Intelligent Policy Enforcement for LTE Networks

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1 The New Digital Lifestyle and LTE Intelligent Policy Enforcement for LTE Networks Mobile data networks are an essential tool in our hyperconnected society for streaming video, social networking, and collaboration. Consumers are accessing content from multiple devices across shared or multiple mobile broadband connections. Social networking, applications, and entertainment content lives in the cloud and without quality access to the Internet, personal lives are disrupted. Twitter and Facebook are not just websites; they have become an integral part of the new Digital Lifestyle for consumers. Figure 1 - The New Digital Lifestyle LTE is the next big thing for mobile operators, with networks going live around the world. Mobile operators are investing heavily in LTE technology in order to capture the latest generation of consumers that want more performance from their mobile broadband connections. Although most consumers immediately associate LTE with more bandwidth, the bandwidth available for users will be more aggressively competed for among different subscribers and applications. This will result in network congestion, and operators will have to balance the needs/desires of their consumers versus the cost of building a network to support unlimited bandwidth. Most LTE operators are shying away from unlimited plans for this reason, as they are uncertain as to the uptake of new applications and subscribers to these networks, and want to try and avoid early congestion issues. LTE providers must be able to adapt to changes in user behaviors and new applications by rapidly creating new services and business models to deliver a higher quality of service to their subscribers. Since the LTE networks are new, operators are not sure how their subscribers will use the network. With new LTE devices coming to market regularly, time to market for new service plans to capture the latest hot device is critical. More users will pile on the network, and stay connected for longer periods, and the current engineering models for scalability and performance will break down. These performance and scalability demands in this highly mobile environment will strain and break broadband infrastructures and deplete available resources unless they are managed intelligently. Within a service provider, the failure of the network to deliver the perceived advantage of LTE will result in multiple pain points. The marketing departments of the LTE providers will wonder why the users on the network are dissatisfied, and not purchasing the latest devices or upgrading their service plans. The engineering department will struggle to know why their cell sites are congested and how to improve the Quality of Experience of the users. Customer support representatives will not be able to respond to customer complaints that their new, expensive LTE service seems to run slower than the 3G service that they previously used. Finally, the finance department will question why billions of dollars spent on the LTE upgrade have not translated to high profits and revenues. Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) enables broadband network operators to provide unprecedented levels of personalization, service optimization, network assurance, and rapid creation of business models to monetize their investments. A mobile operator s only hope in coping with the rapid pace of change in mobile data usage is to gain more insight into the behavior of their networks, and to turn that information into actionable service plans.

2 3GPP Policy Ecosystem Within the 3 rd Generation Partnership Program (3GPP), a framework has been defined for Policy Management and Policy Enforcement as shown below: Figure 2- Policy Enforcement Ecosystem With the policy framework established by 3GPP, a management layer created to control the behavior and user provisioning of the network. The Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) is established as the policy decision point that establishes the policies that are going to apply to subscribers and traffic passing over the mobile data network. Other policy elements are defined for charging events (both online and offline charging) and are responsible for translating the usage and applications on the network into billing events. The management layer on the network has specifically defined protocols for interacting with the network layer to translate the policy decisions into policy enforcement. The policy enforcement layer on the network is designed to enforce policies as instructed by the policy management layer. However, different devices on the network have different levels of visibility and intelligence, translating to different capabilities for enforcing policies. More intelligent network elements can implement more sophisticated policies. Sophisticated policies would go beyond simple byte counters or session timers (which might be common in a pre-paid model) to include subscriber, location, device, and application awareness (more on this later). Awareness has another powerful advantage in the policy enforcement area; in that policy enforcement instructions for highly aware network elements can be much simpler than for un-aware enforcement points. A contrasting example of this scenario would be if a PCRF is informed of congestion on a specific location, an intelligent policy enforcement point could be passed an instruction to prioritize real-time applications at Site A, where an un-aware enforcement point would need to be passed a number of new rules that might match specific devices and flows using access control lists, or a much less sophisticated congestion management policy that might make all users equally unhappy. The signaling load on the network will be much lower on an intelligent network than on an unaware network, as intelligent systems have a greater awareness of location, devices, and applications for each active subscriber on the network.

