The present document introduces the requirements and features of a 3GPP Generic User Profile (GUP). The GUP will help overcome some of the challenges associated with the introduction of sophisticated user terminals with widely varying capabilities, hybrid combinations of mobile network domains, the advent of downloadable applications, and the desire of users to customise potentially complex services to individual preferences and needs.
The present document for a Generic User Profile will capture requirements that will allow:
A way to express user preferences in a consistent manner.
Effective management, control ownership and protection of GUP data.
Extensibility to cater for future needs and the simple addition of new features.
The present document defines the stage one description to the 3GPP Generic User Profile (GUP). It specifies requirements to the 3GPP Generic User Profile, seen primarily from the user, home environment, serving network and value added service provider's points of view.
The present document includes information applicable to the home environment, device- and network manufacturers and value added service providers which are sufficient to provide complete support of services in 3GPP networks.
While the 3GPP Generic User Profile may contain components that are out of scope of 3GPP (e.g. for services offered by third parties) the requirements in the present document pertain only to those components that lie within the 3GPP system.
The following documents contain provisions which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of the present document.
References are either specific (identified by date of publication, edition number, version number, etc.) or non-specific.
For a specific reference, subsequent revisions do not apply.
For a non-specific reference, the latest version applies. In the case of a reference to a 3GPP document (including a GSM document), a non-specific reference implicitly refers to the latest version of that document in the same release as the present document.
For the purposes of the present document, the following terms and definitions apply:
3GPP Generic User Profile (GUP):
The 3GPP Generic User Profile is the collection of user related data which affects the way in which an individual user experiences services and which may be accessed in a standardised manner as described in this specification. The Generic User Profile is defined using the W3C XML recommendation .
GUP Component (logical):
A GUP component is logically an individual part of the Generic User Profile.
GUP Component instance (physical):
a GUP component instance is a physical representation of a GUP component. To one GUP component (logical) correspond one or more component instances, i.e. physical copies. Component instances may be located in the Home Network, in the Value Added Service Provider Environment and/or the User Equipment.
GUP Data Element:
the indivisible unit of Generic User Profile information.
GUP Data Model:
The data model describing the data structure, the way the data elements are defined and the relationship to each other.
Among the component instances (physical) associated with a GUP component (logical), one of them is tagged with the role of "master instance". The master component instance is responsible for the correct value of the corresponding GUP component.
Public User Identity:
Identity which is used to communicate with other users.
for definition see TR 21.905. In addition the present document assumes, that the user has a unique identity in the 3GPP system (IMSI or IMS Private ID) and is associated with one 3GPP subscriber. (Note, that a user may have many addresses though! E.g. the user can have several Public User IDs). The user is not necessarily identical to the 3GPP subscriber.
Further 3GPP system related definitions are given in TR 21.905.
The fact of having several domains within the 3GPP mobile system (e.g. Circuit-Switched, Packet-Switched, IP Multimedia Subsystem ) and access technologies (e.g. GERAN, UTRAN and WLAN) introduces a wide distribution of data associated with the user. Further, the new functions both in terminals and networks mean that the data related to Users, Services and User Equipment will be increased greatly. This causes difficulties for Users, Subscribers, network Operators and Value added service providers to create, access and manage the user-related data located in different entities.
The objective of specifying the 3GPP Generic User Profile is to provide a means to enable harmonised usage of the user-related information originating from different entities. The specification of the GUP shall also allow extensibility to cater for future developments.
The 3GPP Generic User Profile is the collection of User-related data which affects the way in which an individual user experiences services where a community of entities share this data. The 3GPP Generic User Profile can be stored in the home network environment and/or Value Added Service Provider equipment.
The 3GPP Generic User Profile will be accessed by different stakeholders and managed either by one (centralised) or by different stakeholders (de-centralised) such as the user, subscriber, value added service provider and network operator by a standardised access mechanism. The 3GPP Generic User Profile allows intra-network usage (i.e. data exchange between applications within a mobile operator's network) and inter-network usage (between mobile operator's network and value added service providers) as illustrated in Figure 1.
The 3GPP Generic User Profile may be also be used by different applications in a standardised way.
The 3GPP Generic User Profile will help to create and manage the user data in each entity and on the other hand to make it easier to find all user related data as a whole in the home network environment.
Technically the 3GPP Generic User Profile provides an architecture, data description and interface with mechanisms to handle the data.
The intended usage of the 3GPP generic user profile is a critical factor driving its detailed specification, e.g., architecture and data model. In general, user profile data can be shared between different stakeholders to facilitate the following:
User preference management: Enable applications to read and utilize a limited set of user preference information
User service customization: Enable applications to read and utilize personalized service information, i.e., individual settings for a particular service
Terminal capability management: Enable applications to access terminal-related capabilities
User Information sharing: Enable applications to read and utilize application level information, e.g. address book information
Profile key access: Enable applications to use a unique identity as a key to access profile information, .e.g. any public user identity or an alias.
It is intended that the 3GPP GUP, in particular, will address all of the above. As can be inferred, a user's identity can serve as the unique common key into the profile.
The following chapter shows in an exemplary way how stakeholders may benefit from GUP. The examples given are neither exhaustive nor are they meant to be part of, or be implemented by GUP. On the contrary, these functions / use-cases need to be seen distinct from GUP, but capabilities offered through GUP (e.g. a common data description, data access- and synchronisation mechanisms …) may be utilised to build these functions.
Subscription Management and Customer Care:
Subscription Management TS 32.140 benefits from a standardised way to access subscription data of a user. Already today customer care is a noticeable part of an operator's expenses, it will grow to be even more expensive as more services and more terminal types become available for 3GPP system. Unlike the Supplementary services in GSM new services in 3GPP are not standardised. Therefore content and format of subscription data as well as the places (repositories) where subscription data are stored may be different for different new services. GUP specifies the description of- and access of data in a standardised way. This will allow:
Service providers as well as Value Added Service providers to use standardised GUP mechanisms for Subscription Management and Customer Care by the operator.
Reduce costs for Subscription Management and Customer Care for the operator and/or service provider and/or value added service provider since management tools may rely on this standardised mechanism.
Subscription Check by third party provided services:
Third party provided services may run on application servers outside the 3GPP system. However subscription information may be kept by the home operator.
To find out, whether a service is allowed to be invoked by a particular user the service needs to check its subscription. Access to this information can be controlled by means of GUP mechanisms.
Benefit for third party value added service providers and for
Operators, who want to keep subscription within their domain
If personalisation of services possibly effect other services it may be advantageous, that such personalisation is visible to these other services. If a service is designed to permit access to these data through GUP mechanisms:
the user or operator may choose to allow certain services to access certain user data of other services of the user.
Provision of Terminal Capability information:
Services (from the home- or visited network operator or provided by third parties) may need to know what capabilities the terminal, that is currently used by the user, supports. Multiple provisioning protocols are a problem for terminal vendors since the UE has to support all of them. The GUP data will be described in the same way and can therefore be used in different protocols without having to change. GUP mechanisms could provide the basis for retrieval of a user's terminal capabilities.
Benefit for the value added service provider, who can rely on a GUP mechanism to obtain this information.
For each user (characterised by an IMSI or IMS PID) one User Profile exists, which may consist of several 'components'. These components may be distributed in the home network and value added service provider's environment. Within the home network, the components may be distributed in various network nodes. Figure 1 below provides a conceptual overview of GUP and is as such for informative purposes only. Only one master of the component exists, but one or more copies of the master component may exist. The home operator shall be able to copy master components, which are located outside the home network to the home network. Within the home network, functionality exists that is able to locate GUP components, thereby making applications unaware of the actual location of the components. The administration and management of the data associated with this functionality is under the control of the home network. Although GUP does not attempt to provide an actual classification of the data it may contain, one may consider categorisations such as general user information, terminal related information, service specific information, etc. as indicated in clause 4.4.
This clause describes in general terms where the generic user profile data resides and which entities use that information. A general feature of the user profile is that the different entities are data consumers for a certain subset of the generic user profile and are data suppliers for another part. The 3GPP GUP data are distributed by nature and consequently stored in home network and Value Added Service Provider Equipment.
