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Document History

Edition Date Author Remarks

01 2010-09-01 ElJafaari Mohamed First edition + Review


Pourtauborde Xavier
Michaud Ludovic

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1 GSM Standardization 7
A story of continued improvement 8
Early Days 9
Going Digital 10
Standardization was a key driver for success 12
2 GSM Services 13
Teleservices and Bearer Services 14
Teleservices 15
Supplementary Services 16
Value Added Services 17
3 GSM/EGPRS Network Architecture 18
GSM/EGPRS Network Architecture (R'99) 19
GSM/EGPRS Network Architecture (NGN) 20
GSM/EGPRS Network Architecture (with BSS Native IP) 21
Base Station (BTS) 22
Base Station Controller (BSC) 23
Transcoder (TRAU) 26
Packet Control Unit (PCU) 27
Network Subsystem (NSS) 28
GPRS Sub System (GSS) 29
Mobile Station (MS) 30
Operations and Maintenance 31
4 Air Interface 32
Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) 33
Frequency Bands 34
Frequency Reuse 35
Radio Physical & Logical Channels 36
Cellular Environment 38
5 Basic Procedures 39
Identification Numbers 40
Location Area 41
Location Updating 42
Idle Mode VS Dedicated Mode 43
Call Originating Procedure 44
GSM Signaling Protocol Stack 46
Handover 47
Power Control 48
Dual Transfer Mode 49
6 E-GPRS 50
Principles 51
Enhancements on the Air Interface 52
Types of MS 53
Main Procedures 54
Exercise 55
7 Interworking with 3G, LTE and GAN 56
Continuity of Service 57
Handover & Reselection (2G-3G) 58
Handover & Reselection (2G-LTE & 2G-GAN) 59
8 Evolution from 2G to 3G 60
Parallel Evolutions Thanks to 3GPP 61
9 Exercises 62
Location Update 63
Fault Detection 64
GSM Architecture with NGN 65
End of Module 66

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ETSI - European Telecommunications Standards Institute
T1 - Standard Committee T1 Telecommunications: Committee T1 develops technical standards and reports
regarding interconnection and interoperability of telecommunications networks. It is sponsored by the
Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and is accredited by the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI).
ARIB - Association of Radio Industries and Businesses, Japan
TTA - Telecommunications Technology Association, Korea
TTC - Telecommunication Technology Committee, Japan
TIA - Telecommunications Industry Association, USA
ANSI - American National Standards Institute, USA
ANSI-41 - American National Standard ANSI/TIA/EIA-41
UWCC - Universal Wireless Communications Committee provides standardization input for UWC-136 that
goes to TIA and ETSI CRs.

Internet Sites
http://www.3GPP.org/
http://www.3GIP.org/
http://www.umts-forum.org/
http://www.etsi.org/

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The Teleservices are telecommunication services as well as functions that enable communication between
users, and are based on protocols agreed on by the network operators.

The Bearer Services are telecommunication services that guarantee the transmission of signals between
access points in telecommunication networks. They are used exclusively for transport and define the
services a network can offer, for example data transmission between a corporate network and a mobile
notebook, or data download from the web.

Supplementary services are provided on top of teleservices or bearer services, they include features such
as caller identification, call forwarding, call waiting, multiparty conversations, and barring of outgoing
(international) calls, among others.

The offered service depends on:


 The SUBSCRIPTION: PACKAGES
 The capabilities of the NETWORK used: Restrictions due to roaming
 The capabilities of the EQUIPMENT used: Restrictions due to the equipment (kind, technical version)

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When a call is made from a GSM Mobile Station, the type of service requested is indicated in the set-up
message. This means that the GSM operator has the option to treat emergency calls differently by
allowing mobile equipment without a SIM card to make them.

The SMS Teleservice was originally defined to utilise some spare signalling capacity in GSM. However, it
soon became apparent that SMS would become a key service in differentiating GSM from any other
cellular service. SMS is effectively an international paging service, overlaid on top of the GSM network,
with the capability to send, as well as receive, messages.

SMS is a bidirectional service for sending short alphanumeric (up to 160 bytes) messages in a store and
forward fashion. For point to point SMS, a message can be sent to another subscriber to the service,
and an acknowledgement of receipt is provided to the sender. SMS can also be used in a cell broadcast
mode, for sending messages such as traffic updates or news updates. Messages can be stored in the SIM
card for later retrieval.

MMS MMS allows the transmission of messages containing test, voice and images to be sent to a subscriber.
The MMS center interfaces with other network services such as paging, message handling and voice
messaging.

