Policy control and charging for lte

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Policy control and charging for lte

  1. 1. © 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.White PaperPolicy control and charging for LTEnetworksPeter MottishawOctober 2009Research Sponsored by Openet
  2. 2. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksTable of Contents© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 2Table of ContentsExecutive summary......................................................................................3Drivers for LTE and EPC deployment..........................................................4Wireless data growth drivers and forecast...........................................................4The cost versus revenue challenge .....................................................................5Drivers for EPC deployment ................................................................................7LTE deployment timetable and phases........................................................8LTE/SAE deployment timetable...........................................................................8LTE deployment phases ......................................................................................9Phase 1: LTE for data only..........................................................................................10Phase 2: LTE for data with hybrid voice architecture..................................................10Phase 3: LTE with full IMS ..........................................................................................11Policy control and charging for LTE services.............................................133GPP policy and charging control (PCC)...........................................................13Current charging, policy and billing implementation ..........................................15Phase 1: LTE for data only ................................................................................16Managing the transition to full IMS.....................................................................17Recommendations.....................................................................................19List of FiguresFigure 1: Data Growth prediction.............................................................................................4Figure 2: Cost and revenue trend for 3G networks..................................................................6Figure 3: Impact of LTE deployment........................................................................................6Figure 4: Mobile network operator LTE deployment plans ......................................................8Figure 5: Phase 1: LTE for data only .....................................................................................10Figure 6: LTE for data with circuit switched fallback for voice ...............................................11Figure 7: Full LTE and IMS deployment ................................................................................11Figure 8: Streaming video example .......................................................................................14Figure 9: 2G/3G prepaid charging scenario...........................................................................15Figure 10: Billing and charging requirements ........................................................................17Figure 11: Full LTE with IMS – billing implications.................................................................18PO Box 1319Sugar Grove, IL 60554-1319Phone: +1.630.466.9223Fax: +1.630.566.3863E-mail: info@ossobserver.comWebsite: www.ossobserver.comOSS Observer is part ofAnalysys Mason Ltdwww.analysysmason.comresearch@analysysmason.comAnalysys Mason Ltdis registered inEngland and WalesRegistration No. 5177472
  3. 3. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksExecutive summary© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 3Executive summaryMany mobile network operators have committed to deploy long-term evolution (LTE) technology to deal with the rapid growth inwireless data services. LTE strictly refers only to the radioaccess standards introduced by 3GPP in release 8. This is partof a broader 3GPP program called system architecture evolution(SAE) that includes a new all IP evolved packet core (EPC). ThisWhite Paper explores the implications for operators on the policycontrol, charging and billing systems of the deployment ofLTE/SAE. A critical component in SAE is the policy and chargingcontrol (PCC) platform that brings together and enhancescapabilities from earlier 3GPP releases to deliver dynamiccontrol of policy and charging on a per subscriber and per IPflow basis.The most immediate driver for LTE/SAE deployment is the rapidgrowth in wireless data traffic that many operators areexperiencing. LTE/SAE provides a more efficient data transportwith a much lower cost per megabyte than existing 3Gtechnologies. Wireless data revenue is growing much moreslowly than wireless data traffic. LTE/SAE will enable operatorsto reduce the cost per megabyte and maintain data servicesprofitability. LTE/SAE also brings high bandwidth, low latencyand fine-grained end-to-end control over quality of service(QoS). Policy control and charging are critical in enabling thenetwork operator to control and monetize these new capabilities.Network operators will follow their LTE/SAE data deploymentwith support for voice services. This will raise the question ofhow to migrate the existing control layer, service layer, billingsystems and operational support systems towards a full IMSenvironment. Complete replacement of these systems is out ofthe question due to both costs and time scales. Networkoperators will need to proceed incrementally by minimizing theimpact of LTE/SAE deployment on these adjacent systems. Thiswill mean focusing development effort on policy, charging andmediation platforms that can hide the changes from the legacyIN platforms, billing systems and operational systems.
