Sunday, November 30, 2014

[Analysys Mason]: S/W Professional Services Boosted due to OSS/BSS Transformations

A new report by Shanthi Ravindran, Senior Analyst, Glen Ragoonanan, Principal Analyst, and Gorkem Yigit, Research Analyst, Analysys Mason finds that "The worldwide market for telecoms software professional services (TSPS) was USD53.75 billion in 2013. 
  • The top-six suppliers (unchanged since 2011) accounted for 36.5% of the USD53.75 billion market in 2013
  • Many communications service providers (CSPs) deployed LTE networks and conducted OSS/BSS transformations for analytics and customer experience management (CEM) in 2013. This boosted vendors’ TSPS revenue because CSPs outsourced TSPS to reduce in-house tasks and costs
  • Nokia Networks dropped to sixth position because it terminated several unprofitable TSPS deals
  • Huawei moved up to third position thanks to winning managed services deals abandoned by Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia
  • Vendors (NEPs, ISVs and IT suppliers) benefited from CSPs using more commercial off-the-shelf solutions (COTS) than systems integration (SI) in transformation projects, which boosted product-related services revenue.

See "Telecoms software professional services: worldwide market shares 2013" - here.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Global Pressure on Net Neutrality

The endless delays in making the Net Neutrality laws in different, generated a new coalition - the "Global Net Neutrality Coalition". With 37 organizations from 19 countries, the coalition defines that "Net neutrality requires that the Internet be maintained as an open platform, on which network providers treat all content, applications and services equally, without discrimination". 

"This global coalition could not have come together at a more critical moment. In the U.S., net neutrality has finally become a kitchen-table topic, following President Obama’s breakthrough statement in which he called for the Federal Communications Commission to pass bold rules
protecting the open internet
[see "What's Next for Net Neutrality?" - here. Meanwhile, the European Union could soon pass landmark net neutrality legislation, with the Telecoms Single Market [hereproposal currently sitting with the Council of the European Union"

Members of the Global Net Neutrality Coalition:

Access (Global), Acceso Libre (Venezuela), ACUI (Colombia), Article 19 (Global), Bangladesh NGOs Network for Radio & Communication (Bangladesh), Bits of Freedom (Netherlands), CC Meta (France), CELE (Argentina), Date Roads Foundation (US), Derechos Digitales (Chile), Digitale Gesselschaft (Germany), Digital Rights Foundation (Pakistan), EDRi (Europe), Electronic Frontier Foundation (Global), Free Press (US), Fundación vía Libre (Argentina), Internet Policy Observatory (Pakistan), Initiative für Netzfreiheit (Europe), Internet Ecosystem Alliance (Switzerland), IT for Change (India), Jinbonet (Korea), Just Net Coalition (Global), KiCTAnet (Kenya), La Quadrature du Net (France), Network Neutrality User Forum of Korea (Korea), OpenMedia International (Global), Paradigm Initiative (Nigeria), PEN International (Global), Public Knowledge (US), Open Technology Institute (US), Social Media Exchange (MENA), Software Freedom Law Center (US), Venezuela Inteligente (Venezuela), Web We Want (Global), Witness (Global).

See "Global coalition launches international net neutrality website" - here.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Artesyn Enables Vantrix' Video Optimization; "Single Server Replaces 40"

Artesyn Embedded Technologies announced it is "demonstrating a new video transcoding and media processing platform developed in collaboration with Vantrix to enable broadcast and communications service providers to deliver significantly more multiscreen content to users at a fraction of the cost.
The integrated Artesyn SharpStreamer™ hardware [see "Artesyn Announced High-density Video Acceleration PCI Cards" - here] and Vantrix software solution enables significantly higher channel density at lower cost for virtualized ultra high-density media processing functions for multiscreen delivery, including encryption and adaptive bitrate (ABR) packaging.

For example, a single accelerated server could replace up to 40 non-accelerated servers for a video-on-demand (VoD) over-the-top (OTT) content transcoding application, or up to 24 servers for a linear real-time broadcast ABR application. These substantial capital expenditure savings are matched by significantly reduced operating expenditure thanks to power consumption that has been estimated at between six and 10 percent of that required to run the same applications on non-accelerated servers"

See "Artesyn and Vantrix Demonstrate Dramatic Increase in Density and Decrease in Cost for Virtualized Video Processing" - here.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

[Infonetics]: Reaffirms DPI Market CAGR: 22% ('13'-'18); Driven by LTE

Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence, Infonetics Research, published additional excerpts from its latest DPI report (see April's release - "[Infonetics]: "net neutrality is now less of an issue in the U.S" for the DPI Market" - here):
  • The path that network functions virtualization (NFV) will take remains a bit uncertain as standards crystallize and operators develop their strategies, but we believe that NFV will ultimately have a significant impact on the deep packet inspection (DPI) market
  • The global deep packet inspection (DPI) market is forecast by Infonetics to grow at a 22% CAGR from 2013 to 2018, to reach $2B. See Infonetics chart below. The other chart shows the past revenues for the 3 public DPI companies. 2014 revenues are for the first 3 quarters.
  • Sandvine maintained its leading market share position in the overall DPI market, while Cisco narrowly took the lead in mobile DPI,
  • There is a growing interest in leveraging DPI to support more innovative service plans and content bundles, particularly in markets where net neutrality is an issue
  • LTE is driving spending on DPI in developed markets, where the additional bandwidth is igniting more video consumption

Source: The Broadband Traffic Management Blog

See "Network functions virtualization (NFV) will have big impact on deep packet inspection (DPI) market" - here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

[Blog News]: PCRF-DPI Matrix Updated

The PCRF-DPI matrix (here) has been updated. The update includes:

  • CSG International  PCRF product is now the former Volubill product (see "CSG Acquires Volubill's Assets" - here)
  • Sandvine has recently re-branded its PCRF product (here) and published more information on the product (see figure below and "Sandvine Will Compete on PCRF Projects" - here)
  • Removal of several vendors that no longer exist or offer a PCRF product
  • Correction to broken product links
Sandvine's PCRF

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

T-Mobile US: Speed Tests Look too Good ?

