Telecom Council Innovation Showcaser: NetNumber – A Strategic Transition to IP
Author: Kim Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer, NetNumber
For the past decade, vendors have been touting IP as the answer. And recently, the call to hasten the transition to IP is ringing louder – from the FCC as well as vendors. Analyst firms such as 451 Research have also contributed strategic insight. “[We] believe operators that accelerate their transition to IP can save money, assume minimal financial risk and enable new revenue streams. The transition to IP should no longer be carried out at a leisurely cadence – it should be raised to a strategic initiative.” (PSTN to IP Transition: Why Bother or Why Wait?, Jennifer Clark, June 2014, pg. 2).
According to our customers, the majority expects to manage both legacy and IP networks for several more years to come. Operators have made tremendous capital investments and hesitate to “rip and replace.” They deploy and run many different types of networks today ranging from SS7/C7 to IP, from fixed to mobile to interconnect, and from 2G up to 4G. All of these networks are deployed in a traditional “silo server” approach in which every network function is purchased, deployed, provisioned, scaled, upgraded and monitored as a separate, stand-alone service.
The lure of new revenue streams from next-generation services enabled by IP is enticing. However, in this current model, operating costs continue to rise as new functionality to deliver new services is added to the network.
During this period of transition, operators need solutions that address the dual challenges of transitioning from legacy technologies to next-generation IP networks, while dealing with an ever-increasing signaling load brought on by new devices and new services on the network. It is the growing complexity in signaling and service control that hinders operators from truly optimizing their networks.
The global communications industry is looking for a new service delivery model in which vendors and operators work together to drive complexity out of the network by combining multiple logical functions into a smaller number of scalable platforms that can be deployed on either COTS hardware or within an NFV infrastructure.
There are 15+ signaling and control services in an operator network today:
• IMS Signaling & Control – I/S-CSCF, HSS, SLF, IM-SSF, USSD-GW, LRF, BGCF, ENUM, DNS
• DIAMETER Signaling & Control – DRA, DEA, SLF, IWF
• Legacy IN Signaling & Control – STP/SGW, IN-SCP, HLR, NP, EIR
The act of migrating all these existing signaling-control silos into an NFV architecture where every function becomes a “virtual silo” does nothing to lower costs or complexity. By comparison, deploying a single signaling-control platform that supports multiple services has the potential to dramatically reduce network complexity.
NetNumber offers operators a strategic paradigm shift in the signaling and control plane through our TITAN platform. TITAN is a multi-protocol signaling platform that supports those above-mentioned 15 signaling control, centralized-routing and network database services on a common platform infrastructure. Our recommendation to operators is to deploy one signaling-control infrastructure once and then leverage by adding multiple Virtual Network Functions encompassing all signaling, routing, and database services.
We believe this strategic approach to transitioning to IP will serve the operators and their customers best.
2014 Telecom Council Innovation Showcase:
The 2014 Telecom Council Innovation Showcase consists of 13 young companies with the potential to disrupt the telecommunications industry. The companies were selected to participate in this year’s Showcase from nearly 100 applicants by Telecom Council member judges from BT, NTT Docomo, Ericsson, HTC, JT Global, Orange, Qualcomm, Rogers, Sofinnova Ventures, Sprint, Telecom Italia, Telstra, and U.S. Cellular based on standard Telecom Council criteria – innovation, momentum, viability, and management.
Meet the Telecom Council Innovation Showcasers:
ShowStoppers Press Event – Sept. 8 in Las Vegas, Nevada
CTIA Startup Lab at CTIA’s Super Mobility Week – Sept. 9-11 in Las Vegas, Nevada
Telecom Council Investor Forum – Sept. 26 at Nokia in Sunnyvale, CA (must be an active investor to participate)
TC3: Telecom Council Carrier Connections – Oct. 1-2 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA