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GSM ARCHITECTURE

MS

GSM - Network Structure


Um
BTS
Abis

ME

BSC
A

MSC

E
A

B
GMSC

BTS
Abis

UE Um

HLR

VLR

MSC

F
EIR

E
PSTN

BSC
BTS

X.25
X.25
OMU

VLR
OMC Server

AuC

GSM Network
NSS
External
PSTN &
PDN N/W

VLR

Switching
System

AUC
HLR
MSC

MS Mobile Station
BTS Base transceiver System
BSC Base Station Controller
MSC Mobile Switching Center
BSS BSC
HLR Home Location Register
VLR Visitor Location Register
BTS
EIR Equipment Identity Register
AUC
Authentication Center
MS
3
OMC Operation And Maintenance Center

EIR
OMC

Base Station
System

GSM Architecture
VMSC

GSM
Air interface
B
S
C
Abis
interface

TRAU

BTS
BTS

BTS

BTS

B
S
C

HLR
MSC

AUC
PSTN

VLR
EIR

OMCS

BTS
BTS

Mobile
Station
4

A
interface

SMSC

Network and switching


subsystem
OMCR

Base Station System

A interface SS7 / speech


X.25
SS7

Functions of Mobile Equipment(ME)


Frequency and Time Synchronization
Voice encoding and transmission
Voice encryption/decryption functions
Power measurements of adjacent cells
Display of short messages
International Mobile Equipment Identifier (IMEI)

Functions of SIM Card


Portable Smart Card with memory (ROM-6KB to 16KB-A3/A8

algorithm, RAM- 128KB TO 256KB, EEPROM- 3KB to 8KB )


Static Information
International Mobile Subscriber Identity(IMSI)
Personal Identification Number (PIN)
Authentication Key (Ki)
Dynamic Information
Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity(TMSI)
Location Area Identity (LAI)
Phone memories, billing information
Ability to store Short Messages received

SIM-Card and GSM Mobile Equipment

Global GSM Mobility


Card

The Smart Card to use

GSM
Contains:
- IMSI
SIM-Card

The SIM-Card Functions


Credit Card Size

SIM-Card

Global GSM Mobility


Card

15 mm

The Smart Card to use

25 mm

Permanent data:
Unique mobile subscriber identity
through IMSI number and PIMSI
for Packet Mode
Authentication parameter Ki,
Authentication algorithm A3,
Generating encryption key Kc
algorithm A8,
PIN code.

GSM
Microchip with stored
user information

Removable data:
- Temporary Mobile Subscriber Number,
- Location Area Identification
- Routing Area Identification (Packet mode)

Subscriber Identification
IMSI
Nature

International Mobile Subscriber Identity

Mobile Station Integrated Services Digital Network Nb

Conformity with E212

Similar to ISDN,
Conformity with E164/E213

Identify a PLMN
worldwide

Format

MS - ISDN

Identify the subscriber


of a PLMN

MCC MNC MSIN


H1 H2

Meaning

Mobile
Country
Code

Nb. digits

x x x ......... x x x

National Significant Mobile Number

CC

NDC SN
M1 M2

xx xx xx xx

Country
Mobile Mobile Subscriber
National Mobile Subscriber
Code
Network Ident. Nb
Destination
(national definition)
(where
H1 H2 = Identity of HLR
Code
Code
*
M1 M2 = nbr of logical HLR
subscription
within the home PLMN
has been made)

max 10

1 to 3 2 to 4

total max 15

*
This
code does not identify a geographical area
but an operator

Description Stored in SIM Card


MCC
=
208 (France)
234 (G-B)
262 (Germany)
404,405(India)

MNC
=
71(APBSNL)
72(TNBSNL)
20 (Bytel)

Mobile
Country
Code

Mobile
Network
Code

3 digits

2 digits

Global GSM Mobility


Card

The Smart Card to use

Mobile Subscriber Identification Number (MSIN)


H1 H2 X X X X X X
10 digits max

NMSI
LAI
Mobile
Country
Code

Mobile
Network
Code

3 digits

2 digits

GSM

IMSI = 15 digits max

Temporary Mobile
Subscriber Identity
4 octets

Location Area Code Routing Area Code


LAC
RAC

RAI

Description Stored in the Network


MS-ISDN (15 digits max)
Country
Code

National
Destination
Code

3 digits max 2 or 3 digits

Subscriber Number (SN)


