Data offload survival guide, a phased approach – simple offload for phase 1
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Data offload survival guide, a phased approach – simple offload for phase 1 Document Transcript

  • 1. WHITEPAPERDATA OFFLOAD SURVIVAL GUIDE, A PHASED APPROACH -SIMPLE OFFLOAD FOR PHASE 1 www.greenpacket.com
  • 2. WHITEPAPERAbstractThe essence of communication has extended beyond voice and textmessaging. As consumers become more immersed and engrossed in thedelight of instantaneous communication, the expectations of mobileexperience is a necessity for constant engagement in a variety of everchanging mobile devices in the market. Today’s mobile devices haveevolved from simple voice-centric feature to a range of complex,data-centric application and services support. According to a recent report,Mobile Content and Services Forecasts (2011-16) from Informa, mobileoperators’ share of app-led service revenues can increase as a result to thegrowing role of carrier billing. But beyond messaging and Internet access,operators have little stakes in the content and services space, i.e. perceivedas transport pipeline.One clearly sees that the offload movement in any form of technology (i.e.Wi-Fi, small cells), deployment strategy (public, private, hotspot zones) andpricing strategy is hot on every service provider’s agenda with telcos beinghit the hardest. The growth in mobile traffic will far outstrip the growth inrevenues whilst global mobile data traffic will see eighteen1 fold increasebetween 2011 and 2016. Services that put the greatest strain on mobilenetworks won’t necessarily be the ones that bring the most revenue. Thetop three data hogging2 culprits on mobile devices over the few years canbe categorized into applications, video streaming and web browsing.Despite that, video streaming revenues are projected to be less than 1% ofmobile data revenue in 2016 that pales in comparison.This paper will provide insights into the rationale and understanding toconvert the data challenge to revenue opportunity. Data crunch has ledmany to consider data offloading in various deployment modes and stages.Before launching into a data offload movement, we examine the crucialelements that spell cost savings, service level differentiation, monetizationand setting the foundation for the right type of QoS and QoE. 1Source : Cisco VNI :Global Data Mobile Traffic Forecast Update, 2011-2016 2Source : Informa Telecoms & Media
  • 3. WHITEPAPERContentsOverview 01Are You Ready for Offload? 02Burning Issues for CarrierOffload to Any Wi-FiWhat’s Next After Offload to Any Wi-Fi?Shaping Offload ElegantlyHow to Simple Offload in Phase 1 07Offload Industry Hot Picks 10IntegrationNext Generation Hotspot & Hotspot 2.0Cloud and Wi-FiConclusion 12Unlock Opportunities with Simple Offload 13
  • 4. WHITEPAPER Overview - 01OverviewNot too long ago, Wi-Fi technology was undermined in the wireless world.Carriers didn’t want to lose their tightly controlled traffic or be associatedwith the stereotypical sub-standard Wi-Fi technology. But after the firstshock wave of iPhone’ s debut and how it caused a series of major carrier’sservice disruption, carriers were beginning to feel the pressure. Shortly after,the Android craze caught up and nearly immediately intensified the datacrunch problem.For operators looking to provide ubiquitous and seamless service for voice,data and messaging particularly in dense public areas, now have a robustand scalable option – through intelligent client-based solution thatcombines the best of data offloading practices. Offloading does notnecessarily solve all of the operator’s issues, but suggests an alternativephased approach to tackle congestion appropriate to the carrier’s businessmodel without incurring multi-million dollar and multi-year investments atany one time – reshaping systems that allow them to brand and bundle nextgeneration services.Greenpacket gives a deep dive into the workings of an offload solutionwhich switches the mobile device over to Wi-Fi for data when possibleeither turning on/off Wi-Fi radio. The application runs transparently in thebackground by sending notifications for adjusting the device settingsaccordingly. In simple terms, turning off the things you don’t need andconserving a phone’s limited resources, like battery power andperformance related to network bandwidth. The critical objective isensuring that the subscriber should not see a visible difference or have totake any extra steps to experience quality delivery of voice, data,multimedia every time. As operators continue to build out advancednetworks across a variety of spectrum ranges, Greenpacket’s intelligentoffload solution ensures their core service offerings continue to deliver onthe promise of ubiquitous access through simplicity and mobility.
