ASN.1 Applications

The ASN.1 technology is widely used in various kinds of applications in multiple domains such as telecommunications, aeronautical and space industry, transportation system, security and health care. Here are few use examples:

  • The last 3GPP LTE (Long Term Evolution, evolution of the GSM/UMTS network) defines interfaces for the E-UTRA (Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access) using the ASN.1 notation with ASN.1 PER encoding rules. The protocols using ASN.1 are: RRC (Radio Resource Control), S1AP (S1 Application Protocol: signalling service between E-UTRAN and packet core), X2AP (X2 Application Protocol: handle User Equipment (UE) mobility inside E-UTRAN), M2AP (M2 Application Protocol), M3AP (M3 Application Protocol), LPP (LTE Positioning Protocol).
    LTE
    ASN.1 for LTE RRC, S1AP and X2AP

  • The signalling interfaces of the Universal Mobile Telecommunication Systems (UMTS) Radio Access Network (RAN) protocols (RANAP, RNSAP, NBAP, and RRC) are all described using the ASN.1 notation and the ASN.1 PER encoding rules to save bandwidth when transmitting data.

  • Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) represents the next step in the evolution of the nation's entire transportation system. ITS can be applied to our vast transportation infrastructure of highways, streets, and bridges, as well as to a growing number of vehicles, including cars, buses, trucks, and trains. It uses the latest information and communications technologies to better manage and improve how transportation providers such as governments, transit agencies and truckers offer services to the public. It covers a wide range of new services such as Traffic signal control, Freeway management, Transit management, Electronic toll collection, Railroad crossings or Emergency response. Protocols are defined to enable the communication between vehicles (V2V) or between a vehicle and an infrastructure (V2I). Most of them are specified using the ASN.1 notation and the ASN.1 unaligned PER encoding rules.
    ITS
    ASN.1 for ITS (Inteligent Transport Systems)

  • TAP3 (Transferred Account Procedure) is the mechanism that specifies how roaming partners (GSM/UMTS) operators are able to bill each other for the use of networks and services. TAP3 format for roaming billing information uses ASN.1 BER encoding rules.

  • A lot of telecommunication switches use the ASN.1 notation for specifying the format of the CDR (Charging Data Record) that they generate. Stored inside a file, these CDRs are used for billing the user and consist in a formatted collection of information about a charging event.

  • The Signalling System No. 7 (SS7), is a set of protocols which are used to set up most of the world's public switched telephone network. A large part of these protocols uses the ASN.1 notation with the ASN.1 BER encoding rules like: MTP (Message Transfer Part), TCAP (Transaction Capabilities Application Part), MAP (Mobile Application Part), INAP (Intelligent Network Application Part), CAP (CAMEL Application Part).

  • Multimedia conferencing systems based on H323 ITU-T standard uses the ASN.1 notation with the ASN.1 PER encoding rules for the signalling part to control the voice, the video or the data communication. The protocols concerned are the following: H.225 (for call control registration, admission and status RAS), H.235 (for security and authentication), H.245 (for channel usage and capabilities negotiations), H.248 (for media gateway access control), H.450.1 (for adding supplementary services).

  • In the field of Telecommunication Management Network (TMN), protocols like SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and CMIP (Common Management Information Protocol) are defined using the ASN.1 notation and the ASN.1 BER encoding rules.

  • Radio frequency identification (RFID) is an Automatic Identification and Data Capture (AIDC) technology. These wireless AIDC systems allow for non-contact reading and consequently are effective in manufacturing and other hostile environments where barcode labels could not survive. RFID is used in a wide range of markets including livestock identification, automated vehicle identification, automated data collection, identification and analysis systems worldwide. The Radio frequency identification systems use the ASN.1 notation for describing the data exchanged across the air interface.

  • The Aeronautical Telecommunication Network (ATN) is a worldwide data network intended to provide data communications connectivity among mobile platforms, airlines and other companies that provide services such as Air Traffic Control, Flight Information Services, Passenger Communications… Air-ground protocols such as ADS (Automatic Dependent Surveillance), CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Data Link Communications) are described using the ASN.1 notation and the ASN.1 PER encoding rules.

  • Mechanisms used to secure Electronic Commerce on the Internet such as SET (Secured Electronic Transaction) are based on Public-Key Cryptography Standards (PKCS#7: description of the encrypted messages with digital signature) and ITU-T X.509 (digital certificates) standards, which are defined using the ASN.1 notation and the ASN.1 BER and DER encoding rules. These mechanisms enable the transfer of data with integrity, the authentication of the two party of the transaction and the confidentiality of the information exchanged.

  • Smart cards such as SIM, WIM and VITALE use ASN.1 for describing the card’s data structure.

  • CTI (Computer-Telephony Integration) is the use of computers to manage telephone calls. Computer Supported Telecommunications Applications (CSTA), which is part of CTI standards, uses ASN.1 with BER to specify the message exchanged between telecommunications equipment and computing applications.

  • The Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) is an application protocol for reading and editing directories over an IP network. It is defined in ASN.1, and the messages in binary format use BER encoding rules.

  • The Accredited Standards Committee X9 (ASC X9) is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to develop US standards for the financial services industry. Members (banks, investors, software companies …) uses the ASN.1 to describe data transfers involved in financial operations.

  • In the US, the NCBI (National Center for Biotechnology Information) uses ASN.1 within its GenBank (a data base of 4 million DNA sequences).

  • The Manufacturing Message Specification (MMS) defined by ISO uses ASN.1 for the definition of the messages. This messaging system is used for exchanging data under real time conditions to remote control and monitor industrial devices.

For more info about ASN.1 use cases, you can refer to International Telecommunication Union's website at http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/asn1/uses.

 
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