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Smartphones, IoT and Connected Cars Fueling Rise in LTE Network Traffic

Oracle announced the “Oracle Communications LTE Diameter Signaling Index, Sixth Edition,” highlighting the continued explosive growth in LTE Diameter Signaling traffic. Fueled heavily by the proliferation of smartphones and rise of Internet of Things (IoT) enabled devices, the report demonstrates that Diameter signaling shows no sign of slowing and is expected to generate 595 million messages per second (MPS) by 2021. Other key developments impacting LTE network traffic include LTE broadcast, VoLTE, and signaling associated with the policy management required to support more sophisticated data plans and applications. Connected cars also continue to show strong network traffic momentum, with 9.4 MPS and a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent.

The report was designed as a tool for communications service providers (CSPs) network engineers and executives to plan for expected increases in signaling capacity over the next five years. Download the Full Report and Infographic.

It is anticipated that growth will continue in Diameter even as 5G implementations begin. While Diameter will not be the main signaling protocol of 5G, it will remain as an important part of 5G networks. 

For example, according to Statista.com, smartphones will represent 76 percent of wireless connections by 2021. As consumers maintain their appetite for “always on” connections to increasingly sophisticated and data intensive applications such as gaming and video, LTE network traffic will continue to skyrocket. Likewise, devices that reach beyond the traditional mobile handset, such as IoT sensors used in everything from tracking available parking spots and moisture in crops to lost pets or workers on a job site will have a significant impact on Diameter signaling growth.
“Diameter signaling traffic continues to grow significantly with little end in sight. While smartphones continue to be the traffic leader, applications such as connected cars and IoT promise a significant impact to network traffic in years to come,” said Greg Collins, Founder and Principal Analyst, Exact Ventures. “Diameter signaling controllers continue to be vital network elements, which help enable operators to secure their network borders and to efficiently and effectively route signaling traffic. As such, it is critical for CSPs to understand what’s driving traffic and where, enabling them to avoid signaling traffic issues than can cause network outages, thereby reducing customer satisfaction and increasing customer churn.”
 “With consumer expectations at an all-time high, it’s more critical than ever that CSPs innovate and plan for continued Diameter signaling growth in order to stay relevant,” said Doug Suriano, senior vice president and general manager, Oracle Communications. “The cloud continues to offer one of the clearest avenues for CSPs to accelerate and achieve these goals.” 

Oracle helps CSPs create a more scalable and reliable Diameter signaling infrastructure with Oracle Communications Diameter Signaling Router and Oracle Communications Policy Management. 

LTE Diameter Signaling Traffic by Region
Latin America and the Caribbean continues to show accelerated growth in Diameter networks. The region will generate 52 million MPS by 2021, a CAGR of 34 percent. Brazil is the largest contributor of Diameter signaling, followed by Mexico.  
The Middle East will reach 27.9 million MPS of Diameter signaling by 2021, a CAGR of 23 percent. Turkey and Iran are the largest generators in the region.
Africa continues to show strong growth in Diameter signaling. The region will generate 20 million MPS by 2021, a CAGR of 63 percent. Egypt is the top generator, followed by Nigeria and South Africa.
Central and Southern Asia will account for 10 percent of the world's Diameter signaling, reaching 62.4 million MPS, a CAGR of 38 percent, by 2021. Policy management is the largest generator of Diameter signaling in the region, generating 10.4 percent of the world's policy-related Diameter signaling. Pakistan, followed by India, is the largest generators.
Oceania, Eastern and South-Eastern Asia generates nearly half of the world's Diameter signaling (45 percent). By 2021, the region will generate 265 million MPS of Diameter signaling, a CAGR of 18 percent. The region is also responsible for 44 percent of the world's policy Diameter signaling, generating 131 million MPS by 2021. China alone will generate 83.5 million MPS of policy generated Diameter signaling by 2021. Indonesia is also showing strong growth. 
North America leads the world in LTE penetration as service providers move aggressively to sunset 2G and 3G services in favor of 4G/5G. The region will show moderate growth in the coming year, generating 59.3 million MPS by 2021, a CAGR of 12 percent. 
Eastern and Western Europe. Eastern Europe will generate 48 million MPS of Diameter signaling, a CAGR of 46 percent by 2021. Russia, followed by Poland, are the strongest generators in the region. In comparison, Western Europe will generate 61 million MPS, a CAGR of 23 percent. The United Kingdom generates the most Diameter signaling in the region today, but Germany will surpass the UK generating 6.4 million MPS of Diameter signaling by 2021. 

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, Sixth Edition.”

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