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TLT-2636 :: Lecture 10 Cellular Networks: I

Prof. Yevgeni Koucheryavy

yk@cs.tut.fi http://www.cs.tut.fi/~yk

Introduction Cellular network evolution towards 4G 3G/UMTS Architectures
Rel99, Rel 4, Rel 5, Rel 6, Rel 7

Network protocols User equipment Packet Switching domain UMTS functionalities Mobility QoS Security


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3G/UMTS timeline


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Q1 2011
GSM is used by over 4.5 billion people across more than 215 countries Out of 5.3 billion mobile subscriptions worldwide


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Over than 500 million 3G customers around the world
Aggregated with 100+ million connections to CDMA2000 1xEV-DO networks, the total of all 3G cellular customers worldwide has passed 600 million

Q1 2011
3G subscribers accounted for around 11% of all mobile subscribers worldwide Over 300 commercial HSPA networks in over than 130 countries Priority markets
China is benefitting from huge investments in 3G network deployment
Over 1 bln GSM subscribers by 2014 with significant fraction of 3G

India, Pakistan and Thailand USA

After more than five years of waiting, the business case for 3G is beginning to build around the world and most 3G deployments now rollout smoothly in contrast to the many problems experienced in early years


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3G in Finland
Ficora Mid-2009 Report (Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority)
664,000 HSPA subscribers, which is 12.5% penetration of the whole population (accounting 5.3M population) Other wireless solutions have negligible presence HSPA penetration has increased 115% during the last 12 months and 40% during the last 6 months DSL penetration has decreased 4% during the last 12 months


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Comparison with other technologies


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What is NGN?
Next Generation Network, NGN
Another way to define NGN, at the moment Is a vague term

Network of networks
With great scalability

Is aiming to provide anywhere, anytime seamless service to mobile users

Mainly targeted on multimedia-like services

Next harmonized step after 3G

Entirely packet-switched network

Is a new paradigm for telecommunication networks

Network and service characteristics for reconfigurability, adaptability, interworking and interoperability are met

Migration from a multiservice network to a multinetwork service

Other important features

High security Low cost
Equipment and service


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The forth generation: 4G

ITU-T vision on 4G
Called IMT Advanced Rates
4G cellular system must have target peak data rates of up to approximately 100 Mbit/s for high mobility such as mobile access and up to approximately 1 Gbit/s for low mobility such as nomadic/local wireless access

4G system will provide a comprehensive and secure all-IP based solution where facilities such as IP telephony, ultra-broadband Internet access, gaming services and HDTV streamed multimedia may be provided to users

Available technologies
LTE (Release 8) by 3GPP LTE Advanced (Release 10 and beyond) by 3GPP WiMAX by IEEE 802.16


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3GPP was created in December 1998 The original scope of 3GPP was
To produce Technical Specifications and Technical Reports for a 3G Mobile System based on evolved GSM core networks and the radio access technologies that they support
i.e., Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (UTRA) both Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD) modes).

Later the scope was subsequently amended

To include the maintenance and development of the GSM Technical Specifications and Technical Reports including evolved radio access technologies (e.g. General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) and Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE)).


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Spec version number

Functional freeze date, indicative

3GPP releases
[Almost] each year a new Release of the UMTS standard is published
UMTS is evolving first UMTS Release R99 finalized in year 2000 subsequently numbered: Rel4, Rel5, Rel6, etc.



Stage 1 freeze September 2011 ?

Stage 2 freeze March 2012 ?

Stage 3 freeze September 2012 ?



Stage 1 freeze March 2010

Stage 2 freeze September 2010

Stage 3 freeze March 2011 (protocols stable three months later)



Stage 1 freeze December 2008

Stage 2 freeze June 2009

Stage 3 freeze December 2009



Stage 1 freeze March 2008

"Stage 1: the service description from a service-users point of view. "Stage 2": logical analysis, breaking the problem down into functional elements and the information flows amongst them. "Stage 3: concrete implementation of the protocols between physical elements onto which the functional elements have been mapped.
Rel-7 7.x.y

