ASN1, largely used in telecommunication network

The Abstract Syntax Notation One (ASN1) is an international standard defined to ease the exchange of data between heterogeneous systems, regardless of programming languages and internal representation of data. It includes a notation to describe the exchanged data and a set of encoding rules to encode this data before transmitting them over networks. ASN1 is widely used in telecommunications, for example in GSM, UMTS and LTE networks, but also in other domains like health, finance and ITS.

Existing encoding rules are ASN1 BER (Basic Encoding Rules), ASN1 DER (Distinguished Encoding Rules), ASN1 PER (Packed Encoding Rules, aligned variant), ASN1 UPER (Packed Encoding Rules, unaligned variant), ASN1 XER (XML Encoding Rules, basic variant) and CXER (XML Encoding Rules, canonical variant).

ASN.1 BER is used by network switches to generate Call Data Records (CDR). Call Data Records are generated each time a customer uses a telecommunication service provided by the network operator. Roaming CDRs are generated in TAP3 files, an ASN1 format defined by the GSM-Association. All these CDRs are then processed by billing systems.

Aligned PER and unaligned PER (UPER) are used by a lot of protocols from 3GPP and ETSI: RRC, NBAP, RANAP, RNSAP, SABP, S1AP, X2AP etc. PER and UPER encodings are more compact and can be faster encoded and decoded.

A set of efficient tools

Marben Products provides products to encode, decode, visualize and convert ASN1 encoded data:

  • ASNSDK TCE-C, TCE-C++ and TCE-Java provide an application programming interface (API) to process BER, DER, PER/UPER, XER and CXER encoded data.
  • The ASN1 Value Editor is a graphical tool (GUI) for encoding, decoding, visualization and conversion of ASN1 data. No programming is required for using it. The ASN1 Value Editor supports all encoding rules and is not restricted to a particular ASN.1 formats.
  • The CDR Converter converts ASN1 BER data to Comma Separated Values (CSV) or XML format.
The ASN1 standard is updated regularly to fit new requirements. Marben ASN1 tools support all the latest ASN1 standards. Free trials of Marben ASN1 tools can be downloaded from our web site.

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