Tag: IMS

Agile Interworking: Protecting Investments by Connecting Legacy Services to IMS and LTE Networks

Download the solution paper now!

SS7 has long been established as the primary signalling protocol used in today’s fixed and mobile networks. As such, operators are asking the question: how can we connect our services to an IMS-based or Diameter-enabled network from legacy infrastructure?

The solution comes from the deployment of specialist, custom solutions that solve individual problems and collectively provide a platform for incremental future network evolution. The Squire Technologies 3GPP compliant SVI_IWF (Interworking Function) enables legacy solutions to be extended to LTE and IMS networks, with flexible deployment options, customised interworking intelligence, and providing the foundation for a step-by-step approach.

What you’ll learn from the solution paper:

  • How to safeguard your portfolio of revenue-generating legacy services
  • The importance of the Diameter IWF
  • How Squire Technologies goes beyond standards to solve custom challenges

Click here to download the IWF solution paper.

Managing flexible interconnection and routing for wholesale carriers

How can wholesale carriers resolve interconnection, peering and routing challenges for SS7, VoIP and IPX networks?

Wholesale carriers have a vital role to play in the telecoms value chain. They are a key link that enables operators and service providers to profitably deliver traffic to any destination. Most operators depend on leveraging wholesale carriers to deliver traffic to destinations they serve.

Carriers have to manage a complex array of interconnections. They also live in a dynamic environment in which costs change, weekly, daily or even hourly. To successfully deliver traffic and to ensure they derive profit from their activities, carriers need agile partners that can help them run their networks while ensuring a return on their investment.

This creates challenges. Even carriers with established infrastructure may need to extend their range of interconnection options – and have to manage traffic delivery across legacy, NGN IP and IMS networks simultaneously.

There may also be difficulties in managing a diverse array of elements. Consolidating network resources is another common challenge.

Squire Technologies solves these problem with a range of flexible and scalable VoIP and SS7 switching solutions, including its flexbile and scalable Media Gateway Controller (MGC).

Find out how one wholesale carrier secured the flexibility, adaptability and control it needed to both optimise its existing network and to obtain more efficient interconnection with partners in the future.

What you’ll learn from the case study:

  • The challenges for carriers in SS7 and IPX networks
  • The importance of leveraging flexibility in traffic peering and routing
  • How Squire Technologies can help

SS7 to Diameter – A new challenge for operators

Interconnection specialists Squire Technologies launch new SS7 to Diameter interworking function solution, helping solve interconnection challenges between legacy and NGN platforms.

Download our Diameter Interworking case study

Interworking between different networks and systems is a constant thorn in the side for operators. Even if everyone adopts the same protocol, there can be differences in implementation. To enable these systems to communicate and exchange information and to support efficient service delivery, protocol conversion and interworking must take place.

SSEvery network and operator infrastructure is different. Vendors may implement standards in different ways – such differences may be perfectly permissible and different operators may choose to follow different versions of standards. Heterogeneity is the norm, despite the enthusiastic adoption of standards around the world.

The advent of LTE is adding to this problem as it uses an entirely different set of core standards for the control of signalling and subscriber services. Instead of the long-established SS7 signalling that is used in 3G, 2G and fixed networks, LTE uses Diameter signalling to perform the same functions. That’s great, but it means that such networks must be capable of interoperability with networks that support legacy SS7 signalling.

This problem is known and has been addressed through the development of an interworking specification between SS7 MAP and Diameter (3GPP TS 29.305). This provides a template for ensuring compatibility between common SS7 interfaces and their Diameter equivalents, as well as accounting for specific differences in the data conveyed.

We have a long history in implementing and deploying interworking solutions, helping operators to overcome network incompatibilities and to ensure subscribers can access different services in different circumstances – for example, when roaming into new networks or when dropping out of zones covered by one technology (e.g. LTE) into a legacy domain (e.g. 3G).

That’s why we have launched the SVI_IWF, a fully compliant 3GPP SS7 to Diameter interworking function. It’s a high-performance implementation that can be deployed as a standalone device or as an extension to an existing Squire Technologies’ solution.

If you are confronted by interworking challenges, we can offer a solution – ensuring that your subscribers obtain seamless service and that you address new and emerging needs. Our expertise means that operators that need to interconnect Diameter-compatible solutions with legacy platforms can do so confidently and with the knowledge that we can also cope with the unique circumstances of each case. Our SVI_IWF is a turnkey solution but we can also rapidly customise it to adapt to different demands.

At Squire Technologies, we know the value of standards – but we also understand the demands of a heterogeneous world. This means we can ensure we deliver proven solutions that are tailored to your specific situation. If you need help in interworking SS7 to Diameter, why not get in touch to see what we can offer?

Download our Diameter Interworking case study

Moving from SS7 & Radius to Diameter

Diameter is coming, but probably not as quickly as analysts would have you believe. But even if you are not considering Diameter directly, migration in peer networks may have an impact on your network. It’s time to consider how to protect your network and ensure service continuity while partner networks migrate to EPC and LTE.

Today’s telecommunications infrastructure includes a diverse mix of protocols. Most of our customers are aware of the complexity of interconnecting an array of networks and elements and our role in helping them to achieve a co-ordinated, resilient network. Two common protocols play a hugely significant role in networking today – SS7 and Radius.

