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Title:
AVOIDING TRANSMISSION OF UNNECESSARY 5GSM MESSAGE
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/170130
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
Avoiding transmission of unnecessary 5G session management (SM) messages in a cellular communications system is disclosed. In one embodiment, a method performed by a Session Management Function (SMF) comprises determining that a non-access stratum (NAS) message carrying a Protocol Data Unit (PDU) session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment (UE) by a radio access network (RAN). The method further comprises, responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE, sending a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE. In some embodiments, determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE comprises receiving an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising a cause, and determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE based on the cause.

Inventors:
SEDLACEK IVO (CZ)
HEDMAN PETER (SE)
SCHLIWA-BERTLING PAUL (SE)
JOHANSSON KAJ (SE)
SHI NIANSHAN (SE)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2020/051342
Publication Date:
August 27, 2020
Filing Date:
February 18, 2020
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
TELEFONAKTIEBOLAGET LM ERICSSON (PUBL) (SE)
International Classes:
H04W76/12; H04W76/18; H04W8/08
Foreign References:
US20190007500A12019-01-03
Other References:
3GPP: "3rd Generation Partnership Project; Technical Specification Group Services and System Aspects; Procedures for the 5G System; Stage 2 (Release 15)", 7 January 2019 (2019-01-07), pages 2019 - 1, XP055689449, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20200427]
INTEL ET AL: "Temporary restriction of Reflective QoS", vol. SA WG2, no. Sanya, P.R. China; 20180416 - 20180420, 10 April 2018 (2018-04-10), XP051437532, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180410]
SHARP: "Pseudo-CR on abnormal case of the PDU session establishment procedure for the LADN", vol. CT WG1, no. Kochi (India); 20171023 - 20171027, 27 October 2017 (2017-10-27), XP051350310, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20171027]
VENCORE LABS ET AL: "SMF knowledge that a UE is configured for high priority access", vol. CT WG1, no. Sophia Antipolis, France; 20180709 - 20180713, 11 July 2018 (2018-07-11), XP051466223, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20180711]
ERICSSON: "Discussion on non-delivery of PDU SESSION ESTABLISHMENT ACCEPT", vol. CT WG1, no. Montreal (Canada); 20190225 - 20190301, 18 February 2019 (2019-02-18), XP051598278, Retrieved from the Internet [retrieved on 20190218]
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BEVINS, R. Chad (US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A method performed in a core network of a cellular communications system to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

at a radio access network, RAN, (300):

determining (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

sending (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212);

at the AMF (302):

receiving (528), from the RAN (300), the N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising the cause; and

sending (530) an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising the cause to a Session Management Function, SMF, (310); and

at the SMF (310):

determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) by the RAN (300); and

responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212), sending (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE.

2. A method performed by a Session Management Function, SMF, (310) in a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

determining (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User

Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network, RAN, (300); and responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212), sending (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212). 3. The method of claim 2, wherein determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) comprises: receiving (530), from an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising a cause; and

determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) based on the cause.

4. The method of claim 2, wherein sending (536) the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212) comprises sending (536) an

Namf_Communication_NlN2MessageTransfer comprising the PDU session establishment reject indication to the AMF (302).

5. A Session Management Function, SMF, (310) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the SMF (310) adapted to:

determine (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User

Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network (300); and

send (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

6. The SMF (310) of claim 5 wherein the SMF (310) is further adapted to perform the method of any one of claims 3 to 4. 7. A network node (600) for implementing a Session Management Function, SMF,

(310) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) where the SMF (310) is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the network node (600) comprising: a network interface (608); and

processing circuitry (604) associated with the network interface (608), the processing circuitry (604) adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the SMF (310) such that the SMF (310) is configured to:

determine (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network (300); and

send (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

8. The network node (600) of claim 7 wherein the processing circuitry (604) is adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the SMF (310) such that the SMF (310) is further configured to perform the method of any one of claims 3 to 4.

9. A method performed by a radio access network, RAN, (300) in a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

determining (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

sending (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

10. The method of claim 9, further comprising:

receiving (538) a PDU session establishment reject indication from the AMF

(302); and

sending (540) the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212) using access network signaling.

11. A radio access network, RAN, (300) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the RAN (300) adapted to:

determine (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

send (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

12. The RAN (300) of claim 11 wherein the RAN (300) is further adapted to perform the method of claim 10. 13. A network node (600) for implementing a radio access network, RAN, (300) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) where the RAN (300) is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the network node (600) comprising:

a network interface (608); and

processing circuitry (604) associated with the network interface (608), the processing circuitry (604) adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the RAN (300) such that the RAN (300) is configured to:

determine (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

send (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

14. The network node (600) of claim 13 wherein the processing circuitry (604) is adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the RAN (300) such that the RAN (300) is further configured to perform the method of claim 10.

Description:
A VOIDING TRANSMISSION OF UNNECESSARY 5GSM MESSAGE

Related Applications

[0001] This application claims the benefit of provisional patent application serial number 62/807,078, filed February 18, 2019, the disclosure of which is hereby incorporated herein by reference in its entirety.

