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• • • • • • • • • INTRODUCTION OVERVIEW Basics SOLUTION PACKAGE BSS CORE NETWORK TERMINALS APPLICATIONS SERVICES
This document intends to give an overview of the package-based EDGE solution from Ericsson. Detailed descriptions of involved products/nodes for the EDGE solution is found in the Product Information for corresponding products. Features and functionality for GPRS is a prerequisite for the EDGE solution and is not covered by this document. GSM EDGE, Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution, was the evolution of GSM, & GPRS which used 8PSK modulation to achieve data transfer rates up to 384 kbps. EDGE is an evolution to the GSM mobile cellular phone system. The name EDGE stands for Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution and it enables data to be sent over a GSM TDMA system at speeds up to 384 kbps. In some instances GSM EDGE evolution systems may also be known as EGPRS, or Enhanced General Packet Radio Service systems. Although strictly speaking a "2.5G" system, the GSM EDGE cellular technology is capable of providing data rates that are a distinct increase on those that could be supported by GPRS. EDGE evolution is intended to build on the enhancements provided by the addition of GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) where packet switching is applied to a network. It then enables a three-fold increase in the speed at which data can be transferred by adopting a new form of modulation. GSM uses a form of modulation known as Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK), but EDGE evolution changes the modulation to 8PSK and thereby enabling a significant increase in data rate to be achieved.
EDGE will be implemented in the Ericsson GSM networks and terminals. Ericsson Professional Services will implement new EDGE enabled services. The introduction of EDGE packet switched data also sometimes referred to Enhanced GPRS (EGPRS), will enable 3G services in existing GSM/GPRS networks. EDGE is a simple add-on function to the existing GSM/GPRS networks, allowing significantly increased data throughput and capacity gains in comparison to using GPRS only. Data rates up to 384 kbit/s, and even more, will make it possible to provide advanced applications requiring high data rates. The implementation of EDGE in Ericsson GSM networks affects mainly the BSC and BTS nodes through new SW and new EDGE TRU:s, provided use of RBS 2000 macro base station series. Only minor parts of the Core Network is affected in terms of SW release updates to cope with new parameters introduced. Ericsson Global Services has adapted and created new services which provides a complete service portfolio addressing EDGE. To support EDGE also mobile terminals need to be EDGE capable. Ericsson will introduce a GSM/GPRS/EDGE terminal to coincide with the rollout of Ericsson EDGE systems and services Worldwide.
What is EDGE? - the basics GSM EDGE cellular technology is an upgrade to the existing GSM / GPRS networks, and can often be implemented as a software upgrade to existing GSM / GPRS networks. This makes it a particularly attractive option proving virtually 3G data rates for a small upgrade to an existing GPRS network. GSM EDGE evolution can provide data rates of up to 384 kbps, and this means that it offers a significantly higher data rate than GPRS. There are a number of key elements in the upgrade from GSM or GPRS to EDGE. The GSM EDGE technology requires a number of new elements to be added to the system:
Use of 8PSK modulation: In order to achieve the higher data rates within GSM EDGE, the modulation format can be changed from GMSK to 8PSK. This provides a significant advantage in being able to convey 3 bits per symbol, thereby increasing the maximum data rate. This upgrade requires a change to the base station. Sometimes hardware upgrades may be required, although it is often simply a software change. Base station: Apart from the upgrade to incorporate the 8PSK modulation capability, other small changes are required to the base station. These are normally relatively small and can often be accomplished by software upgrades.
Upgrade to network architecture: GSM EDGE provides the capability for IP based data transfer. As a result, additional network elements are required. These are the same as those needed for GPRS and later for UMTS. In this way the introduction of EDGE technology is part of the overall migration path from GSM to UMTS. The two main additional nodes required for the network are the Gateway GPRS Service Node (GGSN) and the Serving GPRS Service Node (SGSN). The GGSN connects to packet-switched networks such as the Internet and other GPRS networks. The SGSN provides the packet-switched link to mobile stations.
Mobile stations: It is necessary to have a GSM EDGE handset that is EDGE compatible. As it is not possible to upgrade handsets, this means that the user needs to buy a new GSM EDGE handset. Despite the number of changes that need to be made, the cost of the upgrade to move to GSM EDGE cellular technology is normally relatively small. The elements in the core network are required for GPRS which may already be available on the network, and hence these elements will already be present. The new network entities are also needed for UMTS and therefore they are on the overall upgrade and migration path. Other changes to the base stations are comparatively small and can often be achieved very easily.
GSM EDGE evolution specification overview It is worth summarizing the key parameters of GSM EDGE cellular technology.
