This is Part II of Peter Nas’ blog post on local break out technology
Peter Nas serves as Senior Solution Architect at F5 Networks and draws from more than 20 years of telecom experience to advise operators how to leverage Diameter signaling solutions to enable the optimal LTE experience. Peter joined F5 with the company’s acquisition of Traffix where he was responsible for global business development. Prior to joining Traffix, he worked at Tekelec focusing on market development for Diameter and SIP routing. In his days before Tekelec, he served as Core Network Engineering Manager at a prominent mobile operator in the Netherlands.
In my last blog post, I began looking at the slow progress for the deployment of LBO (local breakout) technology that will reduce mobile roaming revenues. In this post, I will suggest various ways to leverage LBO to offset the reduction in roaming revenues.
One interesting aspect of LBO is that the signaling for two additional Diameter interfaces, S9 for policy and Gy for charging, could be exchanged between visited and home networks, and if so, this will be done via an IPX network as per GSMA guidelines (IR.88). There are different views on whether or not using the S9 interface to exchange policy information between the visited PCRF and home PCRF, will be massively used once LBO is offered, but let’s assume it will be used. In this case, an IPX carrier can offer various services around Diameter interworking, security and perhaps also screening, overload control, prioritization and potentially adapting policy rules and more.
People who doubt the uptake of using the S9 interface might be more interested if IPX carriers could offer services that help visited networks control which policies can be applied in the home network or in the visited network. The offering around S9 signaling can be the same as what is currently offered for transporting and managing S6a signaling (for authentication and mobility management), but offers security, quality, and many more differentiating features.
Another very interesting Diameter interface is the Gy, related to charging. Once LBO is offered, the visited network will have primary control of charging the visitor (for example to offer various ways how a customer can be charged, like per credit card, voucher, scratch card, loyalty points, other credits from OTT applications, etc.) but there is also interest by the home network to receive charging information.
Again, an IPX carrier can offer various innovative services beyond just transporting Gy charging information between visited network and home network. As we discuss charging information, what comes to mind are the potential of services in the areas of security, priority, firewalling, interworking, overload control, enriching, for example.
If you think about other creative services that a mobile customer like myself would like to have while roaming, there are more services that an IPX carrier is well positioned to offer. For instance, perhaps I’d like to choose the visited network that best fits to my needs (there could be static rules but also dynamic rules). For instance, intelligent steering in roaming could be a service offered by the home network, but perhaps might be offered by an IPX carrier, at least as an outsourcing partner for the various aspects of having a new Diameter based solution next to potentially existing SS7 steering. Some other ideas are in the area of OTT apps, such as enabling an IPX carrier to provide value add to the QoE of the apps that I am using while abroad.
Also when looking at LBO, it might be an IPX carrier that hosts other parties who want to offer LBO, or the IPX carrier itself can provide its ‘own’ LBO services via a local breakout gateway that reduces the costs (in region or on the other side of the world). Also IPX carriers can start to offer MVNE services that enable MVNOs to operate in their specific niche by providing the infrastructure and other services around it.
Much more value-add can be added by IPX carriers, and some will become a commercial success and others maybe not…. but if you don’t explore, you’ll never know. Looking forward to reactions of interested readers.