Idle mode Signaling Reduction (ISR) allows the UE to be registered in UTRAN/GERAN at the same time it is registered in E-UTRAN. ISR requires functionality in both the UE and the network (i.e. in the SGSN, MME, S-GW and HSS) to activate ISR for a UE. The network can decide for ISR activation individually for each UE.
ISR allows the UE to roam between LTE & 2G/3G while reducing the frequency of TAU and RAU procedures caused by UEs reselecting between E-UTRAN and GERAN/UTRAN, when operated together. It not only reduces the signaling between UE and network, but also reduces the signaling between E-UTRAN & UTRAN/GERAN.
When ISR is activated, the UE is registered with both the MME and S4 SGSN. Both the S4 SGSN and the MME have a control connection with the S-GW. The MME and S4 SGSN are both registered at the HSS. The UE stores MM parameters from S4 SGSN (e.g. P-TMSI and RA) and from MME (e.g. GUTI and TA(s)) and the UE stores session management (bearer) contexts that are common for E-UTRAN and GERAN/UTRAN accesses. In an idle state the UE can reselect between E-UTRAN and GERAN/UTRAN (within the registered RA and TAs) without any need to perform TAU or RAU procedures with the network. SGSN and MME store each other's address when ISR is activated.