Policy and Charging Control functionality encompasses two main functions:
Flow Based Charging, including charging control and online credit control, for service data flows and application traffic;
Policy control (e.g. gating control, QoS control, QoS signalling, etc.).
The present document specifies the generic PCC aspects within the body, while the specifics for each type of IP-CAN are specified in Annexes. For one type of IP-CAN the corresponding clause in an Annex shall be understood to be a realization of the TS main body. The Annexes are therefore not stand-alone specifications for an IP-CAN. Annexes may specify additional restrictions to the specification body.
The present document specifies the overall stage 2 level functionality for Policy and Charging Control that encompasses the following high level functions for IP-CANs (e.g. GPRS, Fixed Broadband, EPC, etc.):
Flow Based Charging for network usage, including charging control and online credit control, for service data flows and application traffic;
Policy control (e.g. gating control, QoS control, QoS signalling, etc.).
The present document specifies the Policy and Charging Control functionality for Evolved 3GPP Packet Switched domain, including both 3GPP accesses GERAN/UTRAN/E-UTRAN and Non-3GPP accesses, according to TS 23.401 and TS 23.402.
The present document specifies functionality for unicast bearers. Broadcast and multicast bearers, such as MBMS contexts for GPRS, are out of scope of the present document.
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 terms and definitions given in TR 21.905 and the following apply. A term defined in the present document takes precedence over the definition of the same term, if any, in TR 21.905.
application detection filter:
A logic used to detect packets generated by an application based on extended inspection of these packets, e.g. header and/or payload information, as well as dynamics of packet flows. The logic is entirely internal to a TDF or a PCEF enhanced with ADC, and is out of scope of this specification.
An identifier referring to a specific application detection filter.
application service provider:
A business entity responsible for the application that is being / will be used by a UE, which may be either an AF operator or has an association with the AF operator.
A decision consists of references to ADC rules, associated enforcement actions (for dynamic ADC rules) and TDF session attributes and is provided by the PCRF to the TDF for application detection and control.
A set of information enabling the detection of application traffic and associated enforcement actions. ADC rules are directly provisioned into the TDF and referenced by the PCRF.
The maximum QoS that is authorised for a service data flow. In case of an aggregation of multiple service data flows within one IP-CAN bearer (e.g. for GPRS a PDP context), the combination of the "Authorised QoS" information of the individual service data flows is the "Authorised QoS" for the IP-CAN bearer. It contains the QoS class identifier and the data rate.
The association between a service data flow and the IP-CAN bearer (for GPRS the PDP context) transporting that service data flow.
The method for creating, modifying and deleting bindings.
The process of associating packets, belonging to a service data flow, to a charging key and applying online charging and/or offline charging, as appropriate.
information used by the online and offline charging system for rating purposes.
detected application traffic:
An aggregate set of packet flows that are generated by a given application and detected by an application detection filter.
dynamic ADC Rule:
an ADC rule, for which the PCRF can provide and modify some parameters via the Sd reference point.
dynamic PCC Rule:
a PCC rule, for which the definition is provided to the PCEF via the Gx reference point.
a notification, possibly containing additional information, of an event which occurs that corresponds with an event trigger. Also, an event report is a report from the PCRF to the AF concerning transmission resources or requesting additional information.
a rule specifying the event reporting behaviour of a PCEF or BBERF or TDF. Also, it is a trigger for credit management events.
The process of blocking or allowing packets, belonging to a service data flow / detected application's traffic, to pass through to the desired endpoint.
Gateway Control Session:
An association between a BBERF and a PCRF (when GTP is not used in the EPC), used for transferring access specific parameters, BBERF events and QoS rules between PCRF and BBERF.
An IP-CAN bearer with reserved (guaranteed) bitrate resources.
This IP-CAN incorporates GPRS over GERAN and UTRAN, see TS 23.060.
An IP transmission path of defined capacity, delay and bit error rate, etc. See TR 21.905 for the definition of bearer.
The association between a UE and an IP network. The association is identified by one IPv4 and/or an IPv6 prefix together with UE identity information, if available, and a PDN represented by a PDN ID (e.g. an APN). An IP-CAN session incorporates one or more IP-CAN bearers. Support for multiple IP-CAN bearers per IP-CAN session is IP-CAN specific. An IP-CAN session exists as long as UE IP addresses/prefix are established and announced to the IP network.
An IP-CAN bearer with no reserved (guaranteed) bitrate resources.
A service for which complete PCC rule information, including service data flow filter information, is available in the PCRF through configuration and/or dynamic interaction with an AF.
A specific user data flow from and/or to the UE.
Presence Reporting Area:
An area defined within 3GPP Packet Domain for the purposes of reporting of UE presence within that area due to policy control and/or charging reasons. There are two types of Presence Reporting Areas: "UE-dedicated Presence Reporting Areas", and "Core Network pre-configured Presence Reporting Areas". They are further defined in TS 23.401.
