Tekelec Introduces ThinkingNetworks Vision

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, TMC  |  April 29, 2013

Tekelec (News - Alert) says it can help service providers evolve to be “digital lifestyle providers” and, as a result, become more relevant in today’s environment. Its strategy on this front involves four overlapping phases, including what Tekelec calls the New Diameter Network; Cloud XG, which involves network virtualization; mobile social; and ThinkingNetworks.

The company has been rolling out product and messaging around various parts of this strategy over time, notes John Lenns, associate vice president of product management for Tekelec’s policy management solutions. At Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) earlier this year Tekelec introduced the ThinkingNetworks piece. Tekelec defines ThinkingNetworks as the phase at which networks become self-aware and automatically adjusting to the needs of services and applications.

If this concept sounds familiar, it’s because it is. You’ve heard this description already under the heading of SDN, or software-defined network. Indeed, Lenns says OpenFlow and SDN are involved in this concept. But he explains that Tekelec is not a provider of SDN solutions; rather it’s Diameter solutions will work together with networks based on SDN. Policy is the brain, Diameter is the nervous system, and SDN is the network architecture that allows the network to be flexible.

The Mobile Social phase, meanwhile, involves what Lenns says is an evolution of Tekelec’s Subscriber Profile Repository, which contains subscriber-relevant data. Over time, he says, it will be possible to cache data about subscribers, such as their likes, dislikes, etc. And carriers can combine all that to set policy and deliver customized solutions for subscribers.

As for Cloud XG, it includes components to virtualize and dynamically assign resources to a function. Here’s an example of how this might all work: If a network operator has a set of processing elements it can virtualize them via Tekelec’s Virtualizer, use Tekelec’s Orchestrator to assign a function to industry-standard hardware, and then Flow Manager can see that element and know it’s available to accept traffic.

And the new Diameter network, which Tekelec spoke about at last year’s Mobile World Congress, introduces controllers (or, as Tekelec calls them, Diameter signaling routers) into the picture to avoid signaling storms by doing load balancing, load shedding, and gracefully introducing new elements to the network,

“We are having tremendous success with DSRs,” says Lenns, adding Tekelec’s marketshare in Diameter signaling routers/controllers is in the 75-85 percent range. “People are getting it.”

Edited by Stefania Viscusi