Vodafone Hungary implements 'soft caps' on mobile data usage

Vodafone Hungary said it deployed a new bandwidth management system for its mobile broadband services that may be a viable way to keep customers from using too much bandwidth without taking draconian measures such as cutting off their access to curb overuse.

Vodafone is using a solution that dials back a subscriber's usage to 2G levels during times of heavy congestion. At other times, users can exceed their usage caps at full 3G bandwidth. This "soft cap" gives Vodafone the ability to manage high usage periods while offering an upgrade path for customers who want to pay for a higher level of service to guarantee 3G speeds during peak traffic hours.

Vodafone is using a policy server solution from Camiant, called the Multimedia Policy Engine, in conjunction with a mobile packet gateway from Starent Networks. The Camiant system uses the 3GPP Policy and Charging Rules Function and works with the Starent box to dynamically control bandwidth availability to specific users. Vodafone started working with its vendors in August and went live with the new bandwidth management system in December.

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