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Assure peak bandwidth for broadband subscribers with new Altiplano app

Assure peak bandwidth for broadband subscribers with new Altiplano app

With the launch of the Altiplano Application Marketplace, we’ve opened up the power of software-defined networking to every broadband operator. The innovative B2B digital ecosystem comes with a catalog of operational tools – developed by Nokia and third party partners – and each app aims to increase operational efficiency and improve customer experience.

One of the first apps available is the Nokia-designed Bandwidth Sharing Optimizer (BSO). With this app, we’re helping operators with one of their biggest challenges: bandwidth management.

Securing subscriber peak bandwidth is serious business. Operators are having to compete with ever higher speeds demanded by subscribers. There’s also competition between technologies (fiber, cable, fixed wireless) and new players entering the market (satellite services). While next-gen technologies (25G/50G/100G PON) are able to deliver higher speed services, it is not uncommon in a very competitive market to see a service provider suddenly doubling or tripling their advertised peak rate (e.g., from 500 Mb/s to 1 Gb/s or beyond). Operators need to react to that very quickly, in a timeframe that is too short to be addressed by the roll-out of a new technology.

Traditionally, the response would be to increase the “overbooking factor” in the network. This consists of increasing the maximum rate that individual subscribers can achieve without increasing the actual capacity of the network. However, this increases the congestion levels on the PON and reduces the peak rate availability for subscribers. During the busy hours, long-lasting high demand may prevent users from reaching the advertised bitrate, and speed tests initiated by the customer are very likely to show poor results.

As every operator knows, that’s not good. Speed tests are often used as a metric to compare access network providers. Internet magazines frequently publish market surveys ranking the fastest ISPs, and regulators also do speed checks of the advertised peak rates. A bad ranking in these benchmarks can lead to lower take-up rates, customer churn, and even regulator penalties.

Traditional ways to maximize fair peak rate availability to all subscribers, are monthly data caps, but these are extremely unpopular with subscribers. Another solution would be to decrease the number of subscribers per PON. However, this is also not ideal as the network becomes underutilized and requires field interventions to rewire subscribers to less crowded or spare PONs.

So, we decided to find a better way.

Taking high-frequency traffic telemetry data and applying unsupervised learning techniques such as clustering and model fitting, we built a unique model for residential traffic. Based on this probabilistic modelling expertise we have developed a brand-new set of AI/ML-based algorithms to predict and improve the peak rate availability for subscribers. This model can be retrained to fit the user behavior in any PON network.

By combining these new AI/ML algorithms in the closed-loop optimization of Altiplano Access Controller, we are improving the PON traffic management capabilities. Our approach boosts the overall user experience on highly loaded PONs, improves the utilization of network resources and increases the speed test success rate.

This innovative solution is patent pending, and all the details of the research will soon be published in one of the leading scientific journals in telecommunications. But you can immediately benefit from this smart PON traffic management functionality through the Bandwidth Sharing Optimizer app.

If you’d like a preview or to learn more about BSO, contact your Nokia representative.

To discover more apps for Altiplano, visit the Altiplano Application Marketplace today!

Benoit Drooghaag

About Benoit Drooghaag

As AI/ML engineer and data scientist, Benoît is focusing on innovative solutions for SDN controller.

He holds an MSc in Electrical Engineering and has more than 20 years of experience in access network automation and predictive maintenance.

In 2019, he received the Top Inventor Award from Nokia. He likes to find inspiration for new ideas in reading, listening to jazz music and ... in data!

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