Oracle Forecast: Global Diameter Signaling Growth Will Surpass Total Global IP Traffic Growth by 2019

Press Release

Policy-driven data plans are fueling continued Diameter signaling traffic growth according to the Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Fourth Edition

Redwood Shores, Calif.—Oct 21, 2015

Consumers continue to demand more-personalized and sophisticated digital services, and their communications service providers (CSPs) are creating more-innovative data plans in response. The result: a massive increase in LTE Diameter signaling traffic. In the “Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Fourth Edition,” released today, Oracle forecasts that LTE Diameter signaling traffic will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 68 percent in the next five years, from 30 million messages per second (MPS) in 2014 to 395 million MPS by 2019.

The data in the index can help CSP engineers, network planners, and executives better understand Diameter signaling trends and the potential impact on their networks, enabling them to plan network capacity more effectively in Diameter implementations.

“As CSPs continue implementing LTE networks, they must effectively manage the resulting Diameter signaling traffic in capacity planning. Ignore it, and CSPs risk network outages or overprovisioning,” said Greg Collins, founder and principal analyst, Exact Ventures. “With the massive growth that Oracle is forecasting in its ‘Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Fourth Edition,’ CSPs should focus on implementing a Diameter signaling infrastructure that is scalable and reliable to cost-effectively control and route signaling traffic.”

The fourth edition of the index evaluates Diameter signaling traffic trends in four application areas and five geographical regions from 2014 through 2019. Highlights include:


  • LTE Broadcast is the fastest-growing generator of Diameter signaling traffic, creating 49.5 million MPS by 2019 at a CAGR of 75 percent. The technology is just emerging, and continued growth is expected as CSPs trial LTE Broadcast for everything from digital signage to live video feeds at sporting events
  • Policy continues to drive the majority of Diameter signaling traffic, creating 277 million MPS. With more-sophisticated policy use cases, the number of Diameter transactions between policy enforcement points and charging has increased
  • Mobility will generate 25.3 million MPS by 2019. It is currently not a major factor in overall Diameter signaling traffic generation, because it creates a low number of transactions in the Diameter network
  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE) will generate 43.1 million MPS at a CAGR of 49 percent by 2019

Geographical Regions

  • Latin America and the Caribbean showed the fastest growth and will account for 15.4 million MPS by 2019—a CAGR of 118 percent
  • The Middle East and Africa region is the second-lowest generator of Diameter signaling traffic, creating a combined 29.8 million MPS—but it is the second-fastest–growing region with a CAGR of 103 percent
  • The Asia Pacific region will become the largest generator of Diameter signaling traffic in the world by 2019, with 188 million MPS and a CAGR of 78 percent. The region also leads the world in VoLTE signaling, generating 19.9 million MPS at a CAGR of 55 percent
  • North America is beginning to mature in Diameter signaling traffic. Generating 82.9 million MPS by 2019, signaling growth in this region has slowed to a CAGR of 42 percent
  • Europe is the third-largest generator of Diameter signaling traffic, contributing 78.7 million MPS to global Diameter signaling traffic

The index also identifies trends that will impact the future of Diameter signaling—and the most important one to watch is the migration to the cloud:

  • Network function virtualization (NFV) is already starting to play a role in how LTE components are deployed. As NFV matures, it is expected that more CSPs will want to adopt LTE because it offers more efficiencies and faster speed to market via the cloud
  • Diameter signaling will increase in these virtual networks. It is used to deliver LTE and IMS services, and the ability to virtualize various components provides CSPs with more flexibility in their implementations. Adding more components means adding to the Diameter signaling MPS

“LTE innovation is still in the early stages, but it is gaining momentum,” said Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications. “And we’re looking beyond today’s LTE—NFV is developing, creating a very attractive cloud-based LTE opportunity. The time for CSPs to plan for Diameter signaling growth is now.”

Oracle helps CSPs create a more scalable and reliable Diameter signaling infrastructure with Oracle Communications Diameter Signaling Router and Oracle Communications Policy Management. With this experience, Oracle experts also contribute to the industry by participating in standards-based working groups such as 3GPP, GSMA, and IETF.

Forecast Methodology

The “Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Fourth Edition,” calculates LTE Diameter MPS based on assumptions relevant to LTE services such as third-party LTE subscriber forecasts, subscriber behaviors, policy sessions, online and offline charging interactions, and the adoption of voice and video services on LTE.

3GPP and GSM Association standards and documentation are used to establish Diameter traffic profiles. Oracle validates these assumptions in its Diameter Signaling Lab and incorporates this information into the Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index Calculator to forecast Diameter signaling traffic growth on LTE and 3G networks.

The index bases LTE Diameter signaling traffic numbers on forecasts of LTE subscribers, LTE penetration rates, LTE device penetration rates, and LTE voice and video services. Data sources include forecasts from Ovum’s World Cellular Information Service and the GSA.

Usage and Citation

Oracle permits the media, financial and industry analysts, service providers, regulators, and other third parties to cite this research with the following attribution: Source: “Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Fourth Edition.”


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