50 Innovators of the Year 2021
In this new era of intelligent connectivity, 5G will play a critical role, offering the chance to recast customer value propositions, accelerate industrial transformation and reinvigorate the digital society.
4G, our current networking infrastructure, brought about a major mobile revolution, allowing us to stream high definition video wherever and whenever we want as an example. 5G will take that a step further. Even though we’re moving from 4G to 5G, the shift isn’t just one step up; it’s a major leap forward in networking architectures and technologies.
Communication Service Providers (CSPs) are in the middle of a data-driven transformation.The current scale and pace of change in the Telecommunications sector is being driven by the rapid evolution of new technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, advanced data analytics and edge computing. Traditionally, the telco network has been made up of monolithic and complex components. Hardware-based products and rigid processes have long challenged the ability of CSPs to upgrade and scale their networks. CSPs have had to maintain 2G and 3G networks alongside 4G for the past decade. Today, CSPs face a transition to 5G and a cloud-native infrastructure while maintaining the support for legacy solutions. As network technology is changing for 5G networks, the underlying architecture also is altering radically. This is where NetNumber steps in; its TITAN.IUM platform is the industry’s first intergenerational, cloud-native infrastructure that enables telcos to meet this challenge.
Automation and Kubernetes-based orchestration are fundamental to the cloud-native, decentralized 5G model. A big part of running a distributed infrastructure is managing and monitoring it in real time, including new challenges such as thousands of edge cores. NetNumber works closely with customers to enable the cloud native transition of their infrastructure while reducing the cost of operating and managing it.
Further, 5G requires specific security capabilities be built in by design. NetNumber solutions provide CSPs with a comprehensive security approach that is critical for today’s networks as well as the emerging 5G networks. With its comprehensive security portfolio and leadership in several fraud and security industry bodies, NetNumber is able to apply “secure by design” principles across all generations of infrastructure. For example, it was the first vendor to introduce signaling firewalls to protect SS7 and Diameter networks.
But security is not just about technology. There is also a rapidly changing regulatory landscape across the globe. For example in the US, the TRACED Act will require operators implement STIR/SHAKEN solutions to combat robocalls by June 2021. In response, NetNumber has introduced a fully integrated and complete set of call validation, authentication and authorization solutions to meet STIR/SHAKEN requirements.
Similarly, the transition to 5G and cloud native is not just about products. The way NetNumber deals with complexity and increasingly disruptive forces
is to focus on the workforce, internal processes and technology. 2020 proved that it is imperative to be prepared for the unknown, and that requires agility. NetNumber has successfully transitioned to an agile organization, a journey that started in 2018, both in terms of how it develops and delivers its solutions to customers but also how its workforce adapts to changing market requirements. The firm’s customers are on this same journey, and it shares its learnings with them.
Being well positioned to survive and even thrive during 2020, NetNumber found itself in a position to complete not one
but two acquisitions in early March 2021. These acquisitions were the first for the company in its 20 year history. NetNumber acquired SiRRAN Communications Ltd and TD-Mobile AG. SiRRAN Communications Ltd provides mobile core network products and services for private networks, and portable, secure communications infrastructure. TD-Mobile AG, a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), provides secure connections for private and public entities with connectivity to more than 1,500 mobile network operators (MNO) across the globe. These acquisitions expand NetNumber’s portfolio of mobile core products and services which will continue to fuel the strong growth in the CSP market, and open new opportunities in the Private Networks verticals where secure, seamless mobility solutions are required.
We got in touch with Steve Legge, Chief Operating Officer, to understand more about the company
Tell us about the development and benefits of your industry’s first cloud-native CSP platform with concurrent support for support for 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G.
NetNumber has been building software for the telecom industry for more than 20 years. Our experience enables us to create a superior cloud native platform for several reasons. We have not been burdened with the task of transitioning outdated hardware-based solutions to the new cloud native environment. And with that 20 years, comes in-depth and un-matched subject matter expertise in signaling, routing, security and subscriber data management solutions.
Our TITAN.IUM cloud platform has an inherent flexibility stemming from a multi-generational and multi-protocol approach that leverages web-scale technologies. TITAN.IUM not only serves the core signaling and routing applications that carriers are looking to deploy into a cloud but also augments those applications with real-time data. NetNumber has developed the industry’s most robust cloud-native, InterGENerational platform that addresses both the legacy and 5G requirements of our customers.
TITAN.IUM also provides significant deployment flexibility. Our customers can choose to deploy our solutions in their own private cloud, deploy in public cloud infrastructure or hybrid deployments into the future.
Targeted attacks, compromised infrastructure, and cloud computing security are three top risks for third parties. How do you address these challenges with your solution?
