Your Vendor EOL’d Your STP, What Now?
Author: Kim Gibbons, Chief Marketing Officer, NetNumber
Telecom networks are evolving from SS7 to Long Term Evolution/Evolved Packet Core (LTE/EPC) Diameter networks – “the fastest deployed network technology in history” according to the GSMA. No wonder so many telecom equipment vendors have stopped manufacturing or supporting legacy SS7 Signal Transfer Point (STP) equipment.
However, SS7 networks are still providing services to approximately 3 billion subscribers worldwide. In fact, SS7 networks and their services must be supported until the transition to next-generation networks is complete. And that could be another decade or more. It is a safe bet the hybrid nature of telecommunications signaling (SS7 and Diameter) will continue for quite a while.
So what is a telecom operator to do? We recommend to our customers they invest in a future-proof solution like a centralized signaling and routing control (CSRC) platform that both supports Diameter traffic and manages TDM traffic.
I introduced the CSRC platform at last year’s TC3. You can watch our investor panel pitch at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4JaqPDrDfuA&list=PLczfu3InkwYd6vD1-fDZKYD6u3ra3P2JR
In her Centralized Signaling and Routing Control Market Outlook, Diane Myers of IHS/Infonetics Research wrote, “The convergence of IP and legacy networks creates a complex signaling environment. CSRC platforms facilitate interworking between the two by enabling operators to manage both legacy and next-gen signaling protocols, including SIP, Diameter, SS7, and RADIUS.” Myers continues, “The centralized signaling and routing control (CSRC) market is not new, but the platforms are expanding as operators look to scale networks more efficiently with the rise in mobile broadband traffic. CSRC platforms are a class of solutions designed to help operators relieve congestion and simplify network management as they bridge legacy networks and next-generation IP.”
The signaling and control plane of the telecommunications network is the heart of the network and without it nothing happens–no calls are made, no data services are set up, and no billing occurs. Given the importance of signaling and control, telecom operators should look for a solution to:
- Simplify administration of subscriber, routing and policy data
- Provide a single point of provisioning of the signaling-control layer which enables faster introduction of new services
- Enable enhanced applications based on multi-protocols
- IMS core signaling, EPC/Diameter based signaling, network interconnections and roaming
- ENUM, DNS, SIP, Diameter, C7/SS7, SIGTRAN
- Allow efficient evolution for legacy networks and protocols to next-generation networks and protocols.
Telecom operators do have a choice. By deploying a CSRC, telecom operators can evolve their network to VoLTE, IMS and 4G, while maintaining services to current subscribers.
Read about a current real-world deployment by CETIN at http://netnumber.com/netnumber-stp-success-continues-with-cetin-selection/