🎸How to Create Internet Broadband Products for Mobile & other Networks🎚️

🎸How to Create Internet Broadband Products for Mobile & other Networks🎚️

Creating tailored internet broadband products is similar to adjusting sound with an amplifier, needing different settings for different needs.


5 min read

The concept of creating custom sound and audio using an amplifier with sliders is a common concept. Certain slider settings are even associated with specific genres like pop, rock, classical, voice, flat, etc. Internet broadband products are no different. There isn't a single product that will suit the market and debating about uncapped versus usage based products misses the point. That is but a single variable slide of any Internet broadband product.

Way back in 2014 I was enjoying a bottle of Scotch Whisky in the iBurst Lab while playing Guitar Hero (I sucked!) and in a moment of brilliance the idea hit me! In 2024, it seems the industry in finally catching up. Please call me?

Product cost

All attributes of an Internet broadband products can be visualised as sliders and each attribute can be at a setting which defines its performance. This correlates directly to its price! The higher the setting on each slider with contribute to the cost of that attribute increasing the price of the overall broadband product. Product managers creating Internet products are thus like music producers sitting a a studio mixing desk. The slider settings will determine the broadband product price as well as the profit and overall returns. Obviously a Internet broadband product with all the sliders turned up to maximum will be the most expensive, but also the most simplistic! It is a classic Catch-22, to make a product cheaper you need to invest more in the back end network infrastructure.

So how does a product amplifier look for an Internet broadband product?

Product Attribute slider

The sliders with variable settings are:

  • Price - is directly influenced by the position of the other sliders.

  • Speed - a slider that indications throughput.

  • Symmetry - an indication of the difference between upload and download speeds (typically a business requires better upload ability).

  • Connections - the network connection count, i.e. how many sessions (e.g. browser windows you can open).

  • Bucket/usage - an indication of the bucket size with uncapped being the extreme.

  • Time period - used to indicate peak times and off peak times.

  • Availability - amount of expected downtime, often categorized as gold, silver and bronze. Obviously the better the uptime of a service the higher the price and an attribute often used in business focused products.

  • Bursting - ability to go beyond the expected throughput or usage limits.

Content Slider

The content slider is a master slider consisting of a subset of sliders that adjusts content. This content can include: video, browsing, email, P2P, VoIP and social network as an example. The product manager decides which market to target and then adjusts the Internet broadband product to optimally match the market. An example would be a cost effective product for mobile networks that provides whatsapp services.

The World of Wireless

An obvious use of the product amplifier is to make wireless networks more efficient. Mobile networks are the biggest examples of wireless networks. An unrestricted broadband product on mobile networks will result in tower congestion and lead to an overall poor user experience. Operators tend to control this by insuring high data prices per GB which will prevent abuse. However, launching an unrestricted broadband product at a low cost on wireless leads to disaster. Wireless is not fibre because it has more finite resources. Air versus glass and glass wins. A user who has an unrestricted product on wireless fires up a P2P file sharing application such as bittorrent and downloads large files such as movies. This triggers tower congestion and is a disaster for the operator. The solution is the product amplifier and in most mobile networks it is mandatory. Within 4G and 5G networks the product amplifiers are actually standardised and part of the specification.

Software to build product amplifiers for broadband products

The product amplifier is a method to create very cheap or expensive products dependent on the consumer appetite. As with audio, consumers will have genres where a certain slider setting will be preferential for a large common base. These product slide differentials were initially achieved using products like a service control engine from Cisco. This product has been killed off and Sandvine has now stepped up to the plate as an alternative. These products are largely based on deep packet inspection engines.

The nature of these engines make them a perfect tool to use in service chaining product attributes to software defined wide area networking (SDWAN) products.

More than just the Technology

It is easy to be caught in chasing only the technology attributes of a product. Somehow, that latest widget or feature is a must have?

However, that is not what it is all about. It is not about a product that is defined by only about technology, it is also how it is supported, serviced and maintained. This is made up of and delivered by using not only technology but people and processes as well.

You can have the most dated technology, deliver great service and you'll could still be successful. You can have cutting edge technology, deliver poor service and fail.

I look back with nostalgia at Madge, a token-ring company. To the right is a picture of an mug a milestone in 1993. By 2000 the company had tanked. The company even had the vision to invest in Ethernet and wifi, and the best bunch of people on planet Earth. However, it went titsup. The process and strategy implementation wasn't up to par even though it had the greatest philosophy for customer support (read about it here)! The technology component is typically only 30%!

Although this article largely focuses on that 30%, it is the undeniable foundation.

Ronald Bartels ensures that Internet inhabiting things are connected reliably online at Fusion Broadband South Africa - the leading specialized SD-WAN provider in South Africa. Learn more: 👉 Contact Fusion