to test complex scenarios involving high-capacity 10GE, 40GE or 100GE networking products at higher speeds and with a higher return on investment ..  Ixia customers can now do more with less by using the Xcellon-Multis family, which scales up to hundreds of 40GE and 100GE ports".

" Ixia's Xcellon-Multis load module family comprises the industry's highest density 40G and 100G higher speed Ethernet (HSE) test equipment, providing more flexible test coverage and 4x100GE, 12x40GE, or dualrate 40GE/100GE, all in a single-slot load module".
See "Ixia Innovation Enables Customers to Deliver Sophisticated Network Services With Less Investment" - here.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Elitecore Virtualizes Diameter Signaling Controller

Elitecore Technologies announces that its "Diameter Signaling Controller, EliteDSC, now comes with new features including a unique software-based approach along with Virtualization technology .. As compared to legacy hardware based solution , a software-based approach to Diameter signaling ensures flexibility in integration through simple GUI-based configuration, enabling operators to introduce software-level changes to create new features, applications and use cases.

Virtualization in EliteDSC maximizes hardware performance, improves manageability of newer resources and adds scalability to operator's networks while creating new services based on evolving subscriber needs. The virtualized Diameter engine does away with server sprawl, reduces hardware & deployment costs, ensures disaster recovery & faster provisioning which drastically saves on power consumption and prevents lock-in with hardware vendors".

See "Elitecore Brings Diameter Signaling Controller With Powerful New Features" - here.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Procera Wins a Multi-Million Deal at a Top 5 MNO (LTE) in Latin America

Procera Networks announced it has "..received an initial multi-million dollar order from a Tier 1, top 5 Latin American mobile network operator (MNO) .. This operator selected Procera’s PacketLogic™ Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) due to the fine-grained, subscriber-aware analytics and advanced policy-based solutions, so that they can monetize their LTE investments and maintain their subscriber’s quality of service and experience. Initial revenue is expected to be recognized in the second half of 2013".
See "Procera Networks Receives Initial Order in Multi-Million Dollar Deployment at Top 5 Mobile Operator in Latin America" - here.

PCRF Vendors Respond to Bell Canada Observations

Last week I posted several quotes from an interview with Cassio Sampaio, Bell Canada about policy management (see "Bell Canada: 'Network Policy is one of those things that are easier said than done'" - here), in which he described the differences between the vendors pitch and the operator reality.

I asked some of the policy management vendors to provide their response to Mr. Sampaio views, possibly based on their own field experience, and got the following comments from Torres Networks, FTS, Openet and Ericsson (HP made a comment to the post itself):
Based on our observation, an operator likes to start small by applying a policy in a limited way. For example, an overlay of “happy hour” permits the subscriber to browse at 70% tariff from 6 p.m. to midnight. Gradually, more overlays can be applied, for example, a “super-happy” hour from 10 to 11 p.m., at 50% tariff (meaning that the subscriber will move back to 70% tariff at 11 p.m., and to full tariff at midnight).

The above point can be intimidating and tricky to apply. Many PCRFs support rule-based priority (for example, the super-happy hour overlay above should be checked first, and therefore be assigned higher priority than the happy hour one). While this sounds simple, a mesh of overlays can complicate the situation and confuse the operator. Therefore, it is important to have a “dry run” with a what-if analysis, before actually rolling out new schemes. The initial rollout should be performed for limited hours and on a small subset of users, ideally a more ‘tolerant’ set (students, for example).

After taking the above points into consideration, the operator can certainly arrive at a solution to harness the full potential of a PCRF.
  • Moshe Peterfreund, Director of Marketing, FTS
Indeed, operators are facing challenges related to time-to-market in deploying network policies. The biggest problem that they are facing to date is that their back-end systems are both cumbersome and expensive to alter. As changes happen in the market, it can take operators months to react to them and put in place charging and pricing plans that fit with their customers’ requirements and rival their competitors. Slow reaction times and costly change requests mean that operators are struggling to innovate. The need to integrate complex, multiple systems can slow things down, and integration remains one of the biggest bottlenecks to policy and marketing innovation.