  • 5. WHITEPAPER Are You Ready for Offload? - 02Are You Ready for Offload?Do you often experience service disruption or unable to connect to yourcellular network to access data services – most likely to occur when youneed to send the most important email for example? Incidents like this arenot uncommon, when multiple users are trying to access the network,similar to a new years’ eve situation when the network is overwhelmed andunable to cope with the added traffic and stress. It’s not that difficult tocomprehend, if your customers get disgruntled and the fault is obviouslypointed at the operator that fails to live up. They have to turn to alternativenetworks such as Wi-Fi to be able to enjoy a reasonable service levelalthough not guaranteed.Carrier Wi-Fi now features highly within the operator’s environment. Itmakes perfect sense to take a proactive approach, as they hold the key tothe billing relationship to their customers. Previously, Wi-Fi solutions weredifferent with consumer Wi-Fi within the residential and enterprise-typedeployment. Occasionally with sporadic coverage in urban centers eitherthrough private partnerships like municipal mesh type networks, it failed tocapture the essence of Wi-Fi that was virtually a zero revenue model withlittle incentive for operators to deploy them.Mobile data offload to Wi-Fi in today’s terms is nothing new, but scorned atdue to the negative sentiments that stem from the more establishedwireless technology practices. Issues of authentication, security, roamingand reliability becomes a thing of the past with Wireless Broadband Alliance(WBA) and Wi-Fi Alliance standards work underway that brings togetheroperators and vendors to realize the bigger plans for Hotspot 2.0.
  • 6. WHITEPAPER Are You Ready for Offload? - 03Burning Issues for CarrierCarriers now face a very real prospect of struggling for viability andbecoming little more than data pipes. In order to avoid this fate, they mustre-invent the way they manage their business, generate revenue andcontrol costs. Forget the LTE hype for a moment, re-invent the network.The network is the means to a business objective, not the objective. Inretrospect, it’s not the fastest, flashiest networks that will build the customerrelationship. It’s not what you do it’s how you do it that counts.For most parts, carriers building out a completely new Wi-Fi carrier networkwould be too costly as it would require many access points to providecomprehensive coverage. It’s best to share network resources whereverpossible, potentially partnering with Wi-Fi aggregators. By avoiding longinternal test cycles and field deployment they can get to market muchquicker, and spend their time more effectively monitoring feedback andresponding to customer demands.Subscribers are familiar with Wi-Fi in the ways they use it in the home if theyhave fixed broadband access, at office and at public free hotspots in a widevariety of locations such as bars, coffee shops, hotels, restaurants andsupermarkets. Offloading can be realized only if there is enough high qualityWi-Fi access. As Wi-Fi coverage is limited by regulations to a very smallfootprint, meaningful Wi-Fi utilization requires aggregating very largeamount of Wi-Fi access points of various types. Clearly the traditionalnetwork management tools are insufficient for this task; a new, "out of thebox" solution is needed. The consumer market has become socommoditized, that it means little to have the best prices in town althoughit plays a factor in decision-making.When carriers become more interested into why and how their subscribersrelate to their experiences, there is where the customer relationshipbecomes solid. Greenpacket’s Simple Offload solution is focused ondiscovery and qualification of Wi-Fi resources, managing heterogeneousWi-Fi networks to be utilized for traffic offloading - effectively creating onelarge virtual, high performance network which can be used for dataoffloading. Internet browsing, videos and online games will use Wi-Ficonnections where available.
