LTE Broadcast and mobile video to drive Diameter signalling volume
Michelle Clancy
| 01 October 2014
Personalised data plans and new LTE video and voice services will continue to fuel strong LTE Diameter signalling traffic growth through 2018, according to the third annual Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signalling Index.

Oracle found that global LTE Diameter signalling traffic will increase at a 78% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2013 to 2018 from 12 million messages per second (MPS) to nearly 216 million MPS, as personalised digital lifestyle, video and voice services offered on LTE networks will generate unprecedented volumes of LTE Diameter signalling messages.

"The rapid growth of LTE and the corresponding increase in subscribers' data consumption show how service and content providers are meeting people's needs," said Bhaskar Gorti, senior vice president and general manager of Oracle Communications. "We are in the early stages of LTE innovation, and new video and voice offerings will further propel LTE into the mainstream and require a scalable and reliable underlying Diameter signalling infrastructure."

From 2013 to 2017, VoLTE will be the No 2 source of global LTE Diameter signalling traffic, but by 2018, LTE Broadcast will grow beyond 26 million MPS.

"Voice over LTE has achieved a critical mass of service provider deployments, and interest in LTE Broadcast is increasing," said Dimitris Mavrakis, principal analyst of intelligent networks at Ovum. "Service providers that wish to lead their markets with innovative voice and video offerings must anticipate their traffic demands and unique signalling requirements."

According to the index, policy and charging MPS will double each year from 2013 to 2016, and will account for 72% of LTE signalling volumes in 2018.

Diameter is the signalling protocol CSP network equipment uses to enable subscriber network access, LTE Broadcast services, voice over LTE (VoLTE), accurate charging and usage-based services and secure interconnection with roaming and content partners. Diameter is essential for authorisation, authentication, policy, charging and mobility management.

The definition of the Diameter protocol continues to expand as new applications are developed and new interfaces are defined to support 3G networks.

North America will be the largest generator of LTE Diameter signalling MPS until 2016. However, in 2018 Japan and Asia Pacific LTE Diameter MPS will reach nearly 105 million 77% more than North America and 49% of the global total. Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) show strong growth potential but are the third largest region in terms of signalling volume, at nearly 47 million MPS in 2018.

Beyond 2018, Oracle Communications expects robust LTE Diameter growth. In addition, core network evolution in the areas of network functions virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) will create additional needs for orchestration using Diameter.