An introduction to Diameter Routing Agent (II)

Why do Operators need Diameter Routing Agents? The introduction of the Diameter protocol has solved many issues, but there are still challenges that mobile operators have to face. These include:

  • Complex routing and provisioning
  • Multi-vendor interoperability
  • Load balancing and overload control
  • Transport protocols interworking
  • Network stability and security
  • Unmanageable mesh of peer-to-peer connections

In addition, Diameter signaling is still increasing. There are 50+ Diameter interfaces defined in 4G/LTE/IMS. Because of the market, the majority of the operators are moving toward the Long Term Evolution (LTE) environment. LTE has been designed to support only packet-switched services. It aims to provide seamless Internet Protocol (IP) connectivity between the user equipment (UE) and the packet data network (PDN), without any disruption of the end users’ applications during mobility.

Considering the Diameter mesh in the LTE environment, the Diameter Router Agent (DRA) will have the role of a centrally managed device, thereby simplifying provisioning and reducing this mesh of Diameter connections. R Systems Diameter Router use case – Core Diameter routing enables operators to increase the resiliency and reliability necessary to support new, complex services to their customers and to scale and grow IMS, LTE and 2G/3G networks. There are also other benefits that DRA can provide:

  • Central maintenance and management point
  • Routing based on any AVP content (e.g. host, realm, Q&S, location)
  • Routing based on external systems (LDAP, DB) or services (WS, SOAP)
  • Reduced time of change implementation
  • Topology hiding
  • All functionalities of IETF Agents: relay, proxy, redirect and translation
  • 3GPP Diameter Router Agent (DRA), Subscription Locator Function (SLF) and Interworking Function (IWF)
  • GSMA Diameter Edge Agent, and many more…

Based on the above, we can predict that DRA will become a central component in the near future, getting more and more responsibility and functionality. And this can happen even faster that anyone can imagine.

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