  • 7. WHITEPAPER Are You Ready for Offload? - 04Offload to Any Wi-FiCarrier Wi-Fi today is focused as a value-add service to attract users,extend coverage, increase market share and help reduce churn. The valueproposition of Wi-Fi has taken a 360 turn in the operator’s strategy.It’s benefit stem from the fact that it’s a familiar technology to manageovercrowding on networks and is readily available. This allows the operatorto effectively expand the number of Wi-Fi hotspots available to subscribers,while reducing the cost to build and maintain them. One such use case isthe need for offering 3G-Wi-Fi bundled service as a start to serve widerstrategic goals.For a start, operators need to move these customers to any Wi-Fi whereverpossible, taking into consideration what subscribers want and would payfor. Creating a new service offering with its own revenue stream specific toa service is not the point here. Revenue reality is really far less achievablethan it was previously thought. Data offload is a vehicle to drivemonetization rather than the monetary unit itself. These opportunities areclearer and easier to implement when the right conditions of networkintegration, APIs and inter-working protocols are reached and thus opensdoor to providing 3rd party applications and advertising in later stages.Regardless of the operator owned Wi-Fi, public Wi-Fi or private Wi-Fiset-up, subscribers are finding ways to reach the expanding video, musicand multimedia rich Internet services out there with sophisticated devices.There are multiple reasons for operators needing Wi-Fi offload, for which wedescribe Phase 1 approach of data offload in this paper.For a given operator that has mobile network and limited by the number ofoperator owned hotspot - in the interest of managing overcrowding, simplyoffloading to any hotspot is a first step. This can either be achieved viapartner hotspot or crowd-sourcing mechanism. The central focus isdirecting data traffic transparently to Wi-Fi whenever cellular network iscongested or unavailable. Within the context of data offload, operators canincorporate to some extent policy-enabled decision making that is tied tothe attachment of Wi-Fi hotspots. In the subsequent stage of refining thedata offload deployment, operators can also leverage on device capableanalytics to feedback QoS performance and QoE of the offloaded traffic.
  • 8. WHITEPAPER Are You Ready for Offload? - 05What’s Next After Offload to Any Wi-Fi?Data offloading use case is not limited to congestion alone. There are otherdrivers that compel carriers to consider an offloading approach. Somequestions of security, ownership, stability are raised when figuring out howto include offload into the network architecture. Despite those thornyissues, interest remains strong for offloading, whether through Wi-Fi orsmall cell structures in areas where smartphone adoption is prevalent suchas markets in the U.S, North Asia and Europe. It’s not really that difficult -plenty of opportunities for carriers to broaden the needs of customers andto create a “least cost” data offering that would allow carriers to augmenttheir limited licensed spectrum. Increasingly, operators are responding tothe call of convergence.Through unlimited Wi-Fi access (e.g. free Wi-Fi or chargeable Wi-Fi forpremium packages), carriers can combine the power of unified price plansto increase customer stickiness and resulting lower churn in the long run.Subscribers on the other hand, enjoy more VoIP calls availability when usingapps like Skype, stream video, music and unlimited surfing that does notcount against their data plan. Such operator bundles offer a route to payingcustomers that might be far less time-consuming and less costly.Ultimately, carriers are figuring out how much more revenue can begenerated by keeping existing subscribers satisfied and exploit the value ofWi-Fi service bundling to convert rival subscribers to their network - thesesubscribers are likely to be the high ARPU segments which demonstrate abigger appetite for data and willing to pay premium if needed to.
  • 9. WHITEPAPER Are You Ready for Offload? - 06Shaping Offload ElegantlyA simple packaging of services and media products at a discounted ratemay not seem sophisticated, but has proved to be equally powerful.The power of bundling can fight off technology threats like LTE.Undoubtedly, LTE comes with substantially higher speeds, but networkspeed is not the same as network capacity. Cellular spectrum was nevermeant to carry the types of video and high-bandwidth traffic that users arenow pushing across it.Whether delivered by Wi-Fi or LTE the high-bandwidth traffic still continues.It is still just a radio access technology and the users value the convenienceand accessibility- whichever delivers. Smarter pipes are what carriers neednow in order to make bundles more attractive and move towards a nextgeneration network fit for multi-screen experience. Wi-Fi provides aconvincing strategy to keep many smartphone and tablet users in need ofquality connectivity.Operators face major challenges in improving the mobile broadband userexperience, given the current lack of intelligence at device or applicationlevel. To complement advanced implementations of data offload, operatorscan combine policy control to tiered services with gradations of bandwidthand service priority to increase their value proposition of smarter networks.The policy control measures can be device driven and coherently integratedat the network level. Decidedly, operators should look into the areas ofmobile broadband analytics to bring the data offload strategy to a higherlevel – as this will become an important tool to fully understand how theirsubscribers behave in relation to the types of data traffic that is generated.
