Sunday, February 13, 2011

Alcatel-Lucent Taps Intelligent Traffic Management for Mobile QoE

Alcatel-Lucent is launching an Intelligent Traffic Management (ITM) solution for mobile networks that gathers granular data from the radio access network and then translates it into actionable intelligence based on specific network policies. Unlike traffic intelligence platforms based on deep packet inspection, Alcatel-Lucent's solution leverages its 9900 Wireless Network Guardian (WNG), which provides real-time insight into network's bandwidth, signalling and airtime usage, correlated down to individual devices, subscribers and their applications. The 9900 WNG differs from other network analytics tools in its ability to correlate this data on a per device, per application context from and end-to-end network perspective in real time.

This data is then passed to the 5780 Dynamic Services Controller (DSC), which performs the 3GPP Policy Charging and Rules Function (PCRF). By adding advanced intelligence from the 9900 WNG in real time to the 5780 DSC's policy engine, ITM enables service providers to identify and act upon network, device, subscriber and application performance trends and anomalous behaviours. The service provider can then take action based on business rules - such as notifying the subscriber, or reprioritizing traffic - through dynamic policy decisions. This vastly improves performance and protects subscribers' quality of experience while ensuring the integrity of the network.

Alcatel-Lucent said that by understanding the dynamics of new devices and their effect on wireless broadband data, and by reacting intelligently to the information and context it gathers in real time, its Intelligent Traffic Manager (ITM) gives service providers a new level of control by intelligently anticipating subscriber and network events that could impact performance and compromise the network. With the power to detect and respond to network anomalies before they can impact the network or its users, service providers using ITM can ensure a consistent, quality customer experience for millions of subscribers.

"As smart devices move from niche to mass market, and from mass market to ubiquity, service providers are facing a crisis," said Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent's IP activities. "Not only is the stress on the network increasing, but surges in demand are unpredictable, transient and unexpected. This has created an environment where existing monitoring and analytic tools are no longer really suitable. Our work helping some of the world's largest mobile operators deal with the smartphone explosion has helped us to rethink the way mobile data networks can be analyzed and optimized, and develop a complete end-to-end approach to understanding IP in mobile networks."

Alcatel-Lucent ITM solution supports 2.5G, 3G and 4G networks. Use cases could include precise bandwidth-capped mobile data services, where limits are enforced on particular users depending on their overall bandwidth consumption or on the traffic volumes of a particular cell site. It could also be used to take corrective action based on operator-configured business security rules, and alert the subscriber by SMS, email or voice call of the issue and the corrective action taken. This guards the network against potentially crippling attacks, which could otherwise compromise the capacity, integrity and performance of the network.