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GSM

Wireless Technologies

Objectives
At the end of this module, the trainee should be able to: Define wireless technology Define basic terms like : cell, frequency reuse, handover, Access scheme Explain the network components in GSM network Draw flows for key GSM procedures like Location Update Originating Call Terminating Call

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What is Wireless network? Communication between two network elements via a radio interface.
Access Network Switc h

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Access without wire

How does user access network in absence of wire ?

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Radio Access Schemes


TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access

Frequency Single User Time Slice

Time

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Radio Access Schemes


FDMA: Frequency Division Multiple Access

Frequency Single User Frequency Slice

Time

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Radio Access Schemes


Hybrid FDMA/TDMA

Frequency

Single User Bandwidth

Time

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Concept of Cell/Frequency reuse


Cell is a small geographic area Every cell is covered by one base station having a set of frequencies With usage of multiple cells a large geographic area can be covered Frequency is reused to maximize the use of allotted spectrum in such a way that interference is minimized

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Categorization of Cells
Depending upon cell size, the cell is given a specific name:

Large cell: 10 - 35 KM
In rural areas, coverage is key

Small Cell: 1 - 3 KM
In urban areas, capacity is key

Micro Cell: 100 - 300 M

Pico Cell: 10 - 30 M

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Consequences of removing wire -Mobility


Location Management

Handover When a mobile moves into a different cell while a conversation is in progress, the call is transferred to new cell

Roaming

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Handover
BTS BTS BSC MSC/VLR BSC BTS

MSC/VLR BSC

BTS

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Type Of HandOver (HO)


Soft Handover :- Make-before-break type Connection is established first. After that channel is released Hard Handover :- Break-before-make type Connection with old cell is broken before establishing new connection old

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Type Of Handover
Intra Cell Handover :- Handover from one channel/timeslot to another within same cell

Inter Cell Handover :- Handover from one cell to another cell


Inter BSC Handover :-Handover when both the source and destination cells are controlled by different BSC Inter MSC Handover :- Handover when both the source and destination cells are controlled by different MSC

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Roaming

Network A

Network B

When subscriber of network A moves to another geographical area and receives services from another network B

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Wireless Networks Started with First Generation Networks ( Early1980s ) No or minimum standardization. Analog Deployed and used within regional boundaries Evolved to Second Generation Networks Standards defined. Digital Roaming across network boundaries possible. GSM: one of the most prevalent standard for 2G mobile networks
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Issues in wireless networks


Multipath propagation Path loss Radio Signal Interference Network Security

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Advantages
Wireless Network Advantages:
Provides Mobility Easy installation. No cabling required.

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GSM Radio interface


GSM radio interface is mix of FDMA and TDMA FDMA divides the frequency spectrum into small slices Carrier Separation is 200 kHz TDMA divides each channel into 8 timeslots such that each carrier is shared by 8 users The basic radio resource is a time slot with a duration of 577 s

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Various GSM based Systems Bands


P-GSM ( Primary GSM )
up-link 890-915MHz 200KHz Carrier down-link 935-960MHz

E-GSM ( Extended GSM )


up-link 880-915MHz 200KHz Carrier down-link 925-960MHz

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Services provided by GSM:User perspective


Speech Services Data services SMS
PTP Cell Broadcast

Supplementary services
Call barring ,call forwarding etc

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GSM Network Architecture - Nodes


MS HLR BTS BSC AuC

MS BTS

VLR

GMSC

EIR MSC BSC PSTN

BTS

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GSM Network Components

Mobile Station
SIM Mobile Equipment

Access Network
Base Transceiver Station (BTS) BSC (Base Station Controller)

Core Network
Home Location Register (HLR) Authentication Center (AuC) Equipment Identity Register (EIR) Short Message Service Center (SM-SC) Mobile Switching Center (MSC)/Visitor Location Register (VLR) Gateway Mobile Switching Center (GMSC)

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Mobile Station
Comprises of two separate units, viz. SIM and ME. The Structure provides terminal mobility. Subscriber Identity Module (SIM): Belongs to the operator (e.g. Bharti, Hutch).
Contains the permanent data of subscriber (e.g. IMSI).

Mobile Equipment is developed by equipment manufacturers (e.g. Nokia, Alcatel).


Contains Mobile Termination and User Interface functions. Communicates with SIM

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Access Network: Overview


All the radio-related functions activities have been separated from the MSC and concentrated in the BSS. The BSS consists of two components
Base Transceiver Station Base Station Controller

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Base Transceiver Station (BTS)


It takes care of air interface signaling speech processing ciphering It consists of radio transmitter & receiver, antennas and signal processing specific to radio interface

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Base Station Controller (BSC)


Controls the radio network Main responsibilities are Controls all BTS under its purview. Connection establishment between MS and NSS Handover Management

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Core Network: Overview


Core Network provides core functionality including:
Mobility management, Call handling, Subscriber data management Authentication, etc.

Includes
Home Location Register (HLR) Authentication Center (AuC) Equipment Identity Register (EIR) Short Message Service Center (SMSC) Mobile Switching Center (MSC)/Visitor Location Register (VLR) Gateway Mobile Switching Center (GMSC)

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Home Location Register: Overview


HLR is the master database for a subscriber (i.e. it holds the subscription data).

Each subscriber is assigned to only one HLR.


HLR maintains and provides subscriber data to other network entities on demand (i.e. pulled by network entities).

E.g. During Location Update


In certain cases, the subscriber data is sent to the network entities (e.g. when the data is modified by operator, the HLR pushes the data to network entities).
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Authentication Center (AuC)


AuC holds authentication information.
This information is used for authentication and other security functions.

