Sign up for Telestax news, case studies and product updates:

Enter your personal information below:

Blog

Applicata JN Test Suite Platform Catches a Bug in Restcomm Days before MWC 2015

Due to the humongous interest in the Dangerous Demo (video recording) originally shown at TADSummit 2014, TruPhone and its Open Source partners decided to work together on a new version for MWC 2015, which will be more spectacular and dangerous than ever. Due to the sophisticated nature of the demo, involving partners from cellular towers to core IMS network and app servers, the team decided to invite Applicata,  known for its cutting edge cloud telephony service testing product – Applicata JN Test Suite.

The Applicata JN Test Suite is an open platform for prototyping, automated testing and monitoring of services in GSM and IMS networks. In the context of the Dangerous Demo JNTS is utilized to run various testing scenarios against Restcomm applications. The main demo is happening at the Canonical booth in Hall 8.1 at App Planet Stand CC8.20. In-depth demonstration of the Applicata JN Test Suite can be found at MWC on Applicata’s Stand 7H10.

Demo booth visitors will be able to place a call to a UK-based phone number on Truphone’s network. The call will be routed through Metaswitch’s Project Clearwater open-source IMS platform into the interactive voice response (IVR) system running on TeleStax’s RestComm .

RestComm is a next generation Cloud Communications Platform. It allows web developers to rapidly build voice, video, WebRTC, USSD, SMS, fax and rich messaging applications. Restcomm opens new revenue streams for service providers by exposing existing SS7 and IMS core network assets to application developers.

The Bugs

In the process of developing the new demo, JNTS caught a bug in Restcomm which would have been difficult to locate by other means. In fact JNTS caught two bugs. One in Restcomm and the other one in the demo app that runs on Restcomm.

The Restcomm runtime bug was that when Restcomm was sending a SIP MESSAGE out to a registered SIP user, the message was populated with a local Restcomm host IP address, instead of an IP address that is reachable from the SIP client.
The second bug – the demo app bug would have been nearly impossible to catch prior to demo day, without JNTS.  The demo app used an absolute URL in one place for the demo. When the app scaled out with the underlying cloud infrastructure elements,  the Restcomm instance corresponding to the absolute URL went down, because of a zabbix misconfiguration. So the jnts tests which were successful prior to testing scalability started to fail, because RestComm couldn’t reach the absolute URL. Thus it was aborting the call way too early. JNTS caught that.

Before and After

For the earlier demo version used at TADSummit 2014, the team used sipp for automated load testing, but there was not tool available for functional testing of the integrated system. While sipp helped discover some performance bottlenecks, it did little to help simulate complete call paths the way that actual users would use the system. All non-trivial usage scenarios and edge cases had to be documented on paper and manually run each time any component of the demo system was updated. A very tedious and error prone process.

Sure enough there was a glitch during the TADSummit demo, which affected some of the users calling into the demo system. If we had JNTS available at the time, the glitch could have been prevented.

Amazingly the de-facto standard for end-to-end telephony system testing for most real world networks is no different than the labor intensive process used for the earlier demo version. Even the largest, well funded, multi-national telecoms write their test specifications on paper and expect solution providers to execute them manually as part of the acceptance criteria. Clearly a process with misaligned incentives.

JNTS changes that by applying Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery best practices, long adopted by mainstream software developers,  to telephony networks and applications. The tool did not disappoint, as it caught two tricky bugs prior to MWC with enough time available to fix them. There is no 100% guarantee that everything will go smooth when the demo is live next week, but it sure feels better to know that a capable safeguard like Applicata JNTS is continuously watching out for problems.


Want to learn more about JNTS?

More details about the testing environment and the JN Test Suite script that implements the testing logic are described in more details below in Section JN Test Suite – Restcomm Demo Application Testing Environment .

Applicata JN Test Suite Overview

The current market dynamics raise extreme pressure upon network operators for continuous development and changes in technologies, introducing innovative services, establishing new partnerships, improving the quality of service and customers satisfaction.

With the increased competition between operators, customers become more sensitive about the quality of the provided services.

Mobile number portability service makes it easy for a complaining customer to move to another operator. Inbound roamers can switch to another local network even easier. This new competitive environment  raises operators’ interest in constant monitoring and control of their network and service quality. Proactively detecting eventual degradation as early as possible has direct impact on their revenues.

The key to overcoming the challenges is that the network and services should be regularly and pro-actively tested. A system capable of running automated tests, storing the results and analyzing the results is highly desirable.