Cell Broadcast Cell broadcast is a short message service which allows short messages to be sent to all
phones in a geographical area.

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. Calling Line Identification Presentation: This service deals with the presentation of the calling party's
telephone number. The concept is for this number to be presented, at the start of the phone ringing, so
that the called person can determine who is ringing prior to answering. The person subscribing to the
service receives the telephone number of the calling party.
Calling Line Identification Restriction: A person not wishing their number to be presented to others
subscribes to this service. In the normal course of event, the restriction service overrides the
presentation service.
Connected Line Identification Presentation: This service is provided to give the calling party the
telephone number of the person to whom they are connected. This may seem strange since the person
making the call should know the number they dialled, but there are situations (such as forwardings)
where the number connected is not the number dialled. The person subscribing to the service is the
calling party.
Connected Line Identification Restriction: There are times when the person called does not wish to have
their number presented and so they would subscribe to this person. Normally, this overrides the
presentation service.

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Value Added Services are, for example:
 Information on cultural events or traffic announcements via Cell Broadcast
 Reservation of a hotel, a flight or a hire car
 Help in the event of a car breakdown
 Information services
 Medical advice
 Ticket reservation
 Sports news
 Delivery services, like sending flowers to a particular person and many more.

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G-MSC : gateway MSC, provides connection to the PSTN
V-MSC : visited MSC

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CS : Call Server
MGW : Media Gateway

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This solution is only available as a commercial option in B11 MR3.

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Um : Interface (radio) between MS and BTS, aka Air interface.

BTS mostly translates the "digital" speech frames into "analog" radio blocks, and vice-versa. It also measures
the quality of the radio signal received from each mobile.

Overall, The BTS performs the following functions under the control of the BSC:
Transmit and receive functions
Antenna diversity
Frequency hopping
Radio channel measurements
Radio frequency testing.

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BSC is in charge of transfering the O&M informations, but these informations are coming from (or going to)
the OMC-R.

Overall, The BSC provides:


Resource management
Database management
Radio measurement processing
Channel management
Operation and maintenance functions within the BSS
Communication with the OMC-R
Switching between the Air Interface channels (and their associated Abis channels), and the A Interface
channels.

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The capacity on each interface is divided into little parts. For every subscriber using voice (= circuit)
services, the BSC decides how many "parts" are allocated. Since it is in charge of the allocation and
deallocation, it always know what is the usage of those interfaces.
Between BSC/TC/MSC, the MSC decides of which PCM and which timeslot the call will go through. This is
the CIC.
CIC: Circuit Identification Code

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When the radio quality degrades in the "serving" cell, the BSC triggers a Handover procedure. The MS is
informed to stop transmitting in the current cell and resume the call in the "target" cell.
There are many causes of handovers, degradation of the quality is only one of them.

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In the Mobile Network, there are other codecs, such as HR and AMR, which can use less than 12.2 kbps.
But the PSTN always sends a throughput of 64kbps.
Tandem Free Operation (TFO) is a feature that bypasses the transcoding function, under certain situation,
to improve voice quality.
TrFO is a NGN feature that works with TFO in order to reduce the bandwidth consumption in the core
network (to avoid using 64kbps while the actual useful throughput is 12.2kbps).

Overall, The Transcoder provides the onversion between G.711 codec (used in core networks) and the radio
codec (EFR, FR, HR, AMR)
The Transcoder is normally located next to the MSC.

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The MFS is the Alcatel-Lucent implementation of the PCU defined in the 3GPP.
The (E)GPRS is only available when the MFS is installed. It performs all the E-GPRS "radio" functions. BTS
and BSC are transparently forwarding these packets to the MS.

- PCU (Packet Control Unit) functions:


PAD (packet assembly/disassembly) function
Scheduling of packet data channels
Automatic Retransmission Request functions
Channel access control functions
Radio channel management functions.
- Gb Interface protocol stack.

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LAI: Location Area Identifier (cf next chapter)
MSC Functions:
Switching functions
 Call establishment between MS and other MSC
 SMS transmission
 Hand-over when required
Mobility management
 VLR interrogations
 Localization information transfer
 Check of subscriber profiles
Gateway MSC (GMSC)
 For the communication w/ a PSTN subscriber

VLR Function:
Similar to HLR but for subscribers located in a given geographical area
VLR includes also
 More precise localization information
 Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI) allocation
VLR and MSC are often co-located

The Equipment Identity Register (EIR):


 It contains the lists of mobile station equipment identities.

