Mobile technology abbreviation soup bowl

I spent some years learning and writing about mobile technology, specifically 3GPP 2G/3G/4G technologies. Even that simple sentence is full of abbreviations.

Essentially, the technology that allows you to make that phone call, download that latest app, send messages, check bank account and much more uses a complex set of technologies that almost everyone is gleefully unaware of.

The technology from your phone to the tower is essentially analog. Phones transmit (send/recive) radio waves in a certain spectrum that can only represent information in bits of either 0s or 1s. For example, in a radio wave, the upper part can represent a 1 while the lower part can represent 0.

Once those signals hit the tower, they are converted to digital form which the Mobile Core can use. The Mobile Core consists of services that process that requests from the phone and, all being well, return a response.

So, here are some of the abbreviations that you might find in a bowl of mobile technologies soup.

Term Description
2G Second Generation
3G Third Generation
3GPP Third Generation Partnership Project
ACA ACcounting Answer
ANGW Access Network Gateway
APN Access Point Name
AS Application Server
AVP Attribute Value Pair
BSS Base Station Subsystem
CGF Charging Gateway Function
CN Core Network
CS Circuit Switched
CSFB Circuit Switched Fallback
CSCF Call Session Control Function
DDN Downlink Data Notification
DEA Diameter Edge Agent
DL Downlink
DNS Domain Name System
DRA Diameter Routing Agent
E-UTRAN Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
EAP Extensible Authentication Protocol
EDGE Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution
EMS Element Management System
eNodeB Evolved NodeB
EPC Evolved Packet Core
ePDG Evolved Packet Data Gateway
EPS Evolved Packet System
FTEID Fully Qualified Tunnel End Point Identifier
GBR Guaranteed Bit Rate
GERAN GSM EDGE Radio Access Network
GGSN Gateway GPRS Support Node
GMLC Gateway Mobile Location Center
GPRS General Packet Radio Service
GSM Global System for Mobile Communications
GTP GPRS Tunnelling Protocol
GTPv2-C GTP version 2, control plane
GTPv2-U GTP version 2, user plane
GW Gateway
HLR Home Location Register
HSS Home Subscriber Server
HSM High Security Module
I-CSCF Interrogating CSCF
IFC Initial Filter Criteria
IFOM IP Flow Mobility
IM IP Multimedia
IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identity
IMPI IMS Private User Identity
IMPU IP Multimedia Subsystem Public User Identity
IMS IP Multimedia Subsystem
IMS-AS IMS Application Server
IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identity
IMSU IMS Subscription
IoT Internet of Things
IP Internet Protocol
IP-CAN IP Connectivity Access Network
IP-SM-GW IP Short Message Gateway
IPv6 Internet Protocol Version 6
IPSec IP Security
IPv4 Internet Protocol Version 4
IWR Inter Working Function
KPI Key Performance Indicator
LCS Location Control Services
LTE Long Term Evolution
LMA Local Mobility Anchor
LMAA LMA Address
MAP Mobility Application Part
MAPCON Multi access PDN connectivity
MAG Mobility Access Gateway
MBR Maximum Bit Rate
MCPTT Mission Critical Push to Talk
MEC Mobile-edge Computing
MGW Media Gateway
MIP Mobile IP
MME Mobility Management Entity
MSC Mobile Switching Center
MSIN Mobile Subscriber Identification Number
MSISDN Mobile Subscriber ISDN
MTC Machine Type Communication
MTC-AAA MTC MTC Authentication, Authorization and Accounting
MTC-IWF MTC Internetworking Function
NAI Network Access Identifier
NAPTR Name Authority Pointer
NAS Network Access Stratum
NAT Network Address Translation
NIDD Non-IP Data Delivery
NBM Network Based Mobility
OCS Online Charging System
ODB Operator Determined Barring
OFCS Offline Charging System
OSS/BSS Operations Support System/Business Support System
PCC Policy and Charging Control
PCEF Policy Enforcement Function
PCRF Policy and Charging Rules Function
PDN Packet Data Network
(PGW) Packet Data Network Gateway PDU Protocol Data Unit
PLMN Public Land Mobile Network
PMIPv6 Proxy Mobile IPv6
PS Packet Switched
QoS Quality-of-Service
RFC Request for Comment
SGW Serving Gateway
SCEF Service Capabilities Exposure Function
SDP Session Description Protocol
SGSN Serving GRPS Support Node
SIM Subscriber Identity Module
SIP Session Initiation Protocol
SLF Subscription Locator Function
SMS Short Message Service
SMS-GMSC Gateway MSC for SMS
SMS-IWMSC Interworking MSC for SMS
SMSC Short Message Service Center
SRV Service Record
SS7 Signalling System 7
SoC System on Chip
TAS Telephony Application Server
TCP Transmission Control Protocol
TEID Tunnel Endpoint Identifier
TEID-C Tunnel Endpoint Identifier, control plane
TEID-U Tunnel Endpoint Identifier, user plane
TOSCA Topology and Orchestration Specification for Cloud Applications
TPS Transactions Per Second
TWAG Trusted WLAN Access Gateway
TWAN Trusted WLAN Access Network
UE User Equipment
UE-AMBR UE-Aggregate Maximum Bit Rate
UMTS Universal Mobile Telecommunication System
UTRAN Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network
VIM Virtualized Infrastructure Manager (Controls and manages the NFVI resources)
VNF Virtualized Network Function
VNFC VNF Component
VNFD VNF Descriptor
VNFM VNF Manager
VoLTE IMS Voice over Packet Switched (PS)
VPLMN Visited Public Land Mobile Network
WLAN Wireless Local Area Network