Planning your APN database submission

Updated: August 27, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1

Use the sections in this topic when you are planning to submit a new APN or update an existing one.

The APN update process

To connect to a mobile broadband network, the user is typically required to provide the following information:

  • On GSM networks, an Access Point Name (APN) such as "data.contoso.com" is required.

  • On CDMA networks, an access string that includes a special dial code such as "#777" or a Network Access Identifier such as somebody@contoso.com is required.

  • A username and password for the network connection.

The APN connectivity database is updated by using Windows Update. The figure below shows the process.

The APN update process

Complete the APN update spreadsheet

The APN update spreadsheet is used to gather the required information so Microsoft can update the APN database appropriately. This spreadsheet is included in your submission request to Microsoft.

Use the following link to download the latest APN update spreadsheet: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=257829

The following table explains each column in the spreadsheet:

 

Column Name Description Optional or Required Notes

Update Type

Describes whether the APN Database entry is new or modified.

Possible values:

  • Add – A new entry

  • Change – Update an existing entry

  • Keep – Do not change the entry

  • Delete – Delete the entry

Required

Country/Region

The country or region for the APN entry.

Required

Microsoft may change this to match how Windows refers to a particular country or region.

Operator

The name of the operator. You do not need to include the country or region in this field.

Required

Ensure you use the same spelling and capitalization each time you submit an update for your APN entries.

GSM Provider Name

A string of no more than 36 characters that should match the GSM provider name reported by your device. This column is case sensitive.

Optional

The column is only supported on Windows 8.1.

MCC

A 3 digit MCC value used for GSM IMSI submissions.

Required for GSM providers

MNC

A 2 or 3 digit MNC value used for GSM IMSI submissions.

Required for GSM providers

IMSI Range - Start

A 15 digit number that includes the MCC+MNC at the start of the number. The number should end in 00.

Optional

If this column and the IMSI Range - End column is left blank but the MCC and MNC columns are specified, the entire MCC+MNC range is covered.

IMSI Range - End

A 15 digit number that includes the MCC+MNC at the start of the number. The number should end in 99.

Optional

If this column and the IMSI Range - Start column is left blank but the MCC and MNC columns are specified, the entire MCC+MNC range is covered.

ICCID Range - Start

A 19 or 20 digit number that starts with 89 (the ICCID issuer identifier number). The number should end in 00.

Optional

ICCID Range - End

A 19 or 20 digit number that starts with 89 (the ICCID issuer identifier number). The number should end in 99.

Optional

CDMA Provider ID

A 5 digit number that should match the CDMA provider ID (also called SID) reported by your device.

Optional

CDMA Provider Name

A string of no more than 36 characters that should match the CDMA provider name reported by your device. This column is case sensitive.

Optional

Cert Issuer Name

The Cert Issuer Name of your signing certificate used for operator XML provisioning.

Optional

If specified, you must also specify the Cert Subject Name and Carrier GUID.

Cert Subject Name

The Cert Subject Name of your signing certificate used for operator XML provisioning.

Optional

If specified, you must also specify the Cert Issuer Name and Carrier GUID.

Carrier GUID

The self-assigned GUID that is used in future operator XML provisioning packages.

Optional

If specified must also specify the Cert Subject Name and Cert Issuer Name.

Account Experience URL

Used by Windows Connection Manager if the user does not have an active plan and tries to connect to your network.

Optional

Helps improve the plan acquisition experience.

Connection Information – Friendly Name

A name for this APN entry that is understandable and meaningful to subscribers.

Optional

Shows up in Windows Connection Manager in cases where Windows cannot automatically connect to the network.

Connection Information – Access String

For GSM networks, this is an APN such as data.contoso.com.

For CDMA networks, this is an access string that includes a special dial code such as #777 or an Network Access Identifier such as example@contoso.com.

Required

The access string can be blank.

Connection Information – User Name

The user name used to connect to your APN. This column is case sensitive.

Optional

Connection Information - Password

The password used to connect to your APN. This column is case sensitive.

Optional

Connection Information – Purchase Flag

Possible values:

  • Y – if the APN is provisioning or purchase

  • N – if the APN is not provisioning or purchase

Required

If Purchase Flag column is Y, the Connect Flag column must be N.

Connection Information – Connect Flag

Possible values:

  • Y – if the APN is provisioning or purchase

  • N – if the APN is not provisioning or purchase

Required

If Connect Flag column is Y, the Purchase Flag column must be N.

Connection Information – Auto-Connect Order

Windows tries connections to the APNs provided by the operator and marked as “auto-connect” in the APN database until it successfully connects to the mobile network. If all auto-connect attempts fail, Windows will show a prompt allowing the user to pick an APN or enter a custom APN.

