Integrated Subscriber and Services Control for Alcatel-Lucent’sTriple Play Service Delivery Architecture
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On-demandsubscriberself-serviceportals andnetwork-policyautogeneration allow service providers to minimize operational costs by employing a flexible,“zero-touch”service-deliverymodel that caters to individual subscriber preferences and evolving service needs.
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC reduces operational transformation risks and the costs of introducing new network architecture and services. Its modularity and flexibility enable deployment in phases, allowing service providers to satisfy initialservice-deploymentrequirements while investing in afuture-safeplatform that can be leveraged to scale
VoD, migrate toward IMS, support emergency systems for IP telephony, introduce mandatory law systems for Internet service, etc.
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC also provides a graceful subscriber migration frombest-effortservices delivered using the legacy broadband remote access server (BRAS) network to EIS on theAlcatel-LucentTPSDA. TheAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC removes the need to duplicateback-officesystems by centralizing subscriber and policy management for both TPSDA and the legacy BRAS on one platform. Modularity and proxy functions also minimizelegacy-networkconfiguration changes and enable a smooth transition to centralized operations.
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Challenges and Opportunities of Triple-PlayService Delivery
Triple-playservice delivery — blending voice, video and data services in an integrated service bundle — is a generational leap that carries with it certain challenges.
•Today’s Internet service-deliverynetworks are optimized forflat-rate,best-effortcommodity services.
With the advent of triple play, high-revenueservices such as interactive multimedia applications, VoIP, VoD and broadcast TV (BTV) become the dominant networkdesign drivers. These services place unprecedented scalability, reliability, flexibility and QoS requirements on theIP-networkinfrastructure.
•New user devices such as residential gateways (RGs), IPTV set-topboxes, IP phones and gaming consoles are being introduced in the digital home network and must be managed and controlled.Fiber-to-the-node(FTTN) andfiber-to-the-
user (FTTU) access technologies, a shift from ATM to Ethernet-basedservice aggregation, IP/MPLS service routing, IP multicast, and ondemandsession-admissioncontrol are driving operational support requirements for which legacy systems were not designed.
•While transforming to a converged, multiservice IP infrastructure, service providers need to leverage and migrate strategic assets from the installed base of TDM voice and high-speedInternet (HSI) services to effectivelyup-sellexisting subscribers to atriple-playoffering. This migration needs to be nondisruptive for the service provider and transparent to subscribers by allowing legacy service features to be seamlessly ported to thenext-generationnetwork (NGN) infrastructure while minimizing operational impacts and costs.
Beyond a profound network transformation, a centralized and reliable subscriber-managementand policycontrol infrastructure is required to enable millions oftriple-playsubscribers andend-userdevices to securely access and usenetwork-basedapplications, services and content with assured quality of experience. TheAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC ispurpose-builtto address these needs. The system enables service providers to be optimally positioned to successfully conduct network and service transformation to converged tripleplay service delivery and unlock its full revenue potential.
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A Whole New World of Services
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC allows service providers to increase the average revenue per user (ARPU) with
the rapid creation and deployment of innovative triple-playservices, enabling end users to package these services in personalized bundles. TheAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC facilitates the introduction of new services (e.g., IPTV and VoD) and the evolution of traditional HSI services to EIS with support of dynamic bandwidth management andper-applicationQoS control. This allows service providers to enhance their value proposition by delivering
a superior user experience for Internet video, gaming and multimedia applications. The migration of legacy voice services to NGN and the introduction of IMSbased services are other strategic areas of innovation for which the Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC provides an evolution path for key control elements.
Figure 1 shows the key role the Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC plays in administering control over subscribers and user devices, application services, and network resources.
Figure 1. Centralized Administration and Policy Management with the Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC
SDM Order Entry
Flexible Policy Management Framework
(Subscribers, Network Resources, Service Policies)
(CLI, SNMP, COPS, XML/SOAP, etc.)
