Marketing & Advertising – Campañas de Mobile Marketing y Clientes basadas en la ubicación

Los anunciantes quieren (y es lógico que así sea) poder dirigirse a los consumidores con anuncios, campañas y publicidad en general entendiendo el contexto del individuo objetivo. Dentro del contexto del consumidor, la localización precisa se considera un elemento esencial y muy importante a ser tenido en cuenta. A través de varios estudios, esto ha demostrado aumentar la eficacia de las campañas en un 86% e impulsar mayores tasas de respuesta. Además, también se estima una mejora entre 5(cinco) y 7(siete) veces de take-up de las ofertas presentadas.

Entre las mejores prácticas destacamos la inclusión de Call-to-action medibles, como así también vouchers y códigos QR.

 Este tipo de campañas traen asociados importantes beneficios entre los que se destacan:

  • Mejora de la orientación y eficacia de las campañas sobre móviles
  • Registra el comportamiento histórico y detecta patrones para la previsión de futuras campañas
  • Permiten las Call-to-Action en tiempo real para impulsar la participación
  • En comercios minoristas permite acción inmediata mediante conocimiento preciso de la ubicación

Para poder implementar acciones y campañas de este tipo es necesario contar con una plataforma de ubicación (LBS) que se integra a las diferentes plataformas de publicidad a través de API flexibles. 

Tecnología LBS: Solución activa y pasiva híbrida completa

La solución LocationWise LBS (Location Based Services) de CS es una plataforma de ubicación basada en estándares líder en la industria tanto el 3GPP como el TMForum, que proporciona todas las generaciones de GMLC / SMLC para 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G y CDMA. La solución emplea algoritmos de segmentación altamente precisos para permitirle localizar a todos los suscriptores móviles de su país, en todo momento, cuando está activado. Los algoritmos CS patentados aumentan la tecnología estándar de la industria para mejorar significativamente la precisión. Esto permite una amplia gama de casos de uso, desde marketing contextual en tiempo real hasta soluciones de seguridad.

Esto se combina con sondeos y procesos para recopilar pasivamente datos de red junto con capacidades de mediación y retención para entregar datos de ubicación para cada evento de señalización en toda la red. El módulo EAI de Middlewise proporciona a los clientes una puerta de entrada altamente flexible, que facilita la implementación, reduce los costos de integración y mejora los informes. Juntos, estos representan el sistema de posicionamiento híbrido más potente y totalmente integrado del mercado.

Autor: Javier D’Agostino, LATAM Sales Director en Creativity Software, March 2021

Senior Linux System Engineer

Due to increased demand for our products, we are currently looking for outstanding individuals to join our highly professional team.

Remote working (partial or full) is an option for this role dependent on home location.

Main Role Responsibilities:

  • Preparation, installation and ongoing support of Creativity Software systems and software deliverables.
  • Act as first point of contact for support issues for specific customers and work in conjunction with local 2nd line support teams and all relevant internal staff to provide support to all customers.
  • Support to internal infrastructure and solutions as well as occasional individual support to technical and non-technical teams.

Knowledge and Experience

The candidate should be bright, dynamic, and reliable. They should also have solid communication skills and work in a highly structured manner. The candidate should have skills and experience commensurate with at least 5 years in a similar role.

Technical:

  • Strong Linux skills
  • Installation, configuration of Linux (CentOS), Apache, MySQL, PHP, etc.
  • OS hardening
  • Setup of networking equipment (switches, load balancers, VPN, etc.),
  • Setup and configuration of monitoring/alert tools (e.g. TICK, Nagios)
  • Installation of hardware and software systems, at client sites and remotely
  • System dimensioning, provisioning and configuration
  • Experience of support and maintenance to internal office networks and workstations
  • Familiarity with DevOps tools such as Ansible, and Docker
  • Familiarity with VM tools such as VMware and oVirt
  • Knowledge of NFV/VNF environments and tools would be a distinct advantage (e.g. OpenStack).
  • MySQL setup and ideally tuning and replication
  • Postgres experience is beneficial

