LTE interconnect and roaming
IPX (“IP exchange”) providers provide interoperability of IP services and worldwide LTE roaming between service providers. Roaming between LTE networks requires an efficient international exchange mechanism with guaranteed quality-of-service between visited and home networks. Most IPX providers use traditional Diameter routers. The assumption was this would suffice. However, they are discovering that providing global LTE roaming services means dealing with different technologies (LTE and legacy), different vendors and different types of customers (mobile, fixed, MVNO, OTT, Enterprise etc.).
Traditional routers are not designed to cope with this complexity. Moreover, differentiation beyond traditional connectivity requires additional capabilities. In particular, flexibility and service agility are taking center stage in the IPX market.
BroadForward’s BFX is the Next Generation Signaling Controller and Interface Gateway for IPX. BFX provides a unique combination of DRA, DEA and IWF in a single, integrated software solution, offering more features and flexibility than traditional Diameter routers. BFX empowers IPX providers to independently resolve signaling issues and enable advanced service scenarios, across vendor- and access technologies. BFX gives them the ability to support a next generation value chain comprising operators of all sizes and network types, enterprises and OTT providers. Next to Diameter signaling, BroadForward provides its IPX customers with features for authentication and security, VoLTE/VoWiFi interconnect, local break-out (LBO), Number Portability, 3G-4G roaming, 5G roaming and interworking, Wi-Fi hubbing, SLF for steering-of-roaming, MVNE services, PVNO, ‘Virtual-MME’, Multi-IMSI hub etc.
With BFX, IPX providers can go ‘IPX 2.0’, taking local service innovation across global network borders.
DRA / DEA
BFX supports all relevant functions for Diameter (edge) routing in IPX, including:
- Diameter Routing Agent and Edge Agent for all relevant Diameter applications, including S6a, S6d, S9, S13 and Gy
- Intelligent routing, ability to route Diameter messages based on various Diameter parameters or combinations of parameters
- Stateless and stateful load balancing/sharing + session binding
- Admission / Access control
- Attack and Fuzzing protection
- Diameter message screening/filtering
- Diameter firewall (GSMA FS.19 including Cat. 0, 1, 2 and 3 filtering mechanisms)
- Congestion control, ingress and egress throttling, overload protection, SLA enforcement
- AVP level mediation and manipulation
- Network topology hiding
- Subscriber Lookup Function (SLF), routing based on external data sources (e.g. LDAP, HTTP, ENUM), e.g. for Steering of Roaming
- Interworking with SS7/MAP, RADIUS and various IT protocols (XML, SOAP, REST, LDAP, ENUM etc.)
BFX is designed to address unique IPX requirements in a single solution:
- Extensive mediation capabilities: enabling fast set up of new connections with operators and other IPX providers, allowing to work with different Diameter products and brands;
- GUI based connection management & service orchestration environment, no vendor dependency and no need for coding or scripting to set up new connections and solve Diameter interoperability issues;
- Support for multiple network technologies, enabling launch of new IPX services: BFX works across Diameter, RADIUS, SS7 and various IT protocols;
- Out-of-the box support for Number Portability, 3G-4G roaming, Wi-Fi hubbing, SLF for steering-of-roaming, MVNE services, PVNO, ‘Virtual-MME’, Multi-IMSI etc.;
- Detailed traffic insight: unrestricted access to the payload of all messages, providing information that is vital to offer IPX/Diameter services, including intelligent routing, billing, traffic analysis, SLA statistics, KPI reporting etc., through fully configurable reporting capability;
- Low CAPEX & OPEX: single integrated platform for DRA, DEA and IWF, running on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) or virtualized / hosted;
- Network-wide capacity license: one global throughput capacity license that works across all locations and (virtual) machines (so no ‘per-box pricing’) and across all Diameter applications (S6a, S6d, S9, Gy etc.) and variants.