WO2016091307A1 - Indication of user capabilitiy preferences to andsf and transmission of an andsf managed object tailored to ue capability preferences - Google Patents

Indication of user capabilitiy preferences to andsf and transmission of an andsf managed object tailored to ue capability preferences Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2016091307A1
WO2016091307A1 PCT/EP2014/077271 EP2014077271W WO2016091307A1 WO 2016091307 A1 WO2016091307 A1 WO 2016091307A1 EP 2014077271 W EP2014077271 W EP 2014077271W WO 2016091307 A1 WO2016091307 A1 WO 2016091307A1
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WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
capability
information
communications terminal
access
tree
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Application number
PCT/EP2014/077271
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Sumit Singhal
Original Assignee
Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
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Publication date
Application filed by Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ) filed Critical Telefonaktiebolaget Lm Ericsson (Publ)
Priority to PCT/EP2014/077271 priority Critical patent/WO2016091307A1/en
Publication of WO2016091307A1 publication Critical patent/WO2016091307A1/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
    • H04W8/24Transfer of terminal data
    • H04W8/245Transfer of terminal data from a network towards a terminal
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W48/00Access restriction; Network selection; Access point selection
    • H04W48/08Access restriction or access information delivery, e.g. discovery data delivery
    • H04W48/14Access restriction or access information delivery, e.g. discovery data delivery using user query or user detection
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04WWIRELESS COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
    • H04W8/00Network data management
    • H04W8/18Processing of user or subscriber data, e.g. subscribed services, user preferences or user profiles; Transfer of user or subscriber data
    • H04W8/20Transfer of user or subscriber data

Abstract

Current device capability control by the Access Network Discovery and Selection Function ANDSF in which access to an access network is conditional upon dynamic disabling or enabling of a particular device capability does not consider user capability preferences. Thus, an UE acquires the capability preference sub-tree in order to indicate a preference with regards to the enabling or disabling of a particular capability (e.g. WLAN transceiver, GPS, Camera, etc.) in correlation with access to an access network and sends it to the ANDSF. ANDSF selects profiles depending on the received user capability preferences. Further embodiments: A control apparatus (102) is operable to provide information of a management object, which is hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information, to a communications terminal (101) to control access to access networks. The control apparatus acquires, and transmits to the communications terminal, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The communications terminal, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received, disables or enables the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network.

Description

DESCRIPTION

INDICATION OF USER CAPABILITY PREFERENCES TO ANDSF AND TRANSMISSION OF AN ANDSF MANAGED OBJECT TAILORED TO UE CAPABILITY PREFERENCES

TECHNICAL FIELD

[0001] The present invention generally relates to an access network related information provisioning system, a control apparatus, a communications terminal, a method of controlling a control apparatus, a method of controlling a communications terminal, a program, and a storage medium. BACKGROUND

[0002] The number of communications terminals capable of accessing non-3GPP access networks for

technologies such as Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) or Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access

(WiMAX) , in addition to 3GPP access networks, continues to increase. Such communications terminals may be able to automatically select a particular access network based on information such as user settings, operator policy and network conditions, for example.

[0003] In an effort to standardize the behavior of such terminals and address issues related to the

integration of non-3GPP access technologies and 3GPP access technologies, functionality known as Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) has been introduced by the 3GPP in Release 8. The ANDSF is an entity within an Evolved Packet Core (EPC) of the System Architecture Evolution (SAE) for 3GPP compliant mobile networks.

[0004] An ANDSF control apparatus provides

communications terminals (also known as user equipment) with access network related information in order to control access to access networks. This provisioning may assist the communications terminals in performing access network discovery or access network selection, for example. An ANDSF control apparatus may provision, to a communications terminal, access network related information relating to Inter-System Mobility Policy (ISMP), Access Network Discovery Information, Inter- System Routing Policy (ISRP), Inter-APN Routing Policy (IARP), or the like. This information may be used by the communications terminal to change a data connection from a first access network to which the communications terminal is currently connected to a second access network, for example. For details of the functionality of the ANDSF, see the 3GPP specifications TS 23.402 V12.6.0 (especially chapter 4.8.2.1) and TS 24.302 V12.6.0 (especially chapter 6.8 and Annex A.2).

[0005] Access network related information is transferred between the communications terminals and the ANDSF using Open Mobile Alliance (OMA) Device

Management (DM) as defined in OMA-ERELD-DM-Vl_3

(chapter 5 lists the specification baseline of OMA DM device description Baseline) with an ANDSF Management Object (ANDSF MO) as specified in the 3GPP

specification TS 24.312 V12.6.1. The ANDSF MO is a hierarchical tree of nodes used to describe access network related information stored in a communications terminal. A portion of the ANDSF MO may be provided to the communications terminal, possibly based upon information such as the current location of the

communications terminal, for example.

[0006] Techniques such as the technique described in US Patent Application Publication 2014/0040504 Al have described provisioning, by the ANDSF, of ISRP rules specific to traffic offloading from a particular software application, for example. However, existing techniques do not address device capability control by the ANDSF in which access to an access network is conditional upon dynamic disabling or enabling of a particular device capability.

SUMMARY

[0007] The present invention was conceived in view of the above circumstances, and it is an object thereof to provide a technique for provisioning of access network related information in which access to an access network is conditional upon dynamic disabling or enabling of a particular device capability.