  4. 4. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksDrivers for LTE and EPCdeployment© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 4Drivers for LTE and EPC deploymentWireless data growth will be the principal driver behind the firstwave of LTE deployments. We forecast that wireless data trafficin developed countries will increase tenfold between 2008 and2015, and sevenfold in emerging markets over the same period.Revenue per megabyte continues to fall, driven down byincreasing competition and flat rate pricing. Many operators willdeploy LTE to cope with data growth and deal with thedivergence of revenue and cost. However, LTE is part of abroader SAE that will bring additional benefits. Alongside LTE inthe radio access network (RAN) operators will deploy the EPC.Together these provide a flatter, simpler IP architecture withlower latency and a sophisticated PCC architecture. The EPCwill also support multiple radio access networks includingCDMA, WiMAX and WLAN. This section provides more detail onthese underlying drivers for LTE/SAE deployment.Wireless data growth drivers and forecastAnalysys Mason forecast for wireless network traffic is shown inFigure 1.Figure 1: Data Growth predictionSource: Analysys MasonThe key factors behind this growth are: Mobile operators are offering higher wireless data rateswith attractive flat rate data tariffs. This was madepossible by the deployment of 3G technologies. It isbeing continued by the deployment of HSPA and other3G enhancements.
  5. 5. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksDrivers for LTE and EPCdeployment© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 5 The use of netbooks and laptops with 3G USB dongles,mainly by enterprise customers, will continue to growrapidly as tariffs become more attractive. Device manufacturers are offering platforms with largetouch screens, high bandwidth connections andcompelling user interfaces. The Apple iPhone has beenthe leader in this area, but all major devicemanufacturers are now offering competing products. Advances in mobile data services and mobile deviceshave made the full Internet available to mobile endusers. This in turn has stimulated development of mobilespecific applications and services that enhance existingInternet services such as Facebook, Google maps,Google search, Twitter and YouTube with mobilecharacteristics. These include location, operator billing,reduced bandwidth requirements and mobile specificuser interfaces. New types of devices and services are starting to exploitthe unique characteristics of mobile data services.Amazons Kindle is an example of an application specificdevice that uses a dedicated mobile service. Machine tomachine type services will drive further growth in thesetypes of applications. Improved network coverage andreliability will also stimulate the use of cloud computingto simplify deployment and management of newapplications.These factors will lead to substantial ongoing growth in wirelessnetwork traffic per user over the next five years.The cost versus revenue challengeThe growth in mobile data usage is good news for operators, butcomes with a big challenge; data growth will be accompanied bya relatively modest increase in ARPU and this will result in asignificant decline in revenue per megabyte between 2008 and2015. The cost of maintaining the existing network without LTEwill soon begin to erode operators profit margins and willeventually outstrip revenue, as shown in Figure 2.
  6. 6. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksDrivers for LTE and EPCdeployment© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 6Figure 2: Cost and revenue trend for 3G networksSource: Analysys MasonCompared with legacy networks, LTE improves spectralefficiency. Furthermore, LTE employs a flat-RAN architecture,which also reduces the number of network nodes. Jointly, thebenefits of improved spectral efficiency and flat-RANarchitecture reduce network carriage costs and create a cost-growth curve that tends to track revenue rather than demand,allowing the operator to maintain a healthy profit margin, asshown in Figure 3.Figure 3: Impact of LTE deploymentSource: Analysys MasonCompared with previous access technologies, like GSM, CDMAor UMTS, the smaller size of the LTE access node brings otheroperational gains, including easier and quicker sitting of the
  7. 7. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksDrivers for LTE and EPCdeployment© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 7node, lower power consumption and a much smaller spacerequirement.Drivers for EPC deploymentIn addition to the cost advantages provided by the combinedLTE/EPC deployment, there are a number of other drivers forEPC deployment. EPC is designed to support non-3GPP radio accessnetworks including WiMAX, CDMA and WLAN and3GPP 2G/3G radio access networks. It includes mobilitybetween these technologies and the concept of trustedand non-trusted radio access networks. EPC provides a simplified all IP architecture whencombined with LTE and delivers a low cost and lowlatency infrastructure. EPC includes a sophisticated PCC architecture thatenables dynamic control of IP services on a per-subscriber and per-IP flow basis. This includes supportfor fine-grained QoS and enables application servers todynamically control the QoS and charging requirementsof the services they deliver. It also provides improvedsupport for roaming. Dynamic control over QoS andcharging will help operators monetize their LTEinvestment by providing customers with a variety of QoSand charging options when choosing a service.Examples would be bandwidth tiered services orpurchasing limited time access to specific content orenhanced QoS. In combination with IMS, EPC provides a future proofpath to the replacement of all legacy circuit switchedinfrastructure within an all IP control layer. However, itwill be many years before we see the end of the circuitswitched infrastructure.
