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Subscriber information

When GPRS messages are sent, there is a need to give

information about the GPRS user and other parameters within
the message. Information about a GPRS user in the different
network elements falls into four categories:

• Identity: How do we identify subscribers?

For example, IMSI, TMSI, P-TMSI, TLLI, and IP address.

• Location: How do we identify the location of a subscriber?

For example, location area, routing area, SGSN serving subscriber,
and serving MSC.

• Services: What sort of services is the subscriber allowed to access

and where will this information be maintained in the network?

• Authentication data: What algorithms and keys are used to

authenticate the subscriber? What encryption techniques are used for
data transfer between SGSN and MS? Where is this information held?
Subscriber information, information elements, and location

Type of info What info Where

Identity TMSI
IP address
Location VLR address HLR
Location area SGSN
Serving SGSN HLR

Routing area SGSN

Services Basic services, supplementary HLR
services SGSN
GPRS service information
Authentication data Ki, algorithms SIM

Triplets SGSN
GPRS attach and detach

H LR • (1) The MS requests GPRS


• The MS is not known in the PLMN (for

S G S-1N example first time registration), so:
2a 2b
1 • (2a) The SGSN requests
subscriber identity.

R A-1 • (2b) The MS sends its IMSI.

L A-1

GPRS attach, first time in PLMN: request for GPRS attach

The SGSN authenticates the subscriber

• There are no valid authentication triplets

for the new subscriber in the SGSN; so the
H L R /A C following steps occur next:
• (3a) SGSN requests triplets from HLR.

S G S-1N 3a
• (3b) The HLR generates the triplets (RAND,
SRES, and Kc), which is similar to the GSM
network and hands them to the SGSN.
3f • (3c) The SGSN sends an authentication
request to the MS (along with RAND).
• (3f) The SIM calculates a SRES, and sends
this to the SGSN.
R A-1
The SGSN verifies the authentication
L A-1 (SRES=SRES’) since it is only the
subscriber SIM and the HLR that are aware
of the security key Kc and the algorithm
GPRS attach, first time in PLMN: that generates SRES.
The SGSN authenticates the subscriber
IMEI checking

The GPRS attach continues with IMEI checking.

• (4a) SGSN asks for the MS IMEI.

4d EIR

• (4b) MS sends the IMEI.
SG S N-1

4a • (4c) SGSN sends a Check IMEI message

4b to the EIR.

R A-1
• (4d) EIR replies with a Check IMEI Ack
that will include the list type where the
IMEI was found (unknown, white, grey,
or black).

• Network operators may choose to ignore

this functionality.
HLR interaction
GPRS attach continue:

• (5a) The SGSN sends an Update location

message to the HLR with the subscriber IMSI.

• (5b) The HLR responds by giving subscriber

5d data to the SGSN.

SGSN-1 5a
• (5c) The SGSN acknowledges that it has
5c received the subscriber data ok.

6a • (5d) The HLR ends the transaction with an

Update Location Ack.
BSC 6b
• (6a) The SGSN accepts the GPRS attach and
sends the MS a new P-TMSI. P-TMSI is an alias
RA-1 for the GPRS MS just like the TMSI.
• (6b) The MS acknowledges that it has received
the new P-TMSI. The TLLI (Temporary Logical
Link Identity) is derived from the P-TMSI.
The TLLI is used as an identifier for the
connection between the MS and the SGSN.
PDP Context Activation
1. ActivatePD P
2. Security
Functions DNS DNS
inquiry Server

3. CreatePDP
ContextRequest Connection
4. CreatePDP with PDN

5. ActivatePDP ContextResponse

PDP context activation is sent from the MS to the SGSN

(1) MS sends an Activate PDP Context Request.

(2) The MS may be authenticated and the IMEI checked.
(3) The SGSN checks that the request is valid and sends a Create PDP Context
message to the GGSN which includes the tunnel ID (TID).
(4) The GGSN returns a Create PDP Context Response.
The response message includes confirmation of the TID, IP address, and charging ID. The
IP address is included if the GGSN allocates an IP address. The TID is used to identify the
GTP tunnel used to transfer subscriber packets between the GGSN and the SGSN. The
charging ID is used as an identifier for charging the subscriber.

(5) The SGSN returns Activate PDP Context Accept message to the MS. This message
includes important details, for example, the IP address the MS should use.
PDP context activation
• MS requests context activation:
• (1)The MS sends an 'Activate PDP
Context Request' to the SGSN.
The parameters sent in this message
• PDP type, that is, IP connection or X25
• APN: a symbolic name for a network
interface to an external network in the
GGSN. One GGSN could have several
different access points to access different
• IP address (empty = dynamic), which is
also referred to as PDP address.
• QoS parameters (optional).
• (2)The SGSN checks the subscription data.
The subscriber data which is held in the
HLR contains a list of allowed access point
names and information whether dynamic
or static IP address should be used. This
information is usually downloaded and
kept in the SGSN visiting GPRS subscriber
database known as GSBASE.
• The GSBASE is to the VLR in GSM
PDP context activation: Finding the GGSN
Finding the requested GGSN and sending it
the request for context creation:

(1) The SGSN gets the GGSN IP address from the

SGSN Domain Name Server (DNS). The DNS finds
1. DNS the correct GGSN IP address based on the
access point name supplied by the MS. The
GPRS Access
Core Point DNS maintains a mapping between APNs and
2. Network Intranet
the IP address.
• The SGSN sends a 'Create PDP Context
Request' message to the GGSN. The request
• IP address (if empty means a request for a
dynamic address)
• Access point name (APN)
BTS BSC • Proposed TID.
GGSN Response:
Core (1) The GGSN sends a 'Create PDP Context
Response' back to the SGSN, which includes
1. given IP address, TID confirmation, and
charging ID.