It turns our that T-Mobile spent some efforts in service management facilities to detect when a customer accesses speed tests sites, so a speed limit (for customers exceeding their data plan cap) could be temporary removed, and "non-accurate" performance information would be shown!

The Federal Communications Commission announced that T-Mobile US has ".. agreed to take steps to ensure that customers who run mobile speed tests on the carrier’s network will receive accurate information about the speed of their broadband Internet connection, even when they are subject to speed reductions pursuant to their data plans.

[Related post - "T-Mobile to Shape Misusage Over LTE" - here]

T-Mobile offers several data plans that feature a designated allotment of high-speed data. After a customer uses the monthly high-speed data allotment, that customer will receive data at a reduced speed limited to either 128 kbps or 64 kbps, depending on the customer’s data plan, for the remainder of the monthly billing cycle [here]

These speed reductions are specified in T-Mobile’s agreements with customers,and T-Mobile customers do not receive overage charges for exceeding their data caps. In June, T-Mobile began exempting the use of certain speed test applications, which allow consumers to measure the speed of their Internet connection, from customers’ monthly high-speed data allotments.

OOKLA's SpeedTest Report - mobile carriers, US, November 2014 data

Currently, customers who have their speeds reduced after exceeding their monthly high-speed data cap cannot easily understand the results of exempted speed tests. When these customers run speed tests that T-Mobile has exempted from data caps, they receive information about T-Mobile’s full network speed,and not the actual reduced speed available to these customers at that time. 

The FCC was concerned thatthis could cause confusion for consumers and prevent them from obtaining information relevant to their use of T-Mobile services. The FCC and T-Mobile have agreed that T-Mobile will begin implementing the agreement immediately and will fully implement it within 60 days.

See "T-Mobile To Improve Disclosures for Consumers Using Mobile Speed Tests"- here.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Huawei Enables SkyFire's Optimizer as a Cloud Service

Opera Software's Skyfire today announced a ".. strategic partnership with Huawei in which Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer platform will be made available to mobile operators in Huawei’s Cloud Edge Virtual Multi-Service Engine (vMSE - see "Huawei Unveils Cloud Edge Solution for Breakthrough Services Agility with NFV" - here).

.. Over-the-top video and audio optimization represents a significant application of NFV. Demand for streaming content has grown exponentially in recent years, although its impact on networks can occur unpredictably in various locations at various times throughout the day. 

Mobile operators need the ability to bring up and take down resources for multiple locations throughout the day, which can be expensive if done inline at locations near the network edge. By virtualizing these network functions through Skyfire’s Rocket Optimizer, operators can expand capacity instantly to deliver a positive and cost-effective quality of experience for their subscribers".

See "Opera’s Skyfire unit partners with Huawei to deliver video optimization for Cloud Edge vMSE platform" - here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ex-Sandvine Team NightShifts Netflix for Satellite Subscribers

A recent study from Sandvine (here) finds that "Netflix continues to dominate North American networks, accounting for 34.9% of downstream traffic in the peak evening hours" and even "On a fixed network in Australasia, where Netflix isn’t even available yet, approximately 2.5% of subscribers are accessing the service and it comprises as much as 4% of peak downstream traffic".

So everybody loves Netflix, but not all enjoy the internet connectivity allowing them to stream the movies and TV episodes with the expected QoE.

Aterlo Networks, a new start-up, led by ex-Sandvine employees ("Before starting Aterlo Networks Inc, our team worked together for years defining, building, architecting and managing mission-critical products which were deployed in some of the largest Internet Service Providers in the world" - here) changes that by adding a "local cache" to the home router. 

"NightShift runs on your compatible home router with a connected USB flash drive. It seamlessly works with existing Netflix players. It analyzes your viewing patterns and predicts content to automatically download at night. Once a TV show or movie is downloaded, you can watch it from any Netflix player in your home the same way you always do. NightShift creates a temporary local copy of video content. It does not break or bypass DRM, and an Internet connection is still required".

Of course, with the presence of the software at the subscriber's access point, a lot more can be achieved, including QoE measurements, and other features to the ISP (Aterlo positions itself as a service provider solution (here). A sure challenge would be the distribution of the software to the mass market.

An example is the satellite broadband service - "These subscribers have very limited day-time plans (15 – 25GB / month). They typically have either unlimited nights or additional usage that can only be used at night". Aterlo beta test (at Exede) showed that "In a typical night, and depending on Satellite Beam congestion, NightShift has been able to download up to 15GB of Netflix ready to watch the next day. Depending on playback quality settings, this equates to up to 5 hours of High Definition or over 20 hours of Standard Definition content". 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Newfield Wireless & Tektronix Deploy a Joint RAN Intelligence and Monitoring

A year after Newfiled Wireless was acquired by Tektronix Communications [here], the two announced a first joint deployment:

".. the combined company has completed its first successful deployment of an integrated radio access solution at a top-tier mobile network operator. The deployed solution combines the valuable benefits of Newfield’s RAN geoanalytics platform, TrueCall®, with Tektronix Communications’ virtual monitoring platform, GeoSoft RAN, to provide mobile operators with a powerful, scalable and user-friendly geoanalytics-based data solution". 

