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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

Nokia - Telephony Application


Server (TAS)
Snow, David | May 31, 2016
Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers
JJ Summary

David Snow
Current Analysis
Principal Analyst,
IP Services
Infrastructure

Competitive Strengths
Latest announced application server, targeting the converged fixed/mobile/enterprise market
Purpose-built, high conformance, evolved IMS application server
Enhanced with both APIs and service creation and customization capabilities
High software portability without impacting availability
Wide carrier installed base and leading network support credentials

Competitive Weaknesses
Not commercially available until early 2017
Enterprise services support less comprehensive than that of BroadSoft
Lacks complementary client software portfolio

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

Current Perspective
The Nokia Telephony Application Server (TAS) is a leader among its competitors in the application server
segment of the market. It is an evolved product, resulting both from the cloud-based re-architecture of
Nokias Open TAS combined with the integration of assets from the former Alcatel-Lucent Rapport
Converged Telephony Server.
Unlike the Nokia Open TAS, which was specifically designed and targeted around the requirements of
the VoLTE market, the new Nokia TAS is a fully converged fixed/mobile/enterprise offering. Like both
its predecessors, it has been purpose-built for IMS and complies with a leading level of 3GPP compliance
alongside strong multi-vendor interoperability. The Nokia TAS is also differentiated by supporting both
a strong API exposure repertoire and an internal Java Execution Environment and a Service Creation and
Testing Environment (SCTE) for operator service creation or customization. This combination goes further
than most compared vendors in enabling services to be customized both by the operators internal and
external developer partners. The cloudbased design architecture has also been instrumental in maintaining
service parity with the Open TAS and Rapport TAS products, and in supporting a high level of portability
between hardware platforms, whether bare metal and cloud-based solutions (or combinations), without
impacting availability. Finally, the Nokia TAS enjoys wide carrier appeal and strong traction with verified,
very high capacity VoLTE deployments and a combined inherited installed base representing a balanced mix
of mobile and fixed network customers.
However, notwithstanding the very strong pedigree of its predecessor products, the new Nokia TAS is
not generally available to the market until early 2017. To its credit the company is running pilot projects
during 2016 with existing major customers of both Nokia and the former Alcatel-Lucent to validate the the
new products service parity. Additionally, while incorporating the best of enterprise services support from
the former Alcatel-Lucent Rapport CTS, it does not yet match that of BroadSofts application portfolio.
Additionally, without its own complementary client software, a fully turnkey enterprise end user deployment
experience may require extra integration on the part of the carrier or enterprise customer. Those concerns
notwithstanding, Nokia is now very well positioned to offer both new and existing customers a leading
offering for fully converged network operation.

JJ Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
The Nokia TAS is the latest announced application server, evolving from the convergence of the Nokia
Open TAS and the acquired Alcatel- Lucent Rapport CTS. As such, the combination selects the best
functionality from each product, with Nokia contributing strongly in mobile applications and Alcatel-
Lucent in fixed (residential) and enterprise (business) applications. As a converged product, the new Nokia
TAS now ranks alongside Huawei in supporting fully featured IMS AS functionality in a single offering for
converged carriers spanning all three domains.
The Nokia TAS, like its predecessors, is purpose-built for IMS. Functionalities include VoLTE (IR.92),
video (IR.94), VoWiFi, multi-device, USSD GW and SMS (IP-SM-GW) supported by service continuity
(SCC-AS), service switching (IMS-SSF) and media resource functions (MRF). Nokia maintains IMS
conformance to a leading level of 3GPP compliance within a cloud-based design architecture, which has
facilitated the integration of its predecessor products and helps maintains service parity.
Nokia has equipped the TAS with fully featured value-added application development capabilities. TAS
supports a full portfolio of REST-based communications APIs to embed comms into specialized apps

