Some great presentations, panels and discussions.
One of the highlight was a session delivered by Shan Eisenberg, Head of Home Propositions and Pricing from EE (UK). Mr Eisenberg said that EE spends around £5M a year on DPI for Peer-to-Peer control within their network. He claimed the alternative is to charge P2P users an addition £15 a month to cover the cost of their network usage. Seems EE is one of the few operators that is not shy to admit they are using DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) to prioritize or limit traffic. EE assert that this results in 770,000 happy broadband customers and 35,000 “constrained customers”. Mr Eisenberg added that they also use DPI to prioritize VoIP and gaming traffic during network congestion, so not all evil after all.
It seems that with the pro-Net Neutrality public sentiment for in the UK, some operators are marketing their ‘non-managed’ networks as “totally unlimited” and pushing it as a competitive advantage. Reports from the UK regulator, Ofcom demonstrate there is actually little correlation between the advertised “non-management” and subscriber’s network experience – but why let that get in the way of a good story. Like Mr Eisenberg says, it’s not like the consumers read the Ofcom reports.
Another interesting discussion was had on Net Neutrality with Public Affairs & Regulatory Manager from ENTO (European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association), Mr Versace, facing off against a representative from the Spanish “super-regulator” CNMC, Mr Oriol. With both sides agreeing that some form of regulation was required to prevent blocking, that was about all they could agree on. ETNO’s claim is that the discussion is becoming politically charged creating an atmosphere that completely ignores any technical realities in favor of political rhetoric. ETNO favors the option where operators adopt a code of conduct or behavior, but the technical details are left up to each operator. The details of the current proposed European regulation actually make no distinction between Mobile and Fixed networks, completely ignoring the physics of send data through the air. There is however no single market when it comes to the open Internet, which means each member state has different rules. ETNO made the comment that since there is no evidence of a market failure, there is no real use case for tight regulation. The final question to the panel – when will regulators focus on the entire value chain when looking at the “Open Internet” and hold everyone from hand-set manufactures through Telcos to content providers to the same rigid standards. Lots of nods in the audience, but the regulator remained suspiciously quite.
In other sessions
Mr Keselijevic from A1 Telekom Austria talked about the massive impact the recent launch of Netflix in the country had on their network. He said that Netflix use their ISP Speed Index (here) to name and shame operators whose performance doesn’t match their requirements placing added pressure on operators to deliver.
Elissa (Finland) mentioned the need to stress Net Fairness over Net Neutrality. Mr Sippola said that “if everything is neutral, nothing can be guaranteed and nothing will be fair.
An interesting presentation from Ericson about Service Chaining utilizing Policy and DPI in conjunction with SDN. Mr Gonzalez, Ericson’s Policy & DPI Product Manager some internal restructuring is planned for later this year to reflect changes in the market. Ericson will be merging the PCFR (Policy) division with its SDN team and DPI would be merged into the network team.
One major shift in this year’s BBTM show that was clearly evident by its omission was the no-show of the major DPI vendors. Apart from Qosmos none of the usual suspects made an official appearance at the event. DPI vendors seem to be looking to greener SDN/NFV fields as they (or operators) tinker with their market positioning.
Another big thanks to Informa. Great work Mark and happy birthday to Owen!!
I hope you enjoyed the change of pace, I should be back to my usual programming next week.