  • 10. WHITEPAPER How to Simple Offload in Phase 1 - 07How to Simple Offload in Phase 1There are alternate pathways for carriers to deliver these next generationservices, without compromising their networks. Just because carriers donot want to wait for standards for reasons beyond economicalconsiderations, doesn’t mean that they have to turn their backs on it.Carriers can deliver the services that the user want now and can still bestandards based technology supported, not necessarily standards basedarchitecture. Standards specifications regularly go through revision cyclesthat can create some functional mismatches at different stages of theversions, before it hits the market late by a differential 2-5 years timeframe.Instead of risking further market erosion, carriers can eliminate thetime-to-market gap by partnering a growing number of solution vendors toprovide the next generation of services. Carriers have core assets thatthey’re not leveraging enough and finding it hard to part with their privatelyguarded-services that is quickly displaced by over-the-top (OTT) services.Rather than resisting OTT, carriers should open doors to those services intoan offload environment.While implementations providing complete functionalities defined bystandards mature completely by two to three years time, Greenpacket ismarket-ready to deploy via Simple Offload. The Simple Offload aims to makethe user experience over Wi-Fi seamless and at the same time helps operatorunlock the opportunity of hotspot monetization. The component of SimpleOffload consists of client software and the centralized provisioning server(CPS) to manage the device and network-centric performance measures.Access to Wi-Fi today is still predominantly manual, confusing and frustratingat most. Usability and accessibility of Wi-Fi ranges far and wide betweenvarying types of user devices from failure of Wi-Fi hotspot identification, failureof attachment to Wi-Fi APs or SSIDs which may seem elusive at times, anduncertainty of credentials. What frustrates most is upon successfulconnection to Wi-Fi, service is unavailable to the extent of congestion. Howcan operators ensure carrier Wi-Fi avoids such deficiencies?
  • 11. WHITEPAPER How to Simple Offload in Phase 1 - 08 Without Smart Wi-Fi Offload Smart Wi-Fi Offload Wi-Fi (On) Wi-Fi (Off) 3G (On) 3G Wi-Fi Wi-Fi Range 3G Policy Zone Connection inaccessible. Please enter security key. SMODE SMODE You are out is in HOTSPOT has connected of hotspot area. READY MODE. you to a hotspot. Please turn Click here to find SMODE is in OFF Wi-Fi more information CONNECTED to save battery! on the hotspots. MODE.Figure 1 : Greenpacket Simple OffloadThe Simple Offload leverages the device control to turn on/off Wi-Fi andclosely integrates into the operator’s existing network infrastructure. Itsimply notifies the user wherever Wi-Fi is available and guides them toaccept Wi-Fi connectivity and takes care of the credentials automaticallybased on the quality of relationship they maintain with their customers, aslong as the device supports the various types of authentication within.When the user leaves the Wi-Fi hotspot, the Wi-Fi connection will be turnedoff. The turning on/off of Wi-Fi radio can significantly conserve batterypower. The added advantage of the Simple Offload comes with theassurance that the migration path towards ANDSF standards compliancecan be achieved at the later stage and smooth integration with corenetwork processes involving billing and charging. Based on the level ofquality operators deliver and the billing relationship they maintain withcustomers, carriers can have the competitive advantage that hold the keysto the implementation of innovative product offerings together with OTTplayers and share in the revenue.