M1 M2 X X X X X X X X X X X X X
10 digits max

Must be dialed
to make a call to
mobile
subscriber

MSRN

Country
Code

Country
Code

National
Destination
Code

National
Destination
Code

Roaming Number (RN)

HO-number

NDC = 9448(BSNL-karnataka)
CC = 33 (France)
9845,9880(Airtel)
091(India)
9886(Hutch)
001(US)
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Is a PSTN-like
number used to
reach a roaming
MS

Is a PSTN-like
number to track the
MS that hands over
to another MSC
during call-in-state

MS Classmark
Power classes
Classmark
Revision level
RF power
Encryption algorithm
Frequency
Short message
LoCation Services

For GMSK modulation


GSM
GSM
GSM
Class
400/850/900 1800 1900
1
1 W** 1 W**
8 W*
2
0.25 W 0.25 W
5W
3
4W
2W
2 W**
4
0.8 W
5

MS Positioning Method
8-PSK modulation
Multi-slot class
Multi-band
* Typical value for car mounted
** Typical value for handheld

For 8-PSK modulation


GSM
GSM
GSM
Class
400/850/900 1800 1900
2W
E1
1W
1W
0.5 W
E2
0.4 W 0.4 W
0.2 W
E3
0.16 W 0.16 W

Base Transceiver Station (BTS)


Handles the radio interface to the mobile station.
Consists of one or more radio terminals for

transmission and reception


Each Radio terminal represents an RF Channel
TRX and MS communicates over Um interface
Received data transcoding
Voice encryption/decryption
Signal processing functions of the radio interface
Uplink Radio channel power measurements

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Base Station Controller (BSC)


Provides all the control functions and physical links between

the MSC and BTS


External Interfaces
Abis interface towards the BTS
A interface towards the MSC
Monitors and controls several BTSs
Management of channels on the radio interface
Alarm Handling from the external interfaces
Performs inter-cell Handover
Switching from Abis link to the A link
Interface to OMC for BSS Management
BTS

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BTS

BTS
BTS

MSC

Mobile Switching Center (MSC)


Performs call switching
Interface of the cellular network to PSTN
Routes calls between PLMN and PSTN
Queries HLR when calls come from PSTN to mobile

user
Inter-BSC Handover
Paging
Billing

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Home Location Register (HLR)


Stores user data of all Subscribers related to the

GMSC
International Mobile Subscriber Identity(IMSI)
Users telephone number (MS ISDN)
Subscription information and services
VLR address
Reference to Authentication center for key (Ki)
Referred when call comes from public land network

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Visitor Location Register (VLR)


Database that contains Subscriber parameters

and location information for all mobile


subscribers currently located in the geographical
area controlled by that VLR
Identity of Mobile Subscriber
Copy of subscriber data from HLR
Generates and allocates a Temporary Mobile
Subscriber Identity(TMSI)
Location Area Code
Provides necessary data when mobile originates
call
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Authentication Center (AuC)


Stores Subscriber authentication data called Ki, a

copy of which is also stored in in the SIM card


Generates security related parameters to authorize a
subscriber (SRES-Signed RESponse)
Generates unique data pattern called Cipher key (Kc)
for user data encryption
Provides triplets - RAND, SRES & Kc, to the HLR on
request.

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EIR (Equipment Identity Register)


EIR is a database that contains a list of all valid

mobile station equipment within the network, where


each mobile station is identified by its International
Mobile Equipment Identity(IMEI).
EIR has three databases.,
White list - For all known,good IMEIs
Black list - For all bad or stolen handsets
Grey list - For handsets/IMEIs that are

observation

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on

Location Area Identity


LAI identifies a location area which is a group of cells..
It is transmitted in the BCCH.
When the MS moves into another LA (detected by

monitoring LAI transmitted on the BCCH) it must perform


a LU.
LAI = MCC + MNC + LAC
MCC= Mobile Country Code(3 digits), identifies the country
MNC= Mobile Network Code(1-2 digits), identifies the GSM-PLMN
LAC= Location Area Code, identifies a location area within a GSM

PLMN network. The maximum length of LAC is 16 bits,enabling


65536 different location areas to be defined in one GSM PLMN.

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