Integrating legacy pre-paid systems
For decades, operators have been using CAMEL (GSM) or WIN (CDMA) as the signaling protocol for service control in the Intelligent Network architecture, allowing them to enable various unique value added services, including prepaid services, SMS and MMS. Despite the evolution to LTE, the Intelligent Network still has an important part to play and will continue to do so as long as operators have legacy voice and messaging systems or continue to use circuit-switched fallback for their voice services.
In the migration to all-IP LTE networks, the expectation is for Diameter to replace CAMEL/WIN. Without support for the CAMEL/WIN signaling protocol in LTE, and lack of capabilities to link the two technologies, operators end up having to support multiple, silo-based charging environments. This leads to service limitations, inefficiencies, high cost and significant risk for errors as they struggle to keep subscriber and billing information synchronized.
Advanced CAMEL/WIN interworking function
The BFX Interface Gateway offers a much anticipated solution to an expensive and complex problem. By providing a complete and highly flexible Interworking Function (IWF), BFX removes the typical issues related to migration from CAMEL/WIN based billing to Diameter architectures. The interworking function provides operators and vendors with an essential capability for integration of legacy pre-paid systems for Voice, SMS and GPRS data. Unlike point solutions and workarounds in this area, BFX not only implements mapping of signaling messages, it also keeps session state and supports the required business logic that applies to the Intelligent Network services involved. This way, BFX allows for the creation of one harmonized service layer that provides the same user experience for subscribers on both network generations. Moreover, by bridging these two different technologies, BFX extends economic lifetime of existing CAP based assets and services, and supports gradual migration towards all-IP charging environments.
Using BFX for CAMEL/WIN interworking has many advantages:
- Immediate availability of a complete CAMEL/WIN interworking solution for integration of legacy pre-paid systems for Voice, SMS and Data with Diameter based systems;
- Provides the required business logic and stateful processing that applies to the IN services involved;
- Includes an extensive set of mediation, routing and load-balancing capabilities;
- On the fly adaptations to any (proprietary) Diameter or SS7 variant, through built-in flexibility to quickly adjust and customize interfaces to specific customer environments, new use cases and future system updates. No dependency on R&D availability of vendors;
- Future-proof, extendable approach: other interfaces (e.g. various Diameter applications, RADIUS, HTTP, LDAP, ENUM, SS7/MAP etc.) and other functions (e.g. DRA/DEA) can be supported by the same solution without the need for software development;
- On-board function of the BFX Interface Gateway, providing a unique combination of DRA, DEA and IWF on a single platform (integrated solution, by design);
- Software based solution, runs on standard hardware, supporting virtualization and cloud deployment.