However, even if the integration and interfaces issues are solved, the question is whether the operator has the ability to work as quickly to implement innovative campaigns as fast as its marketing department is developing them. Take, for example, a wireless provider that wants to encourage its subscribers to sign up for premium data services. It uses a policy control and charging solution that provides quota-based credits for the data used on these premium services, enabling consumers to be refunded the data they use when accessing services such as VoIP or online gaming. The credits, on top of their regular Internet quota, mean that consumers no longer ‘pay’ twice for additional services. This incentivizes subscribers to sign up for premium services, something they might be unwilling to do in a world of simple consumption control, where it would just 'eat' their entire quota. This is a real-life example that was implemented using FTS' Leap Policy Control and charging solution with no delay by the service provider’s own IT team, once it was conceived by the CSP's marketing team, and without the need to revert to the vendor for long change request processes which would delay the service introduction. 
  • Christopher Hoover, VP, Global Marketing, Openet
Openet hears similar feedback from many operators. A vendor's promise of set-it-and-forget-it policy sounds nice, but is rarely reality. Technical challenges are commonplace. Policy requires integration across multiple networks, across multiple nodes within a networks, across multiple vendors for the various nodes, across multiple versions of the node from the same vendor, across multiple levels of support for a specific standard, across multiple interpretations of a standard, etc. This is one reason flexibility is an integral aspect of our product line.
Flexibility from a integration point of view is only one half of the story, however. Functional flexibility is also important. Policy systems first deployed to support simple "fair usage" style use cases are now required to support a more complex commercial evolution. Policy is working hand in hand with Real Time Charging systems, Subscriber Engagement systems, and Reporting/Analytics systems to evolve offerings not only in Retail, but also in Wholesale, M2M, and enterprise.

Understanding these two aspects is why Openet is consistently ranked the world's leading vendor.
  • Kent Halling, Industry Analyst Relations, Ericsson
Ericsson agrees with Mr Sampaio’s statement that those things are easier said than done for many operators. Current OSS/BSS implementations often treat charging and policy control as separate silos for historical and organizational reasons. In today’s networks, these systems must collaborate in real time in order to satisfy new business needs. Collectively, they need to create new offerings, charge them correctly, enforce their usage and QoS rules and secure optimal use of the operator’s network resources.

Technically, too, it is difficult for industry standards, which operators rely on, to keep pace with the needs of a very fast-moving industry. This creates uncertainty for operators deciding whether to invest in solutions that go above and beyond the standards by incorporating valuable but non-standard extensions. The 3GPP and other standards bodies still regard operator environments as segmented with few, or non-existent, interfaces between each element, such as OSS-to-BSS or BSS-to-network. To overcome weaknesses in the established 3GPP standards, new interfaces, such as Sy, were created to simplify integrated charging and policy control.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Comviva Integrates Vantrix Video Optimization

Mahindra Comviva announced that it has "..joined hands with Vantrix .. with this partnership, Vantrix’s advanced video optimization solution, Bandwidth Optimizer, will be integrated with Mahindra Comviva’s Mobile Data Platform (MDP), which is targeted at addressing the broadband traffic and specifically Video Traffic for Policy Management, Optimization and Monetization (MOM).
Mahindra Comviva has more than a decade of experience in managing mobile data pipes for over 80 service providers globally across 40+ countries, while Vantrix solutions are deployed in over 75 mobile networks, serving more than one billion subscribers in five continents. Vantrix has also been partnering with Mahindra Comviva with their media transcoding for its Multimedia Messaging Service Center (MMSC) suite and RCSe compliant IMPS suite"

See "Mahindra Comviva and Vantrix Join Hands to Address $2.5 Billion Policy-Based Video Optimization Market" - here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Cellcom Sells its "Kosher" ISP Subsidiary; Values at $200/subscriber

Amitai Ziv reports to The Marker (here, Hebrew) that Cellcom, an Israeli MNO and ISP is putting its "kosher" subsidiary, Rimon, for sale.

"Cellcom hopes to get $10M for the ISP, which has 50,000 subscribers  (hence $200 per subscriber), mainly religious consumers, education institutes and business customers to whom it offers several service plans. Industry experts estimate that the ISP operates with low margins, due to the intensive manual work needed for the filtering updates". 

Cellcom, through Rimon, offers 5 plans dubbed protected (black list) to hermetic (white list) with some variations in between.

[EE]: LTE Replaces Wi-Fi and Broadband, Increases Uploads

A report by UK's MNO EE, provides some interesting statistics on the changes caused by LTE penetration:

  • "Because 4G is proving to offer consistency as well as fast speeds, customers are increasingly using it to replace public Wi-Fi and home broadband. As the nationwide rollout of 4G has moved into less urban areas that have less public Wi-Fi, and relatively poor home broadband speeds, this trend has accelerated

  • 4G Sees Uploading overtaking downloading for the first time - With 4G, sharing information becomes easier than on less consistent or slower networks .. For example, on the day of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral we saw uploading exceed downloading in the area of St Paul’s Cathedral. This was likely those viewing the funeral procession taking pictures and video and uploading them to social media sites"


Sunday, August 25, 2013

Alcatel-Lucent: "third party pays favors content providers with deep pockets"; Needs Strong PCC and DPI

A blog post by Rich Crowe [pictured], Marketing Director, Alcatel-Lucent IP Platforms, to the vendor's blog, analyses the 1-800 (Zero rate to the subscriber, 3rd party pays) model in mobile data (see ESPN, Facebook).

"A third party pays plan is fair in that any content provider can subsidize the data its content consumes. This assumes that the net is neutral, meaning that data is treated with equal priority once it is on the mobile internet. In reality, third party pays favors content providers with deep pockets. Less well-funded content providers, smaller operations and start-ups that can’t afford to pay for data could lose traffic and face reduced advertiser support .. Content providers that subsidize large quantities of data will almost certainly seek service-level agreements (SLAs) that ensure a minimum level of quality for their traffic. These SLAs could de-prioritize traffic from other content providers, possibly to the point where providers’ services and brands are negatively affected. Subscribers consuming content that is not subject to an SLA could experience a corresponding service degradation"

"A strong policy control function will be essential for determining which subscriber data is zero-rated and billable to the third party content provider. Proper traffic identification is critical to policy control performance. It calls for deep packet inspection or knowledge that the access network identifier is unique to the third party traffic that is subject to the agreement".

See "Third party pays – Six degrees of mobile data plan innovation" - here. Related post - "[Guest Post]: 1-800 Apps Concept: Superficially Appealing but Unworkable" - here

Saturday, August 24, 2013

[Research]: "Network neutrality enhances innovations by small content and application providers" and Good for Everybody Else

In 2012 the Netherlands was the first country in Europe to adopt a Net Neutrality law (see "Netherlands: Net Neutrality/DPI Restrictions Law Approved" -here). Recently, the Ministry of Economic Affairs commissioned a research by SEO Economic Research (affiliated to the University of Amsterdam), to examine the economics affects the law.

The research, by Viktória Kocsis [pictured] and Jarst Weda concluded that "Network neutrality enhances innovations by small content and application providers (CAPs), but it also provides benefits for large CAPs and internet service providers (ISPs). Network neutrality affects innovation incentives positively by effectively reducing market power of internet service providers and increasing connectivity between endusers". 

See "The innovation-enhancing effects of network neutrality" - here)

Friday, August 23, 2013

[Operators Survey] Big Data will Generate New Business Models; Currently 10% of IT Budget

A new research by Julio Puschel [pictured] Informa Telecoms & Media (based on a survey conducted with approximately 120 operators in June 2013) finds that "The telecoms industry is starting to witness the initial Big Data implementations. Although these first examples are still far from building a solid proposition, they are providing a good opportunity for operators to test new applications that will influence how Big Data will evolve in the future"

".. Big Data is still ranked as a low priority by operators (see fig. 1) as most of their focus is still on efficiency, network optimization and customer experience management (CEM) .. 58% of the operators interviewed in the Informa survey agreed that the main long-term driver for Big Data will be generating new business models. However, the short-term drivers are believed to focus more on solving internal challenges, such as improving data warehousing, increasing loyalty and customer experience management".

"The research also shows that 72% of current Big Data implementations are focused on specific business applications rather than on an end-to-end solution .. Big Data currently represents 10% on average of their total IT budget. This share is expected to increase to approximately 23% in five years, demonstrating how Big Data is becoming a strategic priority for the telecoms operators"

See "48% of operators say they are already implementing Big Data" - here.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bell Canada: "Network Policy is one of those things that are easier said than done"

Cassio Sampaio [pictured, ex- Sandvine], Leading project in charging and policy for Bell Canada, talks with the Broadband Traffic Management Congress (November 12-13, London) about policy management:

"Network Policy is one of those things that are easier said than done, and while there is always a new shining toy around the corner that promises to help increase revenues, neutralized the OTT threat and reduce TCO (and sometimes even fight world hunger), the reality is that several operators find themselves with several systems or platforms either recently introduced or currently being deployed .. operators are learning that the promise land of clicking on a few checkboxes and pushing the ‘deploy this policy button’ is far from being a reality today. I am aware of several operators facing challenges related to time-to-market and this is certainly a problem".

"I believe that a few forces will be driving policy over the next couple of years: Large VoLTE rollouts which demands policy deployments to reach an “HLR-like” level of robustness .. Policy on the device will continue to gain traction and perhaps move past the “shiny demo” stage we are currently in .. SDN/NFV .. The business customer deserves more attention from an overall policy and charging perspectives and Convergence".

See "Cassio Sampaio, Bell Canada" - here.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

[Vendor Review] Qwilt: "We can Save US Operators Hundreds of $Millions in Few Years"

Two weeks ago I posted several quotes from a Forbes interview with Qwilt's CEO (see "Qwilt Expects to Win AT&T and Comcast; Praised by Japan's IT Frontier" - here).

