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2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals Version 2.80 ZTE CORPORATION ZTE Plaza, Keji Road South, Hi-Tech Industrial

2G Mobile Communications Technology

Fundamentals

Version 2.80

ZTE CORPORATION

ZTE Plaza, Keji Road South, Hi-Tech Industrial Park, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, P. R. China

518057

Tel: (86) 755 26771900

800-9830-9830

Fax: (86) 755 26772236 URL: http://support.zte.com.cn E-mail: doc@zte.com.cn

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Copyright © 2005 ZTE CORPORATION.

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Revision History

Date

Revision No.

Serial No.

Description

2005/09/01

R1.0

sjzl20060094

 

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Contents

About this Manual

.....................................................................................

ix

Purpose of this Manual Typographical Conventions ..................................................................................... Mouse Operation Conventions Safety Signs

............................................................................................

x

xi

.................................................................................

xi

xii

.......................................................................................................... How to Get in Touch

.............................................................................................

xiii

Customer

Support

xiii

Documentation Support

.........................................................................................................

xiii

Chapter 1

15

Overview

..................................................................................................

15

Evolution of 2G Mobile Communications Technology

15

Development Trend of Mobile Communication Technology

17

Chapter 2

19

GSM System

.............................................................................................

19

GSM Definition

19

GSM Features

.......................................................................................................

20

GSM Standard Specifications

.........................................................................................

21

GSM Network Structure

22

NSS

23

BSS

23

OMS

24

MS ........................................................................................................................................

24

Network Service Area

24

GSM Protocol Platform

25

GSM

Interfaces

GSM

26

Interface Protocol Model

27

Frame Structure and Radio Channels

......................................................................

28

Radio Frame Structure

29

Logical Channel

30

32

34

Key Technologies

..................................................................................................

38

Channel Allocation and Frequency Reuse

................................................................................

38

Interleaving and Deinterleaving 43 ..............................................................................................

Encryption and Decryption

.....................................................................................................

47

Frequency Hopping Technology

47 ..............................................................................................

Diversity Reception

49

Power Control

50

Basic Signaling Procedure

......................................................................................

54

Location Update Procedure of MS

..........................................................................................................

.....................................................

54

IMSI Detach Procedure

Mobile-Originated Call and Called Party On-hook Procedure

55

56

Mobile-Terminated Call and Calling Party On-hook Procedure

58

Intra-cell Handover Procedure Inter-cell Handover Procedure

60 ................................................................................................ 60 ................................................................................................

Power Control Signaling Procedure

 

61

Chapter 3

63

GPRS Technology

 

63

GPRS Definition

63

GPRS Features

63

GPRS Standard Specifications

64

GPRS Network Structure

65

GPRS Protocol Platform

67

GPRS

Transmission Protocol Platform

67

GPRS Signaling Protocol Platform

 

69

Frame Structure and Radio Channels

......................................................................

72

Radio Frame Structure

72

Physical Channel

73

Logical Channel

73

 

75

 

........................................................

75

Key Technologies of GPRS

79

Implementation of QoS

79

 

80

Radio Block Structure

 

81

Channel Coding

82

Flow Control

86

86

Power Control

.......................................................................................................................

89

Abbreviations

93

Figures

..........................................................................................

97

Tables

99

This page is intentionally blank.

About this Manual

The ZXG10 is a GSM mobile communication system independently developed by ZTE CORPORATION (hereinafter referred to as ZTE). It consists of the ZXG10-MSS Mobile Switching Sub System and the ZXG10- BSS Base Station Sub System. The ZXG10-BSS provides and manages GSM radio transmission, and its hardware is composed of the ZXG10-BSC Base Station Controller, the ZXG10-BTS Base Transceiver Station, and some other devices.

The ZXG10-BTS (V2) is the second-generation base station control developed by ZTE, featuring high capacity, high reliability, perfect functions and powerful service support capability.

The ZXG10-BSS (V2) base station sub system consists of the ZXG10-BSC (V2) base station controller and the ZXG10-BTS base transceiver station. The ZXG10-BTS is a general designation of a series of base transceiver stations developed by ZTE.

The ZXG10-OMCR (V2) is the operation & maintenance platform of the ZXG10-BSS (V2) base station sub system.

The 2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals describes the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) and some basic concepts of the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) evolved from the GSM. It serves as the supplementary material for the ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Technical Manual.

The whole suite of documentation also contains the following manuals:

ZXG10-BSC (V2) Base Station Controller Guide to Documentation

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Technical Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Hardware Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Hardware

Installation Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Software

Installation

Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller System Debugging

Installation

Manual

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Base Station Sub System Network Management Technical Manual

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Bate Station Sub System Operation Manual Configuration Management

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Bate Station Sub System Operation Manual Wireless Parameters

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Bate Station Sub System Operation ManualFault Management

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Bate Station Sub System Operation Manual Performance Measurement Counter

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Bate Station Sub System Operation Manual Security Management and System Tools

ZXG10-BSS (V2.80) Base Station Sub System Command Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Troubleshooting

Maintenance

Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Routine Maintenance

Maintenance

Manual

ZXG10-BSC (V2.80) Base Station Controller Emergency Maintenance

Maintenance

Manual

Purpose of this Manual

This manual comprises three chapters:

Chapter 1 Overview describes the evolution process of the mobile communication technology from 2G to 3G and the development of the mobile communication technology in the future.

Chapter 2 GSM System describes the features, related standards and specifications, and key technologies of the GSM system.

Chapter 3 GPRS Technology describes the features, related standards and specifications, and key technologies of the GPRS.

About this Manual

Typographical Conventions

ZTE documents employ the following typographical conventions.

T ABLE 1 T YPOGRAPHICAL C ONVENTIONS

Typeface

Meaning

 

Italics

References to other guides and documents; parameter values

“Quotes”

Links on screens

 

Bold

Menus, menu options, input fields, radio button names, check boxes, drop-down lists, dialog box names, window names

 

CAPS

Keys on the keyboard and buttons on screens and company name

Constant width

Text that you type, program code, files and directory names, and function names

[ ]

Optional parameters

{

}

Mandatory parameters

|

Select one of the parameters that are delimited by it

Note: Provides additional information about a certain topic

Note: Provides additional information about a certain topic

Checkpoint: Indicates that a partic ular step needs to be checked before proceeding further

Checkpoint: Indicates that a particular step needs to be checked before proceeding further

Tip: Indicates a suggestion or hi nt to make things easier or more productive for the

Tip: Indicates a suggestion or hint to make things easier or more productive for the reader

Mouse Operation Conventions

T ABLE 2 M OUSE O PERATION C ONVENTIONS

Typeface

Meaning

Click

Refers to clicking the primary mouse button (usually the left mouse button) once.

Double-click

Refers to quickly clicking the primary mouse button (usually the left mouse button) twice.

Right-click

Refers to clicking the secondary mouse button (usually the right mouse button) once.

