Network monitoring is a basic network management activity that is performed in many types of networks. What does it have to do with mobile networks? Well, Network monitoring can be useful for mobile operators in a wide variety of ways; from making sure all network components are working properly to keeping track of the network’s subscribers, and many things in between.
Modulo’s Signaling Probe Unit (SPU) is a network probe that monitors signaling information, such as text messages being sent, calls being placed, users subscribing and unsubscribing from the network and more. It is important to state that the Modulo SPU does not record media, meaning it does not record the content of text messages or phone calls, but only traffic-related information such as the time, place, origin and destination numbers of the call.
Most 4G networks still handle their calls and text messages on the 3G network. Because of this, we have designed our probe to be able to monitor traffic both on 3G (SS7) and 4G (Diameter) network infrastructures simultaneously. The SPU is installable on any system with Ethernet connectivity, since it is a software probe. It is also NFV-compatible: If your network has implemented Network Function Virtualization and is located on a cloud, the SPU can be installed and run on a virtual router.
What Can a Mobile Network Operator do with the Modulo SPU?
The probe has an API which allows the user to customize it for a wide variety of uses. For example, the Modulo SPU can be used to record signaling data, take it and create a database of network usage records with it. That database can be used for network activity analytics, for example. Network activity analysis of data procured by the SPU can teach operators about network load in certain times (such as compare nighttime with daytime activity), find infrastructure and call-quality problems in the network, call statistics, identify usage patterns, and more. The SPU can also assist in compliance with law enforcement requirements (such as lawful interception capabilities).
Another attractive potential use of the Modulo SPU is for advertising and marketing purposes: Companies can use location-based messages and location-sensitive web pages to track behavior and deliver relevant marketing content to users on the network. This way, mobile operators can become a new and effective link in the advertising value chain and become valuable partners for content distribution.
There are many potential uses for the Modulo SPU, since custom applications can be written to utilize the probe’s monitoring capabilities.