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Migration from SS7 to Diameter


Today, the acceleration of the deployment of Long-Term Evolution (LTE)/Evolved Packet Core (EPC), Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks continues. All of these are defined using Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and Diameter-based signaling as opposed to the legacy Signaling System 7 (SS7) signaling associated with 2G/3G mobile networks.

The number of LTE subscribers continues to rapidly increase and mobile service providers must focus on new LTE/Evolved Packet Core (EPC) revenue-generating services. However, many mobile service providers still have legacy SS7 networking equipment. Migrating to LTE/EPC and Diameter-based signaling networks will be key in order to offer new services to their customers while still addressing their legacy infrastructure.

Integrated Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC) Solution

The Sonus DSC solution is a single solution for Diameter Routing Agent (DRA), Diameter Edge Agent (DEA), Subscriber Location Function (SLF), Load Balancing, and Interworking Function (IWF), delivering the following capabilities:

  • DRA binds a user’s information to a Policy and Charging Rules Function (PCRF) to ensure all policy-related information regarding a specific session is handled by the PCRF.
  • DEA provides security between interconnected partners preventing export of network topology, and routing/screening functions for Diameter messages.
  • SLF provides a scalable and efficient way to determine which Home Subscriber Server (HSS) has a subscriber’s data. This is required because mobile carriers usually have multiple HSS deployments for scale and reliability.
  • Load Balancing ensures Diameter signaling traffic does not create network element overload and potential service interruptions.
  • IWFsupports roaming between LTE and 2G/3G networks by supporting interworking between Diameter and SS7 Mobile Application Part (MAP) or providing Diameter protocol normalization and interoperability between differing Diameter implementations.

The Sonus DSC solution also integrates Signal Transfer Point (STP) capabilities delivering the following:

  • All the standard functionality, including Gateway Screening and Global Title Translation (GTT)
  • Extended capabilities for Signaling Gateway (M3UA/SUA) and Point Code Emulation
  • Plug and play to ensure SS7 and Diameter can co-exist and scale independently
  • Web-based user interface to optimize how the network operations and support teams train and use the integrated STP/DSC solution

The DSC has flexible deployment models for scalability built on proven carrier grade technology, which can run on dedicated platforms, in a virtualized (NFV) or Cloud environment, or even embedded within a Sonus Session Border Controller (SBC).

Sonus’ industry-proven signaling and routing solutions, along with deep expertise in SS7, SIP and Diameter protocols, provides the ability to deliver the most efficient, scalable, secure and cost-effective solution for these interworking capabilities in the industry.

Figure 1: Mobile Migration from SS7 to Diameter

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