At its third-quarter meeting in Milan, the Broadband Forum shared advances in its Quality of Experience Delivered (Broadband QED) initiative.
Vendor OutSys -- which says it implements, simplifies and accelerates integration, provisioning, management and testing processes -- performed a "Practical Implementation Demonstration," designed to provide operators with in-depth analysis they can use to further improve broadband experience by going beyond traditional metrics such as latency and jitter.
Broadband Forum also published Application Layer Test Traffic Architecture and Requirements Technical Report (TR-421). This document defines the architecture and requirements service providers' need to specify test traffic and measurements associated with the application layer; this is a critical area for broadband service quality, but it's an area that's traditionally been overlooked, according to the forum.
Broadband QED uses Quality Attenuation to focus on carriers' need for improved performance measures and analysis for their next-gen broadband infrastructure. In addition to common metrics like latency and jitter, Quality Attenuation incorporates newer gauges such as predictability, consistency and reliability. Broadband QED is a framework service providers can use as a skeleton, with distinct components to match against the sources of any performance degradation like packet loss or delay.
"We've had this business model where we take capex to invest in network speed. Applications will arrive and push uses beyond a gigabit. There are all sorts of applications people are looking at but how many will be mass market and when will they arrive? Gigabit will probably do pretty well for a lot of people for a while," said Gavin Young, head of Fixed Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone, in an April 2019 interview with Broadband World News when the Broadband QED initiative was announced.
"Rather than spend capex on upgrading someone to higher speeds they may not notice, we may be better off focused on other aspects of the quality of that network," he added. "Having a technique where you can measure that, and more importantly you can mathematically reason about that in an end-to-end fashion and work out where quality might be degraded, where you can improve things, and model that without having to go out and engineer it in a live network and then you can work out before the event how to design things." (See Vodafone: Use Quality Attenuation to Escape Gig Speed Trap.)
The implementation demonstration in Milan featured an emulated small-scale broadband operator network including a subscriber network, access network and core network. OutSys artificially generated network trip-time degradation sources and programmatically adjusted the network to show how providers can conduct measurement and analysis in various situations.
"As new applications place increasing demand on networks, we need to look beyond factors such as data rate and ping time to move from a fast network to a quality network where everything just works," said Fabrizio Guidotti, partner at OutSys, in a statement. "The demonstration for Broadband Forum members represents a significant step in achieving this as it shows operators how Broadband QED can be implemented to perform measurements and analysis in different scenarios."
Broadband Forum's TR-421 report also addresses variations in network traffic that different applications may cause. In video streaming, for example, data transmits in chunks, whereas video conferencing programs send more frequent packets of data at regular intervals. When multiple users tap these two applications on the same network, they exacerbate any drop in Quality of Experience (QoE). TR-421 includes use cases which generate test traffic under realistic conditions, conform to defined model parameters and can be repeated, the Forum said.
On Jan. 23, Broadband World News hosts a Calix-sponsored webinar that explores several ways CSPs can enhance customer experience and find new business opportunities to avoid devolving into a speed race where nobody wins, not even the customer.
As the pool of savvy, fiber-rich operators across the US rural and regional landscape wanes, the financial community will grow even more interested in acquiring or investing in them, a CoBank report says.
It wasn't long ago that TV was ranked by subscribers as the most important service in the bundle provided by their communications service provider (CSP). Recent research indicates that for nearly three quarters of subscribers, broadband is now the most important service. Broadcast TV is the most important service to only 15% of North American consumers, replaced by OTT video streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+. In addition, many different competitors are moving aggressively to stake a claim in consumers' homes.
In 2020, CSPs need to fight back by transforming their business models, which are becoming more reliant on a single source of revenue: fixed broadband services.
This webinar will focus on helping CSPs transform their business models by placing a firm focus on delivering a sensational subscriber experience and by offering compelling new services that generate value for subscribers. These actions will reinforce the CSP's strategic position in the home network and position themselves for growth in the next decade.
Key topics include:
Being the first to market with WiFi 6 technology, in response to consumer purchases of new devices over the holidays;
Having the insights needed to proactively resolve issues, often before your subscribers even know that there are issues;
Providing help desk agents with the visibility they need to resolve common subscriber issues more quickly;
Delivering a mobile app, in response to consumer demands for the ability to do some things themselves, rather than having to call technical support; and
Addressing consumer concerns around device security, privacy and control with enhanced security and parental controls.
In this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.