The Openet integrated suite of policy, charging and interaction software provides the flexibility required to cater for emerging partnerships with specific services, such as Facebook, as well as with premium OTT service providers, such as streaming media services and alternative communications providers. Application specific pricing is a proven technique to stimulate data usage with low cost offers that are easy to use and a key tool in creating future up-sell opportunities amongst a larger pool of data users.

Improved results through OTT partnerships

Third party service providers were once seen as a major competitive threat by some operators, there have been some recent partnerships developing between OTT providers and mobile operators. Providers such as WhatsApp, Viber and Facebook have all announced operator partnerships and revenue sharing arrangements in the last 12 months as they themselves look to monetize their large subscriber bases. Application services passes, which are effectively a form of direct operator billing and charging, provide an easy to use and attractive monetization option for OTT partners.

Simple pricing strategies provide a win-win for both operator and content provider

Application Service Passes are a data entitlement that allows access to a specified application or group of applications for a defined time period. Application service passes often feature unlimited access subject to a fair usage policy (e.g. usage not to exceed 250 mb per month or 20 mb per day) and be offered free for promotional periods to accelerate take-up. This enables the launch of simple consumer offers (e.g. Unlimited Facebook) based around social media and other popular apps. These simple offers can form part of a portfolio of dynamic services that are presented to users on their devices for immediate purchase. 

How it works

The user purchases an application service pass through a smartphone or self-care portal. The Interaction Gateway enables secure interaction between smart devices and the backend policy and charging control components.  
The user is charged through an online charging system (OCS) and the policy control rules function (PCRF) is updated with the quota entitlement. The PCRF then updates the enforcement point with the relevant policies, e.g. do not trigger a charging request when the relevant application usage is detected. The Enforcement Point (a network packet gateway or deep packet inspection node) must be able to identify specific application traffic to support this use case.