Dealing with end-of-life STPs
Even though mobile network technology is evolving fast, older generation networks (2G and 3G) based on SS7 signaling will continue to exist for many years to come. Therefore, STPs will remain vital components in operator networks and will require vendor support for the foreseeable future.
Controlling access to mobile networks
With the massive adoption of smartphones and growing rate of mobile phone thefts and identity fraud, pressure on operators is increasing to implement protective measures. Deploying an Equipment Identity Register (EIR) helps operators to protect their networks and revenues against the use of stolen and unauthorized devices. In a growing number of countries, governments and telecom regulators demand for installation of an EIR. In addition to fulfilling regulatory requirements, an EIR also provides an opportunity for operators to offer additional security services to their subscribers.
The productized BroadForward Number Portability software solution provides a single, unified access point for Number Portability in the network. It enables centralized operations for service providers looking to streamline look-up access to number and address registries, for Mobile, Fixed and OTT services. BroadForward Number Portability enables flexible integration and access to legacy and IP based Number Portability repositories, external as well as internal systems such as STP, CRM, UDR and other subscriber data sources.
Numerous Diameter implementations and variants
With the introduction of LTE, Diameter is becoming the principal connectivity protocol in operator networks. Although the Diameter protocol is specified by standardization bodies, there are over 50 different Diameter interfaces and numerous vendor specific variants. Different nodes in an operator network are implemented towards specific 3GPP releases and versions, and even small differences might have an impact on interoperability and can create service affecting incompatibilities.
Interworking across technologies
Over the last decades, a range of signaling protocols and interfaces have been introduced to mobile networks to provide distinct connectivity, functions and features across many products of as many vendors. Although the industry is moving towards Diameter based connectivity, integration with existing systems in operator networks typically requires interoperability with non-Diameter protocols such as RADIUS, HTTP, SOAP, LDAP, ENUM and SS7 etc.
Firewall functionality across access networks
Access technologies and the protocols that support them are evolving rapidly. This has fundamentally altered the type of threats that converging networks are facing. Security wasn’t a high priority in the design of 2G/3G networks, which rely on SS7 signaling. At the time there was no foresight about how pervasive mobile would become and about the type of security challenges that would be introduced.
Single software solution for GMLC and LRF
The BroadForward Location Based Services solution (BroadForward LBS) provides vital capabilities to mobile networks for enabling services that use the geographical location of a device. This includes emergency services, directions, vehicle tracking, navigation, advertising and much more.
3G – 4G/LTE roaming
Interworking between existing 2G/3G networks and new fast growing 4G/LTE and later 5G networks is becoming a high priority. Service providers are keen to maximize mobile reach by enabling services between LTE and existing networks and to ensure seamless service continuity for their subscribers. For (smaller) operators and MVNOs, acquiring LTE technology is often a big hurdle. BroadForward Interworking provides a viable alternative.
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.