- Support NetProbe™ and 3rd-party probes
- OMA MLP middleware
- Idle mode trigger
- Zone broadcasting
- Unique proprietary enhancements over MLP
- Supports server virtualisation
- Optional Hadoop location history database
What is NetWhere™?
NetWhere™ is a middleware system which is designed to support massive passive location detection. Integrating an Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Mobile Location Protocol (MLP) location server for application-layer connectivity, it enables the handling of location queries between the location server and various applications. As the system also supports many unique proprietary features that are not defined in the MLP, it further enhances operators’ location service and application needs.
What differentiates NetWhere™ from its competitors is its unique capability of being able to support true massive location trigger services without extra investment in additional network resources. Providing a set of commercially proven Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), algorithms and network connectivity, NetWhere™ also enables real-time passive location application deployments. When combined with NetProbe™ and run with applications such as NetAdCentre™ and NetGarde™, the system serves as a complete mobile location platform that allows mobile operators to create revenue-generating services such as location-based mobile advertising and geofencing applications.
OMA MLP middleware
At NetWhere’s™ heart lies a middleware implementation of OMA MLP V3.1, 3.2 and 3.3, which provide an application layer interface between each system’s location server and various
Supports both NetProbe™ and third-party probes
NetProbe™ is a purpose-built network probe that passively captures relevant network signalling data in real-time. When tightly integrated and working in tandem with NetWhere™, NetProbe™ enable users to fully leverage the benefits of real-time decoding and processing, providing an almost instantaneous trigger when an event occurs. Alternatively, NetWhere™ is capable of supporting data from most widely used third-party probes. Data streaming, TCP socket or off-line file transfers from the Operation System and Supports (OSS) log are all acceptable by NetWhere™ as the data source where latency is not a major issue. NetWhere™ also supports the location of device feeds such as WiFi locations based on regular RADIUS polling.
Unique location server functionality
Data decoded by NetProbe™ is processed by NetWhere’s™ location server. To supplement zone boundary uncertainty, the location server can support active polling of the Gateway Mobile Location Centre (GMLC). To increase performance and minimise latency, the unique in-memory Last Known Location (LKL) cache further speed up NetWhere’s responses to location queries.
Idle mode trigger
The system’s idle mode trigger server activates idle mobile devices by sending a Type 0 SMS that updates each recipient device’s mobile status. To cut usage costs and minimise the possibility of Type 0 SMS traffic adding extra loading to the existing SMSC, the idle mode trigger server updates idle devices’ status without depleting network SMSC and Home Location Register (HLR) resources.
NetWhere™ also supports applications that have been set up to transmit short messages to every subscriber within an arbitrarily defined geographical area at a certain time. This capability is very useful when issuing emergency notifications such as flood warnings or updates about traffic congestion around a specific event or location (e.g. a stadium).
Unique proprietary enhancements over MLP
NetWhere™ is designed not only to handle carrier grade OMA MLP location queries and enable network connectivity, but also support the following set of features whose full functionality has not been specified by the OMA MLP.
Dynamic message queue
NetWhere™ is designed to handle heavy event triggers and location-based mobile campaigns. Its dynamic message queue control capability guarantees a pre-configured bandwidth for priority queues and also ensures under-utilised queues will not be
penalised. What’s more, adding an additional queue by simply adding a new queue configuration is equally easy.
When clients wish to organise a location-aware mobile advertising campaign, NetWhere’s™ build-in algorithm will prioritise competing advertisers’ campaigns within the same geographic zone or time slots. The ultimate aim is to ensure subscribers don’t become frustrated by being overloaded with conflicting messages.
Zone management enhancement
Unlike MLP implementation where geographic zones are simply based on sets of coordinates, NetWhere™ can actually define specific areas (e.g. shopping malls) or use multiple sets of coordinates to pinpoint individual area (e.g. Times Square). With appropriate network planning, NetWhere™ is capable of supporting special indoor Location Area Code (LAC) trigger.
Privacy checking and spam prevention
NetWhere™ supports on-line privacy checks before returning any location reports and can also send location-based periodic opt-in invitations. The configurable Global Contact Control limited campaign message quotas based on different criteria to ensure spam prevention.
Location trigger services that generate an alert every time a subscriber is entering or leaving an arbitrarily defined zone are vital tools in geofencing applications. With its ability to capture network traffic data at source, NetWhere™ only requires limited low-overhead network checks.
NetWhere™ enables continuous tracking of moving mobile devices in relation to not only static objects but even other moving mobile devices (e.g. Sightseers can be sent an alert each time they approach a tourist hot spot). NetWhere™ supporting group proximity, it can even warn members of groups that they risk drifting away from their friends when they walk beyond a certain point.
Support server virtualisation
NetWhere™ is configurable on stand-alone rack mount servers based on the size of each mobile operators’ network and subscriber base. JSpectrum has now also successfully implemented virtualised NetWhere™ to support server virtualisation shifts across the mobile industry.
Location history database
Available as an option, NetWhere™ can also be configured to support up to six-months’ storage of location history for every mobile subscriber on the network on a state-of-the-art Hadoop location history database. In addition to providing detailed data logging, the location history database is an important source of data mining and profiling in location insights applications.
NetWhere™ has already been successfully deployed by several leading regional mobile operators and is field-proven as truly carrier-grade equipment.