Classical Hollywood Narrative and Modern Cell Congestion
I really like movies of all kinds, but I am especially fond of classical Hollywood movies. Classical movies have a well-defined structure; you know where the story begins, you enjoy the conflict that builds the characters and movie plot, and best of all, there is usually a clear resolution at the end of the movie. It doesn’t matter if it is an action film, a comedy or a romantic story filled with ice cream and broken hearts, the narrative is similar in all: beginning, conflict and well-defined resolution.
I came to think about classical Hollywood narratives when I saw so many blog posts about Verizon admitting that starting October 1st, it will expand its network optimization policy to LTE users. So “why a movie” you might ask? It is because we have here all the ingredients needed to create a superb Hollywood hit: a great narrative featuring free data plans, powerful characters commonly known as mobile operators, and an evolving conflict of opposing forces congestion vs. user experience vs. throttled customers. There is also an unexpected, mysterious hero (spoiler alert: it is Saguna) that offers a unique conflict resolution and helps operators ride smoothly on their radio towers towards the new horizon.
So, grab a pile of popcorn, pour yourself a drink and let me walk you through the best blockbuster – Coming soon to a mobile network near you.
Optimism turns into a conflict: loved and throttled customers
Our story begins with all 4 major US mobile operators benevolently offering unlimited data plans to their subscribers. Suddenly, the conflict begins. Standing on the sidelines, mobile operators watch as over-the-top (OTT) providers and device manufacturers rake in the profits from their vast network investments. AT&T made the first move in 2010, when it stopped offering unlimited data plans to new subscribers. In 2011, Verizon offered a new twist to the plot, announcing that is will throttle data speed for heavy (top 5%) data users on its 3G network. Then, in 2012, AT&T chimed in stating that it will slow down unlimited data users; after 3GB for 3G users and after 5GB for 4G users. In March this year, T-Mobile lowered the rates for people that use less than 3GB per month and charged more from users with unlimited data plans. And then on May this year, Sprint, the last survivor, stated it would throttle the top 5% data users in congested area. The latest news (for now, at least) is Verizon throttling users on 4G LTE network as well.
So here you have it; the beginning of a great story with mighty heroes and an intricate unresolved conflict. The thing is that mobile operators are not villains. On the contrary, they continue to invest a lot in their networks. Verizon, for example, is rolling out high capacity 4G networks in major cities. But still, this is not enough as new investments are rapidly being exhausted by data-hungry devices and users.
The conflict seems hopeless. This is exactly the time where our plot needs the mysterious hero that appears on the scene from nowhere to rescue us and offer a resolution.
Mysterious Hero Appears
In this case, Saguna is the hero (please note that we never claimed to be objective). Saguna has created a unique solution that dramatically improves the user experience while reducing network congestion and increasing utilization. It achieves this ‘magic’ with a new and surprising approach to content delivery and acceleration in mobile networks, especially video delivery.
Saguna is strategically located at the 4G Radio Access Network (RAN) – deep within the mobile network and conveniently close to the end users. From this powerful position, Saguna operates an Open-RAN platform that delivers content and applications to mobile users directly from the 4G RAN. This innovative approach accelerates delivery and reduces response times while alleviating network congestion. It also provides Saguna with real-time awareness of radio congestion and TCP session details.
Equipped with an impressive toolbox of acceleration tools, Saguna developed a specialized tool for delivering bandwidth intensive mobile video. Unlike traditional video pacing solutions, Saguna’s Radio Aware Video Optimization does not change the video in order to reduce the size or try to pace the delivery. Instead, Saguna leverages its real-time radio awareness and detailed session information to effectively fill the ‘empty’ radio bandwidth.
Here is how it works:
With the Saguna CODS Open-RAN, mobile operators can get closer to their customers. From deep within their mobile networks, comes a surprising technology innovation. At the end, everybody wins: Users enjoy smooth video and fast delivery; mobile operators get more out of their networks without having to invest in expensive expansions.
As the lights come up in the theatre, we would like to invite you to our LIVE show.
We will showcase our platform at the 4G World/CTIA in September in Vegas – the legends such as AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile are welcome to visit our booth 3342 to see our show – LIVE.