Securing Smart Cities: Session Border Controllers Ensure Integrity With “Industrial Strength” at the Edge

With the recent rise of digitalization, Session Border Controller (SBC) technology has become more commonplace throughout various industries. Special-purpose devices protect and regulate IP communication flows while deployed at network borders to control IP communications sessions. SBC technology was originally conceived to protect and control VoIP networks but is now used to regulate all forms of real-time communications, including VoIP, IP video, text chat, and collaboration sessions.

SBC use has grown quite a bit, as in 2015, the session border controller market was valued at $310.1 million but has now reached just shy of $700 million as of 2021. The recent growth of SBC technology goes hand in hand with the advent and ongoing shift to smart cities, both across the country and around the world.

Smart Cities are simply cities that leverage smart technology to enhance service levels, citizen well-being, sustainability, and economic development. Typically, cloud computing technology with Internet connectivity enables smart cities, where sensors/smart things collect information and relay it to distantly located data centers for computing and storage. However, a key challenge in doing this is having seamless network connectivity and reliable cloud service for smart applications to work. Here is where SBCs can make a difference.

Unified communications, such as telephony, instant messaging, audio-video, fax, and SMS, are effortlessly handled with SBCs, allowing for high data throughputs, carry out encryption and transcoding to enforce quality of service. This makes for easy connectivity throughout a smart city, enabling IoT sensors to efficiently and reliably connect smart traffic lights, smart transportation, smart buildings, smart waste collection, and smart infrastructure management.

SBCs also make communications more reliable and consistent by detecting and normalizing different SIP dialects to ensure seamless connection without any interruptions. For example, this greatly benefits first responders within smart cities because reliable real-time information relays between public safety organizations in an industry where every second counts.

Overall, the global smart cities market size is currently $410.8 billion but it’s expected to grow at a CAGR of 14.8 percent, reaching $820.7 billion by 2025. And with predictions anticipating a future populated by smart cities, SBCs are set to be an attractive piece of technology for cities moving forward.

Ribbon Communications Inc. is a global provider of real-time communications software and IP optical networking solutions to service providers, enterprises, and critical infrastructure sectors. Recently, the company announced the availability of its new SBC CNe (Cloud Native edition) Edge, which leverages next-generation technology to deliver increased performance and customer value.

“Customers including Managed Service Providers (MSPs) and large enterprises are eager to transform their business practices and improve their operational frameworks,” said Tony Scarfo, EVP and General Manager, Cloud and Edge Business Unit at Ribbon. “Our SBC CNe Edge, built on proven cloud technology, enables them to become more dynamic, agile and efficient by leveraging cloud native features including automation and continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD).”

The SBC CNe Edge is designed for the cloud. SBC CNe Edge provides an intuitive web management interface with built-in templates for popular cloud services, IP-PBXs, and telecom providers. It operates in concert with Ribbon Application Management Platform (RAMP), making it easy for multisite enterprises to centrally manage and monitor a variety of Ribbon security elements across hundreds or thousands of locations.

SBC CNe Edge leverages industry-standard Docker containers and Kubernetes orchestration, enabling continuous upgrades, improved resiliency, and reuse of existing enterprise management tools. It scales elastically to 10,000 sessions (up to 100,000 users), dynamically consuming compute resources based on call volume. This elastic design, combined with efficient use of computing resources can cut cloud compute costs in half versus alternatives, helping customers realize significant energy savings.

On top of this, earlier this year, leading data, analytics, and insights platform GlobalData identified Ribbon’s SBC portfolio as a leader in Session Border Controller solutions. The addition of the Unified Communications-optimized SBC CNe Edge to the portfolio further extends Ribbon’s market leadership. It enables customers to migrate their communications workloads to private, public, or hybrid clouds to secure cloud communications and collaboration voice calling applications such as Microsoft Teams on Azure and Zoom Phone.

“Ribbon’s embrace of cloud native strategies helps to strengthen its already enviable SBC portfolio,” said John Byrne, Service Director, Telecom Technology and Software, GlobalData. “The company has been at the forefront of supporting the migration to high growth cloud-based collaboration services such as Microsoft Teams Direct Routing and Zoom Phone, and the SBC CNe Edge should further help organizations maximize agility, security and economics.”

Matt Vulpis

Matt Vulpis is a fresh out of college writer/journalist, already with a myriad of published articles across a variety of topics and industries. He is very passionate about writing, as well as sports, and television/film. While he enjoys writing articles pertaining to business tech, he wants to one day write a TV show as a head screenwriter. He has a bachelors in journalism with a minor in sports studies from Quinnipiac University.

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