Light Reading

Procera Offers RAN Management Via the SIM

Sarah Thomas
8/4/2014
50%
50%

Procera is taking a unique approach to ensuring quality of experience (QoE) in the radio access network (RAN) with a solution that relies on a simple software update to SIM cards rather than expensive network probes.

Real-time RAN congestion control is high on mobile operator wish lists, according to Heavy Reading research. They want to tell, at the cell site level, when subscribers are at a congested site so they can deal with the situation. In response, hardware vendors have presented them with probes for every eNodeB, an expensive proposition and one that wasn't regarded as feasible, according to Heavy Reading chief analyst Graham Finnie. (See Radio Ga Ga: Dealing With 4G Congestion and Controlling RAN Congestion: The Experience Is Everything.)

That's why Procera Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: PKT) has developed a customer experience management (CEM) product, a new area for the deep packet inspection (DPI) vendor. The product, called RAN Perspectives, is a small applet that can be pushed over-the-air to any SIM card, and which then sends location and quality-of-experience data back to Procera's PacketLogic DPI engine. It's a design the vendor believes is more cost effective and comprehensive than alternatives. (See Procera Adds to CEM Portfolio and Vasona Wins Cellcom as a Customer.)


Want to know more about service provider IT (SPIT) developments? Check out our dedicated SPIT content channel here on Light Reading.


Procera VP of Global Marketing, Cam Cullen, says the tool will use SMS to relay real-time location and RAN QoE metrics that go beyond traditional KPIs, such as signal strength, to help operators deliver a better experience, launch service offerings, and reduce support costs. (See Procera, Skyfire Team for Network Optimization.)

"We can get a picture of the network from the subscriber point of view, as well as using our classic DPI technology for network analytics inside the infrastructure," Cullen says. The applet can run on any device with a SIM, including Internet of Things devices, and is under the operators' control, since they own the SIM.

Procera also notes that unlike other products that collect subscriber usage and personal data, RAN Perspectives only tracks 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards-related information in the network, and is focused solely on improving user experience, an important consideration in this age of heightened privacy concerns. (See AetherPal's Device Diagnostics Spawn New Uses.)

At launch, Procera is offering diagnostics for customer care and congestion management, network analytics, location-based services, and crowd-sourcing capabilities to minimize the need for drive testing. In any instance, the operator would alert their customers before installing the applet and activating the service, making it an opt-in capability that comes with the benefit of improved service. (See Procera Beefs Up Network Analytics.)

Heavy Reading's Finnie applauds the service for being relatively straightforward to implement and, in principle, much less costly than hardware-based network probes. The problem Procera might run into, he says, is that operators may not yet be ready to invest. They may be feeling the squeeze to improve performance, but the business case is difficult to make, Finnie says, especially since this a proprietary approach in a standards-happy industry.

"Operators tend to be keen on the idea of using stuff that's standardized, rather than proprietary," the analyst says. "The sales cycle could be pretty long judging by other vendors that find it difficult to get from initial interest to actual contract. But Procera has a pretty good user base, all of whom they can go to and position this as an additional product."

Procera is doing just that: In fact, Procera decided to move beyond DPI and into CEM because its operator customers in Europe were asking for it, Cullen says. RAN Perspectives is currently in beta testing with operators in Europe and Asia-Pacific, and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2015.

"In markets where penetration is high, they believe that fundamentally having a better network will help them keep more customers and [also help] in stealing them from their competition," Cullen says. "In emerging markets, it's about optimizing how they spend their money," adds the Procera man.

— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
SReedy
50%
50%
SReedy,
User Rank: Blogger
8/4/2014 | 8:56:07 AM
marketing the business case
Procera has a lot of customers it can pitch these as an add-on service for, but Finnie also pointed out that the crowdsourcing model might be the most interesting to operators at first, but it's a different group at the operators -- the RAN engineers -- then Procera is used to working with (network operations). It might find challenges in pitching the business case. However, if the cost savings are as good as it's promising, that will be less of a challenge.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
LRTV Interviews
DT's Virtualization Vision for Europe

3|4|15   |   10:23   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks virtualization, cloudification and standards with Deutsche Telekom's Axel Clauberg at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE's Wireline at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Light Reading speaks with Jane Chen, ZTE's Senior VP of Wireline Business, about innovations in her product line at Mobile World Congress.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at MWC 2015

3|4|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


Dr. Dick Chen of ZTE USA gives Light Reading an overview of what's new at ZTE's pavilion at Mobile World Congress 2015.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson CEO Talks Telco Data Center Tech

3|4|15   |   05:45   |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress, Ericsson CEO Hans Vestberg discusses telco data center technology, business models, small cells and more.
Between the CEOs
EXCLUSIVE: Cisco's Chambers on Reinvention

3|3|15   |   8:24   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
LRTV Documentaries
The Three Cs of MWC15

3|2|15   |   2:33   |   (1) comment


My visit to this year's Mobile World Congress is going to dominated by three Cs – cloud, cells and coffee.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Shares Its Vision of the Future of Mobile Networks Innovations

2|26|15   |   2:30   |   (0) comments


Mobile broadband is changing our lives. It's reshaping the Internet, industry, and society. It allows us to freely connect with one another anytime, anywhere. At this year's Mobile World Congress, Huawei will share its latest insights and newest ideas and technologies that will shape the future of MBB. They will showcase their end-to-end MBB solutions that will ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accelerate Digitizing, Boost Digital Business

2|26|15   |   6:14   |   (0) comments


A new digital revolution is leading us to a better connected world. Together with millions of digital partners, Huawei will help CSPs to build their digital service ecosystem and aggregate a wide variety of digital services. In this video, we find out how Huawei is going to help CSPs implement digital operations.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Secret Recipe to Enabling Hyper-Growth Industries

2|26|15   |   3:38   |   (0) comments


With a number of successful cases on network capability exposure, Huawei is going to share the secret recipe to enabling hyper-growth markets with a step-by-step approach.
LRTV Documentaries
BTE 2015 Is Bigger & Even Better

2|25|15   |   03:13   |   (4) comments


This year's Big Telecom Event (BTE) in Chicago is going to provide more opportunities than ever for networking, getting to grips with key industry challenges and opportunities and, equally as important, having some fun.
LRTV Interviews
Light Reading ICT Leaders Roundtable at MWC 2015

2|12|15   |   1:07   |   (2) comments


On Sunday March 1, 2015, Light Reading will host an ICT Leaders Roundtable in partnership with Huawei. At this half-day event, CIOs, analysts and researchers will discuss key industry trends like virtualization in the cloud with a specific focus on new business models. Located at the luxurious Renaissance Hotel near the Fira Barcelona, space is limited so please ...
LRTV Documentaries
Going Green in 2015

2|12|15   |   02:04   |   (0) comments


Energy efficiency is set to be an incredibly hot topic in the telecom industry this year.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Verizon Takes Radio Dot to Detroit, VoLTE Overseas
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/27/2015
FCC Adopts Title II Rules
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/26/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.