Walking the Monetization Talk: Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP – LIVE from Operator-defined Location (McDonald’s)

(At Elitecore, we presently have over 14+ case studies of service provider Wi-Fi deployment across different countries: India, Middle-East and Africa, South East Asia and APAC regions.  One of our operator clients in India is betting big on the consumer Wi-Fi market as an alternate access technology towards complementing 3G-4G networks.  We recently put ourselves in the shoes of our client’s potential walk-in subscribers at a McDonald’s outlet to understand how Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP is supporting their ambitious plans to enhance  the penetration  of Wi-Fi across major cities of India) 

Not very long ago, getting consistent and reliable Wi-Fi in Indian cities used to be quite difficult. As a travelling customer, you were lucky if you could do meaningful and substantial work using the free, complementary Wi-Fi provided by cafes, restaurants and retail joints. Especially with rush hour and peak data traffic, accessing even basic email was difficult, forget about Skype-calling and HD video.

No amount of money could get your laptop, tablet or smartphone to connect with on-premise Wi-Fi as the whole network discovery and latching-on process was so confusing and complicated. Unless you carried a USB data card or bought one of your carrier’s expensive data roaming plans, getting ubiquitous internet-on-the-move was impossible.

However, the above scene is changing very rapidly. Recently, we visited a McDonald’s outlet in a major Indian city which lies in our operator client’s nationwide hotspot network. Here are the interesting highlights of our visit.

1. When we walked into the McDonald’s premise with an Android device, getting free add-on Wi-Fi was to be naturally expected. However, what impressed us most was the hassle-free experience towards the network discovery process for Wi-Fi. The device automatically discovers and connects you to Wi-Fi in less than a second. Using Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP’s location-aware services, the  operator can pin down user location to a very granular level.

2. The next step was to open the browser redirecting you to the operator client’s captive portal.  Using Wi-Fi SMP’s smart connectivity features, the client can quickly connect using captive portal-based authentication for Android support (it also supports iOS). All we did was enter our 10-digit mobile number generating a numeric voucher ID which was delivered via SMS. You get only 20 minutes of free Wi-Fi which is enough time to finish a McDonald’s meal. The operator is smart enough to ensure you don’t register multiple times using one mobile number.  Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP’s time-based control through AAA must have played a role in this.

3. The complentary Wi-Fi was fast enough for browser services like email, instant messenger (Yahoo) and multiple browsers open at once. However, it prevented you from enjoying videos on Youtube. Did that mean Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP’s bandwidth throttling feature was spoiling the fun? The free Wi-Fi speed was still not good enough. We wanted more!

4. Having had our fill of free Wi-Fi, we decided to log out and check the paid Wi-Fi facility. All you had to do was go to the browser again and register yourself as a new user. A clear outcome of Elitecore Wi-Fi SMP’s revenue-generator module, the operator was able to implement different data plan options as below.

5. While a Bronze plan sets you back by a measly Rs.25, it remains valid for only an hour or so and you can download 150 MB data. There were much higher value Silver and Gold plans with up to 3 GB data download and 15 days validity. The personalized speed was terrific and we were able to watch an entire movie video with no interruptions.

6. You could also choose to come back later to McDonald’s using the same registration details and continue your data plan right from where you had started as long as the validity remained.  The best part is the operator allows you to use your self-created, access privileges at multiple participating hotspots spread across different cities of India.

Enjoying the high speed internet, we realized the huge win-win potential for such an arrangement between operators and location-owners. If more users like us decide to spend time away from homes for the brilliant Wi-Fi access you can get, how much would those footfalls turn into revenues for both the operator as well as McDonald’s.  Something that was clearly evident:

WI-Fi has finally arrived in India!

 

 

The role of BSS in LTE monetization

As LTE takes center-stage in the overall operator strategy of delivering advanced communication services, there have been aggressive LTE roll-outs in major markets around the world. Most operators plan to launch 4G services by 2013-2014.

