Moving up the stack

Staff writer
10 Dec 2013

Robert Pizzari, F5 Networks’ director of service provider sales for Asia Pacific, shares his views on what it takes for telcos to be more application aware and subscriber aware

Vision 2014: What do you see as telcos’ biggest challenges over the next year or two?

Pizzari: Telcos will be challenged to address the explosive growth in mobile traffic, an exponentially more complex set of applications stemming from communications in the internet-of-things era as well as consumers’ insatiable thirst for ubiquitous connectivity. They will transform significantly to meet the need to optimize, monetize and secure their networks.

Network security remains an overriding priority as malicious malware, distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks and advanced persistent threats (APTs) increase in frequency and sophistication.

Peer-to-peer traffic, over-the-top applications and other connectivity services are impacting telco revenues and margins, forcing them to find new means to monetize their networks and services.

How is F5 Networks supporting service providers to improve profitability by driving revenue and reducing infrastructure costs?

Service providers mostly focus on the transport layer. F5 helps them to move up the stack to Layer 7, enabling them to improve their application awareness and subscriber awareness. The value-added services and the enriched subscriber experiences that providers can introduce based on their profiles help them to differentiate their services and drive revenue.

We offer a common platform for service providers to consolidate their functions. Beyond just combining disparate technologies, F5 enables service providers to seamlessly manage, scale and automate the application services across devices, networks and applications. This helps them configure their infrastructures for cost savings and rapidly deploy new services as needed.

With the recently announced F5 Synthesis architectural vision, F5 empowers service providers to extend the reach of intelligent application services further into IT infrastructures. The intelligence lies in the fabric that ties all of the elements of network infrastructure together and makes them available to centrally scale and deploy.

How can telcos overcome the complex LTE roaming challenges to meet subscriber demand?

The buzz about LTE stems from a personalized and interactive experience. More specifically, LTE is expected to deliver advanced services and charging schemes like tiered data plans, video optimization and faster speeds of mobile data. Each one of these involves complicated back-office support in the network.

A big challenge of LTE roaming is managing the increase in Diameter signaling. F5’s Traffix Signaling Delivery includes a Diameter Edge Agent (DEA) that enables providers to manage roaming, steer traffic and increase revenues through inbound and outbound roaming.

This protects the mobile network by supporting access control permissions on roaming traffic and hiding internal network topology.

Ensuring network security is a high priority while connecting visiting networks and at the same time providing high QoS to subscribers. The DEA provides high security to prevent unauthorized access and failover protection to maintain top network performance.

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