Oracle today announced the release of Oracle Communications Policy Controller, which provides advanced network control capabilities to help communications service providers (CSPs) better manage the explosion in network data usage and ensure a superior customer experience.
Fueled by the rapid adoption of network-enabled devices (i.e. smartphones, televisions, gaming consoles, etc.), global IP traffic reached 3 Gigabytes per capita in 2010, up from 2 Gigabytes per capita in 2009. Additionally, worldwide mobile data traffic is projected to increase 26-fold, an annual run-rate of 75 exabytes by 2015. (1)
While next-generation network technology and services enable CSPs to deliver exciting applications and content to customers – including video and music streaming – these same services require extensive bandwidth to operate properly and can strain carrier networks and erode profit margins. Consumers are increasingly turning to over-the-top providers – whose applications place an additional strain on the network while delivering little to no revenue to the CSP.
Many CSPs have deployed first generation policy tools which act as a constraint on bandwidth, throttling the usage of top data users and blocking some over-the-top providers. But, these efforts have resulted in numerous customer complaints.
Oracle Communications Policy Controller – part of the Oracle Communications Service Delivery product family – is a comprehensive, integrated and flexible policy management product that enables service providers to not just constrain users but to shape their behavior. With the solution, CSPs can optimize data usage and ensure a fair allocation of network resources by expanding or contracting bandwidth as appropriate based on customer subscriptions and service aware policies. Specifically, CSPs can distribute bandwidth based on personalized service plans that can be adjusted to consumer preferences – such as separate social media, video streaming and VoIP plans – for a richer customer experience and a greater return on network investments.
Oracle Communications Policy Controller enables customers to personalize their service plans, while facilitating real-time and interactive policy management. Features include:
• Alternative pricing based on network conditions, such as discounts for using video streaming services during times when network usage is lowest;
• Separate policies for each type of access technology (i.e., 3G or LTE);
• Allocation of bandwidth and speed by device and user subscription;
• Ability to control usage during peak network congestion times, such as restricting top data users to slower data transfer speeds between 5 and 7 pm;
• Centralized policy management tools for easier monitoring of the user experience and lower administration costs.
Oracle Communications Policy Controller enables the enforcement of regulatory requirements, such as bill shock. It also enables customers to set parental controls, which can be customized to each device.
A sustainable alternative to existing static offerings, which can be difficult to modify and unresponsive to changes in customer behavior, the solution improves flexibility – for example, by expanding or contracting bandwidth to meet customer needs – and enables CSPs to offer data plans at a wide range of price points in units that are meaningful to customers, such as hours of streaming music or number of movies downloaded.
By leveraging the real-time charging capabilities in Oracle Communications Billing and Revenue Management, Oracle Communications Policy Controller can shorten time to market for new services and promotional offerings as well as provide a unified view of both local and remote subscriber data to enable CSPs to make more intelligent policy decisions.
"While data traffic is growing rapidly worldwide, CSPs are struggling to turn this growth into profit due to traditional flat-rate billing plans. Increasingly, service providers are turning to a new generation of Policy Management platforms which enable the creation of data tariffs designed for different customer segments," said Peter Mottishaw, directing analyst, Analysys Mason. "Oracle Communications Policy Controller, designed to support service aware policies, positions Oracle to meet this growing need."
“With the continued proliferation of smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices, service providers are experiencing unmanageable increases in data usage, which strain networks, reduce network speed and degrade the overall customer experience. Oracle Communications Policy Controller helps service providers manage fluctuations in data usage, integrate new and evolving mobile services and apps, as well as provide flexible service plans to customers to maximize the provider’s return on investments in next-generation technologies,” said Liam Maxwell, vice president, products, Oracle Communications.
(1) Cisco VNI Forecast Highlights
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Janice Hazen, O’Keeffe & Company
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