Openwave Mobility launches Stratum to compete in the race to 5G

Openwave Mobility confirmed that a Tier 1 North American carrier already is using Stratum - Cloud Data Manager. (FierceWireless)

What a difference 20 years makes. A company with ties to the original company that brought us the WAP browser is now touting NFV and solutions to alleviate RAN congestion.

Openwave Mobility, which ties its roots back to Openwave Systems, with the merger of and, emerged in 2012 as an independent company. A lot of other things happened in between, but now it finds itself in a position of competing with the likes of Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei (the latter outside the U.S.) for the business of Tier 1 operators.

Openwave Mobility this week announced the launch of Stratum – Cloud Data Manager, a 5G telco cloud database that enables mobile operators to securely store and access data from virtualized applications. The company confirmed that a North American Tier 1 operator is already using Stratum, but declined to identify which one.

Indranil Chatterjee, senior vice president of Products, Sales and Marketing at Openwave Mobility, said Stratum goes farther than your typical cloud products.

“We not only do the applications support” and allow the use of all kinds of databases, “but we also provide, for the first time, transaction support,” he said. “We provide ACID compliance and we provide transaction support.” 

“Stratum is designed, architected from the ground up, to have the five 9s” supported via software, he said, referring to the 99.999% reliability historically required in the telco space. “You have to be able to replicate data,” so when a piece of hardware goes down, another piece can self-heal and rebalance the data. “You need to have five 9s on underlying COTS hardware that is only three 9s reliable.”

Openwave Mobility said the Stratum product can uniquely handle not only traditional subscriber, static and dynamic data, but also unstructured data that extends beyond resource functions and applications. It allows any authorized service to securely access any structured or unstructured data from any location in near real-time. Chatterjee also said that it enables operators to serve the network slices in 5G as needed.

Sue Rudd, director at Strategy Analytics, said in a statement that vendors such as Openwave Mobility that have optimized their database architecture to meet Subscriber Data Management (SDM) requirements for high performance distributed database access are well positioned to support mobile operators as the telco cloud database evolves to 5G. 

Earlier this year, Openwave Mobility announced that 10 operators have deployed its NFV-based solutions in the past 12 months. That includes customers in North America, Europe, Middle East and Africa and the Far East, bringing an additional 380 million end-users to Openwave Mobility’s subscriber base. The NFV deployments were primarily based on GiLAN.