Policy and Charging Enforcement, and Traffic Detection
The 3GPP standards and interfaces specifications are important guidelines that ensure efficiency across the industry to ease multi-vendor interoperability and contribute to predictable costs and deployment timelines. Within the 3GPP framework, the Policy and Charging Enforcement Function (PCEF) and Traffic Detection Function (TDF) fulfill several functions, including:
- Traffic Detection: identification and measurement of Internet data traffic, including over-the-top (OTT) services
- Policy Enforcement: applying direct and indirect management to ensure optimal traffic flow
- Charging Enforcement: ensuring billing and charging is applied correctly by reporting usage to online and offline charging systems
The Policy Traffic Switch (PTS)
In Sandvine’s architecture, these functions and more are fulfilled by the 3GPP compliant Policy Traffic Switch (PTS). The PTS embeds the Sandvine Policy Engine in the data plane of any network, with any combination of access technologies (cable, wireless, DSL, fiber, 3G, LTE, WiFi, etc.), and scales higher with better performance efficiency than any other PCEF/TDF solution. Deep packet inspection (DPI) technology uncovers real-time information about the identity and measured characteristics of network traffic, and provides this information to other policy control devices via standard 3GPP interfaces.
In a Policy and Charging Control (PCC) deployment, the PTS measures subscriber usage in real-time and reports this usage to the relevant billing systems:
- for accurate prepaid services, the PTS connects directly and in real-time to the online charging system (OCS) via Diameter Gy
- in a postpaid deployment, usage is reported to the PCRF via Diameter Gx
Standards in Mind – 3GPP Compliant
Thanks to support for 3GPP standards, the PTS can receive policy enforcement direction from any PCRF, allowing you to get the most out of your existing investments. In the market for a PCRF? Pair Sandvine's PCRF and PCEF/TDF together for significant benefits.
For more information, please visit our Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) page.