Technical Field

[0002] The present disclosure relates to Protocol Data Unit (PDU) session

establishment in a cellular communications system.

Background

[0003] The Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Technical Specification (TS) 23.502 provides a procedure for user equipment (UE)-requested Protocol Data Unit (PDU) Session Establishment for non-roaming and roaming with local breakout. The baseline procedure shown below in table 1 and illustrated in Figures 1A and IB is excerpted from TS 23.502, subclause 4.3.2.2.1, and describes the procedure as follows (note that the procedure assumes that the UE has already registered on the Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF), and thus, unless the UE is Emergency Registered, the AMF has already retrieved the user subscription data from a Unified Data

Management (UDM) provider):

Table 1

according to the UE subscription, if it contains only one default S-NSSAI, or based on operator policy. When the NAS Message contains an S-NSSAI but it does not contain a DNN, the AMF determines the DNN for the requested PDU Session by selecting the default DNN for this S-NSSAI if the default DNN is present in the UE's Subscription Information; otherwise the serving AMF selects a locally configured DNN for this S- NSSAI. If the AMF cannot select an SMF (e.g. the UE provided DNN is not supported by the network, or the UE provided DNN is not in the Subscribed DNN List for the S-NSSAI and wildcard DNN is not included in the Subscribed DNN list), the AMF shall reject the NAS Message containing PDU Session Establishment Request from the UE with an appropriate cause

The AMF selects an SMF as described in clause 6.3.2 of TS 23.501 [1] and

clause 4.3.2.2.3. If the Request Type indicates "Initial request" or the request is due to handover from EPS or from non-3GPP access serving by a different AMF, the AMF stores an association of the S-NSSAI(s), the DNN, the PDU Session ID, the SMF ID as well as the Access Type of the PDU Session .

If the Request Type is "initial request" and if the Old PDU Session ID indicating the existing PDU Session is also contained in the message, the AMF selects an SMF as described in clause 4.3.5.2 and stores an association of the new PDU Session ID, the S- NSSAI, the selected SMF ID as well as Access Type of the PDU Session.

If the Request Type indicates "Existing PDU Session", the AMF selects the SMF based on SMF-ID received from UDM. The case where the Request Type indicates "Existing PDU Session", and either the AMF does not recognize the PDU Session ID or the subscription context that the AMF received from UDM during the Registration or Subscription Profile Update Notification procedure does not contain an SMF ID corresponding to the PDU Session ID constitutes an error case. The AMF updates the Access Type stored for the PDU Session.

If the Request Type indicates "Existing PDU Session" referring to an existing PDU Session moved between 3 GPP access and non-3GPP access, then if the S-NSSAI of the PDU Session is present in the Allowed NSSAI of the target access type, the PDU Session Establishment procedure can be performed in the following cases:

- the SMF ID corresponding to the PDU Session ID and the AMF belong to the same PLMN;

- the SMF ID corresponding to the PDU Session ID belongs to the HPLMN;

Otherwise the AMF shall reject the PDU Session Establishment Request with an appropriate reject cause.

NOTE 2: The SMF ID includes the PLMN ID that the SMF belongs to.

The AMF shall reject a request coming from an Emergency Registered UE and the Request Type indicates neither "Emergency Request" nor "Existing Emergency PDU Session". When the Request Type indicates "Emergency Request", the AMF is not expecting any S- NSSAI and DNN value provided by the UE and uses locally configured values instead. The AMF stores the Access Type of the PDU Session.

If the Request Type indicates "Emergency Request" or "Existing Emergency PDU

Session", the AMF selects the SMF as described in TS 23.501 [1], clause 5.16.4.

3 From AMF to SMF: Either Nsmf PDUSession CreateSMContext Request (SUPI, DNN,

[0004] The 3GPP Specification Group on Service and Systems Aspects, Architecture Subgroup (SA2) agreed in document S2-1901089 that the operations in step 13 above provide that the DL NAS transport carrying the PDU session establishment accept message is not sent by the 5G access network to the UE if the 5G access network cannot allocate radio resources needed for the PDU session. Consequently, if the DL NAS transport carrying the PDU session establishment accept message is not sent to the UE, according to TS 24.501 subclause 6.4.1.6 bullet (a), upon expiration of timer T3580, the UE will retransmit a PDU session establishement request message and transport it using an UL NAS transport to the AMF. Subsequently, according to TS 24.501 subclause 5.4.5.2.5 bullet (a)(12), upon reception of the UL NAS transport with the retransmitted PDU session establishement request message from the UE, the AMF performs a local release of the existing PDU session and requests the SMF perform a local release of the existing PDU session, after which the AMF performs a new SMF selection and forwards the retransmitted PDU session establishement request message to a new SMF. If the new SMF attempts to set up the PDU session with resources which the 5G access network is again unable to allocate, and the 5G access network does not send the DL NAS transport carrying the PDU session establishment accept message to the UE again, the process described in the above paragraph will repeat five (5) times.

