Diameter Signaling – The Sine Wave of Communication

Published On: March 2018

Market Overview:

Diameter signaling is the network protocol which is used in 3G and LTE networks to enable services such as voice, video, and data. In recent years, Diameter Signaling has gained momentum in the communication sector. Diameter signaling is being deployed for communication between mobile gateways, policy servers, and other Internet protocol elements. With the improvements in transmitting signals, service providers have shifted their existing networks to LTE with more added services increasing signal volumes.

Diameter signaling index acts as a leader for engineers who are building diameter networks where the policy coordinates the network protocol elements and subscriber experience. Diameter signaling index serves as a vital tool for managing and monetizing mobile data for service providers. With the advancements in technology, mobile networks are no longer limited to voice calls. The rise in usage of smartphones has led mobile network providers to push their capabilities to provide high-speed data services for users to access bank accounts, purchase through online stores and many more.

Recently Oracle Corporation released a forecast which helps service providers by giving an overview about growth in signaling on networks. The results reveal that Japan and the rest of Asia Pacific regions continue to be a growing market for diameter signaling which is due to penetration of existing services in the untapped economies and developments in LTE services are showing growth characteristics. The growth of diameter signaling is due to increasing smartphone penetration, and subscriber behavior play a crucial role in fuelling the market growth.

  • Growth of LTE and VoLTE

LTE and VoLTE are the major driving factors for growth of diameter signaling market. With the increase in use of smart phones and rise in mobile connectivity to networks, network operators are shifting their existing platform to 4G LTE network. Recently, an Indian company named Reliance Industries bought the LTE and VoLTE services at very low prices which led to a revolution amongs competitors. The company claimed to reach 50 million customers in the first three months of launch which shows how fast people are adopting LTE and VoLTE. On the same platform, many other countries are implementing LTE technology in their network infrastructure for better internet access and better communication through VoLTE.

  • Integrating the Old with the New

Service providers face many architectural challenges while building LTE networks which is considered as next-generation communication technology. The SS7 interworking function uses existing 2G and 3G diameter elements resulting in smooth transition systems for LTE networks. In addition to SS7, SDC provides an organized environment by supporting several protocols which will help operators to offer a smooth migration path for the new architecture. Similarly, many other service providers are upgrading to LTE technology for providing better internet access and communication through VoLTE.

  • Securing IP is the major challenge

Service providers use IP technology for connecting to partner networks, to ensure that connection is not compromised, thereby security mechanisms should be implemented to secure the system. Majority of handsets support 3G and Wi-Fi networks which are the main gateways for hackers since they lack a security layer. The 3GPP (Third Generation Partnership Project) is building high-security measures for LTE networks to ensure that there is no vulnerability. Network hijacking is widespread in the United States due to the usage of voice over IP (VoIP). VoIP networks are capable of intercepting calls and redirecting them to the recording which can be traced by the interconnected partner.

Addressing IP is yet another primary concern among network elements. During the transfer of the data packet, routing protocols will add the IP address of the router to the packet so that responses can be sent back through the same route. This process can prevent the middle attacks with the help of record-route. However, it is not desirable to send IP addresses to the partner network from various elements.

  • Diameter Signaling in Asia Pacific

Australia, Japan, Singapore, Korea and Hong Kong majorly contribute to the growth of diameter signaling in this region. Developing countries such as India show only 7% penetration rate by 2018. Mobility solutions are projected to reach 3.5 million MPS by 2018. The untapped economies are being served by 3G and LTE services and services in metropolitan regions are being enhanced. Video streaming is the chief factor for the increasing demand of high-speed data and communication services.

  • Future of Signaling – This is just the beginning

Worldwide, LTE connections are turning at nearly 70% CAGR which is a steep growth in the signaling market. In future, 6 billion subscribers are expected to migrate from the existing networks to LTE architecture. Diameters are about to get more complicated with the increasing subscribers and their spending on the network. To cater to this colossal subscriber base, operators are employing cloud-based services, network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networks (SDN) helping in better operation and better use of optimal hardware to deliver services on-demand.

Software as a Service hosted and managed business models are benefitting operators to support the increasing subscriber base. Operators are progressing by participating in 3GPP group which is committed to defining requirements for network function virtualization (NFV). NFV helps in reducing the cost of diameter enactments and transports the ability to employ computing resources. Virtualization provides diameter to extend its opportunities to connect with other networks with the use of resource sharing. 

Today, the worlds is moving from 2G/3G to 4G network and diameter is playing a very crucial role in the management of traffic and network efficiently. But, the 5G technology is not very far as some countries have already been working on testing and implementation of technology. Recently, Nokia Corporation is planning to increase their investment dramatically to achieve 5G technology whereas companies such as Huawei are working on the development of 5G technology and are expected to accomplish the task by the end of the year 2021. 5G technology will be capable of transferring data from tens of megabits to thousands in rural areas and much faster in urban and metropolitan areas.