|By Deborah Strickland||
|January 28, 2013 01:52 PM EST||
Is Roaming a Service Stuck in The Past?
And I’m not referring only to the challenges that cellular roaming service faces regarding a fragmented, not-homogeneous deployment of frequency bands globally for LTE, which per se, is reason enough to make the GSMA and other organizations of the industry to take action and try to address the problem through a series of definitions of the service facing 4G. No, I also refer to the lack of evolution in terms of provisioning, control of consume, targeted offerings, customized packages and last but not least, ease of use. On the other side, WiFi is moving forward, but at what pace? In order to become a truly disruptive force for roaming service, more energetic action engaging the user and the service providers, I don’t see Passpoint certification scheme being widely deployed any time soon.
We’re Experience Some Technical Difficulties
From the WiFi point of view, the roaming concept has two connotations; WLAN roaming first is understood as an equivalent of the handover event for cellular network; and second in a more similar way to the cellular ecosystem, as a service that enable a subscriber to use WiFi access outside the geographical coverage of a ESS (Extended Service Set, whit APs using the same SSID) in another ESS conserving its identity, privileges and quality profiles. Both connotations have their problematic ways, in order for the WLAN handover to work you have to consider that 802.11 connection control relies entirely on the device client, and there isn’t such thing as an standard to build these algorithms that decide when to roam or not. Now, if we want to consider an inter ESS WiFi roaming service, lets first define two types of service providers; the distributed ESS Service Provider, which has several WiFi APs covering specific places distanced geographically under one brand (e.g. International airports), and uses a centralized AAA (Authorization, Accounting and Authentication) infrastructure through user/password portals. And the Telecom operator that has a WiFi deployed infrastructure, probably even some WLAN networks in several countries and consider these as a trusted accesses according to 3gpp definition (in untrusted access must be considered the use of another functional entity called TTG). Both providers face the problem of lack of transparency and ease of use, additionally the second faces a problem of compatibility between Diameter domains and poorly defined interfaces which will only add to the compatibility dilemma in the future, since equipment manufacturers offer solutions for the Telco now.
Cellular roaming has being a successful service for operators for long time, but LTE and the evolution of mobile technologies seems to be putting this service in a problematic position; as mentioned earlier the disparate bands of LTE deployment, along with the different modes technology implementation (TDD/FDD) jeopardize the establishment of roaming agreements between operators in different countries, but problems do not stop there, the future of roaming interconnection is supposed to be supported by a non-mature protocol; Diameter still in developing state, its adoption is not homogenous among operators either. Let’s not forget voice which is supposed to be in the hands of IMS… and well, you know what happens with IMS.
From Humble Origins to a Successful Life in the Industry… So Far
The first GSM call was performed in 1991 and a year later the first international roaming agreement was celebrated between operators of Finland and UK, in a gradual way the cellular industry started introduce more services to the roaming offering, like GPRS, Roaming prepaid services and several value aggregated services leaning in the manipulation of SS7 signaling; all this possible through international SS7 signaling hubs and GRX networks carrying traffic among roaming partners. The thing is, customer usage habits are different now, regulation is hurting the revenues of roaming through cap imposition, users still cautious of the roaming bill shocks, and operators do nothing to offer us customers ways to embrace the service in a more confident manner, or even better to use what we like to use more; data services, how about flexible daily packages to use instant messaging, or differentiated video or VoIP applications on your device, where are these offerings?
In WLAN the first notion of roaming (as a cellular handover) was introduced in the legacy 802.11 standard as a layer 2 process known as re-association service, from there it has evolved to more complex definitions where the client decides whether to move the active connection from one AP to another AP of the same ESS, or to break and made a new connection according to degrading signal conditions. As service to allow users to move between WiFi “domains”, it all started when the concept of EPC (Evolved Packet Core) included dedicated gateways for non 3GPP accesses (trusted and untrusted) to be integrated to the cellular core. The now extended use of EAP SIM standard and coming ANSDF efforts will move the technology towards a better usage experience transparency wise. All these are remarkable efforts that pave the way for the complete set of definitions that we all expect the Passpoint certification program to have, but only time will tell, and the current solutions will continue to form a blanket of patches.
Utopia for the Roaming Service:
The industry plans to throw some lifesavers for roaming service like:
- Control and visibility in the hands of the user. This approach is becoming interesting when considers the possibility of integrating free downloadable apps that a roaming user can install in any smartphone to track the volume of data consumption the time of the calls and the control of the billing account.
- New charging models: this can include a pocket of minutes depending of the country, an controlled amount of data for GPRS usage, or the more innovative a daily offering that can be paid as you need.
- Other: like packaging roaming voice service with the national plan, or increasing the analytic capabilities of the network to identify roaming patterns of use to come up with new commercial ideas.
Yes, we need these solutions, but we need them now, implementation is a must! While the industry debates what measure to take, a couple of months ago I encounter a really interesting idea, hardly to become practical in the near future, but interesting nonetheless. The ITU proposes the Ubiquitous Consumer Wireless World UCWW. Ok the name doesn’t say much, but the idea is to build upon the NGN and LTE-SAE standardization efforts a new concept of service provider, and at the same time transforming the concept of the user, from Subscriber to Consumer. In very simple terms the new model limits current network service providers to focus their operations at the access network (AN) and core network entities in charge of the user traffic transport, they are called AN-SP under this scenario, and they can combine or comprehend several types of access technologies as heterogeneous as it can get, and all the AAA functions are offered by a third party provider, so an ecosystem of several 3P-AAA-SP interconnected internationally that share consumer profiles is proposed. The charging model is considered to be based on volume of transactions, the user does not “belong” to an operator and the current SIM is replaced by a CIM (Consumer Identity Module) with a global unique identity probably from a new separate class of IPv6 addresses, the CIM must be sufficiently flexible to accommodate various authentication schemes for the myriad of access networks the user could roam.
Under this perspective, is clear that the roaming service needs an urgent redefinition from the business point of view and a considerable effort from the technical point of view to take it out of its stuck state, the UCWW presents itself as an interesting model of service with an intention to implement a global pilot system, can be this an opportunity to revamp the roaming service? Honestly I wouldn’t mind to change the chip in my phone when I travel if I have the security of a seamless experience and a service that I can control. How about you?
For more, follow me, @jomaguo
Read this blog post in Spanish
SYS-CON Events announced today that 910Telecom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Housed in the classic Denver Gas & Electric Building, 910 15th St., 910Telecom is a carrier-neutral telecom hotel located in the heart of Denver. Adjacent to CenturyLink, AT&T, and Denver Main, 910Telecom offers connectivity to all major carriers, Internet service providers, Internet backbones and ...
Aug. 31, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,073
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Aug. 31, 2016 08:15 PM EDT Reads: 316
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Aug. 31, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 264
Although it has gained significant traction in the consumer space, IoT is still in the early stages of adoption in enterprises environments. However, many companies are working on initiatives like Industry 4.0 that includes IoT as one of the key disruptive technologies expected to reshape businesses of tomorrow. The key challenges will be availability, robustness and reliability of networks that connect devices in a business environment. Software Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN) is expected to...
Aug. 31, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 306
Developing software for the Internet of Things (IoT) comes with its own set of challenges. Security, privacy, and unified standards are a few key issues. In addition, each IoT product is comprised of (at least) three separate application components: the software embedded in the device, the back-end service, and the mobile application for the end user’s controls. Each component is developed by a different team, using different technologies and practices, and deployed to a different stack/target –...
Aug. 31, 2016 05:15 PM EDT Reads: 305
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - comp...
Aug. 31, 2016 04:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,855
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today’s global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
Aug. 31, 2016 03:15 PM EDT Reads: 353
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
Aug. 31, 2016 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 802
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Aug. 31, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,103
19th Cloud Expo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy. Meanwhile, 94% of enterpri...
Aug. 31, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 3,295
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...
Aug. 31, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 502
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Aug. 31, 2016 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 485
SYS-CON Events announced today Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Aug. 31, 2016 09:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,139
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Aug. 31, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 578
Pulzze Systems was happy to participate in such a premier event and thankful to be receiving the winning investment and global network support from G-Startup Worldwide. It is an exciting time for Pulzze to showcase the effectiveness of innovative technologies and enable them to make the world smarter and better. The reputable contest is held to identify promising startups around the globe that are assured to change the world through their innovative products and disruptive technologies. There w...
Aug. 31, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 944
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Aug. 31, 2016 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 985
With so much going on in this space you could be forgiven for thinking you were always working with yesterday’s technologies. So much change, so quickly. What do you do if you have to build a solution from the ground up that is expected to live in the field for at least 5-10 years? This is the challenge we faced when we looked to refresh our existing 10-year-old custom hardware stack to measure the fullness of trash cans and compactors.
Aug. 31, 2016 02:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,925
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions wi...
Aug. 31, 2016 02:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,318
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Aug. 31, 2016 02:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,057
Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is expected in the amount of information being processed, managed, analyzed, and acted upon by enterprise IT. This amazing is not part of some distant future - it is happening today. One report shows a 650% increase in enterprise data by 2020. Other estimates are even higher....
Aug. 31, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 3,140