The integrity sequence number COUNT-I is 32 bits long.
For signalling radio bearers (RB 0-4) there is one COUNT-I value per up-link signalling radio bearer and one COUNT-I value per down-link signalling radio bearer.
COUNT-I is composed of two parts: a "short" sequence number and a "long" sequence number. The "short" sequence number forms the least significant bits of COUNT-I while the "long" sequence number forms the most significant bits of COUNT-I. The "short" sequence number is the 4-bit RRC sequence number (RRC SN) that is available in each RRC PDU. The "long" sequence number is the 28-bit RRC hyper frame number (RRC HFN) which is incremented at each RRC SN cycle.
The RRC HFN is initialised by means of the parameter START, which is described in clause 6.4.8
. The ME and the RNC then initialise the 20 most significant bits of the RRC HFN to START; the remaining bits of the RRC HFN are initialised to 0.
The integrity key IK is 128 bits long.
There may be one IK for CS connections (IK CS
), established between the CS service domain and the user and one IK for PS connections (IK PS
) established between the PS service domain and the user. Which integrity key to use for a particular connection is described in 6.5.5.
For UMTS subscribers IK is established during UMTS AKA as the output of the integrity key derivation function f4, that is available in the USIM and in the HLR/AuC. For GSM subscribers, that access the UTRAN, IK is established following GSM AKA and is derived from the GSM cipher key Kc, as described in 6.8.2.
IK is stored in the USIM and a copy is stored in the ME. IK is sent from the USIM to the ME upon request of the ME. The USIM shall send IK under the condition that a valid IK is available. The ME shall trigger a new authentication procedure if the current value of STARTCS or STARTPS in the USIM are not up-to-date or STARTCS or STARTPS have reached THRESHOLD. The ME shall delete IK from memory after power-off as well as after removal of the USIM.
IK is sent from the HLR/AuC to the VLR/SGSN and stored in the VLR/SGSNas part of a quintet. It is sent from the VLR/SGSN to the RNC in the (RANAP) security mode command.
At handover, the IK is transmitted within the network infrastructure from the old RNC to the new RNC, to enable the communication to proceed, and the synchronisation procedure is resumed. The IK remains unchanged at handover, with the exception of SRVCC handover and reverse SRVCC handover.
The network-side nonce FRESH is 32 bits long.
There is one FRESH parameter value per user. The input parameter FRESH protects the network against replay of signalling messages by the user. At connection set-up the RNC generates a random value FRESH and sends it to the user in the (RRC) security mode command. The value FRESH is subsequently used by both the network and the user throughout the duration of a single connection. This mechanism assures the network that the user is not replaying any old MAC-Is.
At handover with relocation of the S-RNC, the new S-RNC generates its own value for the FRESH parameter and sends it to the ME in the RRC message that indicates a new UTRAN Radio Network Temporary Identity due to a SRNC relocation (see TS 25.331