Triple Play Service Delivery Architecture
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The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC provides centralized management control and a data repository for:
Creation and management of subscriber accounts, user profiles and device profiles
•Service administration — Creation of service profiles and triple-play services bundles
Administration and configuration of per-subscriberandper-serviceresource policies in theend-to-endnetwork
The flexible policy-managementframework of theAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC uses this information for three key policy decision functions:
•Network access control —
Authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) for eligible subscribers and user devices to provide access to network-basedservices, applications and content, with the support of 802.1x EAP, RADIUS and DHCP. The Alcatel-
Lucent 5750 SSC provides full flexibility to attach user devices using a range of wireline and wireless-accessnetwork technologies, with support for IP address assignment and management (IPAM) and the setting of appropriate security and QoS policies in the network. TheAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC supports the ETSI TISPAN network attachment subsystem (NASS) specifications, providing a unified networkaccess-controlsolution for both IMS and nonIMS service environments.
•Dynamic service control — Dynamic application of network policies, based on various triggers such as service or change requests from customer self-service portals, network events, timer events or operations support systems (OSS) (e.g., customer care ad billing). This control allows service providers to support dynamic service or bandwidth upgrades, offer try-and-buy service specials, redirect subscribers to a captive portal in case of nonpayment or virus infection, etc.
•Service admission control —
Assurance that sufficient resources are available in the network to ensure proper throughput guarantees (QoS) for the duration of the session. While resources for alwayson services such as basic HSI access can be statically provisioned in the network, resource allocation for session-basedservices such
as VoD is done dynamically for each request. The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC also enablesIMS-basedservices by supporting the ETSI TISPAN access resource and admission control function(A-RACF).
Through its many open interfaces, the Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC coordinates and integrates information and control flows among the subscribers and user devices, OSS, applicationcontrol infrastructure, andend-to-endnetwork to streamline operational processes associated with service delivery in real time.
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Service Velocity and Mass Customization
Process integration and automation enable the efficient delivery of services on the massive scale that occurs in carrier networks. In the past, service providers made large investments in dedicated service-deliverytools and processes that are becoming increasingly cumbersome and costly to maintain. With the advent oftriple-playservice delivery and the need for ongoing service differentiation and innovation, the operational challenges of catering to the individual needs of millions of users without incurring dramatic increases in costs or processing times for customer care and support take center stage. These two issues of mass customization and service velocity require a solution that transcends traditional “cookiecutter” approaches to process integration and automation.
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC brings all the interdependent control elements and aspects oftriple-playservice delivery together in an integrated,policy-basedcontrol solution. Using apolicy-basedoperational model, theAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC enables azero-touchoperational deployment model, allowing users to choose the services and options they want and delivering them without manual intervention by customer care or support personnel. This approach
provides the flexibility needed to address the following market opportunities for triple-playservice delivery, combining an enriched user experience with operational cost savings and increased revenues:
•Triple-playpackages and tiered services —Complete, competitive and personalized service bundles that merge voice, video and data with one-stop shopping convenience and easily adapt to evolving needs.
•Self-serviceportals— Portals that allow subscribers to directly manage their accounts and service subscriptions and temporarily or permanently upgrade service levels. This reduces customer-care costs
while giving subscribers the service they want.
•Application-awareQoS— The dynamic (versus static) allocation of network resources driven by user and service needs, enabling highquality video and multimedia applications and optimizing resource utilization. The Alcatel-Lucent 5750 SSC can be deployed in combination with deep packet inspection (DPI) engines to control policy enforcement of per-application QoS, security and bandwidth, and deliver EIS for secure peer-to-peer networking, online gaming and streaming Internet video and voice.
•Try-and-buy,evening and weekend specials — The ability for subscribers to try services or boost service levels for a limited amount of time, or to introduce off-peak usage rates based on parameters such as usage time, traffic volume or specific content. This not only invites subscribers to try new value-added services with minimal commitment, but also encourages service usage during off-peak hours to better utilize network investments.
•Comprehensive usage control and accounting — Flexible usage options and billing schemes to address different market needs using detailed subscriber-level reporting and realtime billing data.
Putting subscribers in the driver’s seat — empowering them to create a more personalized and interactive experience using self-servicesubscription andservice-selectionportals — provides a better user experience while significantly reducing service providers’ operational costs.