PARAMETER Multiple Access Technology Duplex Technique Channel Spacing Modulation Slots per channel Frame duration Latency Overall symbol rate Overall modulation bit rate Radio data rate per time slot Max user data rate per time slot Max user data rate when using 8 time slots DETAILS FDMA / TDMA FDD 200 kHz GMSK, 8PSK 8 4.615 ms Below 100 ms 270 k symbols / s 810 kbps 69.2 kbps 59.2 kbps (MCS-9) 473.6 kbps **
Note: ** A maximum user data rate of 384 kbps is often seen quoted as the data rate for GSM EDGE. This data rate corresponds to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) definition of the data rate limit required for a service to fulfill the International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) standard(i.e. 3G) in a pedestrian environment.
GSM EDGE network architecture In order that the GSM EDGE upgrade can be implemented, additions are required within the EDGE network architecture to be able to cater for the packet data that is carried by the system. The additional network entities required are the same as those used for GPRS and also for UMTS. With the introduction of the new entities within the network, it was still necessary for the new EDGE network elements and those from the existing GSM elements to work along side one another. Accordingly the introduction of GPRS and EDGE technology saw the addition of some new entities within the over network architecture. The two main elements that are required by the GSM EDGE network architecture are the GGSN and SGSN. These enable the network to be able to cater for the packet data that is passed over the network.
GSM EDGE network architecture upgrades Although in practice a variety of elements are required within the network architecture, the main new network architecture entities that are needed for the EDGE upgrade are: • SGSN: GPRS Support Node - this forms a gateway to the services within the network. • GGSN: Gateway GPRS Support Node which forms the gateway to the outside world. • PCU: Packet Control Unit which differentiates whether data is to be routed to the packet switched or circuit switched networks. A simplified view of the GSM EDGE network architecture can be seen in the diagram below. From this it can be seen that it is very similar to the more basic GSM network architecture, but with additional elements.
SGSN The SGSN or Serving GPRS Support Node element of the GPRS network provides a number of takes focussed on the IP elements of the overall system. It provides a variety of services to the mobiles: • Packet routing and transfer • Mobility management • Authentication • Attach/detach • Logical link management • Charging data There is a location register within the SGSN and this stores location information (e.g., current cell, current VLR). It also stores the user profiles (e.g., IMSI, packet addresses used) for all the GPRS users registered with the particular SGSN. GGSN The GGSN, Gateway GPRS Support Node is one of the most important entities within the GSM EDGE network architecture. The GGSN organises the inter-working between the GPRS / EDGE network and external packet switched networks to which the mobiles may be connected. These may include both Internet and X.25 networks. The GGSN can be considered to be a combination of a gateway, router and firewall as it hides the internal network to the outside. In operation, when the GGSN receives data addressed to a specific user, it checks if the user is active, then forwarding the data. In the opposite direction, packet data from the mobile is routed to the right destination network by the GGSN.
PCU The PCU or Packet Control Unit is a hardware router that is added to the BSC. It differentiates data destined for the standard GSM network (circuit switched data) and data destined for the EDGE network (Packet Switched Data). The PCU itself may be a separate physical entity, or more often these days it is incorporated into the base station controller, BSC, thereby saving additional hardware costs.
GSM EDGE network upgrading
One of the key elements for any network operator is the cost of capital expenditure (capex) to buy and establish a network. Capex costs are normally very high for a new network, and operators endeavour to avoid this and use any existing networks they may have to make the optimum use of any capital. In addition to the capex, there are the operational costs, (opex). These costs are for general maintenance and other operational costs that may be incurred. Increasing efficiency and reliability will reduce the opex costs. Any upgrade such as that from GSM to EDGE will require new investment and operators are keen to keep this to the minimum. The upgrades for the EDGE network are not as large as starting from scratch and rolling out a new network. The EDGE network adds to the existing GSM network. The main new entities required within the network are the SGSN and GGSN, and these are required as the starting point. The base station subsystems require some updates. The main one is the addition of the PCU described above. Some modifications may be required to the BTS, but often only a software upgrade is required, and this may often be achieved remotely. In this way costs are kept to a minimum.
The nodes affected by implementing packed based EDGE is BSS, (BSC, BTS and OSS) and on the Core Network side, SGSN and HLR. Terminals supporting EDGE is also needed. Ericsson Global Services has adapted and created new services which provides a complete service portfolio addressing EDGE. BSS: • BSC The new feature EDGE (called EGPRS, FAJ 121 31 R1 Rev. A) is introduced in the BSC and is a prerequisite. The feature “Quality of Service (QoS) and Scheduling” ( FAJ 121 32 R1 Rev B) is recommended. The feature allows the operator to differentiate between users by giving them different profiles in terms of throughput, prioritisation over other users etc. For more information please see PMI for BSS R9.1.
