By Gerd Altmann

From Service Level Agreements (SLA) to Experience Level Agreements (ELA): The Challenges of Selling QoE to the User


In contrast to the rather network-centric notion of Quality of Service (QoS), the concept of Quality of Experience (QoE) has a strongly user-centric perspective on service quality in communication networks as well as online services. However, related research on QoE so far has largely neglected the question of how to operationalize quality differentiation and to provide corresponding solutions tailored to the end users. In this paper, we argue that the introduction of Experience Level Agreements (ELA) as QoE-enabled counterpiece to traditional QoS-based Service Level Agreements (SLA) would provide a key step towards being able to sell service quality to the user. Hence, we investigate various ideas to exploit QoE awareness for improving SLAs (ranging from internal aspects like SLOs by service providers to completely novel definitions of ELAs which are able to characterize QoE explicitly), and discuss important problems and challenges of the proposed transition as well.

In proceedings of IEEE ICC QoE-FI, London, UK.