Mobile Service Provider
A consequence of the wide penetration of smartphones; and huge increases in use of mobile apps, OTT video, is that the amount of traffic on the mobile network operator’s packet core elements has increased dramatically, while revenue growth has not kept pace with it. Thus mobile operators need to find innovative ways to reduce churn and monetize the growing traffic,. Operators understand the potential of NFV and SDN and so it is quite natural that they are first interested in virtualizing the functions used to service the APN corresponding to the Internet in the Gi-LAN. The functionality deployed on this network typically includes NAT, firewall, content filtering, video and TCP optimizers, caches and more. Deploying a virtual network solution on the Gi/SGi interface (3GPP defined interface connecting the GGSN/PDN-GWY to PDNs like the Internet, IMS etc.), enables mobile operators with the flexibility of introducing new services, while providing a scalable solution to cope with the increasing traffic. Hence virtualization of the Gi-LAN network is a very practical first step for mobile operators in their journey of network virtualization. When deployed on the Gi/SGi-LAN interface the ConteXtream solution helps virtualize the functions deployed on the Gi interface while leveraging the existing mobile packet core infrastructure. ConteXtream solution can help virtualize the network associated with one or more of the APNs on the Gi-LAN.
Traditional mobile deployments of Gi-LAN services simply chain all the functions/services in a serial manner as shown below. This serial method of chaining has several problems. It requires a lot of effort and time to insert new functions or upgrading existing ones. This significantly slows down the agility with which mobile operators can introduce new services. A failure of a single function may interrupt the overall service for all subscribers. Each function has to process and forward all the traffic flows, which increases the complexity, processing, latency and also overall provisioning costs.
Traditional Approach to Gi-LAN
The ConteXtream Gi-LAN solution is a proven offering that is already in production in several Tier-1 mobile operator networks, delivering services to tens of millions of LTE/HSPA+ smartphone users. The solution brings all the benefits of virtualization to the mobile network:
- Shared and lower cost hardware – The solution enables all functions running on COTS hardware. This enables functions to share compute resources. Further these hardware resources are much lower cost compared to proprietary systems.
- No overprovisioning of the functions required because traffic from only those subscribers that are utilizing the service passes through that function.
- Deploying network functions in software in the service provider cloud helps deliver service functions across geographical boundaries thus greatly improving resource utilization.
- Service agility is greatly enhanced with the ConteXtream SDN solution, as it enables operators to test and roll out new services, and introduce them in production networks without downtime or network upgrade cycles.
ConteXtream SDN-based solution for Gi-LAN
The ContexNet Carrier SDN solution along with offerings from 3rd parties providing analytics, content filtering and video optimization is completely COTS based. This solution provides line-rate performance while being subscriber and session aware. This makes the solution highly scalable in a virtualized/cloud environment and provides per flow specific steering between instances of (virtual and/or physical) network functions as shown above.
Service Providers have migrated away from PSTN interconnects to voice peering for telephony Network-Network Interconnection (NNI). Session Border Controllers (SBCs) serve as the network demarcation points and as such provide VoIP security and interworking functions. Off-net calls representing a significant share of all IMS calls, are traversing Session Border Controllers.
Legacy SBC Federation
ConteXtream’s SBC Federation Solution enables voice interconnections based on an SBC resource pool, load balancing traffic on session basis across virtual or physical SBCs. This solution enables resource efficiency by utilizing the entire pool of SBC resources in all locations for off-net calls interconnectivity. Also, it enables operations efficiency by simplifying configuration when growing SBC resources.
ConteXtream Enabled SBC Federation