GSM Security Standards

Ensuring Trust in Mobile Communications


5 min read

GSM Security Standards

In an era where mobile communication is the heartbeat of our interconnected world, the invisible shield safeguarding our conversations and data is the Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) security standards.

This upcoming article takes you on a journey into the intricate web of GSM security, unraveling the standards, technical committees (TC), and technical specifications (TS) that form the bedrock of mobile communication security.

Security Standards

Security AspectGSM Security StandardTC NumberTS Number
AuthenticationSubscriber Identity Module (SIM)3GPP TS 31.102-
Authentication Center (AuC)3GPP TS 33.102-
Home Location Register (HLR)3GPP TS 23.003-
Challenge-Response Mechanism3GPP TS 43.020-
EncryptionA5 Encryption Algorithm3GPP TS 55.101-
Network Signaling SecuritySignaling System 7 (SS7) Protocols--
Data PrivacyConfidentiality of User Data3GPP TS 33.102-
Access to User Data by Authorized Parties3GPP TS 33.102-
Emerging ChallengesSecurity in 5G Networks3GPPVarious TS
Internet of Things (IoT) Security3GPPVarious TS
Virtualization and Cloud Security3GPPVarious TS

Join us as we decipher the matrix of GSM security standards, TCs, and TSs, and gain a deeper understanding of the measures that keep our mobile communications secure. In a world where trust is paramount, these standards remain the sentinels between your conversations and the digital abyss.

Technical Committees (TCs)

Technical Committees (TCs) within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), the organization responsible for developing GSM and other mobile communication standards:

Technical CommitteeDescription
TC SA (Services and Systems Aspects)Focuses on the overall system architecture, service aspects, and service capabilities within mobile networks.
TC CT (Core Network and Terminals)Addresses the core network architecture, including network protocols and terminal (device) interfaces.
TC RAN (Radio Access Network)Deals with radio access technologies, including base station hardware and software interfaces.
TC GERAN (GSM/EDGE Radio Access Network)Concentrates on the GSM and EDGE radio access technologies, ensuring their continued development.
TC TSG-SA WG1 (Service aspects)Works on service and multimedia aspects of mobile networks, including services over IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem).
TC TSG-SA WG2 (Architecture)Focuses on mobile networks' overall architecture and system capabilities, such as system requirements and interfaces.
TC TSG-CN WG1 (Core network architecture)Develops the core network architecture and protocols that enable mobile communication services.
TC TSG-CN WG3 (Signalling)Addresses signaling protocols used in mobile networks, including those related to call control and mobility management.
TC TSG-RAN WG1 (Radio Layer 1)Concentrates on the physical layer of radio access technologies, involving modulation, coding, and channel structure.
TC TSG-RAN WG2 (Radio Layer 2 and Radio Layer 3 RR)Works on the second and third layers of radio access technologies, including protocols and procedures.
TC TSG-RAN WG4 (Radio Performance and Protocol Aspects)Focuses on radio network performance, quality, and protocols for mobile networks.

Please note that this table provides an overview of some of the Technical Committees within 3GPP, and there are additional committees and working groups that address specific areas of mobile communication standards development.

The scope and responsibilities of these committees may evolve over time as technology advances and new standards are developed.

Technical Specifications (TS)

Technical Specifications (TS) within the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), organized by their corresponding Technical Committees (TCs):

Technical CommitteeTechnical SpecificationDescription
TC SA (Services and Systems Aspects)3GPP TS 23.401General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) enhancements, including service architecture and interfaces.
TC CT (Core Network and Terminals)3GPP TS 24.008Mobile radio interface Layer 3 specifications for circuit-switched connections.
TC RAN (Radio Access Network)3GPP TS 36.211Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA) physical channels and modulation.
TC GERAN (GSM/EDGE Radio Access Network)3GPP TS 45.002Radio Frequency (RF) requirements for GSM and EDGE base stations.
TC TSG-SA WG1 (Service aspects)3GPP TS 22.173Service requirements for multimedia priority service (MPS) over the IMS.
TC TSG-SA WG2 (Architecture)3GPP TS 23.501System Architecture Evolution (SAE) stage 2 description, including network architecture and protocols.
TC TSG-CN WG1 (Core network architecture)3GPP TS 29.002Mobile Application Part (MAP) specification, covering signaling between elements of mobile networks.
TC TSG-CN WG3 (Signalling)3GPP TS 29.118Diameter-based evolved Packet Data Gateway (ePDG) to 3GPP AAA proxy function interface.
TC TSG-RAN WG1 (Radio Layer 1)3GPP TS 36.101User Equipment (UE) radio transmission and reception, including RF characteristics and power classes.
TC TSG-RAN WG2 (Radio Layer 2 and Radio Layer 3 RR)3GPP TS 36.321Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol specification for E-UTRA.
TC TSG-RAN WG4 (Radio Performance and Protocol Aspects)3GPP TS 36.104Base Station (BS) conformance testing for E-UTRA radio transmission and reception.

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