Since, there is expectation that prices for LTE mobile phones will come down, carriers are looking for innovative ways to operate more efficiently in LTE while providing consumers with a richer communication experience.

Despite the obvious advantages of LTE as a business enabler, operators want to know how they can turn that LTE investment in their networks into something meaningful for subscribers beyond speed – that’s where BSS comes in picture.

A BSS platform can build the relationship between an operator and its subscribers, and  offer customers a wide range of personalized services and applications with increased focus on add-on packages/applications selling and customer choice of plans. These services and applications must be supported by the operator’s BSS to support faster rollout of new and innovative services such as VoLTE, VoIP and launch new business models like M2M, MVNO from any provider, across any device meeting customer expectations therefore, determining new revenue opportunities and sustainable growth.

Operators can provide anonymous information on subscribers’ plans to help OTT/content providers to ascertain how they can deliver their service. For example, does a subscriber have a low or high-bandwidth LTE plan? If a subscriber with low bandwidth wants to stream HD movie, the service provider can bundle a bandwidth boost feature with its service to help in the download for better quality of experience. With subscriber plan information, along with an OTT provider agreement and integration, operators can dynamically provide the customer with more bandwidth and monetize those service offerings through an integrated policy and online charging platform.

Operators can further monetize by providing differentiated services and an advanced customer experience through add-on personalized services, new pricing models and tariff options, real-time notifications, and customer self-care portal. The operator is able to build its competitive advantage, deliver an enhanced subscriber experience and accelerate its growth strategy. LTE roll-outs are thus, seen as an opportunity by the operators because of the need to better monetize data and support offerings such as family plans, tiered pricing and content or application based quality of experience.

The need for a flexible and reliable BSS solution cannot be repeated enough as it can cater to the requirements of launching new service offerings and plans and enable rapid service rollouts in a highly competitive marketplace with a low total cost of ownership. The platform should be highly scalable and provide convergence capabilities to support monetization of 4G/LTE without which the operators would be handicapped!

A BSS platform should enable operators monetize their LTE investment with end to end support of business processes. Such a platform should provide smart intelligence that fuels novel offerings such as Shared Wallet/Family plans, Ala-carte plans for Social Networking, Applications/Videos, Customer Centric Loyalty & Promotions such as Location based, and Device based Add on Promo & targeted promotions using integrated Policy manager, centralized product catalogue and real-time charging platform.

With a Pre-integrated Billing & Revenue management, PCRF & OCS platform, the solution should provide convergence capabilities to support 4G/LTE, IMS while enabling adapt methodological transition to Next-generation IP-based platform, leading to seamless subscriber experience, faster integration and interoperability with the 3rd party/existing system. The platform’s open APIs ensure extremely short and cost-effective deployments while retaining flexibility to accommodate future next generation services such as VoIP, Triple play, OTT, etc. easily through reliable, scalable and modular systems delivering high performance.

Giving a Hi5 to Residential Wi-Fi

Where do you think most people primarily need Wi-Fi connectivity?

According to Parks Associates, by 2017, over 820 million households worldwide will have Internet service, with more than 94% of it being on broadband. Averagely, 60-70% users across Europe, US and UK have Wi-FI penetration.  It means neither public nor private hotspots come any close to the staggeringly high revenue potential represented by residential subscribers.

These figures come as no surprise as people do spend a lot of time in their homes so if service providers can somehow integrate existing residential networks with their vast hotspot infrastructure, it means a direct win-win for both operators as well as subscribers:  the former can reach out to untapped residential segments with prepaid and postpaid offerings while the latter can enjoy uninterrupted connectivity and rich user experience across multiple devices.

However, in order to translate this vision into reality, operators need to set a few things in order: firstly, the Service Management Platform (SMP) should support Customer Premise Equipment (CPE) provisioning to combine LAN cable and Wi-Fi in the residential building. It involves checking Wi-Fi feasibility at user premises, installing and activating the CPE and supporting proper payment methods.

Secondly, to make the dealer acquisition process more effortless with less manual intervention, the operator should provide their resellers access to centralized portals that can directly handle order-to-cash requirements at customer premises.

