An information element, sometimes informally referred to as a field, is an item in Q.931 and Q.2931 messages, IEEE 802.11 management frames, and cellular network messages sent between a base transceiver station and a mobile phone or similar piece of user equipment. An information element is often a type-length-value item, containing 1) a type (which corresponds to the label of a field), a length indicator, and a value, although any combination of one or more of those parts is possible. A single message may contain multiple information elements.
The abbreviation IE is found in many technical specification documents from 3GPP. It is not uncommon for a single specification document to contain thousands of references to IEs.
- ITU-T Recommendation Q.931 Digital subscriber Signalling System No. 1: ISDN user-network interface layer 3 specification for basic call control
- ITU-T Recommendation Q.2931 Digital Subscriber Signalling System No. 2 – User-Network Interface (UNI) layer 3 specification for basic call/connection control
- IEEE 802.11: Wireless LAN Medium Access Control (MAC) and Physical Layer (PHY) Specifications. (2016 revision). IEEE-SA. 14 December 2016. doi:10.1109/IEEESTD.2016.7786995. ISBN 978-1-5044-3645-8.
- 3GPP Technical Specification 24.007 as published by ETSI, Section 11.2.1