Role of Policy Manager (PCRF) for Next Generation Data Services

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With the mobile data growing at 70% in India , wireless data over 3G promises a high growth segment for the mobile operators. There is a strong need for the operators to manage subscriber experience to ensure optimum service and performance. 3G promises higher bandwidth and speeds much faster than its predecessor 2.5G, while Operators offer new services such as video streaming, net browsing at much higher pace. The attractive service plans with low rentals and promotional charges will ensure uptake. Many industry experts foresee issues like Bill Shock to be one of the concerns for the operators, as it has been the case in developed markets like US & Europe. Bill shock in layman terms means negative reaction a subscriber can experience if their mobile phone bill has unexpected charges. Such as if a user grossly overused their data applications without being aware of it. But if we see it from the perspective of Indian market, the Indian users are very conscious of their usage- for eg I am have been using a smartphone on 2.5 G network for over a year now and each time I view a page I am notified of the volume of data I am about to download, this helps me keep check on my usage- I have never got a Bill SHOCK. It is a good add on offering to enable the subscriber be more aware of its use. The more relevant PCRF use cases for the Indian mobile data market are Fair Access Policy, Fair bandwidth usage for Social Networking through smart devices and ensuring QoS for subscribers. The operators need to ensure a seamless QoS experience for 3G subscribers with cost effective pricing to match upto the threat of Wifi connection, in which single connection can be used by many. Policy management plays a critical role in balancing the demands on network resources with Subscribers using different applications having different bandwidth requirements. Policy management solution ensures QoS deliverability for enhanced end user experience and Fair bandwidth consumption through real time policy management to enforce usage based caps.

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