New approach employs terminal identification rather than data encryption to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution
P-Cube Inc., the first to provide programmable IP service control platforms for wireline and mobile network operators (MNOs), has announced its enhanced mobile service application, Encharge version 2.1, which utilises the company's application and subscriber aware platform architecture to enable mobile operators to protect copyrighted content from unauthorised use, storage and distribution. Unlike digital rights management (DRM) technologies that encrypt data, P-Cube's content protection uses terminal identification, which allows mobile operators to identify an authorised device-type and permit or block content based on the device's profile. The technology is a critical component to service providers' strategy of managing illicit distribution of data which most often occurs when advanced users utilise the Internet to access mobile content servers via workstations, laptops and PDAs.
Mobile phone personalisation with content such as ring tones, animated screensavers, music, gaming or even video clips is a high-margin, non-voice revenue stream for MNOs and content providers, driving the take-up of more advanced premium data services. However, the use of more general purpose hardware like PDAs, mobile connected laptops or workstations with unlimited storage in this environment means users can easily access, download, copy and distribute vast amounts of premium content without limitation. P-Cube's subscriber- aware, IP-based network technology addresses the problem by helping confine usage to a subset of well-known terminal- types, making content protection manageable.
P-Cube's Service Control technology is comprised of a programmable network element that sits inline with data traffic and creates an intelligent overlay enabling the network to identify, classify, guarantee performance and charge for content-based services. Using Encharge v2.1, mobile operators can control access to their designated content servers based on a subscription plan and device type, which enables the operators to determine if an unauthorised device is attempting to download valuable content.
"Mobile content data is a very lucrative asset for wireless providers. It's imperative that providers protect their assets while simultaneously packaging, delivering and charging for services that permit subscribers to personalise content," said Yuval Shahar, president and chief executive officer of P-Cube. "Our technology-agnostic services layer allows mobile operators to identify individual subscribers and control access to services based on their subscriber profile and device type further demonstrating the importance of service control in IP networks."
In addition to content protection, the Encharge service application provides mobile carriers with the ability to increase revenues by adding prepaid and postpaid content-based services to their mobile offerings. By integrating with existing operational and business support systems and converging the voice and data prepaid-postpaid environment, operators eliminate redundant systems and receive immediate cost savings. Encharge's real-time analysis and policy-based charging ensures carriers can block, redirect or shape content-based services while comprehensive Layer 7 deep packet inspection enables the identification of all mobile services including Push-to-Talk and multimedia offers.
Encharge 2.1 is generally available and shipping to customers today.