Last but not the least, while connecting subscribers’ 3G accounts with their residential network sounds cool, operators can truly delight this consumer segment if they can deliver premium SP hotspot access to all residential users who apply for their 3G services, offering seamless seamless connectivity and positive user experience  across randomly located hotspots based on their existing residential accounts.

To do so, they must route this access through an AAA-driven captive portal (or Voucher Management, in case of walk-in users, on-the-spot registration) where SMP components like Rating & Charging do the necessary billing and balance deduction adjustments.

At a time when operators have access to so much intelligent data including maps of customer homes and Wi-Fi hotspots, residential Wi-Fi services can form an essential component of their revenue strategy to simplify subscribers’ devices access both in and out of the home.

Diameter Diaries: Introducing a Software-based Approach to the Signaling Environment

With the proliferation of next-generation devices, mobile operators are increasingly dealing with congestion, overload and latency in their networks due to nonstop signaling requests generated by chatty apps, video streaming and HD games. In a previous blog entry, we saw how Diameter signaling routers are addressing these problems as they enable faster and efficient communication between network components through centralized routing, load balancing and proxying ability.

That brings us to the next predicament; with so many proprietary, box-based Diameter signaling products to choose from, what criteria should operators choose in their search for the most reliable product?

The answer lies in the question itself: the very idea of a proprietary, hardware-based solution suggests a closed, rigid approach in which the operator must depend on a single source vendor for all their interoperability, routing and scalability requirements. While that should theoretically ease access to support services, in practice it will mean increased hardware costs since customer demand for mobility and bandwidth is seeing a relentless growth, greatly eroding operator profits as the legacy Diameter hardware cannot scale up to match this bandwidth demand to support next-generation services and applications.

Each time there is a hardware upgrade in the Diameter Signaling Controller, operators will have to introduce manual changes in the network to connect new devices, a time consuming affair that takes several weeks or months greatly impeding operator ability to roll-out services faster as per dynamic subscriber needs. Since, the legacy, non-scalable, hardware-based and vendor-dependent Diameter product cannot be integrated with every network element in a multi-vendor scenario, operators have less control over their network infrastructure when it comes to allowing optimizations and modifications and generating new revenue opportunities.

Clearly, a smarter approach would be to have a software-based approach in which the signaling control plane that takes decision about where traffic has to be sent is executed through a software-based GUI and not hardware. This allows the operator’s network administrators to flexibly shape network traffic or change data traffic rules on the fly.

Consider a 7.5 kg washing machine with a generous-sized drum which was designed to wash only as much load in order to provide very high spinning performance so that it remains silent with less vibration and increased stability. What if there the household size increases and the overall load goes up to 10 kg, would it be cheaper to buy a new washing machine

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(a new hardware) or simply increase the machine’s capacity without affecting drum configuration, size or overall dimensions of hardware?

However, unlike a washing machine, the advantages of a software-based approach in Diameter signaling go far beyond network capacity. For one, it enables better end-user experience as applications exploit centralized network state information to seamlessly adapt network behavior to user needs. It also offers a flexible network automation and management framework that automates many management tasks which were previously done manually. With software-based approach, it is possible to automate control of the network with high-level policies, rather than low-level network device configurations, thus eliminating manual configurations. Finally, it enables increased network reliability and security with through uniform policy enforcement and fewer configuration errors.

Try a Framework Approach to Wi-Fi Monetization

If there was one missing piece for mobile operators trying to solve their Wi-Fi puzzle, it would be having a practical revenue model that can guarantee new sources of income!

Indeed, most operators would agree that having Wi-Fi offerings in their portfolio significantly boosts customer satisfaction while reducing churn but that also brings the question of justifying cost expenses in setting up Wi-Fi networks. Monetizing Wi-Fi has become a compelling necessity due to the sheer pervasiveness of Wi-Fi enabled devices; everywhere people go to, their devices connect them through Wi-Fi available in homes, offices and public spaces – stadiums, shopping malls, hotels, convention centers and airports .