[0005] However, there currently exist certain challenge(s). As noted above, if the 5G access network does not send the DL NAS transport carrying PDU session establishment accept message to the UE, the process described above will repeat five (5) times, which may generate an excessive number of unnecessary 5G session management (SM) messages sent over the radio and may further result in unnecesary network actions (e.g., the AMF will select an SMF, the SMF will attempt to establish a PDU session, the AMF and the SMF will locally release the PDU session, and so forth, all repeated up to five (5) times).

Summary

[0006] Systems and methods for avoiding transmission of unnecessary 5G session management (SM) messages are disclosed herein. Embodiments of a method performed in a core network of a cellular communications system to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the method comprises, at a radio access network (RAN), determining that a non-access stratum (NAS) message carrying a Protocol Data Unit (PDU) session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment (UE). The method further comprises sending, to an Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF), an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. The method also comprises, at the AMF, receiving, from the RAN, the N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising the cause. The method additionally comprises sending an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising the cause to a Session Management Function (SMF). The method further comprises, at the SMF, determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE by the RAN. The method also comprises, responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE, sending a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE.

[0007] Embodiments of a method performed by an SMF in a core network of a cellular communications system to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the method comprises determining that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE by a RAN. The method further comprises, responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE, sending a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE. In some embodiments, determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session

establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE comprises receiving, from an AMF, an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising a cause, and determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE based on the cause. In some embodiments, sending the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE comprises sending an

Namf_Communication_NlN2MessageTransfer comprising the PDU session establishment reject indication to the AMF.

[0008] Embodiments of an SMF for a core network of a cellular communications system enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the SMF is adapted to determine that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE by a radio access network. The SMF is further adapted to send a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. In some embodiments, the SMF is further adapted to perform any of the steps attributed to the SMF in any of the above-disclosed methods.

[0009] Embodiments of a network node for implementing an SMF for a core network of a cellular communications system, where the SMF is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages, are disclosed. In some embodiments, the network node comprises a network interface, and processing circuitry associated with the network interface. The processing circuitry is adapted to cause the network node to implement the SMF such that the SMF is configured to determine that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE by a radio access network. The processing circuitry is further adapted to cause the network node to implement the SMF such that the SMF is further configured to send a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE, responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. In some embodiments, the processing circuitry is adapted to cause the network node to implement the SMF such that the SMF is further configured to perform any of the steps attributed to the SMF in any of the above-disclosed methods.

[0010] Embodiments of a method performed by a RAN in a core network of a cellular communications system to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the method comprises determining that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE. The method further comprises sending, to an AMF, an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. In some embodiments, the method also comprises receiving a PDU session establishment reject indication from the AMF. The method additionally comprises sending the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE using access network signaling.

[0011] Embodiments of a RAN for a core network of a cellular communications system enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the RAN is adapted to determine that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE. The RAN is further adapted to send, to an AMF, an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. In some embodiments, the RAN is further adapted to perform any of the steps attributed to the RAN in any of the above-disclosed methods.

[0012] Embodiments of a network node for implementing a RAN for a core network of a cellular communications system where the RAN is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary SM messages are disclosed. In some embodiments, the network node comprises a network interface, and processing circuitry associated with the network interface. The processing circuitry is adapted to cause the network node to implement the RAN such that the RAN is configured to determine that an NAS message carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to a UE. The processing circuitry is further adapted to cause the network node to implement the RAN such that the RAN is further configured to send, to an AMF, an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE. In some embodiments, the processing circuitry is further adapted to cause the network node to implement the RAN such that the RAN is further configured to perform any of the steps attributed to the RAN in any of the above-disclosed methods. Brief Description of the Drawings

[0013] The accompanying drawing figures incorporated in and forming a part of this specification illustrate several aspects of the disclosure, and together with the description serve to explain the principles of the disclosure.

[0014] Figures 1 and IB are a reproduction of Figure 4.3.2.2.1-1 excerpted from Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Technical Specification (TS) 23.502 that illustrates operations for user equipment (UE)-requested Protocol Data Unit (PDU) session establishment for non-roaming and roaming with local breakout;

[0015] Figure 2 illustrates one example of a cellular communications system according to some embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0016] Figure 3 illustrates a wireless communication system represented as a 5G network architecture composed of core Network Functions (NFs), where interaction between any two NFs is represented by a point-to-point reference point/interface;

[0017] Figure 4 illustrates a 5G network architecture using service-based interfaces between the NFs in the control plane, instead of the point-to-point reference points/interfaces used in the 5G network architecture of Figure 3;

[0018] Figures 5A and 5B illustrate signaling flows among elements of a cellular communications system for avoiding transmission of unnecessary 5G session management (SM) (5GSM) messages according to embodiments disclosed herein;

[0019] Figure 6 is a schematic block diagram of a network node according to some embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0020] Figure 7 is a schematic block diagram that illustrates a virtualized

embodiment of the network node of Figure 6 according to some embodiments of the present disclosure; [0021] Figure 8 is a schematic block diagram of the network node of Figure 6 according to some other embodiments of the present disclosure;

[0022] Figure 9 is a schematic block diagram of a UE according to some

embodiments of the present disclosure; and

[0023] Figure 10 is a schematic block diagram of the UE of Figure 9 according to some other embodiments of the present disclosure.

