The AT&T wireless network connects with multiple external networks, including the Internet and specific enterprise networks. An Access Point Name (APN) identifies these external networks during a data session.
The APN specifies the external networks that a mobile device can access. It also defines which type of IP address to use, which security mechanisms to invoke, and which fixed-end connections to use.
The APNs available to a device are specified as part of the subscriber account. A mobile station can have access to more than one APN, though each PDP context (data session) specifies which individual APN to use.
AT&T APNs fall into three categories:
Access Control refers to firewall rules that can be configured for custom APNs but are fixed for general and special purpose APNs.
The IP address assigned to the mobile station is pseudo-random; it is pulled from a pool of addresses configured in the network infrastructure for each designated APN.
User Names and Passwords
User names and passwords must be entered to access particular APNs. For most devices, these values are preprogrammed. There are a few scenarios, however, where you may need to enter these values, such as when configuring a dial-up connection manually for using a phone as a modem.
Choosing APNs and Addressing Options
Here are some guidelines to assist in choosing the type of APN and addressing options best suited for your business: