BFX, the Number Portability Gateway
The BFX Interface Gateway 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. BFX 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.
BFX offers a wide range of functions and features to intelligently resolve number locations, routing destinations, as well as the ability to apply advanced routing intelligence, message enrichment, storing and caching of repeatedly accessed information, number mapping, mediation and normalization, multi-protocol interworking and more.
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).
A central Number Portability gateway supporting INAP and ENUM, as well as various other Network and IT interfaces, provides an essential capability to service providers to cost-effectively connect legacy and IP domains, overcome interoperability issues and establish convergence across Mobile, Fixed and OTT services.
For Number Portability, the BFX Interface Gateway 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 and various other protocols.
Number Portability Database (‘ENUM Server’)
BFX can act as a NP server for ENUM queries (lookups for NAPTR records), where the incoming ENUM requests can be forwarded to external data sources over any of the protocols BFX supports (e.g. ENUM, INAP, HTTP, …) or served from a local cache or local database of BFX. The BFX local cache / database stores number portability information based on a protocol-agnostic format. The BFX local cache / database is highly scalable and multi-node aware, using a distributed storage model.
The BFX Interface Gateway offers major differentiators compared to traditional Number Portability products:
- 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
- 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