The Home Subscriber Server (HSS) is an integral aspect of the evolved packet core (EPC) of any LTE or IMS network. Presenting streamlined signaling, a hierarchical database, and breakneck speeds, Alepo’s HSS offers providers a high performing keystone of an LTE or IMS network.
Centralizing all subscriber information, the HSS separates signaling from policy, creating a more streamlined network. But in order to capitalize on the potential of this architecture, it is imperative that providers choose an HSS with market leading speed, scalability, and reliability.
The HSS contains all subscriber information, including service profiles, authentication ciphering, subscription state, and authorization. The streamlined architecture of LTE enables this information to be stored in a single node, which signals to the rest of the network to grant, restrict, or alter access.
Centralizing this database increases performance by managing subscriber info from a central location, enabling greater network efficiency and ease of reporting and product creation.
In combination with a AAA Server, the HSS aids in the interworking of an LTE network with legacy or concurrent services as well as supporting roaming to non-‐3GPP networks. It can also communicate with a Wi-FI infrastructure.
The HSS can communicate with HLR based nodes, allowing providers to slowly roll out LTE services without disrupting existing services. By supporting communication with a WiFi infrastructure, providers can further monetize their infrastructure by creating WiFi hotspots and WiFi Offload. And by supporting roaming, providers can also grow their network quickly, with limited CapEx.
SIM cards and their authentication keys may be imported in batches into the HSS or provisioned dynamically using an API. An API is also available for SIM card activation by an external CRM or billing system (such as the Alepo CRM or Alepo OCS). Lastly, a barring API allows the barring and unbarring of services and features.
The HSS uses a Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) interface to create a hierarchical database of subscribers and subscriptions. The HSS Management Alepo’s Directory Server, through the use of the LDAP interface, includes the following database features to ensure high performance and endless scalability:
Alepo’s HSS complies with all 3GPP standards, built to be at the forefront of LTE technology. Alepo’s Server is also engineered to be completely vendor neutral, allowing vendors to create a best of breeds solution. Alepo’s HSS utilizes standard LTE interfaces such as LTE Uu, S1 MME, S1 U, s6a, s13, s11, S5, Gx, SGi, and Rx, ensuring interoperability with other LTE ready nodes.
By choosing less adaptable nodes, providers can suffer from “vendor lock in,” unable to upgrade nodes to the latest technology. With Alepo’s HSS, providers are assured of a product capitalizing on Alepo’s years of integration experience and continued innovations to help providers remain agile, ready to grow and shift as quickly as the market.
Alepo’s interfaces are engineered to be as intuitive yet robust as possible. The HSS interface is completely web based, meaning that providers can access network information from anywhere in the world. And with both an Agent and Configuration Manager portal, technical and business activities are separated into two streamlined interfaces. The Agent Portal provides a central site for managing subscriber profiles across all services, and provides an incredibly robust reporting engine.
Home Page – giving an overview of the HSS and its status within the system, including HSS node status, number of peers currently connected, and number of subscriber profiles
View Peers – displaying in depth information on connection status to various other diameter nodes within the network with which the HSS is communicating
Settings – including an interface for remotely configuring diameter peers
Manage Subscriber Profiles – for adding, updating, and modifying subscriber profile data
Statistics and graphs – providing a graphical view of HSS stats via SNMP
Multiple nodes – for monitoring and configuration of more complex networks containing multiple HSSs, all managed from a single interface
Logs – for troubleshooting and network monitoring of HSS and diameter peer performance and activity.
As with all Alepo software solutions, Alepo’s AAA Integrated within Alepo’s HSS is an Equipment Identity Register (EIR), which allows the HSS to perform mobile device management as well. Having the EIR as part of the HSS allows providers to have a centralized list of blacklisted devices, meaning that fraud prevention is efficient and seamless across the network.
Alepo’s real time reporting engine supports graphically rich and easily customizable reports that allow providers to respond quickly to market changes. Though reports are easily customizable via a WYSIWYG editor, canned reports are also deployed as part of the solution and include reports such as Revenue by Products, Top 10 Customers (by Revenue), Subscription Longevity, New registrations in a period, and more. Reports are rendered in HTML and PDF, making them easy to export and share offline, or they can be configured to be sent automatically.
Alepo’s system is endlessly and easily scalable. By simply adding additional servers, the system can expand to fit the network’s growing needs. And there’s no need to replace existing hardware in order to grow; simply adding additional equipment will leverage existing hardware and avoid the risk of replacing functioning nodes. And with equally easy load balancing, the system remains high performing and extremely reliable, offering redundancy and failover across all nodes.
Centralizing and streamlining network signaling relies on a powerful and speedy HSS to reach its full potential. Alepo’s HSS boasts market leading speed and reliability, supporting up to 4,000 requests per blade and five nines availability. Such a high level of performance ensures providers of an extremely fast network that eschews downtime and network clogging, increasing customer satisfaction through a consistent and lightning fast service.