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What’s a Diameter API gateway anyway?

Diameter is becoming increasingly important as it enables access to key elements and capabilities within mobile and IMS networks, such as real-time charging. Find out how you can easily leverage Diameter capabilities, via a simple API, to future-proof your services, boost your mobile integration and add rich new functionality to your application.

Mobile networks were built on a foundation of advanced signalling principles and procedures that evolved through time to encompass complex functionality. This was necessary, to support things like service triggering (for example, making a phone call that needs routing in way that deviates from the norm, so further information is requested from a database), roaming (the difficult business of registering devices when they appear in other networks), real-time charging and more.

All of this was based on versions of the SS7 protocol family, which moved from TDM to IP transport and remains of huge importance to network functions around the world. However, as we have move from 3G to 4G and IMS-based fixed networks, newer, native IP protocols have emerged to take over much of this functionality. That’s why Diameter is so important – it’s already widely deployed but is going to grow massively, because it provides the basis of next generation billing and other procedures that require real-time and post-event signalling.

So, if you want to build a service that interacts with elements of the mobile network and futureproof it for 4G and IMS connectivity, then you will probably need to be able to interact with Diameter-enabled elements, as well as SS7. This means you need a simple way to leverage Diameter, without being concerned about the underlying complexity. In other words, you need a Diameter API gateway.

That’s a new solution that we have enabled for a number of customers. It’s driven by a flexible API framework, which means you have full control over and access to the Diameter signalling stack.

Diameter consists of a mix of standardised messages as well as occasional proprietary information it can transport (known as AVPs, or Attribute Value Pairs). There are also different use cases for Diameter, depending on the service or operational requirements and there’s a range of what are known as functional interfaces – such as Ro, Rf, Rx, Gx, and Gy, for example. Each of these is designed to fulfil the needs of a specific function and are used to connect entities within the mobile network, as set out by 3GPP (which writes the standards for 3G, 4G and, soon, 5G). So, if you need to connect to a policy system, then Rx is what you need, for example. If it’s real-time charging, then Ro is what you need (as it’s the interface to the Online Charging Systems that perform real-time accounting).

With Partitionware’s Diameter API gateway, you don’t need to worry about all the different interfaces. It handles them all and hides the complexity through APIs. This means you can focus on the functional requirements of your application and simply capture the information your platform needs to make decisions, without the need to get to grips with yet another protocol.

Our Diameter API Gateway enables simple, IP-centric API development and integration. It scales as you need, providing the ability to handle millions of transactions and its securely hosted in our infrastructure or can be deployed in your network. All you need to do is take care of your service and we do the rest.

If you think you need to interact with elements in the mobile network or are looking to add Diameter support in a cost-effective way, without significant resource overheads, just ask us. We’ll show you how it’s done and give you everything you need to get started. And, we’ll make sure you secure the capabilities you need to enable real-time charging or other functions within your applications.

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