Evolution of Service Delivery Platforms (SDP)

We saw an unprecedented change in late 1990s in enterprise applications as the grip of client-server architectures gradually relaxed and allowed the entrance of n-tiered architectures. This represented the advent of the application server, a flexible compromise between the absolutes of the terminal and the logic-heavy client PC. Although entrants into the application server ring were many and varied, they shared common advantages: database vendor abstraction, open standard (mostly object-oriented) programming models, high availability and scalability characteristics, and presentation frameworks, among others. These transformations were triggered by business forces including the rampaging tidal wave that was the Internet boom, but none of it would have been possible without the proliferation of standards such as the TCP/IP protocol, the Java programming language, and the J2EE web application server architecture. It is against this backdrop of transformation that telecom’s era of rapid change was set in motion.

            Up until the first few years of 2000, the markets for commercial and business telecommunication technologies were still saturated with proprietary hardware and software. Vendors such as Lucent Technologies, Nortel, and AT&T jousted for position in the consumer and enterprise telecom markets, continuing to build Enterprise PBX systems that would speak only to their own digital telephones via proprietary protocols, and to sell huge central office switching equipment that offered traditional robustness, but very awkward customization capabilities. This all changed with the rapid expansion of Voice-over-IP (VoIP) for transmission of voice data over packet networks and the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) for standardized media control, especially regarding enterprise voice communication.

            In this new standards-supported environment, convergence of the voice and data worlds has become less a moniker for disastrous telecom/IT integration attempts and more a true avenue for the production of new and better consumer and business services. The Service Delivery Platform, whose power comes in large part from the quality and acceptance of these supporting standards, is rapidly gaining acceptance as a widely applicable architectural pattern. The SDP today thus provide to operators an opportunity to break the barriers of technology network. So in today world using the power of SDP an operator can provide the services based on the IP, mobile and PSTN network may it be Voice, Data and Web based applications. 

            The concept of the SDP started and came into existing nearby 2003-2004 or one can say early 2000. At that time SDP was in conceptual stage and there was no reference case study was available in the industry and thus no operator has the idea of return on such large investment. As now it has been more than five years and thus the concept has matured to a platform and there are many frameworks ready on which one can deploy the platforms as needed. Now SDP has reached to the stage where an operator can have the service delivery platform in stages whenever they want. As most of the operators is still thinking to have just content management platform in the network evolution towards complete service delivery platform is inevitable. 

            SDP which used to be concept is now being implemented in many networks around the globe. Many operators started with integrating just Value added services elements like SMSC, MMSC, Unified Messaging and IVR services etc. but it extended in second phase towards IN, MSC and other network elements. The SDP first as discussed was thought to provide content and VAS based applications but in second phase the OSS/BSS elements which are used for managing network and billing the subscriber also connect to SDP. OSS/BSS integrate through middleware to SDP. SDP thus will become necessity of the future when the network of an operator will increase in terms of elements and capacity.

For more information, see:

http://www.mindcommerce.com/Publications/Understanding_SDP.php

About Mind Commerce

Analysis of telecom and ICT infrastructure, technologies, and applications.
This entry was posted in Next Generation Networks (NGN), Service Delivery Platforms (SDP), Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Bookmark the permalink.

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