Mobile Broadband Boom Catapults Policy Management Into the Mainstream, Heavy Reading Finds

Deployment by mobile operators has given a major revenue boost to the policy sector, which grew by nearly 40 percent in 2010 to approximately $783 million

Aug 22, 2011, 09:44 ET from Heavy Reading

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 22, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- After years of development and discussion, policy management has finally gone mainstream, as mobile network operators scramble to resolve key challenges created by the mobile broadband data boom, according to a major new report from Heavy Reading (, the research division of Light Reading ( The result has been a major increase in policy deployments, with most vendors reporting double-digit revenue growth in 2010, and similar growth likely in 2011.

Mobile Broadband & the Rise of Policy: Technology Review & Forecast examines the current state of the art in policy management and explores what the future holds for this key emerging market. The report analyzes the core catalysts for recent growth in policy technology, as well as some major use cases and important deployments. Drawing on data from a survey of more than 70 network operators and an interview program with more than 30 vendors, the report also presents a comprehensive five-year forecast for the policy market.

The report profiles 40 leading providers of policy technology, reviewing their products, capabilities, strengths, partners and customers. These profiles focus primarily on vendors that have their own PCRF-compliant policy server, but also include vendors in several other areas that are highly relevant to the policy market, such as optimization and Diameter management.

For the full list of included technology providers, please see:

"Broadband is having a revolutionary impact on mobile network operators," states Graham Finnie, Chief Analyst of Heavy Reading and author of the report. "In less than five years, networks once dominated by voice traffic have in some cases become dominated by data traffic, much of it originating on the Internet, and with characteristics completely different from legacy traffic. As a result, the vast majority (more than 80 percent) of new policy control deployments over the past 12 months have been in mobile networks."

Furthermore, the transition to LTE will maintain the momentum around policy, because policy control is even more central in 4G than in 3G networks, Finnie notes. "In fact, policy is effectively mandatory as voice migrates to IP, since it will be used to prioritize key applications, including voice. 4G investment will also increase the pressure on operators to use policy to differentiate and monetize services."

Key findings of Mobile Broadband & the Rise of Policy: Technology Review & Forecast include the following:

The big increase in interest in deployment in the mobile sector has given a major revenue boost to the sector. We estimate that the global policy market, including PCRF, PCEF and ancillary revenues, grew by nearly 40 percent in 2010, to reach approximately $783 million.

Our survey found strong interest in creating more sophisticated use cases that span the divide between traffic management and subscriber service design. This interest is beginning to translate into new and more complex use cases for policy. One widely deployed application is identifying and zero-rating access to Facebook within a quota-limited service.

Telcos identified problems integrating policy and charging as the single biggest barrier to deploying policy architectures. Solutions to these issues are thus likely to be well-received by customers, and there is much at stake here. However, there is some uncertainty here as a new interface (the Sy interface between PCRF and OCS/OFCS) emerges.

The more demanding policy use cases that are now emerging will put pressure on vendors and may benefit those with the most powerful, flexible and well-integrated solutions. As policy becomes more sophisticated and widespread, it will require massive scaling up in the policy engine in terms of transactions or sessions handled, as well as better integration with other elements in the policy architecture.

Mobile Broadband & the Rise of Policy: Technology Review & Forecast costs $3,995 and is published in PDF format. The price includes an enterprise license covering all of the employees at the purchaser's company.

For more information, or to request a free executive summary, contact:

Dave Williams
Sales Director, Heavy Reading

Press/analyst contact:

Jennifer Baker
Marketing Director, Light Reading Communications Network

About Heavy Reading

Heavy Reading ( is an independent research organization offering deep analysis of emerging telecom trends to network operators, technology suppliers, and investors. Its product portfolio includes in-depth reports that address critical next-generation technology and service issues, market trackers that focus on the telecom industry's most critical technology sectors, exclusive worldwide surveys of network operator decision-makers that identify future purchasing and deployment plans, and a rich array of custom and consulting services that give clients the market intelligence needed to compete successfully in the $4 trillion global telecom industry. As a telecom research arm of the Light Reading Communications Network (, Heavy Reading contributes to the only integrated business information platform serving the global communications industry.

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SOURCE Heavy Reading