Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Andrei Elefant to Replace Rami Hadar as Allot's CEO

Allot Communications announced that "Rami Hadar, President and CEO of Allot, will retire during the second quarter of 2014 and will be replaced by Andrei Elefant [pictured], currently Allot's VP Product Management and Marketing. Mr. Hadar will remain a member of the company's board of directors".

Mazal Tov to Andrei, with whom I had the pleasure of working several years closely together!

"Andrei has more than 19 years of experience in defining and building market leading products. During his time with Allot, Andrei successfully transitioned through numerous positions. This allowed him to gain direct insight into Allot's customer base as well as a strategic understanding of the broadband data market. In his recent position, Andrei oversaw all Marketing and Product Management activities. He spearheaded Allot's entry into the mobile data space and other key strategic moves. Prior to Allot, Andrei was an officer in the Israeli Air Force and held various product management positions. Andrei holds a BSc Cum Laude in Mechanical Engineering from the Technion and an MBA from Tel Aviv University".

See "Andrei Elefant to Succeed Rami Hadar as President and CEO of Allot Communications" - here

In line with the New Net Neutrality: Netflix Adds Verizon to its Peers

After Netflix signed its first agreement with Comcast (see "Comcast and Netflix - BFF ("no preferential network treatment")" - here) ad reported "Netflix Reports Slower Speeds for Verizon" (here) it was reported that they are also in talks with AT&T and Verizon (See "Netflix: First we take Comcast, then we take AT&T and Verizon; How Much it Costs?" - here).

Sam Gustin reports to the TIME that "Netflix has reached a paid-peering-interconnection agreement with Verizon, both companies confirmed to TIME on Monday"

As can be seen from Netflix ISP Index charts (for Verizon FIOS and Verizon DSL), service has been deteriorated in recent months, although some improvements is seen in March. As the "New Net Neutrality" allows to prioritize traffic (see "FCC: New Net Neutrality? Just be "Commercially Reasonable"" - here), there should not be any regulation problem with such arrangement.  

Joris Evers, Netflix spokesperson, told TIME: “We have reached an interconnect arrangement with Verizon that we hope will improve performance for our joint customers over the coming months".

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Zettics Acquires Velocent Systems to Provide Subscriber-centric, Real-time Analytics

Zettics (see "Citrix Adds Zettics' Big Data Analytics to ByteMobile" - here) announced it has ".. acquired Velocent Systems. The combined entity will provide a subscriber-centric, real-time analytics suite that integrates data usage, network performance, and customer experience metrics into a single, unified view for the operator. Having these data sets in one solution will allow operators to realize unique business benefits that were previously unavailable in the market.

.. Zettics technology will now derive an unparalleled amount of unique intelligence from a combination of a subscriber’s data usage and corresponding network performance. This includes behavioral metrics (engagement, interests, and segmentation) combined with experiential metrics (latency, throughput, and tonnage) across a variety of apps and services such as browsing, video, audio, and VoLTE. Zettics enables this business critical information to be accessed through an interactive UI, a low-latency API, or integrated via real-time alarms or extracts into operator systems. Multiple tier-1 operators across the world use Zettics and Velocent to improve their business today"

See "Zettics Acquires Velocent to Provide the Most Comprehensive Real-Time 360 Degree View of a Subscriber’s Experience Available Today" - here.

PCC Deployments [306]: BSNL [India] to Use ZTE PCRF

Zia Askari reports to Telecom Drive that "India’s biggest service provider, Bharat Sanchar Nagam Limited or BSNL is all set to enhance its data services with the help of a Policy and Charging Rules Function or PCRF solution by Chinese telecom equipment major, ZTE" - See also "BSNL Plans to Offer New 4G Services for Indians by March 2015" - here.

