The Global System for Mobile communications is a digital cellular communications system. It was developed in order to create a common European mobile telephone standard but it has been rapidly accepted worldwide. GSM was designed to be compatible with ISDN services.
1.1 History of the cellular mobile radio and GSM
The idea of cell-based mobile radio systems appeared at Bell Laboratories (in USA) in the early 1970s. However, mobile cellular systems were not introduced for commercial use until the 1980s. During the early 1980s, analog cellular telephone systems experienced a very rapid growth in Europe, particularly in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. Today cellular systems still represent one of the fastest growing telecommunications systems. But in the beginnings of cellular systems, each country developed its own system, which was an undesirable situation for the following reasons: The equipment was limited to operate only within the boundaries of each country. The market for each mobile equipment was limited.
In order to overcome these problems, the Conference of European Posts and Telecommunications (CEPT) formed, in 1982, the Groupe Spécial Mobile (GSM) in order to develop a pan-European mobile cellular radio system (the GSM acronym became later the acronym for Global System for Mobile communications). The standardized system had to meet certain criterias: Spectrum efficiency International roaming Low mobile and base stations costs Good subjective voice quality Compatibility with other systems such as ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) Ability to support new services
Unlike the existing cellular systems, which were developed using an analog technology, the GSM system was developed using a digital technology. The reasons for this choice are explained in section 3
In 1989 the responsibility for the GSM specifications passed from the CEPT to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The aim of the GSM specifications is to describe the functionality and the interface for each component of the system, and to provide guidance on the design of the system. These specifications will then standardize the system in order to guarantee the proper interworking between the different elements of the GSM system. In 1990, the phase I of the GSM specifications were published but the commercial use of GSM did not start until mid1991. The most important events in the development of the GSM system are presented in the table 1 Year 1982 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1995 Events CEPT establishes a GSM group in order to develop the standards for a panEuropean cellular mobile system Adoption of a list of recommendations to be generated by the group Field tests were performed in order to test the different radio techniques proposed for the air interface TDMA is chosen as access method (in fact, it will be used with FDMA) Initial Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by telecommunication operators (representing 12 countries) Validation of the GSM system The responsibility of the GSM specifications is passed to the ETSI Appearance of the phase 1 of the GSM specifications Commercial launch of the GSM service Enlargement of the countries that signed the GSM- MoU> Coverage of larger cities/airports Coverage of main roads GSM services start outside Europe Phase 2 of the GSM specifications Coverage of rural areas Table 1: Events in the development of GSM From the evolution of GSM, it is clear that GSM is not anymore only a European standard. GSM networks are operational or planned in over 80 countries around the world. The rapid and increasing acceptance of the GSM system is illustrated with the following figures: 1.3 million GSM subscribers worldwide in the beginning of 1994. Over 5 million GSM subscribers worldwide in the beginning of 1995.
Over 10 million GSM subscribers only in Europe by December 1995. Since the appearance of GSM, other digital mobile systems have been developed. The table 2 charts the different mobile cellular systems developed since the commercial launch of cellular systems. Mobile Cellular System Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT), 450> American Mobile Phone System (AMPS) Total Access Communication System (TACS) Radio COM 2000 C-Netz Nordic Mobile Telephony (NMT), 900> Global System for Mobile communications> North American Digital Cellular (NADC) Digital Cellular System (DCS) 1800 Personal Digital Cellular (PDC) or Japanese Digital Cellular (JDC) Personal Communications Systems (PCS) 1900- Canada> PCS-United States of America> Table 2: Mobile cellular system
Year 1981 1983 1985 1986 1991 1992 1994 1995 1996
a. Common radio spectrum in all countries b. Integrated European system with international roaming c. Create large single market d. Increase available cellular radio capacity e. Better security functions f. Accommodate new services
a. GSM is mature; this maturity means a more stable network with robust features. b. Less signal deterioration inside buildings. c. Ability to use repeaters. d. Talktime is generally higher in GSM phones due to the nature of transmission. e. The availability of Subscriber Identity Modules allows users to switch networks. f. GSM covers virtually all parts of the world so roaming is not a problem.
a. Pulse nature of TDMA transmission used in 2G interferes with some electronics, especially certain audio amplifiers. b. Intellectual property is concentrated among a few industry participants, creating barriers to entry for new entrants and competition among phone manufacturers. c. GSM has a fixed maximum cell site range of 35 km, imposed by technical limit.
if the transmitters used are very powerful.
In order to exchange the information needed to maintain the communication links within the cellular network.1 The cellular structure
In a cellular system. the frequencies must be reused only within a certain pattern. The distance between the cells using the same frequency must be sufficient to avoid interference. Frequencies used in a cell will be reused several cells away. The frequency reuse will increase considerably the capacity in number of users. The interference will not produce any damage to the system if a distance of about 2. As a receiver(cell phone) moves from one place to the next. the frequencies cannot be reused for hundred of kilometers as they are limited to the covering area of the transmitter.2. The frequency band allocated to a cellular mobile radio system is distributed over a group of cells and this distribution is repeated in all the covering area of an operator. In fact. The receiver filters must also be very per formant. and radio frequency is handed-over by one cell to another without interrupting a call. a cellular system must verify the following two main conditions: The power level of a transmitter within a single cell must be limited in order to reduce the interference with the transmitters of neighboring cells. Neighboring cells can not share the same channels. A cell corresponds to the covering area of one transmitter or a small collection of transmitters. several radio channels are reserved for the signaling information. The concept of cellular systems is the use of low power transmitters in order to enable the efficient reuse of the frequencies. the covering area of an operator is divided into cells.CELLULAR SYSTEM
Wireless communication technology in which several small exchanges(called cells) equipped with low-power radio antennas (strategically located over a wide geographical area) are interconnected through a central exchange. In order to reduce the interference. The size of a cell is determined by the transmitter's power. The whole number of radio channels available can then be used in each group of cells that form the covering area of an operator.
2. In order to work properly.
.5 to 3 times the diameter of a cell is reserved between transmitters. location. its identity.
