I'm talking about the Diameter protocol that handles signaling in Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks -- not shapes and the Pythagorean theorem. The Diameter protocol an essential Service Provider Information Technology (SPIT) element for LTE networks because it touches just about every part of a mobile operator's network from the core to the backend billing systems. It's defined by the 3GPP for authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) on HSPA+, LTE and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) networks.
It's a big deal and it's about to get bigger, because operators are beginning to understand how they will have to cope with surges in Diameter signaling traffic, especially as their LTE subscriber base increases.
According to the "LTE Diameter Signaling Index" published by Tekelec, many factors will spur the growth of Diameter signaling traffic. Among the biggest catalysts are advanced policy and charging rules, Voice over LTE (VoLTE) and video streaming
For example, signaling traffic will increase as operators introduce more sophisticated data plans, like those based on quality of service (QoS), time of day, or application; offer more personalized services; or add new policy use cases for over-the-top (OTT) services or mobile advertising.
So, it appears that almost any move a mobile operator makes to introduce new services or creative charging models, or to ensure QoS for voice and video offers on its new LTE network, will increase signaling traffic.
That's why it's an important technology to watch. It will also be fascinating to see just how operators choose to design their networks to deal with this onslaught of Diameter signaling traffic.
Companies like Tekelec believe such a surge in signaling traffic demands an infrastructure to support it -- using products like a Diameter signaling controller. But Tekelec's not alone. Other Diameter vendors include Acme Packet Inc. (Nasdaq: APKT), Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Diametriq and Traffix Systems , which was acquired by F5 Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FFIV).
For more on LTE signaling, check out these stories:
- New iPad Brews LTE Signaling Storm
- F5 Sends LTE Signal With Acquisition
- LTE Signaling Woes Ahead?
- IntelliNet Spawns 4G Signaling Specialist
— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile