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September 18, 2012

Diametriq and Tekelec: Taking the Measure of Diameter Networking

Staying current on that other data storm that I have been keeping an eye on, the signaling tsunami that is only going to be exacerbated by the flood of new Android and iPhone 5 phones just announced, is now an almost a daily event. In fact, in just the past few days important Diameter networking announcements have come from two of the sectors leading vendors, Diametriq and Tekelec. Service providers take note.     

Diametriq’s web-based calculator

Knowing the nature of what lies ahead is critical for operators trying to plan for the expected onslaught of signaling traffic that smartphones and tablets are going to place on their networks with all of those new apps and concurrent sessions. To assist operators in getting a handle on the devil they know and the one they need to know, Diametriq announced what it says it the first web-based interactive tool that automatically calculates the Diameter signaling load based on a variety of input variables. The Diameter Traffic Calculator(tm) generates reports that include graphical presentations and signaling load by network element. 

"The industry has been projecting signaling overload in LTE networks, the so called signaling tsunami or signaling storm," said Anjan Ghosal, president and CEO of Diametriq. "Diametriq's LTE Signaling Traffic Calculator provides accurate projections of signaling hot spots so they can be addressed before the congestion causes service outages." 

The Diameter Traffic Calculator uses eight variables including:

  • Number of LTE devices
  • Projected yearly growth
  • Number of simultaneous applications
  • Expected dormancy of applications to estimate the diameter traffic in a specific network.
  • Percentage of postpaid subscribers and projected VoLTE users

The results are extrapolated over a five years period based on specified growth rates. In addition to reporting total Diameter messages per year, the tool also projects Diameter messages by network element: HSS, PCRF and OCS. Graphical representations of the results are also provided and the results can be exported to a spreadsheet.  

Diametriq notes that, “The Diameter Traffic Calculator can be used by network operators to understand if and when there will be congestion in the control plane. 4G networks generate more signaling traffic, especially with the growth of 4G devices and the explosion of applications that run on them. The industry has defined the Diameter Signaling Controller (DSC), which addresses signaling issues in LTE networks such as traffic management, service enablement and interoperability. The Traffic Calculator can be used by network operators to predict when a DSC will be needed, where it should be placed in the network and how to scale for future growth. “

For those interested, the Calculator can be accessed from Diametriq's website

Telstra using Tekelec’s Diameter Signaling Router (DSR) for new LTE Services

The news from Asia-Pacific (Asia-Pac) was Tekelec’s announcement in Singapore at LTE Asia 2012 that Telstra Global is offering LTE roaming services across the region using Tekelec’s Diameter Signaling Router (DSR) as its diameter signaling hub for Telstra Global’s IPX service announced last month. The DSR enables the secure exchange of authorization, authentication, billing, charging and network policies that use the diameter protocol to maintain subscribers’ LTE services while visiting international markets.

“Operators are examining how to maximize the benefits that LTE networks provide, and international roaming is the first step,” said Tejaswini Tilak, Global Head of Carrier Services at Telstra Global. “Tekelec is a leader in this space, with the scalability, security and vision for us to support the region’s LTE requirements and capitalize on increased international mobility and exploding mobile data consumption.”

“LTE will revolutionize mobile data business models around the world, and one of the building blocks is a trusted IP exchange,” said Tekelec CTO Doug Suriano. “Telstra Global’s demonstrated leadership and innovation will give service providers new capabilities to increase their service offerings and meet subscriber demand for LTE services.”

It should be noted in light of the Diametriq revelation of its calculator that Tekelec offers similar functionality which can be used with its just released Tekelec LTE Diameter Signaling Index, the first-ever look at the future of global signaling traffic. The Tekelec calculator also provides a traffic demand model based on numerous critical variables. It is designed to enable service providers to layer on critical factors like network architecture, topology, capacity requirements, geo-redundancy and other implementation-specific factors needed to architect their diameter networks for what lies ahead.

Without sounding too cute, as in geometry knowing the diameter of the circle is key to ascertaining what can go inside so plans can be made. As I have noted in previous articles on the importance of paying attention to this other data storm, having indexes (Cisco’s Network Visualization Index being the go-to one for data networking) and calculators are invaluable assets in assisting service providers in their efforts to not just weather but take advantage of the gathering storm.

Who says signaling is boring?

Want to learn more about today’s powerful mobile Internet ecosystem? Don't miss the Mobility Tech Conference & Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5 2012, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Mobility Tech Conference & Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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