Thursday, July 31, 2014

The FCC "Deeply Troubled" by Verizon's LTE Optimization

Few days after Verizon published its plan to optimize traffic at congested cells [see "Verizon Expands "Optimization" to LTE Subs to Fight Cell Congestion" - here], the FCC Chairman, Tom Wheeler, sent them a number of questions, expressing he is  "deeply troubled" by the move, and questioning if this should the right policy for "reasonable netwrok management*" or it is actually done to  "enhance revenue streams".

See also "Net Neutrality Approval Reopens US Market for DPI and Policy Management" - here

*Reasonable network management.  A network management practice is reasonable if it is appropriate and tailored to achieving a legitimate network management purpose, taking into account the particular network architecture and technology of the broadband Internet access service. Legitimate network management purposes include: ensuring network security and integrity, including by addressing traffic that is harmful to the network; addressing traffic that is unwanted by users (including by premise operators), such as by providing services or capabilities consistent with a user’s choices regarding parental controls or security capabilities; and by reducing or mitigating the effects of congestion on the network.

The letter uploaded by jbrodkin2000

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

GSA: 318 Operators Launched LTE Networks; 69 LTE-A; 66 Launched VoLTE

GSA reports that "318 operators have commercially launched LTE networks and service in 111 countries .. Israel [by Orange Israel - see "LTE Services Enabled in Israel - See my Speedtest Results" - here], Madagascar and the Northern Mariana Islands are amongst the latest nations to access commercial LTE mobile broadband service for the first time. 51 LTE networks have launched so far in 2014. The total number of commercial LTE networks is expected to be more than 350 by the end of this year.

.. LTE networks capable of supporting 150 Mbps peak downlink (for Category 4 user devices) are commercially launched in at least 36 countries .. 69 operators, i.e. over 21%, are deploying LTE-Advanced technologies, 15 operators have launched carrier aggregation, including 4 operators whose networks support 300 Mbps Category 6 user devices

66 operators in 35 countries are investing in VoLTE studies, trials or deployments, including 10 operators in Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, South Korea and the USA who have commercially launched HD voice service using VoLTE. 

See "Over 50 LTE networks launched this year, total is 318 in 111 countries" - here.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Procera's Response to Allot's SG-Tera: PL20000 with 600 Gbps/480M Flows

Procera PL20000
3 months after Allot Communications introduced the SG-Tera with 500 Gbps throughout in a single ATCA chassis (see "Allot Launched the New Service Gateway; Orders from 4 Operators (over $9M)" - here), Procera Networks responds with even higher performance, in most KPIs, to be "available for trials in the third quarter of 2014 and generally available in the fourth quarter of 2014". 

The vendor announced the "launch of a next generation 600 Gbps version of the PacketLogic™ 20000 Platform .. The 600Gbps PL20000 leverages a new 100GE-optimized I/O module configuration with up to 4x100GE channels and 16x10GE channels, and increases the platform’s scalability up to 480 million flows at a setup rate of 8 million flows per second for up to 10 million broadband subscribers. 

This scalability enables operators to stay ahead of the curve as consumer devices become more session-hungry. Existing broadband operator customers can take advantage of the upgrade with a simple I/O module change without a forklift upgrade, further enhancing the ROI and platform longevity for network operators.

See below the main specifications published by the two vendors:

See "Procera Networks Upgrades PL20000 Platform to Industry Leading 600 Gbps Throughput" - here.

Danish and US Researchers Use Math to Expedite the Internet (5-10X)

A new study by  Frank Fitzek [pictured], Professor in the Department of Electronic Systems from Aalborg University finds that "Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University in collaboration with the US universities the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and California Institute of Technology (Caltech) are attracting attention in the international technology media.

A new study uses a four minute long mobile video as an example. The method used by the Danish and US researchers in the study resulted in the video being downloaded five times faster than state of the art technology. The video also streamed without interruptions. In comparison, the original video got stuck 13 times along the way.

The Danish and US researchers solution is a ".. special kind of network coding that utilizes clever mathematics to store and send the signal in a different way. The advantage is that errors along the way do not require that a packet be sent again. Instead, the upstream and downstream data are used to reconstruct what is missing using a mathematical equation".

See "Math Can Make the Internet 5-10 Times Faster" - here.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Survey: Operators Satisfaction from OSS/BSS Vendors

Jason Marcheck [pictured], Research Director, Current Analysis, published a summary of a "OSS/BSS purchase drivers and vendor satisfaction from large operators around the globe representing approximately half of the global telecom CapEx spend".

