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What is TBF:Temporary Block Flow 0003] A Temporary Block Flow (TBF) is a logical connection used by two GeneralPacket Radio

Service (GPRS) entities to support the unidirectional transfer of lower layer compatibility (LLC) protocol data units (PDUs) on packet data physical channels(PDCHs)(or timeslots). In a typical GPRS system, the network needs to establish adownlink (DL) TBF to transfer data in the DL direction and an uplink (UL) TBF totransfer data in the UL direction. TBFs are typically short-lived and are generally onlyactive during data transfers.[0004] FIG. 2 is an exemplary, priorart signaling flow diagram that depicts UL TBFrelease and establishment signaling during an active DL TBF. A mobile station (MS)with an active downlink TBF, requests uplink resources by sending a channel request tothe network as a part of a Packet Downlink Ack/Nack (PDAK) message. The PDAK message is also used to acknowledge the radio link control (RLC) data blocks received inthe downlink direction. The network solicits a PDAK message by setting the "poll" bit ina DL RLC data block. The network, or packet control unit (PCU), sends the mobile aPacket Uplink Assignment (PUA) message to assign resources for an uplink TBF. ThePUA contains a timeslot allocation for the MS's uplink TBF. The MS can then startsending uplink RLC data blocks on the timeslot(s) allocated in PUA.[0005] The MS initiates the release of the uplink TBF by beginning the countdown process (as described in 3GPP specification 04.60, sub clause 9.3.1). During an uplink TBF, when the mobile station has only BS_CV_MAX number of blocks remaining to betransmitted in this TBF, the mobile station decrements the Countdown Value (CV) in theRLC/MAC data block header of each subsequent RLC data block sent to the network until the mobile sends the last RLC data block with CV=0.[0006] If the network has received all the RLC data blocks when it detects the end of theTBF (i.e., when CV=0), it will send the Packet Uplink Ack/Nack (PUAK) message withthe Final Ack Indicator bit set to `1`. When the received PUAK message has the FinalAck Indicator bit set to `1`, the mobile station shall transmit the Packet ControlAcknowledgment (PCA) message and release the TBF.[0007] In existing GPRS systems, if the mobile has a limited amount of data to send tothe network, it establishes a UL TBF and starts counting down soon after it reachesBS_CV_MAX number of blocks remaining to be transmitted. The count downmechanism allows the network to realize that the uplink data transfer is ending andallows the network to better utilize uplink resources. However, once the mobile starts itscountdown procedure, it cannot append more RLC data blocks (than it originallyintended for this TBF) with new data into the same uplink TBF. In order to send any newdata, the mobile needs to terminate the present UL TBF and re-establish a new UL TBFafter the current TBF is terminated.[0008] In existing GPRS systems, UL TBF establishment delays (during a DL TBF) are costly, ranging from 180 ms to 360 ms depending on the round-trip delay between the base transmitter station (BTS) and the base station controller (BSC)/PCU. In multiplewireless application protocol (WAP)-type GPRS sessions, several UL TBFs areestablished, typically during ongoing DL TBFs. Each such UL TBF suffers the roundtripdelay. However, when poor wireless conditions are prevalent, the delays experienced canexceed 5 seconds. This can occur when UL requests, during an ongoing DL TBF, are lost because of the poor wireless conditions. Subsequent requests may not be sent for over 5seconds, causing a serious delay in UL traffic.[0009] Therefore, a need exists for an apparatus and method for providing uplink communication resources that reduce some of the existing delays in acquiring theseresources. Method for the early establishment of uplink TBFs:A mobile station operating in EGPRS mode needs to the early establishment of an uplink TBF although has not data to send, at the only precautionary purpose of preventing anintolerable latency negatively affecting the subsequent delay-sensitive transmissions. Tothis aim, the mobile sends a Packet Channel Request message in one phase access modeincluding a new establishment cause called "Early TBF establishment". The network establishes an uplink TBF indicating the requester and assigns a radio resource on onePDCH channel or more. Then the network schedules the transmission from the mobilestation also when it does not have data to transmit other than dummy packets. This is performed through the USF flags in the usual manner. As soon as actual data becomeavailable for transmission, the mobile send them instead of dummy packets. In analternative embodiment the mobile sends the Packet Channel Request message in two phase access mode. As soon as the Packet Uplink Assignment message is received by themobile station, it send a Packet resource Request message including an Extended Uplink TBF information. The network behaves as in the previous case (fig.3).Claims:1. Method for establishing a temporary buffer, called TBF, for packet data to betransmitted on a packet data channel from a mobile station (MS) uplink to a wirelessnetwork (BSS) it belong to, including the steps of: a) transmitting by the mobile station aPacket Channel Request message to the network; b) assigning, by the network, a radioresource to the mobile station on at least

one uplink packet data channel; c) establishing by the network an uplink TBF to said mobile station; d) scheduling by the network permissions, also called USF, to access said uplink packet data channel from said mobilestation; characterized in that further including the steps of: - transmitting before step c) by the mobile station a request to the network including an early uplink TBFestablishment information, even the mobile station does not have data to transmit; transmitting dummy packets by said mobile station as the proper USFs are detected; -transmitting available actual packet data by said mobile station as the proper USFs aredetected.2. The method of claim 1, characterized in that said Packet Channel Request messageindicates as establishment cause said early uplink TBF establishment information.3. The method of claim 2, characterized in that said dummy packets are discardedlocally by the network.4. The method of claim 1, characterized in that the network in reply to said PacketChannel Request transmits downlink to the mobile station a Packet Uplink Assignmentmessage for limited resources enabling the mobile station to transmit in its turn an uplink Packet Resource Request message including said early uplink TBF establishmentinformation conveyed in a proper radio block.5. The method of any preceding claim, characterized in that said mobile station insteadof transmitting said dummy packets does not transmit any packets if the support of thiscapability is indicated by the network.6. The method of any preceding claim, characterized in that said early uplink TBFestablishment information is foreseen in only predetermined cases, such as in delay-sensitive transmissions.7. The method of any preceding claim, characterized in that said wireless network isstandardized by 3GPP.Description: