Industry Blog

Who’s monetizing your network?

Google Apple Facebook and Mobile Operators|

There hasn’t been a better time for the consumption of video. There are a myriad of sources delivering unique, high-quality multimedia, and consumers have an insatiable appetite to guzzle all that content just about anywhere, anytime. You could probably watch television shows, films and random videos of puppies all day long but while consumers may find this “truly awesome” not everyone would agree.

Mobile operators are tasked with having to process and deliver all this content over their networks while maintaining the best possible performance. In the past, operators would manage data using traditional optimization technologies, which helped them maintain acceptable subscriber Quality of Experience (QoE). However, this is no longer sufficient due to ever deeper encryption protocols being applied by Over the Top (OTT) players.

Encryption Goes Over the Top

Today’s leading OTT providers, such as Netflix, Google and Facebook, are providing brilliant content that sparks lively conversations around the world; yet their encryption methods are creating headaches for operators. Encryption protocols such as HTTPS and QUIC are enabling OTTs to build and cement relationships directly with mobile subscribers.  Like it or not, OTTs are monetizing those relationships. Put simply, OTT encryption methods are locking out the mobile operator from getting their fair share of the data monetization pie.

With videos making up over half of today’s data traffic, roughly 50-60% of all worldwide mobile data traffic is now encrypted. That includes everything from cute cat videos to Game of Thrones. And the rate of video consumption on mobile is growing at a phenomenal rate. In fact, Cisco estimates that by 2021, as much as 78% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video.

As a result, network providers can no longer rely on traditional data management technologies that are unable to inspect encrypted traffic. For example, static Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) can only manage mobile data traffic at Layer 3, in the network layer. It misses out Layer 7 — that’s where the magic happens for applications. This means DPI cannot cope with the rapidly-changing mix of app data, and can’t distinguish between Netflix and Amazon or even video on Facebook and YouTube.

The failure of DPI to handle today’s data traffic mix is not good news for operators.  How can operators properly manage QoE when a deluge of encrypted traffic is preventing visibility, turning the network into a series of dark pipes? That’s not good for subscribers who want their daily video fix without endless buffering. Our research shows that subscribers are discerning and in most cases will only put up with an average of 6 seconds of buffering before they abandon the video. And poor QoE ultimately leads to churn.  On the flip side, the same research also showed that users are willing to pay a premium to get better video quality …. Interesting!

Light Up Those Dark Pipes

It’s estimated that by the end of 2017, about 80% of mobile network data will be OTT encrypted. It’s time for action because doing nothing isn’t a viable option — someone is monetizing your data, and chances are, it’s not you. Time to take back control of your network.

At Mobile World Congress, we are showcasing how operators can manage and monetize encrypted data. Openwave Mobility equips mobile operators with the ability to analyze encrypted data flows such as TCP, TLS, QUIC and HTTPS in real time, extending traffic management capabilities into the encrypted path. With an impressive track record of pioneering a number of NFV solutions and launching industry firsts, we help mobile operators stay one step ahead of the competition and increase their revenue while boosting their subscribers’ experience.

We look forward to meeting you at MWC 2017 to discuss how you can get in the game and start monetizing encrypted data. Visit:  http://owmobility.com/mwc2017/