The main conclusion is - "The companies that topped the list in questions related to vendor satisfaction seem to be better known as large SI players than as OSS/BSS specialists"

Jason describes his thoughts on the grades and concludes - "I hear a lot of OSS/BSS vendors beam with pride that that they are “product companies,” with the clear implication being that operators value the product more than the SI that comes in and pulls it all together. That is a good story. However, our results say that delivery matters most" 

See "OSS/BSS Vendor Satisfaction – Are “Product Companies” Missing the Boat on Delivery?" - here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

[Study]: Lack of Image Optimization Slows down top Retail Web Sites

A new report by Radware finds that "of the top 100 retail websites, the median page has grown 67% in just one year and many are failing to leverage advanced techniques to help accelerate their pages .. use of images is one of the single performance drains, as most site owners are not taking advantage of image optimization techniques that can dramatically improve both real and perceived load times

.. The median top 100 ecommerce home page takes six seconds or longer to render its primary content to online visitors – a 27% slowdown over the past year. This render time is more than twice as slow as the ideal user experience of three seconds or less. Only 14% of the top 100 retail sites were able to deliver an optimal user experience. 17% took ten or more seconds just to be become interactive.

See "One Year Later – Websites are Going Nowhere Fast – New Radware Research Reveals Retailers Still Make Same Web Performance Mistakes" - here.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Verizon Expands "Optimization" to LTE Subs to Fight Cell Congestion

3 years after Verizon established its optimization policy to reduce cell congestion, [see "Verizon Explains its "Network Optimization" Policy" - here] it is now expanded to LTE.

Kellex reports to DroidLife that "On October 1, Verizon will expand its existing Network Optimization policy to include unlimited data customers who use 4G LTE devices and “have fulfilled their minimum contract term.” That “optimization” occurs when an unlimited data customer meets specific criteria and hops onto a cell site that is experiencing high demand. This is only a temporary reduction, not a billing cycle throttle. Once that customer leaves the cell site under stress, their connection should return to normal.

Update: The policy is changing somewhat on how long you could be throttled. From information we have received from sources (and now reflected on Verizon’s own policy), the throttling could last through a current billing cycle and on to the end of the next, should a user be on a cell site experiencing high demand. This is the exact wording for the potential throttling – “The customer may continue to be impacted for the rest of the current billing cycle and through the next billing cycle, but only while on a cell site that is experiencing high demand.

Verizon's Optimization Policy page (here) says that "95% of our data customers are not impacted. The top 5% with devices on unlimited data plans may experience managed data speeds when connected to a cell site experiencing high demand after reaching certain data-usage levels in a bill cycle. These high data users will feel the smallest possible impact and only experience reduced data speeds when necessary for us to optimize data network traffic in that area"

See "Starting October 1, Verizon Will Include Unlimited 4G LTE Customers in “Network Optimization”" - here.

Friday, July 25, 2014

[Analysis Mason]: Telco Big Data Analytics Market to Reach $2.3B in 2014

A new report by Justin van der Lande [pictured], Principal Analyst, Analysis Mason covers the big data analytics market for telcos - "Big data analytics (BDA) is not just a passing trend; it is becoming an increasingly important part of every aspect of a communications service provider’s (CSP) operations. The drive for efficiency gains, coupled with the need to personalize customers’ experiences, is driving new installations".

"Analysys Mason estimates the size of the analytics market in the telecoms sector to be US$2.1 billion in 2013, and market growth is expected to be near 9% in 2014. The market is heavily biased towards the developed markets of North America and Western Europe, as depicted in Figure 2. This market size includes only the analytics software and associated visualization functions, and tools for extracting, loading and transforming (ELT) data into an infrastructure and schemas specifically built for the telecoms sector".

"New vendors continue to enter the BDA markets, encouraged by the growing demand by CSPs and the availability of new, low-cost technology that is open source and is increasingly accepted by CSPs. Vendors are categorized into four types based on their history and current capabilities, which provide different view-points on open source and their access to the CSPs. These categories are storage vendors, general-purpose analytics vendors, specialist vendors and new telecoms-specific analytics vendors"

See "The future of big data analytics in the telecoms industry" - here.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

The FCC Reminds ISPs: Transparency Rule is in Full Force

The recent debate around the delivery of Netflix traffic in the US [see "Verizon vs. Netflix on Congestion - It is NOT Us!" - here and "Netflix - Speed to Comcast Customers Continue to Surge" - here], creating confusing among consumers, probably led the FCC to remind ISPs that the Open Internet (Net Neutrality) rules (or some of them) are still in effect.

