WO2015127966A1 - Managing terminal types in communications - Google Patents

Managing terminal types in communications Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2015127966A1
WO2015127966A1 PCT/EP2014/053687 EP2014053687W WO2015127966A1 WO 2015127966 A1 WO2015127966 A1 WO 2015127966A1 EP 2014053687 W EP2014053687 W EP 2014053687W WO 2015127966 A1 WO2015127966 A1 WO 2015127966A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
mobile equipment
apparatus
characterized
terminal type
radio network
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/EP2014/053687
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Woonhee Hwang
Antti Anton Toskala
Antti Jaakko PASANEN
Original Assignee
Nokia Solutions And Networks Oy
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by Nokia Solutions And Networks Oy filed Critical Nokia Solutions And Networks Oy
Priority to PCT/EP2014/053687 priority Critical patent/WO2015127966A1/en
Publication of WO2015127966A1 publication Critical patent/WO2015127966A1/en

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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W8/00Network data management
    • H04W8/22Processing or transfer of terminal data, e.g. status or physical capabilities
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W88/00Devices specially adapted for wireless communication networks, e.g. terminals, base stations or access point devices
    • H04W88/02Terminal devices

Abstract

A method is disclosed for managing device type information in a communications system. The method comprises converting (401) an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of a mobile equipment (203) to a terminal type of the mobile equipment (203). Based on said converting, a radio network apparatus (201) is informed (402) on the terminal type of the mobile equipment (203).

Description

DESCRIPTION

TITLE

MANAGING TERMINAL TYPES IN COMMUNICATIONS

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The exemplary and non-limiting embodiments of this invention relate generally to wireless communications networks, and more particularly to managing terminal types. BACKGROUND ART

The following description of background art may include insights, discoveries,

understandings or disclosures, or associations together with dis-closures not known to the relevant art prior to the present invention but provided by the invention. Some such contributions of the invention may be specifically pointed out below, whereas other such contributions of the invention will be apparent from their context.

IMEI includes information on an origin, model, and serial number of a device. A structure of IMEI-SV may be specified such that a model and origin of the device comprise an initial 8-digit portion of IMEI-SV, which may be referred to as a type allocation code (TAC).

SUMMARY

The following presents a simplified summary of the invention in order to provide a basic understanding of some aspects of the invention. This summary is not an extensive overview of the invention. It is not intended to identify key/critical elements of the invention or to delineate the scope of the invention. Its sole purpose is to present some concepts of the invention in a simplified form as a prelude to the more detailed description that is presented later.

Various aspects of the invention comprise a method, apparatuses, and a computer program product as defined in the independent claims. Further embodiments of the invention are disclosed in the dependent claims.

An aspect of the invention relates to a method for managing device type information in a communications system, the method comprising converting an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of a mobile equipment to a terminal type of the mobile equipment; based on said converting, informing a radio network apparatus on the terminal type of the mobile equipment.

A further aspect of the invention relates to an apparatus comprising at least one processor; and at least one memory including a computer program code, wherein the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to convert an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of a mobile equipment to a terminal type of the mobile equipment; based on said converting, inform a radio network apparatus on the terminal type of the mobile equipment. A still further aspect of the invention relates to a first apparatus comprising at least one processor; and at least one memory including a computer program code, wherein the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the first apparatus to receive, from a second apparatus, information on a terminal type of a mobile equipment obtained in the second apparatus based on an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of the mobile equipment; based on said receiving, carry out terminal type specific functions for the mobile equipment based on the terminal type of the mobile equipment.

A still further aspect of the invention relates to a computer program product comprising executable code that when executed, causes execution of functions of the method. Although the various aspects, embodiments and features of the invention are recited independently, it should be appreciated that all combinations of the various aspects, embodiments and features of the invention are possible and within the scope of the present invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the following the invention will be described in greater detail by means of exemplary embodiments with reference to the attached drawings, in which

Figure 1 illustrates an IMEI-SV structure;

Figure 2 shows a simplified block diagram illustrating exemplary system architecture; Figure 3 shows a simplified block diagram illustrating exemplary apparatuses; Figure 4 shows a messaging diagram illustrating an exemplary messaging event according to an embodiment of the invention; Figure 5 shows a schematic diagram of a flow chart according to an exemplary

embodiment of the invention;

Figure 6 shows a schematic diagram of a flow chart according to an exemplary

embodiment of the invention. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SOME EMBODIMENTS

3GPP is considering the use of IMEI-SV (international mobile equipment identity - software version) for addressing specific characteristics of different devices. This has been proposed to be done by forwarding IMEI-SV from a core network to eNB/RNC. A definition for IMEI-SV is illustrated in Figure 1 where a structure of IMEI-SV is shown. IMEI-SV includes following elements (each element comprises decimal digits only): a type allocation code (TAC), a serial number (SNR), and a software version number (SVN). The type allocation code (TAC) has a length of 8 digits. The serial number (SNR) is an individual serial number uniquely identifying each equipment within each TAC. Its length is 6 digits. The software version number (SVN) identifies the software version number of the mobile equipment. Its length is 2 digits.

