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the Changing role of Policy
With the onset of 3G, 4G etc., today’s mobile subscribers represent a wide variety of users with unique data needs. Further, the exponential surge in smartphone iPad sales and its convergence with OTT players is posing stiff competition for operators trying to protect, control and grow their subscriber base.
Operators, therefore, are calling for a policy solution that can consider actual usage scenarios and combine it with Charging, Billing etc. to enable monetization and personalization plans. Traditional policy solutions fail to address this requirement as they are one-dimensional which means they can take information from PCEF and check subscriber profile details in SPR/HSS, but are unable to monetize due to lack of integration with Charging or billing systems. It restricts operator ability in rolling out use cases to only those that pertain to network optimization, e.g. QoS, SLA and FAP use cases, a limitation which prevents them from monetizing the growing mobile broadband usage.
Route to Policy Complexity
The role of the Policy Manager will evolve from enabling basic QoS to supporting increasingly complex advanced use cases for the operators which will create several new monetization opportunities for operators. To understand “how”, watch this set of illustrations which will guide you through an evolutionary journey of the policy manager and the systems it will need to integrate for rolling out advanced use cases.
NetVertex- Multi-dimensional approach to Policy
Given above scenario, the role of the Policy Manager has evolved to address this requirement. Elitecore's NetVertex Multi dimensional approach to policy enables operators achieve unprecedented flexibility in rolling out new use cases. It goes beyond its basic one-dimensional policy purpose to integrate several multi-dimensional components including charging, billing, BI/CEA and Loyalty systems. NetVertex enables operators use actual subscriber usage data to offer real time upselling or cross-selling opportunities through in-built adaptors that can be integrated with the charging system. It further enables integration with the Billing system to help reduce bad debt by checking subscriber credit history , payment history to apply policy rules based on input from Billing system.
Another dimension added by NetVertex is integration with the BI/CEA system. Basically, operators have an avalanche of information concerning subscriber usage but are unable to make good use of it. A BI/CEA system can provide intelligent output that can be made available to Netvertex. This can enable the roll out of a variety of innovative monetization as well as personalization use cases e.g. –
1) Based on a user’s plan-wise monthly usage, it is possible to give an app-specifc best fit plan to him/her for video sites like Youtube.
2) Based on subscriber ARPU, real time rewards/promo plans can be made available. Click here to know more
As shown in the figure, a Multi-dimensional policy solution gives operators greater freedom of choice in ”optimizing”, ”monetizing” and “personalizing” Mobile broadband usage, in sync with the ongoing evolution of subscriber needs.
Netvertex integrates with PCEF/DPI to enable a host of FAP use cases. It also defines the policy based on peak/off-peak usage which can push real time bandwidth throttling to avoid network congestion. Further, it optimizes network capacity by utilizing the intelligence from subscriber usage patterns to launch tiered roaming plans and App-specific priorities or exemptions.
NetVertex’s Multi-dimensional platform provides a subscriber-aware, intelligent policy infrastructure to meet operator goals for monetization. By integrating with OCS, BI and Billiing, it enables operator to offer plans based on Application usage (Youtube, Facebook etc.), peak/off-peak usage, % ARPU contribution and roaming data trends.
By knowing actual subscriber usage, locations and preferences, Netvertex enables personalized service plans such as shared wallet, user-defined limits or priorities, parental controls and family plans.
Benefits of Multi-Dimensional approach
Reduced time-to-market: With a multi-dimensional approach, service providers can roll out differentiated services and pricing models much faster than conventional policy solutions. This is based on the combined context of the network state, BSS information, usage pattern, latent potential for cross-promotion and upselling opportunities.
Vertical integration with OTT/device-maker value chain: The multi-dimensional approach's reduced time-to-market advantage greatly impacts the operator’s ability to differentiate services and plans and build a two-sided revenue model in sync with third-party content, device and OTT providers, instead of merely acting as a transport mechanism like in the past.
Enable New partnerships: Rather than following the traditional model of charging based on volume, operators can tie up with content delivery network providers for a set of videos and allow subscriber the option to pay for say, 10 videos a month, and charge them.
Pre-integrated solution with Billing, Charging etc.: NetVertex can be deployed standalone or pre-integrated with Elitecore’s Crestel suite offering of convergent billing, mediation, charging, voucher management, and subscriber management solutions for a platform-based approach to policy control. The key advantage of a pre-integrated platform is a single, consolidated database across multiple applications to enable a centralized view of the customer and of the service.
Along with network components, Next-generation policy solutions will need to integrate with Multiple IT systems. Solutions such as Elitecore’s Netvertex V6.0 will enable the quick roll out of plans that would create a differentiated subscriber experience while increasing operator ARPU. Having a BSS background will further strengthen Elitecore’s value proposition allowing its solution to seamlessly enable integration of Policy with IT systems
Ari Banerjee,
Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
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