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September 09, 2010

New NGN IMS Forum Papers Highlight Best Practices in Diameter Protocol and IP BSS/OSS and Security

By Shamila Janakiraman, TMCnet Contributor

The NGN IMS Forum (News - Alert) recently announced it published a document of guidelines on best practices to be followed in IP BSS/OSS & Security and Diameter implementations.

The NGN Forum member companies who contributed to these documents include Aricent, Comverse, HP, Mu Dynamics, Tech Mahindra, HP, Marben Products, Traffix Systems and T-Mobile (News - Alert).

Officials said the BSS/OSS & Security for Services in NGN/IMS Paradigm Guidelines for Implementation document has been drawn from the work of the BSS/OSS & Security Working Group and the Forum’s recent Plugfest interoperability test events.

BSS/OSS solutions for next generation implementations must work in tandem with the network while unifying critical business functions for managing and monetizing the NGN services and the next generation subscriber experience. This requires open and flexible solutions that serve to enhance customer experience besides following industry standards and providing flexibility to accommodate new requirements.

The guidelines specify some suggested best practices for the implementation of NGN BSS/OSSs including introduction of next generation BSS/OSS & Security architectures; security and reliability; BSS/OSS unification and adopting or moving toward NGN OSS and others, said forum sources.

Thomas Maufer, director of technical marketing, Mu Dynamics (News - Alert) said, “Today, the BSS/OSS reality for most operators is one of multiple, discrete systems that have their own process for viewing, analyzing and managing data. The integration of these systems is a time consuming and expensive process that can impact service providers’ time-to-market and the end-users’ overall experience and costs.”

“Industry experts recognize that to address the challenge of bridging systems from yesterday, today and tomorrow, communications service providers need to have an innovative, scalable business support system, Maufer said.

The main purpose of the Interoperability Challenges in Diameter Implementations Working Group Paper is to enumerate the advantages of this protocol and the reasons why it fits with AAA that is Authentication, Authorization and Accounting functionalities. It addresses the following questions: What are the main concepts that are involved in the Diameter protocol? Where is this protocol used inside the IMS architecture?

The IMS AAA Architecture: The Diameter Advantage Working Group Paper in turn focuses on the interoperability issues and challenges observed in diameter implementations in NGN networks. It caters to such issues like contradictions and ambiguity in the specifications leading to different implementations, inconsistent rules and guidelines for defining new diameter applications, backwards incompatibility and version handling among others.

To find out more about the NGN IMS Forum visit ITEXPO West 2010. To be held Oct. 4 to 6 in Los Angeles, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Michael Khalilian (News - Alert), Chairman and President is speaking during “Web 2.0: The Future of Web Service Delivery” and “Virtualization Strategies – One Size Does Not Fit All.” Don’t wait. Register now.

Shamila Janakiraman is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Shamila’s articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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