7. In some cases.2 Cluster
The cells are grouped into clusters. Microcells These cells are used for densely populated areas. By splitting the existing areas into smaller cells. This interference is produced by the small size of the clusters (the size of the cluster is defined by the number of cells per cluster). cells with a particular shape and coverage are needed.2. In order to solve this problem. The number of cells in each cluster is very important.3 Types of cells
The density of population in a country is so varied that different types of cells are used: Macro cells Micro cells Selective cells Umbrella cells
Macrocells The macrocells are large cells for remote and sparsely populated areas. the concept of umbrella cells is introduced. the number of channels available is increased as well as the capacity of the cells. The capacity of each cell will be therefore increased. the bigger the number of channels per cell will be. The number of cells in a cluster must be determined so that the cluster can be repeated continuously within the covering area of an operator. The total number of channels per cell depends on the number of available channels and the type of cluster used. The typical clusters contain 4. The smaller the number of cells per cluster is. These cells are called selective cells. However a balance must be found in order to avoid the interference that could occur between neighboring clusters. Selective cells It is not always useful to define a cell with a full coverage of 360 degrees.
2. 12 or 21 cells. Umbrella cells A freeway crossing very small cells produces an important number of handovers among the different small neighboring cells.
3. multipath reception. crosstalks.1 The capacity of the system
As it is explained in section 1. the best option (but not the perfect one) to handle the capacity needs in a cost-efficiency way.3 Aspects of quality
The quality of the service can be considerably improved using a digital technology rather than an analog one. new frequency bands and new technologies were proposed. therefore.
. digital systems avoid these effects transforming the signal into bits. ANALOG TO DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY
In the 1980s most mobile cellular systems were based on analog systems. The ISDN network is an example of this evolution.the implementation of future improvements and the change of its own characteristics. hisses. etc. analog systems pass the physical disturbances in radio transmission (such as fades. The new analog technologies proposed were able to overcome the problem to a certain degree but the costs were too important. Analog systems were not able to cope with this increasing demand.
3. In order to make GSM compatible with the services offered by ISDN. These disturbances decrease the quality of the communication because they produce effects such as fadeouts.3. The improvement of digital systems comparing to analog systems is more noticeable under difficult reception conditions than under good reception conditions. The GSM system can be considered as the first digital cellular system. easily than an analog one. cellular systems have experienced a very important growth. But the possibility of using new frequency bands was rejected by a big number of countries because of the restricted spectrum (even if later on. The digital radio was. the telecommunications industry converted to digital methods. On the other hand. During the development of GSM.a digital system allows.
3. Additionally. spurious signals or interferences) to the receiver. The different reasons that explain this transition from analog to digital technology are presented in this section. it was decide that the digital technology was the best option.2 Compatibility with other systems such as ISDN
The decision of adopting a digital technology for GSM was made in the course of developing the standard. other frequency bands have been allocated for the development of mobile cellular radio). In fact. In order to overcome this problem.
it will first check the HLR to see where you are. so that when the network¶s MSC needs to route an incoming call to your cellphone number.THE GSM NETWORK
GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) uses a series of radio transmitters called Base Stations (BS) to connect you and your cell phone to your cellular network. The entire log-on process usually takes only a couple of seconds. The Base Station Subsystem (BSS). The name or code of that network will appear on the LCD screen of the cellphone. the MSC sends a message back to the phone via the network of BSs that indicates that you¶re allowed to access the network.1 Architecture of the GSM network
The GSM technical specifications define the different entities that form the GSM network by defining their functions and interface requirements. the cellphone will send a message to the network indicating where it is. it means you¶re connected to the network and able to make and receive calls.
. The Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS). The MSC also routes all your incoming and outgoing calls to and from the fixedline networks or other cellular networks. Once it¶s received your log-on request. The MSC also contains a critical component called the Home Location Register (HLR) which provides the administrative information required to authenticate. the HLR immediately checks the special "signature" contained in the request against it¶s special subscriber database. Each BS is also termed a cell. The GSM network can be divided into four main parts: The Mobile Station (MS).4. The Network and Switching Subsystem (NSS). If your subscription is current.
4. Once this network "name" message appears on your phone¶s LCD screen. the HLR also registers which BS your cellphone is currently connected to. so named because it covers a certain range within a Discrete area(cell). register and locate you as a that network's subscriber. a process called Polling.At the same time. Every now and gain.
Gener al ar chit e ct ur e of a GSM net wor k
HLR Home Location Register BTS Base Transceiver Station PSTN Public Switched Telecomm Network ISDN Integrated Services Digital Network
MS Mobile Station EIR Equipment Identity Register
.Architecture of the GSM network
Figur e 1.
1 Mobile Station
A Mobile Station consists of two main elements: The mobile equipment or terminal.1.
.1.4. The Subscriber Identity Module (SIM). Their maximum allowed output power is 8W. By inser t ing t he S I M card int o t he t er minal.1. which are continuously decreasing. The handhelds terminals have experienced the biggest success thanks to their weight and volume.
4. These terminals can emit upto 2 W. Wit hou t t he S I M card.2 The S I M
The S I M is a s mar t c ard t hat i de nt if ies t he t er minal.1 The Terminal
There are different types of terminals distinguished principally by their power and application: The `fixed' terminals are the ones installed in cars. t he u ser can have access t o all t he subscribed ser vice s.1. t he t er minal is not oper at ional. Their maximum allowed output power is 20 W.1.
f igure2 : MOBI LE S TATI ON
4. The GSM portable terminals can also be installed in vehicles.
8 = Amount o f Me mor y 57 = Mont h o f Manu fact ure . is give n be low: F1 = S I M De signat or .Descr ipt ion o f eac h No. It is in charge of the transmission and reception.3382.2. = Running Serial F igure3: sim
4. A BTS is usually placed in the center of a cell.1.The S I M car d is pr ot ect ed by a f our-digit Per sonal I de nt if icat ion Numb er (PI N).1 Base Transceiver Station
The BTS corresponds to the transceivers and antennas used in each cell of the network.2 Base Station Subsystem
The BSS connects the Mobile Station and the NSS. Its transmitting power defines the size of a cell. 23 = Count r y Code (CC). 47 = Net wor k code (NC). t he S I M car d cont ains some par amet er s o f t he u ser such as it s I nt er nat ional Mobile S u bscriber I dent it y (I MS I )..