Several readers made comments to the post, questioning the opportunity for caching in the US Tier1 market and wondering about disclosing prospects. In order to better understand the company's strategy and target markets, I spoke with Mark Fisher [pictured], VP Marketing and BD.

Mark is confident that the growth in internet traffic, and in particular video, justifies the use of transparent caching even by the largest operators. Qwilt, that in its early days addressed the cable market, is now targeting all fixed and mobile operators - and almost entirely for video caching. "Every operator is considering this approach to solve the growth in traffic", says Mark "Operators are cautious on bringing 3rd party provides into their networks, therefore look for their own solution and control".

As for the names mentioned in the Forbes interview (Comcast and AT&T) - these names were not mentioned by the CEO, nor disclosed by the reporter. They were given as example to the size of operators with which Qwilt is working. "We are working with US operators that can save hundreds of millions of dollars with our solution" says Mark.

Qwilt's differentiation according to Mark: "We offer a s/w solution, running over off-the-shelf platforms; we have strong video classification resulting in a much better cost/performance solution [Qwilt's roots are in P-Cube, the DPI vendor that was acquired by Cisco - Azi]; out-of-band solution that does not impact network availability and embedded Monetization". These advantages were tested and proofed in labs and trials, Mark adds.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Marvell New Processor "enables highly differentiated service-delivery solutions"

Marvell announced the ".. Marvell® Prestera® DX4200 series of packet processors that enable highly differentiated service-delivery solutions in the access and aggregation layers for a new generation of converged fixed and mobile networks. Services such as mobile video, applications and gaming are imposing complex bandwidth management challenges for private and public wireless services, and exploding mobile data usage is forcing significant investments and upgrades in the mobile backhaul environment .. The Prestera DX 4200 will sample to lead customers in September 2013. Interested parties can contact their local Marvell representative for further details of the comprehensive system development kit (SDK) and related device collateral of the DX family of products". 

See "Marvell Introduces New Prestera DX Products for Next-Generation Service Delivery Applications" - here.

Sandvine and Procera: Google is not (yet?) 40% of the Internet

Right after the 5 minutes Google outage, there were several reports showing a significant decline of the total internet traffic, up to 40% (see "Google Outage Caused ???% Drop in Internet Traffic" - here).

Few days later, Sandvine and Procera Networks provide their own observations:

  • Sandvine - a blog post by Dan Deeth: "Everybody relax. That Google outage on Friday likely did not cause global consumer internet traffic to instantly drop by 40%. Might it have still been significant? Absolutely .. While Google is major mover of Internet traffic, and the outage likely impacted many total subscribers, because its total duration was between 1-5 minutes, the overall impact on total Internet use for the day was negligible".

    See "Traffic Spotlight: Google Outage"  - here

Source: Sandvine
  • Procera - post by Cam Cullen: "Did the Internet Really Go Away last Friday? No, it really did not. There was, however, a noticeable drop in many networks, and some appeared to see a longer lasting outage than others. The examples below all show pointed dips during the outage (time zone adjusted from 1800 to 1900)".

    See "Google Outage: Did the Internet Really Go Away last Friday?" - here.

Source: Procera Networks

Monday, August 19, 2013

Active Broadband Adds Standard SDN Controller for Broadband Service Control

Active Broadband Networks announced that its "Dynamic Broadband Service Manager (DBSM) now incorporates software-defined networking (SDN) technologies that transform the delivery of broadband services. This new SDN controller solution allows network operators to easily deploy an intelligent, software-defined service layer for the common control and active management of broadband services across different types of access networks, including cable, DSL, FTTH and WiFi  .. The DBSM can manage and control subscriber traffic flows through any SDN-enabled network element that supports OpenFlow and IPFIX". 

See also a guest post by Stephen Collins, VP of Product Marketing and Business Development - "Usage-Based Service Management for Fixed-Line Broadband" - here.

See "Active Broadband Networks Unveils Software-Defined Networking (SDN) Controller for Transforming Broadband Service Management" - here.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Research: Crowd Source as a Base for SDN Application Awareness

A paper by Zafar Qazi, Stony Brook University; Jeongkeun Lee, HP Labs; Tao JinQualcomm Research; Gowtham Bellala, HP Labs; Manfred Arndt, HP Networking; Guevara Noubir [pictured],  Northeastern University present application awareness into Software-Defined Networking (SDN),

See "Application-Awareness in SDN" - here.

