Priit Rohusaar

ROAMING SPECIALIST

Summary

With new technologies and standards mobile network configuration became a challenging task with an increasing number of network nodes to be configured. With the RAEX standard configuration data is delivered in a machine-readable format, but still needs validation to detect the relevant changes based on the commercially agreed roaming services. The RoamsysNext Network Configuration Optimizer is the perfect solution to make the shift from manual processing to more and more automated processing, with the option to move to full automation. This protects you from unexpected data in your networks with health checks pointing you directly to the configuration pain points to reach a new level of network security. It helps combating fraud, secures roaming revenues, saves costs and further enhances the roaming experience of your customers.

The Network Configuration Optimizer is one of the key products RoamsysNext offers to update your core network effortlessly and with better quality. You get all relevant data in one central place to speed up configuration and make the step to full automation based on your very own needs. It generates configuration files for all important network nodes and allows you to download or directly push generic and vendor-specific configuration files into your network. It strengthens your core network to combat fraud, secures roaming revenues, saves costs and further enhances the roaming experience of your customers. Even with connections to hundreds of roaming partners, network node updates, maintenance and troubleshooting can be done in a fraction of the time and with much better quality.

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Workflow optimization and full automation

With the mobile network evolution from 2G to 5G the number of core network elements that needs to be configured and maintained per each roaming partner network specifications has steadily increased. GPRS 2G, UMTS 3G, LTE 4G, NB-IoT, VoLTE, 5G etc. roaming services all need dedicated configurations in your core network based on partner network IR.21 document data. Number ranges, IP ranges, DNS IP addresses, MCC MNC, APN, Diameter EPC realm etc., must be implemented in your network for service launches and reviewed regularly based on updated partner network IR.21 documents.

Updated IR.21 data must be investigated to detect the relevant changes based on your commercially agreed roaming services. Once the changes have been detected and extracted, data needs to be converted into the right format for each updated core network node, based on your vendor requirements. Manual efforts to implement all technical changes in a timely manner has escalated with each added mobile network generation and ever-widening roaming coverage. Reviewing changes and knowing what needs to be configured for which commercial service is a daily challenge even for senior roaming coordinators.

Our tool uses complex, predefined but fully customizable automation rules, to keep all your systems in sync with the service changes and technical partner network updates without any human intervention. All possible scenarios can be described and stored in our rule engine, based on the accumulated knowledge of your roaming experts. So, in the future, your network will be updated smoothly even when senior colleagues are out of office.

NCO High Level Workflow

Full automation without losing control

Service Openings

One main scenario for core network updates are service openings.

Let’s say your commercial team opens LTE 4G service with an existing GPRS partner and saves this change in your roaming footprint database. This automatically triggers NCO/IREG Toolbox service opening rules.

The tool already knows, based on individual pre-configured rules, what needs to be updated in your core network to launch LTE service with an existing data roaming partner. E.g., it creates vendor specific script files, based on pre-configured templates which include all the needed MML commands to modify existing PLMN profiles in Firewall and MME.

It automatically assigns those tasks to your technical colleagues/teams for implementation. Downloaded configurations can be directly uploaded without any manual adjustments in the data format. This saves your engineers time and improves the data quality. (Example workflow left)

NCO/IREG Toolbox supports end-2-end automation over direct API connection to your systems if you are willing to omit the only manual step in the process, reviewing of the script files, before they are loaded to your network.

Regular Updates

Besides service openings, you need to monitor IR.21 documents that are regularly updated. E.g., if your roaming partner makes any change in its IP core network, you must remove the old IP ranges and open new ranges, but only if you have data roaming services commercially live. Otherwise, IP section updates could be uploaded to your IR.21 database in the background, as nothing needs to be updated in you core network for the time being. (Example workflow left)

If any of the data roaming services (GPRS 2G, UMTS 3G or LTE 4G) is commercially live in your commercial roaming footprint, the tool automatically sees it as a relevant change and acts according to pre-configured configuration update rules. E.g., it could create script files to update the IP ranges in your BG Firewall & Billing System. (Example workflow right)

Priit Rohusaar joined RoamsysNext in 2016. With balanced skills between analytical and technical and hands on experience with the various parts of mobile networks he became the product owner for the Network Configuration Optimizer working with the configuration files and configuration audits of Ericsson, Huawei, Siemens, NSN, Fortinet, Cisco & other vendor switches. Before joining RoamsysNext, Priit worked in Luxembourg as Global IREG tester for Millicom International Cellular SA., a leading provider of cable, mobile and high-speed broadband services in Latin America and Africa. Before moving to Luxembourg in 2013, he was working as IREG engineer for Elisa Estonia.

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