TR-369 User Services Platform FAQ

This article provides a summary of everything you need to know about the TR-369 User Services Platform (USP) device management protocol.

Updated on March 11, 2024

The connected world is now much bigger in scope and scale, and service providers are feeling added pressure to deliver a seamless, quality user experience to subscribers and tap into new business opportunities to drive revenue.

With the advent of smart home technology, operators need a way to control the connected home business model. This requires a new management platform that offers remote visibility and management of gateways, CPEs, and connected devices, regardless of device type or network access technology. Enter User Services Platform (USP), the focus of this FAQ.

What is TR-369 User Services Platform?

User Services Platform (USP) is the revolutionary standard that builds on the Broadband Forum's TR-069 specification. In January 2018, the Broadband Forum Connected Home Council ratified the USP 1.0 standard (TR-369), with Amendment 2 released in January 2022 (TR-369a2), and Amendment 3 released in October 2023.

USP provides a standards-based platform for next-generation operator services such as managed Wi-Fi, third-party applications, wireless meshes, smart-home automation, IoT, and customer self-care. USP TR-369 service enablement builds on the widely deployed TR-069, along with critical new functionality including:

  • Real-time monitoring, telemetry, and bulk statistics collections for big data processing, AI, and machine learning;
  • Enhanced service provisioning, authentication, and configuration of residential and SMB device lifecycle management;
  • Upgradeability—firmware and security patches;
  • Virtualization—dockerized containers for device management and lifecycle management of third-party applications;
  • TLS connections improving security;
  • Wi-Fi Alliance Certified Data Elements with 130+ KPIs;
  • Device:2 data model (TR-181) unifying disparate IoT and vendor-proprietary protocols, and backward compatibility with TR-069;
  • Device proxy (translation) between non-USP IoT protocols such as ZigBee, Zwave, and Bluetooth.

The USP standard helps broadband service providers deploy, implement, and manage all aspects of the smart home. USP offers a faster, scalable, and more secure way of managing the lifecycle of connected devices to ensure a quality user experience, regardless of protocol or device type. As a result, USP is more efficient in reducing complexity, enhancing performance for connected home environments, and supporting virtualized technologies.

There has been overwhelming support for USP, with 85% of global broadband service providers surveyed as part of the Future of the Connected Home report already deploying or planning to deploy USP within the next 6-18 months. The Incognito-sponsored report, published by Omdia in conjunction with Broadband Forum, highlights that USP is critical for the delivery of new value-added services. Managed Wi-Fi, premium customer support, and cybersecurity were among the most popular USP value-added services.

What are the use cases driving TR-369 USP?

  • Managed Wi-Fi – Commercial and standards-based Wi-Fi optimization like wireless mesh, improving the home and small business network experience
  • IoT device onboarding and lifecycle management – Service provider control of IoT devices to offer services such as smart home automation
  • Mass telemetry – Deliver personalized services using real-time deep-edge intelligence and improve customer care applications
  • Virtualized third-party applications – Evolve from firmware-based third-party software on a gateway or CPE to containerized applications that can be rapidly deployed using USP SMM (software module management). This allows operators to offer value-added connected home services such as network security, parental controls, and Wi-Fi traffic prioritization.

Although security and Wi-Fi optimization are trending use cases, we're beginning to see more interest in Matter to unify consumer IoT and the disparate IoT protocols within the home environment that span differing consumer verticals. This raises the need for a holistic approach to lifecycle management for app and device orchestration to simplify the delivery of services while providing a seamless experience to subscribers. For service providers, this is critical to building additional revenues in the B2C segment and shortening the team to market for compelling new offers.

Is TR-369 widely used?

Commercial availability of next-generation TR-369 capable devices from hardware vendors is still in its early stages. However, service providers are looking to stay ahead of the curve, so there is active interest in TR-369 from telecom operators. An increasing number of operators are planning to integrate USP into their roadmaps, with significant players like T-Mobile, AT&T, Orange, and Vodafone already spearheading deployments.

TR-069 devices will continue to remain in operator networks for several years as there are over a billion TR-069 installations globally. For this reason, a unified device management solution that supports both TR-369 and TR-069 capable devices is recommended.

Contrary to replacing TR-069 outright, consensus suggests a coexistence model where both TR-069 and TR-369 standards operate within devices, with TR-069 managing initial configurations and facilitating USP activation when needed. Migration to USP is catalyzed by specific use cases, notably telemetry, analytics, and containerized app scenarios, promising enhanced network monitoring, streamlined customer issue resolution, and potential revenue opportunities. Looking forward, integrating USP controllers within devices foresees improved app communication, underlining the technology's transformative potential in reshaping broadband ecosystems.

What impact will TR-369 have on standards within the connected home?