Newfield's TrueCall

See "Tektronix Communications & Newfield Wireless Announce First Deployment of Integrated RAN Solution" - here.

Ericsson Forecast: Video will be 55% of Mobile Data in 2020

Ericsson published a new revision of its Mobility Report (here). Among the findings:
  • Video: largest and fastest growing segment of mobile data traffic - Video continues to dominate mobile networks: in 4G-dominated networks it currently constitutes 45-55 percent of mobile traffic, driven largely by increased usage of video streaming and improvements in the mobile video experience .. In terms of future outlook, Ericsson estimates that mobile video traffic will increase tenfold by 2020, ultimately constituting around 55 percent of all mobile data traffic in 2020. 
  • 5G: subscriptions on the horizon - 5G is expected to be commercially deployed in 2020, and the technology is predicted to have a faster uptake than 4G LTE, just as 4G had a faster uptake than 3G. The difference here is that, in addition to new radio technologies, 5G will also encompass evolved versions of existing radio access (such as 3G and 4G), cloud, and core technologies to cater for the thousands of new ways that mobile technology will be used. 5G growth will be driven to a large extent by new use cases, especially in machine-type communications.

See "Ericsson Mobility Report: 90 percent will have a mobile phone by 2020" - here.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Norway Regulator Argues Against Zero-Rate Service

The Norwegian regulator, NPT, published its position on Zero Rate services, in view of the Norwegian Net Neutrality guidelines.

Frode Sørensen [pictured], Senior Advisor, analysis is as follows:
  • "Norway has had guidelines on net neutrality since 2009 [here], and these seem to be working well as a regulatory tool to preserve net neutrality for the citizens .. the goal of net neutrality is not that all traffic should be handled identically – which would never be possible in practice. The aim is rather to preserve the Internet as an open platform for communication and avoid discrimination or fragmentation of the Internet.
  • .. In recent years providers in some countries have launched service offers where specific types of traffic are exempt from the data cap
  • The Norwegian guidelines on net neutrality state quite clearly that "Internet users are entitled to an Internet connection that is free of discrimination with regard to type of application, service or content or based on sender or receiver address." This means that in the Norwegian market zero-rating would constitute a violation of the guidelines
  • There are of course arguments in favour of zero-rating that make the method seem quite fair. As consumers, we may find it advantageous that we do not have to pay (extra) for a particular type of traffic. Nevertheless, zero-rating lead to selected traffic from the Internet service provider itself or affiliated providers being favoured above other traffic. And this is exactly the kind of situation net neutrality aims to avoid – allowing the Internet service provider to decide how we use the Internet. Instead, the Internet should remain an open, neutral platform for all types of communication.
  • Internet service providers should use methods other than discrimination of content and/or applications to differentiate their products. One possibility is differentiation on the basis of speed, in line with the Norwegian guidelines on net neutrality
See "Net neutrality and charging models" - here.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Optimization Deployments [329]: LG U+[Korea] Tests Nokia's Base Station Cache and Video Optimization

Nokia announced that "LG Uplus has completed a three-month long trial of its Intelligent Network Platform (INP), realizing significant benefits: Up to 35% performance gain in content delivery with reduced latency for big objects of 10-30 MB. This means that mobile users save six seconds download time for a software package that usually takes 20 seconds to download. The trial also showed around 90% operating and capital cost saving in the mobile backhaul link, improved throughput, and a secure yet faster access to enterprise networks via LTE".

Related posts:
  • StarHub Trialed Nokia's Liquid Applications at WTA Finals - here
  • Rumors: NSN's Liquid Applications Uses Saguna's Technology - here
  • Zain [Saudi Arabia] Trials Nokia's Liquid Applications - here
"Nokia’s radio technology, Liquid Applications and professional services were used in the trial. CDNetworks, a global leader in the CDN space, also participated in the trial to evaluate the Liquid Applications’ impact on its commercial CDN service offerings. With these results, LG Uplus will be able to launch even better personalized services on its LTE network .. The LG Uplus INP is currently loaded with rich Liquid Applications features: Content Caching, Video Optimization, CDN Integration, and Enterprise Zone".

See "LG Uplus, Nokia Networks trial Intelligent Network Platform in live LTE network" - here.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Procera Adds a 120Gbps, 2RU Model

Procera's PL-9420
Procera Networks adds a new family of mid-range DPI devices, the PL9000, series that complements the PL7000  and PL8000 (see "Procera New DPI Platform - 70 Gbps, 3M Subscribers, 20M Flows in 2RU" - here).

The vendor announced the launch of  the ".. PacketLogic 9420  Delivering throughput of 120Gbps and supporting up to three million subscribers on a single platform .. the PL9420 is a cost-effective solution for operators looking to implement high-density 10GE Internet Intelligence deployments ..PL9420 is optimized to support high-density 10GE deployments with support for up to 32x10GE ports (16x10GE channels) and shares the same family of I/O modules as the PL7000 and PL8000 .. The PL9420 is generally available for purchase".

Procera's PL-9420 Performance Specification 

The PL9420 platform also supports up to 30 million connections at a setup rate of 500,000 connections per second, meeting the growing demands of always-on applications on fixed and mobile networks. All of Procera’s platforms operate the same software solutions, with only performance and scalability differing between the models".

