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Questions on GSM

History Of GSM 1) In short describe the evolution of GSM?

2) What are the standard bodies for the development and nurturing of the GSM standard? General Characteristics of GSM Technology 1) What is the GSM operating frequency? 900 MHz. Uplink Frequency 890-915 MHZ. Downlink Frequency 935-960 MHz. 2) How many carriers are present and how many channels are there in each carrier? 124 carriers. There are 8 channels in each carrier. 3) What type of modulation is used in GSM? Guassian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) 4) What is TDMA? TDMA is Time Division Multiple Access. Common Resource sharing is based on the division of time. In GSM, TDMA is employed by allocating the same frequency carrier to 8 different users on 8 time-slots. A channel gets the whole spectrum for a certain amount of time. 5) What is FDMA? FDMA is Frequency Division Multiple Access. It is based on the division of the whole frequency spectrum into smaller bands. GSM employs FDMA by dividing the available spectrum bandwidth of 25 MHz into 124 frequencies of 200 KHz bandwidth.

6) What is a Burst Period? 0.577ms 7) What is the spacing between each channel? 200 KHz GSM Network Architecture 8) What are the components of the GSM network? MS, BTS, BSC, MSC, HLR, VLR, AuC, EIR, GMSC 9) What is the function of the BTS? Base Transceiver Station. The BTS comprises the radio transmission and reception devices, and also manages the signal processing related to the air interface. 10)What is the function of the BSC? Base Station Controller. The BSC manages the radio interface, mainly through the allocation, release and handover of radio channels. 11)What is the function of the MSC? Mobile Switching Centre. The MSC is basically an ISDN-switch, coordinating and setting up calls to and from MSs. An Inter-Working Function (IWF) may be required to adapt GSM specific rates to that used in a particular PSTN/ PLMN. 12)What are the components of the MSC? 13)What is the function of the HLR? Home Location Register. The HLR database is used to store permanent and semi-permanent subscriber data; as such, the HLR will always know in which location area the MS is (assuming the MS is in a coverage area), and this data is used to locate an MS in the event of a MS terminating call set-up. 14)What is the function of the VLR? Visitor Location Register. The VLR contains all the subscriber data, both permanent and temporary, which are necessary to control a MS in the MSCs coverage area. The VLR is commonly realised as an integral part of the MSC, rather than a separate entity. 15)What is the function of the AuC? AuC stands for Authentication Centre. The AuC database contains the subscriber authentication keys and the algorithm required to calculate the authentication parameters to be transferred to the HLR.

16)What is the function of the BSS?

BSS stands for Base Station System. The BSS consists of a BSC and one or more BTSs. 17)What is the function of the TRAU? TRAU stands for Transcoder and Rate Adapter Unit. The TRAU functionally belongs to the BTS. The TRAU enables the use of lower rates (32, 16 or 8 kbps) over the A-bis interface instead of the 64 kbps ISDN rate for which the MSC is designed. The TRAU can be located at the BTS, the BSC, or (immediately in front of) the MSC. 18) What is SIM? What are the functions of SIM? SIM stands for Subscriber Identity Module. It holds all of a subscriber's personal information and phone settings. In essence, it is the subscriber's authorization to use the network. It also' holds the phone number, personal security key and other data necessary for the handset to function. The card can be switched from phone to phone, letting the new phone receive all calls to the subscriber's number. GSM Air Interface 19)What is the interface between the MS and the BSS? Interface between the MS and the BSS is called Air Interface or Um Interface. 20) What are the two types of logical channels? Traffic channels and control channels. 21)What are the various types of control channels? Broadcast control channels, common control channels and dedicated control channels. 22)What are the various types of Broadcast Control Channels? Broadcast control channels (BCCH), Synchronization channels (SCH) and Frequency correction channels (FCCH). 23)What are the various types of Common Control Channels? Paging channel (PCH), Random Access channel (RACH) and Access Grant channel (AGCH). 24)What are the various types of Dedicated Control Channels? Stand-alone dedicated control channel (SDCCH), Slow associated control channel (SACCH) and Fast associated control channel (FACCH). 25)What is the function of the FCCH? Frequency correction channel FCCH continuously transmits in downlink direction unmodulated carrier frequency for frequency correction of MS

