Voice services just got a whole lot simpler
The complexity of the everyday technology in our lives is astonishing - the devices we own contain many billions of transistors. Our homes are becoming smarter and our cars pack in clever digital functions, making our lives more convenient, or at least they should.
To make technology as convenient as possible to manage, its growing complexity needs to be tamed, which can be achieved in different ways.
Take a modern car – when a dashboard light alerts you that the car’s engine has an issue, you simply take it in for a service. The engine consists of a set of components but servicing it is made much smoother by the diagnostic tools available at the service center. These advanced tools make it convenient and efficient to fix it quickly.
In today’s telco networks, the engine of voice and multimedia messaging is the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS). The IMS runs voice services over LTE and even in 5G networks. When we connect with someone, the IMS machinery works in the background with very high availability and reliability.
The IMS relies on highly complex processes with lots of internal components and multiple interfaces built up through decades-long development and standardization work. Like our car analogy, we need to find ways to make it more convenient and efficient for communications service providers (CSPs) to manage the lifecycle of their IMS deployments.
Simplifying the IMS
Cloud native technology offers a powerful way to simplify the IMS core. Network services can be run in a robust cloud environment with high availability and ensuring software revisions are kept up to date through continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) processes.
Yet we could go one step further and put all the many IMS components into a single Cloud native Network Function (CNF), replacing the tangle of separate CNFs in a conventional IMS. Such an all-in-one design hides multiple levels of complexity by encapsulating all the IMS’s internal components and interfaces, leaving just a single CNF to design, dimension and manage.
That is exactly what we have just done. On May 30th Nokia launched Cloud Native Communication Suite (CNCS).
Simpler lifecycle management
CNCS encapsulates all the IMS’s previously separate network functions as microservices into a single CNF, including the Session Border Controller (SBC), Call Session Control Function (CSCF), Telephony Application Server (TAS) and Media Resource function (MRF).
CNCS simplifies the voice core, creating operational savings by reducing complexity and by providing single interface for operations and maintenance. The simplicity of CNCS as a single, fully pre-tested CNF reduces installation time, makes upgrades easier and eases the operation and supervision of voice services.
This new product is great for CSPs wanting to launch new IMS-based voice services over 4G and 5G to extend their traditional voice cores for specific use cases. CNCS provides similar functionality as a conventional IMS, yet because it is simpler it has lower hardware needs, which can reduce energy consumption by 10-20 percent.
Available now, off the shelf
CNCS is all about making things simpler. The globally standardized IMS voice core makes possible great quality of service, new programmable voice services and critically, smooth roaming to other network’s voice services. CNCS does all this in a convenient package that’s ready to buy, enabling CSPs to avoid complexity and run their voice networks efficiently and without compromise. CNCS is a perfect match also for customers who have not introduced IMS in their network yet, making the introduction of IMS easier.