Operators need an SCTP solution that provides Diameter with thousands of robust and reliable associations
A new report from ABI Research reveals that Diameter signalling is spiking, thanks to the ongoing deployment of evolved packet core, VoLTE and IP multimedia subsystems.
So what does this mean for telecom network operators? And how can they prepare for the rising demand?
According to Robin Kent, director of European operations at Adax, “LTE is delivering on its promise of providing users with a quicker, more data-centric mobile broadband service, but the backbone of the network is struggling to cope, with Diameter signalling becoming the bottleneck in LTE performance.
“The Linux-supplied SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol) for SIGTRAN and Diameter may seem like the more convenient and economical solution, but service providers and application developers are frustrated that it cannot keep up with the multitude of connections and constant user activity that is the very essence of the new, flat, All-IP networks.”
Kent believes that operators need an SCTP solution that provides Diameter with thousands of robust and reliable associations. This would ensure Diameter’s instant readiness and ability to carry the traffic required by the host application to any and all of its possible destinations.
“The solution should be specifically designed to meet the demands of today’s LTE and IMS networks, IoT (Internet of Things) and M2M (machine-to-machine communications). Authentication chunks designated in RFC 4895 secure SCTP-based associations from packet injection, hijacking or accidental disconnection, and operators need the tools that will secure millions of simultaneous associations in order to meet the challenges posed to the network by malicious intent.
Capacity must also be front of mind and operators should implement an SCTP solution that supports tens of thousands of simultaneous associations for maximum connectivity, as well as secure authentication.”
Commenting on the report, Sabir Rafiq, research analyst at ABI Research, states that Signaling System 7 (SS7), will continue to be used in areas where 2G networks and general packet radio service technology is still common. He also believes that growth in Internet of Things networks could also help SS7, with many M2M devices relying on existing 2G and 3G technologies.
Kent added: “The move to the all-IP network in the rise of LTE has not been as smooth as predicted, so it’s become paramount for networks to make sure they have a signalling service in place that they can rely on. SS7 has been written off on numerous occasions over the past 15 years, but with the rise in SMS payments and the unpredictability of IP networks, it’s still a highly important signalling protocol.
“It is inevitable that in the future, most telecommunication infrastructures will be based on IP systems but that is clearly still a way off,” he said. “Until then, operators need to manage the transition as smoothly as possible and this is why SS7 lives on and continues to be a benchmark for signalling protocols.”
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