Diameter Protocol in 4G LTE

What is Diameter in LTE?

Diameter is an AAA (Authorization, Authentication and Accounting ) protocol which works at the application layer in OSI model over TCP/SCTP or TLS/DTLS (for security) protocol. Diameter is the successor of RADIUS (Remote Remote Authentication Dial In User Service) protocol that runs over UDP.

This AAA technology is a message based protocol, where AAA nodes exchange messages and receive Positive or Negative acknowledgment for each message exchanged between nodes. For message exchange it internally uses the TCP and SCTP which makes diameter reliable. Its technical specifications are given in RFC-6733 Diameter Base Protocol. (Please refer to this link to RFC-6733 for the original definition)

Advantages of Diameter compared to Radius

This AAA technology has following improvements over RADIUS:   

a) More Reliable
b) Transport Layer Security                   
c) Fail-over Mechanism
d) Server Initiated Messages
e) Agent Support
f) Audit-ability
g) Transition Support
h) Capability Negotiation
i) Roaming Support
j) Peer Discovery & Configuration

Defaults Ports                      

The default port is 3868 for TCP/SCTP and 5868 for TLS/DTLS.

More details on AAA in LTE

LTE Evolved Packet Core (EPC) generally have 5 nodes:

1) Mobility Management Entity (MME)
2) Home Subscriber Server (HSS)
3) Serving Gateway (S-GW)
4) PDN Gateway (P-GW)
5) Policy and Charging control entity/Function (PCRF)

These nodes interact then uses diameter based interfaces. Please see the diagram below for more detailed information on this topic:

Diameter Protocol in LTE

The Dark Lines in the diagram show the major Interfaces in the LTE EPC (Evolved Packet Core). Sometimes the CSS data is not stored at HSS then S7a interface is used to communicate with the MME. S7a is also a diameter based interface.

For Further Information

Our team of experts has a wealth of experience and knowledge of designing, dimensioning, implementing and supporting Private LTE 4G & 5G networks for a diverse range of applications. Please feel welcome to contact us.
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Private LTE Market could grow to $31B by 2022

Private LTE Market

The Private LTE Market is expected to grow to around $31 billion by 2022, say some market analysts. Market growth will occur in several vertical markets with a wide area of industries likely to take advantage of new 4G and 5G LTE technologies.

Private LTE Market for 4G & 5G devices expected to grow

Specific sectors for the growing Private LTE Market include:

  • Manufacturing
  • Hospitals
  • Laboratories
  • Power Generation
  • Oil & Gas Rigs, Distribution, Transport
  • Water Treatment
  • Surface and Underground Mining
  • Distribution Warehouses
  • Shipping Ports
  • Transportation
  • Security, CCTV, Safe City
  • Smart Cities

Additional Markets for Private LTE

In addition, there are expected to be future markets created to exploit growing demand for always-on, connected devices, IoT, Machine Vision and Robotics and more.

Equipment needed for Private LTE

Organisations intending to build a Private LTE network will need LTE Base Station (eNodeB, gNodeB), Core Infrastructure (EPC, HSS), Custom private SIM cards and CPE devices. Some vendors offer a complete range of products for end-to-end solution with proven interoperability between devices.

Software and Services required for Private LTE

Some vendors provide all required software for LTE, which can include:

  • RF planning software
  • Dimensioning Tools
  • Device Management Software
  • Network Management Software
  • LTE Billing Systems
  • EPC core software
  • HSS core software

For Further Information

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