  8. 8. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksLTE deployment timetableand phases© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 8LTE deployment timetable and phasesIn this section we focus on the timetable for deployment ofLTE/SAE devices, networks and services and the factors eachmobile operator well need to consider in making deploymentdecisions. We also look at the scenarios for LTE and EPCdeployment and consider how the existing control layer for voiceand messaging services will migrate towards an IMS controllayer.LTE/SAE deployment timetableTechnology, devices, spectrum and demand, along with theoperator’s business strategy, are the main factors that willdetermine the timing and strategy for LTE/SAE deployment forany particular operator. These will be different for each operator.Operators will need to consider their local choices carefully, inorder to achieve an optimal position to deal with future datademand and demands on their revenue. The announceddeployment timetable for a number of operators is shown inFigure 4.Figure 4: Mobile network operator LTE deployment plansSource: Analysys Mason and operator announcementsA critical determining factor in the rollout of LTE-based serviceswill be the availability of LTE capable devices. LTE devices willbe introduced in phases: LTE USB modems or data cards are just becomingavailable and will achieve volume shipments in 2010.AT&TTrials: nowLaunch 2012
  9. 9. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksLTE deployment timetableand phases© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 9These will support the initial focus for LTE on data-intensive services for laptop and netbook users. LTE Handsets will first become available in 2010 but willnot ship in volume until 2011 or 2012. Voice handsetswill require 2G/3G radios to support fallback to circuitswitched voice unless the network supports VoIP overLTE. Laptops with embedded modules will be available in2011.Within two or three years, the dominant device for mobilebroadband access will be the laptop with an embedded module.In the longer term, the delivery of LTE services will not be limitedto traditional devices, but will instead extend to a range ofdevices including cameras, cars, energy monitors,environmental sensors, health-monitoring devices and manyother devices.LTE deployment phasesThere are many technology choices that operators will facewhen deploying LTE. These include decisions about services,spectrum, network and devices. The focus for this White Paperis on the charging and policy control aspects of LTE/SAE. Theseare intimately connected with the deployment of the EPC and inthe longer term the migration to an all IP control layer based onIMS standards. This will enable a rich set of voice, messagingand other session based services that will eventually replaceexisting voice and messaging services. However, IMS is notrequired for the delivery of LTEs data capabilities and sooperators have the option of incrementally moving towards thelong-term vision of an all IP LTE/EPC/IMS environment.We identify three phases that operators will consider; Phase 1: LTE for data only Phase 2: LTE for data with hybrid voice architecture Phase 3: All IP LTE/IMS environment for voice and dataWe address these in more detail in the following paragraphs.Each represents trade-offs between the end user experienceand the cost of upgrading or replacing infrastructure andsoftware systems. Phase 1 will support the needs of wirelessbroadband for enterprise laptop users. Phase 2 addresses theneeds of LTE handsets to support voice using some of theexisting voice infrastructure. This minimizes additionalinvestment but constrains the service that can be offered. Phase3 provides the full potential of an all IP rich communications
  10. 10. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksLTE deployment timetableand phases© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 10experience, but with major investment in new infrastructure andsystems.Phase 1: LTE for data onlyInitial deployments of LTE will be to provide data services forenterprise customers using LTE USB modems with laptops. LTEwill be provided first in areas of heavy data traffic and USBmodems will support fallback to 3G data services where LTE isnot deployed. LTE provides a compelling service with thebenefits of higher bandwidth, end to end QoS, and low latency.LTE deployments to support these types of services willeffectively be independent overlays (see Figure 5) to existingnetworks sharing physical locations and some IP infrastructure.They will include PCC functionality to support data services andwill be integrated into existing pre-paid and post-paid billingsystems. The full implications of this phase are explored in thefollowing chapter.Figure 5: Phase 1: LTE for data onlySource: Analysys MasonPhase 2: LTE for data with hybrid voice architectureSome difficult questions will need to be faced when LTEhandsets become available and operators need to provide voiceand messaging services. Operators have massive investmentsin the circuit switched infrastructure. This includes the IN/SS7control layer, IN pre-paid platforms, IN value-added servicesplatforms, mediation platforms, billing systems and operationalsupport systems.A number of approaches have been developed that enableoperators to reuse these existing platforms when offering voiceservices to LTE handsets. The simplest is to fallback to existing2G/3G circuit switched connectivity for voice and messagingservices. In this phase the mobile device will be required to