However, translating this necessity into reality is not that easy. No matter what stage of Wi-Fi adoption operators find themselves in, they usually lack innovative ways to monetize Wi-Fi beyond direct charging of customers or hybrid options such as bundled Wi-Fi with existing data plans. Rather than only charge for Wi-Fi use directly, it makes more sense to target customers with real time Wi-Fi connectivity scenarios and promote content tailored to their interests.

Key challenges for operators in Wi-Fi monetization include:

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(1) enabling an automatic mechanism for subscribers and walk-in users to connect with operator-managed Wi-Fi hotspots, (2) achieving location-mapping and identification of venues with high footfalls such as hotels, sports and entertainment arenas, airports, train stations and retail malls so that these can be converted into managed hotspots, (3) gathering advanced business intelligence on high traffic destinations, user behavior and time of access at hotspots and finally, (4) having four-way tie-ups with content (advertisers etc.), roaming and location partners so that they can all attract customers through premium value at a time when free and paid Wi-Fi networks are abundant.

So, if there was a service management platform that could overcome above challenges, wouldn’t it clearly allow operators to have greater control on their monetization strategy?

Let us think one step ahead – What if operators stopped viewing these scenarios in isolation, but integrate them into a single, consolidated framework of monetization that could be applied universally to any business model (hospitality, enterprise, residential etc.), use case (roaming, advertising, discounts and coupons, classic Wi-Fi), venue/location, device (EAP SIM, non EAP SIM) or user profile?

The advantages of a framework approach to monetizing Wi-Fi are many: for one, the interlinking between user latch-on access and location-specific services would allow operators to discover, reach out, and connect to a broad range of users and devices in random locations which they couldn’t possibly through individual user segments. Considering that users are statistically in and around a Wi-Fi zone almost 70-80% of the time, there’s strong potential for operators to regain a huge chunk of missed revenue opportunities as the whole Wi-Fi eco-system just got a bit bigger.

The interlinking between customer analytics and data for connected users can be converted into profitable revenue models through personalized push notification for Wi-Fi which can further enable partnership deals with advertisers so that operators can receive commission from each impression. Furthermore, geo-fencing of Wi-Fi coverage can attract and confine profitable users to operator-defined locations.

In an era of automatic system selection and automatic login, people are getting fed up with extensive sign-up and registration processes that screen access to Wi-Fi services in some locations. This creates huge opportunity for operators if there was a framework to identify users with say EAP SIM devices that could be automatically redirected to Wi-Fi connectivity hotspots in an operator-defined location.

At Elitecore, we strongly believe having a central framework to monetizing Wi-Fi will generate new revenue ideas and concepts.

Making Wi-Fi more Worthwhile through New Business Models

Worldwide, service providers have substantially increased their investment in Wi-Fi with an aim to monetize 3G/4G broadband services as both subscribers and devices tend to connect to Wi-Fi wherever it is in range. This trend will continue for the next few years because Wi-Fi is seen as a perfect way to reinforce capacity in high density urban areas thus, relieving congested cellular networks.

While offload is still a priority, service providers wouldn’t want to limit Wi-Fi’s potential right there, would they? To move beyond the vanilla offload stage, they should aim to bring premium-ness to their Wi-Fi roadmap through customized offerings. To put it into logical perspective, even with cheapest rate data plans, if operators don’t address the unique needs of specific subscriber segments, they won’t see any uptake in revenues.

In order to avoid this fate, operators should start exploring Wi-Fi solutions which can offer service differentiation for newly evolving market segments through innovative business models:  targeted  customers, non-subscribers, enterprises/small businesses, and even other operators! Of late, some of the business models which have sparked interest include:

Hospitality Wi-Fi:  Currently, operator role in this lucrative segment is restricted to just a Wi-Fi service provider, and not a true experience provider. The free Wi-Fi service offered by hotels to guests is often restricted to the lobby or restaurants, and not in-room Wi-Fi, creating a sizeable business need. Operators can upsell innovative services for their existing subscribers and other users who check into these hotels. Elitecore has recently taken the lead in the hotel Wi-Fi segment by offering a Cloud-based centralized, bundled solution through SMP enabling operators to offer cost-effective Wi-Fi access across multiple hotel venues. Standout features include Captive portal access for subscribers, mobile app connect client for Non-EAP SIM users, and a PMS integrator module which has single largest integration capabilities with all leading hotel PMS systems.

