TeleTips Network Joining Forces with Telecom Voices

We’re pleased to announce that TeleTips Network is partnering with Telecom Voices, adding our voice to their coverage of Telecoms. Telecom Voices is a site dedicated to rebroadcasting blogs focused on Telecoms, allowing a wide diversity of Telecoms ideas to be found and read on a single web site. The posts of TeleTips Network will begin appearing there immediately.

It is the shared hope of Telecom Voices and TeleTips Network that this move increases the level of discussion and adds value for our mutual readers.

Give Telecom Voices a listen, and consider adding them to your daily rotation. We’ll talk to you there, too!

Method of Procedure for adding IP Pools to the Starent PDSN Wireless

We recently had an opportunity to add an IP Pool to the Starent 16000 PDSN in our Nortel CDMA network. It is standard procedure that any network activity that has the potential to impact service must be performed during a low traffic period, (aka “the maintenance window”) and must be accompanied by a written method of Procedure (“MOP”.) Writing a MOP is not a very exciting activity, and in fact, takes a significant effort to get right. However, on the few occasions when the procedure went sideways, a well-written MOP was handy for resolving the issue, and in the worst cases, keeping us out of trouble in the post-mortem that followed.

Procedures that are frequently done benefit from a MOP by serving as a guideline for new engineers. Infrequently done procedures benefit by having a detailed reminder of what to, and not, do.

Read on for those details. Continue reading “Method of Procedure for adding IP Pools to the Starent PDSN Wireless”

Increasing Throughput on SMPP Links

We recently began using what we call an SMS Push application.  SMS Push allows us to send Text Messages to our subscribers in bulk.  Typically these messages are some Marketing promotion or a Customer Service announcement. The message text and a list of MDNs is provided to the application and it sends them serially, one at a time.  We wanted to speed that up.

The SMS Push application was provided by Quantum System Integrators in Costa Mesa, CA.  We’ve worked with them on several projects before and they’ve always high quality software and services with excellent customer support.  The application runs on Sun Solaris and is started from the shell command line.  It sends a predetermined messages to each MDN in a list provided as a command-line argument.  The application spawns a single instance of itself and sends the messages.  Through-put has been about 1 message per second, using an SMPP link to our Primal Technologies SMS-C. Continue reading “Increasing Throughput on SMPP Links”

PDSN packet inspection

Today Nortel presented their solution for monitoring and billing high bandwidth users of the wireless broadband network.  Software running directly in the Starent PDSN  basically uses deep packet inspection to implement traffic shaping.  The product is called Enhanced Charging Services (ECS) and it claims to provide integrated content-based billing.  The solution as presently sold might not truly be called “deep” packet inspection.  It only looks as deeply as layer 4, TCP and UDP packets.
Continue reading “PDSN packet inspection”

Least Cost Routing is harder than it looks

All voice network operators are continually looking for ways to cut the cost of delivering outgoing long distance calls. The best way to do this is to use 2 or more Inter-Exchange Carriers (IEC, in FCC-speak) or what you and I might call “long distance service providers,” and cherry pick the cheaper provider for each dialed destination. This approach is called “Least Cost Routing.” Seems simple, right? Well, it’s not, really.

First there is the tyranny of numbers. A Least Cost Routing application typically will use the Local Exchange Routing Guide (LERG) to determine all possible dialed destinations. The LERG defines roughly 450,000 destinations. For each destination you might have a cost proposal from several IEC. We tried evaluating 8 IEC.

Continue reading “Least Cost Routing is harder than it looks”

Traffic Pumpers Filling Long Distance Pipes

Starting late last year our long-distance network has been overwhelmed with calls to various for-free services. These services often appear to be the proverbial free lunch, with no apparent business model because the service is 100% free to the end user. Typical offerings include free conference calls or voice chat rooms. These services can completely destroy a flat-rate all-you-can-eat telephony service provider.

Continue reading “Traffic Pumpers Filling Long Distance Pipes”

RIM experiences yet another network failure

Information Week is reporting that  BlackBerry Users Experience Service Outage

What’s going on over at RIM?  Is this the 3rd or 4th highly publicized network failure they’ve experienced in the last year or so? Running a network is a highly repetitive, process-oriented business.  Not much sex and magic involved.  Widespread service-affecting events are signs of poor blocking and tackling:  time for RIM to get back to fundamentals.

This just has to leave user shaking their heads and heading for the exits.   Typographic error we expect to see soon: “current BlackBerry infrastructure outrage.”

Nortel and Motorola in talks to combine their mobile infrastructure businesses

So over on Yahoo! this article is interesting.  The advantage to Motorola is clear, more cash for a business it does not appear to run well.

The advantage to Nortel is less clear.  Nortel already has switching and radio kit for a variety of wireless technologies and air interfaces. We’ll need to wait until more information becomes available.  I wonder if Nortel would get the iDEN infrastructure busines, too?

Mozilla enters the Mobile Browser market

The Mozilla foundation has recently announced that they intend to extend their web browser to allow it to run on mobile devices. I have to wonder about the opportunity they perceive. Outside the US there may well be a chance for a new browser to become popular on mobile devices.

Within the US however, the mobile operators wield so much control that it seems very unlikely the mobile browser could ever aspire to achieve the success the PC-based browser has. The path to that success for mobile devices is far more challenging. Continue reading “Mozilla enters the Mobile Browser market”