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Mind the Gap: Detecting and monitoring security gaps in VoLTE roaming visibility

The decommissioning of 2G and 3G has meant that operators are now deploying VoLTE as their roaming technology of choice. Yet while its implementation offers many significant benefits in terms of cost and operation, there is a worrying concern for Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) when it comes to Lawful Interception (LI) regulations. Here we’ll look at how mobile operators can address these VoLTE roaming challenges.

MNOs are required by national legislation to support the rights of authorities to access the network metadata in the pursuit of authorised investigations.  But VoLTE adds a layer of complexity, since all traffic from inbound roamers on a visited network is routed back to their home network and bypasses any existing lawful intercept capabilities.  This creates a critical gap in traffic visibility and reveals a potential intelligence and compliance vulnerability.  And for MNOs who are obliged to maintain visibility of their entire network, this gap has potentially serious consequences.

The answer lies with a LMISF (Lawful Interception Mirroring IMS State Function) solution which means operators can capture traffic created from VoLTE roaming by providing visibility of home-routed subscribers roaming on a network. This is achieved by providing visibility of the S8 link.

At Illuminate, we understand the challenges of regularity compliance around lawful intercept and have developed solutions to remove the uncertainty around this visibility gap.  Our Roaming Visibility service is designed to help MNOs comply with Lawful Interception regulations.

Building on a heritage of global LI solutions for 2G, 3G, 4G and now 5G network architectures, our Roamer Collect solution provides a way of capturing signals at this key network interconnect in the visited network.  So, when an inbound roamer makes a call on a visited network, the network operator can intercept all of the communications of a home-routed roaming subscriber. This means there are no more intelligence gaps and regulatory compliance can be assured. 

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Illuminate provides government agencies, commercial enterprises, and network operators with the data, services, and technology that helps them protect the information that surrounds us all and extract real value from it.

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