Number of channels required during call set-up (1)
Channel to transmit information to help the mobile station to tune into the network. Channel to transmit synchronisation information. Channel to transmit information about the network to help the mobile know about the frequencies being used in its cell as well as in surrounding cells.
Number of channels required during call set-up (2)
Channel to transmit mobile station’s request to initiate call set-up. Channel to set up a call. Channel to transmit handover information. Channel to page the called party. Channel to transmit measurements. Channel to transmit actual conversations.
Each timeslot on a TDMA frame is called a physical channel. Therefore, there are 8 physical channels per carrier frequency in GSM. The paths used to carry information between a Mobile Station and a BTS is known as the Physical Channel. Physical channels can be used to transmit speech, data or signaling information.
A physical channel may carry different messages, depending on the information that is to be sent. These different information carried on the Physical channel are classified as Logical Channels. For example, on one of the physical channels used for traffic, the traffic itself is transmitted using a Traffic Channel (TCH) message, while a handover instruction is transmitted using a Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH) message.
Many types of logical channels exists each designed to carry a different message to or from an MS. Logical Channels are divided into two groups
Control Channels Traffic Channels
Broadcast Channels (BCH)
Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH) Synchronization Channel (SCH) Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH) Paging Channel (PCH) Random Access Channel (RACH) Access Grant Channel (AGCH) Stand alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH) Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH) Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH)
Common Control Channels (CCCH)
Dedicated Control Channels (DCCH)
Control channels carry signaling information used by the MS to locate a BTS, synchronize itself with the BTS, and receive information required to perform the call setup. There are three categories of Control Channels: 6) Broadcast Control
All Broadcast Channels are transmitted point to multi-point over the downlink Frequency Correction Channel (FCCH): Provides the frequency correction information used by the MS The MS searches for this channels to switch on. Downlink
On FCCH, information containing only zeroes are transmitted. This serves two purposes. First to make sure that this is the BCCH carrier, and second to allow the MS to read the frequency. FCCH is transmitted downlink only.
Synchronization Channel (SCH): After locking to the frequency the MS synchronises with the SCH. Contains the Base Station Identity Code (BSIC) and the TDMA frame number used for synchronization of the MS to the new BTS
Broadcast Control Channel
The MS must receive some general information concerning the cell in order to start roaming, waiting for calls to arrive or making calls. The needed information is broadcast on theBroadcast Control CHannel (BCCH) and includes
List of frequencies used in the cell Frequency hopping sequence List of neighbouring cells which should be monitored by MS Location area Identity Max transmission power allowed in the cell
Using FCCH, SCH, and BCCH the MS tunes to a BTS and synchronized with the frame structure in that cell. The BTSs are not synchronized to each other. Therefore, every time the MS camps on another cell, it must listen to FCCH, SCH and BCCH in the new cell.
Common control channels
Random Access Channel: • Used by a MS to request access to the system. • RACH information is transmitted over the uplink • Used for e.g. mobile originated calls.
Paging Channel (PCH)
Used to page the mobile station. At certain time intervals the MS listens to the PCH to check if the network wants to make contact with the MS. The reason why the network may want to contact the MS could be an incoming call or an incoming short message. So, MS actively listen to PCH to check contact info within certain time. PCH information is transmitted over the downlink.
The MS listens to the PCH to determine when it is being paged. When the MS is paged, it replies on the RACH requesting a signaling channel. RACH can also be used if the MS wants to contact the network. For example, when setting up a mobile originating call.
Access Grant Channel (AGCH): Used by the BTS to assign a dedicated control channel. (SDCCH) A downlink channel only.
Standalone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH): Carries signaling information between BTS and MS during call setup. ex: authentication The traffic channel (TCH) is assigned by using SDCCH. Bi-directional channel.
Dedicated channels contd..,
Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH): Transmits call control data, measurement reports during connection. Carries control and measurement parameters along with routine data necessary to maintain a radio link between the MS and the BTS Bi-directional channel.
Dedicated channels contd..,
Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH): Carries urgent signaling information For quick control communication, e.g. handover. Physically replaces speech, “stealing mode”
Dedicated channels contd..,
FACCH works in stealing mode meaning that one 20 ms segment of speech is exchanged for signaling information necessary for the handover. Under normal conditions the subscriber does not notice the speech interruption because the speech coder repeats the previous speech block. This channel is used only if required.
Traffic Channels carry either speech or data. There are three types of traffic channels:
1) • • •
Full-Rate Bi-directional channel. Used for speech or data transmission. User data bit rate 13 kbit/s Half-Rate Bi-directional channel. Used for speech or data transmission. User data bit rate 6-7 kbit/s.
6) • • •
3) Enhanced Full Rate (EFR) • Bi-directional channel. • Used for high quality speech transmission. • User data bit rate 13 kbit/s.