Stage 2 freeze June 2008

Stage 3 freeze December 2008

Stage 1 freeze September 2005

Stage 2 freeze September 2006

Stage 3 freeze December 2007



December 2004 - March 2005



March - June 2002



March 2001



March 2000



early 1999



early 1998




early 1997




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Ph1 3.x.y



Long Term Evolution (LTE) Called pre-4G (3.9G or B3G)
Describes standardisation work by the 3GPP to define a new high-speed radio access method for mobile communications systems Will offer a smooth evolutionary path to higher speeds and lower latency Will enhance the capabilities of current cellular network technologies to satisfy the needs of a highly demanding customer accustomed to fixed broadband services


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LTE theoretical net bitrate capacity
DL: up to 100 Mbit/s UL: up to 50 Mbit/s in the uplink if a 20 MHz channel is used
and more if Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO), i.e. antenna arrays, are used

Most major mobile carriers worldwide carriers have announced plans to start convert their networks to LTE in 2011 The world's first publicly available LTE-service was opened between Stockholm and Oslo on the 14 December 2009


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LTE Advanced 3GPP/ITU-T

Submitted by 3GPP to IUT-T as a candidate for 4G technology LTE Advanced should be compatible with first release LTE equipment, and should share frequency bands with first release LTE Advanced features (currently at proposal stage)
Various concepts for Relay Nodes Advanced antenna solutions based on MIMO Scalable system bandwidth exceeding 20 MHz, potentially up to 100 MHz Local area optimization of air interface and flexible spectrum usage Cognitive radio Automatic and autonomous network configuration and operation Enhanced precoding and forward error correction Interference management and suppression Asymmetric bandwidth assignment for FDD Hybrid OFDMA and SC-FDMA in uplink UL/DL inter eNB coordinated MIMO


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Over 25 mln subscribers in over 260 service providers in over 110 countries Major problems Terminals Subscriber base GSM+3G Over 5 billion subscribers worldwide About 88% of wireless users Relatively small fraction are 3G


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Principles of network architecture

A network architecture is defined by
functional groups
defined by a set of functions

reference points
conceptual points separating functional groups

The concept of functional groups may be applied in a hierarchical manner The functions of a functional group may be performed by one or more physical piece of equipment In a specific implementation, not all functions need to be implemented A reference point may represent a physical interface between pieces of equipment


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Principles of network architecture

High level view of a mobile network architecture


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GSM networks
GSM is a circuit switched network
as opposed to packet switched networks for all services an end-to-end connection is established all services are reserved the identical bandwidth
wasteful particularly on a wireless interface

all services are charged on a per-time unit basis


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Simplified GSM architecture


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GPRS networks
Since the overall increase of data traffic was expected
GSM was evolved to become more flexible in terms of services GPRS, General Packet Radio Service

2.5G adds technology for natural support of data traffic
a packet switched domain to the core network a shared channel on the radio link
shared channel means several users share the same radio channel as opposed to a dedicated channel as in GSM therefore, more efficient usage of resources, because of statistical multiplexing

higher transmission rates

up to 171.2 kbps GSM originally offered up to 14.4 kbps

allow a direct connection to the Internet charging per data volume possible
as opposed to GSM networks


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Simplified GPRS architecture


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Universal Mobile Telecommunications System
3rd generation mobile system Combines the W-CDMA, TD-CDMA, or TD-SCDMA air interfaces, GSM's Mobile Application Part (MAP) core, and the GSM family of speech codecs For existing GSM operators, it is a simple but costly migration path to UMTS
Much of the infrastructure is shared with GSM, but the cost of obtaining new spectrum licenses and overlaying UMTS at existing towers is high

Addition of a new radio access network (RAN)

UTRAN, UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network UTRAN and GSM RAN can coexist and connect to the same core network

The CS domain may also be based on packet based transport

evolution towards All-IP may be some day abandon the circuit switched domain

Introduction of IMS (Rel5)

IP Multimedia Subsystem supports IP-based multimedia services


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UMTS basic network architecture


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The mobile networks basically consists of
UE/MS, RAN and CN they provide access to external networks

UMTS evolves from GPRS by

adding a new RAN adding IMS

A UMTS network consist of

UTRAN UE Core Network
CS domain PS domain IMS


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3GPP Releases: R99, Rel 4

GSM RAN replaced by UTRAN
W-CDMA Higher bandwidth
up to 2 Mbps

Macrodiversity Support for QoS classes Full list of features is available here

UMTS Rel 4
Separation of Transport and Control in CS domain CS may also be IP-based Full list of features is available here


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Rel5 features
IP Multimedia Subsystem