The same structure (with the exception of SVN) is valid for IMEI as well; only SVN is replaced by a check digit (15 digits in total).

The large number of devices of a particular type (e.g. more than one million) causes that the mere serial number field is not sufficient, but for exactly the same devices there are different digits used for the TAC field. The TAC types are thus not one-to-one mapping. For example, an iPhone model selling 30 million units ends up having IMEI-SV codes such that there are actually 30 different values for the TAC field, even if referring to the same type (in this case assumingly a smart phone).

In order for eNB to understand which type of device it is in question, it needs to have a larger database to understand the mapping.

The types of devices are given by GSMA in TS.06 "IMEI allocation and process", which are TAC code numbers. There is no single TAC equalling to a particular device type, due to a limitation of the serial code only being able to identify 1 million units (with 6 digits). For example, the first two digits may relate to an allocation body. Thus even the same device getting the allocation may have a different TAC code even if less than million units are produced, as different allocation bodies may give a different number for the TAC code in a number space, to exactly the same device model. The device may include e.g. a mobile/feature phone, a smartphone, a tablet, an e-book, a connected computer, a dongle, a modem, and/or a WLAN router.

Any IMEI-SV may be used, and then information on what is the meaning of each IMEI-SV range, may be stored in eNB. For an UMTS radio access network (UTRAN), 3GPP has also defined a so called bit map process which is only intended for UE faults but not to identify any specific terminal types.

An exemplary embodiment discloses a conversion from IMEI-SV to a device type for specific handling. A core network performs the conversion from IMEI-SV to the terminal type (e.g. smartphone, WLAN router, dongle, tablet, metering device). eNB is given by the core network (over S1 , or over lu and Gb), information on the type of the device in question.

Alternatively, UE may perform the conversion from IMEI-SV to the terminal type and provide information on that terminal type to eNB via a proper RRC message.

An exemplary embodiment enables different treatment, for example, between

smartphones, dongles and metering devices in the radio network, what comes to e.g. radio resource allocation etc. in a way that for a mobility case, the resources and session connectivity are prioritized for a smart phone, while for a metering device one may more easily rely on session re-establishment in case of a connection, as a small break in the connectivity is not likely to be critical. Other aspects may include setting of different timers, where metering devices may easily have longer timers or also longer DRX cycles compared to devices with direct human connectivity. An eNB/BS scheduler may also decide to treat different types of UEs differently, for example, delivering a shorter delay for the smart phone type devices than other device types. Also the radio network is able to utilize this information on when to release the RRC connection. The use of this approach avoids the need to store in eNB (or base station BS) information on the meaning of a particular IMEI-SV type (and the TAC code part of IMEI-SV), as the particular number for the TAC part is only defined by the IMEI-SV allocation process (outside 3GPP) and is thus not hard coded to eNB (BS), but needs to be updated constantly. MME or UE converts IMEI-SV to a certain device type and provides it to the radio network controller (or eNB). Therefore RNC/eNB is able to treat UEs differently. Alternatively, IMEI-SV may be provided together with such conversion information that allows RNC/eNB to treat different UEs accordingly if only for part of the user terminals additional information is stored in RNC/eNB to be taken into account based on IMEI-SV.

Exemplary embodiments will now be described more fully hereinafter with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which some, but not all embodiments of the invention are shown. Indeed, the invention may be embodied in many different forms and should not be construed as limited to the embodiments set forth herein; rather, these embodiments are provided so that this disclosure will satisfy applicable legal requirements. Although the specification may refer to "an", "one", or "some" embodiment(s) in several locations, this does not necessarily mean that each such reference is to the same embodiment(s), or that the feature only applies to a single embodiment. Single features of different embodiments may also be combined to provide other embodiments. Like reference numerals refer to like elements throughout.