  11. 11. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksLTE deployment timetableand phases© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 11support both LTE and 2G/3G radios. Indications are that topreserve battery life the device will switch of other radios whenthe LTE radio is in use. Voice and messaging services willrequire use of the 2G/3G radio where as data services will beprovided by the LTE radio. (See Figure 6)Figure 6: LTE for data with circuit switched fallback forvoiceSource: Analysys MasonThis approach satisfies the need to keep existing infrastructurebut limits the use of voice and data together and will not allowthe rich communications services that IMS can offer. There arevarious approaches being standardized that provide anincremental step in this direction without the wholesalereplacement of the circuit switched systems. These include theVoLGA and VoLTE approaches. These can deliver voice over IPand will start to make use of some of the dynamic policy controlcapabilities of the EPC.Figure 7: Full LTE and IMS deploymentSource: Analysys MasonPhase 3: LTE with full IMSA move to an all IP LTE/IMS environment (see Figure 7) bringsthe advantage of integrated access to all voice, messaging and
  12. 12. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksLTE deployment timetableand phases© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 12data services over a single LTE access. It also provides the richcommunications services that IMS was originally created for.However, the move to all IP will require the replacement of thelegacy circuit switched control layer and the replacement of anumber of its operational systems. Major system integrationprojects will be required to adapt the systems that are notreplaced to the requirements of an all IP environment. Mostoperators will choose and incremental approach to addressingthese challenges.
  13. 13. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 13Policy control and charging for LTEservicesIn this section we will focus on the impact of LTE on policycontrol, charging and billing mediation requirements. Most of thediscussion is focused on phase 1, but operators must considerthe long term plan to move to full IMS.3GPP policy and charging control (PCC)The PCC capabilities in 3GPP release 8 build on earlier releasesto provide a rich policy and charging environment supportingdynamic control of QoS, charging and policy by applicationservers. To illustrate the capabilities of the 3GPP PCCarchitecture we will use the example of a video streamingsession delivered across the EPC and LTE (see Figure 8). Tomake it more interesting we include a two sided business modelwhere the video stream can be delivered by a third-party paid forby advertising. This type of scenario will become increasinglycommon as LTE is rolled out.The PCC functions include: PCRF (policy and charging rules function) providespolicy control and flow based charging control decisions. PCEF (policy and charging enforcement function)implemented in the serving gateway, this enforcesgating and QoS for individual IP flows on the behalf ofthe PCRF. It also provides usage measurement tosupport charging OCS (online charging system) provides creditmanagement and grants credit to the PCEF based ontime, traffic volume or chargeable events. OFCS (off-line charging system) receives events fromthe PCEF and generates charging data records (CDRs)for the billing system.In the example shown in Figure 8 a customer has requested astreaming video that will be paid for by the included advertising.We will assume the customer likes the video and decides afterfive minutes to pay for a higher data rate with no advertisingfrom her pre-paid video account. This requires specific QoStreatment to the requested and modified by the streaming videocontroller during the session. It does this by appearing as anapplication function to the PCRF. The PCRF and PCEF worktogether to ensure the correct QoS is provided. The chargingaspects are managed by the OCS. When the customer switches
  14. 14. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 14to the non-advertising stream the PCEF will request credit fromthe OCS. The OCS will check the customer’s video balance andprovide the appropriate credit for the IP flow. The OCS has thejob of correlating charging events to ensure the customer is notcharged for the data stream, but only the video.Figure 8: Streaming video exampleSource: Analysys MasonThis scenario could be implemented in many ways and thecomplexity of subscriber management, off-line charging and thepossibility of the video service being provided by a third party isnot included here. But the key message is that the PCCcapabilities brought together in 3GPP release 7 and enhancedwith release 8 are sufficiently powerful to provide dynamiccontrol of charging and QoS on a per flow and per subscriberbasis.This example also illustrates the sorts of demands that will beput upon the PCC as LTE is deployed. The main sources ofgrowth in transaction growth will be; The support for dynamic control of policy and chargingwill enable applications to make multiple requests perservice session. Triggers associated with changes in location, networkaccess, device status and security will generateadditional requests. The greater complexity of the new business modelsillustrated in the example will also push the transactionrates higher.
