Telecom operators today understand that modern networks improve service delivery and meet growing customer expectations. Indranil Chatterjee, Senior Vice President and Kishor Panpaliya, VP of Americas and APAC, Openwave Mobility, explain how SDN and NFV are becoming the game changers in upgrading modern networks.
A new generation of data savvy customers is very perceptive. They often judge mobile operators based on the quality of service they offer for video and web applications. SDN and NFV are allowing mobile operators to transform their networks from monolithic and clumsy data delivery architecture to a software-based architecture that provides flexibility and cost structure to meet the constantly changing world of internet data and services.
By offering capability to plug-in best of breed suppliers and niche network functions, SDN/NFV can have a significant impact by improving quality of service (QoS), service agility and revenue generation, as well as helping to reduce subscriber churn. For example, for the most part, subscribers are measuring network quality based on video QoS. In fact, according to recent surveys, subscribers say they would consider abandoning their network provider if a video buffers for six seconds. This is a critical factor because at least 76 percent of network traffic is video, and that percentage is increasing daily. Additionally, 80 percent of that video traffic is encrypted, complicating the task of ensuring subscriber quality of experience (QoE).
Deploying Virtual Network Function (VNF) components, such as the Openwave Mobility Video Traffic Management solution, enables the agility to distinguish flows, monitor real-time QoE, and optimize the use of RAN resources. This allows operators to realize significant network traffic optimization. A prime example is that of a Middle Eastern operator who was able to deliver 30 percent more DVD quality mobile videos to subscribers, and reduced video stall times by 75 percent.
How to Create New Revenue Models for Operators?
Openwave Mobility’s Mobile Data Monetization solution provides operators innovative new ways to engage with their subscribers and to monetize data leading to incremental revenues and reduced churn. The solution provides new application-based price plans such as “video as a service” and allows operators to notify users of time-critical events and notifications, empowering them to make purchase decisions, which ultimately leads to proven churn reduction and increased adoption of new services by as much as four times. Operators around the world are increasing mobile data revenues and customer satisfaction by:
Offering new service oriented price plans, allowing the user to purchase at point of interest, or on demand,
Targeting carefully selected products and services based on actual subscriber browsing habits,
Engaging customers in real-time to drive upsells, prevent bill shock and enhance loyalty,
Empowering subscribers to take control of their data spend through a rich self-care interface.
We also believe that mobile operators are sitting on a gold mine, as subscribers interact with the mobile network through multiple services, and information related to these interactions is captured by the network. This rich set of information is extremely valuable to Over The Top (OTT) service providers for enhancing user experience and offering personalized services.
Openwave Mobility’s SmartIDM is a GSMA Mobile Connect compatible identity solution that allows mobile operators to monetize their network and subscriber relationship assets by sharing valuable data with OTT partners in a secure, real-time and privacy friendly way.
How to Maintain Subscribers’ Quality of Experience (QoE)?
As HD mobile video consumption continues to climb, network operators need to allocate three to four times more bandwidth to accommodate the traffic, versus what standard video traffic would require. As a result, capacity constraints are stressing many of today’s mobile networks, impacting operators’ ability to deliver quality service. Considering that many mobile subscribers now say video quality is more important than voice calls, operators could face increasing churn if they cannot take control of their networks and maintain mobile QoE.
Legacy traffic management operates through brute-force data throttling, leading to a lack of service agility that can cost operators billions of dollars in lost revenue. Openwave Mobility delivers virtualized traffic management solutions that enable ideal mobile QoE for the lowest cost.
Based on our award-winning technology, Openwave Mobility’s modular, fully virtualized NFV platform is a mature, scalable and proven cloud-based solution that is deployed in some of the world’s most advanced NFV mobile networks. Providing best in class performance on a software, service orchestration platform, our traffic manager
offers encrypted application classification and dynamic NFV service chaining, enabling operators to manage the fast-changing world of OTT formats and roll out new innovative services in 30 days, or less.
Another area where Openwave Mobility is helping telecom operators overcome deficiencies of legacy platforms is in cloud data management. Stratum Cloud Data Manager is a new cloud-native data manager built for 5G, NFV and IoT. It provides performance and scale required to build telco clouds that can deliver low latency applications and services, scale to billions of devices, and integrate with the Internet Ecosystem using secure REST APIs. Some of the use cases that Stratum enables include:
• Efficient and reliable structured and unstructured data storage including subscription, session, policy, configuration and state data
• Provide 5G data layer functionality
• Share subscriber data with OTT partners in a secure, real-time and privacy friendly way.
Mobile data worldwide is growing at a rapid pace and India is at the forefront. Recent developments in the Indian telecom market demonstrate that telcos are facing unprecedented demand for mobile data, without much increase in data price points. Tight competition puts pressure on operators to try to retain customers while maintaining QoE and profitability. With our global footprint, Openwave Mobility has the necessary expertise and technology to help Indian network operators manage competition while deferring costly infrastructure investments.
We have invested heavily in building a self-sufficient centre of excellence in Pune, Maharashtra, where we have cross-functional expertise including sales, product management, engineering and global customer support teams. A Tier-1 operator in India has already experienced the benefits of deploying our Video Traffic Management and TCP Acceleration solution, and we have begun engaging other Indian telcos by executing successful large-scale trials. There is significant potential in the Indian market for our solutions due to the exponential rise of mobile data traffic causing various customer impacting issues like network congestion and video buffering.
Our plan for the Indian market is two-fold. Firstly, we intend to leverage our global Tier 1 deployment expertise and huge local presence to create a win-win scenario for Indian network operators through our tested and proven All-IP Traffic Management and Subscriber Data Management solutions.
Secondly, we have mature OEM relationships with major network infrastructure vendors who have significant market share in India and are actively engaged in migrating the packet core domain to NFV. Openwave Mobility solutions have been pre-integrated and certified as VNFs within their platforms, offering our Indian operator customers an alternate choice of procuring our solutions.
We foresee a huge shift in encrypted mobile data consumption in the near term, and our plan is to help Indian telecom operators prepare themselves by managing encrypted data growth while maintaining QoE and profitability. We are the market leaders in our domain with more than 40+ Tier 1 mobile operators worldwide and we look forward to bringing that expertise to India.
During the past 12 months alone, 10 operators have deployed our NFV-based solutions, including customers in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as the Far East.
We have seen significant momentum among Tier 1 operators in particular, with Orange, Vodafone and Zain all publicly announcing deployments of Openwave Mobility’s VNF for Video Traffic Management, and one particular Tier 1 operator in the Middle East has dramatically cut video stall times by more than 30 percent with deployment of this VNF.