Drag

Refers to pressing and holding a mouse button and moving the mouse.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

Safety Signs

T ABLE 3 S AFETY S IGNS

Safety Signs

Meaning

Danger: Indicates an imminently hazardous situation, which if not avoided, will result in death or serious

Danger: Indicates an imminently hazardous situation, which if not avoided, will result in death or serious injury. This signal word should be limited to only extreme situations.

Warning: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in death or serious

Warning: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in death or serious injury.

Caution: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in minor or moderate

Caution: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in minor or moderate injury. It may also be used to alert against unsafe practices.

Note: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in in juries, equipment

Note: Indicates a potentially hazardous situation, which if not avoided, could result in injuries, equipment damage or interruption of services.

Erosion: Beware of erosion.

Erosion: Beware of erosion.

Electric shock: There is a risk of electric shock.

Electric shock: There is a risk of electric shock.

Electrostatic: The device may be sensitive to static electricity.

Electrostatic: The device may be sensitive to static electricity.

Microwave: Beware of strong electromagnetic field.

Microwave: Beware of strong electromagnetic field.

Laser: Beware of strong laser beam.

Laser: Beware of strong laser beam.

No flammables: No flammables can be stored.

No flammables: No flammables can be stored.

No touching: Do not touch.

No touching: Do not touch.

No smoking: Smoking is forbidden.

No smoking: Smoking is forbidden.

About this Manual

How to Get in Touch

The following sections provide information on how to obtain support for the documentation and the software.

Customer Support

If you have problems, questions, comments, or suggestions regarding your product, contact us by e-mail at support@zte.com.cn. You can also call our customer support center at (86) 755 26771900 and (86) 800-

9830-9830.

Documentation Support

ZTE welcomes your comments and suggestions on the quality and

usefulness of

this

document.

For

further

questions,

comments,

or

suggestions on the

documentation,

you

can

contact us

by

e-mail at

doc@zte.com.cn; or you can fax your comments and suggestions to (86) 755 26772236. You can also explore our website at http://support.zte.com.cn, which contains various interesting subjects like

documentation, knowledge base, forum and service request.

This page is intentionally blank.

Chapter 1

Overview

This chapter describes the evolution process of 2G mobile communications technology, 3G mobile communications technology, and the development trend of mobile communication in the future.

Evolution of 2G Mobile Communications Technology

The mobile communication was first used in military and some special fields in 1920's. In 1940's, it began to be employed for civil use. The mobile communication really booms in recent decade. The development of the mobile communication comprises the following phases:

The first generation (1G) mobile communication system

The second generation (2G) mobile communications system

The third generation (3G) mobile communications system

Starting from 1980's, the 1G analog mobile communication system adopts cellular networking technology.

The major standards include:

Advanced Mobile Phone System (AMPS) in North America

Nordic Mobile Telephone System-450/900 (NMT-450/900) in north

Europe Total Access Communication System (TACS) in the U.K.

However,

the

1G

mobile

communication

system

has

the

following

disadvantages:

 

There is no common interface between systems.

 

It cannot keep up with the fast digitizing of the fixed network and provide digital bearer services.

It cannot meet the demand for large capacity due to low frequency utilization.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

It features poor security. The information being exchanged on the radio path may be easily eavesdropped, and the subscriber account may be easily embezzled.

Due to the defects of analog systems like the TACS, the digital mobile communication system characterized by digital transmission, Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), and narrowband Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) were developed in 1990's. That is the so-called 2G digital mobile communication system.

The major standards include:

Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM)

CDMA IS95

Personal Digital Cellular (PDC)

Compared with the 1G mobile communication system, the 2G mobile communication system:

Provides high spectrum utilization and large system capacity.

Provides diversified services (voice services and low-rate circuit-

switched data services). Enables automatic roaming.

Provides better voice quality.

Provides good security.

Can be interconnected with the ISDN and PSTN.

However,

the

2G

mobile

communication

system

has

the

following

disadvantages:

 

It can provide low-rate data services only and cannot support multi- media service. For example, the Internet access speed of GSM MS can reach 9.6 kbit/s theoretically.

Different 2G mobile communication systems in the world use different frequencies and cannot be compatible with each other, therefore, it is difficult to implement global roaming.

Nowadays the Internet, E-business, and multi-media communication develop very rapidly. Failing to provide strong support to data communication has already constrained the development of 2G system. The demand for higher data rate and more diversified services impels the evolution from 2G to 3G. Figure 1 shows the evolution process.

Chapter 1 - Overview

F IGURE 1 E VOLUTION FROM 2G

TO 3G

IS-95 IS-2000 IS-95-B CDMA MC WCDMA ARIB PDC WCDMA IMT-2000 HSCSD GSM GPRS EDGE UTRA UWC-136
IS-95
IS-2000
IS-95-B
CDMA
MC WCDMA
ARIB
PDC
WCDMA
IMT-2000
HSCSD
GSM
GPRS
EDGE
UTRA
UWC-136
WCDMA
IS-136+
IS-136
IS-136HS
2G
2.5G
2.75G
3G
In
Phase2 and Phase2+,
two high-rate data service

forward for the GSM system.

models are

put

High Speed Circuit Switched Data (HSCSD) based on high-speed data bit rate and circuit switching General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) based on packet switched data

These two services are called 2.5G services. Adopting high-rate adaptive coding solution, the GPRS provides the data rate up to 171 kbit/s.

The Enhanced Data Rates For GSM Evolution (EDGE) developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) adopts 8-PSK (Phase Shift Keying) modulation. It supports the rate up to 384 kbit/s theoretically. The EDGE is more advanced than the GPRS. However, it cannot provide the rate up to 2 Mbit/s as the 3G system does. Therefore, it is called 2.75G technology.

Development Trend of Mobile Communication Technology

The research of 3G theory, development

of

3G

technologies,

and

establishment of 3G standards began in mid 1980’s.

The International Mobile Telecommunication 2000 (IMT-2000) released by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) defines and describes 3G. It enables the mobile data service and some fixed high-speed data services to use one or several radio channels and fixed network platform to provide:

A global standard

IMT-2000 services, which are compatible with other fixed network services.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

High quality

The use of common band in the world

Small terminals used in the world.

Global roaming.

Multi-media services and terminals

Higher frequency utilization

Flexibility for the development to the next generation.

High-speed hierarchical data rate.

Rate up to 2 Mbit/s in fixed environment

Rate up to 384 kbit/s in pedestrian environment.

Rate up to 144 kbit/s for vehicle mounted stations.

Currently, instead of driven by pure technology, the communication technology is developing into the mode featuring the combination and interoperability of services and technology. It is estimated that the largest and the most profound change in the coming five to ten years is the strategic transition from voice services to data services from the aspect of market application and service demand. This change will deeply influence the development trend of the communication technology.

Some researchers and telecom operators describe the fourth-generation (4G) mobile communication system as a new world better than 3G, which can provide many unimaginable applications. The 4G system can provide over 100 Mbit/s data transmission rate, which is 10,000 times of the current MSs and 50 times of 3G MSs. The 4G MSs can provide high- performance multi-media contents. Through ID application, the 4G MS can serve as a personal identification device. It can also receive high- resolution movies and TV programs, acing as the bridge of combined broadcast and new telecommunication infrastructure. In addition, some services, such as 4G wireless instant connection, are less charged than 3G services.