ABSTRACT (see poster below)

We present a framework, Atlas, which incorporates application awareness into Software-Defined Networking (SDN), which is currently capable of L2/3/4-based policy enforcement but agnostic to higher layers. Atlas enables fine-grained, accurate and scalable application classification in SDN. It employs a machine learning (ML) based traffic classification technique, a crowd-sourcing approach to obtain ground truth data and leverages SDN’s data reporting mechanism and centralized control. We prototype Atlas on HP Labs wireless networks and observe 94% accuracy on average, for top 40 Android applications.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Google Outage Caused ???% Drop in Internet Traffic

Last month I had a post showing statistics collected by DeepField according to which "Google now accounts for nearly 25% of Internet traffic on average" (here). A short outage in some of Google's services yesterdays provides another insight into on Google's dominance of the internet.

  •  DeepField's Craig Labovitz (see "Googalapse" - here) provides:  "A quick graph of Google’s outage today. The below graph shows traffic to Google data centers across a diverse set of large North American providers .. The graph does not include Google Global Cache traffic which provides a a large share of YouTube requests .. Overall, anonymous data from providers in North America showed a 10-15% drop in overall Internet traffic volumes during the outage

  • GoSquared Engineering (see "Google’s downtime caused a 40% drop in global traffic" - here) concludes that " was down for a few minutes between 23:52 and 23:57 BST on 16th August 2013. This had a huge effect in the number of pageviews coming into GoSquared’s real-time tracking – around a 40% drop, as this graph of our global pageviews per minute shows.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Ascom LTE Testing Selected by Swisscom (CHF1.2M) & 2 US MNOs ($10M)

Ascom Network Testing announced that " .. As part of its nation-wide 4G/LTE rollout program, Swisscom has selected Ascom to provide an upgrade of its existing benchmarking and network quality of service monitoring with a total value of more than CHF 1.2 million. The contract is part of a network overhaul initiated by Swisscom to handle future growth in mobile data transmission"

" .. Ascom’s TEMS Portfolio is used in most of the European countries to do first validation of 4G/LTE network performance and was recently also selected by two leading US operators for 4G/LTE benchmarking and service performance monitoring projects worth more than USD 10 million".

See "Swisscom selects Ascom Network Testing for 4G/LTE-Network Benchmarking" - here.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Sandvine: $4M Orders from 2 EMEA DSL Providers

Sandvine continues to enjoy its combined PCRF/PCEF offering (see "Sandvine Adds PCRF Functionality" - here) and announced 2 new wins "after competitive processes"
The vendor said that it has ".. won two new communication service provider (CSP) customers in the Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Combined, the DSL service providers serve over two million broadband subscribers .. Both new customers will be using Sandvine’s Policy Traffic Switch and Service Delivery Engine platform, which offer fully-standards-compliant policy and charging enforcement (PCEF) and rules (PCRF) functions".
  • The CSP in Africa will be deploying Sandvine’s leading Business Intelligence solution, Network Analytics, to gain actionable insight into network traffic and subscriber usage trends. The operator will use the insight to develop new service plans, using Sandvine’s Usage Management products, and to develop strategies to manage network traffic, using Sandvine’s Traffic Management, in order to enhance subscriber quality of experience.
  • In eastern Europe, a rapidly growing CSP has selected Sandvine’s Traffic Management solution for its unmatched flexibility in determining policy rules, compatibility with IPv6, and ability to scale for future traffic and subscriber growth. The CSP will also be using Sandvine’s in-browser notification capabilities to communicate with subscribers about future value-added services. Sandvine will be replacing an incumbent solution from an integrated network equipment provider.
See "Sandvine Executes On EMEA Strategy With Two New Customers" - here.

Rostelecom Issued a $33M DPI Tender for 3G Network

A tweet by Allot Communications led me to an article in the Moscow Times stating that "as Rostelecom begins finally to build up its 3G network, the state-controlled telecom company plans to spend $33 million on a system to manage mobile internet traffic, allowing it to block websites flagged by the telecommunications watchdog, Roskomnadzor, Vedomosti reported Tuesday". 

The article in Vedomosti (here) says that Rostelecom issued a tender for the DPI project, and the project is planned to be completed by April 30, 2014. Rostelecom will be able to use the DPI systems to offer new Tariff plans, quota plans with speed based penalty, and more.

"Rostelecom will be the last of Russia's big four telecom companies to acquire this capability. MegaFon installed a similar system in 2009, MTS in 2010 and VimpelCom in 2011 .. MTS spent about $50 million on its DPI-based system, which allowed the company not only block the black-listed websites but also introduce unlimited Internet plans with add-on features such as parental control, said Irina Ogarkova, a spokeswoman for MTS, Vedomosti reported".

See "DPI Deployments: Mapping of Russian ISPs" - here.