Layer 2 between RNC and GGSN not necessarily ATM-based Flexible RANs
may attach GSM RAN and GERAN to PS domain
GERAN, GSM EDGE Radio Access Network

the proper term to refer a system including GERAN and GSM RAN is 3GPP network rather than UMTS network
UNTS network implies UTRAN

Iu Flex
Breaking hierarchical mapping of RNCs to SGSNs (MSCs)

HSDPA, High Speed Downlink Packet Access

New shared Channel on downlink Up to 16 Mbps

Full list of features is available here



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An architectural framework for delivering IP multimedia services
Originally defined in Rel 5: multimedia services over GPRS Nowadays provides users with attractive, communication services, over multi-devices across multi-access technologies
3G, WiFi, WiMAX, fixed Ethernet, etc

IMS is the only standardized way to deliver IP-based services that are enabled by one common core and control for all types of networks Uses IETF protocols for seamless interaction of existing and future services Does not define application and services, rather to aid the access of multimedia and voice applications from wireless and wireline terminals The PS domain just provides QoS, it does not provide multimedia services The PS domain serves as access system to IMS
IMS in principle is access-system independent The PS domain hides mobility from IMS

IMS supports
VoIP, video, P2P, etc.
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Rel5, flexible RANs


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Rel5: Iu Flex
Up to Rel5, relations between RNC and SGSN are hierarchical
each RNC is assigned to exactly one SGSN
RNC: Radio Network Controller SGSN: Serving GPRS Support Node

each SGSN serves one or more RNCs


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Rel5: Iu Flex
Iu Flex allows many-to-many relation of RNC and SGSNs (MSCs)
RNCs and SGSNs grouped as belonging to Pool Areas a Pool Area is served by one or more SGSNs in parallel all cells controlled by a certain RNC belong to the same one [or more] Pool Area[s] UE may roam in Pool Area without need to change the serving SGSN


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Rel5: Iu Flex
Iu Flex allows
load balancing between SGSNs in one Pool Area reducing SGSN relocation
reduced signaling reduced access to HLR/HSS

overlap of Pool Areas allows mapping mobility patterns onto Pool Areas
e.g., Pool Areas may cover certain residential zones plus city center


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new shared downlink channel
HS-DSCH, High Speed Downlink Channel
can be allocated to a single PDP context or to a multiple PDP contexts of several subscribers

Can accommodate peak rates up to 16 Mbps Sustained rates 1-5 Mbps

depending on a cell size

Technical Implementation
16QAM modulation used in addition to QPSK Node B based scheduling
reduces delays

Node B based adaptation code rate and modulation Hybrid ARQ (HARQ) Turbo codes


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Basic features
Introduces HSPA (High Speed Packet Access) notion comprised of
Defined in Rel 5

HSUPA 5.76 Mbps

High Speed Uplink Packet Access Name does not recognized by 3GPP, it uses EUL (Enhanced Uplink) Uses similar to HSDPA HARQ Node B based scheduling that uses request-grant procedure, UE requests
Can operate in non-scheduled mode (UE initiates transmission itself)

Network sharing
allow cost efficient sharing of network resources

WLAN internetworking Others

Full list of features is available here


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Rel6 services
MBMS, Multimedia Broadcast and Multicast Service
downstream broadcasting and multicasting support shares resources when transmitting data

multicast of speech to predefined list of parties already possible with GPRS

IMS group management IMS presence service IMS messaging

SIP-based instant messaging

Multiparty-multimedia conferencing etc.


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Basic features
Significant improvements in QoS assurance Introduction of HSPA+ Flat architecture
HSPA direct tunnel

Contactless front-end interface (range < 0.2m; speed 424 kbps; set-up <0.1s; RFID compatible)
Near-Field Communication (NFC) to be used for mobile payments March 2009: Tampere city trials NFC that will be integrated into the city's current travel card system
E.g. Nokia 6131, 6212; Samsung SGH-X700 NFC; Motorola L7 (SLVR) etc.