Support:

  • Logical approach to problem solving
  • Ability to liaise both with clients and internal teams to address issues effectively
  • Able to communicate and liaise at a technical level; including to customers whose first language is not English

Minimum formal qualifications required:

BSC or MSC in Computer Engineering

Other:

  • Able to write excellent quality technical documentation such as: installation guides, operation manuals, test plans, etc. in English
  • Experience of ITIL, ISO and quality management processes would be beneficial
  • Knowledge of additional languages a plus (e.g. Spanish, Arabic)

Job Purpose and Objectives

Key purpose of the role:

At the outset of our projects you will prepare environments for the initial deployments of Location Based Services solution elements, deploy those elements following a defined procedure, documenting any deviations, and then ensure the deployment is complete and ready to pass to support. Subsequently, in each project, and indeed for any of our international customers, you will provide the highest standard of ongoing support.

This will initially be during UK working hours, however availability for out of hours cover (24/7) will eventually be required (i.e. on call, as part of a rota).

Main objectives / key deliverables / targets:

  • Comply with customer support SLAs
  • Proactively monitor and maintain our deployed solutions
  • Help develop best practice within the company for systems testing, deployment and support

Autonomy

The culture and management of Creativity Software is based on respect – for self and others – trust, and empowerment. In practical terms this means that individuals are given goals/objectives and are expected to take responsibility for achieving them with minimal supervision.

Mature, responsible individuals flourish within this environment, and are encouraged to be open and honest, to seek support and feedback at all times. There is a reasonable amount of documentation – of policies, best practice etc – and these need to be understood and observed. However, the nature of the business means that discretionary judgements are required frequently – and the individual will be encouraged to take on responsibility/autonomy within this context.

Impact

This is a significant role within the company. The speed of delivery of a solution to our customer’s requirements and its subsequent stability and performance can be greatly affected by the role holder. It is a customer facing role, and much of the assessment of the capability of CS by the customer will be based on the level of professionalism demonstrated by the role holder. This is essential for the retention of customers and securing future business from them.

Additional Information

For some projects, a degree of security clearance may be required (up to SC) and candidates must be willing to apply for such clearance with Creativity Software.

What are Location-based Services (LBS)?

These enable mobile operators, law enforcement agencies and the banking sector to capitalise on the incredible value of mobile location intelligence.
Location-based technologies offer MNOs the opportunity to deliver contextual services. As such services are specifically orientated towards the position of the mobile handset, it enables MNOs to provide services that are more targeted and effective.

Location Based Applications and Services

Location services cover a wide range of services, orientated at individual users or devices and vehicles. These can include:

  • Fraud mitigation services for the card payment industry
  • “Find Me” services e.g. nearest restaurant, coffee bar, ATM etc
  • Location-based charging, for example ‘Home Zone’ or ‘Office Zone’
  • Retail offers – dependant on user proximity
  • Social networking services
  • Visitor local information services
  • Child find/locate services
  • Route planning/navigation
  • “Where am I” type information services
  • Location-based games
  • Vehicle and asset tracking
  • Support for emergency services and Law Enforcement Agencies.

Such applications may be supported within a mobile operator’s network, or externally via third parties. In both cases, the application which depends on information obtained and processed by network resources is referred to as an LCS Client.

Location Techniques

The location of the UE is defined in terms of latitude and longitude coordinates. The accuracy depends on the particular technique used to locate the mobile. Several mobile industry variants are currently deployed – GSM, UMTS, LTE 5G & CDMA. The method for ‘requesting’ a user’s mobile location and the resultant network generated messages are standardised, regardless of the location technique utilised.
The ability of a mobile network to establish the location of UE is essential to ensure incoming calls are ‘directed’ to the appropriate cluster or group of cells. Such clusters or groups are defined/known as Location Areas. To ensure consistent call management, mobiles continually assess and measure the radio parameters from surrounding / neighbouring cells and detect when moving from one cell area (LAC) to another, in close co-ordination with the radio access network and base station infrastructure. Using this information, it is possible to ‘triangulate’ the geographic position of a user mobile. There are three primary data sets that can be used to cost-effectively locate the position of UE equipment without significant overhead. These are:

  • Cell ID
  • Cell ID + Timing Advance (TA) (CITA)
  • Cell ID + TA + Relative Signal Strength (RxLEV) (CITARx)

Infrastructure Required

In order to capture the information required for determining the location of UE and to control the management of authorised requests from LCS client applications to access the data requires the deployment of two dedicated nodes in mobile networks: the Gateway Mobile Location Centre (GMLC) and the Serving Mobile Location Centre (SMLC).