[0008] According to the first aspect of the present invention, there is provided an access network related information provisioning system. The system contains a communications terminal, and a control apparatus operable to provide information of a

management object, which is a hierarchical management tree including access network related information, to the communications terminal to control access to access networks. The control apparatus has an acquisition unit configured to acquire information of a portion of the management tree including information of a

capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The control apparatus also has a communication unit

configured to transmit, to the communications terminal, the information acquired by the acquisition unit. The communications terminal has a communication unit configured to receive the information transmitted by the communication unit of the control apparatus. The communications terminal also has a control unit

configured to, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received by the communication unit, disable or enable the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network.

[0009] According to the second aspect of the present invention, there is provided a control

apparatus operable to provide information of a

management object, which is a hierarchical management tree including access network related information, to a communications terminal to control access to access networks. The control apparatus has an acquisition unit configured to acquire information of a portion of the management tree including information of a

capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The control unit also has a communication unit configured to transmit, to the communications terminal, the information acquired by the acquisition unit .

[0010] According to the third aspect of the present invention, there is provided a communications terminal operable to receive information of a

management object, which is a hierarchical management tree including access network related information for controlling access to access networks, from a control apparatus. The communications terminal has a

communication unit configured to receive, from the control apparatus, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The communications terminal also has a control unit

configured to, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received by the communication unit, disable or enable the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network.

[0011] According to the fourth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of controlling a control apparatus operable to provide information of a management object, which is a

hierarchical management tree including access network related information, to a communications terminal to control access to access networks. The method has an acquisition step of acquiring information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The method also has a communication step of transmitting, to the communications terminal, the information acquired in the acquisition step.

[0012] According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, there is provided a method of controlling a communications terminal operable to receive information of a management object, which is a hierarchical management tree including access network related information for controlling access to access networks, from a control apparatus. The method has a communication step of receiving, from the control apparatus, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. The method also has a control step of, in accordance with the

information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received in the communication step, disabling or enabling the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network.

[0013] By virtue of the above features, it is possible to provision access network related

information in which access to an access network is conditional upon dynamic disabling or enabling of a particular device capability.

[0014] Further features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent from the following description with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which like reference characters designate the same or similar parts throughout the figures thereof. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is a view for showing an overall architecture of an access network related information provisioning system according to some embodiments.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of a control apparatus according to some embodiments.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of a communications terminal according to some embodiments.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a view showing an example an

ANDSF MO according to some embodiments.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a view showing an example of a capability sub-tree of the ANDSF MO according to some embodiments .

[0020] FIG. 6 is a view showing an example of portions of the ANDSF MO including capability sub-trees.

[0021] FIG. 7 is a view showing an example of a capability preference sub-tree of the ANDSF MO

according to some embodiments.

[0022] FIG. 8 is a view showing an example of a portion of the ANDSF MO including a capability

preference sub-tree.

[0023] FIG. 9 is a sequence diagram showing a sequence by which the communications terminal communicates with the control apparatus in order to switch from a 3GPP access network to a non-3GPP access network according to some embodiments.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[ 0024 ] FIG. 1 is a view for showing an overall architecture of an access network related information provisioning system according to some embodiments.

[ 0025 ] A communications terminal 101 is operable to access to a 3GPP Evolved Packet Core (EPC) via a plurality of access networks. The communications terminal 101 may be capable of accessing via one or more types of non-3GPP access networks for technologies such as WLAN, WiMAX, cdma2000 (registered trademark) High Rate Packet Data (HRPD) , and the like.

[ 0026] The communications terminal 101 may also be capable of accessing the EPC via 3GPP access networks. Embodiments are not limited to any particular type of 3GPP access network. The communications terminal 101 may access to a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) , a Global system for mobile communications Enhanced data rates for GSM evolution Radio Access Network (GERAN) or an Evolved UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E- UTRAN), for example.

[ 0027 ] It should be easily recognized that in embodiments there could be many of the communications terminal 101 connected to the 3GPP EPC simultaneously. Also the communications terminal 101 may be any kind of device operable to connect to an access network, such as a smart phone, a laptop, or a tablet, for example.

[0028] A control apparatus 102 is a network entity operable to provide information of a management object to the communications terminal 101 to control access by the communications terminal 101 to access networks. Explanation will be given for embodiments in which the control apparatus 102 is an ANDSF server. The control apparatus 102 may be located in a home Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) of the communications terminal 101, or in a visited PLMN, in a case of roaming, for example .

[0029] The control apparatus 102 will be explained as a single apparatus, but it should be recognized that in some embodiments the functionality of the control apparatus 102 will be spread across multiple devices. The control apparatus 102 may contain data management and control functionality for the provision of network discovery or selection assistance data according to policy of a network operator.

[0030] The communications terminal 101 is capable of connecting, in accordance with a policy of an operator, to the control apparatus 102 via a 3GPP or a non-3GPP access network. The control apparatus 102 may communicate with the communications terminal 101 over - li ¬ the S14 reference point.

[0031] The management object (exemplary

explanation will be given for cases where this is an ANDSF MO) is part of a hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information. For the purpose of controlling access to access networks, information of portions of the management object is transmitted between the communications terminal 101 and the control apparatus 102. This communication is based on a protocol such as an OMA DM based protocol, for example .

[0032] As will be described in detail below, embodiments advantageously enable more versatile access network control by the control apparatus 102

provisioning information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a capability of the communications terminal 101 be either disabled or enabled in

correlation with an access to an access network

corresponding to the portion.

