The virtualization of policy management has become a reality, with operators viewing virtualization as a way to address scalability and flexibility requirements.
Virtualization is a requirement in nearly all requests for proposals (RFPs) and requests for information (RFIs) from developed regions and a growing number of emerging markets.
According to a report from research firm IHS, the market for policy deployed as a virtual network function (VNF) will reach $2.8 billion by 2020, which would account for 90% of the total management market.
Last year the total global market for policy management solutions reached $1.6 billion driven largely by wireless momentum.
Data monetization is a key driver behind policy management investments in the mobile realm, as is the deployment of adjunct policy charging and rules function (PCRF) and policy system replacement to support voice over LTE (VoLTE) services, IHS said.
There has been some momentum around deploying policy management via a cloud based software-as-a-service (SaaS) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS) model, although mostly among smaller operators and for adjunct lines of business at this point. This trend is expected to intensify over the next few years.
Policy is becoming closely linked with the larger concept of customer experience management (CEM) by providing operators a way to offer their subscribers and prospects more creative and targeted services that are consistent across multiple delivery mechanisms and end-user devices.
As this occurs, there is growing interest in pushing policy control to the device as a tool for subscriber engagement, enabling self-care, targeted offers and promotions, etc.