Optional

If you have more than one access string for an operator, this column must start with 1. This is needed for Windows to try several APN entries that share either an IMSI range, ICCID range, CDMA provider ID, or CDMA provider name when the user tries to connect.

Auth Protocol

Specifies the authentication protocol to be used for activating a Packet Data Protocol (PDP) context.

Possible values:

  • NONE – No authentication protocol is required

  • PAP – PAP authentication is required.

  • CHAP – CHAP authentication is required.

  • MsCHAPV2 –MSCHAPv2 is authentication is required.

Optional

The column is only supported on Windows 8.1.

Compression

Specifies if compression will be used at the data link for header and data transfer.

Possible values:

  • ENABLE – Compression is enabled

  • DISABLE – Compression is not enabled

Optional

The column is only supported on Windows 8.1.

Considerations when completing the spreadsheet

When submitting an APN database update, please note the following:

  • The Country/Region and the Operator columns in the spreadsheet are used to determine whether this is an update to an existing APN or a request for a new APN. If the Country/Region and the Operator fields match content that already exists in the APN database, the entries will be deleted and replaced with the entries that you list in your spreadsheet.

    noteNote
    Because the previous entries will be deleted, it is important to list all APNs for the Operator and Country/Region combination, including the ones that are not changing.

    For example, when the following values are entered in a row in the spreadsheet:

    Operator: Contoso
    Country/Region: Argentina
    
    All entries currently in the APN connectivity database that match the following format will be deleted and replaced with the row in your spreadsheet for that Operator and Country/Region combination:

    <Operator name="Contoso (Argentina)">
    
  • If the Operator and Country/Region columns do not match content that already exists in the APN database, a new APN is created.

    For example, the following values are entered in a row in the spreadsheet:

    Operator: Contoso
    Country/Region: Argentina
    
    Since it does not exist in the APN connectivity database, a new entry is added after your submission is accepted that looks like the following:

    <Operator name="Contoso (Argentina)">
    
  • The operator identification data is stored in the APN database as encoded Hardware IDs.

    • For GSM networks, you can have a separate database entry for each unique combination of MCC/MNC pair. If you are a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and do not have a unique MCC/MNC pair, you can specify one or more ranges of IMSIs or SIM ICC IDs currently leased from a Mobile Network Operator (MNO).

    • For CDMA networks, you can have a new database entry for each Provider ID (also called a SID) or Provider Name.

  • On each row of the spreadsheet that is submitted, you must specify only one of the following:

    • An MCC+MNC with a blank IMSI range

    • An MCC+MNC with a specific IMSI range

    • An MCC+MNC with a specific ICCID range

    • An MCC+MNC with a specific GSM provider name

    • A CDMA Provider name

    • A CDMA Provider ID (SID)

  • If you have created a website for setting up Mobile Broadband service, it is important to provide the Account Experience URL and certificate data.

  • Certificate information for account provisioning metadata includes Cert Issuer Name and Cert Subject Name and is used to verify that account provisioning provided by a purchase website comes from the an authorized web service. If the certificate information stored here matches what the purchase website presents, Windows will allow that website to push network-specific configuration information to the PC.

  • Access strings used for plan purchase (Purchase Flag=Y) can be one of the following:

    • For GSM networks, an APN with a specified User Name and Password used for purchasing the subscription.

    • For CDMA networks, a Network Access Identifier (NAI) is used for purchasing the subscription.

  • Access strings used for Internet connectivity (Connect Flag=Y) can be one of the following:

    • For GSM networks, an APN with a specified User Name and Password used to connect to the Internet.

    • For CDMA networks, a Network Access Identifier (NAI) is used to connect to the Internet.

  • The auto-connect order must be unique for the Operator and Country/Region combination with the same IMSI, ICCID range, CDMA provider name, or CDMA provider ID value.

    For example, if Contoso had four APNs for MCC+MNC value 100 101, it would list each APN entry in a new row in the spreadsheet and number the auto-connect order starting with 1 up to 4 for each of those four entries because they share the same IMSI range. If Contoso had another set of APNs for MCC+MNC value 100 102, it should start the auto-connect ordering at 1 for that set of APNs.

    If you don’t provide an auto-connect order, Windows will ask the user to choose an APN, which could introduce user error. We recommend that the auto-connect order be specified. In this case, the user sees the Friendly Name of the APN in Windows Connection Manager.

Once your spreadsheet is complete, you can test the APNs you’ve entered.

Show:
© 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.