Oman’s fastest growing and leading mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Renna Mobile have completed the first phase implementation of UK signalling experts Squire Technologies Interworking Function (IWF) as an instrumental part of their network transformation.
The solution provides a seamless and highly cost effective means for Renna Mobile to bridge the border between legacy SS7 and their Diameter based OCS/billing platform.
While meeting with Renna Mobile’s specific requirements as opposed to providing a costly vanilla solution; the virtualised interworking functions modular design now allows Renna Mobile to deliver further integration functionality in their network.
Group CTO Milan Jovancic commented “We required a flexible solution in delivering the specific functionality, meeting our needs and technical specifications while being on budget. Squire Technologies SVI-IWF Interworking Function delivered this. We will now use the SVI-IWF to leverage further integration in our network and our hosting operator.”
Having experience of Squire Technologies through their voice services and traditional gateway products the team at Renna Mobile approached them looking for a cost efficient end-of-life replacement plan having had vendors push overly complex solutions at prohibitive costs.
About Renna Mobile
Launched in May 2009 Renna Mobile is Oman’s leading Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) providing superb network coverage via Omantel’s superior telecom network. Offering fantastic value and customer service they are the fastest growing MVNO in Oman.
About Squire Technologies
UK based Squire Technologies combine a comprehensive range of carrier grade signalling products for IMS, LTE, VoIP and Legacy Networks with a flexible approach and ability to rapidly engineer creative solutions to complex networking challenges.
With DIAMETER signalling becoming the key interface for next generation networks and increasingly being driven by the growth of LTE, IoT, autonomous vehicles and VoLTE, it is crucial that operators are able to seamlessly communicate with subscribers as they traverse between legacy networks and IMS.
As a mobile operator deploys a state-of-the-art online charging system (OCS) in their 4G network, the platform needs to overcome inter-op challenges with subscribers as they roam into 3G networks.
An OCS platform typically supports a range of interface technologies – XML, HTML, JSON, DIAMETER etc. The charging functions in 3G networks are handled over the legacy SS7 CAMEL protocol. Furthermore in some 3G networks pre-pay subscribers are dynamically credit checked by the network over Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD), a legacy protocol commonly used for billing, location based services, mobile money and menu based information services.
To deliver end-to-end 3G <-> 4G Roaming you need to provide both CAMEL to DIAMETER and DIAMETER to USSD functionality.
In order to manage the flexibility of DIAMETER and the forecasted volumes of signalling data the industry has developed a set of standard DIAMETER based network products. Included in this product set is the Inter-Working Function (IWF) which provides 3GPP specified DIAMETER to SS7 CAMEL, MAP and RADIUS interworking and is obviously the primary product interface to the OCS.
At Squire Technologies our SVI_IWF product is tightly integrated with our Telephony Application Server (SVI_TAS) which provides a set of flexible API’s to allow for the rapid deployment of new interfaces, in this instance used to provide USSD to DIAMETER. The operator then went one step further and delivered a separate USSD application. They decided the interface to the OCS would optimally be performed over HTTP. It was a straightforward task to manipulate the HTTP API on the SVI_TAS to deliver this extended functionality.
The IWF is deployed and embedded in a pair of DIAMETER Routing Agent’s (DRA’s) that provide resiliency through redundancy, load sharing and balancing via sophisticated on-board routing.
Full support for session binding insures correct online credit control is being performed when multiple simultaneous services are being billed for a single subscriber.
This solution provides both flexibility and scalability for the operator. As network demand increases new instances of the OCS platform can be launched and configured to point its DIAMETER interface at the pair of DRA’s which will automatically route messages to and from the appropriate OCS. This model allows for ease of deployment in a cloud based NFV network allowing OCS resources to be easily deployed or removed as network demand dictates.