Bridgewater Updates Policy Controller

Mobile personalisation firm Bridgewater Systems has announced enhancements to the Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) compliant Bridgewater Policy Controller for HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) and LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks. Bridgewaters Policy Controller is the first to support new requirements defined in Release 9 of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
The Bridgewater Policy Controller, which supports 3GPP PCRF Release 7, 8 and 9 standards on the same platform, provides real-time network, application, and subscriber policies that allow operators to manage mobile data growth and deliver personalized services.
The 3GPP Release 9 standard expands the policy enforcement functions of the Gx interface to include subscriber usage information for volume-based service metering. The Policy Controller moves beyond current standards to support real-time, multi-service metering based on application usage and is fully interoperable with leading network equipment providers.
Bridgewater says that these new features will enable operators to deliver innovative usage and application-based services such as policies and pricing based on bandwidth usage, specific types of applications, and casual usage. For example, a heavy mobile video user can be provided with guaranteed quality of service for a monthly fee. Casual users can be offered applications on-demand, notified by SMS when they are near their limit, and receive a service boost offer. Users can choose how much bandwidth to allocate to different applications and monitor application usage in real time to prevent bill shock.
Operators will also be able to manage network congestion by applying Smart Caps and metering to adjust usage levels based on real-time factors such as the level of congestion and time of day, or a subscribers data consumption or roaming status. 
Finally, says Bridgewater, operatprs will be able to reduce costs significantly by adopting a more efficient way of enforcing policies and metering subscriber usage in a way that does not require expensive online charging systems or upgrades to existing charging systems.
A recent Yankee Group survey of executives from 61 GSM/HSPA operators in Europe, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, commissioned by Bridgewater, revealed that the majority preferred a PCRF standards-based policy solution. The ability to charge subscribers based on their volume of usage for individual applications such as video, peer-to-peer, and voice over IP was ranked high in importance. The same survey concluded that allowing subscribers to individually set and modify their own service preferences and plans, including managing usage, and setting limits per application or while roaming, was a strong value proposition.
When going to market with new services or service models, operators should first look at policy control tools that safeguard the customer experience, says Yankee Group Vice President, Ari Banerjee. Chief among these ought to be subscriber-controlled capabilities to view real-time usage data, monitor usage against their bill plan, and have the ability to dynamically alter or enhance subscription plans based on bandwidth and application usage.