PCRF for RADIUS based Broadband networks
PCRF (Policy & Charging Rules Function) is at the heart of any modern communications service provider’s core network and it controls the way services are delivered and charged for customers. The standard developed mainly for 3G and newer standards and requires a real-time DIAMETER based access network. But most CSPs worldwide today still have a RADIUS based network but would like to benefit from the use cases made possible by PCRF like fair-usage and tiered service plans. AdvOSS offers a complete PCRF solution for Radius based networks.
Overview
Business Case
Interface Points
Solution Options
Organizational Benefits


Broadband Data services have proliferated in the past few years. Both landline and mobile CSPs (Communication Service Providers) have started offering advanced plans and packages for data. Several ways have emerged to monetize OTT (Over The Top) applications in conjunction with Deep Packet Inspection engines.

Policy based control is at the heart of this evolution of broadband networks. It would not be wrong to call the modern broadband networks as Policy centric Networks. This evolution has led 3GPP to standardize the policy centric networks into a common framework called PCC (Policy and Charging Control). The core protocol at the heart of PCC is Diameter and the key core network element called PCRF (Policy Control and Charging Function). Diameter is supposed to replace the RADIUS protocol for AAA and policy control as more and more CSPs adopt PCC.

However, there are still thousands of CSPs in the world with a RADIUS based network for AAA. These networks have been laid out for years and it has turned out to be prohibitively hard for them to upgrade to PCC. The main reason for this is the huge capital expenditures required for such an upgrade. The upgrade is required on both core and access side since the network access functional elements e.g. Access Servers and gateways also need to support Diameter.

As a consequence of the obstacles in adoption of PCC, RADIUS based CSPs have not been able to harness the promise of PCC for service differentiation and monetization, and offer value addition to their subscribers in a timely manner. For example, dynamic bandwidth control is a mechanism that enables several advanced use cases driven by a policy server for a CSP, but since very few solutions exist that can leverage RADIUS protocol for bandwidth control, the CSPs have not been able to realize these critical business use cases.

AdvOSS has realized the need for a policy centric core of RADIUS based networks. AdvOSS PCRF for RADIUS solution provides an intermediate path as a critical stepping stone for these CSPs to upgrade to a full Diameter based solution whenever they are operationally ready for such an upgrade. In the meantime, they can offer several critical policy centric use cases to their subscribers that could increase their revenues and provide value addition to their customers while enabling them to differentiate their services and stay ahead of the competition.