3 Intelligent Policy Enforcement Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) enables broadband network operators to provide unprecedented levels of personalization, service optimization, network assurance, and rapid creation of business models to monetize their investments. Figure 3- Intelligent Policy Enforcement As shown above, Intelligent Policy Enforcement uses Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) as the core technology to gain awareness of subscribers, location, devices, and applications. This awareness can then be used with the policy ecosystem described by 3GPP to deliver a superior collection of services and applications to mobile broadband networks. Some examples of applications of Intelligent Policy Enforcement are: Application or Use Case Business Intelligence Network Optimization Congestion Management Service Innovation Network Protection Charging and Billing Bill Shock Prevention Description Monitor application and usage trends in order to offer more compelling service packages to subscribers in a timely fashion. Ensure that network resources are used most effectively throughout the network, including high touch services for high usage subscribers and formatted for specific device types. Understand root cause for network congestion and resolve the congestion to deliver the highest QoE to subscribers without excessive capital expenditures. Create new services targeted to specific consumer groups, age groups, or application users with fast time to market and with minimal cost overhead. React quickly to network threats and attacks to minimize subscriber impact and QoE. Utilize location, device, and application awareness to create tiered service plans to maximize flexibility for subscribers with low cost options for light users of the network Prevent user churn due to excessive roaming charges or DDOS attacks that can inflate a subscriber s bill.

4 Importance of Intelligent Policy Enforcement and New LTE challenges The new Digital Lifestyle is introducing new challenges for mobile broadband networks. User behavior has radically changed in ways that break existing paradigms for both fixed and mobile networks, but LTE will further blur the line between fixed and mobile expectations, especially with the aggressive marketing campaigns for 4G networks. This will result in significant challenges on mobile networks: Intelligent Policy Enforcement systems will be up to the task to deliver solutions to all of the challenges described above, and enable the new services required to capture subscribers and deliver high quality broadband experiences. Procera s IPE Solution Procera s IPE solutions enable broadband providers to support more subscribers and services on their network than other alternatives, as our solutions are the highest performing and most scalable policy enforcement systems available. Procera IPE solutions support deeper levels of awareness and over twice as many applications as our competition, enabling richer services to be offered to consumers. Our analytics provide more relevant business intelligence reports that enable broadband operators to better understand consumer trends and rapidly respond to the dynamic application landscape. How We Do it Better First, enabling the Digital Lifestyle requires superior awareness to ensure that the right Quality of Experience is delivered to consumers based on their location, device, and application usage. Procera s solutions provide unparalleled visibility through our Datastream Recognition Definition Language (DRDL) traffic classification engine and the interaction with our PacketLogic Subscriber Manager (PSM), which delivers the industry s most

5 comprehensive subscriber, location, and device awareness. Second, mobile broadband providers trying to keep pace with the Digital Lifestyle require detailed analysis of trends in consumer trends. Procera s PacketLogic Intelligence Center (PIC) ensures that Marketing and Finance departments understand what applications are most prevalent among your user base, where those applications are utilized most frequently, and how changes in service plans affect network congestion. PIC delivers succinct, digestible, and customizable reports that drive profitable services and efficient network management. Finally, through Intelligent Policy Enforcement, Procera s solutions provide superior control options for broadband network operators for service creation and congestion management. Unlike competitive options that are one-size fits all, PacketLogic is designed for maximum implementation flexibility, and can be customized for each deployment to fit the business, financial, and regulatory needs of each network operator. Procera Solutions Procera s Intelligent Policy Enforcement solutions are powered by our three main product lines: The PacketLogic Subscriber Manager (PSM) integrates PacketLogic with subscriber, charging, and policy management systems. This integration enables intelligent policy enforcement and enables the creation of innovative services based on user awareness, location awareness, and device awareness. Personalized Services can be created to attract new customers, minimize churn, and increase ARPU through value-add services. Location awareness enables mobile operators to resolve or avoid congestion, enhancing the user-experience and minimizing capital expenses. It can also control roaming costs through automatic policy enforcement to comply with governmental regulations. The PacketLogic Intelligence Center (PIC) provides the visualization of the application and subscriber intelligence gathered by deployed PacketLogic systems. Leveraging the subscriber and location awareness provided by the PSM and the application intelligence provided by the PRE, the PIC is able to present a wealth of information to the network operator based on the behavior of their network. The intelligence can be presented in a multidimensional format, with per user, application, location, and device views available for business intelligence and planning. The PIC gives network managers access to relevant network traffic intelligence that enables network optimization, creation of appealing services and protection against malicious behavior. The PacketLogic Real-Time Enforcement platforms (PRE) utilize multiple hardware platforms that run the same operating software. Each of the platforms offer consistent feature richness enabled through the feature-rich PacketLogic software. The PacketLogic hardware platforms offer a range of configurations from the entry-level 200 Mbps PL5600 through the 2 Gbps PL7720. The PL8720 is a 2RU unit with up to 15Gbps throughput and the PL8820 is a 2RU unit with up to 30Gbps throughput. At the top of the line is the high-end PL10000 series with capacity up to 120Gbps and 10M subscribers per system. It consists of a modular AdvancedTCA (ATCA) chassis solution in two sizes PL RU and PL RU.

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