See "Procera Networks Launches 120Gbps PacketLogic 9420 Platform" - here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

EE: The Cost of Managing P2P

My friend Jonathon Gordon, Directing Analyst - Telecoms, Expert Market Insight shared his impressions from the Broadband Traffic Management event, held last week at Barcelona.

An interesting observation comes from the presentation of Shan Eisenberg [pictured], Head of Home Propositions and Pricing, EE [UK], While many think that P2P file sharing traffic is no longer a major traffic management issue (due to the portion of video streaming services), it seems that for ISPs this is still a current issue (concerning 4% of the customers, in the following case):

"EE spends around £5M a year on DPI for Peer-to-Peer control within their network [see EE's policies here]. He claimed the alternative is to charge P2P users an addition £15 a month to cover the cost of their network usage. Seems EE is one of the few operators that is not shy to admit they are using DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) to prioritize or limit traffic. EE assert that this results in 770,000 happy broadband customers and 35,000 “constrained customers”. Mr Eisenberg added that they also use DPI to prioritize VoIP and gaming traffic during network congestion, so not all evil after all".

See more - "Great second day at the Telco Big Data and Broadband Traffic Management conference today" - here

Monday, November 17, 2014

Mahindra Comviva to Use Radisys ATCA Platform for PCEF/PCRF/MIG in Tier1 Project

Radisys Corporation announced that Mahindra Comviva has selected "Radisys’ T-40 Series Ultra Platform to deliver its Mobile Data Platform (MDP), consisting of Policy Control Enforcement Function (PCEF), Policy Charging & Rules Function (PCRF) and Mobile Internet Gateway (MIG), for its customer, a Tier1 Middle Eastern service provider .. Mahindra Comviva will roll out the T-40 Ultra in Q4 2014".

Ganesh Jayadevan, SVP, Messaging and Broadband Solutions, Mahindra Comviva. said: “Radisys’ award-winning T-Series platform and close collaboration with Radisys’ engineering team enabled us to offer our Mobile Data Platform on carrier-grade and open standards-based ATCA hardware. This has reduced the overall TCO for our service provider customers by 30 percent .. With Radisys T-Series solution, we now have a platform to cost-effectively scale to hundreds of gbps in traffic and address the growing data needs of our customers”. 

See "Mahindra Comviva Selects the Radisys T-Series Ultra Platform" - here.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

UK: 4G vs. 3G QoE Tested

Ofcom published its first research into "..consumers' experience of mobile broadband in the UK since the 4G auction in 2013. The research measured the performance of 4G and 3G services on smartphones from the four main mobile operators - EE, O2, Three and Vodafone - in Birmingham, Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Manchester". 

Using smartphones, some 210,000 tests of 4G and 3G mobile broadband were carried out both indoors and outdoors across the five UK cities between March and June 2014 .. The research compared the performance of 4G and 3G services overall and highlighted variations between operators across four key measures: Download speed, Upload speed, Web browsing speed and Latency". 

See "4G and 3G mobile broadband speeds research" - here.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winners of BBTM Awards 2014: NetCracker (x2), Huawei, Avvasi, Sandvine, Skyfire

The Broadband Traffic Congress 2014 awards, shown with relevant links to recent posts in my blog (see also 20112012 and 2013 awards):
  • Best Big Data Solution for Improving Customer Experience: NetCracker Big Data solution
  • Most Innovative Tool for Driving Real-Time Intelligence: Huawei Real Time Decision Center’ - see "Huawei: Over 3B Subscribers Served by Our SDM" - here
  • Best Optimisation Tool for Managing Video Traffic: Avvasi Q-SRV’ Solution' - see "WIND Mobile [Canada] Uses Avvasi to Improve Video QoE" - here and "Virgin Mobile [France] Deploys Avvasi to Improve Video QoE" - here.
  • Best Real Time Charging Platforms for Customers: Sandvine – 'Sandvine Quota Manager' - see "Sandvine Enables CSPs to Interact Directly w/Subscribers; How does it Work?" - here
  • Best Cloud Solution for Traffic Management: Skyfire Rocket Optimizer’ Solution - see "Opera Adds Audio to Rocket Optimizer" - here
  • Best Analytics for Network Management: Netcracker  'Real Time Analytics Solution' - see "NetCracker Launches SDN/NFV Based Service Orchestrator" - here.

Procera Q3: Revenues from US MSO "decreased dramatically"; 37% Customer

I am a bit late with the coverage of Procera's Q3 results (see "Procera Networks Announces Third Quarter 2014 Financial Results" - here and "Procera: Q3 Revenues Decline by 25% Y/Y" - here), but I thought some of the comments made during the earning call and SEC filling (here) still worth a post:
  • From a high level perspective we’re seeing consolidation activity in the U.S. MSO market altering buying patterns and access to new accounts. The portion of revenue from these North American cable customers has decreased dramatically in 2014. As some of our customers prospects have entered into M&A discussions and existing customers work with equipment that had already been purchased in prior periods. Prospective new customers hunker down in anticipation and M&A activities.
  • As a result we expect the North America market will contribute approximately 11% of product sales in 2014, down 33% in 2013. We have consistently said we view the U.S. cable market with caution and in hindsight we know that our view was warranted. When we originally forecasted growth in 2014 and look at the back half of the year one expected revenue contributor was a 100 gig I/O module for the PacketLogic PL20000. Today we have received great feedback from customers that have the product in trials. However as stated earlier this month, we were forced to push out general availability for this module to Q1, 2015 from Q4 of this year because one of our suppliers had delayed shipping of a component. Since then our supplier has fixed the issue and we have received delivery of the component.
  • For the three months ended September 30, 2014, one customer represented 37% of net revenue, with no other single customer accounting for more than 10% of net revenue. For the nine months ended September 30, 2014, one customer represented 11% of net revenue, with no other single customer accounting for more than 10% of net revenue
  • Regarding the latest announcement  (see "Procera Adds Video Analytics" - here):"We announced another component this pipeline today in video perspective. Our entry into the fast growing video analytics market. With video traffic consuming as much as 60% of our customers networks, we have been adding video intelligence to our existing solutions but we felt there was a market opportunity to release a dedicated video analytics product. This market has been underserved with most solutions either delivering too little information or video analytics with limited or no subscriber context .It's a combination [of internally developed and outsourcingand] .. we would expect margins in-line with our current margin profile.
See "Procera Networks' (PKT) CEO James Brear on Q3 2014 Results -- Earnings Call Transcript", by SeekingAlpha, here.