Hotspot Wi-Fi: Globally, the number of hotspots is expected to double by 2014 as the number of Wi-Fi enabled devices is quadrupling. Operators must make use of this opportunity to offer uninterrupted connectivity and secure access while catering to walk-in and non-operator subscribers through voucher-based plans. Operators can further have partnership-based model with local retail joints like cafes, malls etc.

Residential Wi-Fi: Over 60-80% of the time, subscribers can access Wi-Fi from their homes. This means operators can reach this largely untapped segment of residential users with their 3G services, who would like to avail SP Mobile Data Offload through their residential Wi-Fi connection. Elitecore’s SMP solution is capable of customer premise equipment (CPE) provisioning for Wi-Fi connectivity in residential buildings.

Enterprise Wi-Fi: With emerging trends like BYOD, enterprises are witnessing huge data consumption which will see a huge demand for operators to extend Wi-Fi connectivity to their enterprise users on top of leased line services (which they already do). A combo cellular + Wi-Fi plan will increase loyalty and uptake among enterprise subscribers. Adding SP hotspot access to these enterprise plans will sweeten the deal!

Other interesting business models: include inter-carrier wholesale where operators can lease their Wi-Fi infrastructure to other operators who don’t want to set up their own Wi-Fi infrastructure, allowing users to avail Wi-Fi roaming through partnering hotspots on a per-user or per-MB formula. Operators can offer location-aware/on-demand events in live events to identify Wi-Fi hotspots for users near vicinity and prompting them with appropriate credentials via notification to use Wi-Fi services.

Elitecore has been successfully enabling the operators with   latest business models for different markets through its Wi-Fi Service Management Platform which can be viewed at:

http://www.elitecore.com/telecompractices/service-provider-wifi-business-models.html

Hospitality Wi-Fi: How Operators can Rewrite the Rules of the Game

Operators are trying out different strategies to increase their market penetration in the Hospitality Wi-Fi segment. Research suggests that over 95% hotel visitors worldwide are known to check for internet connectivity prior to booking their rooms; poor quality Wi-Fi is seen as a deal-breaker as stories keep surfacing about guests being forced to access internet in the lobby or a coffee shop rather than the comfort of their rooms.

It doesn’t have to be that way ¾ using the right solution, operators can pitch several value-added services for hotels to solve their frequent pain points such as limited reach access points, expensive installation, unorganized Wi-Fi and the recurring costs of dedicated IT teams. For this, operators must aim to be an experience provider rather than a mere service provider acting on a vanilla internet offering.

Examples of operator value additions could be tailor-made speed plans that address data consumption patterns of different guests, additional bandwidth-on-demand for multiple users in the same room or effective usage tracking to address revenue leakage. It’ll also be a huge incentive for operators if they can offer Mobile Data Offload to their existing subscribers within the hotel Wi-Fi range. Moreover, since the solution is entirely managed by the operator, regulatory and legal norms can be easily upheld.

However, currently operators lack the mechanism to manage Wi-Fi across multiple hotel chains straight out of a central console. This can be solved by going for a vendor who will offer a centralized, Cloud-based platform enabling operators to provide complete Wi-Fi access infrastructure and internet connectivity on a Managed Services model.

Hotels, on the other hand, face technical challenges due to the fact that their PMS systems have to be separately integrated each time with new Wi-Fi network equipment in order to exchange charging information. Operators can here make a valuable proposition by offering a complete, bundled solution which achieves single, one-time integration with available PMS solutions in the market.  This all-inclusive platform would allow operators to capture a greater slice of hotel Wi-Fi market than they presently do.

