Today SS7 & Diameter signaling are a critical part of the global telecommunications infrastructure. While SS7 was the foundation for signaling in TDM and 2G/3G networks, Diameter has been introduced for 4G LTE and VoLTE packet networks and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) based systems, and is key to enabling new revenue-generating IP services. The Ribbon SS7 & Diameter Signaling solution enables service providers to introduce Diameter-based signaling capabilities without having to rip and replace legacy infrastructure.
Join us Thursday, April 12th and learn more about our industry-proven Ribbon SS7 & Diameter Signaling solutions, on how to protect and secure your capital investments, ease your transition to next-generation networks, and reduce operational disruption, all while maintaining support for your SS7 network.
During this LIVE webinar, experts from Ribbon Communications will discuss:
Prasanna Vijayakumar, Solutions Marketing, Ribbon Communications
Kim Jones, Solutions Marketing, Ribbon Communications
The Vulnerabilities of SS7 and Diameter Signaling
Let's look at some of the key market trends here and this chart shows past history and forecasts of how the mobile subscriber base is looking going forward. The reason that we're looking at subscribers here is that we're trying to relate this message to subscribers in 2G, 3G, and 4G networks to what the signaling marketplace looks like. So clearly legacy-signaling is all about 2G and 3G circuit-switched networks and even as the rollouts of 4G, LTE, and 4G VoLTE grows - 2G and 3G networks are still going to dominate for quite some time to come. This is a clear message from this kind of chart. What we're seeing, however, is that even as 4G networks roll out - and you know pretty much LTE is fully deployed worldwide and VoLTE is now growing - it's interesting that that that the whole LTE ecosystem is become more complex, in terms of so many more services are possible now on LTE and VoLTE networks. It's not just voice, right, it's about messaging and rich services and people who are attaching to the network didn't get authorized or authenticated for a whole spectrum of services.
So the signaling traffic diameter in LTE networks is growing even faster than the rollout of basic LTE and VoLTE itself. This of course, independently, we're saying that the push to virtualize and the push to the NFV cloud is forging ahead virtualization and is already a dominant feature in the marketplace and NFV is beginning to roll out now. The industry as a whole is getting ready for this shift from 4G to 5G and we'll talk a little bit about 5G use cases in the upcoming charts. But the message is that even with all of this happening at 2G, 3G, and SS7 it doesn't go away. So we are still looking now to the next several years where we're going to have mixed deployments, mixed networks, with both SS7 and Diameter Signaling that need to be supported.
So with that said, let's go on to key challenges and we'll talk a little bit here about what our customers are telling us is important to them. We'll go through each of these topics in the next short while with you today and explain what we see as the important drivers are, what the challenges are, and what the opportunities are to solve these challenges. Let me just introduce them real quick. Simplification of the network, in certain geographies North America, for example, the use of STP (Signalling Transfer Points) and DSC (Diameter Signalling Controllers) are fairly commonplace. That may not be the case in other geographies. So it's interesting in the legacy networks there's still quite a lot of mesh-type connections between the ss7 and the diameter nodes. So when operators move into using STP and DSC, simplifying the network or simplifying the core routing brings the kind of efficiency and scalability that the operators are needing. That's one challenge, the second challenge is security. There's a heightened awareness of security these days. In fact, it's in the news wherever you look in one shape, size, or form. It's interesting that legacy networks, like ss7, that work just fine but they were never designed with anything but a wall-garden type of implementation in mind. So as these networks open up and move to IP, and move to mobile networks or interconnect then we have to worry about the security issues of that. The challenges in ss7 have moved over to diameter. We're going to talk about some of those challenges and how you can solve them. Virtualization has a continued momentum for virtualizing networks going from bespoke appliances to COTS (Commercial Off-the-Shelf) servers to be more efficient in terms of CapEx and infrastructure costs. Of course, moving beyond simple virtualization to NFV and VNF type of implementation in order to get the flexibility, the service-agility, the operational efficiencies that virtualization brings, and that's a challenge. The fourth one and perhaps the most important today that we're going to focus on is that existing systems for both STP and diameter may have been deployed in the marketplace for quite some years now especially on the ss7 side. So there is a real issue with regards to certain platforms becoming end-of-life and end-of-support and that's a factor that needs to be thought about going forward, and all of that in the context of protecting your investment. So if you do upgrade these end-of-life systems, then how can you be sure that any new investments will serve as a good platform going forward? So whether you know just upgrading a pure SS7 without the capability of doing diameter, that might be a lost opportunity in terms of being able to save versus a system that can do both on a single platform.