  • 12. WHITEPAPER How to Simple Offload in Phase 1 - 09Another dimension that Simple Offload adds is the intelligent networkoptimization through device and data offload analytics capability that canoffer high quality of service for users without decreased coverage, makingWi-Fi more accessible for customers. The analytics engine is able to pullfrom device connection logic to evaluate the QoS of access points that isaccessed to influence and deploy connection policy unique to a specifictime and condition to achieve more efficient offload. Reports of data usage,access point frequented, average throughput, experienced latency arepowerful information - navigate both device-level and network-levelperformance. This provides a more complete view of customer-centricissues that many existing service provider solutions lack.As Wi-Fi environment becomes crowded, it will become more important tomanage the execution of offload. Existing solutions provide little guidance tohelp selection of access points. This is an issue as service providers do notwant connection management solutions to act unless their actions willimprove service quality. And thus, with an intelligent analytics engine,operators can be conscious of automated performance improvement. Theprovided analysis makes it clear where offloading would have the greatestuser impact. Network Analysis Dashboard Analytic Reporting Server Simple Offload ClientFigure 2 : Simple Offload transparent device and network analytics
  • 13. WHITEPAPER Offload Industry Hot Picks - 10Offload Industry Hot PicksThe consumer market has been commoditizing, but there’s still room forrevenue growth, and one of the ways to go about is shifting the approachrelated to market dynamics. A closer integration of network-centricmeasure for coverage and connectivity together with device-centricanalytics can give a multi-dimensional intelligence to improve the mobilebroadband experience. It is not enough to just have data offload as ameans to today’s network need, but to be robust enough to withstandchanging business models.IntegrationVery often, transformation of practices and any large scale movement isspurred by industry-wide adoption. It is no more different as in the dataoffload movement leveraging over Wi-Fi. While attractive for its simplicityand wide adoption in user equipment today, Wi-Fi, nevertheless, is not yetfully overcome in terms of the fundamentals of telecommunications, similarto other wireless systems, it is not exclusive of interference and its capacityhas limits to some extent and thus is more likely a case of balancing actbetween coverage, capacity needs wherever needed.A greater challenge for operators is to incorporate offloaded traffic into theirexisting policy control and charging architecture. Some clarity is neededincluding highly desirable QoS measures in order to deliver a seamlessexperience. These attributes contribute to a deeper understanding of thegranular interworking necessary to live up to the promise of convergedhybrid network. As such, it is impacting the way operators build networks,establish connectivity and leverage intelligence. The shift of smarter pipesand stronger desire to retain visibility of customers in the race for marketshare is sure to keep operators on their toes. And the only way to pushahead is having ownership to the customer relationship. Time and again,studies show that users are no more loyal to their provider than before,when it comes to price plans. It’s a matter of which provider that is able todeliver the value of convenience, variety and experience.
  • 14. WHITEPAPER Offload Industry Hot Picks - 11Next Generation Hotspot & Hotspot 2.0The move towards seamless Wi-Fi interworking is more pronounced now, thatfor the first time operators and vendors are committed to making NGH andHotspot 2.0 a success. Instead of sitting on the fence, they are more willing tojoin trials in the aim of influencing the standardization. By taking a moreproactive role, operators gain from building as many Wi-Fi relationships early on– so they can potentially put their monies up for wholesale opportunities.One of the key highlights central to operators is the strict requirements onmaking both device and user authentication to ensure integrity and security ofthe network is not compromised, when incorporating Wi-Fi as part of the mobileservices strategy. With Hotspot 2.0, it will allow devices to easily discover Wi-Firoaming relationships, determine and automate network discovery, registration,provisioning and establish network connectivity securely. Session mobility isvery important when a user moves between Wi-Fi and cellular, so that theconnection does not drop. On top of that, it also opens up ambitions to throwin location-aware services. As the number of hotspots multiply, so does theneed to ensure handoffs and policy enforcement over time to improve.Cloud and Wi-FiWith the migration of network and systems to an all IP-based architecture –the cloud infrastructure is the way forward. Perhaps it’s still early andquestionable to the verdict of potential cost savings and efficiency ofpositioning the cloud within the operator’s agenda. However, industryanalysts are suggesting the potential for long-tail wireless opportunity foroperators, communication service providers and vendors to collaborate toclose the gap between public and private networks. In the long run, M2Mapplications will work alongside both cellular and Wi-Fi in complement.Operators need to be prepared to react to changing business models andstay relevant on the communication pyramid - it should be a naturalextension to leverage on M2M capabilities. Notably, Vodafone and AT&T arealready experimenting with M2M platforms. It should be noted however,M2M applications require stricter service levels like in healthcare, publicsafety and automotive industry. With the expanding range of addressableobjects and use case, it may be well worth the investment into carrier-gradeWi-Fi proposition following market demand, technology and vendorcapabilities are increasingly aligned.