. The Base Station Controller (BSC). The BSS can be divided into two parts: The Base Transceiver Station (BTS) or Base Station.1. TRAU
4. 2 = S I M Ve nder I de nt if icat ion. Number on t he S I M card Known as I nt egr at ed Cir cuit Car d I dent it y Number (I CCI D). I n o rder t o ide nt if y t he su bscriber t o t he s yst e m.
The used method is called regular pulse excitation±long term prediction (RPE-LTP).
4. exchange functions and control of the radio frequency power levels of the BTSs. The task of the TRAU is to compress or decompress speech between the MS and the TRAU.3 TRAU ( Transcoder Rate Adaptation Unit)
One of the most interesting functions in GSM involves the TRAU. It is able to compress speech from 64 Kbps to 16 Kbps. frequency hopping. A BSC is principally in charge of handovers.Figure 4:BTS
4. Note that the TRAU is not used for data connections. which typically is located between the BSC and the MSC.5 Kbps).1.2 Base Station Controller
The BSC controls a group of BTS and manages their radio resources.
.1. in the case of a full rate channel (net bit rate with full rate is 13 Kbps) and to 8 Kbps in the case of a half rate channel (net bit rate with half rate is 6.2.2.
The MSC performs the switching functions of the network.3.1.3 Home Location Register (HLR)
The HLR is considered as a very important database that stores information of the subscribers belonging to the covering area of a MSC. It also includes data bases needed in order to store information about the subscribers and to manage their mobility. fixed telephony users. The GMSC is often implemented in the same machines as the MSC. The different components of the NSS are described below. The location of the subscriber corresponds to the SS7 address of the Visitor Location Register(VLR) associated to the terminal.
4.1 Mobile services Switching Center (MSC)
It is the central component of the NSS.3 Network and Switching Subsystem
Its main role is to manage the communications between the mobile users and other users. It also provides connection to other networks. It is in charge of routing calls from the fixed network towards a GSM user.1.
. such as mobile users. etc. ISDN users.
4.2 Gateway Mobile services Switching Center (GMSC)
A gateway is a node interconnecting two networks.1. It also stores the current location of these subscribers and the services to which they have access.Figure 6: TRANSCODER RATE ADAPTI ON UNI T
4. The GMSC is the interface between the mobile cellular network and the PSTN.3.
has provoked that some of the maintenance tasks are transferred to the BTS. the transmission of speech and data can be alternated. It is a register containing information about the mobile equipments. As shown in Figure 8 these
. it contains a list of all valid terminals.7 GSM Interworking Unit (GIWU)
The GIWU corresponds to an interface to various networks for data communications. in order to control and monitor the GSM system. the VLR associated to this MSC will request information about the new subscriber to its corresponding HLR.2 Geographical areas of the GSM network
The GSM network is made up of geographic areas.3.1. However. These parameters help to verify the user's identity.3. It provides the parameters needed for authentication and encryption functions. due to the development of cellular radio networks. It is also in charge of controlling the traffic load of the BSS. This transfer decreases considerably the costs of the maintenance of the system.1.
4.5 Authentication Center (AuC)
The AuC register is used for security purposes. When a subscriber enters the covering area of a new MSC.1. A terminal is identified by its International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). so the area under control of the MSC is also the area under control of the VLR.4 Visitor Location Register (VLR)
The VLR contains information from a subscriber's HLR necessary in order to provide the subscribed services to visiting users.
4. During these communications.6 Equipment Identity Register (EIR)
The EIR is also used for security purposes. The VLR will then have enough information in order to assure the subscribed services without needing to ask the HLR each time a communication is established.
4.1.3. the increasing number of base stations.1.
4.4 Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS)
The OSS is connected to the different components of the NSS and to the BSC.3. The VLR is always implemented together with a MSC.4. More particularly.
Figure 8: Location Areas
An MSC/VLR service area represents the part of the GSM network that is covered by one MSC and which is reachable.areas include cells. It is the area in which the subscriber is paged.
Figure 7: GSM net wor k ar eas
The cell is the area given radio coverage by one base transceiver station. location areas (LAs).
. Each LA is assigned a location area identity (LAI) number. yet only by a single MSC (see Figure 8). MSC/VLR service areas. as it is registered in the VLR of the MSC (see Figure 9). The GSM network identifies each cell via the cell global identity (CGI) number assigned to each cell. The location area is a group of cells. Each LA is served by one or more base station controllers. and public land mobile network (PLMN) areas.
Mobility Management (MM).3 GSM functions
In this paragraph. Radio Resources management (RR). Communication Management (CM). Operation.3. five main functions can be defined: Transmission. In GSM. the description of the GSM network is focused on the differents functions to fulfil by the network and not on its physical components.
Figure 10: PLMN Network Areas
4. Administration and Maintenance (OAM). The second one is related to the means needed for the trasnmission of signaling information.1 Transmission
The transmission function includes two subfunctions: The first one is related to the means needed for the transmission of user information.Figure 9: MSC/VLR Service Areas
The PLMN service area is an area served by one network operator (see Figure 10).
When the quality of the transmission decreases (i.
4. Four different types of handovers can be distinguished: Handover of channels in the same cell.3.3. A secret key.3.4. The `power budget' algorithm. stored in the SIM card and the AuC. in order to obtain a good communication quality. However in order to avoid unnecessary signalling information. Handover of cells controlled by the same BSC. Two basic algorithms are used for the handover: The `minimum acceptable performance' algorithm.2 Handover
The user movements can produce the need to change the channel or cell.1 Authentication and security
The authentication procedure involves the SIM card and the Authentication Center. specially when the quality of the communication is decreasing. the first two types of handovers are managed by the concerned BSC (in this case. The list of cells that must be monitored by the mobile station is given by the base station. specially the location management and the authentication and security. the algorithm A3 and a random number generated by the AuC. The mobile station and the AuC compute a SRES using the secret key.3. This procedure of changing the resources is called handover. the power level of the mobile is increased. Handover of cells controlled by different MSCs. This algorithm performs a handover. the MSC is only notified of the handover). The mobile station is the active participant in this procedure. instead of continuously increasing the power level. This is done until the increase of the power level has no effect on the quality of the signal. the mobile station controls continuously its own signal strengh and the signal strengh of the neighboring cells. In order to perform the handover.
Handovers are mainly controlled by the MSC. When this happens. a handover is performed.e the signal is deteriorated).
