By Jordi Castellvi, Director Product Management, Data Clearing Solutions
With the move to a next-generation service environment underway, LTE/4G adoption is now imminent for most wireless communication service provider (CSPs). Alongside the introduction of LTE (Long Term Evolution) networks, the GSMA has proposed a major TAP 3.12 release to be effective from 1st May 2012.
All mobile operators, Data Clearing Houses (DCH), roaming hubs and billing system vendors who support TAP files are required to adapt to the new TAP 3.12 release. Operators have a choice. They can either upgrade their existing internal systems or they can engage service providers, like Data Clearing Houses, to provide them with the necessary support for the new TAP versions.
The new TAP 3.12 release contains a number of elements:
- New service support for LTE records. Two new call event types have been added, including Mobile Session for voice calls over LTE, and Messaging Session for SMS events made over LTE. In addition, new types of identifiers for the roamer and destination of a call have been introduced in the form of a Public User ID. This Public User ID may be a TEL or SIP URI (for example, user@domain).
- New charging flexibility for MTCs. Differential charging of mobile terminated calls will be supported and represented in TAP.
- Improvement to Validation Rules. New validation rules have been included to meet new business requirements.
- Error Corrections. Physical format changes, validation rule changes, data dictionary edits have been included in order to resolve open issues often found due to operational problems, for example new IOT error definitions.
How can MACH help?
For operators choosing to engage service providers like MACH to help them adapt to the new TAP 3.12 release, MACH’s suite of TAP 3.12 support services are aimed at enabling carriers to swiftly adapt to the new GSMA guidelines at minimal cost and impact to existing systems. MACH addresses each and every aspect in the upgrade to TAP 3.12 by offering end to end solutions like TAP Creation, LTE Merge, TAP Migration, TAP Conversion and LTE Implementation Services (IREG & TADIG Testing).
MACH has more than 50 TAP creation customers. Its TAP Creation Service supports a wide range of CDR formats and its dedicated team for tariff setups and service support provides faster IOT setup and implementation. The TAP creation service additionally provides the following features:
|Native TAP3.12 creation||No intermediate TAP conversion: from raw CDR to TAP3.12|
|CDR Correlation||Correlation of CDR from different network nodes (S-GW and P-CSCF)|
|Rating capabilities||IOT applied to data, voice and SMS over LTE as per AA.14|
|Reporting||MACH COM and processing reports including LTE Correlation Report|
|Online managing tool||CDR lookup functions and tracking of files, rejected records and test calls online|
Operators sending TAP files can also use MACH’s LTE Merge service whereby MACH will merge LTE records into the TAP files.
MACH’s TAP Migration Service can benefit an operator that is upgrading its internal system to support the new TAP 3.12 version. MACH provides quality assurance of TAP test data on the private and public interfaces. The TAP Migration service guides the operator through a series of procedural steps to be executed during the migration project.
MACH has a number of other services. Its Enhanced TAP 3.12 Conversion service converts the new record types in TAP3.12 into standard TAP3.xx MOC and MTC records. Its Roaming File Editor supports TAP, RAP, NRTRDE and is an ideal tool for TAP testers and operations. An annual license is provided including maintenance and support. While MACH LTE Implementation supports IREG & TADIG testing.