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 The IMEI is used by the Network Operator to prevent stolen or non-type approved mobile stations from
accessing the network.
 Mobile stations have different capabilities according to the class of mobile station and the purpose for
which the mobile station was designed. Latest mobiles support AMR, AMR-WB, MAFA, DTM, EDA, 3G, E-
GPRS, A5/3, etc.

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OMC-R: operation & maintenance center radio
It collects alarms & performance measurements counters, while it sends configuration and maintenance
actions. It is only connected to the BSC & the MFS (usually through an IP interface or through a X.25
interface).
These 2 equipments are connected to the rest of the BSS (All interfaces Abis, Ater, etc, and the TC & BTS).

Q3 interface:
The ability to transfer management information across the Telecommunication Management Network
environment is defined by a protocol suite, the Q Interfaces.

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Multiframes are structuring the usage of the timeslot: within the traffic multiframe, for example, the 12th
burst is used to carry call quality and power control information.

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2 frequency bands are used in both GSM 900 and 1800:
 1 band used from Base Station to Mobile Station (DownLink = DL)
 1 band used from Mobile Station to Base Station (UpLink = UL)
In each band, the spacing between 2 adjacent carriers (carrier spacing) is 200 kHz.
One Radio Frequency Channel is associated to a couple of carriers. It is identified by a number called
Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number (ARFCN).
174 ARFCNs are used in GSM 900, i.e. 174 couples of carriers
(respectively 374 in GSM 1800).

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 Physical channel: determined by carrier frequency and timeslot number (on this slide : BCC, TCH, PDCH, SDC are
physical timeslot)
 Logical channels: one or more logical channels on a physical channel

FCCH: used on the downlink for frequency correction of the mobile station with the BTS
SCH: used on the downlink for frame synchronization of the mobile station with the BTS
BCCH: used to broadcast system information to the mobile stations on the downlink, to give the cell configuration, and
how to access the cell.
CCCH : The CCCH communicates with mobile stations in the cell before a dedicated signaling channel is established.
Three channels use the CCCH timeslot:
 RACH: used on the uplink by the mobile station for initial access to the network

 PCH: used on the downlink for paging messages to the mobile station

 AGCH: used on the downlink to give the mobile station access information before a dedicated channel is assigned.

SDCCH: used for signaling and short message information


FACCH: associated with a traffic channel, and can steal slots out of 24 or 26 slots which are normally dedicated to the
traffic channel for signaling purposes as well as the SACCH slot.
SACCH: associated with a traffic channel, which uses one out of 26 slots for signaling purposes.

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NCH: used only if the feature Voice Group Call Service is activated. VGCS allow users to use a Push-to-talk service to
several other subscribers at the same time.
CBCH is the logical channel used to broadcast one SMS towards all users of one cell, such as cell name or special
events (= cell broadcast). It is usually located on the SDCCH timeslot, but it can also be located on the BCCH.
MP: point-to-multipoint
PP: point-to-point

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Cell Types are vendor-dependant. In Alcatel-Lucent solution, cells can be declared as:
SINGLE, UMBRELLA, MINI, MICRO, INDOOR
Each type enables certain algorithms, such as traffic sharing and rescue handovers. Ex: Umbrella sends
traffic to Micro cells, while Micro cells are able to quickly detect a MS loosing coverage when turning at a
street corner.

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ISDN: Integrated Services Digital Network, set of communications standards for simultaneous digital
transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public
switched telephone network.

TMSI (Temporary Mobile Subscriber identity)


- Used in place of IMSI on radio link
- The GSM system assigns a Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI).
- After the subscriber's IMSI has been initialized on the system, the TMSI can be used for sending messages
backwards and forwards across the network to identify the subscriber.
- The system automatically changes the TMSI at regular intervals, thus protecting the subscriber from being
identified by someone attempting to monitor the radio channels.
- The TMSI is a local number and is always allocated by the VLR.

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The number of cells per LAC highly depends on parameter settings and traffic dimensioning inputs
MCC: Mobile Country Code
MNC: Mobile Network Code
LAC: Location Area Code

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Normal Location Update
 When the mobile is switched on without having stored the LAI (e.g.: initial use of SIM).

 When the mobile is switched on in an LA different from the LA stored in the SIM.

 When the pre-synchronized mobile moves from one LA to another (same or different VLR).

Periodic Location Update


 When the SIM internal counter overflows (based on BCCH broadcasted value).

 (This counter is automatically incremented by the mobile when it is switched on).

IMSI ATTACH:
When the Mobile Station is switched on in the same LA where it was previously switched off, the location
updating procedure is called IMSI-attach. As an option, an IMSI-detach procedure may be used: the
Mobile Station sends a message to the network when it is switched off (during the small period when the
battery is still in use).