What is a GMLC?

Creativity Software’s GMLC solution can interconnect with third party SMLCs or can be delivered as part of a complete turnkey solution. Our GMLC offers a range of deployment options, supports connectivity to the NSS via Lg and Lh interfaces or alternatively make use of the MAP ATI function. For IN environments, Push Mode location updates can be supported.

GMLC – How it works

Privacy is a critical issue in location based services. The Creativity Software GMLC performs authentication and authorisation checks in location requests received from the LCS to ensure privacy and adherence to permission policies.

The GMLC provides the interface to the LCS client which may be positioned external to the network e.g. 3rd party VAS application. The GMLC receives individual requests to locate and report back the geographic position of a user mobile. Such requests are in general permission-based reports – i.e. the particular mobile user has granted approval for his/her location to be made available. At the same time, checks are made to confirm that the LCS client is authorized to make such a request and ensure the UE (User Equipment) is able to support LCS enquires.

The GMLC must first determine which Serving Mobile Switching Centre (MSC) is managing the UE at the time the LCS request is made. To do this, it first identifies the MSC involved by making a request to the HLR. The HLR returns this information and a message is sent to the appropriate BSS via the MSC. The BSS determines the serving Cell ID and if available the timing and signal strengths from this and neighbouring cells.

This combined information is routed to the SMLC / SAS / E-SMLC where the calculation of geographic position estimation is carried out. The result is passed back to the MSC via the radio sub system and then to the GMLC for delivery to the LCS client (according to the 3GPP standards, there is no direct connection between the SMLC/SAS/E-SMLC and the GMLC – the location is always reported back to the MSC that has initiated the location request).
The GMLC is based on industry-standard SS7 protocol stacks, supporting SIGTRAN interfaces for IP connectivity and TDM transport in legacy environments. Creativity Software’s GMLC can interconnect with third party SMLCs, or both can be provided as part of a turnkey solution. Creativity Software’s GMLC solution can also be configured as a fully standards-compliant MPC for CDMA networks.
The interface provided complies with OMA MLP V3.2 and V3.1. Priority levels are handled through the optional selection of a priority level within the request and feeding appropriate prioritised queues. All the following messages flows are supported as per OMA:

  • SLIS (Standard Location Immediate Service)
  • ELIS (Emergency Immediate Service)
  • TLRS (triggered location reporting service)

If available, following subscriber information can be provided to the LCS-Client in addition to location response:

  • Subscriber state
  • Age of location
  • IMSI
  • IMEI
  • MCC,MNC,LAC,TAC
  • VLR address

Our GMLC can interface with any HLR/MSC/SGSN that supports 3GPP 29.002.
According to the 3GPP LCS architecture, the interface between GMLC and HLR is known as the Lh interface, and the interface between GMLC and MSC/SGSN is known as the Lg interface. The GMLC uses the Lh interface to obtain routing information of a target terminal. It uses the Lg interface to request the positioning information of a target terminal from the radio network via the core network.

The GMLC supports the following MAP LCS standard messages:

  • MAP-SendRoutingInfoforLCS (SRI-LCS)
  • MAP-ProvideSubscriberLocation (PSL)
  • MAP-AnyTimeInterrogation(ATI)
  • MAP-SubscriberLocationReport (SRI)
  • MAP-SendRoutingInfoForSM (SRI-SM)
  • MAP-ProvideSubscriberInformation (PSI)
  • MAP-SubscriberLocationReport (SLR)

What is a SMLC?