"The proposed system will use Deep Packet Inspection technology, or DPI, allowing the company to filter traffic based on its content rather than its source. DPI inspects every one of the millions of packets of data within the traffic stream and makes decisions on what to do with each of them based on the content of that data. So, instead of blocking whole websites based on the IP address of the server, the system will have the option of blocking single pages, leaving the rest of the site untouched"

See "Rostelecom to Invest in Internet Filter as New 3G Network Comes on Line" - here.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

PeerApp Won 3 Tier1 Global Operators; Has 350 Deployments

The competition and traction on the transparent caching market increases (see "Qwilt Expects to Win AT&T and Comcast" - here - and note the comment made by readers). According to the vendor announcements and subject to their definition of Tier1 operator (and the scope of deployment in each) it seems that the market may be appealing also to larger operators.
PeerApp, the market leader with 27% market share [Frost & Sullivan, June 2013] announced that "..three global tier 1 network operators deployed the company’s award-winning UltraBand platform in the first half of 2013. PeerApp was chosen after extensive field trials in the operators’ LTE and fiber-to-the-home networks, against competing offerings. With UltraBand, these operators are able to accelerate delivery and improve quality of experience (QoE) by storing popular content closer to subscribers, Results from one tier 1 operator show an average of 70 Mbps throughput of video and data content delivery on their fiber-to-the-home network, a 700% performance increase .. The company added over 40 new customers in the first half of 2013. Its field-proven transparent caching solutions are now deployed with 350 network operators worldwide"

Other recent PeerApp deployments: MTN (Cyprus)Americable [Japan]CableMAX and Las Rosas Cablevision [Argentina]Life:) [Belarus]Telma [Madagascar].

See also "Cisco Partners with PeerApp" - here.

Robert Mayer, CEO, PeerApp said: “ .. By providing full control of content delivery – including acceleration, analytics and monetization – we are transforming OTT from a problem into an opportunity.”

See "Three Tier 1 Network Operators Deploy PeerApp’s Solution to Accelerate Video and Data Delivery" - here.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

[Light Reading] NSN Wins 2 Wi-Fi Offload Deals in India

Danish Khan report to Light Reading that Sandeep Girotra [pictured], India Head, Nokia Solutions and Networks said in a press conference that NSN "signed up with two top India telcos to provide them with WiFi network integration and access point and core setup for seamless WiFi offload .. The key trigger for telcos to opt for Wi-Fi offload is spectrum. In WCDMA for example, each operator has 5 MHz, which is a narrow chunk of spectrum. So, when the capacity hits in hotspots, operators need to offload from the WCDMA to the lower layer of Wi-Fi .. We are in process of rolling out Wi-Fi offloading solutions"

"Girotra says that NSN works with 9 telecom players--Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India, Idea Cellular, TTSL, Aircel, Uninor, BSNL, Videocon and Railways in the country".

See "WiFi Offload Does It For NSN" - here.

Monday, August 12, 2013

[Vendor Review]: Redknee Policy Management Strategy

I spoke recently with Dr Christian Gayda [pictured], Director of Policy Management Solutions, Redknee Solutions to learn more about Redknee's policy management product line (the PCS-5000 product which was acquired from NSN on December 2012 - here; see also the updated DPI-PCRF table).
I learned that Redknee is still working closely with Nokia Solutions and Networks (acronym: NSN!) on policy deployments by MNOs. They have now more than 65 deployments, and according to a recent Infonetics report, Redknee has 4.5% of the PCRF market.
Source: Infonetics Research 
Source: Redknee Solutions 

Dr Gayda sees the future of policy management in integration with charging (they both need to work together) and application based tiered services - 30% of operators are going in this direction, he says. VoLTE support is also an important direction - with 2 deployments for Redknee so far (see announcement below).

As far as integration with DPI is concerned - in most cases Redknee are in their comfort zone - integrating with NSN products (Flexi_NG - see "NSN Adds Intelligence and Optimization to the Flexi NG" - here) - but they also have few joint deployments with AllotSandvine and Cisco

In related news, Redknee announced that a "Tier 1 APAC operator is launching Redknee’s latest release of its Policy Management solution.. Redknee’s Policy Management solution will support the APAC operator’s launch of Voice over LTE (VoLTE) services with innovative data plans and offerings and delivering an advanced customer experience ..  Deploying the latest release of Redknee’s Policy Charging and Rating Function solution (PCRF), PCS-5000, the operator will benefit from the significant enhancements in operational flexibility, superior performance and support of multi-service network environments and services, such as VoLTE".