26)What is the function of the SCH? SCH is used for frame synchronization of MS and contains information about TDMA frame no. and BSIC. 27)What is the function of the BCCH? BCCH broadcasts general information about the cell like neighbouring cells information, MS transmit power maximum on CCHs and local area identification. 28)What is the Function of the PCH? PCH is used to page the MS during mobile terminated call setup. Paging messages are sent to the area where the recipient MS is located. 29)What is the function of the RACH? RACH is used to transfer uplink messages in response to the call initiation request placed by the MS or in response to a paging request or automatically as part of location update. 30)What is the function of the SDCCH? SDCCH is a duplex pt-to-pt channel which is used for signaling. It carries all signaling between the BTS and the MS when no TCH is allocated. It is used for service requests (e.g SMS), location updates, subscriber authentication, ciphering initiation, equipment validation and assignment to a TCH. 31)What is the function of a FACCH? It is used as a main signaling link for the transmission of data e.g. handover commands. Required for every call setup and release. FACCH is transmitted in the burst stealing mode by pre-empting a portion of the speech/user data information bits during active call. 32)What are the different layers in GSM? Layer 1 Physical Layer TDMA/FDMA radio interface on MS to BSS E1 link on BTS to BSC MTP Layer1 on BSC to MSC Layer 2 Data Link Layer LAPDm used on Air interface LAPD on BTS to BSC MTP Layer2 on BSC to MSC Layer 3 RR Management Sublayer


33)What are the functions of the Radio Resource Management sub layer in GSM? Radio Resource Management sub layer in GSM manages the Radio interface. It terminates at BSS from MS. 34)What is the function of the Mobility Management sub layer in GSM? Mobility Management sub layer in GSM terminates at MSC. Messages from or to MSC are relayed transparently from BSS.

35)What are the functions of the Communication Management sub layer in GSM? Communication Management sub layer in GSM contains entities that consist of CC including call-related supplementary services, SMS, and call independent supplementary services support (SS). It terminates at MSC. 36)What are Service Primitives? 37)What are the various types of handovers in GSM? Intracell Handover is within same cell and between different carriers and it is controlled by the serving BSC. Intercell Handover takes place between different cells belonging to the same BSS and is controlled by the serving BSC. Inter-BSS Handover takes place between cells belonging to the different BSSs and is controlled by serving MSC. Inter-MSC Handover takes place between cells belonging to the different MSCs and is controlled by the original MSC in charge of the call before handover. 38)What is idle mode? When the mobile station is active, in the coverage area of a cellular mobile network and not transmitting/receiving speech or data, it is said to be in idle mode.

39)What are layer 2 and 3 messages? Layer 2 and layer 3 messages are protocols used to provide data link functions and network addressing and routing functions to GSM network components. 40)What are the functions of Layer 2 in GSM? Layer 2 in GSM that is data link layer provides a reliable dedicated signaling link between MS and Base station. Layer 2 protocol is based on the adaptation of ISDN link access procedure (LAPD-m) where D stands for ISDN data channel and m for modified. Standard LAPD is used between BTS and BSC. Message Transfer Part (MTP) of SS7 is used to provide reliable data link between BSC and MSC. Same protocol is used between MSCs and MSC-HLR/AUC. 41)What is BSIC? BSIC stands for Base Station Identity Code. 42)What is cell reselection/selection? Whenever a mobile station enters the coverage area of a new cell in idle mode, it is identified by the system as cell reselection. 43)What is IMSI/TMSI? IMSI stands for International Mobile Subscriber Identity. It is the unique network identity of the GSM subscriber. TMSI stands for Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity. TMSI is the temporary network identity of the subscriber in the visited Location Area. 44)What is IMSI attach /detach? IMSI attach/detach procedures mark the MS as attached/detached in the VLR and optionally in the HLR on MS power up or down or on subscriber Identity Module (SIM) inserted or removed. 42) What is the structure of IMSI? IMSI is a 15- digit or less number in which first 3 digits are mobile country code (MCC), next 2 digits are Mobile network code (MNC) and rest are mobile subscriber identification number (MSIN). 45)What is MSISDN? MSISDN is the international ISDN no. allocated to the mobile subscriber. MSISDN should comply to the countrys ISDN numbering plan. The MSISDN number basically consists of a country code (CC), a national destination code (NDC) which specifies a PLMN within that country and a subscriber number (SN). The MSISDN number is used for dialing by a calling subscriber from PSTN/ISDN, and is used to route the call to a Gateway MSC of the GSM network. The GSM MSC then uses the MSISDN to interrogate the appropriate HLR for the rerouting information required to extend the call to the mobiles visiting MSC.

46)What is MSRN? Mobile Station Roaming Number (MSRN) is a temporary no., allocated by the VLR associated with the mobiles visiting MSC and sent to the mobiles HLR either on location update or on a per call basis. 47)What is authentication procedure in GSM? The authentication procedure in GSM is the procedure to let the network verify the identity provided by the user when requested and to provide a new ciphering key to the mobile station. It is always initiated and controlled by the network. 48)What is Timing Advance? 49)What is Discontinuous Transmission? 50)What is Discontinuous Reception in GSM? 51)What is location Updating? Location information is maintained and used by the network to locate the user for call routing purposes. The network registers the users location in a register called users HLR, which is associated with an MSC located in a PLMN to which user is subscribed. Each BSS keeps broadcasting on periodic basis the cell identities on broadcast control channels of the cells under its coverage. The mobiles within each cell keep monitoring this information. As changes in location are detected (from the last information recorded by them), they each report the new location to the BSS which then routes it the VLR of the MSC to which it is connected. The VLR, in turn, sends the location information to users HLR where it is also recorded. Meanwhile, the HLR directs the old VLR to delete the old visiting location of the mobile from its database and also sends a copy of the users service profile to the new VLR. Location updating is performed by the Mobility Management (MM) protocol sublayer. 52)What is Synchronous Handover? 53)What are the various types of bursts in GSM? The burst types in GSM are Normal Burst (NB), Access Burst (AB), Synchronization Burst (SB), Frequency Correction Burst (FCB) & Dummy Burst (DB). 54)What is a TDMA frame? A TDMA frame consists of 8 time-slot bursts of 577 micro-second period each which makes a TDMA frame of 4.615 ms duration. 55)What is the structure of a normal burst?

Normal burst consists of 156.25 bits in 577 micro-second time duration in which there are 2 segments of 3 Tail bits, 2 segments of 57 Encrypted data bits, 2 segments of 1 stealing bit,1 segment of 26 Training sequence bits and 1 segment of 8.25 Guard Period bits.

GSM Protocol Architecture Between Network Elements 56)What is the Protocol architecture between the MS and the BTS? 57)What is the function of BSSAP? BSSAP is used to implement all procedures between the MSC and the BSS that require interpretation and processing of information related to single calls and resource management.

58)What is the function of SCCP? The signaling connection control part (SCCP) is an ITU standardized signaling system No.7 (SS7) signaling protocol and covers the layer3 functions of the OSI model. It is used between a mobile station and the servicing mobileservices switching center/visitor location register (MSC/VLR) to carry call control information (circuit related) and short messages (non-circuit related). It is also used between the MSC/VLR and the home location register (HLR) for interrogation procedure or for the exchange of the subscriber data 59)What is the function of TCAP? The Transaction capabilities application part (TCAP) is an application signaling protocol (OSI layer 7, application layer). TCAP supports the exchange of messages between users in different SS7 network nodes via common signaling channels. It provides a set of tools and services in a connectionless environment that can be used by a distributed application at one node to invoke or perform remote operations at another node.

60)What is the function of MAP? Within the public land mobile network, the mobile application part (MAP) uses the TCAP services to update the mobile subscribers location information in the home location register (HLR)(a remote operation). After the mobile station has passed on its new location information to the mobile services switching center (MSC), the latter updates its visitor location register (VLR) and sends a TCAP/MAP message containing this information to HLR.

61)What is LAPDm? The data link layer over the radio link ( connecting the MS to BTS) is based on a LAPD-like protocol called LAPDm (Link Access Protocol-modified) that has been modified for operation within the constraints set by the radio path. LAPDm uses no flags (no bit stuffing) for frame delimitation. Instead frame delimitation is done by the physical layer that defines the transmission frame boundries. 62)What is SS7 signaling? SS7 is an ITU-T specified signaling standard for digital, processor controlled communication networks which stands for Signaling system no.7. In SS7, signaling takes place on separate signaling links;so the bit rate of the circuits is exclusively for communication. The signaling functions in SS7 are distributed among the following parts: i. Message Transfer Part (MTP) ii. User Part (UP) In GSM, SS7 MTP and SCCP protocols are used to implement both data link and layer3 transport functions for carrying call control and mobility management signaling messages on the BSS-MSC link. 63)What is the function of MTP? The Message Transfer Part (MTP) represents a user-neutral means of transport for messages between the users in SS7 signaling. It is used by all user parts as a transport system for message exchange. Messages to be transferred from one user part to another are given to the message transfer part. The message transfer part ensures that the messages reach the addressed user part in correct order without information loss, duplication or sequence alteration and without any bit errors. In GSM, on the terrestrial links connecting BSS to the MSC (A-interface), MTP of SS7 is used to provide OSI layer2 functions of reliable transport for signaling messages, such as recovery from transmission errors through error detection and retransmissions. GSM Network Planning & Optimization 64)What is the basic procedure for RF planning using RF planning tool in GSM? Planning Tool Loading of digital map data of the city on the planning tool, Model tuning for proper prediction on the tool, Nominal cell planning for the coverage, frequency planning and interference study. Final system planning. 65)What are the different types of antennas used in a GSM network? Antennas of different types based on antenna beamwidth and gain, In GSM we have space diversity antenna and cross polorised antenna.Omni antennas, 66)How do the power, orientation, beamwidth, tilt and height of the antenna affect the coverage?

