Telecommunications is big business. Ranging from the saturated markets of North America and Western Europe to emerging economies such as India and China, a telephone is the primary mode of communication. Associated with this is a large pool of telco data containing individual calling logs (including location, duration), messaging habits, calling plans, phone bills and other CRM modalities. Mobile units number in the billions, and a subset of these are smartphones, which are a lot more than a mere device used to talk and send messages. Smartphones present an opportunity for the realization of a unique data pool that marries usual telco data to app habits of the subscriber. Here are some of the ways this data may be monetized through big data insights.

  • Usage insights. Locations of subscribers and the frequency with which they use an app from third party vendors is data that resides with telcos. Identifying correlations between location data and frequency of app usage is an insight that may be monetized by the telco as it is potentially valuable to vendors interested in location specific marketing of their products.
  • Resource provisioning. An analysis of call locations and time stamps, which is based on data that telcos collect, is again potentially valuable to government agencies or NGOs interested in mapping the seasonal movement of populations and catering to the requisite infrastructural needs.

Apart from monetizing the already available data through the use of big data techniques, telcos today must exploit data to successfully compete for market share amidst growing saturation. Vital to this is to not only retain the existing customers but also to keep adding new ones with minimal cost/effort. In order to help telcos achieve this goal, we propose customer behavior and tendencies be thoroughly studied and understood, based upon which customer engagement and experience customized. Some of our key offerings in this regard are:

  • Augmented customer segmentation. Traditionally customer segmentation has been used successfully to sift through data to categorize customers ranging from the most valuable ones to the ones most likely to leave. We have introduced elements of behavioral neuroscience to compartmentalize customers into more nuanced categories, thus improving greatly upon traditional segmentation analysis.
  • Churn analysis. With mobile number portability being available in many countries, it becomes imperative for telcos to identify why and at what rate are they losing customers to their competitors and what could be done to not only prevent it but to reverse it. In addition to using traditional churn analytics techniques, we use proprietary simulation methods to estimate the efficacy of potential corrective measures even before their implementation.

Conformance Testing

Telecommunication networks involve a variety of passive and active components that are required to conform to international standards for handling network data prescribed by various RFC protocols. Several country specific and regional regulatory bodies now require that all network devices and components be tested for compliance with the requisite protocols. At Gauge, we have developed a proprietary platform, the GDS conformance suite, to carry our such compliance tests in a calibrated and verifiable manner.

The GDS conformance suite is a protocol analyser that can send and receive packets on demand. It can establish sessions for TCP, BGP etc. This way it can test the functionalities of various protocols by creating required sessions and sending and receiving required packets.

RFCs are covered for Routers, SIP terminals, SBC, ONT, ONU, IoT Gateway, Feedback devices, LAN Switch, Media Gateway, PABX, Soft switch, SGW, Mobile Device as per the MTCTE ER. These include the following,

  1. RFC 4271
  2. RFC 4760
  3. RFC 2545
  4. RFC 5036
  5. RFC 2328
  6. RFC 5340
  7. RFC 2460
  8. RFC 4861
  9. RFC 4862
  10. RFC 4443
  11. RFC 1981
  12. RFC 791
  13. RFC 4213
  14. RFC 3261
  15. RFC 3550
  16. RFC 3551
  17. RFC 4733
  18. RFC 793
  19. RFC 768
  20. RFC 8200
  21. RFC 3550
  22. RFC 4960

General Procedure

Step 1. The Network topology is setup between the Tester and EUT as determined by the RFC being tested, i.e. setting IP addresses on the Tester and EUT, and protocol specific configurations like AS number (for BGP), Router Id (for OSPF) etc.

Step 2. After the topology is configured, the EUT interfaces are pinged from the Tester to check their connectivity.

Step 3. After successful pings, tests are performed using the Tester.

Step 4. Specially crafted network packets using the GDS conformance suite software are sent from the Tester to the involved interfaces. Simultaneously, the responses are also monitored and recorded by the suite.

Step 5. If the responses are as required by the RFC specifications for that test, the test status is set to Pass, else the test elicits a Fail response.

Step 6. The Tester then prepares the report for the test which contains a list of packets that were sent and received on the Tester. Also summarised is the information about the EUT and Tester.