Enea has announced the launch of its new Policy Manager network function, a dual-mode policy control function to enable mobile network operators (MNOs) to develop diverse policy use cases for subscribers and internet of things (IoT) devices in cloud-native deployments. The Enea dual-mode Policy Manager utilises the cost and consistency benefits of a single, common subscriber profile, as well as the scale to handle real time policy decisions in 4G and 5G.
The network operator’s challenge is to provide consistency across network access, e.g., 5G standalone (SA) and 4G, while transforming to cloud environments, and handling the large scale needed as each connected subscriber or IoT device requires at least one policy session. Working with a common network data layer, Enea Policy Manager provides an easy-to-use policy creation and session management environment in a converged solution.
By handling five times the number of policies of rival solutions, Enea Policy Manager resolves the scale, cloud transformation, and interfacing requirements with the 5G network data layer while avoiding the synchronisation and consistency pitfalls of separate 4G and 5G policy solutions. Drawbacks of separate, siloed approaches to subscriber data plans and policy include; misaligned subscriber profiles; incorrect, out-of-sync billing; and lack of use case flexibility.
As a dual-mode policy offer, the Enea Policy Manager provides operators with both the 4G PCRF and the 5G PCF using a combined subscriber data plan stored in a common network data layer, and consistent data model and quota management based on the new 5GC for current and future monetisation approaches.
Delivering choice for the operator deployment, the Enea Policy Manager integrates with both 5G charging systems (5GCHF) and legacy charging systems to provide a seamless migration between network access types.
Commenting on the development, Don Alusha, Senior Analyst, 5G Core and Edge Networks research service, ABI Research, said, “There is complexity associated with running separate quota management systems for 4G and 5G. This may result in revenue leakage because quota buckets are misaligned, and operators often end up with frustrated subscribers who are potentially denied a service despite having plenty of data allowance remaining. Moreover, maintenance of separate subscriber databases lead to increased costs and potential poor quality of experience.”
Together with its Enea Openwave Traffic Management components, Enea provides a best-in-class solution to classify, optimise and steer network data traffic utilisation, combining the policy manager on control plane and the enforcement in the user plane.
Meanwhile, Osvaldo Aldao, Vice President, Product Management, Enea, said, “The role of the policy control function is only getting more complex. MNOs are struggling to implement a common view on subscriber data from existing proprietary 4G PCRF systems combined with the new 5G PCF in a seamless way. Our Policy Manager solves this problem for operators, aligning all key aspects of a truly convergent 4G and 5G policy control system, in a way that allows MNOs to deliver consistent quality of experience and monetization tools across all access types.”