Whitepaper Highlights How to Implement Innovative Subscriber Services Under Net Neutrality
WATERLOO, ON, May 16, 2016 - Sandvine, (TSX:SVC) a leading provider of intelligent broadband network solutions for fixed and mobile operators, today published a whitepaper that explores real-world examples of operators using zero-rating and sponsored data, and describes how these innovative plans can be implemented while limiting Network Neutrality concerns.
Innovative Internet offerings are rapidly emerging globally and many of these new services use zero-rating (unlimited usage of certain applications or content bundled “for free” into data plans) and sponsored data (a third-party pays for certain data usage, like an Internet toll-free call) to achieve the innovation. While many early innovative service plans up until now have been deployed in emerging markets, increasingly Sandvine has observed this innovation spreading to developed markets where Network Neutrality rules are well defined.
“Since 2009, Sandvine has helped implement sponsored data and zero-rating plans in over 25 markets across the globe. We believe that these types of innovative subscriber services are becoming an important basis of competition amongst service providers in developed markets, where Network Neutrality has become well-defined,”said Don Bowman, Chief Technology Officer, Sandvine.
Based on a global review of sponsored data and zero-rating plans, Sandvine’s set of best practices are designed to keep communications service providers (CSPs) on the right side of even the most stringent Network Neutrality rules. Sandvine’s initial set of best practices (fully accepting that they may evolve as ongoing experimentation and regulation occurs), include the following (among other) principles:
- Openness: Ensure the sponsored data plan or zero-rating plan is open to all members of a sponsored/zero-rated data class, and not just available to selected content/application providers.
- Same commercial terms: The CSP should offer substantially the same commercial terms to all data sponsors (allowing for volume discounts, etc.), and for zero-rating the CSP should not be compensated by the content/application provider per unit of zero-rated data.
- No prioritization: Sponsored/zero-rated data should not be prioritized in the network
- Transparency: The terms and availability of the plans should be transparent to subscribers. Notifications to subscribers when they are accessing sponsored or zero-rated content/applications would aid in transparency. To the extent there are terms required of content/application providers to participate in a plan, those terms should be transparent as well.
The publishing of these zero-rating and sponsored data best practices builds upon Sandvine’s thought leadership on the topic of net neutrality. In 2009, Sandvine developed some core principles for Traffic Optimization based on the principles of Network Neutrality and these principles have since been validated by numerous regulatory authorities and lawmakers around the world as core tenets of Network Neutrality.
For CSPs interested in learning more on this topic, Sandvine is hosting a webinar on May 25, 2016 entitled “Zero-rating and Sponsored Data under Net Neutrality”. The webinar will discuss how CSPs can leverage Sandvine’s experience and technology to deliver innovative subscriber services within local definitions of network neutrality, to seize market share and grow revenue. Those interested in attending can register at sandvine.com/webinars.
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Sandvine’s network policy control solutions add intelligence to fixed, mobile and converged communications service provider networks, to increase revenue, reduce network costs and improve subscriber quality of experience. Our networking solutions perform end-to-end policy control functions, including traffic classification, policy decision and enforcement. Deployed as virtualized network functions or on Sandvine’s purpose built hardware, the products provide actionable business insight, and the ability to deploy new consumer and business subscriber services, optimize and secure network traffic, and engage with subscribers.
Sandvine’s network policy control solutions are deployed in more than 300 networks in over 100 countries, serving hundreds of millions of data subscribers worldwide. www.sandvine.com.
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