Making sense out of massive network data

Feature Highlights

  • Built for dedicated 24/7 passive data capture

  • Real-time decoding
  • Decoding of 2G, 3G and LTE network stacks
  • Supports multiple network interfaces
  • Rich user and signalling events capture
  • Choice of partial or network-wide deployment
  • Compact design with high availability option


What is NetProbe™?

NetProbe™ is designed for 24/7 real-time capture and decoding of 3GPP mobile signalling data to and from Mobile System Centres (MSCs). Enabling the harnessing of massive network signalling data, the system transforms harvested data into useful information about location, time and context triggers. This enables appropriate applications to be triggered based on preset location or event scenarios. The end result enables mobile operators to create revenue-generating services such as location-based mobile advertising and geofencing applications.

Why choose NetProbe™?

Most currently available network probe products have been designed for network monitoring and troubleshooting tasks involving data retrieved from storage media which is then analysed ‘off-line’. Purpose-built for real-time data capture and decoding, NetProbe™ differentiates itself from its competitors by generating location triggers whenever network events happen. As a result, it satisfies mobile operators’ most pressing needs in important areas such as location services and applications.

Built for dedicated 24/7 data capture

Integrating a state-of-the-art capture card and embedded software, NetProbe™ enables 24/7 data capture of useful network signalling messages on standard network interfaces between relevant network nodes. As it does so passively via network tapping, it does not negatively impact network performance.

Real-time decoding

NetProbe™ captures 100% of IP packets generated by every subscriber’s mobile and cached into host memory in real-time to minimise interrupts on the host CPU. This leaves the NetProbe™ host server to devote its undivided attention to the performing of real-time decoding, message extraction and correlation.

Decoding of 2G, 3G and LTE network stacks

NetProbe™ first passively decodes useful signalling messages from the SIGTRAN Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP) link layer. It then further filters and decodes the extracted data based on an applicable 3GPP signalling stack in real-time:

  • 2G (BSSAP): A-interface, Abis-interface
  • SIGTRAN/SS7 MAP G, D, E, Gs, Optional Gr and Gn
  • 3G (RANAP): luCS, luPS
  • LTE (CSFB): SGs
  • LTE (S1-MME)

Supports multiple network interfaces

When deployed at each individual Mobile System Centre (MSC) site, NetProbe™ extracts mass 3GPP signalling messages both to and from the MSC. In addition to the standard IP over Ethernet/Giga-Ethernet interface, other network interfaces such as those below can be configured in line with individual operator’s mobile networks:

  • E1 (Twisted Pair or Coaxial)
  • STM-1 (Fiber), ATM
  • IP over Ethernet, Giga-Ethernet (Optical SFP or Copper)
  • IP over 10G (available soon)

NetProbe™ is also sufficiently flexible to interface with existing third-party network tapping configurations.

  • Mobile Terminating Call
  • Mobile Originating SMS/USSD
  • Mobile Terminating SMS/USSD
  • IMSI Attach/IMSI Detach
  • TMSI Relocation

Other relevant data such as Call Management (CM) can also be extracted in order to support event-based voice applications.

Choice of partial or network-wide deployment

Each NetProbe™ can handle network traffic up to 7,000 signalling events per second or a capacity up to 2,000,000 subscribers per MSC. These figures are more than adequate for a typical MSC configuration for any large metropolitan area.

NetProbe™ supports partial roll-outs of, say, one MSC, with limited E1, a single ATM or IP link, and are expandable to provide full network-wide roll-outs. NetProbe™ can also be configured to support MSC Pool configuration.

Compact design with high availability option

Four PCI-e data capture cards and host servers are housed in a compact 4-U carrier-grade server and are designed to be co-located with existing aggregation taps at individual MSC sites.

As an option, a pair of NetProbe™ working in Active/Standby mode and tapping into two sets of the same links can be configured by mobile operators with high availability requirements.

As part of the NetWhere™’s optional Location History Database configuration, NetProbe™’s built-in functionality can be enabled to support storage of up to six-months’ location history. This capability can cover every mobile subscriber on the operator’s network via a state-of-the-art Hadoop History Database.

NetProbe has been deployed commercially by a number of mobile operators and has been field-proven as truly carrier-grade equipment.

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