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

targeted at vertical markets, and also supports a Java Execution Environment and a Service Creation and
Testing Environment (SCTE) offering. Providing carriers with multiple service creation and customization
capabilities helps add value to what would otherwise be vanilla service offerings, enabling new revenue
opportunities.
The Nokia TAS offers a high degree of software portability without impacting five nines availability. As a
containerized solution it supports both bare metal and cloud-based solutions (or combinations) with, for
example, open interfaces toward industrystandard cloud infrastructure, such as Openstack and VMware,
while maintaining a high level of resilience, such as through N+K redundancy and in shared data layer
call state replication. Deploying the Nokia TAS on standard data center servers shared with multiple other
applications provides operators with significant cost and operational advantages.
Building on the footprint of its antecedents, the new Nokia TAS inherits wide carrier appeal and strong
traction, especially in VoLTE. It has close to 100 operator contracts, has deployed more than 500 million
software licenses, and supports a network with 100 million subscriber licenses deployed the largest
network by far among vendors in this comparison. With this inherited installed base representing a
balanced mix of mobile and fixed network customers, Nokia is well positioned to offer both new and
existing customers a strong offering for converged network operation.
Weaknesses
The new Nokia TAS is not yet commercially available. The company however reports that the original
Nokia cloud-based architecture design was started early in 2015, into which the Alcatel-Lucent CTS
components have been easily integrated. The success of pilot projects running with major existing
customers of both Nokia and the former Alcatel-Lucent is being used by Nokia as decision gate in terms of
service parity before general commercial availability planned for in early 2017.
While the Nokia TAS inherits very strong enterprise services support from the former Alcatel-Lucent
CTS, it does not match the breadth of the enterprise application market leader, BroadSoft. For example,
BroadSoft currently has a more feature-rich Unified Communications offering and more enterprise-
oriented feature packaging, and is more visible as a future of work UC thought-leader. As the enterprise
segment offers better returns than the consumer segment, and VoLTE, by itself, is not a revenueearner,
some carriers prioritizing on the enterprise opportunity may favor BroadSofts offering.
The Nokia TAS product portfolio does not include complementary client software. While the company
works with multiple mobile terminal and chipset vendors and has a client software web portal test facility,
it has no in-house equivalent of, for example, BroadSofts BroadTouch, GENBANDs GenCom or
Metaswitchs Accession clients. Operators looking for a fully enterprise-ready turnkey end user deployment
experience may find that Nokias offering may require incremental software selection and related
integration costs.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

Metrics

JJ APPLICATIONS

Business Nokia TAS provides the Telephony Application function that supports advanced
Fixed business communications such as IP Voice VPN, IP Centrex and Business trunking
Applications services. The Business telephony features include: VPN features:(VPN dialing and
display On-net and off-net calls, Account code, Authorization code, Closed User Group,
Least-cost routing, On-line charging (session and event based), Telephony Group
features: (Call pick-up, Distinctive ringing, Multiline Hunt group, Call park, Barge-in),
Boss/Secretary Call Coverage (Busy Lamp Field, Intercom), Web portal services (End-
user self-care, including Numbering Plan Setup, PBX Connection, IP Trunking, transit
scenarios to support SIP or TDM trunking, ETSI ISDN PRA)
CRM Support Nokia TAS Call center functions through a native multi-line hunt group capability that
provides the following features: call queuing, call distribution. Native auto-attendant
and attendant console provide welcome services, call monitoring and management.
Shared Call Appearances for group coverage. RESTful Call Management APIs are
also available for integration with 3rd party call center services and CRM systems.
Apizee and Phonedeck are two examples of Comms applications embedded into CRM
business process. In addition, the Nokia TAS can be integrated 3rd parties apps such
as the Aricent Flexible Routing & Charging/Smart Wizard routing for IP800 toll-free
service and the Genesys Contact Center solution for advanced call center service. Call
Center can also be a separate application which can be connected to IMS with standard
ISCinterface.
Business Nokia TAS has inbuilt Private Dialing Plans plus extended VPN Dialing features
Mobility which provides enterprise users (PBX, network hosted, and PSTN/PLMN roaming)
Applications on-net/off-net calling virtually anywhere. With leastcost routing extension, users
within the same VPN plan can take advantage of special tariff arrangements for calls
between locations. Geo-location based features provide dynamic and efficient call
routing based on device location information. Additionally Nokia TAS provides
interface to 3rd party SCPs where VPN-application can be located. For this CAMEL
4, INAP, SINAP and Nokia INAP protocols are supported.Further possibility is
to use Nokia TAS integrated Call Management APIs which have been integrated
by Phonedeck partner to provide enhanced business mobility applications, such as
integration of mobile communications with Salesforce.com.Nokia TAS provides
mobility for VoIP users over any broadband connection and voice, video and
messaging services do not depend on location of subscriber.
Unified Nokia TAS provides both onboard capabilities for unified communications as well
Communications as the interfaces to expand UC features by providing the flexibility for an enterprise
& Collaboration to build the communication environment to suit its needs: TAS support presence,
Applications address book, personal ring back tone, unified messaging, contact center, conference
and collaboration services, Web2.0 GUI and Self-Care APIs for end user, and legacy
PSTN/PLMN interworking. Integral capability for ad-hoc voice conferencing as
part of IR.94 standard. Additionally, new Video Conferencing & Collaboration
Services developed by Counterpath leveraging Rapport Communications APIs will
be available on a per customer demand basis.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

