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Open network quality of service and bandwidth control: Use cases, technical architecture, and business models



The telecom industry is at a crossroad. While end users are deriving great value from the content and applications accessible over the Internet, network providers and their equipment vendors are still largely relegated to the role of bit pipe providers. Furthermore, the network provider revenues associated with these bit pipes are not commensurate with the network infrastructure costs to support the tremendous traffic demands of the above applications. This broken business model threatens to derail the tremendous growth and innovation that the Internet has fostered. Application Enablement is an industry vision to help network providers better monetize their network assets and capabilities and at the same time provide a superior experience to end users by combining the best of the application and network capabilities. This paper addresses both technical and business aspects of opening up network quality of service (QoS) and bandwidth control capabilities to application content providers (ACPs) and end users. Our vision is to enable network providers to provide a smart network pipe that can be personalized on a dynamic, real-time basis to match the particular needs of the application and end users. The paper discusses several use cases and an associated network architecture for implementing them. We propose simple Web-style application programming interfaces (APIs) to expose network QoS and bandwidth information to application providers and content providers. We also present new business models for the network provider around the exposure of these network assets and capabilities. Revenue potential and associated profitability for these new business models are also highlighted. © 2011 Alcatel-Lucent.

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