The FCC issues a public notice, with an enforcement advisory (here), saying that "Providers of broadband Internet access services must disclose accurate information about their service offerings and make this information accessible to the public. This requirement, known as the Open Internet Transparency Rule, has been in full force and effect since 2011 [see "FCC's Net Neutrality Rules Made Official; Start on Nov. 20" - here].

..The Transparency Rule requires every fixed and mobile broadband Internet access provider to “publicly disclose accurate information regarding the network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of its broadband Internet access services sufficient for consumers to make informed choices regarding use of such services and for content, application, service, and device providers to develop, market, and maintain Internet offerings". 

Accuracy is the bedrock of the Transparency Rule. Under the rule, all disclosures that broadband Internet access providers make about their network management practices, performance, and commercial terms of broadband services must be accurate"

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler [pictured] said (here): “Consumers deserve to get the broadband service they pay for. After today, no broadband provider can claim they didn’t know we were watching to see that they disclose accurate information about the services they provide. The FCC’s transparency rule requires that consumers get the information they need to make informed choices about the broadband services they purchase. We expect providers to be fully transparent about the details of their services, and we will hold them accountable if they fall down on this obligation to consumers

See "FCC to ISPs: Inaccurate Disclosures Violate Transparency Rule" - here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Allot Wins EMEA MNO for Zero-Rate Video Streaming and Social Media Services

Allot Communications announced today that it "received an order from a Tier-1 mobile operator in EMEA for the Allot Policy Control and Charging solution. The operator is leveraging Allot’s policy control and charging solution to provide 4 million subscribers with application-centric plans that fit their digital lifestyle.

The solution will allow the Tier-1 mobile operator to conduct in-depth monitoring and usage reporting and launch innovative plans for its subscribers. Among the application-centric plans, this operator will offer zero-rated plans for video streaming services and social media services (such as Facebook). The operator is planning to offer zero-rated plans at specific times during the day".

According to Allot's recent report (see ""[Study]: 85% of Operators are Leveraging OTT Apps to Attract Customers" - here") - "Comparing the key performance indicators of ARPU and churn rate, it is evident that globally, operators who offer application-centric plans present higher ARPU and lower churn. This finding is especially strong in developing countries"
Allot Communications Allot MobileTrends
 Charging Report H1/2014

See "Allot Communications Receives Order from Tier-1 Mobile Operator in EMEA for Analytics and App-Centric Plans" - here.

UK: How do ISPs Implement Network Based Parental Control Service?

Ofcom has "published a report for Government outlining measures the UK's largest internet service providers have put in place to help parents protect children from harmful content online. This follows an agreement between the Government and BT, Sky, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, the four largest fixed line internet service providers (ISPs), announced in July 2013 [see "UK to Enforce Opt Out Network Based Web Filtering on All ISPs" - here]. Each ISP committed to offer new customers 'family-friendly network-level filtering' by the end of December 2013 [see "UK ISPs for Safer Internet" - here]" 

"The report finds that the four ISPs now have a network level family friendly filtering service .. There are a number of filtering categories common to all four ISPs. Suicide and self-harm, pornography, file sharing, crime, drugs, violence and hate are covered by each provider's classification systems .. All of the ISPs offer some additional services alongside the network family-friendly 
filters, some including internet security services aimed at protecting the subscriber from issues like viruses or malware. All offer device level filtering or security software for installation on individual computers

All of the ISPs have commissioned third parties to perform the categorisation of 
internet content and services: 

  • BT and Virgin employ Nominum
  • Sky uses Symantec 
  • TalkTalk uses Huawei [see "Huawei's SIG: Policy Enforcement and URL Filtering" - here], although Symantec was also initially involved.
The filtering solutions rely on two basic technologies:
  • Filtering by Uniform Resource Locator (URL) blocking: the filtering of sites or services based on their web address – either addresses covering whole websites ( or individual sections or pages on those sites ( This involves the ISP checking some or all of the URLs which an opted-in subscriber requests against the list of sites or pages to be blocked. If there is a match, the subscriber request is not fulfilled – typically a page with the message “this site is blocked because it is classified as…” may be delivered instead.
  • Filtering by Domain Name System (DNS) alteration: the DNS translates domain names (“” into IP addresses “”), to allow a subscriber’s content request to be correctly directed – this is the first stage in requesting a website or service. When used for filtering, the ISP’s DNS server will not provide the IP address for domains on the list; it may instead direct the subscriber request to an information page with “this site is blocked because it is classified as…”.

Each of Virgin Media, BT and TalkTalk has adopted a slightly different version of URL blocking; Sky’s filtering system is exclusively based on its DNS servers. The use of URL blocking allows a more granular classification of online content and services: Sky’s system will always block whole domains, while BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk can target specific parts of a domain.