.3 Mobility Management
The MM function is in charge of all the aspects related with the mobility of the user. Handover of cells belonging to the same MSC but controlled by different BSCs. The power measurements allow to decide which is the best cell in order to maintain the quality of the communication link. and a ciphering algorithm called A3 are used in order to verify the authenticity of the user.
One of the most important functions of the CC is the call routing. the user is registered with a Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI) after its first location update procedure.2 Supplementary Services management
The mobile station and the HLR are the only components of the GSM network involved with this function. Enciphering is another option to guarantee a very strong security but this procedure is going to be described in section 5. a GSM network is in contact with a Short Message
4. The GMSC asks the HLR for information helping to the call routing. a user dials the Mobile Subscriber ISDN (MSISDN) number which includes: a country code a national destination code identifying the subscriber's operator a code corresponding to the subscriber's HLR
The call is then passed to the GMSC (if the call is originated from a fixed network) which knows the HLR corresponding to a certain MISDN number. In order to assure user confidentiality.1 Call Control (CC) The CC is responsible for call establishing.3.
4.4.Another security procedure is to check the equipment identity. Short Message Services management. the mobile station is allowed to connect the network. This VLR allocates temporarily a Mobile Station Roaming Number (MSRN) for the call.3. In order to reach a mobile subscriber.4.
4.4 Communication Management (CM)
The CM function is responsible for: Call control.4. The HLR requests this information from the subscriber's current VLR.3.
4.3 Short Message Services management
In order to support these services. The different Supplementary Services (SS) to which the users have access are presented in section 6. maintaining and releasing as well as for selecting the type of service.3.3. If the IMEI number of the mobile is authorized in the EIR. Supplementary Services management.
is another example of an OAM function performed outside the OSS. This information is then passed to the OSS which is in charge of analize it and control the network.Service Center through the two following interfaces: The SMS-GMSC for Mobile Terminating Short Messages (SMS-MT/PP). It has the same role as the GMSC.
4. Not only the OSS is part of the OAM. also the BSS and NSS participate in its functions as it is shown in the following examples: The components of the BSS and NSS provide the operator with all the information it needs. also contribute to the OAM functions. The SMS-IWMSC for Mobile Originating Short Messages (SMS-MO/PP). in charge of controlling several BTSs. usually incorporated in the components of the BSS and NSS. The BSC. Administration and Maintenance (OAM)
The OAM function allows the operator to monitor and control the system as well as to modify the configuration of the elements of the system.4 Operation.
. The self test tasks.
the radio interface must be completely defined. Two frequency bands.
5. more particularly in aspects such as the capacity of the system and the techniques used in order to decrease the interference and to improve the frequency reuse scheme. The band 1805-1880 MHz has been allocated for the downlink direction(transmitting from the base station to the mobile station). so 1800 band introduced.
The above band is not sufficient for all the operators.2 Multiple access schemes
. have been allocated for the GSM system: The band 890-915 MHz has been allocated for the uplink direction (transmitting from the mobile station to the base station). of 25 MHz each one.1 Frequency allocation
Two frequency bands. This is due principally to military reasons and to the existence of previous analog systems using part of the two 25 Mhz frequency bands.
In 1800 band Airtel has 10 channels.5. It is one of the most important interfaces of the GSM system. One of the main objectives of GSM is roaming.
In 900 band Airtel has 40 channels. Therefore.
5. The band 935-960 MHz has been allocated for the downlink direction(transmitting from the base station to the mobile station). of 75 MHz each one. The spectrum eficiency depends on the radio interface and the transmission. have been allocated for the GSM system: The band 1710-1785 MHz has been allocated for the uplink direction(transmitting from the mobile station to the base station). The specification of the radio interface has then an important influence on the spectrum efficiency. THE GSM RADIO INTERFACE
The radio interface is the interface between the mobile stations and the fixed infrastructure. in order to obtain a complete compatibility between mobile stations and networks of different manufacturers and operators.
Total 50 channels for communication. But not all the countries can use the whole GSM frequency bands.
in this 26. Normally a 25MHz frequency band can provide 125 carrier frequencies but the first carrier frequency is used as a guard band between GSM and other services working on lower frequencies.
5. a 25 MHz frequency band is divided. The limited available radio spectrum and the fact that a user will not free its assigned frequency until he does not need it anymore. a frequency is assigned to a user.2. It is defined by its frequency and the position of its corresponding burst within a TDMA frame. share the GSM radio spectrum. and it lasts approximately 0. with a width of 200 kHz.1 Traffic channels (TCH)
Full-rate traffic channels (TCH/F) are defined using a group of 26 TDMA frames called a 26-Multiframe.1 FDMA and TDMA
Using FDMA. The 26-Multiframe lasts consequently 120 ms.A burst is the unit of time in a TDMA system. So the larger the number of users in a FDMA system.2. the larger the number of available frequencies must be. This scheme splits the radio channel. has been adopted as the multiple access scheme for GSM
5. Each of the eight bursts.
5.The multiple access scheme defines how different simultaneous communications.
5. into 8 bursts. A mix of Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA) and Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA).2.2.577 ms. explain why the number of users in a FDMA system can be "quickly" limited.2 Control channels
.2. In GSM there are two types of channels: The traffic channels used to transport speech and data information. the traffic channels for the downlink and uplink are separated by 3 bursts. Each carrier frequency is then divided in time using a TDMA scheme.2. using a FDMA scheme.In GSM. between different mobile stations situated in different cells. that form a TDMA frame. are then assigned to a single user. combined with frequency hopping.2 Channel structure
A channel corresponds to the recurrence of one burst every frame. into 124 carrier frequencies spaced one from each other by a 200 kHz frequency band. A TDMA frame is formed with 8 bursts and lasts.Multiframe structure.615 ms. consequently. 4. The control channels used for network management messages and some channel maintenance tasks.
2. The random access burst is used on the RACH and is shorter than the normal burst.2. the burst is the unit in time of a TDMA system. The normal burst is used to carry speech or data information. Dedicated control channels. It has the same length as the normal burst but a different structure. uses the BCH channels.2.25 bits.
5.Three different types of BCHs can be distinguished: The Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH). Common control channels. Four different types of bursts can be distinguished in GSM: The frequency-correction burst is used on the FCCH.
