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Diameter Diaries: Time to decongest your network from chatty mobile apps

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We wish a very happy and prosperous 2013 to all readers of this blog! Recently, in anticipation of New Year’s eve, major operators in Australia went to great lengths to keep subscribers happy; e.g. Telstra, one of the leading operators, added extra capacity in popular websites and in expectation of huge data traffic at the stroke of 31st Dec midnight, they upgraded mobile base stations around the Sydney Harbour with additional 3G and 4G mobile coverage.[1] However, come Jan 1, those last-ditch measures failed to save the day (or night!) as many holidaymakers in Australian coastal towns found their 3G networks lacking, unable to access data services on their tablets and smartphones.[2] Basically, there was a huge tourist influx in these beach areas and Telstra admitted it could do precise little to arrest slower speeds or occasional dropouts.[3] It can be fairly guessed what this operator experienced here was nothing but unexpected signaling traffic generated by smartphones that would in any case, have led to network congestion and latency issues. As operators continue to face predicaments like these in future, the challenge is to not just accurately predict and forecast signalling traffic, but also cater to sudden overflow of high-speed data users who WILL push the network beyond limits. To give a truer indication of the signaling impact of chatty apps, consider your average user and the sheer number of times every day he browses on his device, reads ebooks, pings for status updates, or performs downloads. Each connection attempt will generate 30+ signals with a simple application like Angry Birds consuming up to 2400 signals in an hour. [4] As recommended by bodies like 3GPP and ETSI, Diameter solutions are being seen as the best line of defence against signaling storms. With worldwide mobile operators migrating to all-IP-based networks, signalling standards are also shifting from SS7 to Diameter. The logic is simple: if operators want to offer better quality mobile data services, there has to be faster, efficient communication between all those policy servers, charging systems and other components. Diameter solutions like Elitecore’s EliteDSC are able to avoid congestion and generate monetization opportunities through efficient routing and geo-redundancy. To enable centralized routing, EliteDSC ensures all diameter sessions established over diameter protocol are routed to their respective functionalities, streamlining and routing these diameter messages with complete accuracy. It ensures failure measures and alternate routing. This is especially true when multiple deployments have been done. Further, EliteDSC uses proxy agents to maintain session information, thereby ensuring high scalability and availability which helps in minimizing latency and managing massive subscriber and session scale. This arrangement ensures that even if primary server was busy the request is catered by secondary server, and as such subscribers don’t experience a sluggish network performance. In the next installment of Diameter Diaries series, we will take a closer look into specific solution case studies detailing elaborate applications of this promising technology. _______________________ [1] http://news.idg.no/cw/art.cfm?id=6725763A-E28C-9189-8D0F966A9ADC7834 [2] http://www.news.com.au/national/phone-network-beached-in-coastal-towns/story-fndo4cq1-1226547829722 [3] Ibid [4] http://www.lightreading.com/document.asp?doc_id=208775

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