Cable operators face a big challenge today as data utilization continues to increase on their networks. Keeping up with the demand for high quality services while upgrading network infrastructure seems to be a never-ending task. Many times, network upgrades are done without much help from tools and systems, leaving it mostly based on experience and performance indicators defined by the operator. Unfortunately, this is the reality for far too many service providers today. Continue Reading
The escalating popularity of IPTV and over-the-top (OTT) services like Netflix, HBO Now, and numerous other major content providers is causing cable operators to lose TV subscriptions. This change brings an unprecedented amount of strain on existing network infrastructure as these subscribers move from TV services to streaming services, greatly increasing bandwidth consumption. This trend is a major threat to communication service providers (CSPs) who are attempting to fairly monetize a diverse subscriber base while still providing a rich quality of experience (QoE) for every user on the network. Continue Reading
Measuring and managing subscriber bandwidth can be an easy and cost-efficient way to improve subscriber quality of experience (QoE).
In a HFC cable network, bandwidth is shared among users in the same fiber-node. Even though improvements in DOCSIS technology has allowed a substantial increase of bandwidth availability per fiber-node, a few heavy users — as well as new 4K video content — can quickly kill recently-made network investments and leave subscribers with an impression that they are not receiving the quality they deserve. Continue Reading
In my last blog, we looked at why Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR) became widely used for usage-based billing in the cable industry, and touched on other uses for IPDR data today. I’d like to explore this latter point further.
Other than billing customers based on bandwidth consumption, what is IPDR good for, really? Continue Reading
When engineers think of Internet Protocol Detail Record (IPDR), usually the first thing that comes to mind is usage-based billing. While usage-based billing is the reason that the cable industry first adopted IPDR, it’s important to remember that the information provided by this protocol goes way beyond billing. Continue Reading
Cable providers are facing challenging times — and there’s no quick fix in sight. The surging popularity of over-the-top (OTT) content is one of the biggest sources of additional bandwidth, with Netflix now accounting for more than one third of all downstream Internet traffic during peak hours in North America. It’s no wonder, then, that bottlenecks form during evening hours and deteriorate service quality.
Too often operators don’t understand how much broadband is consumed on their network — or know how to identify the heaviest users. Without insight into subscriber usage, it’s impossible to track trends and understand network traffic. As a result, how can you know where to make investments, split nodes, or implement policies that have a positive impact? And what policies can you dream up that will actually help reduce congestion? Continue Reading
As year-over-year bandwidth consumption continues to grow rapidly — with global fixed-internet petabyte consumption per month being estimated to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32% from 2010-2015 — forecasting future service requirements is becoming an increasingly complicated job. When building a healthy service network, capacity planners need an accessible way to identify where capacity levels are high, where congestion problems exist, and how many subscribers are impacted. Continue Reading
Amid a fast-changing telecom industry landscape — where fast and furious consolidation occurs within and across cable, DSL, satellite and mobile — this year, Europe’s preeminent broadband industry trade show, ANGA COM, opened its doors to 17,000 visitors from more than 70 countries. It’s quite a shift for a show that was solely focused on the German cable industry until just a few years ago. Continue Reading
The 2014 NCTC Winter Educational Conference saw the largest turnout to date. While the event’s venue in Tampa, Florida in the middle of a harsh winter may have been a contributing factor, the tightly scheduled event has always attracted a crowd by providing good insight into new technology and ideas. Continue Reading