IMS and VoLTE integration for cloud PBX
IMS and VoLTE integration with our cloud PBX solution can easily be accomplished. However, not all networks are the same – there may be greenfield deployments, as well as deployments into complex network environments, supporting multiple generations of technology – including legacy CAMEL and SS7. That’s why it’s such a good question – but the answer is always – we’ll take care of it.
IMS has been here for over a decade, but it’s still evolving
Although we’ve been deploying our Cloud PBX solution with IMS solutions for many years, we’re often asked about compatibility. And, there’s a very simple answer – our cloud PBX and Easy Business Communications Suite solution is an IMS AS (Application Server) that connects via the ISC interface to the S-CSCF.
And, for media control, we leverage either our MRF servers, or else one that’s already deployed in the network – usually, the former, so that business services can be isolated from any retail customer offers.
If VoLTE is required, then we also support the necessary Diameter interfaces, sitting alongside the VoLTE TAS that’s deployed in the IMS core. All well and good – but the question arises with increasing frequency.
Why does the question arise so often?
There are several reasons for this. First, some operators are already on their second or even third generation of IMS systems, so they need to know that we can migrate with them to the next iteration, with minimal effort. In such cases, the full architecture must be known, so that all services can be moved seamlessly to the new environment.
Second, there are many operators that have yet to deploy IMS, so they need to know how we can manage the transition from a system that’s based, perhaps on connectivity to a softswitch or even MSC, in some cases.
Third, there are also service providers that are evolving from light MVNO models to take full control of their voice and network services – for which deployment of an IMS is an essential step.
Finally, there is a host of new IMS vendors in the marketplace, capitalising on the transition to fully virtualised architectures to deliver cost-effective and often highly scalable solutions that can provide a more affordable pathway towards full IMS deployments for even the smallest service providers (and, let’s not forget, that many such vendors have an eye on the growing market for private wireless networks, but more on that in a future post). So, a new Gintel deployment is often considered at the same time as a greenfield IMS deployment, which makes the question extremely relevant.
IMS integration may also have to consider legacy interfaces, such as CAMEL
All of this makes the IMS domain very interesting just now. Although it’s well-established architecture, with clearly defined interfaces and functional entities, it’s still not a ubiquitous element of all networks – and with new networks being built all the time, there’s a long way to go before it can be taken for granted.
As such, we’re always ready to discuss IMS integration options and will ensure that we provide the best fit, even though we adhere to the standards. This also extends to legacy compatibility.
Service triggering is an essential capability that ensures efficient service delivery. It’s the difference, in old-fashioned IN terms, between a service platform, that terminates every call session – with both media and signalling - and a Service Switching Point, that can handle signalling and make decisions before connecting media to the required destination.
Today, this is mostly achieved via SIP signalling, but many networks also have customers that need to connect on earlier generations of technology, such as 2G and 3G – for which different mechanisms were enabled, chiefly through the use of CAMEL. And, CAMEL is essential for roaming services, so it continues to play a vital role.
As many will know CAMEL is itself an evolution of IN concepts, with adaptations for the mobile environment. Services must be available to users, irrespective of the domain to which they are connected, so CAMEL triggers need to be brought into the IMS environment. This is achieved through what’s known as the reverse IM-SSF (and IM-SSF) function, which allows these events to be handled in a uniform manner. Of course, we take care of this with a proven reverse IM-SSF solution, ensuring that all such services can be delivered to all required users and domains.
Whatever your IMS status, we have the experience to ensure success
So, when we’re asked about IMS integration, there’s a simple answer (ISC, thank you very much), and a potentially much longer conversation (is there VoLTE, what about CAMEL service support). But, thanks to our deep experience of such situations, the overall answer is: you can rely on Gintel to ensure compatibility with your IMS, whether it’s a complex heterogeneous network or a brand-new greenfield deployment.