Tier-1 Mobile Operator, APAC

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Asian Operator Automates IoT Traffic Management and Security

About Tier 1 Mobile Operator in APAC

This case study features a mobile operator owning one of the biggest 3G networks in the world. As some of its enterprise customers upgraded their devices and sensors to smart connected ones, the operator wished to accommodate this trend by introducing a solution for managing the entire lifecycle of its new Internet of Things (IoT) customers. The project started with a pilot involving two enterprise customers. One enterprise is a local electric company that replaced its old electricity meters with new SIM-enabled meters in order to automatically and remotely monitor power consumption. 50,000 SIM-enabled meters already installed in residential buildings were automatically transmitting their consumption readings over the operator’s mobile network to the electric company’s servers for further processing. The other enterprise is a bank that remotely manages 200,000 SIM-enabled Point of Sale (PoS) machines and connected cashiers installed at numerous retail stores. These machines continuously transmit real-time commercial transactions during business hours over the operator’s mobile network to the bank’s datacenter servers.

The Challenge

The mobile operator wanted to manage the traffic generated by the Internet-connected devices which is being sent over the same 3G mobile network that subscribers use for mobile data services. While the initial number of IoT devices was easy to manage, the plan was to substantially increase the number of connected devices in a very short time. Eventually, IoT endpoints may easily outnumber smartphones and other subscriber devices, so in addition to a highly scalable solution, the mobile operator wanted to:

  • Manage enterprise IoT traffic separately from mobile subscriber traffic
  • Protect the network from IoT device malfunctions or bot-infections
  • Prevent IoT devices from exceeding expected bandwidth usage
  • Report on IoT device usage and trends
  • Monitor IoT device usage for charging and billing
  • Alert on abnormal IoT device behavior
  • Seamlessly interface with its IoT web portal for both management and monitoring of the IoT traffic

Allot Solution

Allot provided a comprehensive and scalable IoT Traffic Management solution for monitoring and controlling IoT bandwidth consumption and quality of service, and seamlessly integrated it with the mobile operator’s new IoT web terminal. The solution provides granular visibility of the IoT endpoints of each enterprise customer and significantly reduces the operational expenses involved in onboarding and provisioning new IoT enterprise customers. IoT electricity meters: Allot policy control is used to secure the operator’s mobile network from abnormal bandwidth consumption by the electric company’s power meters, such as misuse by building management, company employees, or hackers. The usage policy limits each device to the bandwidth required for its narrow functions. Each meter is allowed to transmit its power consumption readings only during a specific time-window each month, and the network protocol for communicating with the electricity meters is allocated a specific and limited amount of bandwidth. Real-time traffic monitoring and usage analytics enable the operator to discretely monitor the usage of each IoT endpoint alert on abnormal behavior, such as exceeding its normal bandwidth. Allot’s SOAP interface is used to allow IoT usage policies as well as usage reports and alerts to display in the operator purpose-built IoT management console. IoT POS terminals: Allot policy control was also used to assure the PoS and connected cashiers’ real-time commercial transactions with the bank by whitelisting and enforcing QoS between endpoint devices and the bank server IPs. Bandwidth per device was limited to the expected normal usage in order to prevent anomalous behavior caused by misuse of the endpoint SIM. All traffic between IoT endpoints and the bank is managed on a separate APN and given a higher priority to make sure the transactions are completed in real-time.  

Challenge

Automate the management of IoT device traffic and prevent it from impacting mobile subscriber services or network performance.

Solution

Deploy the extremely scalable Allot Service Gateway Tera platform together with Allot’s granular traffic analytics and traffic management solutions.

Benefits

  • Automate control of IoT network usage
  • Gain valuable intelligence on IoT behavior and network usage
  • Reduce operational costs
  • Simplify IoT onboarding and provisioning