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AppTrigger adds voice to LTE service brokerage

AppTrigger’s Ignite Service Broker 11.0 ties in TDM voice services, legacy apps with LTE

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Software provider AppTrigger today launched a new version of its Ignite Service Broker to bring telecom operators’ TDM voice services to long-term evolution (LTE) mobile broadband networks. The platform, which builds on its version 10 release last year, is designed to overcome the gaps between moving from an IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) architecture to a next-generation LTE network.

AppTrigger works with 16 tier-one operators globally, all of which are exploring a form of 4G infrastructure, in most cases LTE. Standards for LTE represent the next generation of data, but not voice, according to Jose Deras, AppTrigger’s vice president of sales engineering. Both service providers and standards bodies are looking for a way to do both, but right now the solution is still being sorted out. As such, carriers are concerned that their basic, and most critical, circuit-switched apps such as voice and SMS will not be supported.

To adjust for this, Deras said a telco’s three main options are accelerating IMS adoption for voice over the last mile, using a bridging architecture such as Voice over LTE via Generic Access (VoLGA) to extend circuit voice to the IP 4G network or simply running dual networks: a 2G or 3G network for voice and a 4G network for data. There are weaknesses inherent in each of these options, but Deras is targeting the operator favoring an IMS solution above all others.

“The core of our product is designed to solve the protocol interworking challenges that service providers have as they evolve their networks,” Deras said.” As they evolve from 3G networks to NGN and IMS, the underlying access methodology like in WiMax and LTE, there are new protocols introduced to the network. It’s often the desire and goal of the service provider to extend the usefulness of their applications to make the most of their capital expenditures, and that is where the Service Broker comes into play.”

With the latest version of its service broker platform, service providers can extend their legacy apps to LTE subscribers regardless of the access architecture they choose, speed time to market and use AppTrigger’s XML-based toolkit to extend functionality, making service providers self-sufficient regardless of how their platform evolves, Deras said.

AppTrigger, along with four other vendors, formed the Service Broker Forum in May to educate operators on the importance of app connectivity, service interaction and network orchestration. These service brokers provide the software that sits between the service layer and the converging network to manage service interaction and ensure legacy apps can run on any next-generation network, including LTE. The platform combines media, signaling, call control and APIs for multi-network, converged app deployments.

“The service broker provides a vital role in the architecture,” Deras said. “They allow you to bring together applications in the network that are not designed to work together.”

Deras said that trials for voice apps won’t happen until sometime next year, but AppTrigger is gearing up to be ready as soon as the operators are. The question is when most of them will be ready. While operators like Verizon Wireless, AT&T and Sprint have deployed IMS and elements and plan to tie any 4G launch to their next-generation service architectures, the majority of the world’s operators have been much more reluctant to move toward IMS.

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© 2014 Penton Media Inc.

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