See "Ofcom publishes report on internet safety measures" - here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

UK: ISPs will Alert Subscribers on Copyright Infringement

The UK has a new plan for reducing copyright infringement, as probably the older plans did not work - UK Culture Minister Vaizey:'SPs have their role to play to help consumers find legitimate content'"here and "[UK]: Major ISPs Asked to Build 'Downloaders Database'" - here:
 "Representatives from the UK's creative industries and major Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have come together with the support of government to launch Creative Content UK, a ground-breaking new partnership that will boost consumer awareness of the wide array of legitimate online content services and help reduce online copyright infringement.
Creative Content UK will comprise two key components. 
  • The first, which will launch before Spring 2015, will be a major multi-media education awareness campaign, led by content creators and part-funded by government, that aims to create wider appreciation of the value and benefits of entertainment content and copyright. 
  • The second component is a subscriber alerts programme that will be co-managed and co-funded by ISPs and content creators and due to begin at a later date. Participating ISPs will alert and advise subscribers when their accounts are believed to have been used to infringe copyright. Account holders will receive an alert from their ISP, advising them unlawful filesharing may have taken place on their connection and offering advice on where to find legitimate sources of entertainment content.
.. Creative Content UK founding partners include the Motion Picture Association (MPA), the BPI (British Recorded Music Industry), and the four main internet service providers: BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media, with the prospect of other ISPs joining at a later stage .. The campaign will aim to inform and encourage consumers - ranging from the next generation of digital users to 'silver-surfers' – about the huge range of entertainment content that is available from legal and licensed sources; giving them greater confidence when buying and using content online and providing additional guidance about internet safety.

John Petter [pictured], CEO, BT Consumer, said: “BT is very pleased to be able to support this important announcement today. The UK has a world-leading creative sector which plays a vital role in promoting the nation’s economic prosperity. BT is committed to supporting the creative industries by helping to tackle the problem of online piracy while ensuring the best possible experience for its customers. That’s why we’ve worked very hard with rights-holders and other leading ISPs to develop a voluntary programme based on consumer education and awareness which promotes the use of legal online content.

See "UK Creative Industries and ISPs Partner in Major New Initiative to Promote Legal Online Entertainment" - here.

Monday, July 21, 2014

[Study]: 85% of Operators are Leveraging OTT Apps to Attract Customers

A new study by Allot Communications (surveyed the data plans and charging trends of 175 mobile operators worldwide) finds that "85% of operators are leveraging apps to attract customers and increase ARPU .. Facebook is mobile operators’ top choice for zero-rated apps and Unlimited data plans are in decline".

Some examples of Zero rate programs:
  • Facebook Offers Free Messaging Through 18 MNOs - here
  • Success for Application-Based Service Plans in Zimbabwe - here
  • Vodafone India Offers Free Twitter Access - here
  • VimpelCom - Free Access to Wikipedia - here
  • Smart [Philippines] Uses Sandvine for Application-Aware Service Plans - here
  • Aircel [India] Offers Facebook Aware Service - here

Source: Allot Communications 

"Shared data plans are on the rise From 2012 to 2014, operators offering unlimited data plans have diminished from 35% to 15% while operators offering shared data plans with shared data caps increased from 29% to 42%"

Source: Allot Communications 

"As the evolution of data plans continues, unlimited data plans are becoming an offering of the past. Operators are moving away from actions that degrade QoE such as throttling Internet speed and when usage exceeds the volume cap; they simply charge the overage and maintain QoE"

Source: Allot Communications 

See "Allot MobileTrends Report Records the Rise of Application-Centric Mobile Operators" - here.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

[Analysys Mason]: Oracle and Amdocs Lead the $3.6B Customer Care Market

A new report by Mark H. Mortensen [pictured], Practice Head, BSS, and Atul Arora, Research Analyst, Analysys Mason finds that "The customer care market generated USD3.58 billion in revenue in 2013, an increase of 9.1% from 2012. The market was driven by communications service providers (CSPs) increasingly offering packaged service bundles, consumer demand for self-service and control over their accounts, and the need of CSPs to increase customer satisfaction (thereby reducing churn), bring many new digital services to market quickly and reduce customer support costs.

Oracle and Amdocs continue to dominate the market, with a combined market share of more than one third of the worldwide market, while China-based vendor Huawei Technologies dominates its domestic market. However, more than 60 suppliers that constitute the ‘Other’ category command revenue of several hundred million dollars in this market, many of them smaller, geographically focused suppliers.

Customer care systems were originally ‘add-ons’ to billing systems and provided the basic functions of ordering and supporting CSRs in answering queries from subscribers. Billing system vendors still provide these functions as subscriber management systems. However, CRM systems have grown in importance, providing advanced features to CSRs (and customers through other channels) as well as access to the subscriber management system functions.