.577 ms and has a length of 156.
5. which gives to the mobile station the training sequence needed in order to demodulate the information transmitted by the base station The Frequency-Correction Channel (FCCH). It has the same length as the normal burst but a different structure. to provide the mobile station with the sufficient information it needs to synchronize with the network. which supplies the mobile station with the frequency reference of the system in order to synchronize it with the network. The synchronization burst is used on the SCH.According to their functions. Its structure is presented in figure 6. Associated control channels. It lasts approximately 0.3 Broadcast channels (BCH)
The base station. four different classes of control channels are defined: Broadcast channels. which gives to the mobile station the parameters needed in order to identify and access the network The Synchronization Channel (SCH).3 Burst structure
As it has been stated before.
5. The guard period (GP). containing signaling or user data. of 57 bits each. The coded data bit corresponds to two groups. There are different types of frequency hopping algorithms. They are used to cover the periods of ramping up and down of the mobile's power. The frequency hopping also reduces the effects of co-channel interference. The algorithm selected is sent through the Broadcast Control Channels.
. is used to avoid a possible overlap of two mobiles during the ramping time. with a length of 8. t he TDMA f r ame and t he nor mal burst
The tail bits (T) are a group of three bits set to zero and placed at the beginning and the end of a burst. the slow frequency hopping is introduced.4 Frequency hopping
The propagation conditions and therefore the multipath fading depend on the radio frequency. a mobile station has to accept frequency hopping when a base station decides to use it.2.Figure 11: S t r uct ure o f t he 26 -Mult if r ame. A fast frequency hopping changes the many times per frame but it is not used in GSM. In order to avoid important differences in the quality of the channels.25 bits. The slow frequency hopping changes the frequency with every TDMA frame. a base station does not have to support it necessarily On the other hand. Even if frequency hopping can be very useful for the system.
5. at the moment. This code uses the information from previous samples in order to predict the current sample.1 Speech coding
The transmission of speech is.3 Fr om source inf or mat ion t o r adio wave s
The f igu re 4 pr es ent s t he dif f e r e nt ope r at ions t h at have t o be per f or me d in ord er t o pass f r om t he sp eech source t o radio waves and vice ve r sa. at least as good as the one obtained with previous cellular systems. which has a rate of 13 kbps. The final choice for the GSM speech code is a code named RPE-LTP (Regular Pulse Excitation Long-Term Prediction). The GSM speech codec. these blocks are then passed to the speech code. in order to obtain blocks of 260 bits.
Figure 12: Fr om speech sou rce t o radio waves
5. which will transform the analog signal (voice) into a digital representation.3. The speech codec must not be very complex because complexity is equivalent to high costs. This reduction is essential due to the limited capacity of transmission of a radio channel. the most important service of a mobile cellular system.The speech signal is divided into blocks of 20 ms. has to meet the following criteria: A good speech quality. To reduce the redundancy in the sounds of the voice.
5.. 1.A block of 488 bits is generated.
5. The different classes are coded differently.. The block code receives an input block of 240 bits and adds four zero tail bits at the end of the input block. of the code is defined as follows: R = k/n. As the convolution code is a 1/2-rate convolution code.2. used for error detection. obtaining an output block of 378 bits. The output of the block code is consequently a block of 244 bits. First of all. which contains the remaining 78 bits.03.3.3. are not transmitted: C (11 + 15 j) for j = 0.2 Channel coding for the GSM speech channels
Before applying the channel coding. Three parity bits. with r = 1/2 and K = 5. obtained as follows. These 488 bits are punctured in order to produce a block of 456 bits. Let's consider a convolution code with the following values: k is equal to 1. the class Ia bits are block-coded. The ratio.
. n to 2 and K to 5. is then applied.3. which means that it will add a redundant bit for each input bit. errors occurred during the transmission.2 Channel coding
Channel coding adds redundancy bits to the original information in order to detect and correct. the 260 bits of a GSM speech frame are divided in three different classes according to their function and importance. The least important is the class II. The convolution code uses 5 consecutive bits in order to compute the redundancy bit. The most important class is the class Ia containing 50 bits. A convolutional code. A convolution code can be defined by three variables: n. Thirty two bits. R.The classII bits are added. which contains 132 bits.
5. if possible. The resultant 53 bits are added to the class Ib bits. are added to the 50 class Ia bits. Next in importance is the class Ib. The value n corresponds to the number of bits at the output of the encoder.1 Channel coding for the GSM data TCH channels
The channel coding is performed using two codes: a block code and a convolution code. Four zero bits are added to this block of 185 bits (50+3+132). This convolution code uses then a rate of R = 1/2 and a delay of K = 5.2. k to the number of bits at the input of the block and K to the memory of the encoder. 31 The block of 456 bits produced by the convolution code is then passed to the interleaver. The block code corresponds to the block code defined in the GSM Recommendations 05. k and K.
3. First of all.4 Ciphering
Ciphering is used to protect signaling and user data.
5.3. In order to decipher correctly.
5.3 Channel coding for the GSM control channels
In GSM the signaling information is just contained in 184 bits.5. Section 5. The output of the convolutional code is then a block of 456 bits.3.
Figure 13: GMSK modulat or
. a ciphering key is computed using the algorithm A8 stored on the SIM card.3. which does not need to be punctured. and four zero bits are added to the 184 bits before applying the convolutional code (r = 1/2 and K = 5). Forty parity bits. a 114 bit sequence is produced using the ciphering key. Secondly.5 Modulation
The modulation chosen for the GSM system is the Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK).3 presents the different bursts structures and describes in detail the structure of the normal burst. This bit sequence is then XORed with the two 57 bit blocks of data included in a normal burst.3 Burst assembling
The burst assembling procedure is in charge of grouping the bits into bursts. the receiver has to use the same algorithm A5 for the deciphering procedure. an algorithm called A5 and the burst numbers.2. the subscriber key and a random number delivered by the network (this random number is the same as the one used for the authentication procedure). obtained using a fire code.2.
