In the last blog entry, we saw how operators are being left out of the mobile app value chain even as OTT providers and device manufacturers make a beeline for the cash rich segment. The role of a Policy Manager has become critical for operators to regulate subscriber broadband usage, however the policy solution that most operators have acquired in the intitial stage along with the Network infrastructure has capabilities that are limited to Policy 1.0 era roles such as bandwidth and FUP management; this kind of blanket approach in a data-driven eco-system simply leads to operators haphazardly stretching their network capacity and being stuck with dumb pipes that don’t earn them extra revenues. Instead, the approach of the Policy Manager should be to function as a Broadbandsmith, converting dumb pipes into smart ones. The solution should have in-built capabilities to create additional monetization opportunities based on newer parameters including quota, QoS, usage pertaining to devices and applications, content partners, mobile tethering, roaming and family plans like shared wallet. Such a scenario can only be realized when the Policy Manager is able to tap into a wide range of subscribe usage and behavior data, and convert them into a profitable action while enabling user-centric personalization of next-gen services. To address the growing business requirement of Policy Managers acquiring cutting-edge capabilities, Elitecore has brought a multi-dimensional Policy 2.0 approach through its solution NetVertex, which integrates with standard adaptors to support 3rd party attributes – Charging, Billing, BI/CEA. In an era of 3G, 4G etc., operators can achieve higher ARPU through smart targeting plans based on a subscriber’s individual usage characteristics while delivering best user experience through cost-effective personalization of services. In order to understand how the multi-dimensional approach plays out in a real world scenario, let us once again consider the live user example for Sonali. ( She’s eighteen-something, studies in college and spends 600 minutes everyday on iPhone. Her day starts on a Snooze alarm with the musical player, Last.fm playing in the background while she gets ready for class. While driving, she keeps checking Google Maps along with Facebook and Twitter apps. During the day, she frequently takes pictures on Instagram and publishes it on social media and uses Google Voice to catch up with her buddies. Playing Angry Birds and Real Racing 2 summarizes up her daily routine. ) 1) NetVertex is integrated with CEA/BI analytics to offer a glimpse of monthly usage and time-based access characteristics for Sonali across her favorite social media applications: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. This helps the operator roll out social media-specific QoS plans or category-wise economy plans for a given period of time (say evening hours). The plans can be activated by the user by being pushed through a service selection portal link. 2) Multi-player online Games and Voice chat applications like Google Voice require good performance on demand. Using a combination of smart CEA/BI output and Billing information, the operator may gather that the user lies is in a lower tier-pricing plan, information that can be used to offer upselling promotions through a higher QoS plan everytime she tries to access her favorite application. 3) In case the PCRF and OCS data suggests that the user has exceeded certain predefined bandwidth limit in a day (who doesn’t?), instead of putting data caps (the concept itself has become so 2010!), the operator may seize a new revenue opportunity by giving a discounted QoS upgrade for that day only, which can be revoked the following day assuming the usage behavior has returned to normal. 4) NetVertex can also utilize personal information for the subscriber such as demographic, family and address etc., along with Billing and Invoicing and CEA/BI data to launch personalized family plans where the user Sonali gets to share policies, balance, quota with her family members and gets single bill for all services/family members. A Multi-dimensional approach to Policy enables the quick roll out of revenue-generation and personalization plans based on parameters like device profile, device tethering, roaming usage, bill shock avoidance, and mobile data offload plans. The obvious advantages compared to other PCRF solutions are cost-effective pricing plans for customers, elimination of problems in integrating with subscriber databases, reduced complexity of policy infrastructure and greater interoperability among policy management components. In the next blog entry, we will cover another beneficial aspect of the Multi-dimensional approach: greater service optimization.