Friday, November 14, 2014

[Report] Video and Data Optimization Can Gain $28B for MNO in 5 Years

A new report by ABI Research, commissioned by Opera Software’s Skyfire unit, finds that "Mobile operators globally can benefit from a net gain of at least $28.7 billion over five years by deploying mobile video and data optimization technology in their networks.

Key findings, based on a conservative assumption that if just one in three operators deploys video and data optimization technology, the savings and revenue boost will therefore be as follows:
  • Churn-reduction savings: $12,947 million
  • Tariff-upgrade revenue boost: $6,481 million
  • Total-cost-of-ownership reduction savings: $9,347.6 million
  • Total over 5 years: $28,776 million
..The model uses actual country market data, from economic and demographic data to mobile operator subscription and radio access network (RAN) deployment data.

Sample use cases:
  • Philippines, churn reduction: Using the Philippines market, where there is some 4G subscriber adoption (2.5 million) but a much larger proportion on 3G (22 million), the average data throughput in the base station cell edge zones is estimated to be 365 Kbps without optimization. Boosting the quality of experience by enabling 30% to 60% greater data throughput can boost overall subscribers by around 2% per year and increase the subscriber retention rate equating to additional retained service revenues of US$204 million over a 5-year period.
  • Brazil, tariff upgrade: Using a conservative scenario of 2%, ABI Research calculates that an operator in the Brazilian market can generate an additional US$474 million in service revenue over a 5-year period from its 3G and 4G subscribers, attributed to faster user data rates and improved QoE".
See "Video and data optimization can deliver $28 billion net gain to mobile operators over five years, independent analysis for Opera reveals" - here.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

What's Next for Net Neutrality?

FCC Chairman
Tom Wheeler
It is a mess. While the DPI market waits for the Net Neutrality rules, whatever they would be, (see "Allot: US Sales Waits for Net Neutrality" - here) it seems that the FCC decision will be delayed.

The 2nd generation of the FCC Net Neutrality rules should have provided the clearness for "Fast Lanes" (see "FCC: The New Net Neutrality is 'Hybrid'" - here), making the DPI vendors happy (or not - see "Sandvine to the FCC: Internet Fast Lanes are not Needed" - here).

However, a recent statement by President Obama tries to change all that bringing back the ideas of free and open internet with no limitation or traffic blocking (see "Obama Asks F.C.C. to Adopt Tough Net Neutrality Rules" - here). At least the president is consistent, as he said the same things almost 5 years ago (see "Network Neutrality – A Presidential Introduction" - here)

So what's next ? for sure - a delay in the FCC, and slowdown in networks investments by the major carries (see "AT&T to pause fiber spending on net neutrality uncertainty" -here). Will the FCC go with the president's position? the following headlines will probably confuse you:
  • Dana Liebelson and Ryan Grim report to Huffingtonpost - "FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler Tells Silicon Valley He's Open To Obama Net Neutrality Plan" (here): " Chairman Tom Wheeler told a gathering of business representatives and public interest groups that he was taking the president's comments under advisement and that he would need the groups' support in the coming fight over net neutrality, according to multiple sources in the meeting"
  • Steve Dent reports to Engadget - "FCC Chairman says he may ignore Obama on net neutrality" (here): "FCC chairman Tom Wheeler has told web giants Google, Yahoo and others that he won't cave to pressure from the White House, declaring "I am an independent agency."".
I welcome comments from people understanding US politics. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Advantech Launches 100GE ATCA Switch Blade

Advantech announced the "ATCA-9223, a 100GbE AdvancedTCA hub blade based on the high capacity Broadcom BCM56852 StrataXGS® Trident II and BCM56150 switches. This scalable feature-rich hub blade switches traffic between two external 100GbE CFP2 ports, up to eighteen external 10GbE SFP+ ports and twelve 40G node slots on an ATCA backplane. The combined switching capacity of the Broadcom devices contributes to over 1 Terabit per second of throughput per hub blade.

The ATCA-9223 targets network equipment providers delivering ATCA-based solutions for applications such as high performance network security in carrier and large enterprise data center networks, next generation 4G/LTE network infrastructure or high-capacity and high port density DPI-based policy enforcement devices"

See "Advantech Launches 100G ATCA Switch Blade" - here.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Allot: US Sales Waits for Net Neutrality

Last week Allot Communications and Procera Networks published their Q3 results. As Procera's results were known already (see "Procera: Q3 Revenues Decline by 25% Y/Y" - here)  Allot's had very good results (see "Allot Communications Reports Non-GAAP 25% Revenue Growth for Q3 2014" - here), getting very close to Sandvine for the forst 3 quarters of 2014 ($86.6M vs. $89.1M).

During the Q3 earning call, Allot provided the following information:
  • Our booking during the third quarter were at record level, further supported by our largest ever $15 million order recorded during the quarter (here.. sales in America accounted 16%, EMEA 33%, and Asia Pacific 51% .. During the quarter, we had two 10% customers .. Valued added services during the quarter represented 34% of our booking
  • We had better years in the Americas, and year-to-date the performance there is not in the level that we expected it to be. However, we continue to work with the Tier-1 operators there. We believe that once the FCC will get to a final resolution about [Net] neutrality it will open doors for large scale projects with our type of technology. We’re starting to see over the last few months, more interest coming from them. We are in direct touch with them, doing trials, but nothing yet that has materialized to a project.
  • [VAS]- What we are experiencing is that in most cases, the operators will buy into one or two value added services in the first phase, or in the first project. Then, they will add on top of that additional services. The services where we see more success over the last nine months are services related to revenue generating services, that have operated to create and generate more revenue for the customers, and we see more interest in services around the security space. So, as I mentioned in the last quarter, the Service Protector, which is our [inaudible] service protection product line, and the WebSafe product line, which is the parental control and [inaudible] filtering. These were two of the top three selling services, and these are around the security state
See "Allot Communications' (ALLT) CEO Andrei Elefant on Q3 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", by SeekingAlphahere.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Allot: 2 Orders, $5M

Allot Communications announced that it has ".. secured two orders totaling $5M: 
  • The first order comes from a new customer. This Tier-1 operator ordered the Allot Service Gateway Tera with 100GE interfaces and capacity. The operator will be using Allot Service Gateway Tera’s extreme scalability to handle very high traffic loads and manage growing subscriber volume and usage. The customer also selected Allot’s ServiceProtector to protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

  • The second order was placed by a Tier-1 operator for Allot ClearSee Data Source and Allot ClearSee Network Analytics. Allot’s video analytics will provide the operator with a 360 degree view of usage trends and enable multi-dimensioning by subscriber, network element, content provider, device, video format, resolution and more for improved performance. The operator will also use Allot’s solutions to extract and apply contextual marketing promotions across its network to ensure a high quality of experience (QoE) for subscribers using video and other applications.
Allot's ClearSee Analytics

See "Allot Receives Two Orders for Its 100GE Service Gateway Tera and Value-Added Services Totaling $5M" - here.

Swiss ISPs Agreed on Self-Regulated Net Neutrality W/Traffic Management

Swisscom announced that "Swiss ICT companies act to dispel uncertainties about net neutrality. Swisscom, Sunrise, upc cablecom, Orange and the cable network companies' association Swisscable have formulated a code of conduct on net neutrality. Standing up together for an open Internet, they are also establishing an ombudsman's office which will engage independent experts.

The five co-signatories to the code of conduct are working to keep the Internet in Switzerland open, with all users able to use the content, services, applications, hardware and software of their choice. No services or applications will be blocked. Freedom of information and the free expression of opinion will not be restricted".

HOWEVER the "Notes on the Code of Conduct on Net Neutrality" (here) say that "The Internet must remain open to everyone, but efficient network management is required. For the Internet never has been and cannot be completely neutral, as the term net neutrality would have us believe. Not all data which flows through the Internet is and should be treated equally .. Not all data on the Internet is or should therefore be treated equally, which is how the term net neutrality could be interpreted"

"So, The code states that network management for the purpose of ensuring quality and provision of services tailored to end users may continue
  • When official rulings have to be put into effect,
  • harmful activity blocked or capacity bottlenecks bypassed.
  • In addition, time-critical services may be prioritised, if customers so wish. This includes, for example, IP telephony, television, emergency calls, video conferencing and future telemedicine applications, in which data have to reach customers as quickly as possible.

See "Net neutrality: ICT companies guarantee an open Internet" - here and Net neutrality: Code of Conduct - here/

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Procera Adds Video Analytics

Procera Networks adds another piece to its line of Network Intelligence solutions (following its RAN analytics solution - here).

The vendor announced the "..launch of Video Perspectives, a video analytics solution for network operators that delivers comprehensive video intelligence and actionable analytics .. With Video Perspectives, broadband operators have a complete view of the video being consumed by their subscribers and of their success in delivering a high QoE to subscribers. Now, broadband operators can create their own video quality scorecards to measure delivery of streaming video to their subscribers and use it to measure against the proliferation of content provider scorecards (for example, Netflix and Google) .. Video Perspectives is in trial with several Tier 1 operators, is available for beta testing immediately and will be generally available in Q1 2015.

.. It is a software solution that can run on PacketLogic™ hardware to collect detailed video analytics on a broadband network. The intelligence is visualized as an integrated part of the PacketLogic Insights product family, including Customer Care and Engineering Insights, and as a standalone Video Insights product. 

The solution that includes three new functions:

  • New method of analyzing streaming video and detecting more than twenty new metrics in real-time,
  • A new application specific score that enables comparing the video quality score to the entire delivery eco-system transport quality segmented by internet hop,
  • And a new web user interface enabling the CSP to created graphs to compare the new metrics supporting the presented score.

The integrated Insights solutions present detailed video reporting and analytics views that are combined with Procera’s other subscriber analytics to deliver a comprehensive view of the subscriber experience. Video Insights delivers highly detailed video intelligence, and is an interactive tool that allows operators to generate custom reports and analytics based on specific issues or opportunities they are seeing with video on their network.