Power increases the coverage, Proper Orientation,Beamwidth and tilt improves the coverage of the planned area.Increase in antenna height improves the coverage. 67)What is EIRP? How is it calculated? Effective isotropic radiated power is the total o/p power of Base station EIRP=BTS (O/P)power+Antenna gain-cablelosses-other (combiner)losses 68)What is frequency planning? Why is frequency reuse pattern used? Frequency planning is to be done for the gsm network for a given operator with A set of GSM frequency band.Frequency reuse pattern is used for capacity planning. To minimize frequency interference problems. 69)What are all the patterns available? How is frequency planning done on planning tool? 4/12 pattern.3/9 pattern .Automatic frequency planning can be done in planning tool. 70)What is co-channel interference and adjacent channel interference? The interference caused by using same channels in a network is called cochannel interference and interference caused by From adjacent channels of is called adjacent channel interference. 71)How do you minimize co-channel interference? proper frequency planning and proper reuse pattern. 72)How do you minimize adjacent channel interference? Proper frequency planning.

73)What is model tuning? Why is it used? Okarama Hatta model? Model tuning is done for any planning tool to obtain proper prediction expected from planning tool as there will be difference in actual and predicted data for planning tool.One of the model is O Hattta Model is used which considers the signal propogation losses. 74)What is link Budget Analysis used for in GSM? Link budget analysis is used for the path balance between both uplink(Transmitter) Downlink(Reciever) part of the network. 75)How is path loss taken into calculation? This is the total path loss occurred due to multipath propagation of the signal between transmitted signal and the received signal level. 76)What is capacity planning?

This is process of increasing traffic by adding Trxs traffic channels and proper use of frequency reuse pattern.Addition of BTSs 77)How is site selection done for planning and site acquisition? After nominal cell planning with the geographical coordinates identifying best site candidate in a geographical area is the process of site selection. 78)What is optimization? What are the tools used for optimization? Once GSM network is integrated in order to achieve proper planning prediction RF parameters Optimization is done. Drive test tool, planning tool and Post processing tools are Used for optimization. 79)How do we use the above antenna patterns for optimization? Proper antenna orintation and tilts and antenna types can be used for optimizing network. 80)How do we handle poor C/I, C/A, handover problems and blocking? Checking proper neighbour list, changing frequency planning and proper no of radio channels availability. 81)What is system information? System information is from BTS sent to Mobile for the idle mode and dedicated mode of the call for call management. 82)What is bench marking in GSM? Bench Marking used for comparing performance of different network for quality and call performance parameters. 83)What is Erlang table? This is the table for calculating Traffic in erlang for no of channels. 84)What is grade of service? Grade of service is the blocking for the given traffic channels. 85)How do you optimize a network using OMCR performance data? Proper increase in call success,and increase in handover success performance and drop call reduction performance. 86)What is daily report and traffic? This is the report obtained in OMC for the performce of all BTS about traffic . 87)What is cell reselect hysterisis? This is process of handover done by mobile in idle mode from selected cell to another cell.

88)What is path loss criterion (C1)? How is it calculated? This is the signal strength measured in idle mode for selecting best serving channel. 89)What is the Erlang B formula? 90)What is spread spectrum technology?

91)What are the types of spread spectrum technology? Frequency Hopping and Direct Sequence.

Path Ahead For GSM Technology 92)What is EDGE technology? 93) What is WCDMA? WCDMA is Wideband CDMA. 94)What is GPRS? GPRS stands for General Packet Radio Service. It is based on packet-switched technology.