Chapter 2

GSM System

This chapter introduces the features, related standards and specifications, and key technologies of the GSM system.

GSM Definition

Originally, the Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) was the standard made for the communication system working at 900 MHz in Europe. Because the analog communication system has limited capability in expansion, the GSM is developed on the demand for capacity expansion and has achieved global success. The GSM has become the wireless communication standard widely accepted in the world.

The development process of the GSM is as follows:

1982: The Group Special Mobile (GSM) was set up in the Conference of European Posts and Telecommunications (CEPT) to develop the 2G mobile communication system.

1986: Eight proposals put forward by European countries after massive

research and experiments were accepted in Paris, and on-site experiments were performed. 1987: After on-site test, demonstration, and comparison, the GSM

member countries have reached an agreement that the digital system adopts narrowband Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA), Regular Pulse Excitation-Long Term Prediction (RPE-LTP), voice coding, and Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK) modulation. 1998: Eighteen European countries reached GSM Memorandum of

Understanding (MOU). 1989: GSM took effect.

1991: The first GSM network was deployed in Europe.

1992: The GSM standard was frozen.

1993: The major part of the GSM phase II standard was completed.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

1994: A new research phase (Phase 2+) was added to further improve the GSM as the platform of mobile data services.

GSM Features

The GSM system has the following features:

High spectrum efficiency

 

The GSM system features high spectrum efficiency due to the high- efficient modulator, channel coding, interleaving, balancing and voice coding technologies adopted.

Large capacity

 

The volumetric efficiency (number of channels/cell/MHz) of GSM system is three to five times higher than that of the TACS.

High voice quality

 

Due

to

the

features of digital transmission technologies and the

definition of the air interface and speech coding in the GSM specifications, the voice quality is irrelevant with the radio transmission quality and can reach the same level when it is above the threshold.

Open interfaces

 

The GSM standard provides not only open air interface, but also open interfaces between networks and those between network entities, such as A interface and Abis interface.

High security

 

The encryption of MS identification code makes the eavesdropper

unable to determine subscriber's location.

the MS number,

ensuring the

security of the

The encryption of voice, signaling data, and identification codes makes the eavesdropper unable to receive the communication contents.

Interconnection with ISDN and PSTN.

 

The GSM can interconnect with other networks through current standard interfaces, such as ISUP or TUP.

Roaming function

 

The GSM supports roaming by introducing the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card that separates the subscriber from the terminal equipment.

Diversified services

 

The GSM provides diversified services, including teleservices, bearer services, and supplementary services.

Inter-cell handover

 

In

the

course of

a

conversation, the MS continues to report

the

detailed radio environment of the local cell and the neighboring cells to

Chapter 2 - GSM System

the serving base station. If inter-cell handover is required, the MS sends a handover request to the serving base station.

GSM Standard Specifications

The GSM standard is initiated and made by the ETSI.

The ETSI divided the GSM into several phases and set up many Special Mobile Groups (SMGs) to make the related GSM standard.

In the GSM standard specifications, detailed specifications are made for functions and interfaces only. There is no any specification on the hardware. The purpose is to reduce the restriction on designers, enabling the operators to purchase equipment from different manufacturers.

The GSM technical specifications consist of 12 chapters:

Chapter 1 General

Chapter 2 Services

Chapter 3 Network Functions

Chapter 4 MS-BS Interfaces and Protocols

Chapter 5 Physical Layer on Radio Path

Chapter 6 Speech Coding

Chapter 7 MS Terminal Adaptor

Chapter 8 BS-MSC Interface

Chapter 9 Network Interworking

Chapter 10 Service Interworking

Chapter 11 Equipment and Model Acceptance Specification

Chapter 12 Operation and Maintenance

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

GSM Network Structure

Figure 2 shows the basic GSM network structure.

F IGURE 2 GSM N ETWORK S TRUCTURE

AUC SMC PSTN ISDN PDN HLR GMSC BTS BSC TRAU MSC/VLR M S BTS IWF EIR
AUC
SMC
PSTN
ISDN
PDN
HLR
GMSC
BTS
BSC
TRAU
MSC/VLR
M
S
BTS
IWF
EIR
MS
Signaling

Here, the meaning of the network entities is as below:

MS: Mobile Station

BTS: Base Transceiver Station

BSC: Base Station Controller

TRAU: Transcoding and Rate Adaptation Unit

IWF: Interworking Function

EIR: Equipment Identification Register

MSC: Mobile Switching Center

VLR: Visitor Location Register

GMSC: Gateway MSC

HLR: Home Location Register

AUC: Authentication Center

SMC: Short Message Center

PSTN: Public Switched Telephone Network

ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network

PDN: Public Data Networks

Chapter 2 - GSM System

The GSM digital mobile communication system consists of:

Network Subsystem (NSS)

Base Station Subsystem (BSS)

Operation and Maintenance Subsystem (OMS)

MS

The following introduces the functions of each part.

NSS

The NSS implements switching and provides the database for subscriber data management, mobility management, and security management.

The NSS consists of the MSC, HLR, VLR, EIR, AUC and SMC.

MSC: As the core of the GSM, the MSC implements the switching function, that is, accomplishes the communication connection between the PLMN subscribers and the subscribers in other networks. It implements the functions such as the paging access of PLMN subscribers, channel assignment, call connection, traffic control, billing, and base station management. It provides interfaces to other functional entities, interfaces with other networks, and interfaces for connecting with other MSCs.

HLR: As the central database of the system, the HLR stores all the information related to subscribers, including the roaming authority, basic services, supplementary services, and current location information. It provides routing information for the MSC for call setup. An HLR may cover several MSC service areas or even the whole PLMN.

VLR: The VLR stores the information of all the subscribers in its coverage and provides the call setup conditions for the registered mobile subscribers. As a dynamic database, the VLR must exchange large volume of data with the HLR to ensure data validity. When an MS leaves the controlling area of a VLR, it registers in another VLR. The original VLR deletes the temporary records of that subscriber. The VLR is always integrated with the MSC physically.

AUC: The AUC is a strictly protected database that stores subscriber authentication information and encryption parameters. It is integrated with the HLR physically.

EIR: The EIR stores the parameters related to MSs. It can identify, monitor and block the MS, preventing unauthorized MSs from accessing the network.

BSS

The BSS serves as a bridge between the NSS and the MS. It performs radio channel management and wireless reception and transmission. The BSS comprises the Base Station Controller (BSC) and Base Transceiver Station (BTS).

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

BSC: Located between the MSC and the BTSs, the BSC controls and manages one or several BTS. It accomplishes radio channel

assignment, BTS and MS transmit

power

control, and

inter-cell

handover. The BSC is also a small switch that converges and connects the local network with the MSC through A interface.

BTS: As a wireless transceiving equipment controlled by the BSC in the BSS, the BTS is in charge of radio transmission and implements wired- related wireless conversion, radio diversity, radio channel encryption, and hopping. The BTS is connected with the BSC through Abis interface, and connected with the MS through Um interface.

