Service Logic Execution Environments (SLEE) play an important role in the telecommunications network, especially when creating applications that marry the web and mobile experience.
Now, you don’t have to use SLEE and you don’t have to use Open Source to create applications that marry the web and mobile experience, but if you are apt to use Open Source as your development philosophy and are interested in an Open Source platform, then Mobicents is the way to go, since it’s the world’s only Open Source JAIN SLEE platform. Mobicents was acquired by RedHat in 2007, and is part of the JBOSS Communications Platform, also part of RedHat, so they have a great track record in the Open Source telecoms world. Essentially, JBOSS is the application server and Mobicents would be the JAIN SLEE stack that “feeds” the application server with the telco protocols. Dialogic provides the SS7 protocols for the Mobicents middleware.
I recently talked to Ivelin Ivanov, one of the founders of the Mobicents project, about Mobicents. My first question was: who are the typical Mobicents customers? He said they are typically Tier 1 Telecom Service Providers, and he claimed that 25 out of the top 30 Tier 1 Service Providers use Mobicents somewhere in their network. He also said that some of them are pretty much exclusively into Open Source going forward. As I said above, with my background in the UNIX industry and the fervor I saw around UNIX during those years, I understand decisions like this are more philosophy--oriented, so when Ivelin said that to me, I wasn’t entirely surprised.
He also said that VoIP service providers are increasingly becoming customers as they can provide enterprise applications in SaaS environments.
I also asked Ivelin what kinds of applications are typically deployed. He said they are very wide ranging, and went on to list IP-PBX, Click to Call, and increasingly video, such as Video Streaming, VoD, IPTV and Video Conferencing. With the increased capability of the mobile networks, as I’ve discussed many times in my blog, this also wasn’t a surprise.
Signaling is an important aspect to what Mobicents does, and Ivelin wanted me to know that Dialogic is a preferred partner for SS7 connectivity via the Dialogic cards or over IP with Sigtran. He gave special thanks to Stephen Madden of Dialogic and Amit Bhayani, Oleg Kulikoff and Bartosz Baranowski of Mobicents who made it possible to bridge the two company’s products, and who continue to do great work.
Finally, I asked him what Mobicents' business model is. Surprise, surprise – it’s like Red Hat’s! If you are interested in downloading their modules, go to www.mobicents.org and check out the “popular links” section on their home page.