SS7, of course, is used for the co-ordination of both user session data (voice, video and so on) as well as interaction with key network elements, such as online charging systems, Intelligent Network entities (such as Service Switching Points and Specialised Resource Functions), while Radius is primarily used for AAA procedures (Authentication, Authorisation and Accounting). This means that an SS7 enabled softswitch might need to use SS7 CAMEL to connect to an online charging server for prepaid subscribers, while at the same time checking a user profile database using Radius.

However, as networks migrate towards LTE, the Evolved Packet Core (EPC) and IMS, many of these functions will be replaced by a new, common protocol: Diameter. The same softswitch may instead need to be able to communicate with Diameter to deliver the same functions.

Diameter is a protocol of growing importance. It provides AAA capabilities as well as satisfying requirements for location and mobility in 3G, LTE, and IMS networks. It has become the most prominent signalling protocol in NGN networks and is expected to replace both SS7 signalling and Radius, which delivers much of this functionality today, just as SIP is increasingly becoming the predominant session control protocol.

Diameter provides a number of advantages over Radius – in particular, in terms of improving network reliability and resilience – which is clearly of fundamental importance if it is truly to replace SS7 connections. In a further post, we shall explore some of the differences, but the fact that concerns us for now is that much of today’s equipment will need to either migrate towards Diameter or else support interconnection with the new protocol.

There have been a number of forecasts regarding the proliferation of Diameter-enabled devices. While it’s clear that Diameter deployments are accelerating, primarily because of LTE network penetration, the general replacement of Radius and SS7 signalling is a massive task and will take many years. After all, it’s more than a decade since analysts forecast the death knell of SS7 and it’s still going strong.

Instead, what we expect is that network operators that are not migrating to IMS or LTE will increasingly need to interconnect with Diameter-enabled devices in other networks. We also expect that many solutions that are today enabled by SS7 and Radius will be declared end-of-life by their vendors. This means that operators that expect to see a more graceful transition to Diameter may be forced to consider network enhancements earlier than anticipated.

Squire Technologies is preparing to meet this challenge. We are investing in solutions that will prolong the life of existing solutions while helping transition to the next generation of networks. It will be essential to support Diameter / SS7 interworking, which will mean that existing SS7-enabled solution can connect to new solutions that support Diameter as they are brought online.

Our expertise will enable us to support operators through this transition and ensure service continuity, even when existing vendors pull the plug on their systems. The migration from Radius and SS7 to Diameter is going to take years. Even if Diameter isn’t in your current thoughts, it is in the thoughts of your peers. It may be that implementing it in your network is several years away – but you need to consider how migration plans from other operators may affect you.

If, for example, you connect to an HLR in another operator’s network, the chances are that this will migrate towards an HSS supporting Diameter within the next couple of years. When this happens, what options will be open to you? That’s what we are here to help with. We can help ensure that you can continue to connect to services and devices, even when they transition to new protocols beyond your control.

If you are concerned about how general migration to Diameter might affect you, why not give us a call to see how we can help?

Confronting End-of-Life for Softswitches

How to protect your investments and maintain SS7 and VoIP interconnections

What do you do if a key vendor announces ‘End of Life’ (EoL) for a critical part of your network infrastructure? It’s a common problem and operators have to plan for such eventualities. Even so, it can be problematic, particularly if the original vendor doesn’t have a replacement or upgrade plan.

Many operators that have invested in third party hardware and software to power their VoIP and NGN networks are becoming increasingly challenged by such end of life (EoL) announcements from industry vendors, most notably Cisco.

For example, Cisco has announced EoL and End of Support programmes for its PGW and ITP products, raising concerns for future operations and investment protection in live networks and leaving operators wondering how they will maintain their valuable interconnection points with VoIP, SS7 PSTN, NGN IP and IMS networks. What should operators do to help them navigate such challenges and avoid service disruptions or unnecessary additional investments?

Squire Technologies, signalling specialists to the telecoms industry, provides a range of future-proof options to help operators overcome such issues. We have reaffirmed our commitment to continue investment and support of our successful range of SS7 Signalling products, which includes the SVI Media Gateway Controller (MGC), SVI Signalling Gateway (SG) and SVI STP solutions.

With deployments in more than 100 countries around the world, Squire Technologies provides the answer to EoL challenges, delivering robust VoIP and SS7 interconnection and enabling a ready-made solution for operators that need to replace legacy products. But it’s not just platforms that are reaching the end of their lives that are threatened – other network elements that are controlled by EoL products as the Cisco PGW are also threatened.

We’ve taken care of this too, as our SVI MGC, SG and STP products can be deployed with third party platforms, ensuring service continuity and that operators can invest confidently in their networks. This means there is no need to replace other solutions that are in place, ensuring that investment is directed where it’s needed and no unnecessary expenses are incurred.

Seen as the perfect replacement for the Cisco PGW and ITP, the SVI SS7 Signalling range enables clients to interface their VoIP networks to SS7 PSTN, NGN IP and IMS networks, allowing the rapid launch of VoIP services while extending the life of legacy Media Gateway solutions from a range of 3rd Party providers.

Our strategy is built on the gradual evolution of our core product line, alongside the introduction of new solutions. This means that new features can be requested by customers and rapidly implemented to suit changing circumstances. Legacy vendors can rarely match this unrivalled flexibility, while EoL notifications mean that future enhancements are uncertain. Squire Technologies removes the uncertainty surrounding investments and provides a stable partnership for future growth.

If you are concerned about EoL programmes for critical network elements such as softswitches, signalling gateways and media gateway controllers, why not get in touch to see how we can help protect your network and provide a solution that helps future growth?

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