BTS New transceivers are introduces for EDGE. The single transceiver for EDGE is plug in compatible with all RBS 2000 macro basestation series. For the new RBS 2206 a corresponding double transceiver is available for EDGE. Depending on the number of EDGE TRU:s per cell also DXU21 needs to be considered. At a later stage, when more capacity is needed, it is also possible to implement a second TRU board per cell. The implementation of a second EDGE TRU per cell requires the new DXU-21. More information on EDGE related to Radio Base Station can be found in PMI for Radio Base Stations.
OSS OSS will simplify the handling of EDGE. No special feature number for EDGE has been made. OSS has configuration support for new parameters related to EDGE and updated performance reports based on new counters introduced for EDGE. For more information please see PMI for Operation and Support Systems/ OSS R9.
Since packed based EDGE mainly is a new modulation technique affecting the radio transmission part, very little in the core network is affected provided GPRS is in place. Of course, dimensioning of resources for increased packet data volumes has to be made, but this is a normal data packet planning activity not specific to EDGE as such. In the Core Network the SGSN and HLR is affected by EDGE. It is recommended that other Core Network nodes including Ericsson Charging Solutions, are aligned with the same Ericsson GSM system release as the BSS, SGSN and HLR are part of. For more information please see PMI for Core Networks.
In HLR, one new optional feature for EDGE is introduced. Prerequisite is the feature for GPRS support. New Bearer Capability combinations is administrated in the HLR. Also new values for bittransparent connections are introduced to allow ISDN-Bearer Capability (BC) to GSM BC Translations. For more information on HLR, please see PMI for Core Networks/HLR
The Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) handles packet data traffic of users in a geographical area. The Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) connects to outside data networks. SGSN and GGSN are routers that support terminal mobility. The introduction of EDGE has minor impact on the SGSN node. One information element is updated with an extension of the parameter range. Quality of Service for EGPRS (interactive and background classes) is supported according to 3GPP R99 (from SGSN-G 4.0 release). For more information on SGSN, please see PMI for Core Networks/GSN.
Ericsson will introduce a GSM/GPRS/EDGE terminal to coincide with the rollout of Ericsson EDGE systems and services worldwide. The terminal will be triple band and it will support cutting-edge technologies such as MMS (Multimedia Messaging), Sync ML (remote synchronization), locationbased services and full security m-commerce. It will be available in Asia, Europe and the Americas.
To a great extent, the critical factor for data speed is related to the radio interface. With EDGE, WAP and regular HTML-browsing will be faster and thereby more user-friendly. In addition, speed critical applications such as video-streaming and interactive games, earlier not accessible with GPRS, will be possible with EDGE. Ericsson has established a number of initiatives, partnerships and projects to promote application development and a global network of in-house development centers. Ericsson Internet Applications focuses on the five solution areas of mobile commerce, personalization, messaging, location-based services and interactive media to supply network operators and service providers. Together with its partners, Ericsson Internet Applications develops applications and offers a platform - the Internet Services Platform - to run applications in a fast, reliable and cost-effective way. Ericsson Internet Applications also stimulates the global industry through Ericsson Mobility World, an industry-wide initiative to accelerate the development of the market by establishing centers for application development in every major country for Mobile Internet. Through this worldwide network of centers and web-based services, Ericsson Mobility World help network operators, developers, content providers and enterprises to collaborate on developing and bringing to market innovative applications and services. For more information on Applications, please see Ericsson website for applications. http://www.ericsson.com/mobileinternet/
The EDGE Service Portfolio contains Consulting, Implementation, Education, Support and Operation-related services. It is divided into seven service families: Business Consulting; Network Build & Migration; Customer Management; Network Management and Service Assurance Solutions; Competence Development; Managed Services; and Customer Services. The services are also divided in two levels, Mandatory and Value Added services. The Mandatory package is a node by node approach and the result is installed & integrated nodes ready for service, or in service plus premium support at a minimum. These are the minimum service offering, together with hardware and software. On the other hand, the Value Added Services are business case oriented. The solution approach is divided into the three phases for a typical project: Asses & Plan ensures the future today with Business Consulting and training needs analysis. Build & Integrate gives solutions for each step for migration process, even if the operator wants Ericsson to manage all integration with different third party vendor’s products and applications. Operate & Manage maximises the network’s benefits when the network is up and running. For more information, please see Ericsson website for Global Services.
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