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Mar 11, 2013

Periodic Tracking Area Update (TAU) - T3412 timer



Today I was asked about the Periodic Tracking Area Update. Question was what is happening when the UE is in one place cell or TA in general.
So here is what the Spec Rel 9. is saying about it.

Periodic TAU

Periodic tracking area updating is used to periodically notify the availability of the UE to the network. The procedure is controlled in the UE by the periodic tracking area update timer (timer T3412). The value of timer T3412 is sent by the network to the UE in the ATTACH ACCEPT message and can be sent in the TRACKING AREA UPDATE ACCEPT message. The UE shall apply this value in all tracking areas of the list of tracking areas assigned to the UE, until a new value is received.

No Periodic TAU case

If the timer T3412 received by the UE in an ATTACH ACCEPT or TRACKING AREA UPDATE ACCEPT contains an indication that the timer is deactivated or the timer value is zero, then the timer T3412 is deactivated and the UE shall not perform periodic tracking area updating procedure.
This part is a small change in Spec comparing to Rel 8. I feel this is because Machine to Machine (M2M) communication will take more part in overall. Because what else could be a reason to resign from (Periodic) TAUs?

Timer's behavior

The timer T3412 is reset and started with its initial value, when the UE goes from EMM-CONNECTED to EMM-IDLE mode. The timer T3412 is stopped when the UE enters EMM-CONNECTED mode or EMM-DEREGISTERED state.


Emergency bearers

If the UE is attached for emergency bearer services, and timer T3412 expires, the UE shall not initiate a periodic tracking area updating procedure, but shall locally detach from the network.

When a UE is not attached for emergency bearer services, and timer T3412 expires, the periodic tracking area updating procedure shall be started and the timer shall be set to its initial value for the next start.

If the UE is not attached for emergency bearer services, and is in another state than EMM-REGISTERED.NORMAL-SERVICE when the timer expires the periodic tracking area updating procedure is delayed until the UE returns to EMM-REGISTERED.NORMAL-SERVICE.

If there is ISR..

If ISR is activated, the UE shall keep both the periodic tracking area update timer (timer T3412) and the periodic routeing area update timer (timer T3312). The two separate timers run in the UE for updating MME and SGSN independently. If the periodic tracking area update timer expires and the UE cannot initiate the tracking area updating procedure, as it is in state EMM-REGISTERED.NO-CELL-AVAILABLE, the UE shall start the E-UTRAN deactivate ISR timer T3423. The UE shall initiate the tracking area updating procedure and stop the timer T3423 when it enters state EMM-REGISTERED.NORMAL-SERVICE before timer T3423 expires. After expiry of timer T3423 the UE shall set its TIN to "P-TMSI".

If there is no ISR

If the E-UTRAN Deactivate ISR timer T3423 expires the UE shall memorize that it has to initiate a tracking area updating procedure when it returns to state EMM-REGISTERED.NORMAL-SERVICE.

Attached to EPS and non-EPS

If the UE is attached to both EPS and non-EPS services, and if timer T3412 expires or timer T3423 expires when the UE is in EMM-REGISTERED.NO-CELL-AVAILABLE state, then the UE shall initiate the combined tracking area updating procedure indicating "combined TA/LA updating with IMSI attach" when the UE returns to EMM-REGISTERED.NORMAL-SERVICE state.

Who's guarding?

The network supervises the periodic tracking area updating procedure of the UE by means of the mobile reachable timer.

What if..?

If the UE is not attached for emergency bearer services, the mobile reachable timer shall be longer than T3412.In this case, by default, the mobile reachable timer is 4 minutes greater than T3412. If ISR is not activated, the network behaviour upon expiry of the mobile reachable timer is network dependent, but typically the network stops sending paging messages to the UE on the first expiry, and may take other appropriate actions.

If the UE is attached for emergency bearer services, the MME shall set the mobile reachable timer with a value equal to T3412. When the mobile reachable timer expires, the MME shall locally detach the UE.
The mobile reachable timer shall be reset and started with its initial value, when the MME releases the NAS signalling connection for the UE. The mobile reachable timer shall be stopped when a NAS signalling connection is established for the UE.

Upon expiry of the mobile reachable timer the network shall start the implicit detach timer. The value of the implicit detach timer is network dependent. If ISR is activated, the default value of the implicit detach timer is 4 minutes greater than T3423. If the implicit detach timer expires before the UE contacts the network, the network shall implicitly detach the UE.

The implicit detach timer shall be stopped when a NAS signalling connection is established for the UE.

Source:
3GPP, TS 23.401, Rel9