Basic Internet Services

In recent years many new services have been implemented on IP-based networks. As IP networks become faster (higher bandwidth) and more responsive (lower delay), the set of services has grown. This growth generates more revenue opportunities for service providers, and thus next-generation networks are all migrating toward IP technologies. From an operator standpoint, services can be broken down into four billable classes:

• Basic Internet services
• Premium Internet services
• VPN services
• Operator premium services

1. Basic Internet Services
Basic Internet services are typically billed at a flat rate. They don’t offer an operator the ability to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) for premium content or applications. Basic Internet service does not provide end-to-end QoS and therefore cannot guarantee good service for demanding QoS applications.

2. Premium Internet Services
Premium services are important not only to improve ARPU, but to add new services. Premium Internet services allow operators to have a business relationship with an application service provider (ASP) that feeds their QoS offerings. This is accomplished when both the operator and ASP use compatible QoS technologies. Examples of billable premium content are TV stations, movies, on-demand content, and radio.

3. VPN Services
VPN is in its own class because the operator’s network has no visibility into the application data. To meet the security needs of an enterprise the implementation of a VPN typically creates a tunnel between the user device and a VPN concentrator within the enterprise network. Because a VPN tunnel is encrypted, there is no mechanism for billing by application. However, an enterprise’s VPN service can be billed by QoS level. Enterprises that outsource their data service might use a managed VPN which is slightly different because the operator owns at least one end of the tunnel.

4. Operator Premium Services
Operator premium services are applications provided on the operator’s network. These services have the advantage of a controlled environment where QoS can be strictly enforced. For example, a voice-over-IP (VoIP) service on a QoS-enabled network can guarantee more consistent quality than a VoIP call over the best-effort Internet. In addition, broadcast services, based on IP multicast technologies, can be accommodated efficiently on an end-to-end IPbased transport network.