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Key Features and Benefits
of Subscribers, Services
and Resource Policies
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC provides a highly scalable and flexiblepolicy-managementframework that enables centralized and dynamic control over subscribers, services and network devices. The platform manages an integrated repository of subscriber account information and user credentials, user device profiles, service profiles and network resourcepolicy definitions. This information is externally accessible through open interfaces to allow integration with external subscriberdata-managementsystems, such as IMS home subscriber service (HSS), and theservice-controlfunctions of application middleware (e.g., IMS application servers or IPTV middleware).
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC base product contains a broadband policy server that acts as a centralized policydecision and orchestration point for theend-to-endaccess, aggregation and IP transport network, evaluatingon-demandsubscriber requests for access tonetwork-basedservices and content.
The dynamic assignment of IP addresses to user devices is controlled with predefined static or dynamic
address pools that are managed using DHCP or RADIUS (combined with the DHCP or RADIUS server controller module or external servers).
These same network-accessprotocols orelement-managementsystem (EMS)plug-insfor multitechnology and multivendor network integration can be used to coordinate thereal-timedeployment ofservice-controlpolicies and enable dynamic,on-demandpolicy modification.
Subscribers may trigger these modifications (e.g., dynamic service selection or upgrade) using a selfservice web portal based on:
•Service-meteringpolicy events (usage metering and triggering package)
•Application or network events (e.g., VoD session request, DPI virus detection alert)
•Timer expiration (e.g., end of service trial period)
With service components, subscribers can mix and match video, voice and Internet service packages and create personalized triple-playservice bundles. These capabilities give service providers many options for simply andcost-effectivelycreating differentiated, anduser-centricservices in a simple andcost-effectiveway.
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Integrated Network-AccessControl andUser-DeviceAuthentication
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC provides subscribers andend-userdevices with a single point of access tonetwork-basedservices, content and applications. The product supports the full range of DHCP, RADIUS and 802.1x EAP authentication methods, enabling maximum operational flexibility with complete coverage of connectivity options and the security needs of such digital homenetwork devices as RGs, IPTVset-topboxes, IP phones, PCs, game consoles and 802.1x wireless devices. Supporting both basic and enhanced subscriber management withAlcatel-Lucent’sTPSDA combined with any mode of operation, theAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC also enables the consolidation of subscribers and services using the current mode of operation based on traditional multivendor BRAS systems under a common AAA solution. New enhancements offer a seamless evolution and integration path to an ETSITISPAN-compliantIMSservice-deliveryenvironment, with theAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC fulfilling the role of the NASS.
INTEGRATED DHCP SERVER WITH STANDARDS-BASEDINTERFACES
The DHCP server allows the management of IP address pools and can, with the Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC, performpolicy-basedauthentication, IP address assignment, and subscriberprofile configuration based on DHCP options 82 and 67. The system keeps track of IP leases for established subscriber and service sessions using a highspeed,real-timedatabase that can be replicated over redundant servers.
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC can also interwork with existing DHCP servers in relay mode and is fully capable of fulfilling the role of network access configuration function (NACF), as defined in the ETSI TISPAN architecture standards. Abuilt-ina2 reference interface allows subscriber information to be shared withthird-partysystems or complementaryAlcatel-Lucent
TISPAN/IMS products. A functional enhancement is available for the DHCP server module, enabling it to provide the connectivity location function (CLF) with support of the e2 and e4 reference interfaces. The
Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC can therefore offer a full implementation of the a2, e2 and e4 interfaces in the NASS.
IEEE 802.1X EAP/RADIUS SUPPORT
The Alcatel-Lucent5750 SSC enables the authentication and configuration of user devices such as RGs that require EAP and 802.1x wireless access points such as WiFi. Legitimate RGs can be preconfigured with a certificate that is authenticated via theAlcatel-Lucent5750 SSC prior to authorizing access at the digital subscriber line access multiplexer (DSLAM) or aggregation node.
R A D I U S A A A S E R V I C E S
Legacy HSI-infrastructureconsolidation and migration to AlcatelLucent’s TPSDA is supported using a fully featured, highly scalable and extensible RADIUS authentication server, with support for standardized as well as multivendor RADIUS attribute configuration on legacy BRAS systems. RADIUS support includes change of authorization (CoA) formid-sessionpolicy changes, to facilitate dynamic bandwidth mangement andon-demandservice upgrades.
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