A Diameter Routing Agent (DRA) is a functional element in a 3G or 4G (such as LTE) network that provides real-time routing capabilities to ensure that messages are routed among the correct elements in a network. The DRA was introduced by the 3GPP to address the increased Diameter signaling traffic and growing complexity of 4G LTE networks.
Some of this complexity comes from the enhanced services that communications service providers (CSPs) introduce in 3G and 4G LTE networks, such as tiered charging, converged billing, and policy enforcement control. These services require other Diameter-based functionalities, including PCRFs, PCEFs, HSS, and more, to support complex user-service connections. A DRA controls and manages the Diameter signaling among these elements to ensure that the proper connections are made.
Networks with complex architectures and multiple Diameter nodes require an advanced Diameter contextual routing engine. Choosing a DRA that’s capable of advanced contextual routing is essential to managing network complexity and capitalizing on all that 4G LTE has to offer.