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3G call processing

Introduction:
The Article gives a brief about the protocols used in 3G mobile call processing and how they are
used in call flow of 3G mobile network. In this article both types of call that is IP and ATM has
been discussed. The call flow is explain point wise for both of the context and flow has also been
included.
Types of Protocols Used in Soft Switch

GATEWAY CONTROL PROTOCOL (GCP/H.248)

Q.AAL2/Q.2630

IP BEARER CONTROL PROTOCOL (IPBCP

GATEWAY CONTROL PROTOCOL (GCP/H.248)

The Gateway Control Protocol (GCP) was developed for this purpose. GCP operates in a
master-slave configuration as shown in fig1.

Control servers, or Media Gateway Controllers (MGCs)(MSC-S) as they are called in


GCP (IETF refers to it as the Media Gateway Control protocol, MEGACO), act as
masters while M-MGws act as slaves. GCP can be run over ATM bearer or over IP

Fig1 GATEWAY CONTROL PROTOCOL (GCP/H.248)

There are different messages in GCP. The most common of them used during a successful call
setup scenarios similar to ISUP messages.

The ADD command adds a Termination to a Context. The Termination is either created
or, in the case of a physical Termination, taken out of the Null Context. This is a message
from the MSC-S to the MGw.

The MODIFY command modifies Termination properties. A Termination identifier is


specified if a single Termination in a Context is to be modified. This is a message from
the MSC-S to the MGw.

The NOTIFY command allows the M-MGw to notify the MSC-S of an event that has
occurred.

The other GCP messages include Subtract, Move, AuditValue and Service Change

The following two terms are used while referring to GCP.

A Termination is a logical representation of a resource within a GCP-controlled MMGw.

A Context is an association between two or more Terminations and represents internal


bearer connectivity. Every Termination must belong to one and only one Context.

Q.AAL2/Q.2630
Important messages in Q.AAL2 are the Establish Request (ERQ) and Establish Confirm (ECF)
messages, which are used during AAL2 LLC establishment while the Release Request (REL)
and Release Confirm (RLC) messages are used during LLC clear down

Fig 2 Q.AAL2

IP BEARER CONTROL PROTOCOL (IPBCP)


It has been designed to be a tunneling protocol utilizing both the vertical (GCP) and
horizontal (BICC) signaling protocols used to establish transport bearers. It is important to note
that this protocol is only used to establish IP bearers across the Core Network, so for example the
RNC is still required establishing an AAL2 bearer for voice and data calls toward the M-MGws.

IPBCP uses four messages.

The Request message is used to initiate the establishment of an IP bearer.

The Accept message is used to reply to an establish request message (only in the
circumstance that it is accepted).

Confused (when establish request message cannot be processed) and

Reject (when establish request message has to be rejected) messages are the other two
messages.

Fig 3 IPBCP

BICC (Bearer Independent Call Control

It is used to carry ISUP over IP.

It has following massages:

IAM

APM (

ACM

COT (Continue)

CALL SETUP IN AN ATM BACKBONE NETWORK

MSC Server 1 receives a Setup indication.

A Call Proceed message is sent back to the UE.

MSC Server 1 orders using the Add Request message a termination for the RAN side.

The M-MGw 1 confirms this with an Add Reply message.

MSC Server 1 sends a RAB Assignment Request to RNC 1.

Sending the Add Request message MSC Server 1 orders a termination to the core
network side.

Again, M-MGw 1 confirms this with an Add Reply message.

Inside the Initial Address Message the MSC Server 1 sends now the BCUID of the
selected M-MGw 1 to the succeeding MSC Server 2.

An Establishment Request is send from RNC 1 to M-MGw 1 to establish the bearer


connection.

This message is confirmed with an Establishment Confirm message sent from M-Mgw
1.

The Iu UP Init message initializes the user part. This is confirmed by an Iu UP Init
Acknowledge message.

The RAB Assignment Response message indicates now the establishment towards the
MSC Server 1.

MSC Server 1 indicates with a COT message the establishment of the bearer to the
succeeding node.

Inside the Initial Address Message the MSC Server 1 sends now the BCUID of the
selected M-MGw 1 to the succeeding MSC Server 2.

An Establishment Request is send from RNC 1 to M-MGw 1 to establish the bearer


connection.

This message is confirmed with an Establishment Confirm message sent from M-Mgw
1.

The Iu UP Init message initializes the user part. This is confirmed by an Iu UP Init
Acknowledge message.

The RAB Assignment Response message indicates now the establishment towards the
MSC Server 1.

MSC Server 1 indicates with a COT message the establishment of the bearer to the
succeeding node.

M-MGw 2 sends an Add Reply message to MSC Server 2.

The Establishment Confirm message is sent from M-MGw 1.

Sending the Nb UP Init message initializes the user part between the two M-MGws.

M-MGw 2 answers with an Nb UP Init Acknowledge message.

M-MGw 2 sends a Notify Request message towards the MSC Server 2 to indicate that
the connection is established

MSC Server 2 answers this with a Notify Reply message.

The termination towards RNC 2 is now reserved with an Add Request message.

M-MGw 2 answers with an Add Reply message.

MSC Server 2 sends a RAB Assignment Request message to RNC 2.

RNC 2 asks for a connection sending an Establishment Request message.

The Establishment Confirm message establishes the connection.

RNC 2 sends an Iu UP Init message.

And M-MGw 2 answers with an Iu UP Init Acknowledge message.

RNC 2 could now answer to the previous RAB Assignment Request with a RAB
Assignment Response.

UE 2 indicates Alerting to the MSC Server 2.

An Address Complete message is sent to the initiating MSC Server 1.

MSC Server 1 sends now an Alerting message to the UE.

MSC Server 2 orders tone sending with a Modify Request message.

M-MGw 2 answers with a Modify Reply message.

UE indicates a Connect to MSC Server 2.

Sending a Modify Request message towards M-MGw 2 stops the tone.

M-MGw 2 answers with a Modify Reply message.

By sending a Modify Request message towards M-MGw 2 MSC Server 2 orders a


through connection.

M-MGw 2 replies with a Modify Reply message.

An Answer message is sent from MSC Server 2 to the call initiating MSC Server 1.

MSC Server 1 orders as well a through connect by sending a Modify Request message.

M-MGw 1 replies with a Modify Reply message.

MSC Server 1 indicates a Connect to the UE. The call is established.

CALL SETUP IN AN IP BACKBONE NETWORK

Conclusion
The article gives a very basic understanding of 3G mobile call processing and is very helpful in
understanding basic procedures of mobile soft switch functions. The detail of each protocol has
not been covered in this article.