Verizon Wireless is tapping its partner of many stripes Alcatel-Lucent to help it manage its 4G LTE subscriber data. (See Verizon Wireless Deploys Alcatel-Lucent SDM .)
Verizon Wireless will use Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU)'s Subscriber Data Manager (SDM) from its IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) portfolio, which will be used to centralize Verizon Wireless's many application databases across its 3G and 4G networks.
In theory, this is a great way to centralize a lot of disparate data. But could it also mean there's a single point of failure if something goes wrong, as has happened to other operators in the past?
Heavy Reading analyst Jim Hodges says this shouldn't be an issue, so long as the SDM system is deployed and managed correctly, since although it is a single database, it's replicated to provide redundancy.
The industry is adopting a similar centralized approach for managing Diameter Signaling, with the deployment of Diameter Routing Agents and Diameter Edge Agents (DRAs and DEAs), he tells Light Reading. (See What's Next for SDM?)
"Using SDM technology to meet scalability requirements is not a new approach and it has proven to be survivable," Hodges says. "The other advantage of using a centralized database with various software-based front end applications is that it puts in place the framework to support personalized services."
Verizon didn't divulge what services it might be exploring, but voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) is likely a top priority. Alcatel-Lucent says that as part of its SDM platform, the carrier will also be using its Motive Authentication, Authorization and Accounting Server, Centralized Operations Manager, SDM Expert products, and its VoLTE feature set. (See Verizon VoLTE Testing Spotted.)
Alcatel-Lucent has supplied Verizon with the IMS portion of its LTE network since it was first announced in 2009. Since then, it has added multiple IMS services to its roster, as well as working with the carrier on small cells, optical, and various Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) deployments. (See Verizon Deploys AlcaLu's LTE Small Cells , Analyst: Infinera Loses VZ Deal to AlcaLu, and AlcaLu Looking to Strike LTE Gold.)
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading