Ericsson Home Location Register Front-End

Subscription management and user authentication to GSM/GPRS and WCDMA network domains and a key enabler for critical and massive IoT. Part of the Ericsson UDC solution.

Description

The HLR-FE product is part of the Ericsson offering for Subscriber Data Management (SDM) which is called Ericsson User Data Consolidation (UDC). Its main role in the UDC system is to provide subscription management and user authentication to GSM/GPRS and WCDMA network domains and is a key enable for massive IoT.

The HLR-FE provides three main 3GPP defined functionalities for GSM/GPRS and WCDMA networks which are: 

  • Home Location Register (HLR)
  • Authentication Center (AuC)
  • Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

Different combinations of these functionalities are possible; i.e. HLR-FE, MNP-FE, HLR/AUC-FE or HLR/AUC/MNP-FE, offering the operators a deployment flexibility.

Home Location Register (HLR)

The HLR module implements business logic for the subscription and mobility management of the users and also control the roaming conditions for the subscribers. Moreover, the HLR defines which services a subscriber may have access to and allows the user to directly do changes to some of these services as, for example, call barring, call forwarding and a number of other supplementary services.

The HLR keeps also track of a subscribers location in the mobile network which is a critical function to secure that the user is always reachable and also gran or restrict access to the network in specific areas or countries.

HLR-FE also participates in the subscriber provisioning process, performing the validation of the subscriber data before being stored in Centralized User Database (CUDB). However, the storage procedure is performed by the provisioning entity in the UDC system which acts as a single point of provisioning.

In summary, HLR-FE is deployed to process subscriber location, activity, and supplementary service information and acts as the front-end interface between the CUDB and the mobile network infrastructure. This means that HLR-FE is the component responsible for updating the network after both traffic or provisioning activities.

Authentication Center (AuC)

The AUC module implements business logic for the authentication of users in GSM/GPRS and WCDMA networks implementing white/grey/black lists that defines which users can or cannot access the network and services.
It provides authentication vectors used in authentication and ciphering processes to the HLR, to ensure confidentiality in the radio channels and prevent unauthorized access by end users.

On a network deployment including IMS, LTE and GBA access as well, the AUC can also provide to the Ericsson Home Subscriber Server (HSS) authentication data that can be used to authenticate the users on these domains. This is an advantage to operators that have already deployed Ericsson HLR solution and want to re-use its authentication mechanism when evolving their networks.

Mobile Number Portability (MNP)

The MNP module implements business logic that allows subscribers to port their MSISDN numbers between GSM/WCDMA, CDMA/TDMA, PSTN and PDC systems fulfilling specifications in GSM 900/1800/1900, 3GPP, ANSI-41 and PDC.

It is responsible for identifying the routing information of all the messages, that use the Mobile Station ISDN Number (MSISDN) (E.164 number format), International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) (E.212 number format) or Mobile Global Title (MGT) (E.214 number format) as called address to route the corresponding messages to the specific node in the appropriate network coping with the route handling responsibility for call related and non-call related messages.

With MNP functionality operators can fulfil regulatory obligations to provide Number Portability between different service providers.

HLR-FE role in Internet-of-Things (IoT) deployments

The HLR-FE plays also a vital role on network deployments for IoT providing subscription and mobility management, authentication and authorization to the GSM/GPRS and WCDMA connected IoT devices.

In combination to other capabilities from UDC solution, the Ericsson SDM offering for IoT provides a very flexible, adaptable and optimized solution that allows to not just manage the IoT devices subscription data but also to monetize this data.

Ericsson unique network protection mechanism against signalling storms

Security and availability are some of the most important robustness aspects that an SDM solution needs to cater to. The Ericsson UDC, apart from offering the most advanced replication mechanisms to secure that data is trustable at all times, also provides the most advanced mechanisms for resilience and redundancy following telecom market standards. UDC provides a unique state-of-art overload protection and load regulation solution that allows an e2e  congestion control by means of a real-time cooperation mechanism between the Back End and the most critical Ericsson application Front Ends to maximize the database performance under signaling storms. The HLR-FE, as being one of the main application front-ends in the system, plays a key role in this process. Read more about this unique Ericsson functionality in our paper “Handling of signalling storms in mobile networks”.

HLR-FE product highlights:

  • Three main network functionalities that can be deployed stand-alone or co-located
  • High-performance Telco-grade solution
  • Highly available and redundant
  • High scalability and deployment flexibility
  • Fast time-to-market to launch new network services
  • Unique protection mechanisms against signalling overloads
  • Proven multi-vendor capabilities
  • Extensive deployment experience

Proven leadership in the SDM market

Ericsson is a recognized market leader in the SDM market by both market analysts and customers.
With fully proven SDM products deployed in all the regions and over 300 customers, Ericsson has more than 40% of HLR and HSS market share respectively, what has granted us with huge deployment experience including multi-vendor network scenarios.

More information

To know more about the Ericsson UDC and HLR-FE offerings contact your local Ericsson sales representative for more information.