Security is a critical concern for operators as today’s networks can be manipulated for banking fraud, identity theft, location tracking, eavesdropping, DOS attacks, and so on. NetNumber provides unprecedented protection with the industry’s most comprehensive Fraud and Security solutions, including the first multi-protocol signaling firewall application.
5G requires specific security capabilities be built in by design, and security must be broader than in previous network generations. NetNumber Fraud and Security Solutions provide CSPs with a comprehensive security approach that is critical for today’s networks as well the emerging 5G networks. With our comprehensive security portfolio and leadership in several fraud and security industry bodies, NetNumber is able to apply “secure by design” principles across all generations of infrastructure.
NetNumber’s software platforms and applications are critical elements of the telecom infrastructure. So it is important that we implement the tools and processes required to secure our supply chain end-to-end. For example, we have integrated Snyk technology to proactively perform real-time scanning of our code during the development process. Embedding Snyk’s solution into our CI/CD tool chain enables us to automate the process for open source license compliance as well as detecting and closing vulnerabilities in our software.
Digital transformation must provide competitive edge to the customers. How do you gain insights to keep your clients ahead of the curve?
The training of our workforce is essential to ensuring that we have the skills to speak the customer’s language and can ask the right questions to gain insights into the customer’s business and direction. We focus on building consultative relationships with our customers to understand what is important to them, and to ensure we are delivering the commercial, technical and operational solutions they need.
We are an integral member of several industry standardization bodies, which we see as critical to making sure that we stay at the forefront of the technical evolution of our products. These activities also provide significant value to our customers as we are able keep them up to date with insights and trends as they unfold.
Additionally, our adoption of agile and devops ensures our workforce is prepared to deal with the complexity of the unknown—which is critical for responding to shifts in the market that we couldn’t otherwise anticipate.
Among other vendors, what makes you the best telecommunications and networking solutions partner?
We have been a software supplier of critical communication components for more than 20 years and are installed in 290 customers networks globally. We have deep subject matter expertise and focus on signaling, routing, security and subscriber data management solutions for the mobile network. When it comes to our Global Data Services (GDS) solutions, we have the most comprehensive and easy to deploy trusted data solutions in the industry. And, we have first-hand experience that helps us develop better tooling and data analysis systems, before we introduce them to our customers. Our range of solutions is broad, enabling us to meet the many use cases demanded by our customers.
We are highly engaged with some of the largest global CSPs, working collaboratively to ensure we are solving the critical problems they are facing. And, we will adapt and customize solutions to fit their unique operating environments. We invest in our employees and technologies that drive networks now and into the future.
How has Digital Transformation and Agile helped businesses become more productive?
Business has changed in every market over the last couple of years. This has been amplified by the pandemic in 2020, which really accelerated the need for digital transformation and transition to the cloud. Fundamental to digital transformation is a shift in the way businesses need to run to be able to scale and grow in a much more complex environment, and deal with unknowns as they arise.
At NetNumber, we’ve transitioned how we operate as an organization, and the way we build products. The transition to agile is a fundamental one, allowing us to adapt to dynamically changing priorities and deal with the complexity of a changing market.
As part of this transformation, our relationship with customers has changed as well. We view our relationships with
our customers as partnerships.We work extremely closely with our customers and in many cases have become integral in their planning processes, which in turn helps us be sure we are focused on the highest value solutions now and into the future. We have truly transformed the way our customers are able to leverage generations of networks that overlay each other with our platform.
Innovation is the cornerstone of our values. We have a unique approach to the market and to the way we solve problems for the customer—a platform approach with integrated data services being unique in the industry, and proven high return on investment.
Meet the exceptional persona
Steve Legge serves as NetNumber’s Chief Operating Officer, responsible for driving the company’s strategy and continued transition to an Agile business, scaling operational capabilities and services and evolving the TITAN and TITAN.IUM platforms, products and data services to meet evolving and growing market demands.
Legge joined NetNumber, Inc. as Vice President, Corporate Development in November 2013 to lead the company’s global partner strategies and alliances programs. Before being named COO, he served as General Manager, NetNumber Global Data Services and Senior Vice President, Product Management.
Legge has held senior executive management and technical positions in the broadcast, telecommunications and satellite industries in the US and Australia for more than 20 years including Vice President of Telecom and Space Systems for VT iDirect, Inc., a Virginia-based satellite network equipment manufacturer; manager of Global Business Development for the Satellite Solutions group at Cisco; and co-founder and Chief Operating Officer at SP Telecommunications (now TPG Telecom), a national mobile and broadband carrier in Australia.