Full list of features is available here

March 30, 2009 CSL Limited, Hong Kongs leading mobile operator, unveiled the first commercial launch of HSPA+ in Hong Kong, provided up to 21 Mbit/s on the downlink and offers the widest coverage providing unrivaled mobility and performance
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Evolution of architecture


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HSPA+ evolution
High Speed Packet Access Evolution
Provides rates up to 42 Mbit/s on the downlink and 11 Mbit/s on the uplink
64QAM HSDPA, 16QAM HSUPA Theoretical peak rates

Is based on the set of HSPA enhancements Introduces an optional all-IP architecture for the network where base stations are directly connected to IP based backhaul and then to the ISP's edge routers Delivers significant battery life improvements and dramatically quicker wake-from-idle time delivering a true always-on connection Oriented to VoIP
Provides three times increased voice capacity

Offers entire range of high-speed Internet services Deployed as a straightforward software upgrade to UMTS/WCDMA networks
Significantly reduces packet-based mobile data transport costs Offers backwards compatibility with operators WCDMA cellular infrastructure.

LTE Rel 8 will use Dual-Cell HSDPA (DC-HSDPA) based on advanced HSPA


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Basic features
CS voice over HSPA High speed RACH (Random access channel) Enhanced UE DRX (Discontinued reception)
Reduces power consumption

Uplink L2 optimization Flat architecture optimization Dual Cell HSDPA LTE interworking LTE: New PS only radio


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Core network architecture evolution
evolved from GSM system

IP transport of CN protocols CS domain evolution

All-IP IP Multimedia Subsystem, IMS Iu Flex

HSUPA 5.76 Mbps Multimedia broadcast and multicast service

Rel 7
HSPA+: 64QAM HSDPA, 16QAM HSUPA Flat architecture

CS voice over HSPA Pre-LTE
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Specified in 3GPP 25.xxx series of specifications
TS 25.401 V6.2.0 (Release 6), overall description TS 25.200 series describes Layer 1 specifications
TS 25.201, Physical layer - General Description TS 25.211, Physical channels and mapping of transport channels onto physical channels (FDD) etc.

TS 25.300 series describes Layers 2 and 3 specifications

TS 25.301, Radio interface protocol architecture etc.


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UMTS Architecture
Node B
responsible for radio transmission/reception in one or more cells

control use and integrity of radio resources controls one or more Node Bs

contains one RNC and set of cells


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Node B functionality
Spreading and modulation
code generation supports FDD, TDD or both, and CDMA

Terminates physical channels and transport channels

Logical channels terminate at RNC

Fast power control, inner loop

Node B measures strength of received signals and informs UE if it needs to adjust

Measures connection quality and strength


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RNC functionality 1/3

RNC, Radio Resource Management
Guarantees stability and QoS of radio connection
radio bearer

Power control, outer loop Handover control

should there be a handover decides based on measurements of UE and Node B

Admission control and packet scheduling

can a new session be established on the UTRA without compromising the quality of existing sessions Plan channel use, calculate interference and utilization levels Configure radio resources accordingly

Code management Macrodiversity management

In UMTS one UE can communicate via up to 6 antennas simultaneously
It is macrodiversity


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RNC functionality 2/3

UTRA control
Setup, maintenance, and release of a radio connection (radio bearer) System information broadcasting
e.g., radio measurement criteria, etc.

Initial access and signaling connection setup and management

synchronization, broadcast of initial scrambling code, etc.

UTRAN security functions

protects user and control data by encryption and integrity protection

UTRAN level mobility management

informing new cell (Node B) and UE about handover, new channel, etc. serving RNS relocation

Database handling
stores cell information and sends it to corresponding Node Bs and Ues
cell identity, power levels, connections quality, neighboring cells information (needed for handover)

UE positioning
selects and controls UE positioning method
using cell ID, RTT, etc.


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RNC functionality 3/3

For each UE, one RNC is responsible - SRNC, Serving RNC
typically this is the RNC controlling the cell in which the UE is located

If UE moves to a cell controlled by a different RNC

this becomes the Drift RNC, DRNC
control stays with SRNC

Also macrodiversity may introduce DRNCs SNRC may relocate control to DRNC
now former DRNC becomes SNRC useful for optimizing routing - data always travel via SNRC


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Protocols on Uu interface


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Protocols on Uu interface
tasks that are directly related to the air interface
[de]multiplexing of transport channels to physical channels providing transport channels to the layer above messaging on synchronization, macrodiversity, fast power control reporting of conditions on radio interface
handover necessary or not

tasks related to mapping between logical channels and transport channels
[de]multiplexing of logical channels to transport channels providing logical channels packet scheduling/priority control possibly encryption
unless done at RLC, Radio Link Control Layer


