European Communications

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Q&A: JDSU’s David Heard

David Heard, JDSU’s president of communications test and measurement, discusses the firm’s new solution.

Eurocomms.com: Describe PacketPortal in one sentence...

David Heard: PacketPortal is a new software solution that captures and analyses data and intelligence from anywhere in the network to improve troubleshooting, optimise the customer experience, and create new revenue opportunities such as managed service products.

From an operator perspective, what specific need are you fulfilling with this launch?

With predictions that by 2020 there will be some 50 billion devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and appliances all connected to the network, operators need a greater level of network intelligence to cost-effectively manage these massive networks and applications. PacketPortal’s minimal footprint allows integration into any network equipment - expanding network intelligence visibility all the way to the edge, where 80 percent of service issues occur.

You say it will provide operators with a new revenue stream; how so?

PacketPortal provides intelligence on how customers interact with applications and the network. With this intelligence, operators can create new billing strategies based on customer usage models, new marketing campaigns based on content and customer data, and cost effectively offer managed services that previously required expensive hardware deployments.

What opex savings can operators realistically expect?

PacketPortal makes it easier to gather intelligence to optimise performance and improve troubleshooting time. With this type of visibility at every hop in the network, a technician at a central location can quickly locate and fix problems without deploying field technicians; this means the operator can reduce expensive truck rolls requiring field technicians. We believe customers can see a payback of their investment in PacketPortal in a six to nine month time frame.

You also claim it will improve the customer experience; what difference will end users notice?

First, if a customer has a problem with their mobile or broadband service, their service provider can resolve problems much faster. In addition, service providers using PacketPortal can proactively monitor customer experience at the edge of the network (such as monitoring video errors or dropped calls), thus allowing them to address issues before end customers experience them.

There are other network application tools on the market; what, specifically, makes PacketPortal different to other solutions?

PacketPortal is a breakthrough solution in a new class of Smart Network Application Platform (SNAP) services. JDSU has decoupled the functions of data collection and filtering from network management and aggregation, which dramatically reduces the size, cost, complexity and energy consumption of data collection. JDSU has a unique cloud approach to managing intelligence gathering and filtering, with secure and reliable delivery, providing unmatched scale. Due to its minimal footprint, PacketPortal can uniquely be embedded in existing network devices, and interface with, and enhance existing applications.

How many contracts have you signed with service providers?

We are engaged with more than 30 customers, including more than 10 service providers that are involved in active trials. These service providers represent nearly one billion mobile and fixed access line subscribers. We have had a very good response in our initial discussions with customers around the world.

You worked with a range of operators during PacketPortal’s five-year development phase; what insight did you gain into where operators stand in regard to readying their networks for the much talked about surge in data?

Probe solutions today sit in the core of the network and provide operators with massive amounts of data. However, as volume surges, operators do not need more data, they need more intelligence.