NetNumber Exec Shares Why Signaling Control is Crucial to Manage Digital Services Across Networks
Today’s business communication networks are broken down into two main components for simplicity purposes: data and voice. Although employees and consumers alike have a lot of experience with data and voice, they often do not see behind the scenes and into the networks themselves with all of their intricacies. One specific telecommunications technology that helps networks work effectively is signaling control, which is often described as one of the magic components that works behind the scenes to perform a clear exchange of information. Signaling control is also the space in which software-based signaling-control solutions provider NetNumber operates and helps to simplify telecom provider networks.
In this article, Doug Ranalli, the Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of NetNumber, discusses the importance of signaling control networks to help operators create, configure, provision, and manage digital services, and further offers insights on the trends in the voice network space that have the potential to help organizations stay ahead of the curve.
Transforming the Telecommunications Space through Software-Defined Networking
The advancements in technology and the evolution of endpoint devices have transformed today’s telecommunications networks and paved the way towards a more digital business environment. In lieu of this steady move towards a more tech-focused way of operating and communicating, network health has become a top priority for providers and businesses. To help with this, software-defined networking (SDN) transforms telecom infrastructures by helping businesses to centralize and simplify control of enterprise network management.
“Software defined carrier infrastructure has two important technology transitions: in a data network or an IP network, software defined solutions allow a provider to reconfigure an IP network on demand,” said Ranalli. “In the past and in most of today’s business environments, there is physical work that needs to be done: switches are configured, wires are run, and there is a human intervention element required to set up IP networking. But in a software-defined world, it is possible to completely control all IP network and services, and make it available all through software; and, in turn, all dynamically.”
Aside from providing a centralized view of the entire network, SDN delivers flexibility for businesses. According to Ranalli: “Another aspect of converting to a software solution is all the network functions that sit on the IP network (i.e. voice and SMS)…all of these functions that sat on top used to be deployed on physical servers, and businesses had to deploy more servers to accommodate accordingly. But in the future, all of the physical servers go away.”
Adopting SDN also makes it easier for businesses to do the following:
- Set up new virtual machines and applications on demand to accommodate processing requests and allow IT teams to experiment with new configurations without disrupting the network.
- Manage security across the entire enterprise through the SDN controller that provides a central point of control to distribute policy information consistently.
- Abstract cloud resources and manage networking components from the SDN controller.
- Shape and control data traffic and make it easier for businesses to employ quality of services (QoS) for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and multimedia transmissions.
- Reduce capital expenditures by giving new life to current or existing network devices.
- Lessen operating costs since the routine network administration issues can be automated and centralized.
Why NetNumber Shines in the VoIP Network Space
“[NetNumber] has been laser-focused for the past 16 years on helping large telecom providers simplify a part of their network that almost no one ever sees: signaling control network,” said Ranalli. “What we’ve done is take twenty different network functions and shown that we can deploy them as applications that run on top of a common platform.”
As one of the leading providers of software-based signaling-control solutions, NetNumber delivers software to large communication service providers to help them simplify the controlling network. NetNumber’s TITAN engine radically simplifies signaling and control in the core network and reduces the negative impact of signaling traffic. As the industry’s most robust Centralized Signaling and Routing Control (CSRC) platform, TITAN offers a flexible and sustainable solution in the migration from time-division multiplexing (TDM) to Internet Protocol (IP).
“Think of it as a smartphone model of signal control: on a smartphone, there are twenty different applications you can switch between…you can do voice, messaging, can purchase an airline ticket, and more,” explained Ranalli. “But imagine how crazy it would be if you need 20 different phones for each app. In this way, carriers have been deploying twenty different infrastructures instead of one infrastructure where you just have the software. This is the disruptive structure.”
How NetNumber is Keeping Up with Network Trends
Nowadays, businesses need to have a global reach and offer the ability to communicate with the global community, and the same is true for customers across the world. As the cloud and other digital solutions continue to transform the way businesses operate and how people communicate, organizations need to adapt to the rising trends in the telecommunications network space in order to stay relevant and competitive.
Ranali shared with SourceForge which trends and technologies in the VoIP network space will disrupt the industry and create a huge impact in the business communications landscape in the coming years:
The Continued Rise of the Cloud and BYOD Solutions
“There has been a dramatic shift now to cloud-based collaborative services: all meetings are now online, where voice and video are hosted and handled through an online cloud service,” said Ranalli. “Users can also share presentations, edit docs, participate in impromptu video meetings, and more…almost 100% has switched to cloud-based unified communications services now. Also, today’s dynamic businesses don’t give desktop phones to their workers anymore; bring your own devices (BYOD) is much more common.”
The Advent of the Private Long-Term Evolution (LTE)
“We’ve all been experiencing LTE with mobile networks, where national networks (i.e. Verizon and Sprint) that you sign up for individually,” said Ranalli. “But it turns out that this technology that mobile networks use can be scaled down, where an individual enterprise can run its own complete private network. This includes broadband, 4G, and LTE data and voice services…all of these technologies can be exclusively deployed by mobile network operators and be squeezed down through software defined networking, allowing individual companies to run their own network.”
Mobile networks in the future will look quite different from the ones being utilized today. These networks will be a combination of many private networks that interwork with broader global mobile networks. However, much of the mobile activity will happen on private networks. “We are now just entering the early phases of these private networks,” noted Ranalli. “By using a private network, companies can control every device on a private LTE network. It is the same mobile technology that is deployed from major carriers but it exists today for individual use by public safety, firefighters, police, and military.”
Choosing the Right Communication Solution
With so many technology solutions emerging and changing the telecommunication network space, Ranalli believes that at the end of the day, what businesses look for in a solution remains the same: it should deliver the best service to its users and enable them to successfully move to the cloud.
“There is a long history in the communication industry with the network architecture, whether at a large carrier level or talking about it in a department at an enterprise,” said Ranalli. “Our history of a network has been physical boxes…you buy them, see them, and monitor them. And now we have fifty years of history behind us as we try to change the way we’ve done things. And as a vendor in this space, today it is about delivering core technology so that the consumers can (and should) absolutely switch to the cloud.”
Ranalli also advised businesses to take advantages of the technologies offered by service providers. “I am a strong advocate of someone else or outside the company (like a hosted or cloud service provider) spending time and money on a service in a cloud environment and continuing to manage, upgrade, scale, and give it flexibility,” said Ranalli. “Right now is a great time in IT to let someone else do [the heavy lifting].”
For more information about NetNumber’s broad range of solutions for MVNOs, Retail Fixed/Mobile/Cable MSO CSPs, OTT Providers, and Interconnect/IPX Carriers, visit NetNumber’s official website.
NetNumber is a leading provider of software-based, centralized signaling and routing control (CSRS) solutions for wireless and wireline telecommunications operators. Founded in Lowell, MA at the end of 1999, the company has been helping telecom providers simplify their networks through innovative technology solutions. NetNumber is a privately held technology company that offers a comprehensive list of communications and networking solutions that include Diameter Firewall, Number Portability, HSS with Authentication, Ut Proxy, HLR with Authentication, Centralized Routing Engine, Signaling Control, Centralized Signaling and Routing Control, and more.