By Gao Yonghua
Huawei's MSE is the first of its kind, a solution for E2E QoE assurance of a mobile network. Not only does it improve the experience for the end user, it also brings that long sought-after goal of monetized traffic over a smart pipe within reach.
Popular apps and OTT services have increased data traffic immensely, but telcos have not enjoyed a corresponding increase in revenue; the answer is monetization.
How to monetize MBB traffic
Traffic monetization requires the maximized consumption of high-value data. To increase revenue and achieve sustainable mobile broadband (MBB), customer requirements must be explored, with business models transformed soon after, so that network efficiency improvements won't be in vain.
Improve user experience
User data analysis can illustrate general tendencies and recent demands, enabling telco provision of a complete set of premium applications and services, in collaboration with upstream and downstream industry partners who optimize user experience; this is fundamental to both big data operation and MBB traffic monetization.
Carriers can also optimize the service experience for new subscribers through exhibitions that demonstrate new services and attract more subscribers. After analyzing initial traffic consumption patterns, telcos can target their marketing efforts and send out representatives if necessary to stimulate consumption.
By analyzing customers' favorite LTE products and services, telcos can determine what users might respond to, and deliver the appropriate products in a turn. If a customer is sipping data, telcos can send out prompts that indicate just how much is left under his/her data cap.
In the MBB era, telcos are increasingly looking to boost revenue through business model innovation. Voice demand is satiated; the potential of MBB services is in data. Operational refinement/differentiation is the key to boosting revenue, especially revenue per bit.
Understanding and meeting the demands of upstream and downstream users is a challenge all telcos face. Unlike voice users, MBB users have quite differentiated and personalized demands. They can be grouped as social users, business users, or entertainment users based on their preferences; high-end, mid-level and low-end based on their ability to pay; and high-, average-, and low-traffic based on their consumption. They can also be grouped by terminal or location.
Quantified pricing (voice or traffic bundles) is still the industry's primary tariff model, but it turns the operator into a mere bit vendor, and doesn't seem to play well with subscribers either; it is an unsustainable model. Something new is needed – backwards charging, where the OTT hubs that generate the vast majority of network traffic pay for what they generate, but what can telcos offer in return for OTT cooperation? The answer is smart pipes, which can offer flexibility, scalability, context awareness, and robust policy control.
Improve network efficiency
In the MBB era, network structure is in constant flux, making simplified topology a must. Many telcos have attempted to monetize their traffic by deploying value-added servers, and even load-balancing devices on the Gi interface side, where network complexity is an issue. However, vendor diversity in this area makes interconnection, operation, and maintenance work complicated.
Huawei MSE: Smart competitive pipes
Business model redesign requires strong support capabilities, while traffic monetization relies on smart pipes. Huawei proposes a multi-service engine (MSE) solution with a first-of-its-kind, all-in-one architecture that eases deployment, improves user experience through automated closed-loop management, and enables pricing based on value.
As a standard-setter and core algorithm designer for ITU-T P.NAMS/P.NBAMS, Huawei is a leader in objective user experience evaluation. Huawei MSE offers a service awareness system that can identify over 95% of over 1,300 protocols. This enables accurate analysis and creation of statistics at the network, terminal, user, and service level, all presented through a user-friendly interface, illustrating network status, service hotspots, and customer requirements.
Under MSE, Huawei has designed the industry's first differentiated flow priority indicator (FPI) solution, where coordination between the radio access network (RAN) and the packet-switched (PS) network is realized, with end-to-end (E2E) QoE for the wireless and PS sides assured. This guarantees top-quality service for high-value users and experience-sensitive services – a rare luxury over a mobile network.
Huawei MSE can implement customized billing for any desired Internet hub, whether it be an SNS, video provider, or game service. It also supports binding of QoE and billing policies. Bandwidth and premium can be assured for VIP users, with ordinary customers who pay for bandwidth expansion enjoying their privilege without compromise. What's more, lower fees and quality services can also be combined for first-time users.
Huawei's MSE solution has been deployed on over 200 networks in over 120 countries. After its adoption, O2 (Germany), EE, and DT all saw increases in total revenue and ARPU. It is a proven MBB revenue solution, both mature and reliable.
Pioneering all-in-one architecture
Huawei was the first to propose the "ONE Box/ONE Management/ONE Interface" architecture for its MSE solution, where smart pipe services are deployed over a single device with value-added services built in by third parties. A unified operation and maintenance interface is provided, with traffic optimization services over the Gi interface aggregated. In other words, MSE makes smart pipe deployment quick and easy for carriers, with monetized traffic now within reach.