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Protocols on Uu interface
RLC, Radio Link Control Layer
tasks related to protected transmission of data
error protection and error free data transmission segmentation/reassembly flow control possibly encryption directly used by CS domain L3 functions

PDCP, Packet Data Control Protocol

adaptations to enable IP on L3
for PS domain

header compression

BMC, Broadcast and Multicast Control

scheduling and delivery of cell broadcast and multicast messages


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Protocols on Uu interface
RRC, Radio Resource Control
Control and configuration of protocol stack on Uu interface
there is a one RRC connection for each UE which controls the radio link for all sessions of this UE
convenient in case of handover

has control interfaces to all other radio link protocols FDD frequency management mobility management outer loop power control collection of measurement from lower layers broadcast of system infromation


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UTRAN is a place for
Node B
radio transmission/reception terminates [most] physical channels

controls use and integrity of radio resources controls one ore more Node Bs terminates logical channels UE controlled by SNRC, however data may also travel via DRNC

Interfaces Uu, Iu, Iub, Iur

Protocols used on Uu
MAC and RLC on L2 for both control and user plane PDCP and BMC on L2 additionally for user plane to PS domain RRC on L3 for control plane


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User equipment
UE, User Equipment
major tasks
with Node B
rate matching spreading and modulation power control error correction

with RNC
signaling for connection setup and release signaling for handover encryption/decryption measurements to detect necessity for handover SNR, error rate, signal strength, etc. power control

with CN
mobility management session management location management identity management service negotiation

Sending data


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UE architecture
USIM, Universal Subscriber Identity Module
user subscription dependent on part of the UE

TE, Terminal Equipment

provides end-user applications functions terminates upper layers communicates with peer TE on the other end of the communication session

MT, Mobile Termination

terminates radio transmission adapts TE capabilities to those of radio transmission


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Same concept as in GSM, referred as a SIM card Implemented into integrated circuit card Contains
relevant user-specific information that enables access onto the subscribed operators network
user identity: IMSI, International Mobile Station Identity temporary user identities: TMSI for CS domain and P-TMSI for PS domain
assigned after initial registration used to protect user identity

security information current location list of unaccessible networks

3GPP specifications
TS 21.111 USIM and IC card requirements TS 22.038 USIM/SIM Application Toolkit (USAT/SAT); Service description; Stage 1 TS 22.112 USIM toolkit interpreter; Stage 1 etc


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PS domain
Packet Switched domain
3GPP specifications
TS 23.002 Network Architecture TS 23.060 General Packet Radio Service (GPRS)

PS domain architecture
SGSN and GGSN perform
mobility management session management location management identity management service negotiation

HLR, Home Location Register

subscription information routing information

EIR, Equipment Identity Register

equipment information
list of stolen or lost equipment


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SGSN functions
Authentification and authorization
based on data in HLR

Admission control
does PS domain have enough resources for supporting of a new session can negotiate lower QoS level

Charging and data collection Mobility Management

SGSN may change due to mobility

Temporary storage of data on subscribers attached

e.g., location

finding the appropriate GGSN through which session leaves for external networks or IMS establishes a tunnel to GGSN (PDP context)


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GGSN functions
Gateway to other packet-based networks
protocol conversion may act as Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) for the IMS blocking undesired data flows

Mobility management
even GGSN may change due to mobility

of data packets to corresponding SGSN or packet based network


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Protocols, user plane

GTP-U, GPRS Tunneling Protocol - User Plane
tunnels between SGSN and GGSNs
hides mobility to upper IP layer gives network owner control over where traffic leaves its network


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Protocols, control plane

Control plane between UE and SGSN
GMM/SM, GPRS Mobility Management / Session Management
attaching and detaching of UEs, security, location management

RANAP, RAN Application Protocol

establishes separate logical connection to each UE for control traffic

SCCP, Signal Connection Control Part

part of SS7 protocol stack of CS domain

Signaling Bearer either is rest of SS7 protocol stack

or an adaptation to run SCCP on top of ATM and IP


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Protocols, control plane

Between SGSN and GGSN, and SGSN and SGSN
GTP-C, GPRS Tunneling Protocol for the Control Plane
tunnels signaling messages


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Protocols, control plane

Between SGSN and HLR
MAP, Mobile Application Part
TCAP for managing control connections between two nodes (from GSM) Runs over SCCP or other signaling bearer (e.g. like RANAP)


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