See "Customer care systems: worldwide market shares 2013" - here.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Ericsson SSR 8000 Contracts Follow-up

Ericsson reported its Q2 2014 results (here). The detailed report (here) states that "Mobile broadband demand, VoLTE and growing interest in LTE broadcast [related post: "Vodafone LTE Status: Traffic, Video, Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE, Video Broadcast" - heredrives performance initiatives including carrier aggregation and  network densification. Small cells and the use of new frequency bands will also be key to address demand

The momentum for the multi-application router, SSR 8000, continued with 120 contracts signed since the launch in December 2011. During the quarter, 11 new contracts were signed of which 3 were for fixed networks"

Leading Internet Companies Against Fast Lanes; Disapprove DPI

The Internet Association (see members) announced that it "submitted its comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging Commissioners to take strong and decisive action to guarantee an open Internet for the future. 

The Internet Association’s comments mark the first time that more than two dozen of the world’s most-recognizable and successful Internet companies have spoken with a unified voice on the issue of Net Neutrality. The Internet Association’s comments to the FCC (herecan be distilled into three key tenets necessary to secure and preserve an open Internet for the future:
  1. Internet Users Should Get What They Want, When They Want It
    The Internet should be free from censorship, discrimination and anticompetitive behavior, protected by simple and enforceable rules that ensure a consumer’s equal access to the content they want.
  2. Internet Users Should Get What They Pay For
    Broadband subscribers should get the bandwidth they are paying for – content should be treated equally, without degradations in speed or quality. No artificial slow lanes.
  3. All Networks Should Have Equal Protection
    No matter how users choose to connect to the Internet, net neutrality rules should apply universally on both wireless and wireline networks.
In its comments, The Internet Association also expressed concern that broadband providers are discriminating among sources and types of Internet traffic in real-time, presenting a major problem for both consumers and content providers"

In its submission, the Association refers to DPI as the technology doing all those horrible things: "DPI allows broadband Internet access providers to examine an information packet during its end-to-end transmission process in record time. Essentially, it allows them to view the contents of the traffic that their customers send and receive. It also allows them to arbitrarily create, modify, or delete packets to delay, redirect, copy, or block content ..  While DPI has certain legitimate uses, it clearly can be used to intrude on Internet traffic. It can censor information packets. It can limit access to specific Internet applications. It can insert code into Internet traffic, and direct certain packets to be prioritized over others. Or it can direct the network to block certain content altogether

See "The Internet Association Comments on FCC Net Neutrality Proposal" - here.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Afternoon Experience: Rockets Over my Head

I thought I'd shared with my readers the recent events in Israel.

I took the picture below half an hour ago, during my Friday afternoon walk in Tel-Aviv. These are rockets, fired from Gaza by the Hamas terrorist organization, against civilian targets in Israel. This happens 2-3 times a day in Tel-Aviv, and much more in areas closer to Gaza (and there, they get an early warning of 15 seconds to take cover, vs. 90 seconds here).

The intercept system, Iron Dome, has a phenomenal success rate of 90%, resulting with almost no causalities, despite the hundreds of rockets launched so far.

These acts are the reason for the recent Israeli Defense Forces activity (Protective Edge) against the terror operatives in the Gaza strip.

Concurrent Enters the Fast Growing (30%+ CAGR) Transparent Cache Market

Concurrent unveiled a ".. new software-based video solution that enables fixed-line and mobile broadband operators to boost the performance of over-the-top (OTT) video services, while also creating new revenue opportunities and reducing operational costs .. Concurrent’s next-generation transparent caching solution optimizes the online video traffic being delivered over service providers' high speed data networks, while creating new revenue generation opportunities. Using Concurrent’s system, service providers can analyze Internet traffic in real-time to identify the most popular streaming video content and software downloads, including Apple iOS®, Google Android™, and Microsoft Windows® updates. Popular content is cached at the edge of the service provider’s network to enable subsequent consumer requests for the same content to be served locally, resulting in network bandwidth savings, faster data services, improved video quality, and enhanced service consistency. 

Concurrent’s transparent caching solution consists of an intelligent edge caching server, an Internet traffic analyzer, an integrated policy control system, and a video analytics package. The solution can be deployed as a stand-alone system or as part of Concurrent’s unified content delivery solution on the same hardware infrastructure. Customers already using Concurrent’s unified content delivery solution can apply a software upgrade to add transparent caching features to their current deployments. Concurrent will be conducting transparent caching trials with major service providers this summer.