In addition, the BSS also comprises the TRAU. Located between the BSC and the MSC, the TRAU performs the conversion between 16 kbit/s RPE-LTP codes and 64 kbit/s A law PCM codes.

OMS

The OMS refers to the operation & maintenance part of the GSM. All the functional units in the GSM can be connected to the OMS through their own networks. The OMS monitors various functional units in the GSM network, submits status report, and performs fault diagnosis.

The OMS consists of two parts: OMC – System (OMC-S) and OMC-Radio (OMC-R). The OMC-S implements the operation and maintenance of the NSS, while the OMC-R implements the operation and maintenance of the BSS.

MS

As the subscriber equipment in the GSM, the MS can be vehicle installed or hand portable. It is composed of the mobile terminal and SIM card.

The mobile terminal processes voice signals, and receives and transmits radio signals.

The SIM stores all information required for identifying a subscriber and security information, preventing unauthorized subscribers. A mobile terminal cannot access the GSM network without a SIM card.

Network Service Area

The GSM service area refers to the total area covered by the networks of all GSM operators. Physically, it consists of several MSC service areas, each of which comprise of several cells. Logically, several cells form a location area (LA).

MSC Service Area

A Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) is composed of multiple MSC service areas. An MSC service area refers to the coverage of the MSC, that is, the total area covered by the BTSs under control of the BSCs connected to the MSC. All the MSs in the service area register in the local VLR. Therefore, in actual network, the MSC is always integrated with the VLR as a node.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

Location Area (LA)

 

Each MSC/VLR service area is divided into several LAs. In an LA, the MSs can move freely without performing location update. Hence, an LA is the paging area of a broadcast paging message. An LA belongs to one MSC/VLR only, that is, an LA cannot cross MSCs/VLRs. The system can identify different LAs via the LA identity (LAI).

Cell

An

LA contains

several

cells.

Each

cell

has

a

unique Cell Global

Identification (CGI), which indicates a basic radio coverage area in a

network.

 

Figure 3 shows the relationship between different coverage areas in a GSM network.

F IGURE 3 R ELATIONSHIP B ETWEEN C OVERAGE A REAS IN A GSM N ETWORK

GSM service area The total network coverage provided by all GSM operators PLMN service area The
GSM service area
The total network coverage provided by all GSM operators
PLMN service area
The network coverage provided by a GSM operator
MSC service area
The area controlled by an MSC
Location area
An area for location update and paging
Cell
A service area provided by a
specific BTS

GSM Protocol Platform

The GSM technical specifications make clear and normative definition of the interfaces and protocols between subsystems and various functional entities. The interface refers to the point where two adjacent entities are connected. The protocol defines the rules for information exchange at the connection point.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

GSM Interfaces

Figure 4 shows the interfaces in the GSM.

F IGURE 4 GSM I NTERFACES

G VLR VLR B Abis A S m U m D C MS BTS BSC MSC
G
VLR
VLR
B
Abis
A
S m
U m
D
C
MS
BTS
BSC
MSC
HLR
E
F
EIR
MSC

Sm: The man-machine interface.

It

is

the

interface between

subscribers and the PLMN and implemented in the MS. It comprises the

keyboard, LCD, and the SIM card.

Um: The radio interface between the MS and the BTs, an important interface in the PLMN. The digital mobile communication network has different radio interface with the analog mobile communication network.

A interface: Interface between the BSC and the MSC. It is an important interface because it connects the two important parts (BSC and MSC) in the GSM. The base station management information, call processing interface, mobility management information, and specific communication information are transferred through the A interface.

Abis interface: Interface between the BSC and the BTS. It supports all the services provided to subscribers, especially supports the control of BTS radio equipment and the management of radio resources assigned.

B interface: Interface the MSC and the VLR. The VLR is a database locating and managing the MS when the MS roams in the related MSC control area. The MSC can query the current location of the MS from the VLR and update the MS location. When the subscriber uses a special supplementary service or changes a relevant service, the MSC notifies the VLR. When necessary, the information in the HLR is also updated.

C interface: Interface between the MSC and the HLR. It transfers management and route selection information. When a call finishes, the MSC sends the billing information to the HLR. When the PSTN cannot get the location information of a mobile subscriber, the related GMSC queries the HLR of the subscriber to obtain the roaming number of the called MS, and then transfers it to the PSTN.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

D interface: Interface between the HLR and the VLR. It exchanges the MS location information and subscriber management information. To enable a mobile subscribe to originate or receive calls in the whole service area, data must be exchanged between the HLR and the VLR. The VLR notifies the HLR of the current location of the MSs belonging to the HLR, and then provides the roaming number of the MSs. The HLR sends the VLR all the data required to support the services of the MS. When an MS roams to the service area of another VLR, the HLR notifies the original VLR to delete the relevant information of the MS. When the MS uses supplementary services, or some parameters are changed, the D interface is also used to exchange the related information.

E interface: Interface between MSCs. It exchanges the handover information between two MSCs. When the MS in a conversation moves

from one MSC

service area to

another MSC service area, inter-cell

handover occurs to maintain the conversation. At that time, the

related MSCs exchange the handover information through the E interface.

F

interface:

Interface the

MSC

and

the

EIR.

It exchanges the

management information of the MS, such as the IMEI, between the MSC and the EIR.

G interface: Interface between VLRs. When an MS uses a Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI) to register in a new VLR, the relevant information is exchanged between the VLRs through the G interface. This interface also searches the IMSI of the subscriber from the VLR that registers the TMSI.

GSM Interface Protocol Model

As

a

2G

cellular

mobile network,

the

GSM adopts

the Open

System

Interconnection (OSI) mode to define its protocol model. Figure 5 shows

the GSM interface protocol model, which defines the interfaces and protocols between the MS and the MSC.

F IGURE 5 GSM I NTERFACE P ROTOCOL M ODEL

Um interface

Abis interface

 

A interface

       

CM

CM CM
 
CM

CM

       

MM

MM MM
     
MM

MM

       

RRM

RRM RRM RRM RRM
 
  • RRM

RRM RRM RRM RRM
   
  • RRM

 
  • RRM

RRM
           
     

SCCP

SCCP

 
LAPD m LAPD
  • LAPD m

LAPD m LAPD
  • LAPD

LAPD m

   

LAPD

   

MTP

   
  • MTP

MTP

Radio

  • Radio

64

64

64

64

kbit/s

kbit/s
  • kbit/s

   
  • kbit/s

kbit/s
 
kbit/s
 

kbit/s

 

MS

BTS

BSC

MSC

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

The OSI reference model is of the hierarchical structure. According to the concept of hierarchy, the communication processing process can be divided into several logical layers from the lowest to the highest layer. In different systems, the entities in the same layer that exchange information for the same purpose are called peer entities. The entities in adjacent layers interact with each other through the common layer. The lower layers provide services to higher layers. The services provided by layer N is a combination of the services and functions provided by the layers below it.

The first layer of the U m interface protocol is the physical layer, which is marked as L 1 . As the lowest layer, L 1 provides the basic radio channels for the information transmission of higher layers.

