“We aim to empower Indian telecom operators so they can prepare and manage the growing tide of encrypted data and network congestion, while maintaining QoE, maximum RAN efficiency and overall profitability”
Q. 1. How does Openwave Mobility help telecom operators manage and monetise mobile video, handle encrypted content, ensure best customer video experience and manage the move to cloud and NFV ?
Responses By: Indranil Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President and Kishor Panpaliya, VP of Americas & APAC: Openwave Mobility
The new generation of data savvy customers is very perceptive. They often judge mobile operators based on the quality of service (QoS) they offer for video and web applications. In fact, for the most part, subscribers are measuring network quality based on video QoS.
According to recent surveys, subscribers say they would consider abandoning their network provider if a video buffers for 6 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).
By offering capability to plug-in best of breed suppliers and niche network functions, SDN and NFV technologies can have a significant impact by improving QoS, service agility and revenue generation, helping to reduce subscriber churn. 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.
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.
Q.2. Are NFV deployments more challenging than anticipated for operators?
Indranil Chatterjee & Kishor Panpaliya: There is a general assumption that the primary impetus for deploying NFV is cost-cutting. The basic thinking can be summarized as “We’ll implement NFV across the entire network, and then we’ll save hardware costs.” This linear approach creates a huge array of complex, interconnected problems, which slows down the process.
To make simultaneous changes to network elements, infrastructure, organization structure and processes leaves too great a potential for failure. For an industry traditionally based on reliability, resilience and high availability, the risks of this approach are too high.
A number of operators, however, have already seen positive results. They have focused on virtualization at the core while adding a small number of agility-increasing or revenue-generating services through VNFs. In this way, operators can build out small instances of NFV that will improve agility or deliver new revenues.
Q. 3. As 5G arrives,subscriber data management will evolve, how important is this for mobile operators?
Indranil Chatterjee & Kishor Panpaliya: In 5G, operators are faced with ‘stateless’ services – i.e. services that do not store data from one session to the next, but instead rely on common external data management. 5G’s service-based architecture means that operators require a data layer that can store diverse data ranging from fast-changing session data to long-lasting subscription or profile data.
Mobile operators and vendors alike are only just realizing that efficient and ultra-reliable access to subscriber data is a core function that all VNFs will demand. Openwave Mobility built the Stratum Cloud Data Manager completely from the ground up to be cloud native and NFV compliant in order to manage data access requirements for 5G NFV networks and move data to the edge.
Mobile operators require a specialized, 5G data layer solution that can efficiently store data within memory, disk, and one or more data centres in distributed architecture. Operators can benefit from configurable data residency; data replication and integrity check policies to strike a balance between performance, resiliency, recovery and total cost of ownership for different sets of data, while gaining a unified view of their subscribers. Mobile operators must be able to selectively replicate data as needed seamlessly, to facilitate the creation of 5G slices and stateless core services, and deliver data at the edge for performance-sensitive, ultra-reliable, low-latency applications.
Q.4. The mobile video has reached a critical juncture and it is growing at a phenomenal rate- isthis aconcern for telecom operators?
Indranil Chatterjee & Kishor Panpaliya: We have seen a direct correlation between the price wars happening in some countries and the exponential rise of mobile data, particularly video streaming services. For some operators the situation is so alarming that they are running their network at more than 90 percent capacity. Moreover, 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.
Q. 5. What plans does Openwave Mobility have for the India market?
Indranil Chatterjee & Kishor Panpaliya: We have invested heavily in building a self-sufficient centre of excellence in Pune, Maharashtra, where we have cross-functional expertise including sales, pre-sales, product management, engineering, professional services and global customer support teams. A Tier1 operator in India has already experienced the benefits of deploying our Video Traffic Management and TCP Acceleration solution, and we are engaging with other Indian telcos by successfully conducting large-scale trials, both bare metal and on virtual fabric.
Our penetration strategy for the Indian market is two-fold. Firstly, we intend to leverage our global Tier 1 deployment expertise and our major 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.
There is a price war going on in India between operators involving free or incentivized data, which is causing a hockey stick type of growth in mobile data consumption. Approximately 70 percent of this data consumption is streaming video traffic amounting to more than 1.65 billion hours per month. On occasions such as an IPL cricket final, almost 10+ million concurrent streaming users on mobile networks can cause congestion and video buffering – which adversely impacts subscriber QoE.
What makes managing this data even more complicated is that it’s all encrypted! We aim to empower Indian telecom operators so they can prepare and manage the growing tide of encrypted data and network congestion, while maintaining QoE, maximum RAN efficiency and overall profitability. We are the market leaders in our domain with more than 40+ Tier 1 mobile operators worldwide, and we can leverage that expertise in India.
Q. 6. Key solutions Openwave Mobility offers to help operators migrate to newer technologies and deliver outstanding QoE?
Indranil Chatterjee & Kishor Panpaliya: 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 manageroffers 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, enabling core network functions to be stateless
• Share subscriber data with OTT partners in a secure, real-time and privacy friendly way.