Policy Traffic Switch (PTS)
Data Plane Intelligence for Network Policy Control
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
The Policy Traffic Switch (PTS) embeds the Sandvine Policy Engine in the data plane of any network, be it physical or virtual, with any combination of access technologies, and scales higher with better performance efficiency than any other PCEF/TDF solution.
The Sandvine Policy Engine can be thought of as a black box into which information about measured conditions and provisioned subscriber entitlements flows, and out of which charging updates, management actions, and business intelligence emerge. Embedded within the PTS, the Policy Engine makes policy decisions locally, without needing to interact with a PCRF unless additional context is required; this design prevents unnecessary signaling, reduces the load on PCRF elements, and delivers faster decisions—all achieved without sacrificing standards compliance.
Specialized Software that goes beyond Policy Enforcement
PTS software performs vital functions and provides information for the Policy Engine, going far beyond a basic PCEF/TDF:
- Deep packet inspection (DPI) technology provides the Policy Engine with real-time information about the identity and measured characteristics of network traffic
- The PTS provides standard interfaces (including Gx) through which the Policy Engine can acquire additional information, when required for decision-making
- In a Policy and Charging Control (PCC) deployment, the PTS measures subscriber usage in real-time and provides the interfaces through which the Policy Engine communicates with online (via real-time Diameter Gy) and offline (via the Sandvine Service Delivery Engine) charging systems to enable charging use cases for prepaid users and postpaid subscribers
Real-World Performance in Any Network
The PTS product line includes three hardware models, the PTS 22000, PTS 24000, and PTS 32000, and the PTS Virtual Series, each of which is available in a range of variants. With communications service providers (CSPs) worldwide looking to rein in operations costs, performance density is as important a consideration as top-line performance and the PTS provides the best of both worlds:
- Industry-leading port and performance density
- Clustering technology that efficiently delivers massive scale
The PTS 22000 packs high-performance PCEF/TDF functionality in only 2 RU. Supports inspection throughput of 40 Gbps, 10 Gbps, or 4 Gbps, with cluster inspection up to 280 Gbps.
The PTS 24000 is deployed in many of the world's largest networks. It allows operators to economically inspect up to 650 Gbps, with individual throughput inspection of 80 Gbps and 160 Gbps.
The PTS 32000 is the world's first 2 RU 100GE platform. Delivers PCEF/TDF functionality at the highest scale with the best performance density, supporting up to 375 Gbps throughput inspection per unit.
Policy Traffic Switch Virtual Series
Supporting industry and open standards, the PTS Virtual Series lets operators deploy Sandvine's PCEF/TDF as an elastically-scalable virtual network function (VNF).