[0033] FIG. 2 is a functional block diagram of the control apparatus 102 according to some embodiments. In some embodiments, functional blocks illustrated in FIG. 2 comprise a plurality of sub-units capable of performing differing sub-functions. In other

embodiments, the functions of two or more of the functional blocks illustrated in FIG. 2 are performed by a single functional unit.

[ 0034 ] Here, the control apparatus 102 comprises a central processing unit (CPU) 201, a random access memory (RAM) 202, a read-only memory (ROM) 203, a communication unit 204, and an acquisition unit 206. Note that there may be multiple instances of a

component. The components may be connected by a bus, and capable of communication with each other thereupon.

[ 0035 ] The communication unit 204 may include wired links, such as an Ethernet cable for example. It may include wireless links, via transmitting/receiving antennas for example. It is capable of communication with external devices such as the communications

terminal 101 over one or more networks and in

accordance with one or more communications protocols.

[ 0036] In some embodiments, the functionality of the acquisition unit 205 is implemented by the CPU 201 executing a software program stored in the ROM 203 using the RAM 202 as a work area. In other embodiments, the acquisition unit 205 is implemented using dedicated hardware such as an ASIC. In still other embodiments, the acquisition unit 205 is implemented using a

combination of software and hardware. The detailed operation of the acquisition unit 205 will be described later with reference to FIG. 9.

[ 0037 ] FIG. 3 is a functional block diagram of the communications terminal 101 according to some embodiments. In some embodiments, functional blocks illustrated in FIG. 3 comprise a plurality of sub-units capable of performing differing sub-functions. In some embodiments, functions of two or more of the functional blocks illustrated in FIG. 3 are performed by a single functional unit.

[0038] Here, the communications terminal 101 comprises a central processing unit (CPU) 301, a random access memory (RAM) 302, a read-only memory (ROM) 303, a communication unit 304, a storage unit 305, an acquisition unit 306, an input unit 307, and an output unit 308. Note that there may be multiple instances of a component. The components may be connected by a bus, and capable of communication with each other thereupon.

[0039] The communication unit 304 may include wired links, such as an Ethernet cable for example. It may include wireless links, via transmitting/receiving antennas for example. It is capable of communication with external devices over one or more networks. Note that the communication unit 304 may comprise one or more sub-units capable of carrying out differing communication functions (connectivity capabilities) . These sub-units may share hardware or software

components, and their functions may be realized in coordination with the other functional units of the communications terminal 101, such as the CPU 301, the RAM 302, and the ROM 303. Communication functions realized by the communication unit 304 may include communication for WLAN, GPS, Infrared, WCDMA, GPRS, EDGE, CDMA, WiMAX, LTE, NFC, TD-SCDMA, Bluetooth, or the like. Note that these are only examples of

communication functions that the communication unit 304 may realize, and the present invention is not limited to these examples. The communications terminal 101 may be able to individually enable or disable such

communication functions (capabilities) by controlling the communication unit 304, via the CPU 301, for example .

[0040] Here, and hereinafter, "to disable a capability" is used to mean to cause the capability to be unusable by a user of the communications terminal 101. Such disabling may be realized by removing a corresponding software application from the RAM 302, by performing control to prevent activation of the

capability, or by performing control to set a register or disconnect a power supply in corresponding hardware, for example. Meanwhile "to enable a capability" is used to mean to cause the capability to be activated. A software application corresponding to a capability that is "enabled" may be caused to be loaded into the RAM 302 and presented to the user of the device through the output unit 308, for example. Enabling may also be performed by controlling via the CPU 301 to set a register or connect a power supply in corresponding hardware, for example. The disabling and enabling may be performed by control by the CPU 301 executing a control program on an operating system that is loaded into the RAM 302 from the ROM 303, for example.

[0041] In some embodiments the storage unit 305 is implemented as a built-in, non-volatile memory, such as a flash memory, for example. In other embodiments, however, different types of memory may be used, or the storage unit 305 may be an interface to an external memory. In at least one embodiment the storage unit

305 could be implemented as a part of the RAM 302. The storage unit 305 may realize functions such as an external memory function, or the like. These functions (capabilities) may be enabled or disabled similarly to the functions of the communication unit 304.

[0042] In some embodiments, the functionality of the acquisition unit 306 is implemented by the CPU 301 executing a software program stored in the ROM 303 using the RAM 302 as a work area. In other embodiments, the acquisition unit 306 is implemented using dedicated hardware such as an ASIC. In still other embodiments, the acquisition unit 306 is implemented using a

combination of software and hardware. The detailed operation of the acquisition unit 306 will be described later with reference to FIG. 9.

[0043] The input unit 307 may comprise one or more sub-units that realize input functions (input capabilities) for inputting information into the communications terminal 101. These sub-units may comprise and may share hardware or software components. They may realize their functions in coordination with the other functional units of the communications terminal 101, such as the CPU 301, the RAM 302, and the ROM 303. Input functions (capabilities) realized by the input unit 307 may include inputting of information via a keyboard (text, numerals, and so on) , a touch panel (touch input, and so on) , a fingerprint reader, an ambient light sensor, a CCD camera sensor, an accelerometer, a microphone, or the like. Note that these are only examples. Other functions for inputting information into the communications terminal 101 may be realized by the input unit 307. The communications terminal 101 may enable or disable these functions similarly to the functions of the communication unit 304. Note that the input unit 307 may comprise

hardware that is built into the communications terminal 101 such as a touch panel. Also, the input unit 307 may include an interface to which separate hardware is connected, such as in a case of an external keyboard, for example.