Perhaps, the biggest plus point for Operators going with Wi-Fi business model for hospitality sector is the fact that the same Wi-Fi SMP platform  can be easily extended to other business models; including newly emerging market segments such as large enterprises, residential, location-aware services, and so on.

Elitecore at MWC 2013: Sharing Ideas on WiFi Offload and BSS Transformation

Welcome, Swagatam, Wilkommen, Bienvenue, Marhaban, Huān yíng, Sawadee krap, Selamat datang and since we’re in Barcelona, Spain — Bienvenido

As many different languages there may be to welcome our delegates from across the world, we do have a common theme this year, similar to what we had the year before – the WiFi Offload market is getting bigger than before! In just last one year alone, Elitecore has deployed 10+ cellular-to-WiFi Offload business cases across 5 countries along with a huge

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number of trials.

Elitecore WiFi SMP solution’s enables improve customer experience through efficient consumerization of data services. This means operators can leverage WiFi Offload to give everything their subscribers need from their data services – optimum speed, seamless integration between cellular to Wi-Fi networks, ubiquitous Internet access, economical plans through compelling price bundles. Since, WiFi offers much higher Quality of experience for rich data traffic such as video calls, files downloads and HD video content, it becomes a natural choice for operators looking for an easy and convenient outlet to offload broad majority of their data hungry subscribers.

Another key talking point for Elitecore this year would be how we are enabling new business models in the WiFi segment such as residential, enterprise,location-aware, hospitality and inter-carrier plans (one operator offering its WiFi infrastructure to other operators).

Addendum: Apart from the limitless possibilities in WiFi Offload, visitors to Elitecore booth will be treated to our latest big story: BSS transformation. As the industry shifts to its next phase of growth due to end user demand for everywhere connectivity, personalized experience and multiple devices support, Elitecore brings you richer insights into how our BSS transformation suite enables service providers to shift their business approach from traditional billing to creating enhanced customer experience, the WOW factor.

Visit Elitecore at Mobile World Congress:


Hall 5, Aisle I Booth No. 5 I 36

Diameter Diaries: Time to decongest your network from chatty mobile apps

We wish a very happy and prosperous 2013 to all readers of this blog!

Recently, in anticipation of New Year’s eve, major operators in Australia went to great lengths to keep subscribers happy; e.g. Telstra, one of the leading operators, added extra capacity in popular websites and in expectation of huge data traffic at the stroke of 31st Dec midnight, they upgraded mobile base stations around the Sydney Harbour with additional 3G and 4G mobile coverage.[1]

However, come Jan 1, those last-ditch measures failed to save the day (or night!) as many holidaymakers in Australian coastal towns found their 3G networks lacking, unable to access data services on their tablets and smartphones.[2]

Basically, there was a huge tourist influx in these beach areas and Telstra admitted it could do precise little to arrest slower speeds or occasional dropouts.[3]

It can be fairly guessed what this operator experienced here was nothing but unexpected signaling traffic generated by smartphones that would in any case, have led to network congestion and latency issues. As operators continue to face predicaments like these in future, the challenge is to not just accurately predict and forecast signalling traffic, but also cater to sudden overflow of high-speed data users who WILL push the network beyond limits. To give a truer indication of the signaling impact of chatty apps, consider your average user and the sheer number of times every day he browses on his device, reads ebooks, pings for status updates, or performs downloads. Each connection attempt will generate 30+ signals with a simple application like Angry Birds consuming up to 2400 signals in an hour. [4]

