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Labs presents ground-breaking Project OCEAN at Mobile World Congress



By Curt Hopkins, Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs

“I think OCEAN is something that has great potential,” said Kyu-Han Kim, Principal Research Scientist and Mobility Research Group Manager for the Networking and Mobility lab. “Other competitors are working on this but we have a much better approach.”

Project OCEAN, which stands for “Open and Carrier-grade Enterprise Access Network,” is being discussed for the first time this week as part of the HPE IoT Platform at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona from February 22-25.

In short, it is a project that contains technical elements which will enable mobile operators and enterprise IT to better manage their mobile networks.


What makes OCEAN so ground-breaking, Kim told Behind the Scenes, is its top-shelf Quality of Experience (QoE).

One of the big issues in mobile networks is how to deal with hand-offs between heterogeneous networks as a user moves from place to place. OCEAN’s QoE controller is able to assess user needs not just based on available networks, but on the specific demands of whichever application you are using as you move.

“Skype, for example, is a ‘delay-sensitive application,’” said Kim. “So our QoE will understand to move it to an LTE network because LTE has a better tolerance for that specific need.”

KyuHanK.gifKyu-Han KimIn other words, OCEAN will not just assist a telecom in moving your signal to a new network, its decision to do so will be based partially on which application you are utilizing at the moment of the hand-off.

This is the lynchpin in the system, and the one that separates OCEAN, and will help to distinguish the HPE IoT Platform, from its contemporaries. But there are other elements that help to establish the technology’s excellence.

Seamless roaming

“Typically the user has to suffer,” said Kim. But with OCEAN, that suffering is ameliorated with seamless roaming based on precise and dynamic network flow allocation.

This is an infrastructure-based network middlebox,” he said, “serving the enterprise and its end users. The middlebox can monitor traffic and make decisions based on that flow, while we use it to make our system learn its characteristics, hence becoming more intelligent overall..”

Finally, “policy-aware roaming” will intelligently divert a device from connecting automatically to Wi-Fi when that action would dump an ongoing download onto a crowded office Wi-Fi system, for instance, thereby reducing the download time substantially. It is extremely challenging to meet every flow’s demand under complex enterprise network policy. “This is part of our core expertise”, said Kim, “Our China network research group has been working on this for many years, and OCEAN is built on top of it.”

Partner focus

The HPE customers and business partners who attend MWC are looking for solutions, Kim noted, and how to manage connectivity is one of their main concerns. OCEAN will help to improve their ability to do just that.

For now, Project OCEAN is helping increase the power and responsiveness of HPE’s IoT Platform, though Hewlett Packard Labs is collaborating with HPE’s Communications and Media Solutions team on other ways to bring OCEAN to even more customers.

“We are at the forefront of the industry,” said Kim. Crossing OCEAN will prove a daunting swim for any competitor.

Photo via Wikimedia

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Managing Editor, Hewlett Packard Labs