Anupam Shrivastava [pictured], Director Consumer Mobility, BSNL said: As part of our strategy to overhaul our data services offering, we have finalized on ZTE’s PCRF solution. This will provide us great data handling capabilities. We followed our tender process for this solution and ZTE has emerged as the winner. We are likely to commission this solution by next month and ZTE should be able to complete the installation by August” 

See also "Follow-up: Does BSNL (India) Use DPI?" - here.

See "BSNL to use PCRF solution by ZTE and overhaul its data services" - here.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Vodafone LTE Status: Traffic, Video, Carrier Aggregation, VoLTE, Video Broadcast

Some statements and slides from a recent Vodafone webinar on LTE (here):

  • Carrier aggregationInitial deployments in Germany, Spain, Italy and Portugal to date; Speeds up to 300Mbps achieved

  • VoLTE: We will begin enabling VoLTE in Europe from H1 2014 and deployed in many markets in next 12 months
  • eMBMS - enabling the broadcast of video and content over 4G - 1st live eMBMS trials in Europe: Germany at Borussia Mönchengladbach's stadium (here)
  • Many more evolutions of 4G to come:
    • Network Function Virtualisation:  Migration of processing capabilities from dedicated network hardware to the Cloud
    • Self-Organizing Networks: Automatic optimization of radio networks, improving voice & data performance

Sunday, April 27, 2014

[TeleGeography]: Private Networks Drive Demand for Int'l Bandwidth (+39% in 2013)

TeleGeography reports that ".. demand for international bandwidth grew 39 percent to 138 Tbps in 2013, a 4.5-fold increase from the 30 Tbps of bandwidth used globally in 2009.Internet backbones remain the primary users of international bandwidth, accounting for 75 percent of demand in 2013. However, the drivers of international bandwidth demand are changing. 

As private network operators, including large content providers like GoogleMicrosoft, and Facebook, expand their internal networks, their bandwidth requirements increasingly exceed those of the largest carriers .. Global network expansion has undergone a long-term shift in focus, from connecting users to users, to linking users to data centers and—increasingly—data centers to each other".

See "New global network builders emerge" - here.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

[Research]: CDN Enabled Sites are Slower!

A new research by Radware reveals that ".. while 75% of the top 100 retail websites employ a Content Delivery Network (CDN), the median home page takes a full second longer to become interactive than the median page that does not use a CDN .. Radware’s latest research shows that the median time to interact (TTI) for CDN enabled sites was 5.7 seconds compared to the median TTI of 4.7 for non-CDN websites".

Kent Alstad [pictured], Radware's VP of Acceleration explains: “This finding should not be interpreted as a criticism of content delivery networks. Instead, it should create awareness that CDNs address just one aspect of the performance problem. Web pages today are bigger and more complicated than ever, and CDNs can only partially mitigate this growth and complexity. Site owners need to be aware that there are performance issues caused by the pages themselves, and these performance issues require additional solutions.”

Other key findings:
  1. The median web page has slowed down by 47% since 2012.
  2. The median page takes 5.4 seconds to become interactive. 
  3. The top 100 sites are slower than the top 500.
  4. Most sites fail to leverage best practices for optimizing images.

See "New Radware Research Reveals eRetailers that use a Content Delivery Network Experience Slower Page Load Times than eRetailers that do not" - here.

FCC: New Net Neutrality? Just be "Commercially Reasonable"

After several days of conflicting new of the future of Net Neutrality in the US, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler [pictured] decided to "Set the Record Straight", in a post to the FCC official blog. the bottom line - "It is my intention to conclude this proceeding and have enforceable rules by the end of the year".

And the rules are:
  1. That all ISPs must transparently disclose to their subscribers and users all relevant information as to the policies that govern their network;
  2. That no legal content may be blocked; and
  3. That ISPs may not act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity.
Good news to the DPI and Policy management vendors! (i guess that "reasonable traffic management" will remain as well).