  15. 15. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 15As a result the overall transaction load on the PCC will increasesignificantly from current levels.Current charging, policy and billingimplementationFigure 9: 2G/3G prepaid charging scenarioSource: Analysys MasonIn current 2G/3G networks policy control, charging and billingmediation are already complex functions. Real-time charging isprovided using the following platforms (see Figure 9): IN pre-paid platform: originally deployed to providesimple pre-paid voice services, has been continuouslyextended to include roaming, messaging, data andcontent services to pre-paid customers. Active mediation platforms: have been deployed asadjunct platforms to the IN pre-paid platform to supportcontrol and usage measurement for messaging, dataand contents services. Complex real-time rating platforms: have been deployedas adjunct platforms to the IN pre-paid platform tosupport more complex tariff models and subscribermodels. Policy control is already implemented to support existingdata services. This includes some PCRF typefunctionality, but not the full dynamic control of policythat the EPC will provide. GGSN and dedicated deep packet inspection (DPI)platforms support active mediation by enabling verydetailed usage measurements and control of IP flows.The growth in data rates and the roll out of LTE will put
  16. 16. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 16an increasing load on these functions as they migrate tothe PDN GW in the EPC. Billing mediation integrates with existing 2G /3G networkelements to support the post-paid billing requirements.This real-time infrastructure is being integrated with offline billingto support a hybrid model; where a customer can choose tohave individual services billed on a pre-paid or post-paid basis.The fundamental issue operators will face is how this alreadycomplex policy control, charging and billing infrastructure willevolve to accommodate the needs of LTE. A migration path isrequired from the legacy environment of Figure 9 to theLTE/SAE architecture of Figure 8. The growth in transactionrates that the PCC will be required to support will drive thereplacement of most legacy components during the migration.The IN pre-paid platform in particular will be gradually eliminatedas balance management migrates to the online billing platformand the circuit switched infrastructure is eventually replaced.Phase 1: LTE for data onlyThe evolution of policy control, charging and billing to supportphase 1 is illustrated in Figure 10. The critical implications are; Active mediation systems and complex real-time ratingadjuncts must evolve to support the requirements of the3GPP to find OCS. Rapidly growing usage will put asignificant load on the systems and they will need to bescaled accordingly. The migration of functionality away from legacy IN pre-paid platforms will continue. Operators are alreadymoving in this direction to support more complexhierarchical accounts and enable subscribers to choosehow individual services are charged (pre-paid or post-paid). The PCRF capability should be the focus for anyenhancements to policy control. Implementation on thePCRF enables policy control to be used for both pre-paid, post-paid and hybrid billing. Existing billing mediation platforms will need to beextended to support the EPC elements. With rapidlyincreased data traffic these will need significant scalingto meet demand. Existing off-line post-paid billing systems are complexand expensive to upgrade. Where possible operatorsshould insulate billing systems from the changes in thenetwork by focusing on enhancements to the PCC.