JNTS provides a flexible and cost effective solution for automated functional testing of services in GSM and UMTS networks. It keeps these activities away from manual and time consuming testing, reduces costs, and produces measures and reports of service quality and availability

Manual testing is highly time consuming, costly and ineffective. Without special automated system testing activities are often neglected and this opens the door for bad network performance and bad quality of the provided services.

JNTS is easy to use with open functionality for service prototyping, automated testing and monitoring. It exports an interface for quick integration with third party management consoles.

Based on Telestax’ open source protocol stacks, JNTS is highly interoperable and adaptable to a wide range of network environments. The solution supports a wide range of protocols and can simulate the functionality for different nodes in the networks. This feature provides flexibility for running different tests initiated from the core network and/or from probes installed in the radio access network.

Typical Implementations

 Service Prototyping

JNTS is a quick, cost effective and easy service prototyping tool. The prototype can be effectively used as a proof of concept at early stages of a project. It can check and eventually modify the planned service application logic.

Network nodes simulation

New service development requires an environment where the developed service can establish controllable communication with the remote nodes in the GSM/UMTS/IMS networks.

XML scripts are created and deployed to JN Test Suite Platform for simulating the required behaviour of the remote nodes in the network that communicate with the service under development.

This scenario brings full featured and controllable network behaviour at the developer’s desk and eliminates the need to connect to a real network during the development.

Automated end-to-end and acceptance testing

A set of end-to-end and/or acceptance tests can be developed in XML scripts and deployed to JN Test Suite Platform.

The test can be easily run and repeated in automatic mode eliminating the effort, time and costs associated with manual testing.

Monitoring of services in production

XML scripts that simulate service requests can be created and deployed to JNTS, for constant periodic monitoring of services in production. The corresponding results will be collected and used for calculating service availability, KPIs, and SLA terms and conditions.

International Roaming Testing

Tests according to IR documents simulate roamers’ activity. Tests can run in probes distributed in the networks, or the activity can be simulated in the core network.

Applicata specializes in the design, development, installation and integration, of systems and software for telecommunications.

For more information on Applicata JNTS, please visit http://www.applicata.bg/jnts.html

JN Test Suite – Restcomm Demo Application Testing Environment

The following message sequence diagram describes the use of JN Test Suite for testing and monitoring the Restcomm Demo Application.

Sequence Diagram

The testing logic at JN Test Suite side is implemented as an XML script which is loaded and run by JNTS during testing.

The script with the test logic contains a finite state machine described using State Chart XML syntax. JN Test Suite platform expands the standard State Chart XML syntax with custom tags that cover telco protocol specific messages and parameters.

The State Chart XML script that controls the testing logic deployed in the JN Test Suite management console is shown in the next screenshot.

JNTS Script

The test result page in JN Test Suite management console is shown in the next screenshot.

JNTS Results

Telscale SMSC Gateway: Sending Messages from JSS7 to SMPP

smsc-logoSetting up a mobile network that processes SMS messages is not a straightforward exercise. This video tutorial will show you how you can setup a test environment that will enable you to send SMS messages from jSS7 to  SMPP through Telscale SMSC Gateway. You will also learn how to setup a SIP phone to receive and send SMS through Telscale SMSC Gateway

PART 1 – jSS7 to/from SMPP

 

 

Part 2 –  jSS7 and SMPP to/from SIP Phone

The second part of this video tutorial will show you how to setup a SIP phone and connect it to the Telscale SMSC Gateway.

 

Building USSD Mobile Application with Telscale Restcomm in Less than 10 Mins

ussd-gateway-logo USSD is a technology that has been around for a long time and there are millions of mobile devices that still support the technology. Building mobile applications that can span multiple generations of communication devices has never been easier. The video tutorial below will show you how intuitive it is to use Telscale Restcomm to build an interactive mobile application and integrate it with Telscale USSD Gateway.

 

The tutorial uses a Telscale jSS7 Simulator to send USSD PULL to the Application Server through the USSD Gateway. The whole setup takes less than 10 minutes.

 

Implementing value added services with Restcomm and SMS home routing

Business case for SMS Home Routing

SMS added value services is an exploding market. A number of successful services have been rolled out in various regions around the world. Examples include:

  • Ad supported SMS traffic
  • Location based marketing
  • Missed call alerts
  • Credit card transactions alerts
  • Loyalty programs for consumer brands
  • Personalized spam control
  • Political campaign updates
  • Multi-player word games
  • Sports news updates 
  • Delivering a message to multiple devices – desktop, laptop, mobile, tablet 
  • and many others

Different services are popular in different countries based on local demographics, culture and consumer habits.

Traditionally when a mobile subscriber of Telco A sends a message to another mobile subscriber who is customer of Telco B, the message travels directly from the SMSC server to the second subscriber. This leaves Telco B without opportunity to inspect the message before its delivered to their subscriber.

SMS home routing solves this problem. It is becoming increasingly popular around the world.

In a recent project with a Tier 1 international mobile operator customer based in Europe, we implemented SMS home routing network based on Restcomm and Telscale SMSC in a matter of days.

The new service will be soon rolled out to other regional operators in the group to enable added value SMS services for tens of millions of subscribers in 8 countries.

Would you like to receive updates about added value services with SMS home routing and Restcomm?

Register to receive updates on this topic.


SMS Home Routing Technology background

SMS home routing also known as “Home Routing – Non Transparent Mode” was standardized in 2007 by 3GPP as specification 3GPP 23.840 5.2.3. However real world roll-out is still ongoing and its still considered a high-end feature for SMSC gateways. Fortunately for our customers its just a regular feature of Telscale SMSC. Readily available to all our customers to upgrade their networks in  a few days. 

For the technically inclined readers, the following diagram illustrates the SS7 network message flow introduced in the home routing spec:

SMS Home Routing SS7 message flow

SMS Home Routing SS7 message flow.

In a following article with a screencast we will share step by step details how we wired the MVNO infrastructure components to the MNO live mobile network. Then we will show how we quickly implemented several cool SMS apps with Restcomm.

Restcomm app using SMS Home Routing in action

Restcomm app using SMS Home Routing in action.

Design, Package and Submit an application to Restcomm App Store in less than 5 minutes

Have you ever though that it will take less than 5 minutes to design, package and publish a telephony application? That’s about as fast and simple as creating a web page.

This blog post will walk you through the whole process, just follow the video tutorials below:

Step 1: Designing an application

Step 2: Packaging an application

Step 3: Publishing an application to the store

Join live demo by Truphone of an all Open Source mobile network at #MWC15

Telestax invites you to see a live demo of open-source software written for the cloud at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. The demo is happening at the Canonical booth in Hall 8.1 at App Planet Stand CC8.20.

The demonstration will show a new telco service deployment of a cloud-based IMS core and application server integrated with an open-source mobile base station and real mobile network.

Booth visitors will be able to place a call to a UK-based phone number on Truphone’s network. The call will be routed through Metaswitch’s Project Clearwater open-source IMS platform into the interactive voice response (IVR) system running on TeleStax’s RestComm . Fairwaves will provide handsets with Truphone SIM cards, in addition to its UmSITE ruggedized base station, to allow users to connect to a local radio network.

Using Zabbix’s open-source enterprise monitoring software, booth visitors will be able to see how a network operator can watch while Canonical’s Juju orchestration tool and its Ubuntu operating system are used to manage and scale the system, even as it is being put under stress.

The demo is one of a kind because it is showcasing a complete solution, working on a real service provider network, that is built entirely on open-source software, with the intent of showing how network operators can reduce infrastructure costs and get services to market more quickly.

Announcing the Release of Telscale SMSC 6.2.1.GA

SMSCTelestax is pleased to announce the latest iteration of Telscale SMSC 6.2.1.GA. This release is an exciting milestone in our continued strive to produce quality software that will contribute to our customer’s success.
This latest release comes packed with new features that will ensure better user experience.

 

  • The biggest feature added is support for Mult-Tenancy! Same instance of SMSC can now connect to multiple operators over SS7. SMSC can be configured to have unique Originating Point Code (OPC) and Global Title’s (GT’s) specific to each operator
  • Other most awaited feature is support for throttling SMPP connection. SMSC now exposes way to throttle SMS per second, per min, per hour and per day for each SMPP connections.
  • SMSC now supports SUBMIT_MULTI_SM message from SMPP
  • SMPP connections can be configured over SSL.
  • One of the features added as Sponsored Development is  “Home Routing – Non Transparent Mode” as per the specification defined at 3GPP 23.840 5.2.3. Below is the flow diagram to explain Home Routing
  • Apart from these there are regular bug fixes and enhancements

New MT SM Delivery Msg Flows

 

Download

You can downlaod the binary version HERE

TelScale jSS7 6.2.2.GA Release adds Multi-Tenancy support

jSS7-logoTelestax is pleased to announce the release of TelScale jSS7  6.2.2.GA,  an SS7 stack that can run as a  standalone program or as a service over TelScale JSLEE Server. 