At the center of all AuC functions is a secret key that is shared between the AuC and the SIM of the UE.
This secret key facilitates roaming of a subscriber because even in a visited network, the MSC/VLR can authenticate the user by obtaining security information from AuC.

The AuC itself does not take part in the authentication.


This function is performed by the MSC/VLR. Role of the AuC is to provide MSC/VLR with the necessary information that can be used by MSC/VLR for authentication.

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Equipment Identity Register (EIR)


EIR monitor the legitimacy of a User Equipment (UE) used in the UMTS network, EIR holds the list of IMEI used in the GSM network.

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Short Message Service Center


SMSC is responsible for relaying store-and-forwarding of short messages between an MS and a Short Message Entity

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Mobile Switching Center (MSC)

MSC performs all functions necessary to handle the circuit switched services to and from the MS. It is customary to represent VLR and MSC as MSC/VLR.
They are generally integrated.

Like HLR, Visitor Location Register (VLR) is a repository of information.


VLR tracks the location of the MS

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Gateway Mobile Switching Center


Similar to MSC Switches voice cells. Provides external interface with PSTN and other mobile networks.

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Hierarchical Organization of GSM N/w (1)


PLMN
LA1 LA2

LA3

LA4

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Hierarchical Organization of GSM N/w(2)


Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN): It is at the highest level of the hierarchy. PLMN ID = MCC+MNC Location Area (LA): LA is defined as an area in which an MS may move freely without updating its current location at the VLR. Group of cells are given a single Location Area ID (LAI) LAI = PLMN ID + LAC

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Hierarchical Organization of GSM N/w (3)


Cells: At the lowest level of hierarchy is the cell. Each cell is identified by the Cell Identity (CI). A CI is unique within a location area. To identify a cell uniquely across PLMNs, an identity called the Cell Global Identity (CGI) is defined. CGI is obtained by the concatenation of LAI and the CI.
CGI = LAI+CI

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Addresses and Identifiers

Identity IMSI MSISDN TMSI MSRN IMEI

Description Permanent identity that uniquely identifies a subscriber. Service identity that is used for communication with a subscriber. Temporary identity that is used to hide the permanent identity IMSI of a subscriber. Temporary identity that is allocated by VLR and is used to route calls directed to a MS. Permanent identity that uniquely identifies an MS.

Composition MCC + MNC + MSIN CC + NDC+ SN 4 octets (chosen by operator) CC + NDC+ SN TAC + SNR

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GSM Procedures

Key Procedures in GSM Location Update & Mobile Registration Mobile Originated Call Paging Mobile Terminated Call

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Mobile Registration in the network

MS

BTS

BSC

(G)MSC VLR HLR

Action

Channel Request Channel Assignment

Location Update Request


Authentication Request Authentication Response Comparison of Authentication params Accept LUP and alloc TMSI Ack of LUP and TMSI Entry of new area and identity into VLR and HLR Channel Release
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Location Registration

HLR

PreviousVLR

MSC/VLR

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Location Registration (2)

HLR

4. Update Location req

5. Subscriber Data req <1..N>


2. Request IMSI 3. IMSI

1. LU request <TMSI, LAI>

PreviousVLR

MSC/VLR
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Location Registration (3)

HLR
9. Cancel Location

7. Update Location ack

6. Subscriber Data ack <1..N>

8. LU Ack <New TMSI> (Store TMSI)

PreviousVLR

MSC/VLR

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Mobile Termination for Roaming

HLR

3. Provide Roaming Identification (PRI) req <IMSI> 4. PRI Ack <MSRN>

2. Send Routing Information req <MSISDN>

1. Initial Address Message (IAM) <MSISDN>

Gateway MSC
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VMSC

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Mobile Terminations and Paging

HLR
7. Paging <TMSI>
8. Paging Resp. <Cell ID> 9. SETUP

5. Send Routing Information ack <MSRN>

Gateway MSC

6. Initial Address Message <MSRN>

VMSC

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Mobile Originated Call


MS

BTS BSC VLR

HLR

MS BTS Authentication response (SDCCH) Call Exchange release of Call Connected Setup Communication Assignment Alerting Connected of TCH (TCH) Call release Assignment Alerting Connected Exchange of of communication TCH Req establishment Alloc Call Authentication Ciphering for of dedicated dedicated command response request response channel channel request BSC (TCH) for communication (RACH) (AGCH) (SDCCH)

AuC GMSC

EIR MSC Call release Alerting Connected Exchange Setupof Communication PSTN

BTS

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Mobile Terminated Call


MS Paging

BTS Paging BSC VLR Query for VLR info

HLR

MS BTS Paging the area

AuC Reply

Query VLR for LAC and TMSI Route to MSC MSC

GMSC

EIR

BSC

PSTN

BTS
Land to Mobile call

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References

The GSM system for mobile communications - Mouly, M., Pautet, M. GSM System Engineering - Asha Mehrotra ETSI GSM Technical Specifications www.etsi.org GSM presentation by Ashok Kumar GSM presentation by Sumit/Nishit

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Acknowledgements

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Disclaimer
Aricent makes no representations or warranties with respect to contents of these slides and the same are being provided as is. The content/materials in the slides are of a general nature and are not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity. The material may provide links to internet sites (for the convenience of users) over which Aricent has no control and for which Aricent assumes no responsibility for the availability or content of these external sites. While the attempt has been to acknowledge sources of materials wherever traceable to an individual or an institution; any materials not specifically acknowledged is purely unintentional

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Thank You