Dramatic growth in mobile data traffic, fueled by the proliferation of data-enabled devices and applications, is creating a byproduct many 3G operators haven’t anticipated – a surge in Diameter signaling, which provides the framework for policy, charging and authentication functions. Diameter, using transmission control protocol (TCP) and stream control transmission protocol (SCTP) for transport, serves as the interface between numerous network resources. Without a separate Diameter signaling core, each endpoint must have a direct TCP connection or SCTP association with every element to which it is connected. These point-to-point connections form a mesh-like architecture in which each resource must handle all session-related tasks. As Diameter signaling swells, scalability, network management, protocol mediation, and interoperability testing (IOT) challenges develop. These challenges will multiply in 4G networks, which rely heavily on Diameter protocol.
Tekelec recently released a brief that reviews three use cases for Diameter signaling:
- Offline Charging Proxy
- Online Charging System (OCS) Load Balancing
- Policy Server Load Distribution and Session Binding.
To download the brief, click here.