Diameter Signaling Controller Market Set To Double

Infonetics said this week that global Diameter signaling controller revenue grew 900 percent from 2011 to 2012, and it is likely to double this year. Demand is surging, Infonetics said, because Diameter signal controls are now used not only for centralized routing but also functions such as PCRF binding, LTE-to-LTE roaming, LTE-to-2G/3G roaming and HSS address resolution.

"As more and more operators deploy LTE and Diameter traffic grows, the requirements for signaling control -- both within an operator's own network and between operators -- also increase, making Diameter signaling controllers a necessity," Diane Myers, Infonetics principal analyst for VoIP, UC and IMS, said in a research note.

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First developed in 1998, Diameter is a now widely accepted protocol for providing network signaling in 4G/LTE networks. Diameter signal products are gaining acceptance because as LTE operators gain subscribers, the signaling traffic from mobile devices, as opposed to the raw data traffic they create, also causes network congestion.

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According to Infonetics, Marlborough, Mass.-based Tekelec remains the niche market's leader thanks to substantial wins in North America and Asia Pacific, but other competitors are coming on strong. Those include Acme Packet and F5 Networks, the latter of which bought a Diameter-focused startup, Israeli company Traffix, in February 2012.

Infonetics added in its report that large telecom equipment providers are expecting to push hard into Diameter signal controller space over the next few years. Alcatel-Lucent, Alepo, Amdocs, Comptel, Diametriq, Ericsson, Huawei, Intellinet, Openet and Ulticom are also among the vendor players in the segment.