Mukul Krishna [pictured], Senior Global Director, Digital Media, Frost & Sullivan’s said: “Frost & Sullivan's research on the emerging Global Transparent Caching Market has shown tremendous potential for rapid market growth, with market revenues to exceed half a billion dollars over the next three years at a robust 30 plus percent CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate). This growth is expected to be powered by CSPs’ investment in technologies to not only better manage their networks for video, but also eventually launch their own CDNs, as any business model for online video hinges on quality of experience and quality of service."

See "Concurrent Boosts the Performance of Over-The-Top Video Services" - here.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sandvine to the FCC: Internet Fast Lanes are not Needed

Rick Wadsworth [pictured], Director Corporate Communications, Sandvine summarizes on the vendor's blog Sandvine's submission (here) to the FCC's latest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Open Internet (See  "FCC: New Net Neutrality? Just be 'Commercially Reasonable'" - here and "People Care about Net Neutrality" - here).

"Sandvine has over 250 customers around the world. Despite the large customer base, we have not deployed any Pay for Priority plans, nor have our operator customers expressed significant interest in them. To the best of our knowledge, none of the innovative service plans that Sandvine has helped implement across our customer base have involved payments between operators and edge providers for traffic priority, nor (again to the best of our knowledge) have any negotiations or direct arrangements between the operator and an edge provider occurred in connection with such service plans.

Also, technically speaking, we don’t believe that Pay for Priority would work. At a moment in time, there is a fixed amount of bandwidth available to all applications, content, etc. on a given network. If one application has paid for more of that bandwidth (and this is how the priority is achieved) then there is less “best efforts” bandwidth remaining for all other applications and content. It’s a zero-sum game. Other applications and content providers will start paying for priority as well. It is not hard to imagine the best efforts bandwidth shrinking quickly and those who paid for priority not receiving it because the prioritized section of the pie has been sliced too many times. If everybody has priority, nobody has priority.

The FCC’s rules should be focused on protecting and encouraging the full breadth of “commercially reasonable” service plans, including those that are becoming very popular globally today. Sandvine has seen firsthand how innovative service plans have increased adoption of the Internet around the world, enhanced competition, and given consumers more (and more affordable) choice.

See "Dear FCC, deprioritize Pay for Priority" - here.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

LTE Services Enabled in Israel - See my Speedtest Results

Earlier this week, Israel's Ministry of Communications allowed all existing MNOs to enable 4G/LTE services (here, Hebrew). 

The MNOs cannot charge subscribers for using LTE, nor they can't discriminate MVNOs or roamers using their networks.  

Partner Israel (using the Orange brand) announced that "As of  July 15, 2014, the Company will enable its customers that own handsets which support the 4G technology to benefit from advanced services based on this technology in areas in which the 4G network is already deployed, without any additional  payment for these services until the completion of additional frequencies allocation by the Ministry of Communications as part of the 4G frequencies tender that was published on July 2, 2014 [see "Ministry of Communications Publishes Tender to operate Fourth Generation Cellular Networks" - here]The allocation of the additional frequencies will enable the realization of the full 4G technology advantages" (see "Partner Communications announces the launch of 4G services in Israel" - here). 

I tested today Partner's performance in Tel-Aviv - Speedtest shows download speed of close to 100 Mbps - although I was probably the only user around. 

PCC Deployments [317]: Blu [Ghana] To Use Alepo for LTE

IT News Africa reports that "Alepo has unveiled that it will provide policy and charging control for a new 4G LTE network at Blu Telecommunications in Ghana. Blu plans to launch LTE services including: data, voice, IPTV and Wi-Fi hotspots for residential and commercial customers. The services are planned to be launched in the second half of 2014.

As part of the network launch, Blu will leverage Alepo’s Service Enabler 9.0 (SE) .. Pre-integration of SE 9.0 with Alepo’s policy and charging control nodes means that BLU will be able to deliver, manage, and monetise LTE services, upon launch and as those services and market demands evolve. 

