Policy and Charging

Policy & charging for offloading

Operators need to set policies to control the service and charging for offloaded users. With Aptilo it is possible to do so without back-hauling the traffic to the mobile core.

Applying policies from mobile core via intelligent lookups

It is possible – via Aptilo ServiceGlue™ – to intelligently map different policy decisions implemented at the mobile operator to the corresponding parameters in the Wi-Fi network. Policy decisions can be looked up from any database at the mobile operator that supports SOAP/XML, LDAP or RADIUS.

Policy decisions can include:

  • Allowed locations for access
  • Volume/time limitations
  • QoS
  • Prepaid or postpaid
  • Type of user

Policy and Charging Aptilo Service Glue

For instance, a subscriber’s service level data can be retrieved from the CRM system and mapped to Quality of Service (QoS) parameters in the Wi-Fi network. With Aptilo, the mobile operator can control the user experience even for traffic that is locally offloaded without having to back-haul to the mobile core, a common scenario in the 3GPP architecture.

Applying policies from mobile core via Diameter Gx interface

Mobile operators may have an existing PCRF for handling policy and charging decisions. These decisions are then communicated via the Diameter Gx interface to the packet gateway node (GGSN / P-GW / DPI nodes) which enforces the policies in the mobile network.

In Aptilo’s mobile data offloading solution the policies from the PCRF are retrieved via the Diameter Gx interface and intelligently converted (via the Aptilo ServiceGlue mapping functionality) to the corresponding parameters in the Wi-Fi network to the extent of the capabilities of the specific Wi-Fi network.

Policy and Charging - Aptilo Diameter Gx support

The policy converter in Aptilo’s solution is designed also to enable mapping and translation of policies to the specific attributes from vendors such as Aruba, Cisco and Ruckus utilizing their proprietary QoS control.

Examples of advanced QoS features are the Aptilo Automatic Bandwidth Balancer function where all available bandwidth is evenly distributed among active user sessions, or Aptilo Dynamic Bandwidth Throttling where a user gets a “bucket” of data and bandwidth is automatically and gradually throttled down as the “bucket” is consumed.

Applying policies from the Aptilo Service Management Platform

An alternative solution to the PCRF is to provision policies for the Wi-Fi sessions directly in the service management system for the Wi-Fi service. This have its merits as these systems typically understand Wi-Fi policies better than the standard PCRF. The Aptilo Service Management Platform™ (SMP) features a built-in Wi-Fi policy manager which has been proven in large-scale Wi-Fi deployments globally. Mobile operators can provision it with policies for the Wi-Fi users via Aptilo’s CCS API or manually via GUI. It is also possible to combine this with Aptilo’s optional pre-integrated prepaid and captive portal functionality.

User billing in the Wi-Fi network

Depending on the business model the mobile operator may want to bill users in the Wi-Fi network or deny access if their prepaid accounts are depleted.

Prepaid billing

For prepaid billing, the optional built-in prepaid system in the Aptilo Mobile Data Offloading solution can check-out quota (credits, time and/or Mb) from the mobile operator’s prepaid system (PPS). This can be done via Aptilo’s Quota Provider API or via Diameter Gy. Usage is then reported back to the prepaid system. Alternatively Aptilo’s solution can act independently from the mobile core as the prepaid system for Wi-Fi usage and get top-up via integration with the mobile operator’s self-care portal.

Postpaid billing

For postpaid billing, Aptilo’s Mobile Data Offloading solution can send Charging Data Records (CDRs) and accounting data to the mobile operator’s billing system via Aptilo’s native billing interface or through the Diameter Gz interface.

Full integration with mobile core through Diameter

The Aptilo SMP SIM Authentication function, the Diameter conversion functionality and/or Aptilo ServiceGlue™ work in concert to provide a mobile data offloading experience that is seamless not only for the subscriber but for the mobile core as well. Policies can be retrieved from different sources via the Diameter Gx then be translated to the corresponding parameters and mechanisms in the Wi-Fi network.

Diameter Integration

With Aptilo’s Diameter conversion functionality, operators can transparently control and charge for services via standard Diameter (Gx, Gy and Gz) interfaces in the Wi-Fi network with the same mechanisms that they are using in the 3G network.  These can still be differentiated for Wi-Fi usage.

Wi-Fi usage statistics to facilitate roaming

Even if the end-users are not billed for the service, usage still needs to be monitored for mediation and rating with roaming partners such as WISPs and roaming aggregators, and for the purpose of understanding user behavior and how much data traffic has been offloaded from the 3G networks.

Aptilo has deployment experience with all leading global roaming partners such as Ipass, Boingo, Trustive and WeRoam.

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What customers say about us

People from all over the world will flock to Brazil to celebrate the World Cup and 2016 Olympics. The ability to offload mobile data to Wi-Fi will ease network congestion significantly and increase data speeds, for an exceptional user experience.

Rafael Marques
Rafael MarquesMarketing Director at TIM Intelig