The adoption of USP is not a single leap but rather a series of strategic steps that need to be taken, and fantastic industry collaboration is occurring within the broadband community between the prpl Foundation, the Broadband Forum, and RDK. Through the development of open APIs and standardization, leveraging USP as its backbone, these organizations are working towards enhancing home gateway architecture, enabling service providers to deploy, activate, and manage third-party applications and services with greater ease. This collaborative effort not only streamlines integration processes, reduces IT costs, and eliminates technology siloes but also facilitates the swift rollout of new features and high-value products to customers, ultimately benefitting all stakeholders in the broadband ecosystem.

What devices use TR-369?

TR-369 capable devices vary per network equipment vendor, but recent production deployment examples span 5G fixed-wireless CPEs and IP STBs. Additionally, DOCSIS-enabled gateways and PON network equipment are in development and assume future DSL modem, IP phone, and VoIP device support for TR-369.

How does TR-369 compare to TR-069?

USP represents a natural evolution of CWMP (CPE WAN Management Protocol), a sort of "TR-069 2.0" intended to be faster, lighter weight, and more secure. USP will be less 'noisy' than TR-069 in terms of message exchange and more efficient in establishing a session between a device and a controller. USP's approach to service elements and controllers results in a simpler, lighter message set, reducing complexity and increasing performance while maintaining backward compatibility with TR-069.

The adoption of USP is also driven by the enhancements it offers over TR-069, which include:

  • Multiple management server support
  • Use case driven message transfer protocols
  • Efficient data encoding
  • Always-on communication
  • Application layer security
  • Distributed data model processing which is crucial for big data and IoT applications

Can I use TR-369 USP to manage 5G FWA CPEs?

Certainly, 5G fixed-wireless access devices can be managed using TR-369 if Device:2 TR-181 support is present to enable 5G WWC (Wireline Wireless Convergence) for a 5G residential gateway (RGW).

Why should I use TR-369?

There are many benefits associated with using TR-369 or TR-069 to provision and manage end-user devices. In addition to using an industry-standard approach for device integration, TR-369, TR-069, and their extensions allow you to:

  • Enable remote provisioning of CPE;
  • Better manage broadband networks with increased visibility and control of CPE;
  • Collect data for analytics on network usage and activity, home or business network characteristics, and service utilization;
  • Deliver new managed data services such as Wi-Fi, content filtering and other parental controls, online backup, and home surveillance;
  • Offer subscribers a degree of self-service through web portals and mobile apps;
  • Expand service offerings and manage the connected home and IoT offerings;
  • Improve your customer service with improved diagnostics, monitoring, and firmware management;
  • Reduce the number of technical support calls from subscribers, issue escalations to senior network operations personnel, and field technician truck rolls;
  • Remove the burden of subscriber manual CPE configuration;
  • Roll-out services with an automated deployment process.

Interested in learning more about TR-069? Check out our FAQ page.

Can I use TR-369 with DOCSIS or other protocols?

Yes. Consider the scenario of both gateway and DOCSIS cable modem residing in the same device. The gateway can be managed by a different OSS system using TR-369 or TR-069, and the cable modem is managed by another system using DOCSIS or SNMP.

Can I use USP if I don't already have an ACS?

Yes. USP supports backward compatibility with the TR-181 data model, so you can deploy the User Services Platform to support TR-069 devices if you don't have an Auto Configuration Server (ACS) today.

Incognito's unified approach to device management allows you to manage TR-369 and TR-069 devices using one centralized infrastructure. Conversely, if you prefer not to touch your TR-069 devices with another system (remember, only one system can manage a TR-069 device at a time), you can only manage your TR-369 devices with Incognito — the choice is yours!

Can I use TR-369 retrieved device data to augment digital channels?

Yes. You can further extend digital channels by supplementing your customer care solutions with TR-369 USP and/or TR-069 ACS retrieved device data, which previously was a key integration challenge for internal development teams. You can now rapidly deliver subscriber self-service functions and equip field technicians with operational tools while using your existing BSS assets, such as self-care portals and mobile apps.

Incognito's widget technology provides a modular, reusable approach to unify your digital care channels (i.e., mobile apps, web portals, and chatbots) by exposing ACS TR-069 and USP TR-369 device management data with simple JavaScript. The widget technology underpinning Incognito's self-care applications helps rapidly shorten IT software development intervals and enables operators to introduce complex management functions in weeks. Moreover, subscribers will be enabled to perform self-service functions such as changing a Wi-Fi password, running a speed test, performing a device diagnostic check, and adjusting Wi-Fi channels. With self-service, you can reduce operational costs, decrease field technician truck rolls, and improve customer satisfaction.

Incognito Digital Experience Solution

Visit Incognito’s Digital Experience Solution page to learn more about our unified device management approach supported by Incognito’s ACS TR-069 and USP TR-369 platforms.

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