See "Tier 1 APAC Operator Deploys Redknee’s Policy Management Solution for VoLTE" - here.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

[Survey]: LTE Drives Majority of Operators to Replace Billing and Real-Time Charging Systems

A new survey (by Openet, based on 80 operators) finds that "70 percent of operators surveyed said that IN based charging systems will be replaced within the next four years with real-time online charging systems (OCS) .. 87 percent of respondents indicating that most operators will replace existing billing solutions with real-time charging .. 79% saying that real-time charging enables service innovation"
Source: Openet
"As operators continuingly seek to create new revenue streams and attract customers, the rise of realtime charging and its integration with policy control has seen many innovative services and charging models introduced. Figure 8 highlights key use cases that operators are currently offering or planning to offer. It reveals that the most popular use cases are multi-device plans and data passes (e.g. 50MB for 1 day) which more than 90% of the operators are either offering or would like to offer. However, data passes appear to be the most widely offered type of services, already launched by 62% of the operators, whilst only 30% of them are currently offering multi-device plans. The next most popular use cases are Shared data (e.g. Family plans) and Speed tiers which 87% of the operators surveyed have launched or would like to launch".

"Cloud technology is growing and when it comes to charging and billing, it seems to have a bright future, with over 83% of operators thinking that it will become widely used in the next three years .. 37%, predicting that they will use a combination of both cloud and on premise systems".

See "Openet Research Confirms LTE Requires Advances in Operators’ Charging and Billing Systems" - here report (here, registration required)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Vodafone UK Says No to Unlimited LTE

While SwissCom insists that "All usage based traffic revenues will disappear over the next 3 to 5 years" (here), most MNOs endorse usage-based tiers, probably with shared-data plans (see "[Analysys Mason]: Once Again, Shared Data Plans are Good for MNOs!" - here). Vodafone UK chief joins the majority.

Hugh LangleyTechRadar, interviewed Vodafone UK CEO Guy Laurence [pictured] on the recent announcement of 4G service in the UK.

"4G finally has a reason and that is entertainment, We need to get people used to using entertainment on their phones"

But despite the fact that Vodafone is offering unlimited data for the first three months, Laurence told us that unlimited plans aren't on Vodafone's horizon. "There's not a need for unlimited in my view," he said, drawing on the example of US networks that have struggled with unlimited 4G.

See "Vodafone chief: entertainment key to 4G but unlimited data is a no-no" - here.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Qwilt Expects to Win AT&T and Comcast; Praised by Japan's IT Frontier

A story by Peter Cohan, Forbes, on Qwilt, following their recent funding (see "Qwilt has 40 Customers and 10 Trials; Raised $16M" - here) with the CEO, Ilan Maor.

"With headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., R&D in Israel, and sales offices around the world in London, Sao Paulo, Australia, and Asia, Qwilt currently employs 60 people and Maor expects that number to double in the next year .. He also expects to close some big deals by the end of 2013. “We anticipate closing some very big deals with major carriers like AT&T and Comcast.

At least one customer sounds satisfied with Qwilt. Masashi Ono, Division General Manager of Japan’s IT Frontier Corporation. said “The speed of the network has real value to our customers. Their subscribers demand the best possible viewing and browsing experience. Our long-standing relationship with Qwilt has enabled this carrier to consistently meet consumer expectations throughout Japan".

See "Qwilt Helps Network Operators Cope With 85% Growth In Video" - here.

[Rumors]: Procera Mega-Carrier is ...

I reported yesterday on Procera Networks' mysterious "Mega-Carrier", a project won by the company in 2012, and expected to generate "$20M over 3 years" (here).

According to what I heard from a number of people familiar with the market, the carrier in BT. While most will not classified BT as a "mega-carrier", it was a big project, and a big disappointment for all other players.

One sign for the good relations between Procera and BT maybe found in their recent press release (here) quoting Paul Veitch, chief network strategist at British Telecom.

In the earlier days of DPI, BT deployed products from Ellacoya, a significant player at that time, for their retail business (here). Ellacoya was later acquired by Arbor Networks and disappeared.

Related post - "BT To Test Bandwidth On Demand, Using Openet's PCC" - here.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

CEO: "Procera is the only company that delivers Internet intelligence"; Who is the $20M Mega-Carrier?

Procera Networks published its Q2 results and (revenues: $17.8M - here) and a number of impressive announcements, including a several new orders and a deal with Tata Communications ("chosen its PacketLogic Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) systems to enhance its mobile network operator (MNO) managed services portfolio" here. See also "Tata Communications Builds Hosted Policy Management and Enforcement w/Allot and Openet" - here).