Residential Nokia TAS supports Voice and Video services in VoLTE and VoWiFi architectures
Applications and VoIP with PSTN emulation and Simulation services, as well as PacketCable 1.5
and 2.0 services. These can be deployed in a single node (VoIP&VoLTE/VoWiFi)
or separate Application Servers (VoIP and VoLTE/VoWiFi) depending on operator
network configuration.
Enhanced Nokia TAS supports a large set of enhanced CVoIP features including: User
Residential Controlled Call Barring, Features scheduling (ToD/DoW) based on users profile,
Applications Priority line, Multiparty calls, Push to Conference, Advanced Voice Mail (VM)
related features: VM originated calls, IR.92, Message Waiting Indication (MWI)
(Listen to VM and rescue, Video Mail Access (store and play)), IVR features (Basic
Auto- Attendant, Subscriber Controlled Language), One-number/Multi-devices
related features (Simring & sequential ringing, End-point validation at settings,
End-point answer confirmation (anti VM), Transfer back to Simring group).
Full featured enduser self-care manager and APIs are available in order to provide
self-care funtionality either directly via the offthe- shelf GUI or by embedding the
functionality in the Operators portal. These enable end users to manage service such
as barrings and forwarding options including advanced time- and identity-based
service criteria (whitelisting / black-listing). Nokia TAS Call Management APIs
have been integrated by Privacy star to provide enhanced residential applications,
such as nuisance call blocker. Furthermore Nokia TAS supports flexible number
portability services (ported-in, portedout) with MAP/SINAP/NINAP/CAMEL
based portability enquiry from external database.
Consumer Nokia TAS provides 3GPP compliant VoLTE including IR92, IR94 supplementary
Mobility services and other supplementary services. Its Service Continuity function also
Applications provides SCCAS anchoring, domain selection, and handover capability enabling
common voice and video services across mobile VoIP/VoLTE and circuit switched
2G/3G mobile network. Enhancements include eSR-VCC, service data consistency
between HLR/IMS and IMS Centralized Services (I2) interface. Nokia TAS also
supports voice over Wi-Fi (VoWi-Fi) as well as Video over Wifi enabling VoLTE
service continuity on Wifi network, i.e. call handover between Wi-Fi and 3GPP
(3G, 4G LTE) in either direction. It also enables VoLTE service consistency by
providing Wi-Fi secured access to IMS centralized services. The solution is deployed
in Verizon as the Advanced calling 1.0 service. With its Call Management APIs,
Nokia TAS enables more services beyond VoLTE and VoWi-Fi: China Telecom for
example wholesale a new 3rd party app called disposable virtual number.
Feature The CVoIP package provides the consumer/residential bundle. The VoLTE provides
Packages the consumer mobile bundle. The XLE package provides the enterprise bundle.
Both can be combined to deploy converged solutions. Features are; voice, video,
messaging, handovers and MultiDevice. Also many charging alternatives exists
(post-paid, pre-paid, flat fee/usage based). TAS APIs allow the integration of specific
applications for specific verticals needs.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

