Diameter is the key signaling protocol used in IMS and LTE networks that enable applications running on those networks to authenticate, authorize and charge. In other words, your mobile applications, when running on these networks, are using Diameter protocol in the background to enable you to utilize the many apps on your smartphone or tablet. This includes, for example, a location-based service type of application (such as Foursquare or Yelp), or mobile payment (such as Square), or an Internet purchase (from an app store online retailer like Amazon).
Given the huge amount of smartphones and tablets out there that are either now running on LTE networks are that are expected to be LTE-enabled in the future, I predict that will be a big increase in Diameter signaling traffic. I’ll be writing a two-part blog in a few weeks about interworking between LTE networks and other networks, such as 2G or 3G networks. These use cases will be ever important going forward.
Diameter also enables some cool applications beyond just roaming from one type of network to another. For instance, applications enabling Equipment Identity Register functionality allow operators to control which handsets or devices can be used in their networks. So if your smartphone or tablet is lost or stolen, it can be disabled. I’m also sure there are cool applications beyond just disabling a phone that can be enacted. Has anyone seen the “Mission Impossible” movies?
Perhaps the most important aspect though is the credit control application support, for enhanced use of your mobile device for mobile payments, price inquiries, prepaid service charging, real-time service charging, etc. This enables your phone or tablet to easily pay for or charge for a unit of whatever the application is doing, whether it’s paying for something on the internet with money, debiting either a unit of time or prepaid byte downloads, and more.
If you are an application developer in this realm, Diameter enables you to write some forward looking and very relevant applications. Please visit the Dialogic website if you are interested to learn more.