Initially, BLU will focus its LTE network on the delivery of data, Wi-Fi, content, and IPTV. The company then plans to later extend its offerings to include services such as IMS & VoLTE, assured of its future-proof solution from Alepo .. Alepo is also said to provide infrastructure to support Wi-Fi hotspot services, and will integrate its platform with third-party vendors including Cisco and Huawei"

See "Ghana: Alepo announces major LTE win" - here.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Sandvine: $5M Orders from EMEA

Sandvine announced that it has ".. received more than $5 million of follow-on orders from two tier 1 service providers in its European Middle East and Africa sales region. Sandvine received the orders in its third quarter of 2014.The $5 million in expansion orders represents growth to the operators’ deployments of Traffic Management and Network Analytics.
  • One of the operators belongs to a Western European operator group that has more than 50 million broadband and mobile subscribers globally and was first announced as a customer in November 2012. Public reports have identified the group as one of the Top 20 telecommunications operator groups globally, by revenue. The current order will expand the operator’s deployment of business intelligence and traffic management, to extend infrastructure lifetime and improve subscriber quality of experience. The current orders are for deployment in the fixed access network in the group’s home country, where the operator has the largest market share.
  • The second operator offers Internet access in Africa to approximately one-million fixed line subscribers and has been a Sandvine customer since 2008. The operator continues to expand its deployment of Traffic Management, Usage Management and Network Analytics as network usage continues to grow. This investment will also support the future development and launch of innovative service plans to meet the needs of their growing subscriber base.
See "Sandvine Receives $5 Million In Expansion Orders From Tier 1 Operators In EMEA" - here.

Verizon vs. Netflix on Congestion - It is NOT Us!

So, who is responsible for a smooth video experience ? The ISP? the content provider? the transit network between the two?

According to Verizon, it is not them (at least in the case of Netflix streaming).

David Young report to the carrier's Public policy Blog:

Netflix ISP Ranking for Verizon FiOS, Feb-Jun 2014
"A few weeks ago, Verizon received an email from a customer in Los Angeles asking why he was not getting a good experience watching Netflix on his 75 Mbps FiOS connection.

He was understandably confused by some of the misleading public accounts that inaccurately suggest widespread congestion that could affect Netflix traffic on Verizon’s network [see "Netflix to Verizon: Nope, Your Congested Pipes Are Still Your Fault" - here]

.. our network operations team studied the network connection for this customer for the week preceding the date that he emailed us. They measured the utilization – or the percentage of total capacity used – at every link in the Verizon network – from the customer to the edge of our network, where we receive Netflix traffic .. there was no congestion anywhere within the Verizon network. There was, however, congestion at the interconnection link to the edge of our network (the border router) used by the transit providers chosen by Netflix to deliver video traffic to Verizon’s network .. For whatever reason (perhaps to cut costs and improve its profitability), Netflix did not make arrangements to deliver this massive amount of traffic through connections that can handle it"

See "Why is Netflix Buffering? Dispelling the Congestion Myth" - here.

Monday, July 14, 2014

[Infonetics]: Centralized Signaling and Routing Control Market Expands to Relieve Congestion

A new report by Diane Myers [pictured], principal analyst for VoIP, UC, and IMS, Infonetics Research finds that "The centralized signaling and routing control (CSRC) market is not new, but the platforms are expanding as operators look to scale networks more efficiently with the rise in mobile broadband traffic. CSRC platforms are a class of solutions designed to help operators relieve congestion and simplify network management as they bridge legacy networks and next-generation IP ..  CSRC platforms facilitate interworking between the two by enabling operators to manage both legacy and next-gen signaling protocols, including SIP, Diameter, SS7, and Radius.
  • Infonetics is predicting a cumulative $282 million will be spent globally on CSRC equipment from 2014 to 2018, driven by LTE network expansion
  • A number of different applications can be integrated in a CSRC platform to broaden capabilities, including ENUM/Domain Name System (DNS), breakout gateway control function (BGCF), home subscriber server (HSS), Diameter signaling control, IMS call session control function (CSCF), and policy and charging rules function (PCRF) .. There are a few vendors in the CSRC space, including Italtel, NetNumber, and Sonus, that are finding success with operators that have a mix of legacy and next-gen networks, particularly large tier 1s
Source: NetNumber

See "Rise in mobile broadband traffic puts new focus on centralized signaling and routing control" - here.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Syntonic Builds a Sponsored Content Store for AT&T

Will Sandvine's prediction that "sponsored data will create billions of dollars of revenue for service providers" (here) come through? AT&T's sponsored data (see "[Rumors]: AT&T "Sponsored Data" is Based on Openet's PCC here) takes another step forward.

Syntonic Wireless, an AT&T sponsored data provider, announced the introduction of the "Syntonic Sponsored Content Store for eligible AT&T mobile subscribers. Powered by the Syntonic Connected Services Platform -- which couples mobile apps and content with 4G connectivity -- the sponsored content store provides an open marketplace where eligible AT&T wireless customers can access free or premium mobile content without impacting their data plans .. The Sponsored Content Store will be available to eligible AT&T postpaid or session-based subscribers with either an Android or iOS tablet or smartphone"

See "Syntonic Wireless Introduces Sponsored Content Store" - here.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

F5 Partners with Siemens Convergence Creators' PCRF

F5 Networks and Siemens Convergence Creators announced that they have "successfully completed comprehensive interoperability tests of F5’s BIG-IP® Policy Enforcement Manager™ (PEM™), and Siemens Convergence Creators’ policy and charging rules function (PCRF) product, Siemens Policy Manager (SPM) .. Combining F5 and Siemens technology gives operators the ability to monetize networks by enabling them to customize rate plans for different types of use cases and subscribers. Also, CSPs can generate additional revenues by creating subscription plans that are tailored to fit their strategic business goals"

See more on F5's Policy Enforcement - here and here and on Siemens Convergence Creators PCRF - here.