[0044] The output unit 308 may comprise one or more sub-units that realize output functions (output capabilities) for outputting information from the communications terminal 101. These sub-units may share hardware or software components, and may realize their functions in coordination with the other functional units of the communications terminal 101, such as the CPU 301, the RAM 302, and the ROM 303. Output

functions (capabilities) realized by the output unit

308 may include outputting of information via a display (such as an LCD touch panel display or a connected external display) , a speaker, headphones, a vibration motor for outputting vibrations, or the like. Note that these are only examples and other functions for outputting information from the communications terminal 101 may be implemented in the output unit 308. The communications terminal 101 may enable or disable these functions similarly to the functions of the

communication unit 304. The output unit 308 may comprise hardware that is built into the communications terminal 101 such as a touch panel display. However, the output unit 308 may include an interface to which separate hardware is connected, such as in a case of external headphones, for example.

[0045] Note that the communications terminal 101 may include units such as an LCD touch panel display, or various I/O ports such as serial ports or parallel ports, which realize both input functions (input capabilities) corresponding to the input unit 307 and output functions (output capabilities) corresponding to the output unit 308. [0046] Furthermore, the communications terminal

101 may realize functions (software capabilities) in the form of software applications, which may be stored in the ROM 303 or the storage unit 305, for example. When a function of such a software application is enabled, the CPU 301 may load the application into the RAM 302 and execute the application. This may cause the application to output information to the user via the output unit 308 and accept input of information via the input unit 307. The communications terminal 101 may disable a function of such a software application by controlling such that the user of the communications terminal 101 is not able to use the application. In some embodiments, enabling and disabling of software capabilities may involve setting a flag in a memory such as the RAM 302 that the CPU 301 uses to control whether or not to allow the capability to be used.

[0047] Note that the communications terminal 101 may also be able to enable and disable hardware

functions (hardware capabilities) that do not

specifically input or output information. Such

capabilities may include a function of a specific piece of hardware such as a low power mode of a

microprocessor of the CPU 301 for example.

[0048] FIG. 4 is a view showing an example of an

ANDSF MO which is a hierarchical management tree. The ANDSF MO object may be comprised in a management tree for organizing available management objects in the communications terminal 101.

[0049] In FIG. 4, the ANDSF MO is illustrated as comprising a Policy (ISMP) sub-tree, a

Discoverylnformation sub-tree, a UE_Location sub-tree, an ISRP sub-tree, a UE_Profile sub-tree, a WLANSP sub¬ tree, an IARP sub-tree, a RuleSelectionlnformation sub¬ tree, a HomeOperatorPreference sub-tree, and a

ValidityCriteria sub-tree. The nodes shown are only examples, and different embodiments may include

different sub-trees. Details of the individual sub¬ trees are abbreviated for ease of explanation.

[0050] The Policy node represents ISMP and may contain information for one or more ISMP rules. The ISRP node represents ISRP and may contain information for one or more ISRP rules. The IARP node represents IARP and may contain information for one or more IARP rules. The WLANSP node represents WLANSP (Wireless Local Area Network Selection Policy) and may contain information for one or more WLANSP rules. The ISMP, ISRP, IARP and WLANSP rules may have one or more validity conditions used to determine if the rules are valid .

[0051] The Discoverylnformation node may include discovery information about access networks that the communications terminal 101 can connect to. The

UE_Location node may include information for describing the current location of the communications terminal 101. The RuleSelectionlnformation node may include

information related to rule selection. The

HomeOperatorPreference node may include information related to home operator preferences.

[0052] The ValidityCriteria node may include information of validity conditions that can be

referenced from other parts of the ANDSF MO. The

UE_Profile node may include information characterizing the communications terminal 101 such as information indicating whether or not the communications terminal 101 supports a particular feature.

[0053] Note that the ANDSF MO may be stored on the communications terminal 101 in its entirety or

partially. Information of portions of the ANDSF MO may be communicated, in OMA DM based communication, between the communications terminal 101 and the control

apparatus 102. By such communication, portions of the ANDSF MO may be added, deleted, or updated based upon information such as the current time, the location of the communications terminal 101, or the like. So, the ANDSF MO may change dynamically, and need not be stored in its entirety on the communications terminal 101.

[0054] In embodiments, the control apparatus 102 acquires (from a memory such as the RAM 202 or the ROM 203, or by generation) , and provisions to the

communications terminal 101, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal 101 be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to a particular access network corresponding to the portion. The information of the portion may be included in any of the sub-trees of the ANDSF MO that are described above, for example. Note that the information of the portion here may be a reference to the portion in a case where the portion is located elsewhere in the management tree.

[0055] The particular capability specified by the capability sub-tree may be any capability (function) of the communications terminal 101 that can be enabled or disabled. Examples of such capabilities are described above with reference to FIG. 3. Note that the

capability sub-tree will be described in detail with reference to FIGS. 5 and 6.

[0056] Furthermore, the control apparatus 102 may acquire the information of the portion in accordance with information of a capability preference that is received from the communications terminal 101. This capability preference indicates a preference that the particular capability be either disabled or enabled in correlation with the access to the access network corresponding to the portion. The capability

preference will be described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8.