Creativity Software’s SMLC (SMLC / SAS / E-SMLC ) can be provided as a standalone unit, or co-located with the GMLC, depending on the telecom mobile network architecture required. This flexibility is a key strength, allowing Creativity Software to meet the requirements of different network configurations and integration with equipment from different vendors. It can be configured as either an SMLC for GSM networks and their derivatives, or as a fully standards-compliant PDE for CDMA networks.

SMLC for Mobile Network Operators – How it works

Location Services (LCS) cover services using the positional (geographical) location of mobile user’s equipment (UE) to offer a range of value added services. The location of a user’s mobile is defined in terms of latitude and longitude coordinates. The accuracy depends on the particular technique used to locate the mobile. Several mobile industry variants are currently deployed. The method for ‘requesting’ a user’s mobile location and the resultant network generated messages are standardised regardless of the location technique in use. As mobile networks can support multiple BSCs, Creativity Software’s SMLC platform can support connectivity to a number of BSCs via the standard Lb interface. It fully supports the 3GPP standardised network infrastructure for Location Services. This allows the SMLC to obtain radio measurements from the widest range of sources to determine the position of any target UE within the network.

Key Features / Support for the following interfaces:

  • Iupc Interface between RNC and SAS (RNC interface)
  • Lb Interface between SMLC and BSC (BSC interface)
  • Lc Interface between GMLC and gsmSCF (CAMEL interface)
  • Le Interface between External User and MLC (external interface)
  • Lh Interface between GMLC and HLR (HLR interface)
  • Lg Interface between GMLC and VMSC (gateway MLC interface)
  • SLh Interface between GMLC and HSS
  • SLg Interface between GMLC and MME
  • SLs Interface between E-SMLC and MME
  • Sh Interface between application server and HSS
  • Ml Interface between E-CSCF and LRF


Accelerating quality-assured 5G RAN rollout

Collectively, communications networks should be one of the great wonders of the world. However, there is no operations team on the planet that can deploy 5G networks within the timeframe or at the scale necessary meet demand without far greater reliance on automation. A TM Forum Catalyst proof of concept called Time Crunching 5G RAN Rollout with AI is looking at ways to accelerate the implementation of 5G RANs. The team demonstrated its project on July 30th as part of TM Forum’s Catalyst Digital Showcase. 

The project is championed by Claro. It seeks to address the time-consuming drags on network deployment stemming from the old practices of long and redundant daily meetings, unnecessary repeated site visits, little oversight, manual inventory resource management, and outdated RAN tuning methods. At the same time, the project shows how artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and analytics can reduce costs and eliminate redundant work.

“We believe the only way to obtain differentiating results in CapEx and time savings and at the same pace expand our footprint and assure quality of increasing types of services is to transform our current working methods and challenge the status quo in our daily network rollout process using state of the art technology,” says Hugo Salazar, engineering and implementation director of Claro Colombia.

Targeting four use cases

Claro has been an active champion in the project, working with participants Blue Prism, Brightcomms, Creativity Software, everis, an NTT company, Microsoft, Nokia and VIAVI. The group addressed four targeted use cases by connecting infrastructure for each of the four proof-of-concept environments into Claro’s labs system. The team had the following objectives:

  • Accelerate site survey processes by using images taken by technicians with mobile devices of hardware configurations which are stored in inventory systems.
  • Leverage AI, machine learning and analytics for image interpretation of these images to accelerate site verification during the installation process, thereby reducing costs and repeated site visits
  • Automate processes by implementing robotic process automation (RPA), big data and analytics to support closed-loop On-air processes
  • Speed the initial cluster tuning phase using self-organizing networks (SON), single-site verification tools, machine learning, and big data analytics

“We knew our current process of quality assurance in the network and logical parts of the rollout had opportunity for improvement around digitalization,” Salazar says.

General Architecture of the Catalyst project

Addressing the challenges

To meet its goals, the team faced five main challenges described below. While each is significant on its own, Salazar notes that time-to-market and initial cluster tuning are probably the most important.

