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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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Wireless Softswitching: The Next-Gen Mobile Core
Distributed switching, a.k.a. softswitching or mobile next-generation networking (NGN), is set to revolutionize the mobile core network. In mature markets, operators are working with an aging installed base of mobile-service switching centers (MSCs), which can be expensive to operate and maintain in the context of rapidly increasing traffic, slowing subscriber and revenue growth.

As a result, operators are starting to cap investment in monolithic MSCs in favor of more cost-efficient and future-proof softswitch architectures that offer an elegant migration to IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) and a new era of feature and service innovation.

In emerging markets the driver is, quite simply, exploding subscriber growth. But in both cases the requirement is the same: inexpensive, scaleable voice switching over an IP core.

From the vendor side of the house, it's imperative to have a competitive play in mobile core and softswitch architectures we're talking about the next ten years of mobile voice here. This report covers the technology and business drivers for mobile NGN from an operator's perspective, and then analyzes the impact on the vendor landscape.
Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni0605_toc.pdf)
In many ways, the transition to mobile NGN mirrors the transition to VOIP in the wireline world, in which the concept of independent user planes and control planes is well established. Media gateways are distributed towards the edge of the network and linked together over an IP core, while MSC servers provide centralized call control, as shown in this diagram:
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
The "end-to-end" nature of many mobile infrastructure contracts makes a competitive core network vital to vendor success. Therefore, vendors serious about the mobile infrastructure market either have developed, or are developing, in-house softswitch products. Others have acquired technology to get in the game and, if possible, leapfrog the incumbents. The table below lists recent deals in this sector:
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Vendors covered in this report: Alcatel (NYSE: ALA; Paris: CGEP:PA); Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERICY); Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.; Lucent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: LU); Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT); Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK); Nortel Networks Ltd. (NYSE/Toronto: NT); Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI); and ZTE Corp. (Shenzhen: 000063; Hong Kong: 0763)
Total pages: 21
To view reports you will need Adobe's Acrobat Reader. If you do not have it, it can be obtained for free at the Adobe web site.
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