  • 15. WHITEPAPER Conclusion - 12ConclusionContinued aggressive growth in data traffic as a result in increasedsmartphones, video and application usage has created an urgent need forfaster and efficient networks. Figuring an approach to make systemsextensible and scalable is important to the success of effective data offloadstrategies that bridge the gaps of disparate systems. Operators are awarethat their share of overall value-added-service revenues will dropconsiderably over the next few years and in need of a plan. Rocked by aseries of challenges and price cuts, operators are reacting with multipleinitiatives - big names like Telefonica, Vodafone and Orange are urging forrich communication suite (RCS). The RCS technology is designed and builtinto device platform to enable users to use new multimedia communicationservices on any network and with any smartphone. But, would this industryinitiative be a desperate attempt that is a little too late to dissuade users fromthe popular OTT? The success or failure of RCS is still anyone’s guess.Inevitably smartphones, mobile broadband and the ongoing transition to all-IPnetworks will transform the mobile industry to greater speeds andperformance. At the same time, over-the-top (OTT) players are disrupting theuser experience on mobile and impacting the bottom lines of many establishedtelco giants if not all. Social messaging apps have taken a large effect. There isa window of opportunity for carriers to innovate internally, re-think businessmodels and embrace the services and reach out to consumers that enjoy OTTservices with the appropriate attitude to data offload.Of course, some questions are raised on getting complementary networksto work in perfect unison and allow seamless roaming altogether. Would itcomplicate the existing infrastructure to accommodate and help operatorsrecoup ROI that were previously lost out to OTT players? What is needed isa phased approach to respond to the rapidly growing need for content-levelservice differentiation and new monetization strategies. Data offloading maynot necessarily be a rescue to every situation but it can serve to addressoperator issues incrementally without causing major disruption to theexisting network. The current industry outlook is promising with someforward looking vendors that have taken a strategic or tactical approach todraw notice–for example, Ericsson’s acquisition of BelAir andAlcatel-Lucent’s Wi-Fi light radio – both have 3G and LTE alongside itsportfolio which is indicative that operator demands are driving and wantingmore out of the Wi-Fi experience, while vendors are constantly looking outfor solutions to meet those needs.
  • 16. WHITEPAPER Unlock Opportunities with Simple Offload - 13Unlock Opportunities withSimple OffloaThe principle of traditional networking is challenged to meet new demands ofthe future. A focus for a leaner and more agile network is not just valuable toyour networks, but also a higher degree of trusted customer-oriented servicestability that is responsive to your subscribers. Turn your challenges intoopportunities as we introduce a phased approach for data offload strategy.Embark on a journey with Greenpacket to discover the value-add ofoffloading and start realizing the possibilities for growth.With Greenpacket, you bring value to your subscribers and become theirpartner of communication needs.Free ConsultationIf you would like a free consultation on how you can leverage data offloadsolutions for enhanced network performance and user experience, feel freeto contact us at marketing.gp@greenpacket.com. Kindly quote thereference code, SWP0712-P1 when you contact us.
  • 17. For more information on Greenpacket’s products and solutions, Associateplease contact us at marketing.gp@greenpacket.com MemberSan Francisco · Kuala Lumpur · Singapore · Shanghai · Taiwan · Sydney · Bahrain · Bangkok · Hong Kong ©Copyright 2001-2012 Green Packet Berhad. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, transmitted, transcribed, stored in a retrieval system, or translated into any language, in anyform by any means, without the written permission of Green Packet Berhad. Green Packet Berhad reserves the right to modify or discontinue any product or piece of literature at anytime without prior notice.