During the earning call, some additional information and analysis was provided by the management team:
  • Guidance- "We are reiterating our guidance for an annual revenue growth of at least 30% for 2013".
  • On Network Intelligence - "Combined with our ContentLogic product, Procera is the only company that delivers Internet intelligence. Where the competition is offering non-IPE add-ons to enhance their value, we continue to deepen our core technology and offer a compelling vision for the future, while partnering with companies that offer best-in-breed add-ons. 
  • On Tata deal - "We expect Tata will be delivering the Procera IP system's ability to quickly offer revenue-generating services. This win was a competitive displacement, and this service will open up markets that Procera is not directly addressing today in emerging markets where we did not have sales or partnership footprint"
  • Openet relations (see "Openet and Procera Partner to Offer Integrated PCRF/PCEF Solution" - here) - "We have a number of joint customers today and expect the partnership to grow"
  • Mysterious Mega-Carrier - "we were selected by a Western European mega-carrier late last year. The opportunity has expanded since we originally were selected .. In Q3, we expect to begin to recognize revenue from a large deal with a mega-carrier .. we've characterized the size of this kind of opportunity in the $20-plus million over a 3-year period .. hardware and software only". 
See "Procera Networks Management Discusses Q2 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", by SeekingAlpha - here.

DPI Market Shows Modest Growth in 2013; Sandvine Leads

As all public DPI vendors have released their Q2 results, we can look now how the market performed during the first half of 2013, based on their performance - a good indication, based on their market position, for the whole market.

Total revenues for the 3 vendors during the first half of 2013 were $125.8M, compared to $116.3 in the same period of 2012 (+8.2%) and $136.6M for the 2nd half of 2012 (-7.6%).

Recent market research reports, as well as guidance from some of the vendors, predict growth rates of ~30% (see "[TechNavio] DPI Market to Grow at 35% 2012-16" - here and "[Infonetics]: 2012 DPI Market Grew by 28%" - here). 

Sandvine is now leading the market again, with 39% share in H1, followed by Allot Communications (36%). In 2012, for the first time, Allot Communications led the market with 42% market share. 


So - we are left with great hopes for the 2nd half .. (see Allot's CEO statement here, as well as Procera's guidance - "we expect stronger sequential growth in the second half of the year"). 

The stock performance shows the leadership makeover, with Sandvine outperforming everybody:

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Swisscom: How do we Fight OTT; UBB will Disappear over the Next 3 to 5 Years

The slides below are taken from Swisscom's Q2 2013 report.
  • Swisscom's iO (launched at the end of June 2013 (here) - " lets you make calls, chat and share images with other iO users over the Internet for free, no matter where you are. At home, on the go and abroad – iO brings you closer to your friends and family in Switzerland and around the world. Simple, secure and international"
  • The 2nd slide continues the Swisscom's trend of moving away from usage based charges (see "Swisscom Shows the Unlimited Business-Case" - here).

    "All usage based traffic revenues will disappear over the next 3 to 5 years"

Allot Sees Growth in VAS Projects, Led by Parental Control; Has 15-20 Cache Customers

Allot Communications published its Q2 results (revenues of $21.5M, here) showing revenue decline compared to Q2, 2012 (-18.6%) and Q1 2013 (-11.2%). Allot explained it with a revenue recognition delay for a Tier1 EMEA project of $5M (which could have brought it to the same revenue level of 2012).

The company also hinted a promising 2nd half for 2013 - ".. not only book-to-bill ratio was once again over 1, but we also reached the record level of bookings during the quarter, a level which is 20% higher compared with 2Q -- with Q2 last year. We feel confident with all of our booking environment as we go into the second half of 2013 and we believe that revenues during the second half of the year will exceed those achieved during the first half".

Allot stated that its VAS revenues accounted for 26% of total booking. During the earning call, Rami Hadar, President and CEO said, in regard to VAS:
  • The growing portion of VAS in our booking is a direct outcome of our DPI-enabled Service Gateway strategy .. Our lineup of VAS offerings is growing rapidly. On top of video caching and optimization we acquired last year, we now have service protection web page, quality of experience monitoring, network analytics and network-based parental control, which we introduced last quarter
  • the leading Value-Added Services product that contribute to the growth in our VAS numbers into the 30%, one of them actually, is parental control
  • We see enhanced demand for VAS that enables service providers to generate new revenue sources, improve quality of experience and create real customer differentiation. In several of our new deals, at least 1 or 2 value-added services are included in the initial rollout
  • Regarding our 2 recent video positions, from operational point of view, both companies are fully integrated into Allot. And on the products front, we expect that by the end of the year, as planned, they will be fully integrated with our Service Gateway platform. Video caching was roughly 5% of our Q2 booking and showing a growing funnel. Video optimization is undergoing several promising trials with 3 Tier 1 service providers
  • we are quite unique in our Value-Added Services offering, and that's the key differentiator and sometimes it makes the whole difference in winning
  • Allot has roughly 5 caching customers from the date we outsourced. And in an OEM basis, our OEM solution and over 3 are brought to us in different shots -- in shapes, maybe 10 additional ones .. I would say we have 15, maybe 20 caching customers, some are using our caching as standalone and some of them are joined with our DPI solution
See "Allot Communications Management Discusses Q2 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript', by SeekingAlpha - here.