The present invention is applicable to any user terminal, network node, server, corresponding component, and/or to any communication system or any combination of different communication systems that support IMEI allocation. The communication system may be a fixed communication system or a wireless communication system or a communication system utilizing both fixed networks and wireless networks. The protocols used, the specifications of communication systems, servers and user terminals, especially in wireless communication, develop rapidly. Such development may require extra changes to an embodiment. Therefore, all words and expressions should be interpreted broadly and they are intended to illustrate, not to restrict, the embodiment.

In the following, different embodiments will be described using, as an example of a system architecture whereto the embodiments may be applied, an architecture based on LTE (or LTE-A) (long term evolution (advanced long term evolution)) network elements, without restricting the embodiment to such an architecture, however. The embodiments described in these examples are not limited to the LTE radio systems but can also be implemented in other radio systems, such as 3G, 4G, 5G, B4G, UMTS (universal mobile

telecommunications system), GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, Bluetooth network, WLAN, WiMAX or other fixed, mobile or wireless network. In an embodiment, the presented solution may be applied between elements belonging to different but compatible systems such as LTE and UMTS.

A general architecture of a communication system is illustrated in Figure 2. Figure 2 is a simplified system architecture only showing some elements and functional entities, all being logical units whose implementation may differ from what is shown. The connections shown in Figure 2 are logical connections; the actual physical connections may be different. It is apparent to a person skilled in the art that the systems also comprise other functions and structures. It should be appreciated that the functions, structures, elements and the protocols used in or for a synchronization and access procedure, are irrelevant to the actual invention. Therefore, they need not to be discussed in more detail here.

The exemplary radio system of Figure 2 comprises a network node 201 of a network operator. The network node 201 may include e.g. an LTE/LTE-A base station (eNB), radio network controller (RNC), or any other network element, or a combination of network elements. The network node 201 may be connected to one or more core network (CN) elements 202 such as a mobility management entity MME, mobile switching centre

(MSC), MSC server (MSS), gateway GPRS support node (GGSN), serving GPRS support node (SGSN). In Figure 2, the radio network node 201 that may also be called eNB (enhanced node-B, evolved node-B) or network apparatus of the radio system, hosts the functions for radio resource management in a public land mobile network. Figure 2 shows one or more user equipment 203 located in the service area of the radio network node 201 . The user equipment refers to a portable computing device, and it may also be referred to as a user terminal. Such computing devices include wireless mobile communication devices operating with or without a subscriber identification module (SIM) in hardware or in software, including, but not limited to, the following types of devices: mobile phone, smart-phone, personal digital assistant (PDA), handset, laptop computer. In the example situation of Figure 2, the user equipment 203 is capable of connecting to the radio network node 201 via a connection 205, and the radio network node 201 is capable of connecting to the core network node 202 via a connection 204. The apparatus 203 may also comprise a device such as a dongle, modem and/or a WLAN router. Figure 3 is a block diagram of an apparatus according to an embodiment of the invention.

Figure 3 shows a user equipment 203 (or a device 203) located in the area of a radio network node 201 . The user equipment 203 is configured to be in connection with the radio network node 201 . The user equipment or UE 203 comprises a controller 301 operationally connected to a memory 302 and a transceiver 303. The controller 301 controls the operation of the user equipment 203. The memory 302 is configured to store software and data. The transceiver 303 is configured to set up and maintain a wireless connection 205 to the radio network node 201 . The transceiver 203 is operationally connected to a set of antenna ports 304 connected to an antenna arrangement 305. The antenna arrangement 305 may comprise a set of antennas. The number of antennas may be one to four, for example. The number of antennas is not limited to any particular number. The user equipment 203 may also comprise various other components, such as a user interface, camera, and media player. They are not displayed in the figure due to simplicity.

The radio network node 201 , such as an LTE/LTE-A base station (eNode-B, eNB) and/or a radio network controller (RNC), comprises a controller 306 operationally connected to a memory 307, and a transceiver 308. The controller 306 controls the operation of the radio network node 201 . The memory 307 is configured to store software and data. The transceiver 308 is configured to set up and maintain a wireless connection to the user equipment 203 within the service area of the radio network node 201 . The transceiver 308 is operationally connected to an antenna arrangement 309. The antenna arrangement 309 may comprise a set of antennas. The number of antennas may be two to four, for example. The number of antennas is not limited to any particular number. The radio network node 201 may be operationally connected (directly or indirectly) to another network element 202 of the communication system, such as a mobility management entity (MME), an MSC server (MSS), a mobile switching centre (MSC), a radio resource management (RRM) node, an operations, administrations and maintenance (OAM) node, a gateway, and/or a server, via an interface 310.

