What’s Ahead for Quality-of-Service Measurement?

What’s Ahead for Quality-of-Service Measurement?

Yaakov (J) Stein A CTO Allocation.

When asked, “Who invented the telephone?” Most people have no problem answering Alexander Graham Bell. Maybe they’ll also remember his assistant Thomas Watson (as in “Mr. Watson, come here. I need you.”).

But who is the father of telephone? service? That honor goes to Theodore Newton Vail.

Theodore was a cousin of Alfred Vail, co-inventor of the telegraph. Before becoming the first CEO of Bell Telephone, Theodore Vail was the general superintendent of the US Railway Mail Service. Bell’s father-in-law and angel investor, Gardiner Hubbard, offered Val a job at top Bell Telephone because of his vision to interconnect all telephones.

You see, Bell and his assistant, Watson, never got past the stage of offering the pair of telephones for sale. A pair of telephones is very useful product But one with a major drawback. You need one pair of telephones for each pair of locations you want to interconnect.

On the other hand, Vail realized that telephony needed to be organized as one intranet (through which anyone can communicate with anyone else) and packaged just as importantly service (such as the postal service where he came from). Actually, term vilism The philosophy used to describe that such public services are best run as regulated monopolies.

Communication Products vs Services

What shall we call here? Bell-Watson model, Customer pays once for a product But responsible for installation (eg, telephone wiring and battery connections) and maintenance (eg, battery replacement and cable repair). Under this model, the Bell Telephone Company would only be responsible for providing functional telephones.

in Vail model, The customer pays a monthly fee for the telephone service, And the service provider assumes responsibility for operations. Nowadays, it seems that everything related to “computing” has become a service: Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Data as a Service (DaaS), Content as a Service About something as a service (CaaS) and something as a service (XaaS).

Why we are willing to pay for products is intuitive, but why are customers willing to pay for services? After all, the marginal cost of providing a service is often negligible.

Free service

Do you conference via Zoom, Skype or WhatsApp? Do you email using Gmail? Do you watch YouTube or TikTok? Do you have a profile on Facebook or LinkedIn? Ever transferred files using Dropbox? Do you use Google Search? Have you ever used free Wi-Fi?

All of these services are essentially free (although some may have paid versions and cover most display advertising costs). If you can get all this for free, why not anyone to pay for it any Service?

The answer is simply that people no longer pay for basic communication services (which are often available for free). Instead, they pay for Quality-of-Service (QoS) guarantees. Simply put, customers pay for the right to complain when service quality does not meet expectations.


If we pay for the right to complain about the quality of a service, Then this quality must be something that is directly to the customer experience.

One definition of quality of experience (QoE) is “the overall acceptability of an application or service, as subjectively perceived by the end-user.” QoE is therefore a psychophysical measure, which can only be measured using human subjects. The most popular measure is the Mean Opinion Score (MOS), which is measured by averaging the opinions of multiple subjects, each providing a score on a scale of 1 (poor) to 5 (excellent). MOS is close to the speech quality of modern conferencing applications 5, landline telephones score 4 and 2G/3G cellular phones The score is around 3.6. If, after a video conference call, you are asked to rate the call 1 to 5 stars, you are actually participating in a large-scale MOS test.

QoS and its demise

But subjective measures can be very slow and expensive to measure in communication settings. For simplicity, the leading method of determining quality of service is not QoE but rather what is somewhat misleadingly known as Quality of Service (QoS). QoS parameters are easily measured as objective measurements of communication channels that are trusted something Correlates with QoE and can be used as a proxy for true QoE. Commonly used QoS parameters include service availability (measured in nines; i.e., five nines equals 99.999%), signal-to-noise ratio, data latency, and packet loss ratio.

Over the past few decades, this QoS and QoE connection has been proven. Many well-known formulas have been developed to correlate network QoS with QoE degradation for various applications such as telephony, video streaming, video conferencing, and general browsing.

However, these formulas may fail to hold in many modern communication situations. For example, firewalls, content delivery networks, WAN optimization, and even dynamic webpages can potentially break any relationship between QoS and QoE.

This is not a trivial matter. Without QoE visibility, network operators cannot detect problems and take countermeasures before disgruntled customers bombard their customer service lines (or simply leave for a competitor).

What can be done?

Most ISPs are driven by customer input and upgrade oversubscribed resources as needed. Such strategies may be good enough for best-effort services but not enough for critical infrastructure and services.

In many cases, easily measurable QoS parameters still have some predictive power, even when conventional empirical QoE formulas are no longer guaranteed to hold. In such cases, more sophisticated predictions can be made by using additional inputs and employing machine learning techniques.

A more radical approach is to reject QoS altogether and instead rely on end-user applications that directly determine QoE and report degradation to the network (with appropriate measures to maintain confidentiality and authentication mechanisms to avoid new cyber attack vectors). this may be Communication may be the future of service-level maintenance, but it’s still over the horizon.

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