Detailed Description

[0024] The embodiments set forth below represent information to enable those skilled in the art to practice the embodiments and illustrate the best mode of practicing the embodiments. Upon reading the following description in light of the accompanying drawing figures, those skilled in the art will understand the concepts of the disclosure and will recognize applications of these concepts not particularly addressed herein. It should be understood that these concepts and applications fall within the scope of the disclosure.

[0025] Radio Node: As used herein, a "radio node" is either a radio access node or a wireless device.

[0026] Radio Access Node: As used herein, a "radio access node" or "radio network node" is any node in a radio access network of a cellular communications system that operates to wirelessly transmit and/or receive signals. Some examples of a radio access node include, but are not limited to, a base station (e.g., a New Radio (NR) base station (gNB) in a Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Fifth Generation (5G) NR network or an enhanced or evolved Node B (eNB) in a 3GPP Long Term

Evolution (LTE) network), a high-power or macro base station, a low-power base station (e.g., a micro base station, a pico base station, a home eNB, or the like), and a relay node.

[0027] Core Network Entity: As used herein, a "core network entity" is any type of entity in a core network. Some examples of a core network entity include, e.g., a Mobility Management Entity (MME), a Packet Data Network Gateway (P-GW), a Service Capability Exposure Function (SCEF), or the like in an Evolved Packet Core (EPC). Some other examples of a core network entity include, e.g., an Access and Mobility

Management Function (AMF), a Network Slice Selection Function (NSSF), an

Authentication Server Function (AUSF), a UDM, a Session Management Function (SMF), a Policy Control Function (PCF), an AF, a NEF, a User Plane Function (UPF), or the like in a 5G Core (5GC). A core network entity may be implemented as a physical network node (e.g., including hardware or a combination of hardware and software) or implemented as a functional entity (e.g., as software) that is, e.g., implemented on a physical network node or distributed across two or more physical network nodes.

[0028] Wireless Device: As used herein, a "wireless device" is any type of device that has access to (i.e., is served by) a cellular communications system by wirelessly transmitting and/or receiving signals to a radio access node(s). Some examples of a wireless device include, but are not limited to, a User Equipment device (UE) in a 3GPP network and a Machine Type Communication (MTC) device.

[0029] Network Node: As used herein, a "network node" is any node that is either part of the radio access network or the core network of a cellular communications network/system.

[0030] Note that the description given herein focuses on a 3GPP cellular

communications system and, as such, 3GPP terminology or terminology similar to 3GPP terminology is oftentimes used. However, the concepts disclosed herein are not limited to a 3GPP system.

[0031] Note that, in the description herein, reference may be made to the term "cell"; however, particularly with respect to 5G NR concepts, beams may be used instead of cells and, as such, it is important to note that the concepts described herein are equally applicable to both cells and beams.

[0032] Systems and methods for avoiding transmission of unnecessary 5GSM messages are disclosed herein.

[0033] In this regard, Figure 2 illustrates one example of a cellular communications system 200 in which embodiments of the present disclosure may be implemented. In the embodiments described herein, the cellular communications system 200 is a 5G System (5GS) including a 5G radio access network (e.g., a NR radio access network) and a 5G Core (5GC); however, the present disclosure is not limited thereto. In this example, the cellular communications system 200 includes base stations 202-1 and 202- 2, which in 5G NR are referred to as gNBs, controlling corresponding macro cells 204-1 and 204-2. The base stations 202-1 and 202-2 are generally referred to herein collectively as base stations 202 and individually as base station 202. Likewise, the macro cells 204-1 and 204-2 are generally referred to herein collectively as macro cells 204 and individually as macro cell 204. The cellular communications system 200 may also include a number of low power nodes 206-1 through 206-4 controlling

corresponding small cells 208-1 through 208-4. The low power nodes 206-1 through 206-4 can be small base stations (such as pico or femto base stations) or Remote Radio Heads (RRHs), or the like. Notably, while not illustrated, one or more of the small cells 208-1 through 208-4 may alternatively be provided by the base stations 202. The low power nodes 206-1 through 206-4 are generally referred to herein collectively as low power nodes 206 and individually as low power node 206. Likewise, the small cells 208- 1 through 208-4 are generally referred to herein collectively as small cells 208 and individually as small cell 208. The base stations 202 (and optionally the low power nodes 206) are connected to a core network 210. For a 5GS, the core network 210 is a 5GC.

[0034] The base stations 202 and the low power nodes 206 provide service to wireless devices 212-1 through 212-5 in the corresponding cells 204 and 208. The wireless devices 212-1 through 212-5 are generally referred to herein collectively as wireless devices 212 and individually as wireless device 212. The wireless devices 212 are also sometimes referred to herein as UEs.

