Tag Archives: S6a

Diameter – Insert Subscriber Data Request / Response

While we’ve covered the Update Location Request / Response, where an MME is able to request subscriber data from the HSS, what about updating a subscriber’s profile when they’re already attached? If we’re just relying on the Update Location Request / Response dialog, the update to the subscriber’s profile would only happen when they re-attach.

We need a mechanism where the HSS can send the Request and the MME can send the response.

This is what the Insert Subscriber Data Request/Response is used for.

Let's imagine we want to allow a subscriber to access an additional APN, or change an AMBR values of an existing APN;

We'd send an Insert Subscriber Data Request from the HSS, to the MME, with the Subscription Data AVP populated with the additional APN the subscriber can now access.

Beyond just updating the Subscription Data, the Insert Subscriber Data Request/Response has a few other funky uses.

Through it the HSS can request the EPS Location information of a Subscriber, down to the TAC / eNB ID serving that subscriber. It’s not the same thing as the GMLC interfaces used for locating subscribers, but will wake Idle UEs to get their current serving eNB, if the Current Location Request is set in the IDR Flags.

But the most common use for the Insert-Subscriber-Data request is to modify the Subscription Profile, contained in the Subscription-Data AVP,

If the All-APN-Configurations-Included-Indicator is set in the AVP info, then all the existing AVPs will be replaced, if it’s not then everything specified is just updated.

The Insert Subscriber Data Request/Response is a bit novel compared to other S6a requests, in this case it’s initiated by the HSS to the MME (Like the Cancel Location Request), and used to update an existing value.

Diameter Dispatches: S6a Authentication Information Request / Answer

This is part of a series of posts focusing on common Diameter request pairs, looking at what’s inside and what they do.

The Authentication Information Request (AIR) and Authentication Information Answer (AIA) are one of the first steps in authenticating a subscriber, and a very common Diameter transaction.

The Process

The Authentication Information Request (AIR) is sent by the MME to the HSS to request when a Subscriber begins to attach containing the IMSI of the subscriber trying to connect.

If the subscriber’s IMSI is known to the HSS, the AuC will generate Authentication Vectors for the Subscriber, and repond back to the MME in an Authentication Information Answer (AIA).

For more information on how the Authentication process works and what the authentication vectors do, I’ve written about that quite extensively here.- HSS & USIM Authentication in LTE.

The Authentication Information Request (AIR)

The AIR is a comparatively simple request, without many AVPs;

The Session-Id, Auth-Session-State, Origin-Host, Origin-Realm & Destination-Realm are all common AVPs that have to be included.

The Username AVP (AVP 1) contains the username of the subscriber, which in this case is the IMSI.

The Requested-EUTRAN-Authentication-Info AVP ( AVP 1408 ) contains information in regards to what authentication info the MME is requesting from the subscriber, typically this indicates the MME is requesting 1 vector (Number-Of-Requested-Vectors (AVP 1410)), an immediate response is preferred (Immediate-Response-Preferred (AVP 1412)), and if the subscriber is re-resyncing the SQN will include a Re-Synchronization-Info AVP (AVP 1411).

The Visited-PLMN-Id AVP (AVP 1407) contains information regarding the PLMN of the RAN the Subscriber is connecting to.

The Authentication Information Answer (AIA)

The Authentication Information Answer contains several mandatory AVPs that would be expected, The Session-Id, Auth-Session-State, Origin-Host and Origin-Realm.

The Result Code (AVP 268) indicates if the request was successful or not, 2001 indicates DIAMETER SUCCESS.

The Authentication-Info (AVP 1413) contains the returned vectors, in LTE typically only one vector is returned, a sub AVP called E-UTRAN-Vector (AVP 1414), which contains AVPs with the RAND, XRES, AUTN and KASME keys.

Further Reading & References

3GPP TS 29.272 version 15.10.0 Release 15

Example Packet Capture (PCAP) of Message Flow