Industry’s first implementation of new, enhanced Single Radio Voice Call Continuity functions in market-leading session border controller enables seamless transfer of calls from IMS LTE to 2G/3G networks
INTERNATIONAL CTIA WIRELESS, ORLANDO, FL, MARCH 21, 2011—Acme Packet® (NASDAQ:APKT), the leader in session delivery network solutions, today announced enhancements to its Net-Net® Session Director for voice over LTE (VoLTE) that will enable mobile service providers to deliver seamless and reliable voice call handover to 2G/3G networks when subscribers leave LTE coverage areas. These new features, added to the industry’s leading session border controller (SBC), address newly defined IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) functions for call continuity for VoLTE.
Call continuity for VoLTE
The initial deployments of VoLTE, expected to begin in the next 12–18 months, will be gradual and require 2G and 3G circuit-switched networks to augment LTE coverage areas for ubiquitous coverage for voice and messaging. To accommodate this need, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) defined Single Radio Voice Call Continuity (SRVCC) as the mechanism to move active voice calls between LTE and 2G/3G circuit networks. SRVCC uses a single radio at any given time—LTE or 3G, for example—rather than dual active radios to preserve endpoint battery life. A VCC application server is used as a centralized signaling anchor point for handover when the phone’s LTE radio loses its connection and the 2G/3G radio establishes its connection.
Mobile handovers require very low latency to switch calls between access networks in order to increase the percentage of success. Previous versions of the IMS architecture specified signaling paths that would result in high signaling latency, increasing the probability of call drops, interrupting service and causing a poor subscriber experience. These latencies are further exacerbated in roaming scenarios due to additional signaling hops and physical distances of networks.
As part of 3GPP Release 10, new interfaces and protocols have been defined to improve mobility across LTE and 2G/3G networks and address the latency concern from previous architectures. The enhancements to the SRVCC solution defines two new logical entities located in the access network, near the subscriber; the Access Transfer Control Function (ATCF) is a signaling controller and the Access Transfer Gateway (ATGW) is a media anchor point. They facilitate rapid and predictable handover from LTE to circuit 2G/3G networks and update the VCC application server after the access transfer. The combination of these new functions and improved call flow reduces the signaling hops required to handover the active voice call to the new access network.
New SBC functions improve user experience
These new IMS functions are now integral parts of Acme Packet’s Net-Net Session Director and complement the signaling and media control roles of the P-CSCF and IMS-AGW functions in the SBC. As SBCs are deployed in access networks to enable service delivery for VoLTE and other IMS-based services, they are in an optimal physical location to support the ATCF and ATGW functions. The new ATCF and ATGW functions are extensions of SBC signaling and media controls and the integration with the Net-Net Session Director reduces the total cost of ownership due to streamlined operations and the reduction of physical elements required. Further, Acme Packet’s implementation eliminates the need for core network updates for media, which helps minimize service disruption.
“Acme Packet is a consistent leader in addressing real-world concerns for session delivery,” commented Joe McGarvey, Principal Analyst with Current Analysis. “The addition of these new IMS functions to its market-leading session border controller strengthens Acme Packet’s VoLTE solution.”
“Call continuity is essential to the user experience as VoLTE grows from early deployments to broad-based adoption in the years to come,” commented Seamus Hourihan, Acme Packet senior vice president of marketing and product management. “These new IMS functions incorporated into our SBC support the successful rollout of VoLTE and continues Acme Packet’s track record of simplifying networks, reducing costs and ensuring that services can be delivered with high quality and trust.”
Acme Packet LTE solutions
Acme Packet’s VoLTE and 4G multimedia communications solution includes:
- Session border controllers – at LTE, 3G, Internet and fixed line access networks, Acme Packet SBCs provide the P-CSCF, E-CSCF, IMS-AGW functions in an IMS network. Acme Packet SBCs feature critical functions for VoLTE service delivery, encompassing security, service reach maximization, SLA assurance, revenue and cost management and regulatory compliance. New ATCF and ATGW functions, as part of the access SBC, provide seamless call handover between LTE and circuit mobile networks. In VoLTE roaming scenarios, Acme Packet SBCs act as the Visited-P-CSCF, providing Optimal Media Routing with flexibility to anchor media remotely or route media to the home network. For linear, non-disruptive scaling of access applications, Acme Packet SBCs can be used with the Net-Net Session-aware Load Balancer (SLB) to create SBC clusters that support up to two million subscribers.
- Multiservice security gateways – the Net-Net Security Gateway fulfills the role of the Evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) to deliver voice and data services within IPsec tunnels over untrusted access networks, such as the Internet.
For LTE networks, Acme Packet also provides complementary products that provide SIP and Diameter control to secure and scale networks. The Net-Net product family also includes:
- Session border controllers at interconnect borders that fulfill the Interconnect Border Control Function (I-BCF) and Transition Gateway (TrGW) signaling and media control functions for VoLTE and other SIP-based traffic originating or terminating off-network;
- Session routing proxies that provide Breakout Gateway Control Function (BGCF) for scalable routing of SIP sessions within service provider networks;
- Diameter signaling controllers* that secure the Diameter signaling border between visited and home service providers to enable voice and data roaming.
More information on the VoLTE and related solutions will be available at Acme Packet’s booth 1814 at International CTIA Wireless taking place March 22-24 in Orlando, FL. To learn more, schedule a meeting at the event.
*Diameter signaling controller (DSC) was previously known as policy exchange controller (PEC).
About Acme Packet
Acme Packet (NASDAQ: APKT), the leader in session delivery network solutions, enables the trusted, first-class delivery of next-generation voice, data and unified communications services and applications across IP networks. Our Net-Net product family fulfills demanding security, service assurance and regulatory requirements in service provider, enterprise and contact center networks. Based in Bedford, Massachusetts, Acme Packet designs and manufactures its products in the USA, selling them through over 140 reseller partners worldwide. More than 1,300 customers in 105 countries have deployed over 12,000 Acme Packet systems, including 90 of the top 100 service providers and 30 of the Fortune 100. For more information visit www.acmepacket.com.
Acme Packet Safe Harbor Statement
Statements contained herein that are not historical fact may be forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Such forward-looking statements may relate, among other things, to our position in the session border control market, our expected financial and operating results, our ability to establish and maintain intellectual property rights, our ability to build and grow Acme Packet, the benefits and advantages of our products, including any enhancements or new features, services and programs, and our ability to achieve our goals, plans and objectives. Such forward-looking statements do not constitute guarantees of future performance and are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These include, but are not limited to: difficulties in growing our customer base, difficulties leveraging market opportunities, difficulties providing solutions that meet the needs of customers, poor product sales, long sales cycles, difficulty developing new products, difficulty in relationships with vendors and partners, higher risk in international operations, difficulty managing rapid growth, and increased competition. Additional factors that could cause actual results to differ materially form those projected or suggested in any forward-looking statements are contained in our recent filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those factors discussed under the caption “Risk Factors” in such filings.