Every day, we create 2.5 quintillion bytes of data — so much that 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone, according to IBM figures. For mobile operators, “Big Data” presents real opportunity for generating new revenue streams if they figure out how to morph abstract data points into something visceral, emotional and tangible, as stated by Rick Smolan last week during the inaugural Wired Health Conference in New York.
There is no doubt Policy and governance will grow in importance as mobile operators and enterprises across different industries explore how new types of data such as “self quantifiers” will be gathered via smartphones and other mobile devices to measure everything from sleeping patterns to toe nail growth, to a person’s cadence and balance as they walk. Extending the reach of policy to smart devices will also help operators better match network resources to services and customers, as with Wi-Fi offloads and actions related to fair usage.
If the concept of “Policy Everywhere” evolves at a pace commensurate with that of “Data Everywhere,” then mobile operators can build an intelligent network model, for which Policy will be the innovation engine.
Operators will have to transition Policy’s complexion from one of monitoring monthly quota and fair-use management to one that goes beyond the core network and onto subscriber devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) devices, cloud providers, and service delivery and OTT provider platforms.
Using Policy Everywhere, mobile operators can play a bigger role in helping health care, utility, automotive and other industries derive business insights from the surging amount of data gathered from social media, digital videos and pictures, purchase transaction records, cell phone GPS signals, consumer genomics, and personal trackers (like Fitbit, Zeo or the Nike fuel bracelet).
In other words, mobile operators’ use of Policy Everywhere will be a critical factor in making Big Data something people care about, and making it something they don’t have to worry about.
With the ability to push policy control beyond the network core to its edge, operators can develop creative strategies to:
• Optimize and personalize each subscriber’s experience
• Create lucrative, two-sided business models with third-party, OTT and cloud providers
• Maximize resources and improve QoS
It’s just a matter of time before Policy becomes centrally defined within an intelligent control layer that is independent of the underlying network infrastructure and applied globally across networks, devices and applications.
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