See "Procera Networks Launches Groundbreaking Video Analytics Solution" - here.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

PeerApp Doubles Capacity

PeerApp announced a "new software release that doubles the traffic handling capacity, while keeping the same footprint of the award-winning UltraBand® product line. The Company is also introducing new mid-range products, creating the broadest product range in the industry scaling from under 1 Gbps traffic handling capacity through to 150 Gbps in a single system for Tier 1 needs.

See "PeerApp Doubles Capacity for Internet Video, Media and Entertainment Delivery Solution"

- here

Friday, November 7, 2014

Optimization Deployments[328]: Etisalat [Egypt] Uses JDSU's ariesoGEO

JDSU announced that "Etisalat Egypt has deployed its ariesoGEO solution to enhance service quality and optimization for postpaid customers. JDSU’s geolocation services will enable Etisalat to focus performance engineering investment and resources on strategic locations for its high value customers".

Related post - "JDSU Acquires Arieso for $85M to Increase Visibility to the RAN" - here.
"Etisalat chose ariesoGEO for scalability and wide ranging support for different vendors and technologies. This allows the solution to be immediately deployed across Etisalat’s existing 2G and 3G networks with the support for their future LTE investment already in place. ariesoGEO offers integrated support for 2G, 3G and LTE technologies, using location intelligence to transform RAN planning and performance engineering, providing information in near real-time for every subscriber, enabling efficient segmentation and focus on important groups"

See "Etisalat Egypt Selects JDSU’s ariesoGEO platform for Geolocation Services" - here.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Sandvine: $8M, 20 PTS 32,000, 3 Tier-1 Customers

Sandvine announced that it has "received $8 million in orders from three tier-1 operators. The orders reflect demand for various versions of Sandvine's Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) platform, including more than 20 next generation 100GE PTS 32000s, as well as a variety of software licenses.
Highlighting the global demand for the PTS 32000 platform [see "Sandvine Adds a 200Gbps/2RU appliance" - here], the orders come from operators in Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and North America. The orders were received in Sandvine’s third and fourth quarters with the PTS 32000 units expected to commence shipping in November. The Company anticipates that some of the product revenue in respect of these orders will be recognized in its fourth quarter of 2014 as well as the first half of fiscal 2015.
  • The Asia-Pacific order is from a tier-1 converged operator who selected the PTS 32000 over competing 100GE standalone network policy control solutions after a highly competitive and technically thorough evaluation process. The operator cited the PTS 32000’s performance density and strong performance in trials as key factors behind their selection of Sandvine.
  • The EMEA order is from a tier-1 wireline operator who has been a Sandvine customer since 2010. This operator will be using the PTS 32000 to expand their current Sandvine deployment.
  • The North American order is from a tier-1 cable MSO and long-time Sandvine customer, and represents $4 million of the orders announced today. Sandvine’s customers include five of the top six cable operators in North America and this order further extends Sandvine’s recent success in the North American cable market.
So far in FY2014, Sandvine has announced over $16 million in orders from tier-1 North American cable operators, including one competitive displacement of another standalone solution vendor".
See "Sandvine Receives Orders For New 100ge Policy Traffic Switch 32000" - here

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

[Infonetics]: What are the Key Use cases for DSC?

A new white paper by Diane Myers [pictured], principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS, Infonetics Research, "examines the key Diameter use cases operators need to consider when planning for IP multimedia subsystem (IMS)".

The growth of IMS around voice over LTE (VoLTE) deployments brings new challenges and opportunities related to Diameter and, ultimately, Diameter signaling controllers. When configured correctly, Diameter can enhance customer experience by ensuring quality of service in voice over LTE calls, video sessions, and enhanced messaging.

By managing Diameter traffic, Diameter signaling controllers (DSCs) play an important role in ensuring a high-quality experience for services running over IMS networks. The four use cases that represent opportunities for DSCs and for which operators need to consider in planning for IMS are 1) session binding, 2) charging, 3) subscription location function, and 4) monetizing assets"

See "Infonetics whitepaper examines the Diameter use cases operators need to plan for in IMS networks" - here.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

[ABI]: New Video Delivery Technologies

A new report by Sam Rosen [pictured], Practice Director, ABI Research finds that video delivery technology has to be adapted to be able to meet demand and quality.

"A few trailblazers are working on disruptive innovations. Areas such as the inability of TCP delivery to keep up with high throughput demands, the lack of perceptual tools in modern codecs, as well as the inefficiency of storage within CDNs all pose significant additional challenges within the ecosystem. A number of innovative companies, from startups to more mature businesses, are addressing these issues: bitmovin [transcoding and players], beamr [Optimization], Akamai, Aspera [High-speed transfer] (part of IBM), Vantrix [here], and Conviva [Analytics]".

“Of the areas we examined, carrier equipment for video delivery, transit replacements for TCP, and real user monitoring (RUM)/application performance monitoring (APM) applied to video have the largest market potential and are expected to be the most pervasive in tomorrow’s video services .. Meanwhile, OTT monitoring is expected to remain a niche market. These disruptive innovations will lead to about US$1.5 billion in 2020 revenues across a variety of industries”.

See "Video Delivery Requires New Codecs, Improved Network Protocols and Analytics" - here.

Monday, November 3, 2014

[Guest Post] Standardizing Service Chaining Models for Next-generation Service Provider Architectures

By Nicolas Bouthors*, Distinguished Technologist, Qosmos

With intense competition in the communications industry, service providers are looking for ways to offer new services faster and more cost-effectively. Dynamic service chaining allows you to do just that. With application-aware service chaining, you can quickly and efficiently create and deliver new, composite services by routing network flows through multiple, linked service functions (SFs). Three industry organizations have proposed complementary standards for service chaining that include Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) integration because it is considered critical in making the models application-aware.

The Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) is developing a service function chaining (SFC) architecture that uses network flow classification to route traffic between service functions. Incoming network packets are sent to a service classifier, which attaches a metadata header to each packet and then forwards it to the appropriate set of service functions for processing. DPI technologies are used to enhance the capabilities of the service classifier, allowing it to identify the application in use and collect and format detailed metadata in a standard way.
The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) model is based on a generalized service architecture that uses network forwarding graphs to route traffic between virtual network functions (VNFs). Pre-defined virtual links connect service functions into chains. Network traffic is routed along service chains based on forwarding paths and policies. DPI provides the information needed to make service functions application-aware, and ETSI has defined the DPI module as a reusable virtual network function component (VNFC) within their architecture.
Finally, the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) has proposed a software-defined networking (SDN) service chaining framework that uses an OpenFlow-based programmable switch and network forwarding graph to direct traffic to the appropriate service functions. DPI provides the application information needed to route traffic according to SDN rules and policies.

The three organizations are actively working together and with the larger open source community to merge their projects into a complete, common service chaining model, as shown in Figure 1. ETSI and ONF are collaborating on network functions virtualization (NFV) and SDN integration projects to create proofs of concept (PoCs) and reference implementations. The ONF model leverages the OpenStack Networking (Neutron) Group-based Policy declarative approach to create communication contracts between groups of servers providing network services. And, more solidified specifications and reference implementations are planned for release in 2015 as each organization works toward key milestones. 

Figure 1: The combined IETF, ETSI, and ONF service chaining model.

In the above diagram, the DPI is supplied in the form a service aware module (in this case provided by Qosmos) which acts as a service classifier by providing real-time application awareness to virtual switches. As one of the leading experts in DPI technologies, Qosmos is active in all the IETF, ETSI and ONF initiatives for a common service chaining model, providing essential insight into DPI in order to speed development of the future standards and architectures and deployment of the next generation networks. The company also continues to work with standards organizations toward the vision of end-to-end application awareness throughout the next-generation service provider architecture, from orchestrator to data plane.

*Nicolas has spent many years in the telecommunications and information systems field. He was instrumental in creating Hewlett-Packard’s OpenCall business. As the R&D manager of Inovatel, the advanced research organization of SFR, Nicolas led several innovative projects highlighting the impact of internet technologies on Mobile Operators. Nicolas holds several patents relating to Mobile Data Charging.

Nicolas joined Qosmos to focus on emerging SDN and NFV architectures. He contributes to IETF SFC, ONF and ETSI NFV initiatives to add Layer 4 to Layer 7 capabilities within global SDN/NFV architectures. 

Nicolas holds an engineering degree from the French schools Ecole Polytechnique and Les Mines de Paris.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

FTC Sues AT&T for Shaping Unlimited Subscribers

Do you remember this move by AT&T, back in 2011 -  "AT&T to Throttle Top 5% of Unlimited Subscribers" - here?

Here comes the consumer response.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that  it has "..filed a federal court complaint against AT&T Mobility, LLC, charging that the company has misled millions of its smartphone customers by charging them for “unlimited” data plans while reducing their data speeds, in some cases by nearly 90 percent.

The FTC’s complaint alleges that the company failed to adequately disclose to its customers on unlimited data plans that, if they reach a certain amount of data use in a given billing cycle, AT&T reduces – or “throttles” – their data speeds to the point that many common mobile phone applications – like web browsing, GPS navigation and watching streaming video – become difficult or nearly impossible to use.

..The FTC alleges that AT&T, despite its unequivocal promises of unlimited data, began throttling data speeds in 2011 for its unlimited data plan customers after they used as little as 2 gigabytes of data in a billing period. According to the complaint, the throttling program has been severe, often resulting in speed reductions of 80 to 90 percent for affected users. Thus far, according to the FTC, AT&T has throttled at least 3.5 million unique customers a total of more than 25 million times".

Related post - "AT&T: 1M Subscribers Switched from Unlimited to UBB in Q1" - here.

See "FTC Says AT&T Has Misled Millions of Consumers with ‘Unlimited’ Data Promises" - here.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

FCC: The New Net Neutrality is "Hybrid"

After years of failing to established a consumer oriented Net Neutrality, the FCC has a new scheme, recognizing that an Internet connection has two, non-equal, sides - the consumer and the content provider.

Edward Wtatt reports to the New York Times that "The proposal is part of a hybrid solution that has gained favor among theF.C.C. staff over the last two months. Like other possible solutions, it seeks to reestablish the F.C.C.’s authority to enforce net neutrality, the general concept that no Internet traffic should be discriminated against unfairly.

But unlike policies previously considered, which treated the entire Internet ecosystem as a single universe, the hybrid proposal would establish a divide between “wholesale” and “retail” transactions
  • The retail portion, the transaction that sends data through the Internet service provider to the consumer and which allows the consumer to access any legal content on the Internet, would receive a lighter regulatory touch.
  • .. the hybrid approach would apply Title II of the Communications Act of 1934 to the connection between Internet service providers, or I.S.P.s, and content providers. For the purpose of agreeing to transport content from a company like Netflix through its network, an I.S.P. would be treated as a “common carrier,” subject to stricter regulation.In that instance, an I.S.P., as a common carrier, could not give an unfair advantage to one content provider over another. Paid prioritization , where a content provider pays for a fast lane to consumers, would be restricted unless it could be proved to be just and reasonable"
See "F.C.C. Considering Hybrid Regulatory Approach to Net Neutrality" - here.