1. Definitions: In addition to capitalized terms defined in the MSA, the following capitalized terms shall have the following meanings:
Trunks: The circuits or connections from the carrier to the Alianza Platform.
Service Activation Event or Request: This is the term for an order on a TN to be Ported, activated, disconnected or for a service to be changed such as E911 address. These requests are captured in the Platform as a work order with status.
PSAP: Public Safety Access Point is the industry term for an Emergency Dispatch Center for taking emergency calls.
PSTN: Public Switch Telephone Network is the industry term for the traditional telephone network where carriers interconnect allowing subscribers on one network to locate a subscriber on another network via an address called a Telephone Number.
Porting or LNP: This is the process of moving a telephone number from one carrier to another.
CSR: Customer Service Record or the name and address of the subscriber assigned to the Telephone Number address.
TN, PN, Telephone Number, Phone Number, DID, ANI, etc.: There are multiple terms used to represent a telephone number and all mean the same thing in essence.
2. Types of Carrier Services: For the purpose of this document, Carrier Services require a Telephone Number as a basis for the services described below. The TN is the “address” to identify the network (carrier) and subscriber. For each service below, the same TN could have different carriers to provide each service:
Voice: Voice is defined as the two-way, audible conversation between two or more end-users that typically requires hardware with a microphone and speaker for each party and is commonly referred to as a “call” or “phone call”. Each TN address is assigned to a single carrier and can be moved to a different carrier through a process called LNP or Porting.
Messaging: This is also known as “Text Messaging” and requires a device on each end that can enter text characters as well as a display to view text messages. Messaging can be either simple text (SMS) or other media such as pictures, videos, or audio messages (MMS) which require more sophisticated hardware to send and receive.
Emergency Services (E911): This service requires knowledge of the subscriber’s location in order to associate the TN with the local emergency dispatch center or PSAP. For a fixed or nomadic location use case, this is done via a “registration” process at the time of set-up and updated each time the location changes to record the TN and the local PSAP. In a Mobile use case, the location needs to be determined in real-time when the subscriber dials “911” to determine the nearest PSAP for routing purposes.
3. Types of Carrier Connections: In order for a carrier to provide a service on the Alianza Platform, there is a certification process that needs to be passed depending on the service. Alianza has a list of carriers that are authorized to provide each service and are referred to as a “Pre-Approved” carrier for that service.
Voice: Some of the interoperability requirements for voice carriers include an API for automatic LNP, activation, disconnect, CSR changes, Directory Listing, CNAM, etc. Voice carriers currently certified on the Alianza platform include the following: Bandwidth.com; Lumen (aka, CenturyLink or Level 3); TELUS; etc.
Messaging: Interoperability requirements for messaging carriers include the ability to register with Net Number, configure application addresses, limit geographic networks, register campaigns (if applicable), etc. Messaging carriers currently certified on the Alianza Platform include: Bandwidth; Intelliquent; Etc.
Emergency Services: Certification of an Emergency Provider carrier includes an API set to validate an address with the MSAG DB to identify the local PSAP, accept Lat/Long, emergency routing, playback of configuration status on 933 calls, dynamic routing of emergency calls for mobile applications, etc. The following are examples of E911 Providers certified to use the Alianza Platform: West (aka Intrado); Bandwidth; etc.
4. Methods of Carrier Services: There are two ways to connect carriers to the Alianza platform and both options need to be certified and undergo interoperability testing prior to processing live service:
Alianza Provided Carriers: Most customers who use Alianza as a communication platform will also contract with Alianza to provide the carrier services listed above. Alianza contracts and connects to carriers certified to interoperate with the Alianza Platform in order to facilitate the carrier services. Those underlying carriers are considered Pre-Approved carriers.
- Customer Provided Carriers: Customers can sign agreements directly with their own carriers and connect those carriers to the Alianza Platform. In the case where the carrier is on the list of Pre-Approved carriers, this process is streamlined, and interop testing is known. In the case where the carrier is not on the list of Pre-Approved carriers, the Customer is required to request and sign an SOW for Alianza to research and certify the carrier. Note that not all carriers can be certified to work on the Alianza Platform.