On the same time, the "Chairman Wheeler is encouraging the public to share their views now. He intends to have rules of the road in place before the end of the year to protect consumers and entrepreneurs. He will be listening, and your comments will help inform the final rules" (see "FCC Establishes New Inbox for Open Internet Comments" - here and "Comments to the New FCC Net Neutrality" - here)

See "Setting the Record Straight on the FCC’s Open Internet Rules" - here.

Friday, April 25, 2014

DPI Deployments [305]: Econet Wireless [Zimbabwe] Uses Sandvine for Application-based Charging

A recent Sandvine case study presents their deployment at Econet Wireless Zimbabwe - "Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is using Sandvine’s Usage Management product with plug-and-play capabilities that will enable them to roll out new revenue-generating services for their pre-paid and post-paid subscribers. 

Sandvine was selected based on our ability to fulfill the technical requirements of usage-based charging over 3GPP Diameter Gy and policy enforcement over 3GPP Diameter Gx, which are critical for rolling out new services such as roaming notifications, bill shock prevention, family plans, and data bundles [including  promotions deals such as "Facebook Bundles" and "WhatsApp Bundles"}".

Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has over8M subscribers.

See "Success Story: Econet Wireless Zimbabwe Raises the Bar" - here.

AT&T: 1M Subscribers Switched from Unlimited to UBB in Q1

Some slides from AT&T's Q1 2014 earnings:

See "Quarterly Earnings — 1Q 2014" - here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

[Infonetics]: "net neutrality is now less of an issue in the U.S" for the DPI Market

According to information released by Infonetics Research from its Service Provider Deep Packet Inspection Products report "Operator spending on deep packet inspection (DPI) solutions grew 23% to $728 million in 2013, and is forecast by Infonetics to top $2 billion in 2018 .. Sandvine leads 2013 DPI market share, buoyed by a surge of new customers and a number of follow-on orders; AllotCisco, and Procera round out the top 4".

Source: Broadband Traffic Management Blog

Previously (Nov '13) Infonetics predicted a $2B market for 2017 (see "Infonetics: Embedded DPI Gets Traction" - here). See also "DPI Market Grew by 10% in 2013 ($278M Revenues for Allot, Procera and Sandvine)" - here.

More from Infonetics: 
  • Due to recent legal developments, net neutrality is now less of an issue in the U.S., but it remains a barrier to DPI investment in other markets, especially the European Union, which prohibits preferential treatment and bars traffic blocking and throttling
  • Virtualization holds the potential to significantly change DPI deployment strategies over time, enabling DPI technology to be deployed more cost-effectively throughout the network
Shira Levine, directing analyst for service enablement and subscriber intelligence at Infonetics Research says that "We’re seeing continued interest in embedding DPI functionality in applications such as security, video optimization, and revenue and service assurance, which is driving demand for embedded solutions that provide advanced packet classification, such as QosmosixEngine [see "Qosmos Added 21 OEM Customers in 2013; Claims for 70% Market Share" - here] and Procera’s NAVL”.

See "Operators look to embed deep packet inspection (DPI) in apps; Market growing to $2B by 2018" - here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Network Processors - are they Here to Stay?

According to recent announcements it seems the even DPI products, with their intense packet processing, are going towards NFV and virtualization in general purpose servers.

Vendors do state that it will take time (see "Allot Launched the New Service Gateway" - here and "Sandvine CEO Bullish on IBM Relations; SDN and NFV will Take Time" - here) - but is this the end of Network (or Packet) Processors?

A few months old white paper, by By Bob Wheeler [pictured], Senior Analyst, The Linley Group "..examines traditional network-processor (NPU) architectures, technology trends driving new requirements, limitations of NPUs and CPUs, and new architectures that overcome these challenges 

.. Admittedly, the distinction between an NPU and a multi-CPU processor with networking  accelerators is becoming less obvious 

...To meet carriers’ emerging demands, OEMs and merchant vendors alike must develop bold new network-processing architectures. These designs must blend the favorable attributes of traditional network processors—high performance and power efficiency—with the greater flexibility of multicore processors based on general-purpose CPUs. 

