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incognito_incognito 09/07/2014 15:40 Page 2 COMPANY CONTRIBUTION This forces affected service providers to not only rethink their traffic shaping and fair access policies, but to also reassess how utilisation information is collected. Providers using deep packet inspection (DPI), long considered to be a highly intrusive method of collecting usage details, may see added By levering TR-069 and pressure from consumer IPDR, service providers gain access to data that advocacy groups to change is available in the their tactics. network. Here, once again, IPDR may be the answer. Unlike DPI, IPDR simply provides summaries of performance. Measurable examples of service utilisation with no indication of where the management metrics that are leading traffic is headed, thus removing any privacy indicators of service issues include: concerns. Policy enforcement through IPDR is l of calls dropped (VOIP) performed by placing offending devices into l of overruns/under-runs (IPTV) slower CMTS service flows, which means that l failed device discoveries (Broadband) all data traffic is affected in a nonl ACS operations older than 24 hours discriminatory manner. Involvement from (Broadband) other back office systems such as provisioning l DSL link retrains in past 24 hours (Broadband) software is not required, and the subscriber With this type of information in hand, should be automatically restored to their original speed once the billing cycle is over or the network is no longer congested. But no matter how well a network is run, the only network that matters to the subscriber is the network he or she is using. The average household today has 10 IPconnected devices and this is expected to increase to 50 by 2022. As devices such as home set-top boxes and gaming consoles become essential for entertainment, home networks are becoming more complicated for subscribers to manage. Quality of service issues can stem from any number of problems, such as WiFi, firmware, or a malfunctioning device. To truly measure an individual subscriber’s QoE, service providers cannot rely only on macro network statistics. A more complete picture can be formed with service delivery intelligence from the network edge, generated from inside the customer premises. Useful for not only increasing visibility in the home network, but also for gaining control over devices, is a network-agnostic protocol that bridges the gap between the wider access network and home networks. The CPE WAN Management Protocol, published by Broadband Forum as TR-069, specifies a standard communication mechanism between customer premises equipment and a TR-069 auto-configuration server. Essentially, it allows providers to pre-emptively judge the needs of a subscriber and remotely resolve issues for a smooth user experience. TR-069 exposes physical layer parameters on home gateways to verify device status, functionality, connected devices, and providers can proactively mitigate configuration issues by remotely adjusting device parameters and even remotely update device firmware. It’s not just the management of one or two devices either, which is beneficial from a call centre perspective, but of large scale firmware upgrades to set-top boxes, VoIP phones, and more. Ultimately, TR-069 not only lowers the amount of customer support calls, but also reduces the time subscribers spend on the phone with customer service. TR-069 takes away the hassle for subscribers by enhancing the role of the customer service representative (CSR). Under TR-069, CSRs can monitor home networks and take advantage of improved diagnostics capabilities to solve problems that may be affecting the subscriber’s network in one call. Subscribers would no longer need to be walked through a canned script of troubleshooting procedures on the phone, or worse still, wait for a service provider to send a truck. Even though it is well adopted in the Telco world, barriers for adoption remain in the Cable world. Most cable device manufacturers have only just adopted TR-069 and are now experiencing growing pains. Developing a new client for an established protocol such as DOCSIS is not easy and, clearly, not all TR069 clients are created equal. Some devices fail obvious tests, while others have a proprietary scheme on top. The challenge with managing devices that have proprietary schemes is that it requires software that can interpret the proprietary statistics of the devices and manage their parameters. Without this ability, service providers would not be able to fully leverage the capabilities of TR-069 and make use of valuable device data. Despite all this, there’s a growing number of device manufacturers who understand that the key to the success of their TR-069 product is not just its functionality, but also the way it integrates with an existing management and monitoring platform. As more cable operators become aware of the benefits of TR-069, it is only a matter of time until more vendors adopt an open approach to TR-069 and make the R&D investments where needed. Conclusion If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. — As the old management adage goes. When it comes to QoE from an access network and connected home perspective, IPDR and TR-069 are two key technologies in understanding the subscriber experience. While IPDR gives service providers a wider view of congestion and trends in the network, TR-069 provides insight into the customer premises. By collecting, normalising, analysing, and presenting utilisation data, IPDR solutions help providers make network investment decisions based on accurate information, implement speed reduction policies that do not discriminate against specific OTT services, and avoid privacy concerns. By accessing the remote monitoring and management capabilities of TR-069, service providers c