IP: Bell Labs Develops Global Roaming Software

=?iso-8859-1?B?SvZzaA==?= josh@bluescreen.org
Tue, 23 Oct 2001 12:31:08 -0400

My take..  Disclaimer, quick read matched up with
 what Ive learned working in wireless telecom.   I could be wrong.
I may also be restating the obvious...

It wont make any phone work with any network, if thats what you mean.
Basically, it looks like it is just abstracting away the basic and common
network comoponents in wireless network systems (telephony oriented)
to a common interface.    Today, these components often have
proprietary interfaces that differ among vendors, or incompatibility
between systems like GSM and CDMA for example.
This has nothing to do with the actual radio technology, but the
way the rest of the network/system is architected.

GSM (as an example)  effectively defines a shitload more than the radio
access protocol, like
how you locate your cell phone to receive a call when you arent
at your home cell, how you get caller ID info, how SMS messages
are sent and so on.

 There is also a bunch of extra crap that is not really
part of the spec, but currently implemented in many (incompatible ways)
such as how billing, roaming agreements, SMS interfacing, prepaid crediting
all work together...

I think that the bell labs project just defines abstractions for this stuff.
Its cool and important, but not awesome or great IPR, IMHO.

I think a similar, though simplified example is making auth brokers look
the same by defining a common web interface.  Its not actually
making different cryptography systems interoperate at the cipher
level, but just defining a common interface to an auth transaction,
perhaps like GSS API..

----- Original Message -----
From: "Rohit Khare" <Rohit@KnowNow.com>
To: <FoRK@xent.com>
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2001 2:08 AM
Subject: Fwd: IP: Bell Labs Develops Global Roaming Software

> Is this BS, or a genuine contribution to the munchkin future? I can't
> tell... but my hunch is, no. Anyone else?
> Rohit
> --- begin forwarded text
> >Bell Labs Develops Global Roaming Software
> >
> >Summary:
> >
> >Researchers at Bell Labs announced a software breakthrough they say
> >will enable global roaming across all wireless network types,
> >including 3G. The software architecture, called Common Operations
> >(COPS), will allow subscribers to access voice and data services,
> >information and messages when they roam, even in regions where
> >different networks predominate. Mobile operators will be able to
> >upgrade and manage their networks more efficiently, to improve
> >operational performance, and to reduce errors and expenses. COPS
> >reportedly provides a generic interface to key HLR functions,
> >translating user data and signaling technologies from cellular
> >protocols to IP and back automatically.
> >
> >Full Article:
> >
> >MURRAY HILL, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 9, 2001--Researchers at
> >Bell Labs, the research and development arm of Lucent Technologies
> >(NYSE:LU - news ), have announced a software breakthrough that will
> >enable global roaming across all wireless network types, including
> >third-generation (3G) technologies such as CDMA2000, Universal
> >Mobile Telecommunications Services (UMTS) and other high-speed data
> >access technologies such as 802.11.
> >
> >The software architecture, called Common Operations (COPS), will
> >allow mobile subscribers to access voice and data services,
> >information, and messages when they are roaming outside of their
> >home network, even in regions where different types of wireless
> >networks predominate. It will also help mobile operators to upgrade
> >and manage their networks more efficiently, improve operational
> >performance, and reduce errors and expenses.
> >
> >COPS features a unique ``protocol gateway'' capability that
> >translates data from networks employing a variety of protocols into
> >a single, common language. This makes it possible to maintain a
> >single subscriber profile -- including authentication, authorization
> >and location data -- that can be accessed from a variety of network
> >types.
> >
> >``As next-generation high-speed mobile data networks emerge and new
> >mobile Internet services are introduced, IP and cellular systems
> >must be able to route calls and deliver services to one another
> >efficiently,'' said Paul Mankiewich, chief technology officer of
> >Lucent's Mobility Solutions Group. ``This breakthrough from Bell
> >Labs will, in the near future, help mobile operators to meet the
> >demand for high-bandwidth services from increasingly mobile
> >subscribers.''
> >
> >Global wireless roaming is not possible today because various
> >wireless network types cannot work together to identify,
> >electronically, the location of mobile subscribers. For example, a
> >subscriber whose mobile operator uses Code Division Multiple Access
> >(CDMA) technology is not currently able to access services when
> >roaming on a Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) network.
> >
> >For a subscriber to initiate a mobile call or activate services such
> >as voicemail, the wireless network must be able to identify the
> >subscriber's location, obtain the subscriber's profile (listing the
> >allowed services), validate the caller's right to the services and
> >then authenticate the caller. Home location registers (HLRs), which
> >are databases of subscriber information, currently perform these
> >functions only when wireless subscribers travel in their home
> >networks, or -- in some cases -- when roaming on networks employing
> >similar technology.
> >
> >COPS provides a generic interface to key HLR functions, translating
> >user data and signaling technologies from cellular protocols to
> >Internet protocols (IP) and vice versa automatically. This allows
> >several protocol-specific gateways to be built, each allowing data
> >stored on the HLR to be accessed by a different type of network.
> >Building an HLR with this software architecture allows for customer
> >databases that can be updated automatically, accessed by multiple
> >network types, and support both voice and high-speed data services.
> >
> >With COPS, if a mobile operator were to change the type of signaling
> >protocols used on the telecommunications switches of a particular
> >network, the HLR associated with the previous signaling protocol
> >would still be able to communicate with the network. This would
> >allow operators to provide services across multiple network types
> >without interruptions or the addition of multiple HLRs.
> >
> >``With this technology breakthrough, carriers will be able to more
> >easily migrate from one network protocol to another without
> >replacing the HLR. Additionally, callers will be able to use their
> >phones the same way on a guest network -- including networks in
> >other countries and regions -- that they do at home,'' said Krishan
> >Sabnani, vice president of Bell Labs' Networking Research Laboratory.
> >
> >With approximately 16,000 employees in 16 countries, Bell Labs is
> >the leading source of new communications technologies. Bell Labs has
> >generated more than 28,000 patents since 1925 and has played a
> >pivotal role in inventing or perfecting key communications
> >technologies, including transistors, digital networking and signal
> >processing, lasers and fiber-optic communications systems,
> >communications satellites, cellular telephony, electronic switching
> >of calls, touch-tone dialing, and modems. Bell Labs scientists have
> >received six Nobel Prizes in Physics, nine U.S. Medals of Science
> >and six U.S. Medals of Technology. For more information about Bell
> >Labs, visit its Web site at http://www.bell-labs.com.
> >
> >Lucent Technologies, headquartered in Murray Hill, N.J., USA,
> >designs and delivers networks for the world's largest communications
> >service providers. Backed by Bell Labs research and development,
> >Lucent relies on its strengths in mobility, optical, data and voice
> >networking technologies as well as software and services to develop
> >next-generation networks. The company's systems, services and
> >software are designed to help customers quickly deploy and better
> >manage their networks and create new, revenue-generating services
> >that help businesses and consumers. For more information on Lucent
> >Technologies, visit its Web site at http://www.lucent.com.
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