[0057] FIG. 5 is a view for showing an example of the capability sub-tree according to some embodiments. Note that this is only an example, and the capability sub-tree may be of a differing format in other

embodiments .

[0058] Immediately under a UECapability (User

Equipment Capability) node, is an Enable node and a Disable node. Note that the "?" characters in FIG. 5 indicate that there may be zero or more instances of the corresponding node at the relevant position in the management tree.

[0059] The sub-tree of which the Enable node is the root specifies which capabilities of the

communications terminal 101 are to be enabled in correlation with a corresponding access to an access network. As is shown in FIG. 5, the capabilities may be indicated by Capability nodes, or by CapabilityRef (Capability Reference) nodes. The format of the

Capability node may differ in different embodiments. For example, in some embodiments a numeric ID may uniquely identify one or more capabilities to be enabled, in other embodiments the identifier may be a character string. The CapabilityRef node is a

reference node which points to another portion of the management tree that contains information indicating which capability is to be enabled. Note that such a reference node points to a portion within the ANDSF MO in some embodiments, and points to a portion of a management tree outside of the ANDSF MO in some

embodiments .

[0060] Meanwhile, the sub-tree of which the

Disable node is the root specifies which capabilities of the communications terminal 101 are to be disabled in correlation with a corresponding access to an access network. Similarly to the Enable sub-tree, the Disable sub-tree may specify capabilities to be disabled by Capability nodes, CapabilityRef nodes, or the like.

[0061] FIG. 6 is a view for providing an example in which the capability sub-tree is included in

portions of the ANDSF MO. Note that the example of FIG. 6 is for an ISMP (Policy) sub-tree, but in other cases the capability sub-tree will be included in other sub¬ trees of the ANDSF MO such as an ISRP sub-tree, an IARP sub-tree, or a WLANSP sub-tree, or the like, as

explained above. Here the portion of the management tree shown in FIG. 6 is simplified for ease of

explanation .

[0062] In an explanatory scenario, assume that a network operator has arranged a WLAN within a museum in which it is desirable that the usage of cameras be prevented. In accordance with notification that the communications terminal 101 enters the vicinity

(validity area) of the museum, for example, the control apparatus 102 acquires ISMP rules RULE_1 and RULE_2, which are portions of the management tree, as shown in FIG. 6. The portions of the management tree include capability sub-trees that specify that a camera

capability of the communications terminal 101 is to be disabled in correlation with access to the WLAN. As shown in FIG. 6, in the ISRP rules RULE_1 and RULE_2, capability sub-trees which specify that the camera capability be disabled in correlation with access to an access network are included. In this case, the access network is the WLAN access network that corresponds to the rules (the WLAN access network corresponding to the access network identifier MusuemWLANId as shown in FIG. 6) . Note that in some cases, multiple access networks may correspond to a capability sub-tree.

[0063] By the control apparatus 102 transmitting these rules to the communications terminal 101, the communications terminal 101 can determine that access to an access network (the museum WLAN access network) corresponding to that rule is conditioned upon the disabling of its camera capability. Note that in some embodiments the communications terminal 101 will disable the relevant capabilities itself when it selects to use a rule having a capability sub-tree specifying capabilities to be disabled. In other embodiments such capabilities will be disabled in accordance with a command received by the communications terminal 101 from the control apparatus 102.

[0064] In the ISMP rule RULE_1 in FIG. 6, the capability sub-tree also specifies that a software application of the museum (software capability) be enabled in correlation with access to the particular access network corresponding to the rule. Here, this application may have promotional content, for example. In the example, the rule RULE_1 corresponds to a time period in which the museum is open, whereas RULE_2 corresponds to a time period in which the museum is closed. Thus the capability sub-tree specifies that during the opening hours of the museum, the museum application will be caused enabled on the

communications terminal 101 in correlation with

accessing the museum WLAN access network. Similarly to the disabling, the enabling of the capability may be performed by the communications terminal 101 on its own accord, or may be performed in response to a command from the control apparatus 102.

[0065] In this example, the rule is determined to be invalid if the capabilities specified in the Enable nodes of the capability sub-trees are not present in the communications terminal 101, and valid (with respect to Disable) if the capabilities specified in the Disable nodes are not present in the communications terminal 101. Therefore, if the museum application is not present on the communications terminal 101, the RULE_1 rule cannot be selected and the WLAN cannot be accessed. In such a case the communication terminal 101 may prompt the user to download the application, for example. Note that this is merely one example, and in other embodiments, the capability sub-tree may be ignored when the capabilities are not present, for example .

[0066] By virtue of the given example, it is possible for access network related information to be provisioned in a more versatile fashion from the

control apparatus 102 to the communications terminal 101. Specifically, the embodiments enable device capability control by the ANDSF wherein access to an access network is conditional upon the dynamic

disabling or enabling of a particular device capability. This achieves the effect of causing capabilities of the communications terminal 101 to be advantageously

disabled or enabled in correlation with the access to the access network.

