Diameter signalling is spiking thanks to the ongoing deployment of evolved packet core, Voice over LTE and IP multimedia subsystems, new research has claimed.
With LTE subscriptions estimated to reach four billion by 2020, ABI Research said the technology, which enables servers and software to communicate with the core of the network, will become even more prominent in operators’ networks.
Sabir Rafiq, Research Analyst at ABI Research, said: “As mobile operators migrate to 4G LTE for key services, such as voice and video calls, the demand for diameter signalling will increase. Though diameter signalling is a requirement for LTE communication, we expect operators will demand diameter interworking functions for their legacy networks for the foreseeable future.”
However, Rafiq said the former signalling protocol, Signalling System 7 (SS7), will continue to be used in areas where 2G networks and general packet radio service technology is still common, such as in Africa and across Latin America. He noted the growth in Internet of Things networks could also help SS7, with many machine to machine networks relying on existing 2G and 3G technologies.
ABI Research has predicted diameter interworking functions (IWF) will help act as a bridge between legacy networks and newer LTE ones. That technology works by using protocol conversion and behavioural translation.
Lian Jye Su, Senior Analyst at ABI Research, said: “IWF will allow mobile operators to support the legacy SS7 of 2G and 3G networks. These networks may become increasingly expensive as vendors reduce investment in those technologies while maintaining the forward momentum of 4G LTE that requires diameter–based signaling.”