Yes, I mean that in the Bill Belichick kind of context. Not that I know American Football very well, and couldn’t place Bill or his Patriots on any kind of map, geographic or by achievements. But his sentiment got to me, and it applies to the world of subscriber experience and internet experience in general too.
So, Operators, just Do Your Job. Device vendors, just do your job. Application developers, just do your job too. If everyone does their jobs, our internet experience will be awesome.
Simply put, Procera has a job to do too, and that is to help Operators do their job properly. And what is that job? Well, their job is to build the best possible networks for their subscribers. But the operator also has to be concerned about cost, so maybe “Build the best network possible and don’t go bust”. Which doesn’t really work for incorporations who are responsible to the share holders and ultimately to the share price. I.e they have to "make as much money as possible right now without losing subscribers". So that's a difficult balance.
But mathematically, it means that there is such a thing as a network that is “too good”, and “not good enough”, as well as one that is “just right”. It would be bold to try to define that in more detail, so let’s be bold for once. I would argue that the “just right” network is the network where the overwhelming majority of subscribers get what they need in terms of capacity. So if there is a “want” for Netflix streaming video, that capacity would better be 3-4 Mbps at peak time for any subscriber that wants to use a Netflix like service. Which is most people.
Of course you can’t dimension the network to allow for all subscribers to do that at the same time, but the percentage of people who watch streaming video at the same time at peak time is growing. It’s in the neighborhood of 20%, and when that grows to 30%, or when the available/requested bitrate of such streams grows, so will the “just right” capacity in terms of bandwidth.
Another “capacity” which is equally important is latency. Different applications will have different requirements on latency. Lower is better, but how low is “just right”, and how do you measure that?
In the coming months, Procera will be launching new products that improve how we do just that. We help the operator “Do Their Jobs”, or building the networks that are “just right” in terms of capacity. Find the parts of the network that are “not good enough”, and improve those network parts with traffic management if possible, or suggest the right capacity upgrades when needed, at the latest possible time. No sense in upgrading too soon and be “too good”, and certainly not good to lose subscribers because your network is “not good enough”. If you are interested in hearing about these products, come see me at Mobile World Congres in Hall 5, Booth 5H61 (http://www.proceranetworks.com/form/mwc). And while I have you thinking about it, fill out our survey telling us about your worst subscriber experience - it's a short one and you could win an iPad mini for your efforts: http://private.proceranetworks.com/survey/
We’ll help operators navigate the slippery slope of trying to be frugal about their capex spend, while still having the capacity that the subscribers want. We’ll help operators quantify the capacity in their network, and point out the possible causes for quality degradation that they can actually do something about. And we’ll do it in a way that is immediately obvious for everyone at the operator, from the CEO to the RF engineers.
Written by Alexander Haväng - Chief Technical Officer
Alexander is the CTO of Sandvine. He likes to think of himself as a creative, and he inspires creativity and innovation among his colleagues. Alexander's specialties are DPI, C, Software, Cowboy coding, productification, AQM and Networking.