A decision consists of PCC rules and IP-CAN bearer attributes and is provided by the PCRF to the PCEF for policy and charging control and, for PCEF enhanced with ADC, application detection and control.
A set of information enabling the detection of a service data flow and providing parameters for policy control and/or charging control and, for PCEF enhanced with ADC, for application detection and control.
PCEF enhanced with ADC:
PCEF, enhanced with application detection and control feature.
The process whereby the PCRF indicates to the PCEF how to control the IP-CAN bearer. Policy control includes QoS control and/or gating control.
predefined PCC Rule:
a PCC rule that has been provisioned directly into the PCEF by the operator.
A mechanism within the OCS to track spending applicable to a subscriber.
policy counter identifier:
A reference to a policy counter in the OCS for a subscriber.
policy counter status:
A label whose values are not standardized and that is associated with a policy counter's value relative to the spending limit(s) (the number of possible policy counter status values for a policy counter is one greater than the number of thresholds associated with that policy counter, i.e policy counter status values describe the status around the thresholds). This is used to convey information relating to subscriber spending from OCS to PCRF. Specific labels are configured jointly in OCS and PCRF.
Packet Flow Description (PFD):
A set of information enabling the detection of application traffic provided by a 3rd party service provider. A PFD is further defined in TS 23.682.
QoS class identifier (QCI):
A scalar that is used as a reference to a specific packet forwarding behaviour (e.g. packet loss rate, packet delay budget) to be provided to a SDF. This may be implemented in the access network by the QCI referencing node specific parameters that control packet forwarding treatment (e.g. scheduling weights, admission thresholds, queue management thresholds, link layer protocol configuration, etc.), that have been pre-configured by the operator at a specific node(s) (e.g. eNodeB).
A set of information enabling the detection of a service data flow and defining its associated QoS parameters.
information used by the PCEF, TDF and PCRF for usage monitoring control purposes as a reference to a given set of service data flows or application (s), that all share a common allowed usage on a per UE and APN basis.
RAN user plane congestion:
RAN user plane congestion occurs when the demand for RAN resources exceeds the available RAN capacity to deliver the user data for a prolonged period of time.
Redirect the detected service traffic to an application server (e.g. redirect to a top-up / service provisioning page).
service data flow:
An aggregate set of packet flows carried through the PCEF that matches a service data flow template.
service data flow filter:
A set of packet flow header parameter values/ranges used to identify one or more of the packet flows. The possible service data flow filters are defined in clause 126.96.36.199.
service data flow filter identifier:
A scalar that is unique for a specific service data flow (SDF) filter (used on Gx and Gxx) within an IP-CAN session.
service data flow template:
The set of service data flow filters in a PCC Rule or an application identifier in a PCC rule referring to an application detection filter, required for defining a service data flow.
An identifier for a service. The service identifier provides the most detailed identification, specified for flow based charging, of a service data flow. A concrete instance of a service may be identified if additional AF information is available (further details to be found in clause 6.3.1).
session based service:
An end user service requiring application level signalling, which is separated from service rendering.
A spending limit is the usage limit of a policy counter (e.g. monetary, volume, duration) that a subscriber is allowed to consume.
spending limit report:
a notification, containing the current policy counter status generated from the OCS to the PCRF via the Sy reference point.
subscribed guaranteed bandwidth QoS:
The per subscriber, authorized cumulative guaranteed bandwidth QoS which is provided by the SPR/UDR to the PCRF.
is a means to group the subscribers into different classes, e.g. gold user, the silver user and the bronze user.
The network infrastructure connected to the 3GPP network over the SGi or Gi reference point that provides various IP-based services.
(S)Gi-LAN service function:
A function located in the (S)Gi-LAN that provides value-added IP-based services e.g. NAT, anti-malware, parental control, DDoS protection.
An association between an IP-CAN session and the assigned TDF for the purpose of application detection and control.
uplink bearer binding verification:
The network enforcement of terminal compliance with the negotiated uplink traffic mapping to bearers.
For the purposes of the present document, the following terms and definitions given in TS 23.401 apply:
For the purposes of the present document, the abbreviations given in TR 21.905 and the following apply. An abbreviation defined in the present document takes precedence over the definition of the same abbreviation, if any, in TR 21.905.
Application Detection and Control
Aggregated Maximum Bitrate
Allocation and Retention Priority
Application Service Provider
Bearer Binding and Event Reporting Function
Bearer Binding Function
Broadband Forum AAA
Broadband Network Gateway
Broadband Policy Control Function
Broadband Remote Access Server
Closed Subscriber Group
Closed Subscriber Group Identity
Diameter Routing Agent
Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network