On the one hand, operators must run multiple networks (2G, 2.5G, 3G, IMS), and somehow have a unified set of service offerings across these networks for their subscribers.

Operators are under pressure

There are also new networks with new capabilities, such as IMS, to consider and challenges from new entrants with new delivery mechanisms (WiMAX, VOIP, and so on).

On the other hand, many services are becoming ubiquitous (Voice, Prepaid, SMS) and ARPU for these services is under attack. So:

  • How does an operator differentiate itself from its competitors?

  • How does an operator encourage subscriber loyalty?

  • How can an operator protect and increase ARPU?

  • How can an operator achieve all of these things in a volatile economic environment?

The service development and delivery mechanisms of the past are not flexible or powerful enough to provide answers to these questions. A new approach is needed.

A new approach to service development and delivery

Operators need to maximise the return on investment in their existing networks and services, whilst at the same time reducing the barriers to future innovation. They need to embrace new networks and technologies, whilst at the same time minimising the impact on their subscribers of migration to these new networks and technologies.

…​there is a forward-looking imperative brewing. In operator surveys, the need to accelerate time-to-market for new services consistently comes out as a top driver for the acquisition of new service creation and delivery technology.
— LIGHTREADING'S Services Software Insider
Vol 4 No 4

Operators need the ability to make new products by re-using existing products (and/or components of products) and augmenting existing products.

In order to bring new products to market more quickly, operators recognize they need service reuse as part of the mix. Operators are interested in new service creation and delivery architectures that support the assembly of telecom products from re-usable service components.
— LIGHTREADING'S Services Software Insider
Vol 4 No 4
Service brokering and service/feature interaction technology is the answer.

Service brokers allow operators to selectively trigger and run multiple services on a single network trigger. Service brokers blend together services, by managing the signaling interactions between the services in a centralised middleware layer, which sits between the network and the services layer.

The OpenCloud Service Interaction SLEE (SIS) provides service brokering and service interaction functionality for SS7 and IMS networks.

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