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DPI and Traffic Management


The continued uptake of mobile broadband and the corresponding erosion of service revenue leads operators to invest into technology to maximize the economic returns of mobile broadband networks. Identification of traffic and packet types in the network is critical for security and revenue optimization. Not all bits have the same value and consequently, not all customers are willing to pay the same price. Operators need to identify traffic and congestion to manage their networks and enforce their pricing and policy rules.

This Competitive Assessment focuses on key elements of operator’s Gi- LAN, which is the network that is between the Packet Gateways (PGW, GGSN) and the IP services and Internet, including Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) and Traffic Detection Function (TDF). No one buys just “DPI” technology, but rather DPI is used to generate many of functions in many locations throughout the network. Here we look at the total value proposition of the vendor supplied DPI technology, and specifically what other things are available as part of the solution.

The advent of Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) in the mobile network is at hand as operators and vendors develop their virtualization strategies. The DPI, TDF, and PCEF functions sit in-line with the high-speed data path and virtualization (or not) demands careful consideration. Fortunately most vendors have a solution for virtualization.

The different solutions of the vendors will apply differently to the network architecture of the operators. For example, an operator preferring a centralized network may decide for high-performance optimized point solutions, while one preferring a distributed architecture may find virtualized solutions more accommodating. At the end of the day, what is the best solution will be what is best for a particular operator.

Market shares include the stand-alone publicly traded companies and equivalent values for companies with integrated or bundled solutions. A variety of public information sources, private interviews, and comparable value for the less obvious market shares.