The core network node 202, such as a mobility management entity (MME), comprises a controller 31 1 operationally connected to a memory 312. The controller 306 controls the operation of the radio network node 201 . The memory 312 is configured to store software and data. The core network node 202 is operationally connected to a radio network node 201 , such as an LTE/LTE-A base station (eNode-B, eNB) and/or a radio network controller (RNC), via an interface 313.

The embodiments are not, however, restricted to the network given above as an example, but a person skilled in the art may apply the solution to other communication networks provided with the necessary properties. For example, the connections between different network elements may be realized with internet protocol (IP) connections.

Although the apparatus 201 , 202, 203 has been depicted as one entity, different modules and memory may be implemented in one or more physical or logical entities. The apparatus may also be a user terminal which is a piece of equipment or a device that associates, or is arranged to associate, the user terminal and its user with a subscription and allows a user to interact with a communications system. The user terminal presents information to the user and allows the user to input information. In other words, the user terminal may be any terminal capable of receiving information from and/or transmitting information to the network, connectable to the network wirelessly or via a fixed connection. Examples of the user terminals include a personal computer, a game console, a laptop (a notebook), a personal digital assistant, a mobile station (mobile phone), a smart phone, and a line telephone. The apparatus 203 may also include a device such as a dongle, modem and/or a WLAN router.

The apparatus 201 , 202, 203 may generally include a processor, controller, control unit or the like connected to a memory and to various interfaces of the apparatus. Generally the processor is a central processing unit, but the processor may be an additional operation processor. The processor may comprise a computer processor, application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC), field-programmable gate array (FPGA), and/or other hardware components that have been programmed in such a way to carry out one or more functions of an embodiment.

The memory 302, 307, 312 may include volatile and/or non-volatile memory and typically stores content, data, or the like. For example, the memory 302, 307, 312 may store computer program code such as software applications or operating systems, information, data, content, or the like for a processor to perform steps associated with operation of the apparatus in accordance with embodiments. The memory may be, for example, random access memory (RAM), a hard drive, or other fixed data memory or storage device.

Further, the memory, or part of it, may be removable memory detachably connected to the apparatus.

The techniques described herein may be implemented by various means so that an apparatus implementing one or more functions of a corresponding mobile entity described with an embodiment comprises not only prior art means, but also means for implementing the one or more functions of a corresponding apparatus described with an embodiment and it may comprise separate means for each separate function, or means may be configured to perform two or more functions. For example, these techniques may be implemented in hardware (one or more apparatuses), firmware (one or more

apparatuses), software (one or more modules), or combinations thereof. For a firmware or software, implementation can be through modules (e.g. procedures, functions, and so on) that perform the functions described herein. The software codes may be stored in any suitable, processor/computer-readable data storage medium(s) or memory unit(s) or article(s) of manufacture and executed by one or more processors/computers. The data storage medium or the memory unit may be implemented within the processor/computer or external to the processor/computer, in which case it can be communicatively coupled to the processor/computer via various means as is known in the art.

The signalling chart of Figure 4 illustrates the required signalling. In the example of Figure 4, an apparatus 202, 203 (a network element (network node, communication device), e.g. a user terminal UE 203, a mobile equipment 203, a device 203, or a mobility management entity MME 202) may convert 401 an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of the user terminal 203 to a terminal type of the user terminal 203. In item 402, the apparatus 202, 203 may, based on said converting, inform 402 an apparatus 201 (a network element (network node), e.g. a LTE/LTE-A base station eNB and/or a radio network controller RNC) on the terminal type of the user terminal 203. In item 403, the apparatus 201 may receive, from the apparatus 202, 203, information on the terminal type of the user terminal, and, based on said receiving, carry out terminal type specific functions for the user terminal 203 based on the terminal type of the user terminal 203. Figure 5 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary embodiment. The apparatus 202, 203, which may comprise e.g. a network element (network node 202, 203, e.g. a user terminal UE 203, a mobile equipment 203, a device 203, or a mobility management entity MME 202), may convert 501 an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI- SV of the user terminal 203 to a terminal type of the user terminal 203. In item 502, the apparatus 202, 203 may, based on said converting, inform 502 an apparatus 201 (a network element (network node), e.g. a LTE/LTE-A base station eNB and/or a radio network controller RNC) on the terminal type of the user terminal 203.

Figure 6 is a flow chart illustrating an exemplary embodiment. The apparatus 201 , which may comprise e.g. a network element (network node 201 , e.g. an LTE/LTE-A base station eNB and/or a radio network controller RNC), may receive 601 , from an apparatus 202, 203 (a network element (network node, communication device), e.g. a user terminal UE 203, a mobile equipment 203, a device 203, or a mobility management entity MME 202), information on a terminal type of the user terminal, and, based on said receiving, carry out 602 terminal type specific functions for the user terminal 203 based on the received terminal type of the user terminal 203.