[0035] Figure 3 illustrates one particular implementation of the cellular

communications system 200 of Figure 2, in which the cellular communications system 200 is represented as a 5G network architecture composed of core Network Functions

(NFs), where interaction between any two NFs is represented by a point-to-point reference point/interface. Seen from the access side, the 5G network architecture shown in Figure 3 comprises a plurality of UEs 212 connected to either a Radio Access Network (RAN) 300 or an Access Network (AN) (not shown) as well as an AMF 302. Typically, the RAN 300 comprises base stations, e.g., such as eNBs or gNBs or similar. Seen from the core network side, the 5G core NFs shown in Figure 3 include an NSSF 304, an AUSF 306, a UDM 308, the AMF 302, an SMF 310, a PCF 312, and an AF 314.

[0036] Reference point representations of the 5G network architecture are used to develop detailed call flows in the normative standardization. The N1 reference point is defined to carry signaling between the UE 212 and AMF 302. The reference points for connecting between the RAN 300 and the AMF 302 and between the RAN 300 and the UPF 316 are defined as N2 and N3, respectively. There is a reference point, Nil, between the AMF 302 and the SMF 310, which implies that the SMF 310 is at least partly controlled by the AMF 302. N4 is used by the SMF 310 and the UPF 316 so that the UPF 316 can be set using the control signal generated by the SMF 310, and the UPF 316 can report its state to the SMF 310. N9 is the reference point for the connection between different UPFs 316, and N14 is the reference point connecting between different AMFs 302, respectively. N15 and N7 are defined since the PCF 312 applies policy to the AMF 302 and the SMF 310, respectively. N12 is required for the AMF 302 to perform authentication of the UE 212. N8 and N10 are defined because the subscription data of the UE 212 is required for the AMF 302 and the SMF 310.

[0037] The 5G core network aims at separating user plane and control plane. The user plane carries user traffic while the control plane carries signaling in the network.

In Figure 3, the UPF 316 is in the user plane and all other NFs, i.e., the AMF 302, the SMF 310, the PCF 312, the AF 314 , the AUSF 306, and the UDM 308, are in the control plane. Separating the user plane and control plane guarantees each plane resources to be scaled independently. It also allows the UPFs 316 to be deployed separately from control plane functions in a distributed fashion. In this architecture, the UPFs 316 may be deployed very close to the UEs 212 to shorten the Round Trip Time (RTT) between the UEs 212 and the data network for some applications requiring low latency.

[0038] The core 5G network architecture is composed of modularized functions. For example, the AMF 302 and the SMF 310 are independent functions in the control plane. Separated AMFs 302 and SMFs 310 allow independent evolution and scaling. Other control plane functions like the PCF 312 and the AUSF 306 can be separated as shown in Figure 3. Modularized function design enables the 5G core network to support various services flexibly.

[0039] Each NF interacts with another NF directly. It is possible to use intermediate functions to route messages from one NF to another NF. In the control plane, a set of interactions between two NFs is defined as service so that its reuse is possible. This service enables support for modularity. The user plane supports interactions such as forwarding operations between different UPFs 316.

[0040] Figure 4 illustrates a 5G network architecture using service-based interfaces between the NFs in the control plane, instead of the point-to-point reference

points/interfaces used in the 5G network architecture of Figure 3. Flowever, the NFs described above with reference to Figure 3 correspond to the NFs shown in Figure 4. The service(s), etc. that an NF provides to other authorized NFs can be exposed to the authorized NFs through the service-based interface. In Figure 4, the service based interfaces are indicated by the letter "N" followed by the name of the IMF, e.g. Namf for the service based interface of the AMF 302, and Nsmf for the service based interface of the SMF 310, etc. An NEF 400 and a Network Repository Function (NRF) 402 in Figure 4 are not shown in Figure 3 discussed above. However, it should be clarified that all

NFs depicted in Figure 3 can interact with the NEF 400 and the NRF 402 of Figure 4 as necessary, though not explicitly indicated in Figure 3.

[0041] Some properties of the NFs shown in Figures 3 and 4 may be described in the following manner. The AMF 302 provides UE-based authentication, authorization, mobility management, etc. A UE of the UE(s) 212, even using multiple access technologies, is basically connected to a single AMF 302 because the AMF 302 is independent of the access technologies. The SMF 310 is responsible for session management and allocates IP addresses to the UEs 212. It also selects and controls the UPF 316 for data transfer. If a UE 212 has multiple sessions, different SMFs 310 may be allocated to each session to manage them individually and possibly provide different functionalities per session. The AF 314 provides information on the packet flow to the PCF 312 responsible for policy control in order to support Quality of Service (QoS).