If the bursts corresponding to a mobile station arrive too late and overlap with other bursts. only brief aspects of the GMSK modulation are presented in this section. Their delay depends. the transmitter is turned off and therefore. consequently. Therefore. The base station measures the timing delay of the mobile stations. The aim of the timing advance is that the signals coming from the different mobile stations arrive to the base station at the right time. An inconvenient of the DTX function is that when the signal is considered as noise. the receiver creates a minimum of background noise called comfort noise. on their distance. The DTX function is performed thanks to two main features: The Voice Activity Detection (VAD). The function of the DTX is to suspend the radio transmission during the silence periods. complexity and low spurious radiations (that reduce the possibilities of adjacent channel interference). It also extends the life of a mobile's battery.
5. This can become quite interesting if we take into consideration the fact that a person speaks less than 40 or 50 percent during a conversation. the transmitter is turned off producing then. Figure 5 presents the principle of a GMSK modulator. this mobile. to advance the transmission of its bursts. a total silence is heard at the receiver. The DTX helps then to reduce interference between different cells and to increase the capacity of the system. Mobiles are at different distances from the base stations.5 Timing advance
The timing of the bursts transmissions is very important.The aim of this section is not to describe precisely the GMSK modulation as it is too long and it implies the presentation of too many mathematical concepts. The comfort noise eliminates the impression that the connection is dead. The GMSK modulation has a rate of 270 5/6 kbauds and a BT product equal to 0. even if the background noise is very important.3.
. The comfort noise. In order to overcome this problem. an unpleasant effect called clipping.
5. This can be very annoying to the user at the reception because it seems that the connection is dead.4 Discontinuous transmission (DTX)
This is another aspect of GSM that could have been included as one of the requirements of the GSM speech codec. which has to determine whether the sound represents speech or noise. the base station tells. The GMSK modulation has been chosen as a compromise between spectrum efficiency. If the voice signal is considered as noise.
7 Discontinuous reception
It is a method used to conserve the mobile station's power.5.
5. Each mobile station will then only 'listen' to its sub channel and will stay in the sleep mode during the other sub channels of the paging channel. The paging channel is divided into sub channels corresponding to single mobile stations. they also perform measurements on the power level of the different mobile stations. If the mobile station does not receive correctly the signal. the base station changes its power le ve l. The mobile station measures the strength and the quality of the signal between itself and the base station.
. A base station also controls its power level. These power levels are adjusted so that the power is nearly the same for each burst.6 Power control
At the same time the base stations perform the timing measurements.
-Facsmile group 3(E1). .6. The GSM Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) defined four classes for the introduction of the different GSM services: E1: introduced at the start of the service. This service corresponds to an answering machine. the message is stored.Voice mail.Teletex . the mobile is powered off. a message of a maximum of 160 alphanumeric characters can be sent to or from a mobile station. Eh: introduced on availability of half-rate channels. Supplementary Services. Bearer services. Thanks to this service. A: these services are optional. A).Fax mail. With the SMS Cell Broadcast (SMS-CB). . E2: introduced at the end of 1991.Short Message Services (E1.
-Telephony(E1® Eh). GSM SERVICES
It is important to note that all the GSM services were not introduced since the appearance of GSM but they have been introduced in a regular way. the subscriber can receive fax messages at any fax machine.
Three categories of services can be distinguished: Teleservices. -Emergencycalls(E1®Eh). a message of a maximum of 93 characters can be broadcast to all mobiles in a certain geographical area. . E2. Using these services.
6. CLP (A). BAIC (E1) Barring of incoming calls when roaming (A). CW (E2).Advice of Charge. during a conversation. Barring of All Incoming Calls. . .
. . CLIR (A). It enables the calling user to restrict the presentation.Calling Line Identification Presentation. Provides the user with online charge information. . Informs the user. It supplies the calling user with the directory number he gets if his call is forwarded.300-9600 bps (E1) Synchronous dedicated packet data access. It enables the called user to restrict the presentation.3 Supplementary Services
. It supplies the called user with the ISDN of the calling user. Possibility of establishing a multiparty conversation.Connected Line identification Restriction. CLIP (A). CUG (A). . Call forwarding can also be applied unconditionally (CFU). Barring of Outgoing International Calls.Call hold (E2). .
.Call Waiting. BAOC (E1). CLR (A).6. about another incoming call. The subscriber can forward incoming calls to another number if the called mobile is busy (CFB). BOIC-exHC (E1). AoC (E2). 300-9600 bps (E1) Asynchronous packet-switched assembler access.Call Barring.Closed User Group. 2400-9600 bps (E2). It corresponds to a group of users with limited possibilities of calling (only the people of the group and certain numbers).Call Forwarding (E1). 300-9600 bps (E1). BOIC (E1). .Calling Line Identification Restriction.Multiparty service (E2). Alternate speech and data.Connected Line identification Presentation. . . Barring of Outgoing International Calls. unreachable (CFNRc) or if there is no reply (CFNRy). There are different types of `call barring' services: Barring of All Outgoing Calls. Some of the bearer services are listed below: Asynchronous and synchronous data. Puts an active call on hold.2 Bearer services
A bearer service is used for transporting user data.
Figure 15:BT S with antennas
. Omni cell A cell with an omni-directional BTS antenna system. Sector cell A cell with uni-directional BTS antenna system.CELL PLANNING
Radio coverage Received signal strength in the mobile station from BTS above a chosen value .7. Cell The area that is covered from a BTS. Site The geographical location where the RBS(radio base station subsystem)equipment is stored and the BTS antennas are mounted . 3-Sector site A site with equipment for three sector cells.
Real-world planning must however.7. i.
