Service Delivery Platforms
Service Delivery Platform (SDP) can be loosely defined as a standards based framework that facilitates the design, development, implementation and management of services required to run the operations of network services providers. The services could range from the basic voice connectivity to the state-of-the-art rich multimedia services.
The most critical value-addition offered by the SDP methodology lies in its ability to abstract controlling parameters such as location, media control, integration and others. SDP interface with network elements, OSS/BSS, IT infrastructure, and partners such as application developers and content providers.
SDP predate IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) and can exist without IMS, but IMS enhances SDP value. SDP provide many of the same benefits brought by IMS including the following:
- Standardized services interfaces
- Horizontal platform to provision, control and bill for all VAS
Both systems are based on a Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), which represents a software architecture design approach towards providing application functionality as services to other applications. It is also an arrangement of Information Technology (IT) services that have the following characteristics:
- Loose coupling
- Standardized interfaces
- Consumer-provider relationship
SDP’s are the equivalent to Application Servers (AS) in the IMS framework.
Network operators should begin with a SOA/SDP scheme as they evolved to a full IMS framework. SDP’s are part of the migration to IMS.
Other aspects of SDP to consider relative to IMS include:
- Service Creation: SDP’s allow efficient service creation for shared common resources including network inventory information, billing, user profiles, billing, resource allocation information
- Service Integration: No service creation and control are services by themselves without service integration (both IMS and SDP). Emphasis is on service blending – not just service bundling.
- Service Delivery: IMS ensures access to applications across all devices and networks
- Service Control: IMS provides centralized control of distributed network elements and policies