Information element

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An information element, sometimes informally referred to as a field, is an item in Q.931[1] and Q.2931[2] messages, IEEE 802.11 management frames,[3] and cellular network messages sent between a base transceiver station and a mobile phone or similar piece of user equipment.[4] 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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ ITU-T Recommendation Q.931 Digital subscriber Signalling System No. 1: ISDN user-network interface layer 3 specification for basic call control
  2. ^ ITU-T Recommendation Q.2931 Digital Subscriber Signalling System No. 2 – User-Network Interface (UNI) layer 3 specification for basic call/connection control
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ 3GPP Technical Specification 24.007 as published by ETSI, Section 11.2.1