OpenCloud Rhino Sentinel is a suite of software applications that run on the OpenCloud Rhino TAS. Rhino Sentinel has been specifically designed to remove the restrictions and drive down the costs and timescales of telecom service innovation which have historically been associated with IN platforms. In addition to the pre-built, classic VoLTE and GSM network applications, it also provides tools and application building blocks that can be modified and extended at will.
Rhino Sentinel implements the call and session control aspects of the next generation on-line charging architecture defined in 3GPP TS 32.240. All Rhino Sentinel applications can be charged in real-time by an Online Charging System (OCS) or on a periodic basis using Call Details Records (CDR).
By splitting the real-time session/ call control from the rating and balance management functions, OpenCloud Sentinel allows any capable Online Charging System (OCS) to be used for charging of both pre and post-paid offers.
The Rhino Sentinel suite has four main parts, each of which is available independently:
- Rhino Sentinel Express: a suite of consumer-oriented GSM telecom applications such as mobile originated/ terminated call, short messaging (MO, MT), various supplementary services, home zone tariff etc. The applications can be charged by CDR or in real-time using the diameter protocol to a separate Online Charging System (OCS). Sentinel Express runs on the Rhino TAS which is included in the license.
- Rhino Sentinel VoLTE: a suite of multi-media telephony (MMTel) call control and supplementary services for Voice over LTE. It also provides IMS service centralisation and continuity (SCC) functions which deliver call hand-over between different generations of mobile radio network due to lack of radio coverage.
- Rhino Sentinel Charge: a universal charging session control module (used by the above Sentinel suites) to provide a single interface to an operator’s charging system(s). It enables you to link to one or more OCSs and perform Diameter mediation. Sentinel Charge provides an API for use by native Rhino applications, by external systems and also by Rhino SIS to charge for Service Compositions.
- Rhino Sentinel Create: a visual service creation environment and toolset which includes the Sentinel Application Framework and Sentinel Application Features. This allows new Sentinel Applications – that run on a standard Rhino TAS – to be constructed from the component parts and custom features to be added.
The Sentinel suite is illustrated below:
Rhino Sentinel has been designed specifically to:
- Meet the dramatically lower price/ subscriber price-points for classic VoLTE and GSM telecom applications that are required in low ARPU markets and in an increasingly competitive telecommunications marketplace;
- Deliver a single set of telecom applications that can be charged on a prepaid or post-paid basis in a uniform manner;
- Enable Operators to innovate in their services and rate plans without constraint. Currently, rate plan innovation enabled by modern Online Charging Systems (OCS) is severely constrained by the cost and time associated with changing the Charging Trigger Function in the service to cooperate with the OCS;
- Provide a carrier-grade session control component that complies with charging standards and also supports proprietary real-time charging protocols;
- Allow telecoms operators to choose the depth, richness and sophistication of their OCS depending upon their specific needs. The OCS may be an IT-originated real-time charging system or a NEP-originated OCS;
- Deliver telecom applications for both IP and SS7-based networks.