May 24, 2012

Tilting Customer Education Toward Fun

Mobile subscribers seems to have an unquenchable thirst for bandwidth, yet it can be difficult for them to understand that there are limits to network capacity and that service providers sometimes need to address that by creating new service and pricing plans. Perhaps part of the problem is that consumers haven’t been educated about the networks, their own impact on those networks, and how it all relates to the services to which they’ve subscribed. Allot Communications (News - Alert) is offering some fun, new tools to help its service provider customers inform end users about all of the above.

Allot earlier this year came out with a fun little pinball application that demonstrates the relationship between different types of applications and various service packaging and pricing options. It was put together for Allot service provider customers, but those customers could potentially leverage the application to educate their own customers, indicates Jonathon Gordon, Allot director of marketing.

Allot also aims to help service providers monetize and personalize the mobile experience through a partnership with Openet (News - Alert). The two suppliers have joined forces on an application called SEE, which can provide end users with visibility into their own mobile applications and usage, and enable those end users to increase their levels of service as needed. For example, an end users might elect to use SEE to purchase a higher level of bandwidth and a lower level of latency for a limited time if they wanted to watch a video.

SEE is a working application back-ended by Allot and Openet infrastructure. Allot’s gateway powers SEE and does traffic recognition of application and related analytics. Openet gear handles the policy and charging part of SEE.

The solution was in trials with various service providers earlier this year.

As discussed in a recent Q&A with us, Allot believes the market will move quickly into value-based charging this year.

“As operators deploy advanced traffic management solutions that allow them to monitor, meter, and charge for subscriber consumption of over-the-top applications and content, early movers are already transitioning into the next phase of the mobile charging evolution,” Gordon says.

“Value-based charging enables operators to differentiate and charge for different application and content usage; and therefore, offer personalized service plans that best reflect the unique value of different applications and usage patterns to different types of subscribers,” Gordon explains.

Making Sculpture Interactive

If you visited the Intel booth at Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) in Barcelona, you may have noticed what appeared to be a crazy-looking, glowing table toward the back of the exhibit .This, in fact, was an electronic sculpture that enabled visitors to use their smartphones and tablets to create “visual performance”.

The multimedia and interactive sculpture was created by an outfit called SuperUber, which was invited to participate in the initiative by Vice Media and Intel (News - Alert). A three are part of The Creators Project, a global ecosystem that celebrates the creativity, culture and technology.

Here’s how the sculpture works:

  •          Visitors use their wireless devices to drag a virtual sling to dribble obstacles and reach the center.
  •          That triggers a visual performance on the sculpture.
  •          Up to six players can collaborate to reach the common goal.
  •          The angles on the physical sculpture influence the physics of the virtual projected layer.
  •          Each player’s shot rises and falls, accelerates and slow, according to the sculpture’s design.
  •          After a number of shots reach the center, a new texture is revealed through an animated performance that takes over the sculpture.
  •          At that point, the devices are used as interfaces.
  •          And four large screens next to the sculpture create a video wall that shows images of the performance in real time.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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Rich Tehrani,
Since 1982 Rich has led TMC© in many capacities. Rich Tehrani is an IP Communications industry expert, visionary, author and columnist. He founded INTERNET TELEPHONY® magazine...Read More >>>
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