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
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:
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
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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.
Specific sectors for the growing Private LTE Market include:
Oil & Gas Rigs, Distribution, Transport
Surface and Underground Mining
Security, CCTV, Safe City
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:
Private LTE is growing in many sectors: Modern corporations, government, enterprises, and cities are run is being transformed by rapidly advancing mobile communications technology.
One advance is in the area of Private LTE: deploying their own high capacity, high speed 4G mobile communications capability in the shape of a Private Long Term Evolution (LTE) network, organisations can enhance their operational efficiency, innovate more quickly, get closer to their customers and reduce their energy footprint.
Private LTE networks free enterprises from the restrictions of conventional connectivity technologies such as Ethernet, which is secure and reliable but high cost and inflexible, and Wi-Fi, which offers low cost but also lower reliability.
A Private 4G or 5G LTE network can support both human and machine communications on a single, reliable network that offers mobility without cumbersome portable radios and that opens up the world of the Internet of Things (IoT).
By complementing existing Ethernet and Wi-Fi, building your own LTE will help to enable digital transformation in many industries and pave the way towards the adoption of even more capable 5G mobile technologies.
Most LTE networks are considered public, serving the general public or enterprise subscribers. An LTE network is considered to be private when its main purpose is to connect people/things belonging to an enterprise (normally in an enterprise campus), and where data needs to be kept totally secure by avoiding sending it through the core network of a mobile operator.
Advantages of Privately-owned LTE:
Enterprises can deploy by building their own LTE network using technology like MulteFire or Citizen’s Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) which run on unlicensed spectrum not tied to mobile operators. Various vendors support this option with their own end-to-end solutions.
LTE for any industry
Many industries are eager to use their own LTE to connect people and IoT devices:
Industry Areas for Private LTE
Utilities can benefit by converging legacy networks into a single, smart grid network
For Mining and Minerals, LTE can be used to automate remote facilities using a SmartMine concept
Oil and Gas
Ports are getting smarter, with LTE-based networks meeting their needs. Licensed bands, unlicensed MulteFire, or shared spectrum CBRS are all possibilities to build private LTE networks and take advantage modern technology solutions
For Aviation, LTE boosts efficiency by enabling secure control of operations over a single intelligent airport communications network