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LTE Identification I: UE and ME Identifiers
August 20, 2013 | By Netmanias (tech@netmanias.com)
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Page 2 of 5



Table of Contents  

1. Introduction
2. Classification of LTE Identification
3. Identifiers for User Equipment (UEI IDs)
4. Identifiers for Mobile Equipement (ME IDs)

5. Closing and References  



2. Classification of LTE Identification


Figure 1 shows, using the LTE network reference model [1], IDs defined and used in some entities and interfaces. Features of these LTE IDs will be explained in terms of their creation time, attribute type (permanent/temporary) and ranges within which they are uniquely identified.


Creation Time: Creation time of an LTE ID can be one of the following:

  • When commissioned upon equipment installation
  • When provisioned by the operator before or during service operation
  • When created on-demand as a user accesses to the network or uses services

LTE IDs commissioned or provisioned are presented with the blue boxes on the corresponding EPS entities in Figure 11.


Type: An LTE ID can have an attribute type, either a permanent value that stays fixed once set, or a temporary one that changes whenever activated. The ones allocated by being commissioned or provisioned have permanent values while others allocated on-demand as a user accesses to the network or uses services have temporary values.


Range (within which IDs are uniquely identified): Each LTE ID is uniquely identified across the world, operator networks, entities or channels.


Figure 1. LTE identification


Figure 1 shows different IDs used depending on where LTE identification is actually being performed, i.e., layers, interfaces or geographical areas. For the convenience of description, the IDs shown in Figure 1 are grouped as seen in Table 1.


First, IDs for the EPS entities are grouped into UE IDs, ME IDs and NE IDs. The EPS entities are classified into UEs and NEs. MEs, one of the UE components, are separated from UEs and classified as a separate group.

NEs are the network entities operated by an LTE operator such as MMEs, eNBs and P-GWs. IDs, such as IMSI, GUTI, S-TMSI, IP address, C-RNTI, UE S1AP ID and UE X2AP ID that identify a user, belong to the UE ID group. IDs such IMEI and IMEISV that identify a device belongs to the ME ID group.


And IDs, such as GUMMEI and MMEI for MMEs, Global eNB ID and eNB ID for eNBs, ECGI and ECI for cells, and P-GW ID for P-GWs, belong to the NE ID group. Location IDs, such as TAI and TAC, identify the area where a user is located.


Finally, session/bearer IDs, such as PDN ID(or APN), EPS bearer ID, E-RAB ID, DRB ID, TEID and LBI, are related to user traffic delivery, and identify EPS sessions (PDN connections) and EPS bearers.


This document, the first document in the LTE Identification series, describes LTE IDs for UE and ME shown in gray in Table 1. The second document will explain LTE NE IDs and location IDs which identify location of UEs, and the third document will discuss IDs for EPS session/bearer.


Table 1. Classification of LTE identification


Page 2 of 5
Pankaj Samal 2014-08-12 04:30:53

Hi Netmanias Team,


Please have a look for a corection on the summary part at the top of this document.


"ME IDs such as IMSI and IMSISV are explained"


I think it should be : IMEI and IMEISV.



Netmanias 2014-08-12 12:14:37

Hi Pankaj, 


Thank you for noticing the typo.

We have fixed some typos regarding to IMEI (IMSI -> IMEI) and posted the updated file. 
Thanks again for your kind comment.   

Saurabh Thukral 2014-09-09 20:22:47

Dear Author,

The presentation of the information related to LTE is excellent. Please accept my kudos.


Would like to point out a small error:

refer Fig 5. explaining dynamic IP address allocation. the message arrow between MME and P-GW indicates there is an interface between the two nodes. In fact, there is no such interface. The message Create Bearer request is sent by MME to S-GW which relays to P-GW.


Please correct.

Reza 2016-09-04 21:32:14

Dear netmanias team,

Thanks for your illustrative article.

Just a comment on fig. 9. Isn't it better to have UCCI(or SIM card) in the figure instead of USIM? Because ME and USIM are not from the same category. ME is a device and USIM is an application. But UCCI can be cansidered to be a device as ME since it is an integrated circuit securely incorporating IMSI and runs USIM.


Yernat Saduakas 2017-04-04 13:53:59

Hi, in Summary maybe LTE identification 

Dhanuja elizabeth 2018-09-27 17:05:03


Could you please explain how eNB UE S1AP ID and MME UE S1AP ID are being generated, whether it is randomly generated or have a specific algorithm for its generation.

vaibhav 2019-11-30 02:01:49

We are eagerly waiting for such documents on 5G. Any Plans ??

Obadiah Arusei 2019-12-03 01:03:19

Great doc here! I loved the simplicity and preciseness here.  you can include ISIM in the UE definition and maybe higlight the difference between USIM and ISIM (and maybe SIM for legacy systems lovers)



Guillermo Rafael Martinez Ramacciotti 2020-01-10 04:21:27

Hi, one basic question perhaps, is eNB UE S1AP ID and MME UE S1AP ID changed (renewed) every time the UE goes to Idle, for example, after Inactivity Timer is expired?


Many thanks in advaced!



Mitchell Wu 2020-11-30 10:39:56

Excellent job! It is brief and clear to the point. I like the diagrams -very intuitive with necessary info.  The attach request diagram is still much valid for5G  if replacing IMSI with 5G identifiers  SUCI ( encrypted SUPI) or GUTI . 5G does not allow the IMSI to be transported with clear-text between UE and gNB

Mitchell Wu 2020-11-30 10:40:44

Excellent job! It is brief and clear to the point. I like the diagrams -very intuitive with necessary info.  The attach request diagram is still much valid for5G  if replacing IMSI with 5G identifiers  SUCI ( encrypted SUPI) or GUTI . 5G does not allow the IMSI to be transported with clear-text between UE and gNB


Vishwanath SV 2022-02-07 12:11:34

Hi Netmanias Team,

The doc provided are really good and informative.

Do you have any similar docs and explaination for 5G core also. 

If yes, please provide the link here.

Thanks alot.

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