The BroadForward Number Portability software solution (NP) provides a fully productized, unified access point for Number Portability in the operator network. It enables centralized operations for service providers looking to streamline look-up access to number and address registries. It offers a converged solution working across Mobile (3G, 4G, 5G), Fixed and OTT services. Enables flexible integration and access to legacy (INAP) and IP based Number Portability (ENUM) repositories. This is applicable for both external as well as internal systems such as STP, CRM, UDR and other subscriber data sources. The solution can act as a central Number Portability gateway and as a Number Portability server for ENUM.
Next Generation signaling solution for legacy and IP networks
BroadForward Number Portability offers a wide range of functions and features to intelligently resolve number locations and routing destinations. It provides a single software solution for Number Portability operations across network types and technologies. There are many on-board functions such as advanced routing intelligence, message enrichment, storing and caching (of repeatedly accessed information), number mapping, mediation and normalization, multi-protocol interworking.
Connecting legacy and IP networks
Traditional SS7 networks route traffic by translating mobile telephone numbers into infrastructure point codes which define the destination. Typically, the INAP protocol is used for querying number portability information sources such as a Centralized Database (CDB) containing ported numbers.
ENUM is the recommended protocol developed by the IETF (RFC 6116) to provide a bridge between the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and the Internet. ENUM will also enable convergence across access technologies (fixed, mobile) and services (voice, data, video). In IP Interconnect, including IPX, the destination gateway Uniform Resource Identifier (URI) and IP addresses need to be established so ENUM can use the Internet DNS system to translate E.164 (i.e. plain) telephone numbers into IP addressing schemes (e.g. SIP, H323 and Email).
Central Number Portability operations
Acting as a central Number Portability gateway, the BroadForward solution can access repositories that require support for INAP and ENUM, as well as integrate with systems using various other Network and IT interfaces. This provides operators with an essential capability to combine number portability operations to cost-effectively:
- Connect legacy and IP domains
- Overcome interoperability issues
- Establish convergence across Mobile, Fixed and OTT services.
BroadForward Number Portability offers on-board support for: INAP (in accordance with the following specifications: Q.1218, ETS 300 374-1, EN 301 140-1) and ENUM (implemented in accordance with RFCs 6116 (ENUM), 3403 (NAPTR) and 4694 (NP tel URI)), SOAP, MAP, Diameter, SIP and various other protocols.
Number Portability Database (‘ENUM Server’)
The solution can act as a Number Portability server for ENUM queries (lookups for NAPTR records). This enables incoming ENUM requests to be sourced from the local cache or local database. The on-board cache (or database) stores number portability information based on a protocol-agnostic format. This database is highly scalable and multi-node aware, and applies a distributed storage model.
Alternatively incoming NP requests can be forwarded to external data sources (‘referral queries’) over any of the protocols it supports (e.g. ENUM, INAP, MAP, HTTP, LDAP).
BroadForward Number Portability offers major differentiators compared to traditional solutions:
- Fully productized software solution
- Enabling real-time Number Portability queries/dips, across local and external data providers
- Operator control (flexible real-time query interface next to existing batch processing)
- Single, unified access point in the network for Number Portability related integration and look-up services
- Local storage and caching of Number Portability information, reducing the number of external queries/costs
- Multi-protocol support, including ENUM, INAP, SOAP, MAP, Diameter, SIP
- Template driven – no need for scripting or development
- No dependence on expensive database technologies
- Completely GUI based configuration and orchestration
- Flexible routing-number format adaptation
- Central logging point (EDR-registration)
- Carrier grade, highly scalable, high available, geo-redundant solution
Hardware-agnostic solution, supporting virtualized deployments
The BroadForward NP and ENUM Server run on any off-the-shelf hardware or in a virtualized environment. It is a 100% software based solution, supporting virtualization and cloud deployment (VMware, KVM, OpenStack, Amazon etc.) as well as containerized application deployment (Docker, Kubernetes). They do not rely on specialist hardware or proprietary operating systems. The ability to deploy the BroadForward NP and ENUM Server on a common (shared) platform supports operators and vendors in migrating away from proprietary based appliance systems to a standards based, hardware agnostic, software only, infrastructure.