The second layer L 2 is the data link layer, which is marked as LAPD m . It covers various data transmission structures and controls the data transmission.

The third layer L 3 is the highest layer, which is called the application layer. It covers various messages and programs, and controls services. L 3 comprises radio resource management (RRM), mobility management (MM) and call connection management (CM).

The Abis interface protocol is slightly different from the U m interface protocol. Its physical layer is the 64 kbit/s land line, and the link layer is the LAPD.

The first layer of A interface protocol is the 64 kbit/s land line, and the second layer is the message transfer part (MTP), which is part of the CCS7 network. The MTP comprises many network protocols and centralizes all the link layer protocols. The signaling connection control part (SCCP) and MTP jointly constitute the network layer protocols on A interface.

The MM and CM are transparently transmitted in the BSC.

Frame

Channels

Structure

and

Radio

The GSM is a digitizing system, and its task is to transfer bit stream. To associate the communication services with transmission solutions, the concept of channel is introduced. Different channels can transfer different bit streams at the same time. The channels fall into physical channels and logical channels. The mapping between the logical channel and physical channel is the process that arranges the information to be sent to the proper TDMA frames and timeslots.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

Radio Frame Structure

The GSM radio frame structure consists of five levels: timeslot, TDMA frame, multiframe, superframe and hyperframe.

  • 1. The timeslot is the basic unit of a physical channel.

  • 2. A TDMA frame is composed of eight

timeslots. It

is

the

basic unit

occupying carrier bandwidth, that is, each carrier has eight timeslots.

  • 3. There are two types of multiframes:

    • i. Multiframe composed of 26 TDMA frames. This type of multiframe is used in TCH, SACCH, and FACCH.

ii. Multiframe composed of 51 TDMA frames. This type of multiframe is used in BCCH, CCCH, and SDCCH.

  • 4. The superframe is a consecutive 51 x 26 TDMA frame. It consists of 51 26-multiframes or 26 51-multiframes.

  • 5. The hyperframe consists of 2,048 superframes. Figure 6 shows the structure of the frames in the GSM.

F IGURE 6 H IERARCHICAL F RAME S TRUCTURE OF GSM

1 hyperframe = 2048 superframes = 2715648 TDMA frames

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 2042 2043 2044 20452046 2047 1 superframe = 1326
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
2042
2043 2044 20452046 2047
1 superframe = 1326 TDMA frames (6.12s)
= 51 26-multiframe or 26 51-multiframes
0
1
2
3
47
48
49
50
0
1
24
25
1 26-multiframe = 26 TDMA frames (120 ms)
1 51-multiframe = 51 TDMA frames (3036/13 ms)
0
1
2
3
4
22 23 24 25
0
1
2
3
4
47 48 49 50
0
1
2 3 4
5 6
7 0
1 2
3 4
5 6
7 0
1
2 3 4
5 6 7
0
1
2 3 4
5 6
7
0
1
2 3 4
5 6
7
0
1 2
3 4
5 6 7
00
01
02
TDMA frame

Physical Channel

The GSM adopts the mixed technology of Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA). It features high frequency utilization.

The

FDMA enables 124 carrier

frequencies (carriers for

short) to

be

assigned to the uplink (from the MS to the BTS) 890 MHz – 915 MHz or

downlink (from the BTS to the MS) 935 MHz – 960 MHz in GSM900 band. The interval between carriers is 200 kHz. The carriers in the uplink and downlink are in pairs, which is the so-called duplex communication mode.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

The interval between duplex receiving and transmitting carrier pair is 45 MHz.

The TDMA enables each carrier of the GSM900 band to be divided into eight time segments. Each time segment is called a timeslot. See Figure 7. This type of timeslot is called a channel or a physical channel. Eight consecutive timeslots on a carrier constitute a TDMA frame, that is, a carrier of the GSM provides eight physical channels.

F IGURE 7 T IME -F REQUENCY S TRUCTURE OF P HYSICAL C HANNELS

Frequency 200 kHz 16/25 ms Timeslot
Frequency
200 kHz
16/25 ms
Timeslot

Time

Logical Channel

If each timeslot of the TDMA frame is looked as a physical channel, the different information carried on the physical channels is classified as logical channels. Based on the requirements for mobile communication, the logical channels are control logical channels, speech or data logical channels assigned to the eight TDMA timeslots to transfer various control signaling and speech or data services.

The information transferred on the physical channels of the GSM digital system is the pulse train composed of about 100 modulated bits, which is called burst. Different logical channels are carried in the bursts of different formats.

The logical channels fall into common channels and dedicated channels. Figure 8 shows the logical channels defined by the GSM.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

F IGURE 8 GSM L OGICAL C HANNELS

Logical channels Common Dedicated channels channels Broadcast Common control Dedicated control Traffic channel channel (BCH) channel
Logical
channels
Common
Dedicated
channels
channels
Broadcast
Common control
Dedicated control
Traffic channel
channel (BCH)
channel (CCCH)
channel (ECCH)
(TCH)
Frequency
Synchronizati
Broadcast
Stand-alone
Slow associated
Fast associated
correction
on channel
control channel
Dedicated Control
control channel
control channel
channel
(SCH)
(BCCH)
Channel (SDCCH)
(SACCH)
(FACCH)
(FCCH)
Enhanced
Half-rate
Paging channel
Random access
Access grant
Full rate
full rate
channel
(PCH)
channel (RACH)
channel (AGCH)
channel
channel

Common Channel

The common channels comprise:

Broadcast channel (BCH): Transmits the broadcast messages from the base station to the MS.

Common control channel (CCCH): Transmits the bi-directional signals required to set up the connection between the MSC and the MS.

1.

Broadcast channels (BCHs)

BCHs are unidirectional channels from the base station to the MS. The BCHs comprises:

Frequency correction channel (FCCH): Transmits the information used to correct the MS frequency. The MS receives the frequency correction information through the FCCH and corrects its time base frequency.

Synchronization channel (SCH): Transmits frame synchronization (TDMA frame number) information and Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) to MSs.

Broadcast control channel (BCCH): Broadcasts general information to BTSs. For example, broadcast the local cell and neighboring cell information, and synchronization (time and frequency) information on this channel. The MSs listen to the BCCH periodically to obtain the information transmitted on it, such as the Local Area Identity, List of Neighboring Cell, frequency table used in the local cell, cell identity, power control indication, intermittent transmission permission, access control, and CBCH description. The BCCH carrier is transmitted by the base station at the fixed power, and its signal strength is measured by all the MSs.

2.

Common control channels (CCCHs)

The CCCHs are point-to-multipoint bi-directional channels between the base station and the MS.

The CCCHs include:

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

Paging channel (PCH): Broadcasts the paging messages from the base station to the MS. It is a downlink channel.

Random access channel (RACH): The MS sends information to the base station through this channel when accessing the network at random. The information sent includes the response to the paging message of the base station and the access of mobile-originated call. The MS also applies for a stand-alone dedicated control channel (SDCCH) from the base station through this channel. The RACH is a uplink channel.

