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Service Provider Infrastructure
Complimentary Advisory Report

Service Broker Update:
Key Transformation Component Comes of Age

| Jul 28, 2010 | IP Services Infrastructure
| Analyst: Joe McGarvey, Principal Analyst, IP Services Infrastructure

Click here to download report (100 KB PDF)

Telecommunications networks have been delivering services of some sort in a contiguous fashion for the past 100 years. This record of consistency is especially impressive in light of the fact that operators have essentially built out new networks with every generation of services they have supplied, leaving the typical carrier service delivery infrastructure a collection of vertical networks – IN, NGN and, eventually, IMS – with dedicated sets of services. The major problem this history of continuous and simultaneous growth of mostly-incompatible network and service layers presents to today’s operators is that they can no longer maintain the burden of operating multiple networks or reproducing the same service several times to ensure it is available to all subscribers.

Negotiating the labyrinth of protocols and service domains in order to introduce a new service have robbed operators of the agility and efficiency required to compete with Internet counterparts, which have attracted legions of developers to their open, consistent and universally accessible platforms. With the option of starting from scratch with a brand new network out of the question, operators are instead beginning to turn to a sort of bridging technology that is designed to homogenize operator networks by creating a bond of commonality between a carrier’s various network and services layers.

These so-called service brokers are becoming the object of M&A activities, as well as RFPs from operators looking to inject their service delivery infrastructures with a shot of Internet-like agility. Though service broker technology has been around for several years, its recent turn in the telecommunications spotlight has generated multiple questions around the new product class in terms of its relationship to service delivery platforms (SDP), differentiation between competing products, and the relative merits of an external service broker in contrast to technology that is built into existing layers of the network.

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