The steps/points, signalling messages and related functions de-scribed above in Figures 1 to 6 are in no absolute chronological order, and some of the steps/points may be performed simultaneously or in an order differing from the given one. Other functions can also be executed between the steps/points or within the steps/points and other signalling messages sent be-tween the illustrated messages. Some of the steps/points or part of the steps/points can also be left out or replaced by a corresponding step/point or part of the step/point. The apparatus operations illustrate a procedure that may be implemented in one or more physical or logical entities. The signalling messages are only exemplary and may even comprise several separate messages for transmitting the same information. In addition, the messages may also contain other information. It will be obvious to a person skilled in the art that, as the technology advances, the inventive concept can be implemented in various ways. The invention and its embodiments are not limited to the examples described above but may vary within the scope of the claims. List of abbreviations

TAC type allocation code

SN serial number

IMEI international mobile equipment identity SV software version

Claims

1. A method for managing device type information in a communications system, the method comprising converting (401, 501) an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of a mobile equipment (203) to a terminal type of the mobile equipment (203); based on said converting, informing (402, 502) a radio network apparatus (201) on the terminal type of the mobile equipment (203).
2. A method according to claim ^characterized in that the terminal type indicates a device type of the mobile equipment.
3. A method according to claim 2, characterized in that the terminal type comprises information on the mobile equipment being at least one of a mobile phone, smartphone, connected computer, tablet, e-book, WLAN router, dongle, metering device and modem.
4. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, characterized in that the international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of the mobile equipment comprises a type allocation code TAC, a serial number SNR, and a software version number SVN, of the mobile equipment.
5. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that said converting is performed in a core network apparatus (202).
6. A method according to claim 5, characterized in that said informing is performed via an S1 interface, or via lu and Gb interfaces.
7. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, characterized in that said converting is performed in the mobile equipment.
8. A method according to claim 7, characterized in that said informing is performed via a radio resource control message transmitted from the mobile equipment to the radio network apparatus (201).
9. A method as claimed in claim 5 or 6, characterized in that the core network apparatus comprises a mobility management entity.
10. A method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 9, characterized in that the radio network apparatus comprises at least one of a base station and a radio network controller.
11. An apparatus comprising at least one processor; and at least one memory including a computer program code, characterized in that the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus (202, 203) to convert an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of a mobile equipment (203) to a terminal type of the mobile equipment (203); based on said converting, inform a radio network apparatus (201) on the terminal type of the mobile equipment (203).
12. An apparatus according to claim 11, characterized in that the terminal type indicates a device type of the mobile equipment.
13. An apparatus according to claim 12, characterized in that the terminal type comprises information on the mobile equipment being at least one of a mobile phone, smartphone, connected computer, tablet, e-book, WLAN router, dongle, metering device and modem.
14. An apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 13, characterized in that the international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of the mobile equipment comprises a type allocation code TAC, a serial number SNR, and a software version number SVN, of the mobile equipment.
15. An apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 14, characterized in that it comprises a core network apparatus (202).
16. An apparatus according to claim 15, characterized in that the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to perform said informing via an S1 interface, or via lu and Gb interfaces.
17. An apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 14, characterized in that the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to perform said converting in the mobile equipment.
18. An apparatus according to claim 17, characterized in that the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the apparatus to perform said informing via a radio resource control message transmitted from the mobile equipment to the radio network apparatus (201).
19. An apparatus as claimed in claim 15 or 16, characterized in that the core network apparatus comprises a mobility management entity.
20. An apparatus as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 19, characterized in that the radio network apparatus comprises at least one of a base station and a radio network controller.
21. A first apparatus comprising at least one processor; and at least one memory including a computer program code, characterized in that the at least one memory and the computer program code are configured to, with the at least one processor, cause the first apparatus (201) to receive, from a second apparatus (202, 203), information on a terminal type of a mobile equipment (203) obtained in the second apparatus (202, 203) based on an international mobile equipment identity software version IMEI-SV of the mobile equipment (203); based on said receiving, carry out terminal type specific functions for the mobile equipment (203) based on the terminal type of the mobile equipment (203).
22. A computer program product comprising executable code that when executed, causes execution of functions of a method according to any one of claims 1 to 10.
PCT/EP2014/053687 2014-02-26 2014-02-26 Managing terminal types in communications WO2015127966A1 (en)

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