So far in this book we have described LTE security as it has been defined by 3GPP up to March 2010, for 3GPP Releases 8 and 9. In this chapter we present our views on likely future developments in LTE security and beyond. Section 14.1 describes activities already under discussion in 3GPP standardization that may bear fruit in the near term, in 3GPP Releases 10 or 11. Section 14.2 covers studies and research activities that may have an impact on the security of LTE and potential successor systems in the longer run.
14.1 Near-term Outlook
At the time of writing this book, 3GPP is working on enhancements for LTE, especially regarding the radio aspects. This activity is known by the name ‘LTE-Advanced’ (LTE-A). The key features of LTE-A include, in particular, enhanced peak data rates to support advanced services and applications (100 Mbps for high mobility and 1 Gbps for low mobility). More information on LTE-A can be found from the 3GPP website [3GPP]. Probably the most important feature in LTE-A that will have an impact on LTE security is the work on relay node architectures. This work aims to introduce a relay node between the user equipment and the base station. Apart from LTE-A, other important developments with potential security impact lie in the areas of interworking of 3GPP networks and fixed broadband networks, voice over LTE, machine-type communication, and home base stations. We will address all these developments in turn. We would like to caution, ...