[0067] FIG. 7 is a view for showing an example of the UE (user equipment) capability preference sub-tree according to some embodiments. In some embodiments, the communications terminal 101 acquires the capability preference sub-tree in order to indicate a preference with regards to the enabling or disabling of a

particular capability in correlation with access to an access network, explained above. This acquiring may include the CPU 301 accessing a memory such as the RAM 302 to access the information when the information exists beforehand. In other cases the information may be acquired by generating the information, based on current circumstances such as location, remaining battery life, time of day, or the like. In other embodiments, the information may be acquired by receiving input from a user of the communications terminal that specifies the capability preferences. In such a case, the user inputs the information via the input unit 307 (e.g. a touch panel) in accordance with output by the output unit 308 (e.g. an input screen user interface displayed on an LCD display) .

[0068] The communications terminal 101 transmits the information of a capability preference to the control apparatus 102. Then, the control apparatus 102 acquires information of the portion of the management tree including the capability sub-tree in accordance with the capability preference information. For example, in some embodiments the control apparatus 102 only acquires, or preferentially acquires, rules that do not have a capability sub-tree that specifies to disable a capability that is indicated in the

capability preference as being preferred not to be disabled. In this way the control apparatus 102 can transmit portions of the ANDSF MO, for example, that reflect the preferences of the communications terminal 101 with respect to the enabling/disabling of

capabilities .

[0069] As shown in FIG. 7, immediately under a UECapabilityPreference (User Equipment Capability

Preference) node is a WhiteList node and a BlackList node. Note that the "?" characters in FIG. 7 indicate that there may be zero or more instances of the

corresponding node at that position in the management tree. As with the Enable and Disable nodes of the capability sub-tree described with reference to FIG. 5, the WhiteList and BlackList nodes may each contain a number of nodes that specify capabilities.

[0070] The capabilities specified in the sub-tree of which WhiteList is the root correspond to

capabilities that are specified as preferred to be disabled in correlation with access to a corresponding access network. For example, the capabilities

specified in the WhiteList sub-tree may correspond to capabilities that the communications terminal 101 is willing to sacrifice (is willing to have disabled) in order to access a corresponding access network. On the other hand, the capabilities specified in the sub-tree of which BlackList is the root correspond to

capabilities that are specified as preferred not to be disabled in correlation with access to a corresponding access network. [0071] In FIG. 7, the particular capabilities are shown to be described using Capability and

CapabilityRef nodes, similarly to FIG. 5. The specific format of the capability preference information is not limited to the example of FIG. 7, and other formats may be used to specify preferences of whether capabilities are disabled or enabled in correlation with access to an access network.

[0072] FIG. 8 is a view for providing an example in which the capability preference sub-tree is included in a portion of the ANDSF MO. Here, the capability preference sub-tree is positioned immediately under the UE_Profile node, as described with reference to FIG. 4. In other embodiments, a capability preference sub-tree may be placed in one or more of the other sub-trees described with reference to FIG. 4. Also, a capability preference sub-tree may be placed outside of the ANDSF MO, and referenced from the ANDSF MO using a reference node, for example.

[0073] In the example of FIG. 8, the preference information applies to all rules in the ANDSF MO.

However, in other embodiments, a capability preference sub-tree may be positioned within a particular rule of the ANDSF MO. In such a case the corresponding

capability preferences are only applicable for that rule. In this way, applicability of the preferences may correspond to the positioning of the capability preference sub-tree. Multiple capability preference sub-trees can be positioned anywhere in the management tree .

[0074] In the WhiteList sub-tree in FIG. 8, a camera capability and a Bluetooth capability are

specified. This indicates the communications terminal 101 prefers to have these capabilities disabled in order to access an access network to which the

preferences are applicable. Meanwhile, the BlackList sub-tree indicates that the communications terminal 101 prefers not to have a display capability or a GPS capability disabled in order to access an access

network .

[0075] FIG. 9 is a sequence diagram showing a sequence by which the communications terminal 101 communicates with the control apparatus 102 in order to switch from a 3GPP access network to a non-3GPP access network according to some embodiments. The sequence diagram of FIG. 9 is explained for a specific example of ISMP (Policy) , but it should be recognized that in other embodiments the capability preference information and the capability sub-tree will correspond to other sub-trees of the ANDSF MO explained with reference to FIG. 4. Also, embodiments are applicable to cases of switching between other kinds of access networks, or cases of making a first connection to an access network.

[0076] Steps in the sequence of FIG. 9 that are performed by the control apparatus 102 may be performed by the CPU 201 loading a software program from the ROM 203 into the RAM 202 and executing the software program. Similarly, steps that are performed by the

communications terminal 101 may be performed by the CPU 301 loading a software program from the ROM 303 into the RAM 302 and executing the software program.

[0077] At step S901 of the sequence, the

communications terminal 101 is pre-provisioned with information of the ANDSF MO. This pre-provisioning may occur at the time of manufacture of the communications terminal 101. In some embodiments, this pre- provisioned information includes capability preference information as described with reference to FIGS. 7 and 8. The communications terminal 101, at step S902, connects to a 3GPP network over a 3GPP access network.

[0078] At step S903, the communications terminal

101 performs ANDSF discovery. Here the communications terminal 101 may use a DHCP query to obtain the IP address of the control apparatus 102, for example.

[0079] At step S904, the communications terminal

101, by the acquisition unit 306, acquires information of the capability preference which indicates a

preference that a particular capability be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to a portion of the ANDSF MO. For example the capability preference sub-tree exemplified in FIG. 8 may be acquired here by the acquisition unit 306. Note that the acquisition unit 306 may simply acquire the capability preference

information here by retrieving it from the pre- provisioned information in a memory such as the ROM 303. Alternatively, the acquisition unit 306 may acquire the information by generating the information dynamically in accordance with current conditions, or by receiving input from a user of the communications terminal 101.

