Bandwidth on ‘whose’ demand- Customer or Operator?

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Bandwidth requirements are growing rapidly because of the widespread acceptance of cloud computing, online video services, and mobile broadband. While the data usage is soaring but ROI on the network investment is still a big question because of either over utilization or under utilization of network efficiency. The concept of Bandwidth on Demand (BOD) has been around for quite a while but didn’t get the prime focus from Internet service providers (ISPs). Earlier, the bandwidth requirement was very stable relegating BOD to a lower priority. Now with the changing times and changing requirements, BOD will gain prominence to sustain the competitive ISP market. Here is a scenario: Special doctor is being consulted over a video conference in an ongoing critical operation of a patient, and the call drops! Reason- low bandwidth. The results could be catastrophic. A better solution for the subscriber could be using the concept of bandwidth on demand whereby the user can Schedule a particular time slot in the day where he needs a specific bandwidth for a specific time, rather than uneconomical bandwidth upgrades. Another instance could be when, a customer is on the threshold of breaching her allocated bandwidth due to heavy downloads…can the customer have the option to upgrade his bandwidth instantly to avoid disruption of his experience. YES this could be made possible with the concept of Dynamic Bandwidth on Demand whereby the customer would be given an opportunity to temporarily upgrade his bandwidth at a minimal price. BOD in a ‘Cloud’ scenario. Everyone wants to adapt to the principle of cloud as it has its own business benefits, and so there is a question to all the readers; “Do you think a dedicated bandwidth is needed for backup & storage or Data replication?” Let us quantify the benefits for a better understanding with an example; a company has Pan-India based offices but its data centre only in Mumbai, they need to backup all of their weekly data on their central server on Saturday nights. The company has generic requirement of 100Mbps speed during day time and at the time of back up a speed of 150 Mbps with a FUP limit of 400GB including data backup, which consumes 20-25% of the total FUP quota. There are 2 ways:
  1. The company purchases a high speed bandwidth from an ISP with a bandwidth of 125 Mbps and FUP of 400 GB at 4000 Rs/month, whereby the user does not consume the full allocated bandwidth. The user has been allocated a speed up to 125 Mbps and there is no guarantee that the same shall be attained during normal office hours or even at the time of backup.
  2. The company purchases a high speed bandwidth from an ISP with a bandwidth of 100Mbps and FUP of 300 GB at 2750 Rs/month, whereby the user gets a bandwidth up to 100 Mbps. For the backup the customer has taken a scheduled BOD plan whereby, every Saturday night for 4 hours the customer is allocated a speed of 150 Mbps at 50 Rs/hr making the monthly total Rs 2950,  which is still 28.75% less than the previous plan
Just by optimizing the plan the customer saves 28.75% of the budget allocated for ISP, the facts say clearly how BoD can clearly be the future for the ISP industry. A few of the Use Cases of bandwidth on demand can be:
  • Optimum utilization of idle or underutilized network resources e.g. in off-peak hours CSP can offer a temporarily boost to less bandwidth user at an extra cost
  • Up sell Bandwidth on Demand by bundling with various other plans e.g. provide a turbo boost with gaming sites by partnering and monetize from it
  • Application / Time specific upgrade of Bandwidth e.g. Video conferencing for 1 hour Scheduled turbo boost e.g. increase in bandwidth every week day from 2 PM to 4 PM for video conferencing
  • Promotional Plan-Complementary turbo boost for a selected class of subscribers e.g. Speed boost for premium customers for 2 hours in off-peak hours
Seemingly, Bandwidth on Demand (Burstable Bandwidth) is to be the FUTURE from the past. With the intensifying competition for telcos, customer are seeking for better customer experience; BOD will be a must have service differentiation for ISP. Elitecore solution for real time BoD / turbo boost wherein temporary increase in user’s bandwidth is allowed and the user pays accordingly. This enables users to have better performance of certain bandwidth rich applications. Elitecore BoD solution simultaneously facilitates operators by efficiently utilizing the idle network capacity. It enables wireline service providers to offer real time control on network usage, provide service differentiation by offering value based services.

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