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Joors and F5: Connecting the Unconnected

As the world rapidly becomes more connected and application-centric, there is a growing risk that businesses and individuals in emerging markets will fall even further behind. Swedish web pioneers Joors, together with F5 Networks, has devised a solution that enables mobile operators anywhere in the world to bring affordable connectivity to users via innovative business-models such as ad-funded access.

What drives Joors is the joy of creating something new, of connecting people in ways that were previously unthinkable or restricted by hardware limitations and cost. Carl Aspenberg, CEO and Founder, Joors

Business Challenges

There are three billion unconnected people in the world and getting them online is no ordinary challenge. Cost, infrastructure and geographical challenges have historically hobbled effective and empowering solutions on a large scale.

 

We are on equal terms with F5 - they are an extension of our team, helping to shape the evolution of our products on a daily basis. Carl Aspenberg, CEO and Founder, Joors

Solution

Joor's solution is one of the first of its kind and is based on an agile and flexible network with advanced management capabilities.  

F5® BIG-IP® Local Traffic Manager™ (LTM) is central to this approach, simplifying, automating, and customizing application delivery. BIG-IP LTM fail-over configuration ensures all services remain up and running even during peak volumes and no matter what the circumstances.

Another key component is F5® BIG-IP® Policy Enforcement Manager™ (PEM), which provides insight on subscriber behavior and effectively manages network traffic with a wide range of policy enforcement capabilities.

The solution has given Joors policy enforcement across its networks, all of which operate in a completely virtualized and hardware independent environment and can be controlled remotely from Sweden.

Here, Joors maintain a comprehensive overview of network activity at all times. This includes capturing insight for user behavior and billing purposes and dealing with potential security issues in real-time. Joors is also able to monitor traffic, provisioning more server capacity during peak times and guaranteeing consistent, high-quality internet service wherever and whenever needed.

The technology has already been proven in the field.  A successful pilot project in partnership with TeliaSonera took place in Nepal in early 2016, and the next step is to expand into markets in South America, Africa and beyond. Joors’ solution is also operational in Sweden, running on Telia Company’s network, to help test and optimise new features for wider roll-out.

“What drives Joors is the joy of creating something new, of connecting people in ways that were previously unthinkable or restricted by hardware limitations and cost,” said Carl Aspenberg, CEO and Founder, Joors.

F5 understands disruption, they are application-centric and their cloud and security solutions really deliver. Carl Aspenberg, CEO and Founder, Joors

Benefits

Let there be internet

Joors’ ambition is to drive a new and empowering era of digital democratization. This means finding a way to work with mobile operators and the ability to offer a rapid, secure and empowering online experience to people without much disposable income.

The Joors solution is all about enabling new and innovative business models, including ad-funded internet. This provides affordable access to consumers and also drives service provider profit by introducing data-based services to previously unreachable demographics.

The beauty of the solution is its flexibility for service providers. As markets and consumers mature, it can be quickly tweaked to suit. For example, ad-funded access can be complemented with options to pay for more data or a wider range of services as desired. With no hardware obstacles and previously unthinkable levels of flexibility and control, service providers have more power than ever before to tap into new markets.

Joors is also using its solution to actively connect businesses and NGOs. This includes channeling social aid funds direct to relevant groups without intermediaries, and creating targeted packages for free or subsidized Internet content to address specific needs. This can include:

  • Communication with aid agencies and governments.
  • Access to online education and training. 
  • Contacts with doctors and medical institutions.
  • Banking and micro-loans.
  • Access to the local and global job market.

Finding the Right Solution

Initially, Joors started talking to F5, along with a number of other suppliers, about handling network traffic management – making sure it could be kept up and running no matter what. BIG-IP LTM was seen as a strong fit but it soon became clear it was just a starting point. As Joors interrogated their strategy in more depth, it wasn’t long become PEM was identified as a powerful market differentiator. Key features include:

  • A wide range of policy enforcement and reporting capabilities, enabling organizations to base business models and services on insights gathered through subscriber awareness and comprehensive analytics. With PEM, it is possible to build tailored services based on subscriber application usage, traffic classification and patterns, and roll out new services faster.
  • Increased network visibility, enabling monitoring of network conditions and management of network capacity in real time. Joors can now manage bandwidth consumption and dynamically implement policies to reduce network congestion, implement fair-usage policies and tiered services.
  • Layer 4-7 intelligent traffic-steering capabilities and the ability to implement bandwidth control policies. PEM enables virtualization and dynamic service bursting to VAS platforms, automatically optimizes your network performance through TCP optimizations and real-time network policies, and helps protect your network from DDoS threats.
  • Carrier-grade performance and scalability. PEM features best-in-class performance and scalability for total concurrent sessions, traffic throughput, and transactions per second. It can achieve up to 320 gigabits per second L7 throughput, and support more than 24 million concurrent subscribers within a single chassis—managing traffic with fewer servers. On a single platform with higher energy efficiency, Joors can ensure uptime and at-peak performance with comprehensive connection mirroring.

F5’s solutions also play an important role in securing the network – detecting attacks as soon as they hit the perimeter and dealing with them before they can infiltrate the end user’s device. It also means user data is kept secure.

More than a vendor

The viability of a project of this scale and ambition could only stem come a collaboration that goes well beyond the usual vendor-client relationship. Inspired by the sheer technical challenge and its eventual societal benefits, F5 has worked as an extension of the Joors team throughout. The working relationship has been integral to strategizing, troubleshooting and, most importantly, innovating what will be a game- and life-changing service.

“We get phenomenal support from F5. Their commitment and engagement levels really stand out, and in many ways it feels like we are working with another start-up. We are on equal terms - they are an extension of our team, helping to shape the evolution of our products on a daily basis. F5 understands disruption, they are application-centric and their cloud and security solutions really deliver.”