The Generic User Profile provides a generic mechanism to access and manipulate user related data for suppliers and consumers. Using this mechanism the data can be retrieved and managed in a uniform way. However the data contents itself are not described within the Generic User Profile, but only the data model and a schema shall be defined.
The suppliers and consumers of the data can be divided into the following groups of applications:
Applications in the home network
3rd Party Applications
OAM and subscription management applications
Applications in the home network may include those related to call or session handling as well as messaging or web services. Typically fairly high requirements are set on the response time.
3rd Party Applications are similar to applications in the home network but they are non-trusted which means that strict security, access and privacy procedures shall be carried out.
OAM activities related to user profile are provisioning and administration of user data by the network operator. These activities are characterised by needs for high throughput and allow longer response time. In order to allow simple and centralized administration it should be transparent to the administrator where the different parts of the user data are stored. As a result, this role needs a single system image on user profile, or, on functional terms, a common data access function. As one alternative the user self-service management may be implemented as part of this function.
GUP components instances may be distributed in the home network and value added service provider's environment. The distribution model is shown in Figure 1.
A data consumer can request a copy of a GUP component, i.e. the master instance of the component. This copy may be a working copy or a synchronised copy.
Master instance: the data supplier holds the master instance of a GUP component.
A synchronized copy of a GUP component is a component instance that is kept synchronized with the master instance.
Synchronization here means that changes made to the master instance will be propagated to the synchronized copy (e.g. update, deletion, etc.) The synchronized copy is held within the data consumer's local store..
A working copy of a GUP component is a component instance that corresponds to a copy (or snapshot) of the master instance at a given point in time. The working copy is held within the data consumer's local store. Future changes to the master instance (e.g. update, deletion, etc.) are NOT propagated to the working copy. The working copy remains unaffected by changes of the master instance of the GUP component.
If a GUP component is no longer applicable for a given user, the master instance for this GUP component is deleted and all data stores holding synchronized copies are notified about this deletion.
If the access rights of the component are changed, a proper notification is sent to the owner of the synchronized copy.
The present document does not mandate any data to be part of the 3GPP Generic User Profile. However the following kind of data are considered to be useful for inclusion in GUP.
Authorised and subscribed services information:
These kind of data are generally owned by the home operator and allow management and interrogation of subscription information and would typically consist of:
authorised services that the subscriber may subscribe to
services the subscriber actually has subscribed to
General user information
Data, owned by the user, which are not specific to individual services, but may be useful for any service. These would be data like
settings (e.g. name, postal address), preferences (e.g. language)
Registered Service Profiles of the user, indicating the currently active Service Profile of the user.
PLMN specific user information
Data, owned by the home operator, which are not specific to individual services, but may be useful for any service. These typically would be data like
addresses (e.g. MSISDNs, URLs) of the user.
WAP parameters (e.g. standard WAP gateway)
GPRS parameters (in UE and HSS)
Preferred access technologies (The preferred access technology, second preferred access technology etc. e.g. UTRAN, GERAN, WLAN etc.)
Privacy control data of the user
Data, owned by the user, which are specific to individual services and which control privacy settings of that service. These could e.g. be
Privacy settings for standardised services like the Presence service or Push service.
Privacy settings of non-standardised services.
Service specific information of the user:
Data, owned by the user or value added service provider, which are specific to individual services (standardised or non-standardised). These could e.g. be
Service customisation data of the user.
Service authentication- and authorisation data (for "single sign on") like keys, certificates, passwords...
Terminal related data
These are data, which relate in particular to the user's terminals (ME and UICC). These could e.g. consist of
Terminal capabilities of the terminal currently in use (e.g. User Interface capabilities, communication capabilities, available services, service capabilities,…).
Data for initial configuration and/or reset of the ME.
Backup data for recovery of the ME configuration including service specific data.
Charging and billing related data
This data consists of information necessary for the user related charging and billing. This data could e.g. consist of:
GUP provides a means of supporting access to data for ranges of services and functions (e.g. MMS, Presence). The support of users' services and personalization data may result in manipulating data in a structured manner, and a standardised way of describing and accessing these data structures, utilizing a Data Description Method based on XML Schema.
As there may be technologies which have impact on the GUP but could not be included in the Data Description Method, the Data Description Method should take this coexistence with other technologies into consideration.