Access grant channel: The base station sends the assigned SDCCH to the MS that accesses the network successfully through this channel. The AGCH is a downlink channel.

Dedicated Channel

Dedicated channels are the traffic channels that transmit voices and data. Some dedicated channels are used for the purpose of control.

1.

Dedicated control channel (DCCH)

The DCCHs are point-to-point bi-directional channels between the base station and the MS.

The DCCHs include:

Stand-alone dedicated control channel (SDCCH): Transmits the signaling and channel information between the base station and the MS, such as the authentication and registration signaling messages. During the establishment of a call, the SDCCH supports bi-directional data transmission and the transfer of short messages.

Slow associated control channel (SACCH): Through this channel, the base station sends the power control message and frame adjustment message to the MS, and receives signal strength report and link quality report from the MS.

Fast associated control channel (FACCH): Transmits inter-cell handover signaling messages between the base station and the MS.

2.

Traffic channel (TCH)

The TCHs transmit voice and data services. According to the switching mode, the TCHs can be divided into circuit-switched channels and data-switched channels. According to the transmit rate, the TCHs can be divided into full-rate channels and half-rate channels. The rate of the GSM full-rate channels is 13 kbit/s, and that of the GSM half-rate channels is 6.5 kbit/s. In addition, the enhanced full-rate channel has the same rate as the full-rate channels, which is 13 kbit/s. However, it has better compressed coding scheme than the full-rate channels. That is why the enhanced full-rate channel provides better voice quality.

Channel Combination

In actual application, the logical channels of different types are always mapped to the same physical channel. This is called channel combination.

The following are nine channel combinations of GSM:

Chapter 2 - GSM System

  • 1. Full-rate traffic channel (TCHFull): TCH/F + FACCH/F + SACCH/TF

  • 2. Half-rate traffic channel (TCHHalf): TCH/H (0, 1) + FACCH/H(0, 1) + SACCH/TH (0, 1)

  • 3. Half-rate1 traffic channel (TCHHalf2): TCH/H (0, 0) + FACCH/H (0, 1) +SACCH/TH (0, 1) + TCH/H (1, 1)

  • 4. SDCCH: SDCCH/8 (0,, 7) + SACCH/C8 (0,, 7)

  • 5. Main broadcast control channel (MainBCCH): FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH

  • 6. Combined broadcast control channel (BCCHCombined): FCCH + SCH + BCCH + CCCH + SDCCH/4 (0,,3) + SACCH/C4 (0,, 3)

  • 7. Broadcast channel (BCH): FCCH + SCH + BCCH

  • 8. Cell broadcast channel (BCCHwithCBCH): FCCH + SCH + CCCH + SDCCH/4 (0,, 3) + SACCH/C4 (0,, 3) + CBCH

BCCH +

  • 9. Slow dedicated control channel (SDCCHwithCBCH): SDCCH + SACCH + CBCH Among the above channel combinations, CCCH = PCH + RACH + AGCH. As downlink channels only, the CBCHs carry cell broadcast information and share the physical channel with the SDCCH. Each cell broadcasts an FCCH and an SCH. The basic combination in the downlink direction includes an FCCH, an SCH, a BCCH and a CCCH (PCH + AGCH). It is allocated to TN0 of BCCH carrier configured for a cell, as shown in Figure 9.

F IGURE 9 S TRUCTURE OF A 51-F RAME C HANNEL 51 frames BCCH+CCCH F S
F IGURE 9 S TRUCTURE OF A 51-F RAME C HANNEL
51 frames
BCCH+CCCH
F S
B
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
I
Downlink
BCCH+CCCH
R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R
Uplink

(a) FCCH+SCH+BCCH+CCCH

8 SDCCH/8

Downlink

8 SDCCH/8

Uplink

BCCH+CCCH

+4SDCCH/4

Downlink

BCCH+CCCH

+4SDCCH/4

Uplink

D0 D1 D2 D3 D4 D5 D6 D7 A0 A1 A2 A3 I I I D0
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A0
A1
A2
A3
I
I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A4
A5
A6
A7
I
I
I
A1
A2
A3
I
I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A0
A5
A6
A7
I
I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A4
(b) SDCCH/8(0,
...
,7)+SACCH/C8(0,
...
,7)
D
D
D
D
A
A
F S
B
C
F S
C
C
F S
F S
F S
I
0
1
2
3
0
1
D
D
D
D
A
A
F S
B
C
F S
C
C
F S
F S
F S
I
0
1
2
3
2
3
D
D
D
D3
R R
A2
A3
R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R
F S
0
1
2
D
D
D
D3
R R
A0
A1
R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R
F S
0
1
2
(c) FCCH+SCH+CCCH+SDCCH/4(0,
...
,3)+SACCH/C4(0,
...
,3)
F: FCCH
B: BCCH
R: RACH
A: SACCH/C
S: SCH
C: CCCH (CCCH=PCH+AGCH+RACH)
D: SDCCH
I: Idle

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

For the half-rate voice channel combination, each timeslot has two half-rate sub-channels and corresponding SACCH, with 26TDMA frames as the multiframe. Figure 10 shows the frame structure.

F IGURE 10 S TRUCTURE OF A H ALF -R ATE V OICE C HANNEL

26 frames H H H H H H H H H H H H S H
26 frames
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
S
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
H
S
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
0
1
1
Mapping Between Logical Channels and
Physical Channels
Obviously, the logical channels in the GSM are much more than the eight
physical channels that a GSM carrier can provide. If each logical channel is
configured with a physical channel, the eight physical channels provided
by a carrier are not enough. In such case, extra carriers must be added.
However, the communication in this way is not highly effective. The way to
solve this problem is to multiplex the CCCH, that is, multiplex the CCCH on
one or two physical channels.
In GSM, the mapping between the physical
channels is set up as follows:
channels and the logical
A base station has N carriers, and each carrier has eight timeslots. Define
the carriers as f 0, f 1 , f 2, … The downlink starts from timeslot 0 (TS0) of f 0 .
TS0 is used to map with the control channel only. f 0 is also called the
broadcast control channel (BCCH). Figure 11 shows the multiplexing of
BCCH and CCCH on TS0.
F IGURE 11 M ULTIPLEXING OF BCCH AND CCCH ON TS0
TDMA
frame
0
1 2
7 0 1 2
7 0 1
BCCH+CCCH
F S
B
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
F S
C
C
I
Downlink

F (FCCH): The MS synchronizes its frequency through it. S (SYCH): The MS reads the TDMA frame number and Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) through it. B (BCCH): The MS reads the general inforamtion of the cell through it. I (IDLE): Idle frame, containing no information. It serves as the end flag of the multi-frame.

The BCCH and CCCH occupy 51 TS0s in total. Although only the TS0 of each frame is occupied, the total length is 51 TDMA frames in terms of

Chapter 2 - GSM System

time. Each time when an idle frame appears, the multiframe ends. After that, a new multiframe starts from F and S. Repeat like this, and the TDMA multiframe is constructed.

When there

is

no paging

or call connected,

the

base station

always

transmits on f 0 . This enables the MS to detect the signal strength of the

base station to determine the cell to be used.