“[Solving them] will bring operational efficiencies to the operator and I am convinced they will be key to differentiation in the market in the future,” he adds.

  • Site density – with the number of users and devices set to increase ten-fold over the coming years, operators must scale the number of radios and increase site density in general to support so many connections.
  • Investment growth & budget execution – operators cannot match a ten-fold increase in density with a like increase in their infrastructure investment.
  • Time to market – hyperscale cloud providers and over-the-top content providers are beating operators to market with innovative new services, making time to market a serious challenge.
  • Competitiveness – not only are these competitors getting to market quicker, they are doing so with more flexible business models and operations. Operators need to be both fast and responsive.
  • Initial RAN tuning – as a template-oriented activity, cluster tuning is a laborious process that does initial set up and testing for each individual site as well as setting up sub processes such as data collection, analysis and reporting. The scale needed in 5G deployments will put pressure on this practice.

It’s harder with 5G slicing

Hugo Nava, Regional Network Services Director at everis, says 5G slicing will further complicate the initial tuning process. “We need to carry out tuning in a more automated way,” he says. “And we need to designate in slices which are the most appropriate KPIs during the initial tuning.”

Getting the tuning right is key to optimizing the end-to-end rollout process. It helps set a baseline for performance that engineers can work to as they add additional sites.

everis, an NTT company, acts as the primary integrator of the project, while Nokia provides infrastructure and software solutions (as it already does for the Claro network). Blue Prism adds robotic process automation (RPA) capabilities for emulating human activities under the Digital Workforce concept and VIAVI brings into play tools for user plane analytics techniques aiming to validate the logical implementation and ensure the user experience. They also determine the proper performance of KPIs. Microsoft Azure provides Big Data and processing tools and AI for image interpretation. Brightcomms adds engineering tools, and Creativity Software has contributed its Big Data ingestion and normalization tools.

Nava says that whoever arrives first with this kind of accelerated, automated service will be a market leader. He adds that the Catalyst team will evaluate the results of the proof of concept before deciding whether to pursue a subsequent phase.

“There is still a lot to do in this area,” Nava says. “There will be space to go into a Phase 2 or even Phase 3.”

Watch Video

By Tim McElligott, Senior Analyst, TM Forum
Original article from TM Forum, August 2020

Vacancy: SS7 Tester (Remote Working Option)

We’re looking for a SS7 Tester to join the technical team in our London office (Option to work remotely).

The successful candidate will play a key role in our dynamic and award-winning technical team. You’ll be responsible for testing mission-critical systems that are delivered for mobile network operators, law enforcement and emergency service organisations worldwide.

Main Job Responsibilities:

  • Ensure products and releases reach a high level of quality before they are delivered to the client
  • Perform manual, automated and performance testing
  • Write test plans and reports including UAT test plans
  • Assist with UAT events

Expected minimum level of experience: 

  • Experience commensurate with ~5 years working for large telecom organisations, having followed structured testing methodologies 
  • Good understanding of GSM/UMTS/LTE network and 3GPP standards. 
  • Experience of SS7 (MAP and SCCP), Diameter signalling testing. 
  • Experience of OMA MLP 
  • Practical knowledge of automatic testing tool such as JMeter.  
  • Experience of Protocol Analyzer tools like tcpdump, snoop etc. 
  • Experience of writing test scripts (Bash, etc.) and writing simple SQL queries. 
  • Experience of exploratory testing. 
  • Good command of Linux.

Desired knowledge and skills:

  • Experience of Core / Radio Network interface testing 
  • Experience of telecoms infrastructure with respect to that involved in location calculations e.g. GMLC, SMLC. 
  • Experience of performance testing  
  • Experience of testing SIP protocol 
  • Experience of 3GPP Rel 16/17 for 5G 
  • Experience of Cloud native architectures 
  • Experience of writing telecom test frameworks using CPPUnit/Google C++/TCLTk 
  • Very good skills documenting and organising the UAT deliverables 
  • Experience of (math) algorithm testing.