.e. If we repeat the procedure placing 5 more BTSs around the original one. Still the first geometrical plan based on hexagons (the nominal cell plan) gives a good view of planning of system.1 The hexagon cell shape
If we have two BTSs with omni-antennas and we require that the border between the coverage areas of each BTS is a set of points where the signal strength from both BTSs is same. the cell has a hexagonal shape see figure 16:
The hexagon becomes the symbol of cells in radio network. we obtain a straight line. consider the fact that radio propagation is very much dependent on the terrain and that hexagons are extremely simplified models of radio coverage patterns. the obtained coverage area.
when knowing two of the three factors: number of traffic channels.3.The erlang table is used for calculating the traffic. showing that a cellular network (in our case.3 Traffic and coverage analysis
The cell planning process starts with some sort of traffic and coverage analysis.1 Traffic calculations
The input for the traffic is mentioned above. as below:
Where: n= number of calls per hour T=average conversation time A= offered traffic from one of several users in the system If n=1 and T=90s: A=1*90/3600=25mE Example of traffic calculation Indata: Traffic per subscriber =25mE Number of subscribers=10. as well as the GOS (Grade of service). GOS is defined as allowed percentage of unsuccessful call set-ups due to congestion. normally the value for GOS is between 2% and 5%. the available number of frequencies per cell. CME 20 system) is needed . for example by operator.000 Number of available frequencies=24 Cell pattern= 4/12(12 frequency groups)
GOS = 2% How many 3-Sectors-sites needed? Frequencies per cell=24/12=2 frequencies Traffic channels per cell= 2*8-2(CCH) =14 TCH
.The analysis should also produce information about the geographical area of interest.Available number of frequencies per cell can be decided when knowing which cell pattern should be used (see cell pattern figures fig: 19 & 20). have to be known.7. and GOS Traffic per subscriber is calculated with the erlang formula. and the expected capacity (traffic load). It is used when wanting to find out the third factor. the total number of available frequencies are evenly divided into frequency groups.Then.In order be able to decide this.
7. The output should be information about how many sites and cells are needed. traffic (in erlangs).
a smaller number of frequency groups (F) would result in more channels per set and per cell. then each group will contain N/F channels.1 Interference A fundamental principle in the design of cellular systems is the frequencies re-use patterns. The cell pattern and frequency plan are worked out not only for initial network but also for successive growth phases. Frequency re-use is defined as the radio channels on the same carrier frequency covering geographically different areas. If the total allocation of N channels is partitioned into F groups. These areas must be separated from one another by a sufficient distance so that any co-channel or adjacent channel interference that may be encountered is not objectionable. In all three cases the site geometry has following features:
Three cells (sectors)at each site.4. Since the total number of channels (N) is fixed. To avoid the expensive re-engineering of the system the network must be designed from the beginning to accommodate the growth. 2%GOS .000/328 = 30 cells Needed number of 3-sector-sites = 30/3 = 10
7.025E = 328 subscribers per cell Needed number of cells = 10. which may be used.2 E/cell (From the erlang table) Subscribers per cell=8.4/12 and 3/9. Only 4/12 and 3/9 are interesting for CME 20.2E/0. An initial network must be planned to adapt smoothly to demands of traffic growth.5 Cell patterns
The distribution of the C/I ratio desired in a system determines the number of frequency groups.
7. The antenna pointing azimuths of the cells are separated by 120 degrees and the cells are arranged with antennas pointing at one of the nearest site location thus forming cells in
Traffic per cell=14 TCH. 7.4 Frequencies re-use
Based on traffic calculations.8. Ericsson uses three types of frequency re-use patterns 7/12. It is only when the system has matured to many thousands of subscribers within one single city area that the problems of the re-using frequencies to increase system capacity arise. The growth of traffic demand is an important input for network planning. F.
The 4/12 cell pattern uses 12 frequency groups in a 4 site re-use pattern. Each cell approximates the shape of hexagon We assume that the traffic is homogenously distributed within the cells. Each cell uses one 60-degree transmitting antenna and two 60-degree diversity receiving antennas with the same pointing azimuths.cloverleaf fashion. A group of neighboring cells using all the channels in the system. See fig21. according to the patterns described below is called a cluster. See fig 22. but not reusing them. The 3/9cell pattern uses 9 frequency groups in a 3 site re-use pattern. The cell radius R (= side of hexagon) is always one-third of site-to-site distance when 3-sectors sites are used. Example of how to divide the available frequencies into frequency groups:
24 f r eque nc ie s in 3/ 9 cell pat t er n
Frequency gr oups Channels
1 10 20
2 11 21
3 12 22
4 13 23
5 15 24
. The cell size is normally given in terms of the distance b/w two neighboring sites.
Figur e 2 0 : 4 / 12 cell pa t t er n
Figur e 2 1 : 3/ 9 cell pa t t er n
the proposed site location should be changed or measured w. as a second theoretical analysis step. a nominal cell plan. If there are doubts about the risks of time dispersion. Land usage factors that identify different type of surfaces.7. The Ericsson concept to establish an interactive relationship b/w survey measurements and theoretical propagation models.r. The nominal cell plan looks simply as a cell pattern on the map.1 Coverage and interference predictions
Nominal plans are only a theoretical first basis for further planning successive planning must take into account the radio propagation properties of actual environment.
The theoretical predictions are supplemented with measurements which are used to optimize the parameters in the propagation model.t time dispersion or. Ericsson¶s planning tool EET (Ericsson Engineering Tool) includes the prediction package capable of Coverage prediction Composite coverage synthesis Co. a lot of work lies behind it.6. is included in tenders. Quite often. it should be analyzed with a ³C/R (carrier-to-reflection ratio) prediction´ tool. together with one or two examples of coverage predictions. This is a theoretical first cell plan. Such planning needs powerful measurement facilities and CAD analysis tools for radio propagation studies. which is produced without the help of advanced planning tools or computers.6 Nominal plan
Having come this far in the cell planning process. but as described above.
. it is time to produce the nominal plan.channel interference predictions Adjacent-channel interference predictions
The propagation model is an improved version of the well-known Okumura-Hata model and takes also into account: Edge diffractions through the analysis of elevation contours.
7. it is time to produce the final cell plan.7 Site surveys and radio measurements
Having produced a nominal cell plan.New predictions.1 Site surveys
Site surveys are performed for all proposed site locations. so that there is no other radio equipment on the site that will cause intermodulation problems or too high buildings (or else) surrounding the possible site. this plan is used when installing the system.7. the radio environment has to be checked.
7.Cell Design Data. including antennas Cable runs Power facilities Contract with owner Also. is filled out.2 Radio measurements
Radio measurements are performed to be able to adjust the parameters used in the planning tool to reality. would be different to the ones to be used in a tropical country.7. containing all cell parameters for each cell. the results from the measurements can be compared with the values the planning tool produces when simulating the same type of transmitter and the Parameters for planning are adjusted to match reality. and roughly verified it with coverage and interference predictions.such as: Exact location Space for equipment.
