On Monday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, JDSUintroduced PacketPortal, a Smart Network Application Platform that uses microprobe technology to gather intelligence anywhere in the network for use with customer care, marketing and other applications. These applications provide service providers with a new way to generate revenue, build brands and build subscriber loyalty, says JDSU (Milpitas, Calif., USA).
PacketPortal provides real-time access to critical network data, replacing traditional methods that can't scale to the number of connected devices that some analysts predict could grow to 50 billion by 2020. It uses intelligent microprobes that are embedded in existing routers, switches and other network elements without increasing footprint or power consumption, says JDSU.
These microprobes are auto-discovered and registered with the PacketPortal software platform, providing network intelligence for the service provider's application environment. The first generation of PacketPortal captures network data from optical transceivers about the size of a USB memory stick.
PacketPortal is used to allow operators to view the “blind spots” of the network, according to Paul Gowans, regional marketing manager at JDSU. Usually, an operator’s blind spot is at the edge of the networks where the customers are located. For example, say a customer is experiencing a slow streaming video; typically the operator would probably not be able to see or troubleshoot the issue remotely. With PacketPortal, the operator can now see where and why the problem is occurring by viewing the blind spot, and then fix it remotely, says Gowans.
According to the company, this reduces the mean-time-to-repair from days to minutes.
PacketPortal is not only for troubleshooting, but can also be used to look at a customer’s usage and suggest a different plan or bundle that better suites them. According to JDSU, operators can tailor service packages and fee structures based on individual subscriber base.
PacketPortal uses a cloud-based approach to separate data collection and filtering from management and analysis and uses an open platform.
"Service providers are concerned with end-to-end performance of applications, so monitoring, measuring, and assurance solutions have to be flexible, not restricting carriers by limiting where data is captured within a network,” says Michael Howard, co-founder and principal analyst of Infonetics Research (Campbell, Calif., USA). “PacketPortal's capability to be moved around the network to its most congested points is what operators want for optimal performance of their next-generation networks."
Several major network equipment manufacturers are engaged in the PacketPortal certification process and more than ten service providers are in active field trials.