The Diameter protocol refers to a security architecture for distributed systems for controlling which users are allowed access to which services, and tracking which resources they have used. Two network protocols providing this functionality are particularly popular: the RADIUS protocol, and its newer Diameter counterpart.
Diameter is a protocol within the family of AAA Protocols.
Diameter uses the URI scheme; AAA stands for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting, AAAS stands for Authentication, Authorization and Accounting with Secure Transport, which is a Diameter based Protocol. These protocols were defined by the Internet Engineering Task Force in RFC 6733 and are intended to provide an Authentication, Authorization, and Accounting (AAA) framework for applications such as network access or IP mobility in both local and roaming situations
Usage of AAA servers in CDMA networks
AAA servers in CDMA data networks are entities that provide Internet Protocol (IP) functionality to support the functions of authentication, authorization and accounting. The AAA server in the CDMA wireless data network architecture is similar to the HLR in the CDMA wireless voice network architecture. Types of AAA servers :
- Access Network AAA (AN-AAA) – Communicates with the RNC in the Access Network (AN) to enable authentication and authorization functions to be performed at the AN. The interface between AN and AN-AAA is known as the A12 interface.
- Broker AAA (B-AAA) – Acts as an intermediary to proxy AAA traffic between roaming partner networks (i.e., between the H-AAA server in the home network and V-AAA server in the serving network). B-AAA servers are used in CRX networks to enable CRX providers to offer billing settlement functions.
- Home AAA (H-AAA) – The AAA server in the roamer's home network. The H-AAA is similar to the HLR in voice. The H-AAA stores user profile information, responds to authentication requests, and collects accounting information.
- Visited AAA (V-AAA) – The AAA server in the visited network from which a roamer is receiving service. The V-AAA in the serving network communicates with the H-AAA in a roamer's home network. Authentication requests and accounting information are forwarded by the V-AAA to the H-AAA, either directly or through a B-AAA.
Current AAA servers communicate using the RADIUS protocol. As such, TIA specifications refer to AAA servers as RADIUS servers. However, future AAA servers are expected to use a successor protocol to RADIUS known as Diameter.
The behavior of AAA servers (radius servers) in the CDMA2000 wireless IP network is specified in TIA-835.