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Call setup to/from

a GSM subscriber

Technology for executives,


Moscow - 13 September 2004
Author: Hans Myhre
How does the network know where the
subscribers are?
● The radio network consists of a large
number of BTSs. Each of these is given an
identity.
● The BTSs are grouped in Location Areas,
which also are given an identity.
● Each MSC/VLR (Mobile Services Switching
Center/Visitor Location Register) serves
the BTSs in an number of Location Areas
● The GSM phones reports to the network
(VLR) when it moves from a BTS in one
Location Area to a BTS in another Location
Area.
How does the network know where ths
subscribers are?
● VLR always knows in which Location Area
the GSM subscriber is located in at the
moment

● HLR always knows in which MSC/VLR the


GSM subscriber is just now

● The GSM subscriber’s telephone number


tells the network to which HLR the actual
GSM subscriber belongs.
Location update HLRA

1 4
MSC/
MSC/
VLR1
2 VLR2
Location Area 1 3
1 info

Location Area
Location Area Mobile A Mobile A
2
1

1) Mobile A is staying in Location Area 1. MSC/VLR1 has reported


this to Mobile A’s HLR.
2),3) Mobile A moves to Location Area 2, and identifies a new Location
Area info (LA2). It reports its arrival to MSC/VLR2.
4) MSC/VLR2 informs HLRA, and receives sets of Authentication
Data for Mobile A.
Call to a mobile telephone

HLRB
Where is 9212345?
2 3
9212345 is in MSC/VLRB Mobile B
Gateway MSC MSC/ 5 9212345
(GMSC) VLR MSC/
4 Visiting MSC
VLRB
1 Calling9
212345
1) The call is routed through the telephone network to the MSC
closest to the called GSM subscriber (”Gateway” MSC) Physical connection
which must be
2), 3)Gateway MSC checks with HLRB ”Where is the GSM subscriber?” remain connected
during the whole
4) The call is established to the actual MSC/VLR (Visiting MSC) call
either directly or through the fixed or international telephone
network
5) The request for mobile 9212345 is transmitted over all BTSs in the
actual Location Area of the called GSM subscriber. Mobile B
recognises its own identity, and ringing is generated.
Call to a GSM phone which has activated
Unconditional Call Forward

HLRB
Where is
9212345?
2 3 0
9212345 shall be 0 Mobile B
Gateway MSC MSC/ forwarded to number
9212345
xxxxxxx
(GMSC) VLR MSC/
VLRB
1 Calling9
9212345
212345 4
VMS
0) The GSM subscriber has activated the service ”Forward all calls to
another number (Unconditional call Forward)”.
3) When calling GSM subscriber 9212345, the HLRB request the call
to be forwarded to the desired number.
4) ”Gateway MSC” ensures call forwarding of the call, e.g. to the
GSM subscriber’s Voice Mailbox.
Call from a GSM phone to a fixed
phone HLR A

Authentication
Request for 2 3 data
authentication data
4 Subscriber B
MSC/ 2212345
VLRA
4
1
Calling2
212345
1) Via the radio path and the base station network a call request for
Fixed subscriber B 2212345 is sent to the MSC/VLRA.

Mobile A 2-3) MSC/VLRA collects authentication data from HLRA (if such data
has not been collected earlier) .
4) The connection is established via the closest telephone switch in the
fixed telephone network, and are treated further as a normal
connection in the national/international fixed telephone network.
Call from a GSM phone to another
GSM phone NOTE:
HLRA Where are The four MSCs/HLRs can be everything
9212345? from one integrated node to four network
4 HLRB elements being in four different countries
Request for Authentication belonging to four different mobile operators,
2 3 data everything dependent of the identity and
authentication data
5 9212345 is in MSC/VLRB location of the two GSM mobiles.
MSC/
VLRA MSC/
6 VLRB 7
1
Calling9
212345
1) Via the radio path and the base station network a call request for
GSM subscriber B 9212345 is sent from Mobile A to MSC/VLRA.
Mobile B
Mobile A 2-3) MSC/VLRA collects authentication data from HLRA (if such data 9212345
has not been collected earlier) . Normally a bulk of such data is
transferred, thus avoiding repeating authentication requests to
HLRA.
4-7) MSC/VLRA requests HLRB of the actual location of GSM
subscriber B, and the call is establised as described earlier.
Roaming
- Call setup
- Accounting
Example:
Call from Norwegian GSM mobile visiting Thailand, and calling
a Malayan GSM mobile who also are visiting Thailand
Note:
Mobile A and B can either be in
HLRA same or different mobile
networks in Thailand.
Mobile
Authentication A Mobile B A pays for international
Norway +6016*** connection Thailand – Malaysia
data
3 Calling B pays for international
2 +6016** connection Malaysia - Thailand
Thailand
Request of
authentication data
1 MSC/
VLRB
MSC/ +6016** 7
4 National/
VLRA
international
telephone
Physical connection which network
must be established during MSC/
the whole call VLR Malaysia
6 5 Where is +6016**?
+6016** is in MSC/VLRB

HLRB
Example:
Call from Norwegian GSM mobile visiting Thailand, and calling
a Malayan GSM mobile who also are visiting Thailand.
Clearing house
Billing MO TAP $ Roameo
system Mobile Mobile B
A (DiGi)
TnM (TnM)
DTAC
MO CDR $ MSC/
MO TAP $
MT CDR $ VLR

Billing
Clearing house X
MT TAP $ system
MO TAP $
MT TAP $

Note:
The responsibility for paying
DTAC (Thailand) is the GSM
Billing DiGi operators (TnM and DiGi)!
system TnM and DiGi has the
responsibility to collect money
from their GSM subscribers
Call data flow
Roaming and accounting

● GSM Association has defined standard format on call/billing data


which shall be transferred between the operators
● Eariler: All operators transferred data to all => chaos!
● Now: All operators utilises Data Clearing Houses
– Largest actors: MACH, Roameo, EDS
– Single point of contact for data float between operators
– Doesn ot change the responsibilities between the operators! (Acts as the
extended arm of the operator…)
● Data Clearing House services:
– Can convert data formats (local format to TAP-format, TAP2 to TAP3…)
– Checks invoices and call records
– Fraud control
– Etc
Revenue
Assurance
- an exampe
Control

Acess Network
Switch Prepaid
controls Mediation rules EDR errors Tariff accuracy
configuration

Invoice
Tariff settings production
Commissions Inventory
Data accuracy
management

Least cost
routing

Interconnect
Payments Credit control Fraud
reconciliations
management
Revenue Assurance
- example: SMS, TnM

Production/traffic collections Charging Invoicing

3 Billing 5 VAS- 6 7
SMSC EPP Geneva
Gateway Rating
10
2

4 8
9
MSC/
IN
TSC
1 13

12 11
HLR NA S212 (CABS)