7. it is time to visit the area of interest
7. and then the signal strength is measured while driving around in the area. for example. to specific climate and terrain in in the area of interest.
. A test transmitter is mounted. when we know that the predictions run by the planning tool can be trusted. Parameters used in Sweden.9 Final cell plan
Now. As the name says.8 Evaluation of measurements
Back in the office. Many issues have to be checked and verified. are run. both on coverage and interference. a document called CDD.7. Also.
. have grown significantly. a new traffic and coverage analysis has to be performed. This leads to that we have to ³ start all over again ³ and that: ³The cell planning work never ends´. This is called system tuning.7. When adding more and more subscribers. getting more and more traffic in the network and possibly also wanting to increase the coverage area.10 System tuning
Some time after the system has been installed and started up . if needed
7.11 System growth Most CME 20 networks that have been installed up till know. it is time to once again look at how well the system is adjusted to reality.
. The tasks included are: Checking that the final cell plan was realized Evaluating possible customer complaints Checking that the network performance is acceptable Changing parameters and performing other measures.
7. MS sends a call setup request via SDCCH to the MSC/VLR. 2. 1. (This setup is not performed if the MS is in active mode. the connection is established. 10. Checking if the subscriber has the service ³ Barring of outgoing calls´activated. MSC/VLR asks the BSC to allocate an idle TCH. which establishes a connection in PSTN to the B-subscriber. Over SDCCH all signaling preceding a call takes place. MS establishes a connection to the network.
(A) Voice Call. The authentication procedure.
(B) Mobile Originated SMS. which are told to activate the TCH. This is a Stand Alone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH).in this case o f PSTN subscriber) 8. Marking the MS ³active´ in MSC/VLR. Mobile Originating Call
This section describes what happens when a mobile subscriber wants to set up a call. either by a delivery report or failure report. 3.
Mobile originated SMS transfers a short message submitted by the MS to a service centre. MS uses Random Access Channel (RACH) to ask for a signaling channel. since the connection already exists. 6. It also provides information about the delivery of the short message. Sending the B-number (the number to the called subscriber. 11. Data call and sending of a short message are described separately.8. This includes: 4. MSC/VLR forwards the B-number to an exchange in the PSTN. This is forwarded to the BTS and MS. If B answers. 9. Start ciphering equipment identification. as in the case of a normal call set up.
Below is the description of signaling used for voice call setup. MOBILE TRAFFIC
I. 5. BSC allocates a signaling channel using Access Grant Channel (AGCH).
HLR translates MSISDN into IMSI. most likely via PSTN.³call forwarding to Cnumber´. Therefore the MS must be located & paged before a connection can be established. GMSC analyzes MSISDN to find out which HLR the MS is registered in. Mobile Terminated Call. HLR requests a Mobile Station Roaming Number (MSRN) from the serving MSC/VLR. A connection is established to the Gateway MSC (GMSC).Figure 23:mobile originated cell
II. The MSISDN is analyzed in the local PSTN exchange. 4.
. and queries the HLR for information about how to route the call to the serving MSC/VLR. If the service is activated. 3. The PSTN subscriber keys in the MS¶s telephone number (MSISDN). MSRN identifies the MSC/VLR. the call is rerouted by the GMSC to that number.
The major difference between making a call to a mobile subscriber and making a call to a PSTN is that the location of the mobile subscriber is unknown. 2. and determines which MSC/VLR is currently serving the MS. 1. The PSTN exchange knows that this is a call to a GSM subscriber.
(A) Voice call
Below is the description of the call setup procedure for a call from a PSTN subscriber to a mobile subscriber. HLR also checks the service. whereas the location of the PSTN subscriber is known.
6. Re-transmission can also be ordered. directly or via the PSTN.
Mobile Terminated SMS has the capacity to transfer a short message from the SMS. (This step is not performed if the MS is in active mode). A user sends a message to a SMS-C. which confirms the delivery of the message to the recipient. as in the normal call setup case. The HLR returns routing information to the SMS-GMSC.5. It also provides information about the delivery of the short message. SMS-GMSC reroutes the message to the MSC/VLR.
Figure 24: mobile terminated call
. 2.C to a MS. or a failure report. SMS-C sends the message to the SMS-GMSC. MSC/VLR returns the MSRN via HLR to the GMSC.
(B) Mobile Terminated SMS. 1. 4. SMS-GMSC queries the HLR for routing information. 5. 6. 3. GMSC reroutes the call to the MSC/VLR. which informs the originator that the short message was not delivered and the reason why. MS is paged and a connection is set up between the MS and the network. This information is either a delivery report.
I believe. Having a multitude of incompatible systems throughout the world moves us farther away from this ideal. GSM is a very complex standard. however. whose objective can be stated as the availability of all communication services anytime. The GSM system. The economies of scale created by a unified system are enough to justify its implementation.8 GHz (called DCS1800) and 1.9. that I gave the general flavor of GSM and the philosophy behind its design. to the benefit of the public both in terms of cost and service quality. and more energy-efficient terminals. by a single identity number and a pocketable communication terminal . anywhere. The SIM card is a novel approach that implements personal mobility in addition to terminal mobility. regardless of national boundaries. As with any overview. are a first approach at a true personal communication system. there are many details missing. and one that has proven a success. GSM comes close to fulfilling the requirements for a personal communication system: close enough that it is being used as a basis for the next generation of mobile communication technology in Europe. and operating in North America). to anyone. not to mention the convenience to people of carrying just one communication terminal anywhere they go. Short Message Service. data transfer.9 GHz (called GSM1900 or PCS1900. resulting in lighter. many functions of the mobile station can be built on one chipset. and government can succeed. Telecommunications are evolving towards personal communication networks. and support for a variety of services such as telephony. the Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS). It is a standard that ensures interoperability without stifling competition and innovation among suppliers.CONCLUSION
In this paper I have tried to give an overview of the GSM system. and its sibling systems operating at 1. For example. and especially one covering a standard 6000 pages long. and supplementary services. fax. It was a monumental task that the original GSM committee undertook. showing that international cooperation on such projects between academia. industry. Together with international roaming. more compact. but that is probably the price that must be paid to achieve the level of integrated service and quality offered while subject to the rather severe restrictions imposed by the radio environ
. by using Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) microprocessor technology.
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