Ericsson is leading this charge with the industry’s first true C-programmable processor capable of running Linux and delivering 200Gbps throughputs. EZchip should be the first merchant NPU vendor to offer similar capabilities. Although equipment based on these new designs must still be proven in the field, we see nothing less than a new era of network processing emerging"

The paper presents the new NP from Cisco (2nd Gen QFP), Ericsson (SNP 4000 - see "Ericsson's New Network Processor - for Internal Use Only" - here) and EZChip (NPS-400 - see "EZchip Unveiled 400-Gb wire-speed, C-Programmable, NPU" - here).

See "A New Era of Network Processing" - here.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

IETF: Requirements for Congestion Control

An informational RFC by Randell Jesup [pictured], Mozilla "attempts to describe a set of requirements that can be used to evaluate other congestion control mechanisms in order to figure out their fitness for this purpose, and in particular to provide a set of possible requirements for proposals coming out of the RMCAT  [RTP Media Congestion Avoidance Techniques] Working Group".

Some of the requirements:
  • The congestion control algorithm must attempt to provide as-low-as-possible-delay transit for real-time traffic while still providing a useful amount of bandwidth.
  • The algorithm must be fair to other flows, both realtime flows (such as other instances of itself), and TCP flows, both long-lived and bursts such as the traffic generated by a typical web browsing session
  • The algorithm should quickly adapt to initial network conditions at the start of a flow. This should occur both if the initial bandwidth is above or below the bottleneck bandwidth
  • The algorithm should not require any special support from network elements 
See "Congestion Control Requirements For RMCAT" - here

Monday, April 21, 2014

[Blog News]: DPI Products Page Updated!

With the recent announcements of high-end DPI product (Allot's ServiceGateway Tera, Sandvine PTS 32000), I updated the DPI Products page (here).

Please do not hesitate to inform me if any of the details are not correct!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Report: LTE does not Increase Data Traffic Exponentially; No Shift to Video

 Amdocs released new "research into mobile traffic, showing an almost complete shift from voice to data. based on the analysis of more than 4 million voice and data connections from more than 100,000 mobile devices at some of the busiest network locations around the world in the past twelve months. 
Key findings include:
  • 2013 was the busiest year to date for mobile networks. Traffic doubled with the busiest square kilometers carrying up to 100 GBytes per day
  • The share of network traffic from data has grown to 98 percent – up from 90 percent in the previous 12-month period .. 

  • LTE (4G) improves customer experience but does not increase data traffic exponentially..
  • Data traffic becomes the primary source of subscriber issues
  • The Impact of LTE:  Better data experience, Data dominates even more, No shift to video (we didn’t detect subscribers using mobile data in new ways. We didn’t see an increased usage high bandwidth data services (i.e video))
 See "Amdocs Research: 98 Percent of Mobile Network Sessions Now Data" - here.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Citrix: Smartphone Users Want Sponsored Data; Blame MNOs for Video Stalling

As we say here -"if it is free, give me two". So it is true also for "Sponsored Data", according to a recent survey by Citrix.

"The survey of adult smartphone and tablet owners, conducted by Wakefield Research found that a majority of subscribers say they exceed their mobile data quota (and watching Video is not the prime reason!) – even more fear exceeding it"

  • 82 percent fear the data usage impact of mobile apps on their monthly data limit and have avoided using an app because of that fear. Subscribers using iPhones are more concerned about data overages than Android smartphone subscribers (66 percent versus 48 percent)

  • 67 percent of those who watch at least one mobile video per month say they have exceeded their monthly data limit. This drops to 36 percent for those who watch less than one mobile video per month
  • 71 percent of men and 62 percent of women would engage more if sponsored data plans were available.

See "Citrix: Mobile Data Users Fear Exceeding Their Quota, Open to Sponsored Data Plans" - here.

