- How does Vasona’s edge application help mobile operators deliver a higher quality of experience?
Vasona Networks was founded on the basis that the mobile edge was the most advantageous location in the network from which we could positively impact the mobile broadband experience. Our software-based SmartAIR appliance launched in 2012 for deployment between the RAN and the core to improve mobile traffic management at the individual cell level. From the edge, operators have an unprecedented vantage point for monitoring traffic and bandwidth needs across sessions and, critically, they gain the ability to get out in front of congestion issues that will negatively impact their customers’ experiences.
Over time, we’ve evolved how we’re able to improve the end-user experience, with features that manage encrypted data, overcome packet-loss challenges and assure video quality on the network. We’ve also virtualized these to support industry efforts around initiatives like MEC and virtualization.
- Vasona was among the first to establish a multi-service MEC platform, one of the six PoC’s to be showcased at Mobile Edge Computing Congress 2016. What are you most looking forward to about the showcase?
Efforts around MEC can only be advanced by the vendor, standards and operator communities working in tandem, with operators helping to guide use cases that address near-term needs and supporting real world testing activity that readies combined solutions for full deployment.
Vasona is most eager to demonstrate the progress and reality of our MEC solution. We’re past talk and conjecture. Along with our partners, we will demonstrate use cases (at next week’s event) that operators can see and touch.
Most importantly, we are looking forward to showcasing how the data we manage impacts so many MEC use cases.
- Is there an edge-enabled application Vasona is particularly excited to see on the market?
Video immediately comes to mind, and we’re doing work on this front today. Earlier this year, we announced our Smart Guided Video Rate (SmartGVR) product to advance our existing video management capabilities, reducing video stalls and delays by as much as 20%. This solution leverages our position at the edge to support communication between operators and content providers. We share real-time information about what’s happening in the cell, then that info gets relayed to the content provider, which can then adjust video delivery parameters on the fly based on what will deliver the best experience in any given scenario.
Looking just a little ahead to the future, we’ve also been following augmented reality-driven initiatives recently, from gaming to business applications and beyond. In fact, we surveyed Pokémon GO users and learned that, overwhelming, they would demand more AR and other data-heavy features in future versions. Half said they now want to play more AR games and two-thirds plan to play future versions of Pokémon GO. Traffic demands are changing overnight; the next breakout hit that will disrupt traffic in new ways is always looming.
To this end, edge-enabled applications that take advantage of having deep insight into what the exact data demands are from moment to moment across a dizzying mix of traffic are what we’re most excited to see come to bear. Our solution can advance the speed of innovation in end-user applications, be it games or anything else, and that is pretty incredible.
- John, you will represent Vasona Networks on a panel discussion at the event to discuss the applications that will benefit most from edge computing. What will be the main message you will bring to the discussion?
Don’t wait for 5G, start today. There are undertones about the move to 5G that it is far off and that operators have plenty of runway to figure things out. Sure, it won’t happen overnight. But we are working with operators today on MEC use cases and deployments and these will ease the ultimate transition to 5G, virtualization and IoT. Waiting until 5G networks are in place to introduce some of the emerging functionality available today is not only a missed opportunity but could actually put operators behind and leave customers unsatisfied. MEC’s applicability to 3G/4G networks is something every operator should explore and those are conversations we’re having with our customers today.
Another key point for operators to think about as they explore investment in new technologies are new ways of justifying those investments. It is increasingly important to consider network KPIs to drive investment that take into account the broader customer experience. We’ll come to our panel discussion during the event with suggestions for what these evolved KPIs might look like.
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