(2) The SGSN sends an 'Activate PDP Context

Accept' to the MS. The SGSN is now ready to
route user traffic between the MS and the
Reliance GPRS Network
GRX Architecture

GRX Peering Point:

Point of interconnection of all
GRX. For example AMSIX,
where 15 GRX operators
interconnect: Belgacom, BT,
Deutsche Telekom, France
Télécom, Sonera (with
Equant), Telecom Italia,
Telefonica Data, Telenor, Telia
International Carrier, Cable &
Wireless, UUNet, Equant (with
Sonera), Aicent, Comfone and
GPRS Quality of Service

Quality of Service (QoS) information for a

user is contained in the HLR (subscribed
QoS). The user may also request a specific
QoS profile (requested QoS) which is
associated with a PDP context. During the
establishment of a PDP context, the GPRS
network and the MS must negotiate a QoS
profile (negotiated QoS profile).

The QoS profile is based in terms of the

following attributes:

• Precedence class: Priority to be given to

user packets

• Delay class: Delay associated with packets

• Reliability class: Amount of error control to

be provided

• Peak throughput class

• Mean throughput class

Precedence class (priority)

• The service precedence indicates the priority of maintaining a

service under abnormal conditions such as network congestion.
Packets may be discarded according to precedence level. The
following precedence levels are defined:

• Precedence Class 1 (High precedence):

Service commitments will be maintained ahead of all other
precedence levels.

• Precedence Class 2 (Normal precedence):

Service commitments will be maintained ahead of low priority

• Precedence Class 3 (Low precedence):

Service commitments will be maintained after the high and
normal priority commitments have been fulfilled.
Delay class

Size 128 octets 1024 octets

The delay parameter defines the maximum values for the
mean delay and 95% delay to be incurred by data passing
Class Mean Delay 95% Mean Delay95% through the GPRS network.

The delay parameter defines the delay incurred by data

1 (Predictive) 0.5 s 1.5 s 2s 7s packets within the GPRS network.

The ETSI standards state:

2 (Predictive) 5s 25 s 15 s 75 s

The GSM standards define four delay classes (1 to 4).

A PLMN may support only a subset of the delay classes.
3 (Predictive) 50 s 250 s 75 s 375 s
As a minimum, the PLMN shall support the best effort
delay class (4)."
4 (Best Effort) Not specified
Reliability class

The reliability class defines error

rates for data loss, out-of-
sequence delivery and corrupted
data. There are five reliability

• The reliability classes define the

probability of:
• Lost data
• Duplication of data
• Data arriving out of sequence
• Corruption of data.
• The reliability class specifies the
requirements of the various
network protocol layers. The
combinations of the GTP, LLC,
and RLC transmission modes
support the reliability class
performance requirements.
Throughput classes
The throughput class indicates the data throughput requested by the user. Throughput is defined by two negotiable parameters:
• Peak throughput defines the maximum bit rate
• Mean bit rate. This includes, for example for "bursty" transmissions, the periods in which no data is transmitted.
• The maximum and mean bit rates can be represented by a parameter known as the Information Transfer Rate.
• It is possible for the network to re-negotiate the throughput parameters at any time during a session. User data throughput is specified in terms of
a set of throughput classes that characterise the expected bandwidth required for a PDP context.

Mean Throughput Class Mean Throughput in octets per hour

Max. Max. Throughput in
Throughput Class octets per second
1 Best effort.

1 Up to 1000 (8 kbit/s) 2 100 (~0.22 bit/s)

3 200 (~0.44 bit/s)
2 Up to 2000 (16 kbit/s)
4 500 (~1.11 bit/s)
3 Up to 4000 (32 kbit/s)
5 1000 (~2.2 bit/s)
4 Up to 8000 (64 kbit/s)
6 2000 (~4.4 bit/s)
5 Up to 16 000 (128 kbit/s) 7 5000 (~11.1 bit/s)
6 Up to 32 000 (256 kbit/s) 8 10 000 (~22 bit/s)

7 Up to 64 000 (512 kbit/s) 9 20 000 (~44 bit/s)

8 Up to 128 000 (1024 kbit/s) 10 50 000 (~111 bit/s)

11 100 000 (~0.22 kbit/s)
9 Up to 256 000 (2048 kbit/s)
12 200 000 (~0.44 kbit/s)

13 500 000 (~1.11 kbit/s)
Maximum bit rate classes 14 1 000 000 (~2.2 kbit/s)

15 2 000 000 (~4.4 kbit/s)

16 5 000 000 (~11.1 kbit/s)

17 10 000 000 (~22 kbit/s).

18 20 000 000 (~44 kbit/s).

19 50 000 000 (~111 kbit/s).

Mean bit rate classes

Quality of Service negotiation
QoS negotiation
QoS negotiation is a procedure where
a mobile station (MS) requests the
SGSN for a certain QoS and the SGSN,
after negotiating with the HLR and the
GGSN, sends a negotiated QoS to the

• PDP-context activation request from MS

• SGSN compares to the user profile PDP-

context subscription record it has received
from the HLR. Based on this the SGSN may
downgrade the QoS request. Users may not
request higher quality than the profile allows.

• The create PDP-Context request is sent with

the SGSN negotiated QoS setting

• The GGSN checks the Access Point QoS

settings and may further reduce the QoS.

• Finally the GGSN returns the negotiated QoS

settings which are forwarded to the MS