“In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes” (Benjamin Franklin 1789). Similarly in Telecoms we don’t know what the next successful service will be, however we can safely assume it needs to be faster, better and cheaper. Operators are facing unprecedented complex challenges as they transition the network from legacy to IP, introduce NFV/SDN, and building IoT/M2M services, while operating a live network with millions of customers. Accelerated convergence between the Internet world and the Telecoms world is complicating the situation by bringing new types of competitors, more stakeholders, more (incompatible) technologies and more diverse services. At BroadForward we see the impact of this trend in the changing requirements for the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC). This central routing and interworking gateway sits at the heart of the signaling network and no longer just manages Diameter, as DSC standards once dictated. Operators need it to orchestrate their multi-vendor, multi-protocol signaling network across different (and sometimes incompatible) technologies. The Next Generation DSC therefore has a key role to play in these strategic developments.
#1: VoLTE and Number Portability
Steven van Zanen,
Head of Product Mgt & Marketing,
Mobile IMS deployments and VoLTE will double the IMS market by 2017 according to ABI research. The DSC plays a key role to enable routing and interworking for VoLTE and VoWiFi. Another key element is the ability to resolve destinations and achieve call setup through a IP-DNS based (ENUM) number portability function. A growing number of operators and IPX providers will enable central number portability functionality in the network, which supports both Internet and telephony domains. BroadForward already deployed such central number portability gateways in 2016.
#2: NFV/SDN impact
The industry is still at an early phase. According to analyst IHS, a full NFV/SDN deployment is estimated to take operators approximately 3-5 years. Operators take NFV/SDN on board step by step. The smaller size operators now all demand a minimum level of virtualization whereas the larger ones demand detailed NFV/SDN roadmap compliancy. In 2017 we expect most of the larger operators to launch limited live commercial NFV/SDN deployments. BroadForward is NFV frontrunner in the DSC area with a committed NFV/SDN roadmap and is actively engaged with various industry initiatives and partnerships.
#3: IoT/M2M and network access
Analysts Forrester flags that for IoT to be successful, there is a challenge to handle diversity of technology components, getting them to work together and consequently the ability to orchestrate between them. IoT requires diverse connectivity from the ‘outside’ Internet world to the operator’s network and back. A key new element we will see implemented in 2017 comes in the form of an IoT gateway, handling central access, security and interworking. As a world premiere, BroadForward has delivered an IoT gateway related to the launch of the world’s first PVNO for M2M.
#4: Convergence driving new requirements
Convergence is on the agenda for years already, but becomes a key dynamic in Telecoms in 2017. Fixed-Mobile convergence has been making headlines globally, with cable providers announcing MVNOs, operators going all-out in quad play, leading operator groups acquiring cable assets and traditional pure-Mobile operators embracing Wi-Fi connectivity. At the same time we foresee increased IT and Telco network convergence, where information of the IT world is used to steer real-time functions (routing, policy, security etc.) in the Telco domain. And the non-Telco world (e.g. tv/media on demand) demands access to signaling information to enable their own real-time services (e.g. check availability voice, video, augmented reality services). These aspects will drive further need for multi-protocol signaling solutions that support Mobile as well as Fixed-Line network technologies.
About The Author:
Head of Product Management and Marketing at BroadForward, the Routing and Interworking experts for 3G, 4G/LTE, IMS, Fixed, Wi-Fi, Number Portability and M2M networks. For over 15 years Steven has been at the forefront of product innovation involving business intelligence, mobile broadband, mobile messaging and mobile advertising. He has worked with operators globally and partnered with many of the largest product vendors and system integrators. He has held senior management positions at leading product companies, including Head of Mobile Broadband and SVP Strategy and Marketing at LogicaCMG and Acision.