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SPUG Announcement

Subscriber Profile User Group launched by some of the world's largest operators

Mobile World Congress, February 2008: Today sees the launch of a powerful new operator forum - the Subscriber Profile User Group (SPUG). Founded by Sprint, T-Mobile, Vodafone, AIS, 3 and Bharti, SPUG has been set up to share practical experience across the operator and vendor communities to develop industry best practice for the design, implementation and operation of subscriber profile centred networks with data less network applications.

At MWC2008 SPUG will demand a new approach to service delivery in today's marketplace. Supported by 'Vendor' members, including Nokia Siemens Networks, HP, Tibco, IBM and Alcatel Lucent, the group will call on the industry to implement a host of new dataless applications that will more effectively leverage the operator's subscriber profile information, instead of locking data away within various applications.

According to a Loudhouse Research study in November 2007, over 75 percent of operators believe subscriber data is the most important convergence issue for their organizations, and 60 percent have plans to consolidate all subscriber information into a single repository over the next 12-24 months.

True to the sentiments of the operator community, SPUG aims to (i) drive separation of data from application logic (dataless applications) (ii) push for implementing a unified view of consolidated subscriber data (iii) promote open data access interfaces based on standard protocols, and (iv) encourage the dataless ecosystem.

SPUG provides a forum to directly address these issues, discuss the data consolidation objectives of its members, and provide direction on how to accelerate the seamless introduction of a unified subscriber repository. In addition, SPUG will identify lead application areas, common pitfalls, and crucially, will provide guidance to infrastructure and application vendors for developing dataless products.

Dr. Ray Barghi, Sr Group Manager, Applications, Devices, and Subscriber Data Management, at Sprint, and SPUG Chairman, said: "A service provider's ability to rapidly deliver sophisticated and personalised services rests solely on its ability to understand the subscriber. Historically, much of the vital intelligence needed to do this has been distributed and locked-up in the network. As a broad community, we have come to understand this, and are embarking on industry-wide projects to consolidate all such data into a central repository - to deliver a single, accurate profile of the user. This is no easy task and SPUG has been established to share best practices in this area and provide a level of cooperation between operators and vendors that we have not seen before in the network.”

SPUG is dedicated to highlighting the concept of the dataless applications within the network. For over two decades, service providers have struggled to extricate subscriber data from the application and truly 'own' their own customers."

Joachim Horn, Chief Technical Officer at T-Mobile, said: "The concept of the data layer within the core network, with the application simply feeding off this central store, is critical in addressing many of the technical and commercial challenges facing today's converged players. Not least, understanding the importance of the data layer is a significant step-change in enabling the creation of fully open and flexible network. Significantly, effective management of this data layer enables real-time access to subscriber information - turning data into the intelligence required to address the personalisation demands of today's consumers."

SPUG has set in motion a range of initiatives - such as defining the toolset around a centralized data repository, and building relationships with the vendor community. It will continue to forge greater links between operators and its vendor community, to ensure the rapid development of a standards-based, open and flexible network able to stand up to the rigors of a new generation world.

© 2018 SPUG & SPUG Global LLC.