Based on the information, the PCF 312 determines policies about mobility and session management to make the AMF 302 and the SMF 310 operate properly. The AUSF 306 supports authentication functions for UEs 212 or similar and thus stores data for authentication of UEs 212 or similar while the UDM 308 stores subscription data of the UEs 212. The Data Network (DN) 318, not part of the 5G core network, provides Internet access or operator services and similar.

[0042] An NF may be implemented either as a network element on a dedicated hardware, as a software instance running on a dedicated hardware, or as a virtualized function instantiated on an appropriate platform, e.g., a cloud infrastructure.

[0043] The steps of Figures 5A and 5B are based on the baseline procedure, described in detail above, that was excerpted from TS 23.502, subclause 4.3.2.2.1. The operations 500-526 shown in Figure 5A correspond to the operations numbered 1-12 in the baseline procedure excerpted from TS 23.502, and are not reproduced here for the sake of brevity. In Figure 5B, the operations shown represent operations for avoiding transmission of unnecessary 5GSM messages according to embodiments disclosed herein. Thus, in Figure 5B, at step 528, the RAN 300 determines that an NAS carrying a PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE 212, and sends to the AMF 302 an N2 PDU Session Request Acknowledgement that includes a PDU Session ID, a Cause, and N2 SM information (e.g., PDU Session ID, AN Tunnel Info, List of accepted/rejected QFI(s), and User Plane Enforcement Policy Notification). At step 530, the AMF 302 sends a Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext Request comprising N2

SM information and Request Type to the SMF 310.

[0044] At step 532, the SMF 310 determines (e.g., based on the Cause provided by the AMF at step 15) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept message was not sent to the UE 212 by the 5G access network, and

consequently initiates the release of the PDU session. The SMF 310 at step 534 sends a Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext response to the AMF 302. Subsequently, at step 536, the SMF 310 determines that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE 212, and sends a PDU session establishment reject message using a Namf_Communication_NlN2MessageTransfer to the AMF 302. In some embodiments, the PDU session establishment reject message includes the 5GSM cause value #26 "insufficient resources," the 5GSM cause value #69 "insufficient resources for specific slice," or the 5GSM cause value #67 "insufficient resources for specific slice and DNN" as the 5GSM cause. The AMF 302 then sends the PDU session establishment reject message via an N2 downlink NAS transport request to the RAN 300 at step 538, which then uses access network signaling to send the PDU session establishment reject message to the UE 212 at step 540. The UE 212 then releases the PDU session at step 542.

[0045] Figure 6 is a schematic block diagram of a network node 600 according to some embodiments of the present disclosure. The network node 600 may be, for example, a core network node or a network node implementing a core network entity (e.g., an SMF, UPF, NEF, or the like). As illustrated, the network node 600 includes one or more processors 604 (e.g., Central Processing Units (CPUs), Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), and/or the like), memory 606, and a network interface 608. The one or more processors 604 are also referred to herein as processing circuitry. The one or more processors 604 operate to cause the network node 600 to provide one or more functions of a core network entity (e.g., an AMF, V-SMF, V-UPF, H-SMF, H-UPF, UDM, or NEF) as described herein. In some embodiments, the function(s) are implemented in software that is stored, e.g., in the memory 606 and executed by the one or more processors 604.

[0046] Figure 7 is a schematic block diagram that illustrates a virtualized

embodiment of the network node 600 according to some embodiments of the present disclosure. This discussion is equally applicable to other types of network nodes.

Further, other types of network nodes may have similar virtualized architectures.

[0047] As used herein, a "virtualized" network node is an implementation of the network node 600 in which at least a portion of the functionality of the network node 600 is implemented as a virtual component(s) (e.g., via a virtual machine(s) executing on a physical processing node(s) in a network(s)). As illustrated, in this example, the network node 600 includes one or more processing nodes 700 coupled to or included as part of a network(s) 702. Each processing node 700 includes one or more processors 704 (e.g., CPUs, ASICs, FPGAs, and/or the like), memory 706, and a network interface 708.

[0048] In this example, function(s) 710 of the network node 600 described herein

(e.g., the function(s) of a core network entity such as, e.g., an AMF, V-SMF, V-UPF, H- SMF, H-UPF, UDM, or NEF) are implemented at the one or more processing nodes 700 in any desired manner. In some particular embodiments, some or all of the function(s) 710 of the network node 600 described herein are implemented as virtual components executed by one or more virtual machines implemented in a virtual environment(s) hosted by the processing node(s) 700.

[0049] In some embodiments, a computer program including instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to carry out the functionality of a core network entity (e.g., an AMF, V-SMF, V-UPF, H-SMF, H-UPF, UDM, or NEF) as described herein is provided. In some embodiments, a carrier comprising the aforementioned computer program product is provided. The carrier is one of an electronic signal, an optical signal, a radio signal, or a computer readable storage medium (e.g., a non-transitory computer readable medium such as memory).