Client Softphones and mobile device soft clients are supported via SIP and WebRTC
Strategy interface. Nokia TAS supports multiple devices sharing a single PUID allowing to
support multi-screen ringing capabilities(simultaneous, sequential etc.). Calls can
be pulled/pushed between different devices with VoLTE/Wi-Fi/2G/3G technology.
Answer Confirmation and other enhancements provide improved user experience.
This feature is extended to support subscribers in both IMS and PSTN/PLMN
domains. With the Call Management APIs, the call can also now be piloted by a
3rd party application enabling incoming calls to ring based on the applications use
case or enhanced service logic (e.g. internet session based ringing). TAS leverages
new innovations in browser technology (WebRTC) to deliver a virtual appliance
model.
Client Features Nokia TAS supports client invoked and controlled handover and call delivery
options.
Protocol Support Industry standards including IMS 3GPP, IETF, GSMA, PacketCable and others.
Integration with IMS network elements is done through SIP-ISC (S-CSCF),
Cr (MRF), Sh (HSS), Ro, Rf, CAP/INAP (Charging), SNMP, XCAP,FTP,
XML (O&M) etc. Integration with mobile network is done through CAMEL,
ISUP,ANSI-41/MAP etc. Integration with voice mail is done through MWI IR.92.
Integration with web services and 3rd party applications in done through OMA
RESTful Network APIs, HTTP/S, SOAP. Integration with client devices is done
through SIP (for session handling) and Ut (for self care from the subscribers client
device).
Web RTC Support The WebRTC client can access the full set of TAS capabilities.
API Support TAS is enhanced to expose REST APIs based on GSMA OneAPI definitions and/
or selected 3rd party APIs. As part of the TAS Service Innovation solution, the
communications APIs enable customers to accelerate the creation of 3rd party web
services and embed communication services in more places enabling contextual
communications into any web, smartphone or vertical application. The TAS Call
Management APIs allow service providers and developers the flexibility to integrate
unlimited innovative features. These APIs tap into TAS capabilities such as high
definition voice and video, call control, conferencing, and interactive voice for
consumer market as well as vertical markets such as banking, healthcare, security,
transportation, education, hotel trade. TAS APIs are REST based and OMA
Network API specification compliant. Native TAS APIs include: Call Control API
(including Conferencing APIs), Call Direction API , Call Notification API , User
Interaction API (including Recording APIs), Self Care API (including configuration
of advanced services such as auto attendant, and time of day controls and profiles),
Call History API, and Terminal Status API. The future product release includes
new set of enhanced APIs like call recording API, Multi-parties conference API,
Switchboard API, CallerId unmask API, Originating call API, Route2VoiceMail
API, Flexible CallerId API, Call Transfer API, Subscriptions bulk API, Subscriptions
audit API etc. The Communications APIs offers APIs from other IMS Network
Elements such as Social Messaging Application Servers (Presence Server and Multi-
Media Instant Messaging Server) as well as Session Border Controller for WebRTC
APIs.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

JJ IMS SUPPORT

IMS Architecture Nokia TAS is a multifunction IMS Application Server for IMS networks, with cloud
optimized architecture
3GPP Release 3GPP Rel-11/12 and some future functions like EVS is based on Rel-13.
Support
IMS-enabled Full support to IR.92/94 MMTEL standards and VoWiFi, including multidevice.
Communications
Services
Application A Java Execution Environment is integrated in Nokia TAS to enable application
Programming enhancements with Java based service logic components. It is done within an
Support integration framework with lightweight service definition possibilities, with ready-
made EIP modules, and with a tremendous amount of components that can be used
as protocol (HTTP, JMS, database, TCP, FTP, ...) plug-in modules for any service
components
Service Service Creation & Testing Environment (OpenTAS service execution environment)
Creation & under evaluation. Service creation is available for operators through GSM ONE API
Testing based Open API interface.
Environment
IMS ICS architecture is supported from MMTel AS and SCC-AS perspective. eSRVCC
Centralized support functions AGCF/ATGW are built in Nokia CFX-5000 and Open BGW
Services products. No separate network element needed. Open BGW also provides border
session functions.
PGM/RCS/RCSe Nokia TAS is pre-integrated with the Nokia Social Messaging product that support
support full capabilities for Presence, Group and Data management. Nokia have as well full
support of RCS/RCSe services in case deployed via external RCS/RCSe server such
as Infinite Convergence. Nokia TAS can be used simultaneously for VoLTE/VoWiFi
services and also as VoIP &Video Share server for RCS subscribers on non LTE
accesses.
IP-SM-GW Different alternatives exist: In-built IPSM-GW, integration with the Nokia Social
support Messaging product that offer the IP-SM-GW capability capabilities or alternatively
capability to use external IP-SM-GW.
IM-SSF Support Nokia TAS has in-built IM-SSF with wide support for interfacing existing SCPs
(Camel4, INAP, SINAP, Nokia INAP). Another architecture consists in directly
trigger IN services through Nokia TAS Call Management APIs. Alternatively Nokia
TAS can be integrated with external IM-SSF.
MRFC Support Nokia TAS has two architecture approaches to trigger Media Resource Services such
as tones, announcements and conference mixing: ability to trigger standalone MRF
with MRFC/MRFP with MSML/MSCML/NetANN etc protocol or with in-built
MRFC to trigger standalone MRFP with H.248 protocol. For standalone MRF
scenarios, Nokia TAS is pre-integrated with Nokia 5900 MRF but also supports Mr
based connectivity with external MRF such as Radisys MS and Dialog MRF. Nokia
Open MGW can be used as standlone MRFP.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

JJ PLATFORM & PERFORMANCE

Product Design Nokia TAS is a containerized solution and is available on bare metal and cloud based
solutions with open interfaces towards cloud infrastructure. Preintegration available
with Openstack and VMware.
Server Nokia TAS is HW agnostic. Different options such as HP C7000 Gen 9 and
Brand/Type Airframe are supported for the HW offers.
Operating System Linux RedHat
Scalability The target capacity is 5M subscribers for a well-sized system. This is defined as a
single Call server node equivalent to a cluster of virtual machines (VMs) managed
by an administrative VM in the cloud environment. In the physical hardware
configuration, a single call server node is a single chassis in a cabinet. Cloud
deployments can scale larger dependent on the deployment parameters.
Calls per Second A well-sized system is targeted to handle 5M BHCA.
Simultaneous Calls A well-sized system is able to handle at least 200,000 simultaneous calls.
Support for Open TAS can also be deployed in the private telco cloud. Typically operators have
shared hosted their own data centers where operators applications are located centrally. Initial
/ cloud deliveries of the Cloud Open TAS was started 2014. The first live use of OpenTAS
deployment in the cloud was Q4/2014 and first commercial live cloud VoLTE system on
Vodafone Italy July 2015
Vendorhosted Nokia has e2e cloud base solutions using open interfaces towards addtional
enterprise enterprise services. Integrations available in commerical level for example with
services cloud Agnity, Radisys and Dialog.
platform
Geographic IMS signalling is based on IP technology there is no distance limitation if the
Redundancy network is designed within the transaction timeouts (latency). Dynamic assignment
enables subscribers to be dynamically assigned to any available TAS in the network,
providing both geographic redundancy for a site failure and automated load
balancing under normal network operation greatly reducing maintenance expense.
Software Nokia TAS supports both local N+K and additional geographic redundancy.
Redundancy Check-pointing and seamless switch over without loss of stable calls is supported.
Availability exceeds 99.999% (both measured and modeled).
Call State Call data is maintained across local and geographic failures based on dataless
Replication processing and replicated databases in a shared data layer

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

JJ INTEROPERABILITY

CSCF Standard ISC interface with commercial deployments with 4 different S-CSCF
vendors.
HSS Standard Sh interface with commercial deployments with 4 different HSS vendors.
HLR Standard MAP interface and IOTs with several HLR vendors. Commercial
deployment with 5 different HLR vendors.
IN/SCP Wide set of IN-interfaces and IOTs and commercial deployments with several IN/
SCP vendors using Camel4, INAP, SINAP, INAP protocols.
Device Nokia TAS is integrated in several customer networks where all well known devices
Interoperability suppliers like Apple, Samsung, LG, Sony, Microsoft and others are present. Wide
Voice over LTE and Voice over Wi-Fi testing with leading chipset vendors and
terminal manufacturers is included. The Nokia partner program certifies and
guarantees interoperabilty with partner products/functionality as part of a Nokia
solution. With WebRTC technology emergence, integration of WebRTC clients
vendor such as TechMahindra or Quobis has also been released.

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Product Assessment - Hosted Multimedia Application Servers

JJ DEPLOYABILITY

Product First 2006


Available
Licenses Sold Total over 500M licenses sold and for VoLTE/VoWiFI 350+ million TAS SW
licenses sold including 118 Million on cloud.
IMS AS As above.
Licenses
Installed Base
IMS AS IMS AS commercial contracts are 57 for TAS for VoLTE/VoWIFI and 42 for fixed/
Deployments cable/convegrence. In total Nokia has 61 commercial VoLTE contracts including 18
in live use.
Largest deployment The largest deployment is 100M licenses for a TAS solution.
Key Customers Nokia has 34 VoLTE rerefences including live commercial networks like Verizon,
Bell, Orange Romania, StarHub and M1 Singapore, Vodafone Italy (telco cloud
TAS included) and operator Salt (Orange Switzerland). Major India operator like
Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Bharti are deploing Nokias VoLTE solution. Overall
Nokia has 9 live VoLTE references.
Availability as Nokia has 34 VoLTE rerefences including live commercial networks like Verizon,
a VNF with Bell, Orange Romania, StarHub and M1 Singapore, Vodafone Italy (telco cloud
NFV MANO TAS included) and operator Salt (Orange Switzerland). Major India operator like
support Vodafone India, Reliance Jio, Bharti are deploing Nokias VoLTE solution. Overall
Nokia has 9 live VoLTE refereces.
Resellers and Nokia has direct sales channel to operators.
Partners
Fixed / VoLTE and increasing interest in VoWiFi are the main drivers for Nokia IMS and
Mobile / Open TAS deployments. VoWiFi
Cable
Breakout customers are seen as mobile customers. Operators fixed and cable operations are
supported with Nokia TAS. Approximate ratio 60% mobile, 40% fixed/cable/
convergence

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