Deployment options and models for real-time services

Deployment options and models for real-time services

There are multiple options for deploying real-time service solutions and different stakeholders often have different perspectives. Flexibility is key, so – in your data centre or in the cloud – where do you want to deploy real-time services for your B2B customers?

Integration requirements can drive deployment preferences

Deploying real-time services that are tightly integrated with core IMS and VoLTE services, as well as OSS / BSS elements, requires alignment with an operator’s cloud and virtual evolution programmes and policies. It also needs to be in-line with national requirements regarding data protection and the location of stored information.

In this blog, we explore a few factors that shape deployment options. We’ll discuss virtualisation and cloudification in general in future posts, but here, we’ll restrict the discussion to where real-time services can be deployed.

All options are open – the choice is yours

There are multiple approaches to this – which is why operators often ask us questions such as “can you deploy your solution in the cloud for us?” Of course, the answer is yes, but is that really what you want?

The truth is that there are always different considerations to bear in mind – and we have a spectrum of deployment models to support the optimum outcome for each operator, according to their data and security needs. We can deploy in whichever environment an operator requires, but there are several different approaches that can be adopted.

To begin with, placing a real-time service in a public cloud can contravene the data policies of some national regulators. While the industry is slowly embracing such solutions, it’s not for everyone – at least not yet. So, while cloud may be a compelling option, there may well be reasons to choose a different path.

Regulated services  - emergency call handling and lawful intercept may require different approaches

One such alternative is to deploy in a private data centre, jointly selected or proposed by the operator. Again, this is a perfectly valid approach for some, but not others. That’s because connectivity to the IMS other components is necessary – and so some security policies require that any such service element that connects via an IMS interface should be co-located with the IMS infrastructure. Since emergency calling services must be supported, this can also influence the decision.

Lawful intercept is another factor that may also be considered. These are important – a regulated real-time voice service is quite a different thing from an OTT app-based solution. Tight integration with existing infrastructure and regulatory compliance may be decisive in choosing the deployment model.

Cloud deployments are coming but driven by edge needs

As such, deployment may be required in the private cloud of the operator – and, indeed, this is currently the most common approach. However, if there is no core IMS, then many operators favour greater flexibility – and are happy to consider public cloud deployments from the outset.

Indeed, as we move towards full 5G standalone networks, it’s becoming clear that public cloud partnerships can be key to enabling more distributed network functions. Building our edge functionality will drive new cloud models but the core remains key, for now at least.

Other factors include the OSS / BSS integration required – how will the solution fit into network monitoring and alarm systems? Typically, the needs of different stakeholders from the operational teams – VAS, IT, assurance and so on – must be considered to determine the right course.

Operational considerations are the final arbiter

Things are moving fast, and requirements change all the time. However, our flexibility enables us to meet any requirement:

  • Private cloud, alongside IMS and other core network systems
  • Private cloud in a trusted or partner data centre in the same country
  • Public cloud

So, while the service is important, the deployment and operational requirements are hugely important. We’ll work with you to determine the best approach, given the service goals and the overall requirements under which you operate. It’s all part of our delivery processes and we make sure we adapt to your specific network evolution and operational goals.

VoLTE, B2B Customers, IMS, OSS / BSS

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