[0050] Figure 8 is a schematic block diagram of the network node 600 according to some other embodiments of the present disclosure. The network node 600 includes one or more modules 800, each of which is implemented in software. The module(s) 800 provide the functionality of a core network entity (e.g., an AMF, V-SMF, V-UPF, H- SMF, H-UPF, UDM, or NEF) as described herein. [0051] Figure 9 is a schematic block diagram of a UE 900 according to some embodiments of the present disclosure. As illustrated, the UE 900 includes one or more processors 902 (e.g., CPUs, ASICs, FPGAs, and/or the like), memory 904, and one or more transceivers 906 each including one or more transmitters 908 and one or more receivers 910 coupled to one or more antennas 912. The transceiver(s) 906 includes radio-front end circuitry connected to the antenna(s) 912 that is configured to condition signals communicated between the antenna(s) 912 and the processor(s) 902, as will be appreciated by one of ordinary skill in the art. The processor(s) 902 are also referred to herein as processing circuitry. The transceiver(s) 906 are also referred to herein as radio circuitry. In some embodiments, the functionality of the UE 900 described above may be fully or partially implemented in software that is, e.g., stored in the memory 904 and executed by the processor(s) 902. Note that the UE 900 may include additional components not illustrated in Figure 9 such as, e.g., one or more user interface components (e.g., an input/output interface including a display, buttons, a touch screen, a microphone, a speaker(s), and/or the like and/or any other components for allowing input of information into the UE 900 and/or allowing output of information from the UE 900), a power supply (e.g., a battery and associated power circuitry), etc.

[0052] In some embodiments, a computer program including instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, causes the at least one processor to carry out the functionality of the UE 900 according to any of the embodiments described herein is provided. In some embodiments, a carrier comprising the aforementioned computer program product is provided. The carrier is one of an electronic signal, an optical signal, a radio signal, or a computer readable storage medium (e.g., a non-transitory computer readable medium such as memory).

[0053] Figure 10 is a schematic block diagram of the UE 900 according to some other embodiments of the present disclosure. The UE 900 includes one or more modules 1000, each of which is implemented in software. The module(s) 1000 provide the functionality of the UE 900 described herein.

[0054] Any appropriate steps, methods, features, functions, or benefits disclosed herein may be performed through one or more functional units or modules of one or more virtual apparatuses. Each virtual apparatus may comprise a number of these functional units. These functional units may be implemented via processing circuitry, which may include one or more microprocessor or microcontrollers, as well as other digital hardware, which may include Digital Signal Processor (DSPs), special-purpose digital logic, and the like. The processing circuitry may be configured to execute program code stored in memory, which may include one or several types of memory such as Read Only Memory (ROM), Random Access Memory (RAM), cache memory, flash memory devices, optical storage devices, etc. Program code stored in memory includes program instructions for executing one or more telecommunications and/or data communications protocols as well as instructions for carrying out one or more of the techniques described herein. In some implementations, the processing circuitry may be used to cause the respective functional unit to perform corresponding functions according one or more embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0055] Any appropriate steps, methods, features, functions, or benefits disclosed herein may be performed through one or more functional units or modules of one or more virtual apparatuses. Each virtual apparatus may comprise a number of these functional units. These functional units may be implemented via processing circuitry, which may include one or more microprocessor or microcontrollers, as well as other digital hardware, which may include Digital Signal Processor (DSPs), special-purpose digital logic, and the like. The processing circuitry may be configured to execute program code stored in memory, which may include one or several types of memory such as Read Only Memory (ROM), Random Access Memory (RAM), cache memory, flash memory devices, optical storage devices, etc. Program code stored in memory includes program instructions for executing one or more telecommunications and/or data communications protocols as well as instructions for carrying out one or more of the techniques described herein. In some implementations, the processing circuitry may be used to cause the respective functional unit to perform corresponding functions according one or more embodiments of the present disclosure.

[0056] While processes in the figures may show a particular order of operations performed by certain embodiments of the present disclosure, it should be understood that such order is exemplary (e.g., alternative embodiments may perform the operations in a different order, combine certain operations, overlap certain operations, etc.).

[0057] While not being limited thereto, some example embodiments of the present disclosure are provided below. [0058] Embodiment 1: A method performed in a core network of a cellular communications system to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

• at a radio access network, RAN, (300):

o determining (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

o sending (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 PDU session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212);

• at the AMF (302):

o receiving (528), from the RAN (300), the N2 PDU session request

acknowledgment indication comprising the cause; and o sending (530) an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request

comprising the cause to a Session Management Function, SMF, (310); and

• at the SMF (310):

o determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) by the RAN (300); and

o responsive to determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212), sending (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE.

[0059] Embodiment 2: A method performed by a Session Management Function,

SMF, (310) in a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

• determining (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a

Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network, RAN, (300); and • responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212), sending (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212).

[0060] Embodiment 3: The method of embodiment 2, wherein determining that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) comprises:

• receiving (530), from an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an Nsmf_PDUSession_UpdateSMContext request comprising a cause; and

• determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session

establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212) based on the cause.

[0061] Embodiment 4: The method of embodiment 2, wherein sending (536) the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212) comprises sending (536) an Namf_Communication_N 1 N2MessageT ransfer comprising the PDU session establishment reject indication to the AMF (302).

