BFX – the world’s most advanced multi-protocol routing and interworking signaling gateway – is in use for many different use cases with service providers all over the world. BFX helps providers to cost-effectively and quickly enable services and overcome signaling challenges in multi-vendor, multi-technology networks. Some examples of customer use cases implemented with BFX are listed below.
Call Barring (Black/White listing)
BFX provides a dynamic network-based call barring function. It enables operators to protect their subscribers and networks by blocking nuisance and scam calls at the network level. With BFX, the operator can create a call barring list for A-Numbers, B-Numbers or combinations of A- and B-Numbers. These barring entries are provisioned on BFX. For each call request, BFX verifies the call barring list in order to allow or block individual calls.
Enterprise Gateway (M2M/IoT)
BFX provides intelligent routing functions enabling an enterprise – owning their own IMSI range (and associated SIM cards) – to choose another network provider without the need to swap SIM cards. BFX powers the world first Private Virtual Network Operator (PVNO) for a Dutch energy company with millions of smart meters.
DRA running as VNF in OpenStack environment
BFX is provided as a Virtual Network Function within the ETSI compliant Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure. BFX can run in OpenStack Mitaka and Newton environments supporting VNF instantiation and scale-up/down and scale-out/in of BFX. BFX is ‘cloud-aware’, with separately scalable management, traffic and database functions.
DRA in the cloud
BFX provides the DRA/DEA function as a virtualized network function on a common platform run from the cloud. BFX runs in the Amazon AWS Cloud supporting a high available architecture. The cloud-native BFX solution enables the migration of signaling operations from proprietary appliance based systems to a standard hardware and cloud based infrastructure.
Multi-IMSI for roaming
BFX provides a Multi-IMSI roaming function which enables roaming capabilities for partner MNO’s and MVNO’s via the operator’s IMSI. BFX achieves this by mapping the roaming IMSI to the home IMSI for all signaling services for roaming subscribers.
ENUM server for IMS
BFX acts as a server for ENUM queries (for Number Portability / number resolution), where the incoming ENUM requests can be forwarded to external data sources over any of the protocols BFX supports (e.g. ENUM, INAP, MAP, HTTP, …) or served from a local cache or local database on-board of BFX. BFX is in use at large service providers with hundreds of millions of database records on BFX.
Within the 5G core network (“NG Core”), the service based interfaces will be mainly using RESTful APIs. HTTP/2 is the designated application layer protocol for the service based interfaces. The HTTP Proxy functionality of BFX provides capabilities for service orchestration and control in the NG Core. This includes support for intelligent routing, security, congestion control, and interworking between HTTP and Diameter, RADIUS, SS7, LDAP, ENUM etc.
Telco-IT interworking gateway
BFX provides the interworking gateway between the telco- and the IT-domain. Responses from either domain are evaluated by BFX and are used to adapt the original service request (e.g. block the service, re-route the service etc.). This enables the operator to extend Telco signalling scenarios into the IT domain enabling new services. This function is in use at several operators enabling scenarios such as INAP to HTTP, MAP to HTTP and INAP to LDAP.
FMC, Fixed/Wi-Fi to cellular authentication
BFX provides interworking between AAA and HSS/HLR for EAP-SIM authentication of Wi-Fi users in the Mobile core. In addition, BFX integrates AAA with the mobile OCS and PCRF function, to provide unified billing and policy across Wi-Fi and mobile services. BFX converts RADIUS to Diameter (Gx/Gy) while accommodating for the differences with respect to charging/usage counters between both protocols.
BFX helps operators to work around limitations in HSS systems that only allow for a maximum of two direct MME connections or lack a license for DRA integration. The “Virtual MME” function on BFX allows the HSS to service as many MMEs as are needed for roaming, without the need to provision them on the HSS. The existing HSS with the aid of BFX can support hundreds of connections. In addition the HSS is not required to support interfacing with a DRA as BFX presents itself to the HSS as just two MME nodes.
BFX provides an SMS proxy function that supports First Delivery Attempt (FDA) messaging, Home routing, USSD gateway, SMS content filtering, Black/White lists and more. The same solution can be used for ‘mediation’ between different SS7/MAP formats and for interworking with other protocols such as HTTP and Diameter. This helps operators to resolve incompatibilities and optimize interworking between different systems involved in the SMS service chain.
BFX protects the operator network against potential attacks, unauthorized senders, malformed messages, overload situations etc. BFX has the inherent ability to route, screen and filter on any parameter in any message (both Diameter and non-Diameter) as well as message source or context. BFX supports the GSMA FS.19 standard for Diameter Interconnect Security, including Category 0, 1, 2 and 3 filtering mechanisms (Fundamental, Basic, Robust and Advanced filtering) and network topology hiding.