Friday, April 18, 2014

DSC Deployments [304]: Entel [Bolivia] Uses Ulticom to Optimize Diameter Signaling

Ulticom announced the "deployment of its Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) in the Entel S.A. mobile network. The Ulticom DSC will smooth multivendor interworking and IMSI-based Diameter routing, including load balancing with optimized transaction persistence, for Entel Online Charging (OCS) applications.

The Entel deployment utilizes Ulticom’s proprietary Service-Oriented Routing™ technology, undetectably optimizing Diameter signaling load across the server pool. Transaction persistence, an integral piece of the Entel deployment, routes components of transactions to the same server, dramatically reducing operational overhead. The net result is a smoother, faster transaction response; a balanced load; higher throughput and, ultimately, lower costs

See "Entel S.A. Deploys Ulticom DSC for Diameter Signaling Traffic Optimization" - here.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

PCC Deployments [303]: YooMee [Côte d’Ivoire] Deployed Broadband Systems Platform in 3 Months

Michael Anderson, Founder & CEO, Broadband Systems shared with me their experience from a recent deployment by YooMee Africa in its new operation in Côte d’Ivoire.

YooMee launched LTE based broadband services in Abidjan based on a TD-LTE network from Alcatel-Lucent (here).

"Our part was the complete BSS/OSS infrastructure – everything above the ALU network. We deployed our platform on top of the ALU PGW and HSS. The platform was deployed using standard 3GPP interfaces (Gx/Gy, RADIUS and SOAP provisioning).

The acts as a single component doing OCS, PCRF, AAA – and of course selling data packages to the subscribers through dynamic web interaction.

The entire project timeline was 3 months - from contract to active SIM cards in the hands of paying customers.We believe that this is likely the fastest ever complete 3GPP compliant BSS/OSS deployment

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Netflix: Comcast Performance Improved by 65%

The Comcast-Netflix agreements (which had "no preferential network treatment" - here) had done, after all, wonders to the performance of Netflix streams going to Comcast customers.

In its monthly update, Netflix says that "This month’s rankings are a great illustration of how performance can improve when ISPs work to connect directly to Netflix. In the US, the average speed on the Comcast network for Netflix streams is up 65 percent from 1.51Mbps in January to 2.5Mbps in March."

As a result. Comcast jumped 6 places in Netflix' ISP score table, with minor changes to the other ISPs.

See "Netflix ISP Speed Index for March" - here.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Opera/Skyfire Adds Real-Time Analytics

Opera Software's Skyfire (here) unit released "Rocket Insights™ as part of its Rocket Optimizer platform to help operators better manage their network loads by providing a real-time analytics dashboard that analyzes mobile video congestion. Operators can now instantly view key metrics such as stall rates, video start times, bitrate distribution and mean opinion score, and use this data to improve their overall network traffic management.

Rocket Insights elegantly addresses the current lack of existing real-time video monitoring analytics in a graphical and user-customizable dashboard. It provides operators with visibility into the importance of actionable quality of experience (QoE) monitoring that can intervene as needed to improve the video experience for each user on the network. Operators can test and refine their optimization strategies using the dashboard, and measure how these rates improve or change on the basis of real-time adjustments that they make.

Prior to the release of Rocket Insights, traffic management analytics were limited to packet- or URL-level data, which were often a poor proxy metric for application session quality, and did not allow for session mitigation actions in real time. Rocket Insights, on the other hand, now allows operators to easily see the impact of video on their networks, down to individual subscribers and their anonymized location in the network.

