In a conversation with Telecom Mirror, Indranil Chatterjee, Sr. Vice President and Kishor Panpaliya, VP of Americas and APAC – Openwave Mobility, elaborated on how the company is helping Telecom Operators optimize their traffic and its various solutions to mobile
Telecom Mirror: Mobile video accounts for a very high percentage of all traffic on mobile networks. How does Openwave Mobility help operators manage & monetise mobile video and ensure the best customer video experience?
Indranil Chatterjee and Kishor Panpaliya: High Definition (HD) mobile video consumption is growing at a phenomenal rate. By November 2018, HD video on mobile networks is likely to be at least 50% of total video traffic. HD can take up to three to four times more bandwidth than Standard Definition. This can adversely impact operators. And as video quality is more important than voice calls, operators face increasing churn if subscribers experience poor QoE. Added to this complexity is the growing use of encryption by OTTs. Owing to this, operators are unable to manage subscriber QoE with traditional optimization techniques.
Openwave Mobility’s traffic management solutions enable operators to manage QoE and monetize mobile data. Our solutions also provide new application-based price plans so operators can launch “video as a service” and notify users of time-critical events and notifications, including purchases etc.
Telecom Mirror: How does Openwave Mobility help operators utilize SDN/NFV on their network? How can Indian telecom operators leverage Openwave Mobility’s expertise?
Indranil Chatterjee and Kishor Panpaliya: :For some operators, the key driver is to enable network slicing for the transition to 5G. However, there are several ways that SDN/NFV can improve quality of service (QoS), service agility and revenue generation, as well as helping to reduce subscriber churn. For example, video QoS is becoming the primary measurement that subscribers use to discern network quality. Today at least 76% of network traffic is video and that percentage is increasing daily; moreover, 80% of that video traffic is encrypted, complicating the task of ensuring subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE).
In fact, according to recent surveys, subscribers say they would consider abandoning their network provider if a video buffers for 6 seconds. By deploying Virtual Network Function (VNF) components that offer the agility to distinguish flows, monitor real time QoE, and optimize the use of RAN resources, operators in India and worldwide can realize significant network traffic optimization. For example, a mobile operator in EMEA was able to deliver 30% more DVD quality mobile videos to subscribers, reduced video stall times by 75% and saved 30% on bandwidth.
Openwave Mobility is a leader in virtual Gi-LAN offering with more than 13 NFV/SDN deployments at network operators worldwide. We have also invested time in effort in integrating our VNFs with leading packet core vendors and their vEPC offering.
We have also published a NFV Playbook which offers mobile operators a practical guide towards progressing and justifying NFV based solutions. Given our 20+ years of expertise, Openwave Mobility is in a unique position to deliver a mature and proven cloud-based Gi-LAN solution, Integra, providing scalable, best in class performance on a software, service orchestration platform. Integra offers a modular NFV platform, 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.
Telecom Mirror: In this era of encrypted content and monetising subscriber data, how is Openwave Mobility helping mobile operator customers around the world?
Indranil Chatterjee and Kishor Panpaliya: Encryption protocols from Google, Facebook and others continue to darken mobile networks for mobile operators. Yet, at any given point, operators need to ascertain quickly if the content on their networks is from Netflix, Amazon, YouTube or any other source to manage QoE. Operators need to know: the definition of the video. Is it a live stream or download? What codec is being used to deliver the video and to what device? Operators can’t manage what they can’t see. They need much more than conventional traffic management technology to gather data and make informed decisions.
To gain insight with analytics, operators need to abandon the old appliance-based Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) approach and adopt pure software solutions, like Openwave Mobility’s Video Traffic Management solution. Our solutions are designed to be software-based, agile and virtualized so they can be easily deployed in the cloud, with heuristics for encrypted video. Moreover this technology allows operators to glean data for application-based metering plans or promotional add-on services to secure additional revenue generating opportunities.
Telecom Mirror: Who are the key customers of Openwave Mobility and what are the key solutions Openwave Mobility offers that helps operators deliver outstanding QoE?
Indranil Chatterjee and Kishor Panpaliya: We are proud to be associated with some of the major Tier-1 telecom groups worldwide including Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, Zain, Softbank and AT&T. We have recently deployed our Traffic Management solution at a major Tier-1 Indian telecom operator and we are witnessing impressive results.
An insatiable appetite for video has raised the bar for subscribers’ overall QoE expectations, putting pressure on mobile operators’ ability to maintain QoS. However, while it is true that subscribers hold operators responsible for video quality, research shows that subscribers also are willing to pay more for good quality video.
We have proven QoE management and monetization solutions such as Secure Traffic Manager, TCP Acceleration, IP Traffic Filtering and SmartIDM built on our award-winning Integra NFV platform. In addition to that, we provide a comprehensive software-based DPI for encrypted and unencrypted traffic as well as Traffic Analysis dashboards to understand the traffic profile and gain actionable insights for the marketing and operations teams.
Telecom Mirror:What are Openwave Mobility’s plans for the Indian market?
Indranil Chatterjee and 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 Tier-1 operator in India has already experienced the benefits of deploying our Video Traffic Management & TCP Acceleration solution, and we are engaging with other Indian telcos by successfully conducting large-scale trials.
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% of this data consumption is streaming video traffic amounting to more than 1.65 billion hours per month. On occasions such as a IPL 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 maintain QoE and profitability. We are the market leaders in our domain with more than 40+ Tier 1 mobile operators worldwide and can leverage that expertise in India.