Subscriber Session Steering Standard Targets On-Demand Traffic Shifts

The Broadband Forum is working on a Subscriber Session Steering Standard designed to “deliver flexible on-demand connectivity that detects traffic changes and automatically scales to preserve the user experience.”

This should benefit service providers and their customers, the Broadband Forum said. The initiative, to be known as WT-474, is well underway, according to a press release.

A key capability to be defined in the standard will enable load balancing and service selection at the ingress to the broadband network.

Subscriber Session Steering uses Broadband Forum’s CloudCO framework. It is intended to dynamically move a subscriber to a different broadband network gateway (BNG) user plane in real time if the user is not receiving adequate service.

The key benefit is enhanced flexibility.

“Typically, traditional fixed broadband networks have relatively static configurations in the access network, with subscribers mapped to specific gateways,” said Jonathan Newton, Vodafone and Co-Director of the Access and Transport Architecture Work Area at Broadband Forum, in the press release.

“Subscriber Session Steering breaks through restrictions on a service provider’s ability to offer innovative edge services, ensuring that the network is loaded evenly, coping with issues such as device failures, and allowing service providers to focus on service innovation.”

Potential applications for WT-474 include gaming, streaming, telework, telehealth, smart homes and other services with special and specific needs. The standard also should help enable the provider to meet a service level agreement (SLA) that it has with a customer.

The Broadband Forum positions WT-474 as a key to fully realizing the flexibility – and revenue potential – of virtualized networks. The standard also should enable networks to run more efficiently and cost-effectively, the organization says.



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