GSM Bursts & Frames

Bursts and time slots in the Air Interface
TDMA Time Slot


TDMA Frame


Bursts from Mobile Stations

2Mbit/s to BSC

Burst: It is defined as the information present in a particular time slot Each GSM RF carrier supports eight timeslots and the data are transmitted in the form of bursts that are designed to fit within these slots.

GSM burst types
TDMA FRAME ~ 4.615 ms
576.9 µs

tail bits 3

encrypted bits 57

S B 1

training sequence 26

S B 1

encrypted bits 57

tail bits 3

guard period 8,25 bits


tail bits 3

fixed bits ("0") 142

tail bits 3

guard period 8,25 bits


GSM burst types (2)
tail bits 3 encrypted bits 39 extended training sequence 64 encrypted bits 39 tail bits 3
guard period 8,25 bits


tail bits 3

mixed bits 142

tail bits 3

guard period 8,25 bits


ext. tail bits 8

synchronisation sequence 41

encrypted bits 36

tail bits 3

extended guard period 68,25 bits


Burst types
The information contained in one time slot is a burst. 5 types of bursts are available

Norm al bu rs t Used to send all other logical channel information. Freq uen cy correc ti on burs t Used to transmit the FCCH channel. Syn chr oni sation burst Used to transmit synchronisation information. Acces s burst
Used to send RACH information. It has a long guard period to allow the BTS to calculate the MS distance from the BTS and to provide timing advance information to the MS. Used to fill up unused timeslots, which transmits the BCCH channel. No real information.

Dum my b urs t

Normal Burst
T3 Coded Data S1 Training S1 Coded T3 Sequence 26 Data 57 57 GP 8.25

148 bits = 0.54612 msec
This burst is used to carry information on TCH and on the control channels BCCH, PCH, AGCH, SACCH and FACCH. Note: GP (Guard Period)

Normal burst
 

The tail bi ts (T) are a group of 3 bits set to zero and placed at the beginning an d the end of a burst. The coded data bi ts corresponds to two groups, of 57 bits each, containing signaling or user data. The stea ling fl ag s (S) indicate, to the receiver, whether block contains data or is "stolen" The train ing seq uence has a length of 26 bits . It is used to adapt parameters of receiver to the current path propagation characteristics. It synchronizes the receiver, thus masking out multipath propagation effects.

Strongest signal selected in case of multipath propagation

The guard peri od (GP), with a length of 8.2 5 bits , is used to avoid a possible overlap of two mobiles information.

Frequency Correction Burst

The most simple format of all the bursts is used for the frequency correction burst, which is transmitted only in the frequency correction channel (FCCH). The frequency correction burst is also used by MSs as a frequency reference for their internal timebase s. All 148 bits (142 bits + 6 tail bits) are coded with 0 and frequency a pure sinewave is transmitted which is the frequency with which MS has to tune with.

Synchronization Burst
 

The synchronization burst is used to transmit synchronization channel information (SCH). As its name suggests, this burst carries details of the GSM frame structure and allows an MS to fully synchronize with the BTS. The synchronization burst is the first burst that the MS has to demodulate and, for this reason, the training sequence is extended to 64 bits. It also allows larger multipath delay spreads to be resolved.

Access Burst

In contrast to the bursts described so far, the access burst comes in a rather unique format because of its special tasks. A mobile station uses the access burst only for the initial access to a BTS. MS does not know the current distance to the BTS it generally is uncertain if the access burst arrives with in specified time frame and there exists chances of overlapping with other bursts. To ensure that an access burst arrives at the BTS during the proper time period the number of bits for the access burst was set to only 88 bits along with increased guard band bits of 68.25.

The purpose of this extra free space is to measure the distance between MS and BTS at the beginning of a connection.

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