[0062] Embodiment 5: A Session Management Function, SMF, (310) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the SMF (310) adapted to:

• determine (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network (300); and

• send (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

[0063] Embodiment 6: The SMF (310) of embodiment 5 wherein the SMF (310) is further adapted to perform the method of any one of embodiments 3 to 4.

[0064] Embodiment 7: A network node (600) for implementing a Session

Management Function, SMF, (310) for a core network (210) of a cellular

communications system (200) where the SMF (310) is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the network node (600) comprising:

• a network interface (608); and • processing circuitry (604) associated with the network interface (608), the processing circuitry (604) adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the SMF (310) such that the SMF (310) is configured to: o determine (536) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a User Equipment, UE, (212) by a radio access network (300); and

o send (536) a PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE responsive to determining (536) that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

[0065] Embodiment 8: The network node (600) of embodiment 7 wherein the processing circuitry (604) is adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the SMF (310) such that the SMF (310) is further configured to perform the method of any one of embodiments 3 to 4.

[0066] Embodiment 9: A method performed by a radio access network, RAN, (300) in a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the method comprising:

• determining (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a

Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

• sending (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

[0067] Embodiment 10: The method of embodiment 9, further comprising:

• receiving (538) a PDU session establishment reject indication from the AMF (302); and

• sending (540) the PDU session establishment reject indication to the UE (212) using access network signaling.

[0068] Embodiment 11: A radio access network, RAN, (300) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the RAN (300) adapted to: • determine (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

• send (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

[0069] Embodiment 12: The RAN (300) of embodiment 11 wherein the RAN (300) is further adapted to perform the method of embodiment 9.

[0070] Embodiment 13: A network node (600) for implementing a radio access network, RAN, (300) for a core network (210) of a cellular communications system (200) where the RAN (300) is enabled to avoid transmission of unnecessary session management, SM, messages, the network node (600) comprising:

• a network interface (608); and

• processing circuitry (604) associated with the network interface (608), the processing circuitry (604) adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the RAN (300) such that the RAN (300) is configured to: o determine (528) that a non-access stratum, NAS, message carrying a Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session establishment accept indication was not sent to a user equipment, UE, (212); and

o send (528), to an Access and Mobility Management Function, AMF, (302), an N2 Protocol Data Unit, PDU, session request acknowledgment indication comprising a cause indicating that the NAS message carrying the PDU session establishment accept indication was not sent to the UE (212).

[0071] Embodiment 14: The network node (600) of embodiment 13 wherein the processing circuitry (604) is adapted to cause the network node (600) to implement the RAN (300) such that the RAN (300) is further configured to perform the method of embodiment 9.

[0072] At least some of the following abbreviations may be used in this disclosure. If there is an inconsistency between abbreviations, preference should be given to how it is used above. If listed multiple times below, the first listing should be preferred over any subsequent listing(s). 3GPP Third Generation Partnership Project

5G Fifth Generation

5GC Fifth Generation Core

5GS Fifth Generation System

AF Application Function

AMF Access and Mobility Management Function

AN Access Network

API Application Program Interface

AS Access Stratum

ASIC Application Specific Integrated Circuit

AUSF Authentication Server Function

CP Control Plane

CPU Central Processing Unit

DN Data Network

DNN Data Network Name

DoNAS Data of Non-Access Stratum

DSP Digital Signal Processor

eNB Enhanced or Evolved Node B

EPC Evolved Packet Core

FPGA Field Programmable Gate Array gNB New Radio Base Station

HPLMN Home Public Land Mobile Network

H-SMF Home Session Management Function

H-UPF Home User Plane Function

ID Identifier

IoT Internet of Things

IP Internet Protocol

IWF-NEF Interworking Network Exposure Function

LTE Long Term Evolution

MME Mobility Management Entity

MTC Machine Type Communication

NEF Network Exposure Function

NF Network Function NIDD Non-Internet Protocol Data Delivery

NR New Radio

NRF Network Repository Function

NSSF Network Slice Selection Function

PCF Policy Control Function

PDU Packet Data Unit

P-GW Packet Data Network Gateway

PLMN Public Land Mobile Network

QoS Quality of Service

RAM Random Access Memory

RAN Radio Access Network

ROM Read Only Memory

RRH Remote Radio Head

RTT Round Trip Time

SCEF Service Capability Exposure Function

SCS Service Capability Server

SMF Session Management Function

S-NSSAI Single Network Slice Selection Assistance Information

SUPI Subscriber Permanent Identifier

TR Technical Report

TS Technical Specification

UDM Unified Data Management

UE User Equipment

UP User Plane

UPF User Plane Function

VPLMN Visited Public Land Mobile Network

V-SMF Visited Session Management Function

V-UPF Visited User Plane Function

[0073] Those skilled in the art will recognize improvements and modifications to the embodiments of the present disclosure. All such improvements and modifications are considered within the scope of the concepts disclosed herein.