Rocket Optimizer is currently deploying with Telenor’s mobile networks across 11 countries, as well as across the national network of a Tier 1 US-based operator. Rocket Optimizer is also currently in live user trials with multiple operators around the world. The new Rocket Insights module is also compatible with leading traffic steering partners of Skyfire’s such as F5, Procera Networks [see "Procera Partners with Skyfire: Detects and Steers Video Traffic for Optimization" - here] and ConteXtream [see "Telenor Manages OTT Video Traffic With: ALU, Opera/SkyFire, ConteXtream and Velocix" - here]

See "Opera’s Skyfire Adds Video Analytics Dashboard to Rocket Optimizer Platform" - here.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Akamai Enhances Video Streaming with MPEG-DASH and HDS

Akamai Technologies announced that it is "adding native support for the emerging Motion Picture Experts Group-Dynamic Adaptive Streaming over HTTP (MPEG-DASH) and HTTP Dynamic Streaming (HDS) formats for live and linear streaming content. By accepting these additional formats into its globally distributed entry points, Akamai expects to offer its customers greater flexibility to reach an ever-increasing array of connected devices.
The new capability - 
  • is designed to allow event producers to send their streams directly into Akamai ingest servers via nearby entry points, minimizing the chance of quality loss through local network issues and congestion.
  • Akamai is working with encoder vendors to qualify their offerings for compatibility, and 
  • has added DASH support to its Adaptive Media Player
This three-pronged approach is intended to help users more easily stream live events at higher quality to audiences worldwide.

Elemental Technologies is the first partner to be qualified by Akamai for direct DASH and HDS ingest. Their Elemental® Live and Elemental® Server products have been configured and tested in an effort to ensure that streaming content in these new formats is securely and efficiently transferred through Akamai's ingest points.

See "Akamai Announces Native MPEG-DASH and HDS Support for Live Video Workflows" - here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

[Survey]: Operators Prefer Specialty BSS Vendors; Moving to Virtualization

A recent research, conducted by Intelligence (sponsored by Openet),  incorporates the input of more than 100 operators worldwide, finds that "truly flexible BSS solutions from specialty vendors are the best option to improve service and pricing innovation, multi-vendor interoperability and system flexibility ..  The survey highlighted key benefits of working with specialist BSS vendors relative to those provided by network equipment providers. Over 72% said that specialist providers enabled a faster time to market for new pricing models, 75% said they enabled better service and pricing innovation, and 76% felt specialists provided greater system flexibility".

Regarding virtualization - ".. nine per cent of respondents have already begun commercial operation of virtualised BSS and 23 per cent of respondents have begun trials of virtualized BSS environments only 34 per cent of operators currently have no plans to embrace virtualised BSS. However it is likely this sentiment will change as the industry becomes more comfortable with the prospects". 

See "Study Shows Best-of-Breed BSS Solutions Best Serve Operator Business" - here.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

VAS/Security Deployments [302]: AT&T Uses Bluecoat for Network based Protection

AT&T announced ".. the launch of AT&T Cloud Web Security for businesses of any size. The new offering will provide real-time protection against viruses, malware, and compromised web sites --- all without the need for on-site equipment ..  built on Blue Coat SystemsSecurity Policy and Enforcement Center. It enables customers to enforce consistent global security policies across wired, roaming, and mobile environments".

See "AT&T Continues Drive to Strengthen Security for Businesses" - here.

PCC Deployments [301]: Aircel [India] Uses EliteCore for Service Differentiation

Elitecore Technologies announced that it has "..deployed NetVertex PCRF with Aircel India which has mobile presence across 23 circles .. Aircel went through a detailed evaluation process with leading Policy Control vendors, which also involved in running tests to exhibit compliance on the features and requirement. Elitecore’s Netvertex PCRF scored very high in this evaluation.

On February 2014, Aircel had over 69M GSM subscribers (here), or 9.7% if the Indian market (711M subscribers)

Robert Sewell [pictured], Head, Network Architecture, Aircel said, 'At Aircel our prime focus is on delivering a great customer experience with service differentiation [see "Aircel [India] Offers Facebook Aware Service" - here]. For this we selected Elitecore’s Netvertex PCRF and have been very pleased with the quick implementation of the platform in our network. The support extended by Elitecore’s team during deployment and operations in our network and the platform’s performance has been outstanding'”.

See "Elitecore deploys NetVertex PCRF at AIRCEL" - here