A new switch seeks to smooth application migration and inter-working between IP, GPRS and 3G mobile telephony environments.
Giga Stream's Universal Navigation Switch (UNS) provides a platform for designing voice, video and data service nodes and will be launched at the Telecoms 2003 show in Geneva in mid October.
Cees Van Der Stoep, Giga Stream's vice president of sales and marketing, told vnunet.com: "Integrating applications is difficult.
"UNS addresses the complexity of integrating the components through a performance-enhancing proxy TCP/IP on the wireless network. This yields a shorter time to market [for applications] and the risk is lower."
Giga Stream's content sensitive traffic management makes use of an embedded packet inspection capability in the switch to examine and act on different data types.
This facilitates higher value applications, including location-based services and context billing, and handles automatic roaming between different network types.
"You've probably got individual 3G users roaming around all three GPRS, 3G and voice infrastructures," said Dale Vile, service director at analyst Quocirca.
"There is a high incidence of [call] drop-out but you don't want to lose access to users you know and love."
Vile explained that operators are trying to solve the complexity problem so that Giga Stream's switch addresses the right business problem and the right area.
But 90 per cent of the functionality is also being worked on by the major telecoms companies, making for strong competition.
"The area that's a particular challenge is monitoring traffic more intelligently, for instance zero rate or premium rate access in a very dynamic way, identifying who the user is and how much they have clocked up," said Vile.
Mobile operators spent large sums on 3G licences, and regulatory requirements added complexity and management difficulties to their network infrastructures.
Additional problems emerge with each new technology, for instance roaming between wireless Lan hotspots with antennae every 15 metres that allow very localised services, and 3G where antennae give several miles' coverage.
So introducing new 3G services and applications is currently expensive and time consuming. There is also little heterogeneity as each operator's network is different.
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