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Turbo Boost – nice idea, impossible to deliver?

  • Posted by Alex Leslie
  • November 19, 2012 11:12 AM GMT
While we may all want turbo boost options, spare a thought for the operators who have to deliver them. Is it even viable and can it even be charged for accurately?
Image courtesy of Arvind Balaraman /

Mobile subscribers sometimes want the ability to upgrade the performance of certain high-bandwidth applications for a specific time period. The broad term used for this, go faster now option, is turbo boost, but it is simply not always deliverable. A recent straw poll survey held during a Volubill webinar revealed that 80 per cent of industry professionals “consider on-demand mobile services made possible through things like ‘turbo buttons,’ ‘important’ or ‘very important.’” I am happy for them and in complete agreement.

The inconvenient truth is that we all know network congestion is the biggest challenge for our industry. And, like traffic networks, there are rush hours, which increase the congestion problem. As a tired-looking Senior Architect from Swisscom said at an event recently, you might promise someone a boost as they are running through the main railway station in Bern at five o’clock on Friday afternoon but there is no way you could guarantee delivering it. Several other operators either nodded or laughed.

Having said that, I think that some of the innovations that are coming through from operators are hugely encouraging. Happy hour or ‘time shifting’ deals, normally promoted during low usage periods, are much easier to deliver and are now being offered by 11 per cent of operators surveyed by Allot Communications. We are certainly entering the phase where value-based billing/charging/pricing (take your pick) is accepted as the way that customers and operators can both benefit. Customers feel as if they are getting value and understand what they are paying for, operators get more loyalty (through the stickiness delivered through intelligent bundles and offers).

While we may all want turbo boost options, spare a thought for the operators who have to deliver this. You might like to add your view to the discussion here…..