Pieter Veenstra, NetNumber Lead Solutions Architect
In our multi-part blog series, we are examining how carriers can accelerate migration to next-gen services, increase service agility, mitigate signaling surges, and reduce operating costs.
In this week’s post, we examine how carriers can best solve the “signaling surge.” Our blogger is Pieter Veenstra, who has recently joined NetNumber from KPN as Lead Solutions Architect.
In my previous job at KPN, I established over the years an intensive and warm working relationship with the NetNumber team. As lead architect for the design of KPN’s new IP Interconnect service I gradually became aware of the very specific capabilities that NetNumber brings to a Telco. This is the result of their unique services as well as their special way of working together with customers.
Also noting that innovations in the smaller Telcos like KPN are becoming more and more troubled due to complexity issues and cost challenges, I made my interest aware to NetNumber and was happily invited to join the team. Bringing nearly 30 years Telco experience in the house, one of my tasks is to create more awareness about the real needs of our customers. But I also came across the limited awareness of the unique capabilities that are developed and practiced in NetNumber that may help Telcos dramatically simplify their networks and reduce operational costs.
Based on their initial success NetNumber is well known by Telcos and suppliers for their “Centralized Routing & Policy Engine”. This provides a solution to the problem of “Signaling Surge” along the following 2 dimensions:
- Bridging functions over technology domains
In previous years network complexity increased dramatically with VoIP, IMS and LTE. New signaling flavors as DNS/ENUM, SIP and Diameter were added together with an elaborated decomposition of functions in separate servers. In addition many operators still have extensive network deployments with SS7 in operation.
This expansion of both technologies (each requiring specialized expertise) and network infrastructures causes many operational and cost issues. The TITAN platform of NetNumber enables operators to bridge technology domains. TITAN abstracts functions like routing that are interworked to the technology specific interfaces. As a result operators will be able to rationalize and simplify services to technology independent processes.
A typical example is the SS7 STP function that is supported as TITAN feature. This allows operators to continue their SS7 network but with the newest NfV technology allowing a gradual shrink of legacy network deployments without wasting the investment in SS7 replacement costs.
- Integrating functions within technology domains
The IMS set of standards is characterized by an extensive decomposition of functions. In previous years the industry followed the path of implementing these functions in different servers of different vendors.
In today’s networks this has lead to a situation of immense complexity. The situation becomes even worse as more elements will be introduced with new services. With the growing number of network elements all the interactions in the network become more difficult to handle next to increased operational issues like different end-of-life schemes.
TITAN offers a very elegant solution because a wide variety of functions can be integrated. Consequently less signaling interfaces will be needed resulting is less network complexity and simpler operations. This also reduces costs for system integration, verification and acceptance testing, fault handling, etc.
Please note that other vendor products only provide partial or cosmetic solutions for the above phenomena.
- Although traditional signaling interworking solutions may provide a bridge between technology domains, such solutions don’t offer the simplification potentials that NetNumber offers. With the TITAN solution legacy network functions are offered as part of generic database services.
- The TITAN platform provides a wide variety of signaling control functions in the different technology domains (SS7, ENUM, SIP and Diameter) that can be combined on specific Telco demand. In a domain such grouping of functions takes away complexity and costs in Telco networks.
Do you believe carriers need to worry about the “signaling surge?” Share your perspective.