For the uplink, the TS0 on f 0 does not include the above channels. It is used for the MS access only; that is, it is used as the RACH. Figure 12 shows the TS0 of 51 consecutive TDMA frames.

F IGURE 12 M ULTIPLEXING OF RACH ON TS0

TDMA frame 0 1 2 7 0 1 2 7 0 1 RACH RR RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR Uplink
TDMA
frame
0 1 2
7 0 1 2
7 0 1
RACH
RR
RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
Uplink
The BCCH, FCCH, SCH, PCH, AGCH and RACH are all mapped to TS0. The
RACH is mapped to the uplink, and the rest are mapped to the downlink.
The TS1 on downlink f 0 is used to map the DCCH to physical channel.
Figure 13 shows the mapping relationship.
F IGURE 13 M ULTIPLEXING OF SDCCH AND SACCH ON TS1 (D OWNLINK )
TDMA
frame
0 1 2
7 0 1 2
7 0 1
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A0
A1
A2
A3
I
I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A4
A5
A6
A7
I
I
I

SDCCH+ SA CCCH Downlink

Since the bit rate in call setup and registration is quite low, eight dedicated control channels can be placed on one timeslot to improve the multiplexing ratio of the timeslot.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

The SDCCH and SACCH have 102 timeslots in total, that is, 102 time division multiplexing (TDM) frames.

The DX (D0, D1, …) of the SDCCH is used in the early time when a call is set up. When the MS transfers to the TCH, and the subscriber starts the conversation or the release is triggered after registration, the DX is used by other MSs.

The

AX

(A0,

A1,

…)

of

the

SACCH

transfers

unimportant

control

information, such as radio measurement data.

The TS1 on the uplink f0 has the same structure with the TS1 on the

downlink

f0.

They

have an

offset in time, which means bi-directional

connection can be performed at the same time for an MS. Figure 14 shows the multiplexing of the SDCCH and SACCH on TS1 of the uplink f 0 .

F IGURE 14 M ULTIPLEXING OF SDCCH AND SACCH ON TS1 (U PLINK ) TDMA frame
F IGURE 14 M ULTIPLEXING OF SDCCH AND SACCH ON TS1 (U PLINK )
TDMA
frame
0 1 2
7 0 1 2
7 0 1
A5
A6
A7
I I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A0
A1
A2
A3
I I
I
D0
D1
D2
D3
D4
D5
D6
D7
A4

SDCCH+ SACCCH

Uplink

DX: same as uplink

AX: Same as downlink

The uplink and downlink TS0 and TS1 on f 0 are used by the logical control channel, while the other six physical channels (TS2 to TS7) are used by the TCH.

Figure 15 shows the mapping from the TCH to the physical channel.

F IGURE 15 M ULTIPLEXING OF TCH

TDMA frame 0 1 2 7 0 1 2 7 0 1 2 TCH T T
TDMA
frame
0 1 2
7
0 1 2
7 0 1 2
TCH
T T T T T T T T T T T T AT T T T T T T T T T T T I
Downlink

Note: There are 26 timeslots in total.The sequence starts from the begining after the idel timeslot.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

Figure 15 shows the time division multiplexing of TS2 only. In this figure, T stands for the TCH, which transmits voice or data; A for the SACCH, which transfers control commands such as the command to change the output power; I for Idle, which does not contain any information but is used in measurement. The TDM is implemented on TS2 with 26 timeslots

as

a cycle.

The

idle timeslot I

repeated sequence.

serves as the beginning or end of the

The uplink TCH is of the same structure with the downlink TCH. They only have a time offset, which is three timeslots. That is, the TS2 of the uplink and that of the downlink do not appear simultaneously, which means that the MS need not send or receive data at the same time. Figure 16 shows the offset between the uplink and downlink of the TCH.

F IGURE 16 O FFSET B ETWEEN THE U PLINK AND D OWNLINK OF TCH

TDMA frame number

0
0
00 01 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 0 1 2 3 4 5 6
00
01
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
From BTS to MS
From MS to BTS
0
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
0
1
2
3
4
5 6
7
Offset
00
01

Downlink C0

45MHz (GSM900)

95MHz (DCS1800)

Uplink

C0

TDMA frame number

In conclusion, on carrier f 0 :

TS0: a logical control channel, with repeat cycle of 51 timeslots.

TS1: a logical control channel, with repeat cycle of 102 timeslots.

TS2: a logical traffic channel, with repeat cycle of 26 timeslots.

TS3 to TS7: logical traffic channels, with repeat cycle of 26 timeslots. The TS0 to TS7 of other f 0 f N are all traffic channels.

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

Key Technologies

Channel Allocation and Frequency Reuse

Channel Allocation

  • 1. Working band Currently, the GSM can adopt 900 MHz band, extended 900 MHz band, and 1800 MHz band. Some countries use 1900 MHz band.

    • i. 900 MHz band Uplink (from the MS to the base station) frequency range: 890 MHz – 915 MHz Downlink (from the base station to the MS) frequency range: 935 MHz – 960 MHz

ii. Extended 900MHz band

Uplink (from the MS to the base station) frequency range: 880 MHz – 915 MHz

Downlink (from the base station to the MS) frequency range: 925 MHz – 960 MHz

iii.

850 MHz band

Uplink (from the MS to the base station) frequency range: 824 MHz – 849 MHz

Downlink (from the base station to the MS) frequency range: 869 MHz – 894 MHz

iv. 1800 MHz band

Uplink (from the MS to the base station) frequency range: 1710 MHz – 1785 MHz

Downlink (from the base station to the MS) frequency range: 1805 MHz – 1880 MHz

  • v. 1900 MHz band Uplink (from the MS to the base station) frequency range: 1850 MHz – 1910 MHz Downlink (from the base station to the MS) frequency range: 1930 MHz – 1990 MHz

  • 2. Channel interval The interval between any two adjacent channels is 200kHz.

  • 3. Channel configuration All channels are configured with the same interval.

    • i. 900 MHz band Channel number: 1 – 124. There are 124 frequency points in total.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

The relation between the channel number and the frequency point nominal central frequency is:

Fu (n) = 890 + 0.2 x n (MHz), uplink Fd (n) = Fu (n) + 45 (MHz), downlink

Here, n (1 n 124) is the channel number or the Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number (ARFCN).

ii. Extended 900MHz band

– frequency points in total. The relation between the channel number and the frequency point nominal central frequency is Fu (n) = 890 + 0.2 x n (MHz), 0 n 124

Channel number:

0

124

and

975

1023.

There

are

174

iii.

Fu (n) = 890 + 0.2 x (n - 1024) (MHz), 975 n 1023 Fd (n) = Fu (n) +45 (MHz) 850 MHz band Channel number: 128 – 251. There are 124 frequency points in total. The relation between the channel number and the frequency point nominal central frequency is Fu (n) = 824.2 + 0.2 x (n - 128) (MHz) Fd (n) = 869.2 + 0.2 x (n – 128) (MHz)

 

128

n 251

 

iv. 1800 MHz band

 

Channel number: 512 – 885. There are 374 frequency points in total.