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In Circuit-Switching Mode (GSM):

When the mobile is in IDLE state:


 The Mobile is synchronized on the serving cell, all information needed for access to the network are
available. (the synchronization process is detailed in the following pages)
 The Mobile is located by the network:
 the VLR knows in which area the MS is located. This area is called Location Area (LA): it is a group of
cells.
 the HLR knows in which VLR the MS is registered.
 A Temporary Identity has been given to this subscriber (Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity = TMSI) in
order to be used for safety reasons instead of its international identity.

The DEDICATED state has to be established as soon as the MS wants to access the network for different
reasons: Call establishment, Location updating procedure, etc.
When this transaction has been achieved, the MS comes back into the IDLE state.

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Mobile Application Part (MAP) messages sent between mobile switches and databases to support user
authentication, equipment identification, and roaming are carried by TCAP

ISUP is the ISDN User Part of SS7. ISUP defines the protocol and procedures used to setup, manage and
release trunk circuits that carry voice and data calls over the public switched telephone network.
ISUP is used for both ISDN and non-ISDN calls. Calls that originate and terminate at the same switch do not
use ISUP signalling.

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Suplementary Services (SS): mostly SMS (services passing small amount of information)
Mobility Management (MM): MS Information gathered by the core network (IMSI Attach, Location Update,
Authentication, etc.)
Cal Control (CC): Establishment, Transfer & Release of calls, and all other procedures related to calls (call
setup, etc).

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 The BSS detects the need for a handover by:
 Measuring the Air Interface channel quality, mobile station and BTS power outputs
and the timing advance
 Using an algorithm to see if the received information conforms to the criteria for
handover
 Selecting a more suitable channel from a list of target cells and their available
channels.

 If the BSS decides that a handover is required, the exact sequence of events depends
on the type of handover to be performed. In all cases:
 A new channel is assigned, ready to support the call
 The mobile station moves over to the new channel
 On successful completion of the handover, the system clears the resources for the
old channel.

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Aims of Power control
Reduce emitted power to the minimum possible
Ensuring quality and received level of peer entity
Adapted in real-time
 For Uplink PC: decrease UL interference and save MS battery
For Downlink PC, decrease DL interference

 The algorithms shall ensure that any mobile is connected with the cell in which the
output powers from the MS and the BS are as low as possible while keeping a
satisfactory link quality.

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Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution (EDGE)

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PDP : Packet Data Protocol
Note: When the GPRS-ATTCH and the PDP-Context-Activation are done, the TBF is released.
Everytime the MS wants to connect to PS services, it will need to establish a TBF.
But GPRS ATTACH and PDP CONTEXT ACTIVATION are not needed anymore, unless the MS was detached
from the GPRS network.

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RAT : Radio Access Technologies (2G, 3G LTE, WiMax, GAN, )
3G cells must be defined as neighbours of the 2G cells in the 2G OMC-R.

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3G towards 2G
 In this direction, 2G/3G inter-working means ensuring service continuity at the edge of the UMTS
coverage.
 The following features can be identified:
 3G to 2G cell re-selection: Having no impact on the BSS (in this direction, cell re-selection is an
UTRAN matter only), this feature will not be further detailed,
 3G to 2G handover.
2G towards 3G
 Allowing a mobile to go (back) to 3G is important, because:
 From the End User perspective:
 He has paid for 3G services,
 From the 2G Operator perspective:
 If he is also the 3G Operator of the End User, he does not want to keep needlessly in his 2G layer
3G capable terminals and he wants to satisfy his customer with enhanced 3G services,
 If he is not the 3G Operator of the End User (e.g. national roaming, where a 2G incumbent operator
offers its 2G coverage to a 3G new comer), he does not want to keep needlessly in its 2G layer
those 3G capable terminals, as soon as they can be handled by this 3G network.
 From the 3G Operator perspective:
 He wants to get the maximum revenues from its 3G subscribers.

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GAN : Formerly known as Unlicensed Mobile Access or UMA, which is still the commercial name used by
mobile carriers for external IP access into their core networks.
UMA/GAN Specifications : UMA is part of 3GPP TS 43.318/ 44.318
http://www.umatoday.com

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In this slide,
HUGE and REDHOT are new modulation and new coding on the Air itnerface, which will greatly improve the
EGPRS throughput.
IMS is a core network platform that provides advanced services and contents to the subscribers. It is a
generic platform that works with all types of networks (wireless, wireline).

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