As recommended by bodies like 3GPP and ETSI, Diameter solutions are being seen as the best line of defence against signaling storms. With worldwide mobile operators migrating to all-IP-based networks, signalling standards are also shifting from SS7 to Diameter. The logic is simple: if operators want to offer better quality mobile data services, there has to be faster, efficient communication between all those policy servers, charging systems and other components. Diameter solutions like Elitecore’s EliteDSC are able to avoid congestion and generate monetization opportunities through efficient routing and geo-redundancy. To enable centralized routing, EliteDSC ensures all diameter sessions established over diameter protocol are routed to their respective functionalities, streamlining and routing these diameter messages with complete accuracy. It ensures failure measures and alternate routing. This is especially true when multiple deployments have been done. Further, EliteDSC uses proxy agents to maintain session information, thereby ensuring high scalability and availability which helps in minimizing latency and managing massive subscriber and session scale. This arrangement ensures that even if primary server was busy the request is catered by secondary server, and as such subscribers don’t experience a sluggish network performance. In the next installment of Diameter Diaries series, we will take a closer look into specific solution case studies detailing elaborate applications of this promising technology.

_______________________

[1] http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=6725763A-E28C-9189-8D0F966A9ADC7834

[2] http://www.news.com.au/national/phone-network-beached-in-coastal-towns/story-fndo4cq1-1226547829722

[3] Ibid

[4] http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=208775

75% Operators Feel Good about their Enterprise Data Offerings – only 10% Enterprises Agree

Some of the critical challenges operators face in serving their enterprise IT customers include their inability to address enterprise IT heads’ demand for data services control within and outside the organization, and, assuring a fixed monthly cost that won’t fluctuate due to the huge unpredictability in data usage among enterprise employees.

In fact, scratch under the surface and one can find remarkable perceptual differences between the two groups  - operators and enterprises – on core issues such as data caps and quality of mobile services. A recent Heavy Reading & Information Week survey of 60 mobile operators and 230 business technology professionals for the 4G World Conference in Chicago between 28 Oct-30 Oct, 2012, have made these opposed feelings even starker and self-evident – while over 75% of operator respondents said their enterprise mobile services were “okay” or “better” (34% actually saying they were “great”), only 10% enterprise executives agreed with the operators, with over 88% saying improvement is desired! [1]

Whoa! That’s not just a slight difference of opinion – it’s a huge misunderstanding which necessitates the operators to bridge their perception gap with large enterprises. These typically contribute anywhere between 20-30% of total service provider revenues.  In pure ARPU terms, it translates to around $2000 or above per month, a much higher revenue realization compared to family/retail customers.[2]

In order to truly serve enterprise customer demands, we believe it is necessary to transfer organizational data control from operators to enterprise IT heads. This is because enterprise subscribers are more likely to have latest smartphones, face huge data requirements and work more frequently with VOIP or other business applications. They’re also more likely to face roaming charges due to increased travel. This puts them at higher  risk of bill shock – where the monthly bill is higher than expected leading to subscriber churn. Furthermore, enterprises often refuse to pay what they feel are irrational bills, leading to complex dispute resolution with operators who end up losing money due to bad debt waivers and other bill settlements.

NetVertex Enterprise Policy:  In order to create personalized pricing plans for varying enterprise needs in order to avoid bill shock while easing corporate subscribers’ goals of managing data plans for all users through a centralized web portal, the importance of an Enterprise Policy solution like Elitecore NetVertex cannot be stated enough. Some of its advantages include:

Providing QoS and Quota Management: An Enterprise Policy solution can allow the service providers to offer individualized bandwidth policies for different categories of users. By simply logging into a service selection portal, the Admin can configure quota plans based on hierarchy/department of employees.

Providing time and access-based controls: An Enterprise Policy solution enables policy selection for bandwidth, and usage-based on the time of the day/hour etc. by offering differentiated plans based on application access and time duration (home/roaming) for individuals or groups of employees.

Tracking and controlling usage: This means creating in-built personalized monetary spending limits and usage restrictions for an employee based on his/her role in the organization.

The enterprise can also use the Service Selection Portal to monitor an individual employee’s usage by setting thresholds that would alert an IT administrator to unauthorized usage, such as when an employee roams onto an unauthorized network, or set general policies, such as blocking certain applications (e.g. Youtube) on the device.


[1] http://www.lightreading.com/blog.asp?blog_sectionid=1112&doc_id=226396&

[2] Elitecore research based on annual data of key operators