  17. 17. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 17 The streaming video example at the start of this sectionillustrated the type of premium service that LTE canoffer. This is critical to supporting additional revenuestreams and the PCC functionality must be evolved tosupport this type of scenario.Figure 10: Billing and charging requirementsSource: Analysys MasonManaging the transition to full IMSPhase 1 will be the focus for most operators for at least the nextthree years. However, it is important to remember the longerterm evolution to phase 2 and eventually phase 3, whenplanning upgrades to the policy control, charging and billingsystems.Phase 2 deliberately minimizes the changes to the existingcircuit switched infrastructure including policy control, chargingand billing systems. However, the variance on phase 2 thatinclude VoIP delivered over LTE will require the full dynamicQoS controls standardized in the EPC. These are required toensure appropriate QoS for voice calls and use a similarmechanism to the video streaming example in Figure 8.Phase 3 is the transition to an all IP network for transport,signaling and control based on IMS, EPC and LTE standards. Atypical deployment is illustrated in Figure 11. There is likely to bea proliferation of application and content servers that will use theapplication function to manage quality of service and chargingrequirements. This will generate a much higher load on thepolicy and charging control platform. Operators should factor inthe scalability requirements of these future needs whenselecting solutions to the current data only scenario.
  18. 18. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksPolicy control and chargingfor LTE services© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 18Figure 11: Full LTE with IMS – billing implicationsSource: Analysys MasonIn Figure 11 the IN pre-paid platform has finally been retiredfrom service and the real-time charging functions migrated to thePCC and online billing systems. Operators should have thistransition in mind when planning for the implementation of a dataonly LTE.
  19. 19. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksRecommendations© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 19RecommendationsMobile network operators are faced with some difficult decisionsin deciding how to evolve their charging, policy managementand billing mediation platforms as they deploy LTE and EPC.The critical trade-off is between delivering the full potential forLTE and IMS to enrich the end user experience and the cost ofreplacing and upgrading the existing control plane and supportsystems. The end user experience, with the appropriatecharging and billing infrastructure, can be translated intoincreased revenue and customer loyalty. The release 8 PCCcapabilities will be an enabler for new differentiated services andnew business models. Moving beyond a simple flat rate tooffering customers the choice of bandwidth, QoS, advertisingfunded services and the like will be important in monetizing theLTE investment. The final choice of how to balance revenue andcost will depend on a particular operator’s situation, but thefollowing issues should be considered with relation to charging,policy control and billing systems; LTE/SAE supported data services can deliver significantnew value to the end customer with increasedbandwidth, reduced latency and fine-grained controlover QoS. The value can only be realized by flexiblecharging, policy management and billing solutions. Theability to rapidly deploy new charging models andintegrate QoS policies will be critical to competing andsucceeding with LTE. Operators must include theserequirements in their LTE/SAE rollout plan. Billing systems have proved to be costly and time-consuming to upgrade. Operators can minimize theimpact of this by using the mediation and chargingplatforms to hide major changes from the billing system.These tend to be more modern platforms and thereforeless costly to upgrade. It is also easier to sharecapabilities between pre-paid and post-paid billingsystems and support evolution towards convergedbilling. Online charging will continue its complex evolution fromIN platform to full IMS online charging system.Introduction of an LTE/SAE data service will increasethis complexity; requiring management of QoS andrequiring greater scalability. Most operators recognizethat IN platforms will be around for some time. Thefocus should be on opening up standardized interfaces
  20. 20. Policy control and charging for LTEnetworksRecommendations© 2009 Analysys Mason Ltd. 20to the IN platform so that new requirements can bedeployed on adjunct platforms. This will help with themigration of functions (subscriber management, real-time rating, tariff models, etc) from the IN platform to theonline billing platform that will be the core platform whenand all IP LTE/IMS implementation is achieved. Providing voice over LTE with IMS support for richcommunication services can add significant value to theservices offered. In evaluating intermediate steps tosupporting full IMS operators should carefully evaluatehow any upgraded or new systems will support the finalIMS architecture. Deployment of full IMS capabilities will significantlyincrease the volume of charging and policy events thatthe policy and charging control and mediation functionsmust deal with. The likely proliferation of applicationservers supported by IMS will amplify this trend. As aconsequence operators must evaluate carefully thescalability and performance of systems deployed duringthe transition phase to full LTE/IMS deployment. Deployment of more powerful DPI capabilities, eitherstandalone or as part of the PDN gateway will beimportant in supporting some of the more sophisticatednew service opportunities. Operators should evaluatethe requirements and scalability of these platforms aspart of their overall PCC deployment. Policy and online charging will become increasinglyconnected as the network evolves towards full LTE/IMS.As a consequence operators must evaluate how thesewill integrate over time.

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