The relation between the channel number and the frequency point nominal central frequency is

Fu (n) = 1710.2 + 0.2 x (n - 512) (MHz) Fd (n) = Fu (n) + 95 (MHz)

512

n 885

v.

1900 MHz band

 

Channel numbers: 512 – 811. There are 300 frequency points in total.

The relation between the channel number and the frequency point nominal central frequency is Fu (n) = 1850.2 + 0.2 x (n - 512) (MHz) Fd (n) = Fu (n) + 80 (MHz)

512

n 811

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

  • 4. Interval between transmitting and receiving

    • i. 900 MHz band The interval of duplex transceiving frequency is 45MHz. ii. Extended 900MHz band The interval of duplex transceiving frequency is 45MHz.

iii.

850 MHz band The interval of duplex transceiving frequency is 45MHz.

iv. 1800 MHz band

The interval of duplex transceiving frequency is 95MHz.

  • v. 1900 MHz band The interval of duplex transceiving frequency is 80MHz.

Frequency Reuse

Currently, the GSM adopts the cellular system to provide the coverage. That is, the whole GSM network service area is divided into several cells. Each cell is equipped with a base station, which controls the mobile communication within the cell. Meanwhile, under the control of the MSC, the base stations implement the communication of the mobile subscribers in local cell with other cells and with PSTN subscribers.

In the cellular system, the system capacity is expanded through frequency reuse. That is, as long as the distance between cells is far enough (the interference signal does not impact the receiving of useful signals), the same frequency can be used. The common way is to divide the N channels available into F groups, and then allocate the F groups of channels to adjacent cells. See Figure 17. The number of channels in each cell is about N/F. If omni antennas are used, a base station is installed in the center of each cell BS (O in Figure 17), called O-type site. If directional sector antennas are used, a base station is installed in the cross point of three cells (S in Figure 17), called S-type site. The S-type site covers three adjacent cells.

F IGURE 17 F REQUENCY R EUSE IN THE C ELLULAR S YSTEM

B C S G A D F E O
B
C
S
G
A
D
F
E
O

The ZXG10 system adopts 4/12 and 3/9 frequency reuse.

Chapter 2 - GSM System

In 4/12 frequency reuse, the frequencies are divided into 12 groups and assigned in turn to four sites (A, B, C and D). Each site can use three frequency groups. Figure 18 shows the cells in 4/12 frequency reuse.

F IGURE 18 C ELLS IN 4/12 F REQUENCY R EUSE

D3 A1 C2 C3 B1 D2 A C1 A2 A3 D1 B2 B3 C1 D C3
D3
A1
C2
C3
B1
D2
A
C1
A2
A3
D1
B2
B3
C1
D
C3
B1
D2
D3
A1
C2
C3
B
A1
B2
B3
C1
A2
A3
D1
C
D2
A1
C2
C3
B1
D3
D2 A1
F IGURE 19 C ELLS IN 3/9 F REQUENCY R EUSE
B3
A1
B2
B3
A1
B2
A
C1
A2
A3
C1
A2
A3
C1
C
C3
B1
C2
C3
B1
C2
C3
B
A1
B2
B3
A1
B2
B3
A1
A3
C1
A2
A3
C1
A3
A1 A2

In 3/9 frequency reuse, the limited frequencies are divided into 9 groups and allocated to three sites (A, B, and C) in turn. Each site can use three frequency groups. See Figure 19.

It can be seen from the above two frequency reuse modes that the frequency utilization and the number of subscribers increase as the frequency reuse density increases (the number of frequency groups decreases). However, with the distance of frequency reuse shortened, the inter-cell interference is caused, for example, the carrier-to-interference ratio (C/I) and C/A decreases. The C/I refers to the interference of other cells to the service area when different cells use the same frequency. The C/A refers to the interference of adjacent channels to the channels of the service area in the frequency reuse mode.

The C/I and C/A are the two major parameters in frequency reuse. In the GSM, the C/I should be more than or equal to 9dB (C/I 9dB) and C/A be more than or equal to –9dB (C/A -9dB).

2G Mobile Communications Technology Fundamentals

After the frequency reuse relation is determined, the frequency groups N is determined. In the case of 4/12 frequency reuse, N is12. In the case of 3/9 frequency reuse, N is 9.

Discontinuous Transmission (DTX)

Voices are transmitted in two modes:

Voices are continuously coded (a speech frame every 20 ms) no matter whether the subscribers speaks or not.

DTX: In speech activation period, 16 kbit/s coding is performed. In speech deactivation period, 500 bit/s coding is performed. A comfort

noise frame (20 ms per frame) is transmitted each 480 ms. See Figure

20.

F IGURE 20 D ISCONTINUOUS T RANSMISSION

TRAU BTS BTS MS 480 ms Comform noise frame
TRAU
BTS
BTS
MS
480 ms
Comform noise
frame
  • Speech frame

The DTX can reduce the total interference level in the air and save the

power of transmitters. However,

the

DTX

may

slightly

lower

the

transmission quality. Therefore, the DTX mode and common mode are optional.

GMSK Modulation

The Guassian Minimum Shift Keying

(GMSK) is

a

special

digital FM

modulation mode. The modulation rate is 270.833 kilobauds. The

Frequency Shift

Keying (FSK)

modulation

with

bit

rate

four times

of

frequency offset is called MSK (Minimum Shift-frequency Keying). In the GSM, the Gaussian demodulation filter is used to further reduce the modulation spectrum. It can cut the frequency conversion speed.

The GMSK can be expressed by a I/Q diagram. If there is no Gaussian

filter, when a series of constant 1s are sent, the MSK signal will be kept in

the

state that

is higher

than the center frequency

67.708 kHz

of

the

carrier. If the center frequency of the carrier serves as the fixed phase

reference, the signal 67.708 kHz will cause steady increment of phase.

The phase rotates 360°

at

67,708 times per second.

In

a

bit

period

(1/270.833 kHz), the phase moves 1/4 a circle in the I/G diagram, that is,

Chapter 2 - GSM System

90°. The data 1 can be looked as 90° plus the phase. Two 1s makes a phase increment by 180°, three 1s makes a increment by 270°, and so on. The data 0 indicates the same phase change in the reverse direction.

The actual phase track is strictly controlled. In the GSM, digital filter and 1/Q or digital FM modulator are used to generate correct phase track accurately. The Root Mean Square (RMS) between the actual track and the ideal track allowed by GSM specifications cannot exceed 5°, and the peak deviation cannot exceed 20°.

Channel Coding

Channel coding is used to improve transmission quality and overcome the adverse impact of interferences on signals.

Using specialized redundancy technology, the channel coding inserts redundancy bits in a certain pattern at the transmitting end for coding. The decoding process at the receiving end uses these redundancy bits to detect error codes and correct errors, and recover the original information transmitted.

Two coding modes are available in the GSM, namely, convolution code and block code. In actual application, they are used in combination.

Convolutional code: compiles k information bits into n bits. Both k and n are very small, and suitable for se</