Free WiFi connectivity has become one of the pillars for building smart cities and we are seeing this trend growing with service providers. In a free service offering, monetization and traffic management become more critical as there isn’t any billing contract with the end user.
We recently implemented a charging and policy enforcement solution for a WiFi provider in the Middle East region. Before deciding to use Procera as the charging/policy enforcement layer, our customer also explored the option of using an existing IPoE gateway. However, that solution couldn’t meet the business requirements based on the product offerings they had planned.
Our customer decided to use Procera for charging/policy enforcement because of the following factors:
Extremely limited timeline: The project had a limited timeline and the customer did not have the time to spend months in the test bed. Having previous project experience with Procera, they were confident in the deployment time we proposed would be inline with their requirements.
Accuracy: Accuracy is the key to any charging solution and with multiple tests Procera’s accuracy was proven, giving further confidence to the customer.
Gx/Gy support: The solution uses Gx for policy enforcement including time-based policies. Gy is required for managing quotas of certain groups of subscribers. Having already deployed 3gpp standard based PCEF solutions with various OCS/PCRF vendor customers, standard interfaces were already available.
Custom CDR support: The solution also required custom CDR generation for revenue assurance purposes and charging certain groups of subscribers. Procera’s built-in and flexible CDR generation capabilities perfectly fit the solution.
Performance impact:Procera’s systems were already installed in the customer’s network for other critical use cases and it was very important that the new solution worked with minimum performance impact. Procera’s innovative architecture uses a separate layer (PacketLogic Subscriber Manager) for Gx/Gy integration and CDR generation which leaves only the counting and policy enforcement on the inline systems (PacketLogic Real-Time Engine).
Flexible and granular policies: The solution covered various time/service/bandwidth based policies for various product offerings which required highly flexible rules. Procera’s rule-set provided a friendly interface for policy configuration and the customer’s engineering teams were already experts on the GUI based rules editor.
Monetization: Free services can be used for inserting ads in a non-obstructive way and was one of the requirements for the project. Procera offered an end-to-end campaign management solution with our technology partner using Procera’s advanced and granular traffic steering features.
The project was challenging but equally exciting for us. We turned the customer’s goals into Procera’s goals, and from day one there were no customer-vendor boundaries. We worked seamlessly as one team, which helped us achieve astonishing results in a short time frame. The Senior Manager who led the project said, “Procera is one of the best vendors I have ever worked with in terms of support, flexibility and responsiveness”.
The success of this project opened discussions with our customer on having a converged charging layer for all subscriber bases including mobile. They are facing a similar challenge with mobile gateways where the business demands cannot be met with conventional policy enforcement systems. The trend is very common in the region; as competition grows providers need more innovative and attractive product offerings.
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Topics: Expert Insights