"Joint customers can set policies to meet their business needs (such as tiered/premium service offerings or plans) with Siemens’ PCRF capabilities, while BIG-IP PEM provides the awareness and enforcement necessary to assure policies are carried out appropriately based on network and user conditions specific to the services being delivered".

See "F5 and Siemens Convergence Creators Help CSPs Pursue Policy-Driven Business Models and Increase Subscriber Satisfaction" - here.

Yahoo Acquires RayV for "best-in-class quality and content video delivery"

Rumors spread two months (see "Yahoo to Buy RayV?" - here) ago are now a reality.
RayV (see "RayV Exposes Turn Key Video Streaming to MNOs and ISPs" -  here) site announces that "We are excited to announce we are joining Yahoo's Cloud Platforms and Services Team! Our team began the RayV journey with the goal of building a revolutionary video distribution platform that would provide a better video experience for viewers over the internet, while easing the distribution process for content creators. Over the last eight years, we have done just that".

Congratulations to some of my old VocelTech colleagues!
Yahoo's P.P.S. Narayan, VP of Cloud Platforms and Services says in the company's blog (here) - "I’m thrilled to announce that we have acquired RayV, a company with an exciting approach to online video streaming in the rapidly evolving mobile space .. at Yahoo, we are focused on building a video offering that delivers best-in-class quality and content, and can be streamed on-demand and live, on all platforms"

See "RayV is joining Yahoo platform and services team" - here.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Sandvine's Q2 - Existing Customers Generated 90% of Revenues; $Bs in Sponsored Data

Some quotes from Sandvine's earning call for Q2 2014 (revenues of $29.7M - here):
  • Our 10% plus customers in the quarter contributed less than 30% of revenue, which is lower than any recent period
  • I am pretty pleased with our ability in Q2, to sell more to our existing customers. Generally, that ratio is .. 80% existing, 20% new. I'd say that number was closer to 90/10 in Q2, and without any really big deals moving the needle for us in Q2, I was really glad to see our execution in supporting our installed base and selling more to our install base

  • I think I would just say generically that, our book-to-bill ratio being below one, I wouldn't -- obviously, one is not a trend, and from a focus perspective, we still have the -- we still and do have the availability to book and bill within a quarter. So I don't necessarily look at our book to bill as being predictive for our next quarter. Obviously, we would always love it to be above one, but the fact that its below one once every seven or eight quarters is not overly alarming to us
  • Our product is now fully NFVable, network functions virtualization, where it means each of the component parts of our solution, our policy traffic switch, our service delivery engine, and some other parts of our middleware and our analytics are deliverable, as a network functions virtualized mode, which means they run in a virtual machine, on commercial servers that are available out there. And what we are seeing, particularly in the mobile space right now, is people really wanting to move to that architecture
  • I am pretty excited about sponsored data over time here for sure; because just like the 1800 created billions of dollars in new revenue for the telcos, I think sponsored data will create billions of dollars of revenue for service providers.
See "Sandvine's (SNVNF) Dave Caputo on Q2 2014 Results - Earnings Call Transcript", by SeekingAlpha, here.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Success for Application-Based Service Plans in Zimbabwe

According to Dan Deeth, Sandvine, post to the vendor's blog, Econet Wireless' offering of WhatsApp and Facebook bundles [see "Econet Wireless [Zimbabwe] Uses Sandvine for Application-based Charging" - here] is "continuing to out-maneuver and out-innovate competitors. These unlimited bundles allow subscribers to purchase unlimited usage of their favorite service for a day, week, or monthly for a low fee ..In the short time they have been available, adoption of these bundles has been incredible for Econet. .. WhatsApp accounted for over 23% of total network traffic in March 2014. Since that time, adoption of these plans, as well as WhatsApp traffic has continued to accelerate thanks to positive word of mouth as well as the launch of new budget-friendly smartphones .. competing [Telecel Zimbabwenetworks have begun to offer similar plans in Zimbabwe".

See "More of WhatsAppening in Zimbabwe" - here.