Pieter Veenstra, Lead Solution Architect

At IPX Summit 2014 representatives of carriers discussed the newest trends of the IPX services and the associated technical challenges. Also analysts and consultants shared interested insights about their expectations of the IPX business. And suppliers (including NetNumber) with specialized products for IPX carriers complemented the conference.

The NetNumber’ presentation “Key Benefits to Centralized Routing in an IPX network” discussed the common challenges IPX challenges carriers are faced with like the issue of signaling surge, growing signaling control diversity and complexity, and the need for cost savings. Please find hereafter a description of the challenges IPX carriers are faced with and how NetNumber offers solutions with its applications on TITAN.

Finally mobile operators worldwide are testing and launching the long expected VoLTE services in their high-speeds LTE data networks now the VoLTE enabled smart phones spread the market in big numbers. Customers are finally offered a built-in carrier grade voice app with the same comfort and trust as they are used to in recent years with the circuit switched mobile voice services.

Despite these undisputable advantages to customers, the new VoLTE services introduce extra routing and control complexity in the IPX carrier networks for roaming support and voice calls. In addition to the circuit switched voice services the VoLTE services require new additional SIP and DIAMETER routing and control technology. The following picture is a typical representation of the resulting signaling and control functions in the networks with the parallel signaling silos (DNS/ENUM, SIP, DIAMETER, SS7/C7).

The additional routing complexity refers to the analysis of each individual incoming voice call to determine if the customer is to be served via the circuit switched voice services or via the VoLTE services. This requires a per call routing capability to branch between the 2 different technology platforms. In the beginning this routing distinction can be handled in an indirectly manner by e.g. default routing all incoming traffic to the circuit switched platform and forward calls to the IMS platform for customers to served with the VoLTE services. But this involves more network resources, extra licensee costs and potentially service-interworking issues that will force operators to look for more advanced and direct routing capabilities when the volume of VoLTE customers increases.

The additional control technology is caused by the fact that VoLTE is standardized and built as an application of the IP Multimedia Sub-system (IMS). This is an impressive set of standards by which the working of each IMS service (and thus also VoLTE) requires a consistent collaboration of many functions. In many networks operators started to built their IMS platform with a multi-vendor best-of-breed policy that worked in the beginning with not that many functions, but over the new years new functions were to be added by which the resulting complexity now caused operational issues like multiple end-of-life issues, the huge costs of system integration and the alarming OSS/BSS complexity. In addition, there is the knowledge issue when both platforms based on circuit switched technology and platforms based on IMS technology needs to be operated.

Recently independent research institutes like Strategy Analytics and Infonetics Research also recognize the issues caused by the growing complexity in routing and control. This is why their analysts now start to promote the concept of Centralized Signaling Routing Control (CSRC) to the industry. With combining multiple functions in one single technical platform multiplicities in functionalities and processes can be taken away by which huge advantages in operational efficiency can be made as well fastened service innovation.

In this regard NetNumber has already a 14 years of experience delivering innovative signaling control solutions. The NetNumber’ TITAN platform supports the Centralized Routing Engine (CRE) by which the complexity in routing and signaling control can be substantially reduced in the IPX networks. The following picture illustrates the effects of introducing a multi-protocol signaling-control platform as TITAN into the network. Please also note the support of both the traditional SS7/C7 signaling solutions and the new IMS based SIP and DIAMETER signaling solutions can be combined in the same platform.

The result is a dramatically simplified network architecture. Simplicity that translates into ongoing cost savings that can be measured in:

  1. licensing cost savings
  2. systems integration savings
  3. upgrade savings
  4. network monitoring savings
  5. ongoing OSS/BSS integration savings.

TITAN also drives complexity out of the NFV model by delivering a single platform that supports multi-protocol signaling-control services. The may result in a 15x reduction in operational complexity. TITAN resolves the existing signaling control chaos and avoids that the same chaos is virtualized with NFV.

If you attended IPX Summit earlier this month, share your Perspective.

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