[0080] At step S905, the communications terminal

101 transmits the capability preference information acquired at step S904 to the control apparatus 102 by using the communication unit 304.

[0081] At step S905, the communication unit 204 of the control apparatus 102 receives the capability preference information. At step S906, the control apparatus 102, by using the acquisition unit 205, acquires information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal 101 be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion. Because the capability preference information was received at step S905 in this embodiment, the acquisition unit 205 acquires the information of the portion of the

management tree in accordance with the capability preference information. Note that limitation is not made to embodiments in which the acquisition unit 205 acquires the information in accordance with the

capability preference information.

[ 0082 ] The acquisition unit 205 may acquire, at step S906, information of the portion of the ANDSF MO illustrated in FIG. 6, for example. In this example, the acquisition unit 205, in accordance with the capability preference information specifying that the GPS capability and the display capability are preferred not to be disabled, acquires rules that do not specify, by a capability sub-tree, that the GPS capability or the display capability be disabled. The acquisition unit 205 may acquire the information of the portion by simply reading it from a memory such as the RAM 202, or may acquire it by generating it dynamically.

[ 0083 ] At step S907, the control apparatus 102, by the communication unit 204, transmits, to the

communication unit 304 of the communications terminal 101, the information acquired by the acquisition unit 205.

[ 0084 ] At step S908, the communications terminal

101, by the CPU 301, controls, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received by the communication unit 304 at step S907, to select an access network.

[ 0085 ] Also at step S908, the communications terminal 101, by the communication unit 304, transmits information of this selection of the access network to the control apparatus 102. In this example, because the current time of day is within the opening hours of the museum, the communications terminal 101, through the communication unit 304, notifies the control apparatus 102 that it will access the museum WLAN access network based on the RULE_1 rule as described with reference to FIG. 6.

[0086] At step S909, the control apparatus 102, in response to receiving the information of the selection at step S908, transmits one or more commands for triggering the communications terminal 101 to enable (activate) the museum application capability and to disable the camera capability. This is because the rule (RULE_1 of FIG.6) that the communications terminal 101 selected specifies, by the capability sub-tree, that the museum application capability be enabled, and that the camera capability be disabled in correlation with the access to the access network corresponding to the rule RULE_1.

[0087] The communications terminal 101, having received the commands at step S909 by the communication unit 304, controls by the CPU 301, at step S910, to disable or enable the relevant capabilities as

explained with reference to FIG. 3. In other words, the commands received at step S909 trigger the communications terminal 101 to control, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree

included in the information received by the

communication unit 304 at step S907, to disable or enable the particular capabilities in correlation with access to the access network. Note that in other embodiments, steps S908 and S909 are skipped, and instead the CPU 301 of the communications terminal 101, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received by the communication unit 304 at step S907, disables or enables the particular capabilities in correlation with the access to the access network without being

explicitly instructed to do so by the control apparatus 102.

[0088] Finally, at step S911, the communications terminal 101 initiates an inter-system change procedure to switch to the WLAN access network specified in the rule RULE_1 in order to access the access network.

[0089] By virtue of these embodiments, it is possible to perform device capability control wherein access to an access network is conditional upon the dynamic disabling or enabling of device capabilities. In addition, this capability control can be performed in accordance with capability preferences specified by the communications terminal 101. This allows network operators to control access to access networks in a more versatile and dynamic manner and advantageously enable or disable capabilities in correlation with access to access networks.

[0090] The present invention is not limited to the above-described embodiments, and various changes and modifications can be made within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Therefore, to apprise the public of the scope of the present invention, the following claims are made.

Claims

1. An access network related information
provisioning system comprising:
a communications terminal (101); and
a control apparatus (102) operable to provide information of a management object, which is a
hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information, to the communications terminal to control access to access networks,
wherein the control apparatus comprises:
an acquisition unit (205) configured to acquire information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the
communications terminal be either disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion; and
a communication unit (204) configured to transmit, to the communications terminal, the
information acquired by the acquisition unit,
and wherein the communications terminal
comprises :
a communication unit (304) configured to receive the information transmitted by the
communication unit of the control apparatus; and
a control unit (301) configured to, in accordance with the information of the capability sub- tree included in the information received by the communication unit, disable or enable the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network .
2. A control apparatus (102) operable to provide information of a management object, which is a
hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information, to a communications terminal (101) to control access to access networks, the control apparatus comprising:
an acquisition unit (205) configured to acquire information of a portion of the management tree
including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the
communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion; and
a communication unit (204) configured to transmit, to the communications terminal, the information
acquired by the acquisition unit.
3. The control apparatus according to claim 2, wherein
the communication unit transmits the information to the communications terminal in accordance with an Open Mobile Alliance Device Management based protocol.
4. The control apparatus according to either claim 2 or claim 3, wherein
the portion of the management tree is for inter- system mobility policy, for inter-system routing policy, for inter-APN routing policy, or for WAN selection policy .
5. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 4, wherein
the particular capability is any one of a
hardware capability, an input/output capability, a connectivity capability, or a software capability.
6. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 5, wherein
the access network is a WLAN access network.
7. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 6, wherein
the capability sub-tree specifies that, in
correlation with the access to the access network,
the particular capability will be caused to be unusable by a user of the communications terminal or
the particular capability will be caused to be activated
when the capability sub-tree specifies that the particular capability is caused to be disabled or enabled respectively.
8. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 7, wherein
the communication unit receives, from the communications terminal, information of a selection of the access network in response to the communication unit transmitting the information acquired by the acquisition unit,
and the communication unit transmits, to the communications terminal, in response to receiving the information of the selection, a command for triggering the communications terminal to enable or disable the particular capability.
9. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 8, wherein
the control apparatus is for an Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) , and
the management object is an ANDSF management object .
10. The control apparatus according to any one of claims 2 - 9, wherein
the communication unit receives information of a capability preference from the communications terminal which indicates a preference that the particular capability be either disabled or not disabled in correlation with the access to the access network corresponding to the portion, and
the acquisition unit acquires the information of the portion in accordance with the information of the capability preference received by the communication unit .
11. The control apparatus according to claim 10, wherein
the information of the capability preference is a sub-tree of the management object comprising
a white list sub-tree including a capability specified as preferred to be disabled in correlation with the access to the access network, or a black list sub-tree including a capability specified as preferred not to be disabled in correlation with the access to the access network, and the particular capability is the capability included in the white list sub-tree or the capability included in the black list sub-tree.
12. The control apparatus according to claim 10 or claim 11, wherein
the control apparatus is for an Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) , the management object is an ANDSF management object, and
the information of the capability preference is comprised in a UE profile sub-tree of the management object.
13. A communications terminal (101) operable to receive information of a management object, which is a hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information for controlling access to access networks, from a control apparatus (102), the
communications terminal comprising:
a communication unit (304) configured to receive, from the control apparatus, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a
capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion; and
a control unit (301) configured to, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree
included in the information received by the
communication unit, disable or enable the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network .
14. The communications terminal according to claim 13, wherein
the communication unit receives the information from the control apparatus in accordance with an Open Mobile Alliance Device Management based protocol.
15. The communications terminal according to either claim 13 or claim 14, wherein
the portion of the management tree is for inter- system mobility policy, for inter-system routing policy, for inter-APN routing policy, or for WAN selection policy .
16. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 15, wherein
the particular capability is any one of a
hardware capability, an input/output capability, a connectivity capability, or a software capability.
17. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 16, wherein
the access network is a WLAN access network.
18. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 17, wherein
the capability sub-tree specifies that, in
correlation with the access to the access network, the particular capability will be caused to be unusable by a user of the communications terminal or the particular capability will be caused to be activated
when the capability sub-tree specifies that the particular capability is caused to be disabled or enabled respectively.
19. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 18, wherein
the communication unit transmits, to the control apparatus, information of a selection of the access network in response to the communication unit receiving the information of the portion from the control apparatus ,
and the communication unit receives, from the control apparatus, in response to transmitting the information of the selection, a command for triggering the communications terminal to enable or disable the particular capability.
20. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 19, wherein
the control apparatus is for an Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) , and
the management object is an ANDSF management object .
21. The communications terminal according to any one of claims 13 - 20, wherein
the communication unit transmits information of a capability preference to the control apparatus which indicates a preference that the particular capability be either disabled or not disabled in correlation with the access to the access network corresponding to the portion, and
the communication unit, in response to
transmitting the information of the capability
preference, receives the information of the portion, which is acquired by the control apparatus in
accordance with the information of the capability preference .
22. The communications terminal according to claim 21, wherein
the information of the capability preference is a sub-tree of the management object comprising
a white list sub-tree including a capability specified as preferred to be disabled in correlation with the access to the access network, or a black list sub-tree including a capability specified as preferred not to be disabled in correlation with the access to the access network, and the particular capability is the capability included in the white list sub-tree or the capability included in the black list sub-tree.
23. The communications terminal according to claim 21 or claim 22, wherein
the control apparatus is for an Access Network Discovery and Selection Function (ANDSF) ,
the management object is an ANDSF management object, and
the information of the capability preference is comprised in a UE profile sub-tree of the management object .
24. A method of controlling a control apparatus (102) operable to provide information of a management object, which is a hierarchical management tree comprising access network related information, to a communications terminal (101) to control access to access networks, the method comprising:
an acquisition step (S906) of acquiring
information of a portion of the management tree
including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the
communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion; and
a communication step (S907) of transmitting, to the communications terminal, the information acquired in the acquisition step.
25. A method of controlling a communications terminal (101) operable to receive information of a management object, which is a hierarchical management tree
comprising access network related information for controlling access to access networks, from a control apparatus (102), the method comprising:
a communication step (S907) of receiving, from the control apparatus, information of a portion of the management tree including information of a capability sub-tree which specifies that a particular capability of the communications terminal be either caused to be disabled or enabled in correlation with an access to an access network corresponding to the portion; and
a control step (S910) of, in accordance with the information of the capability sub-tree included in the information received in the communication step, disabling or enabling the particular capability in correlation with the access to the access network.
26. A program for causing a computer to execute the method according to claim 24.
27. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing a program for causing a computer to execute the method according to claim 24.
28. A program for causing a computer to execute the method according to claim 25.
29. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium storing a program for causing a computer to execute the method according to claim 25.
PCT/EP2014/077271 2014-12-10 2014-12-10 Indication of user capabilitiy preferences to andsf and transmission of an andsf managed object tailored to ue capability preferences WO2016091307A1 (en)

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