 

This update (jSS7 6.2.2.GA) adds the following features:

  1. Multi-tenancy support. jSS7 stack can now connect to multiple operator (each with its own unique point code, GT etc)
  2. Support for ANSI SCCP. jSS7 stack can now be used till TCAP layer for ANSI
  3. SS7 Simulator – support for ATI operation. Simulator can be run as ATI client or server.

 

To see an extended list of features introduced in Telscale jSS7 6.2.2.GA, click HERE

Follow the links below to download documentation:

 

Contact us for moving to the leading open source SS7 stack with Commercial-Grade Support

Existing customers can download the new version binaries from the Premium Content section in our support portal.

Live Open BTS and Restcomm demo at #vuc525

In a live VUC TV broadcast #525 today, Bob Fultz and I demonstrated a complete Open BTS and Restcomm – open source mobile network running in an office setting. From Android mobile devices to OpenBTS base station from Range Networks and Restcomm app server from Telestax.

restcommopenbts

 

For the demo, I had an OpenBTS dev kit base station running Restcomm and two Android devices connected to my miniature home office mobile network. The mobile devices could call each other and send SMS to each other. They could also call customer service IVR, conference bridge and other services implemented as Restcomm apps. I showed how the Restcomm instance running on the OpenBTX box could download and run an app from the Restcomm App Store in no time.

The demo showed that a commercial grade end-to-end 2G mobile network is possible today with open source elements. The setup can be easily expanded to life size mobile network. The OpenBTS dev kit box can be replaced with production OpenBTS stations with powerful antennas (10+km radius) and a cluster of Restcomm instances running in the cloud.

Overlaying an area of OpenBTS 2G base stations with a mesh of WiFi hot spots presents a plausible interim alternative to prohibitively expensive and still limited in many ways 4G networks.

This type of systems are particularly appealing for person to person and IoT communications in rural areas, remote work sites such as oil rigs, manufacturing, transportation, warehousing, telemetrics, and telemedicine scenarios.

I am happy to report that the session was well attended. There were a number of great questions that stirred the debate over the controversial spectrum licensing policies in the US.

Watch the recording of the full broadcast on YouTube:

Cloud Communication Platform Market Worth $3234.9 Million by 2019

New market research by MarketsAndMarkets projects the Cloud Communications market to continue expanding at a fast rate and reach $3B in the next 5 years. The report covers Telestax, Cisco, IBM, Genesys and other leading Cloud Communication companies.

From the press release:

Cloud communication platform solutions are developing and being deployed on the application platform because of the rising real-time applications over the Internet on an on-demand basis. These solutions provide organizations with processing, development, and data storage capabilities in the cloud and deliver the flexibility needed by organizations to enable growth and expansion.

The cloud is a delivery model of information technologies based on internet protocols. The cloud has seen unparalleled demand and growth in the market over the past few years. Cloud communication platform enables greater flexibility, scalability and business agility for the enterprises, while saving significant costs over the long term.

MarketsandMarkets has broadly segmented the Cloud Communication Platform Market by solution: application programming interface (API), interactive voice response (IVR), web real time communication (WebRTC), unified communication & collaboration (UCC), voice over internet protocol (VoIP) and others; by service: training, consulting and system integration service and managed services; by verticals: BFSI, consumer goods and retail, healthcare, government, telecommunication and Information Technology (IT), manufacturing, travel and hospitality, and outsourcing; by regions: North America (NA), Europe, Latin America (LA), Asia-Pacific (APAC), and Middle East and Africa (MEA).

MarketsandMarkets believes that the risk of information loss and stiff competition are the major issues in the cloud communication platform market. These challenges are restraining the enterprises and customers to adopt cloud communication platform solutions to support a wide range of applications.

The Cloud Communication Platform Market is estimated to grow from $887.5 million in 2014 to $3234.9 million in 2019, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 29.5% from 2014 to 2019. In terms of regions, North America is expected to be the biggest market in terms of revenue contribution, while emerging economies such as Middle East and Africa (MEA), Latin America (LA), and Asia-Pacific (APAC) are expected to experience increased market traction with high CAGRs, in the due course.

The full report is available for download.