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This is realised by the introduction of a new platform, the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) that is added to the existing PS architecture.
In this chapter the basic aspects of the UMTS system are introduced with special emphasis on the Packet Switched Core Network and the IP Multimedia Sub-system. Two major architectural views are presented, the network element centric perspective and the
The UMTS System
The Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) is a third generation (3G) mobile communications system that provides a range of broadband services to the world of wireless and mobile communications. This chapter presents an overview of the UMTS architecture specified by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), focusing on the network elements relevant to the study presented here. The evolution towards an All-IP network, within the 3GPP, is occurring in several steps, known as releases [6, 7]. Earlier UMTS specifications, with a relatively strong retention of the current 2nd generation networks, were still switch centric. However, the introduction of a new IP platform, when fully specified, will provide the UMTS system with multiple wireless access options and full IP packet support. The first version of the UMTS Specification, 3GPP Release 99, defines a system which adopts much of the functionalities of the GSM/GPRS core network and introduces a new wireless access technology, namely wideband code division multiple access (WCDMA). This access technology increases the 2G systems capacity to higher data rates enabling the support of advanced services. 3GPP Release 4, further optimizes the air interface, although the major changes are targeted at the core network circuit switched domain, still present in order to maintain full coverage for second-generation services. These changes result in the separation of user data flows and their control systems into different physical entities, the Mobile-services Switching Centre (MSC) and the Media Gateway (MGW) respectively. Finally Release 5/6 provides a migration from conventional Circuit-Switched speech services served by CS domain to enhanced IP-based services using a Packet-Switched
interface-centric one. The first approach refers to the UMTS functional architecture, which defines the system in a network centric manner by allocating with them the major systemlevel management functions. The second, on the other hand, allude to the UMTS network from an interface-centric view, focusing on the system protocols.
the CN is responsible for switching and routing calls and data connections to external networks at the same time as managing session and mobility information. which interfaces with the user and the radio interface. that provides land mobile telecommunication services to the public. the RNC is connected to a set of NodeB elements. Iur PS Domain Gi IMS 3G GGSN 2. A 3rd Generation Serving GPRS ISDN CSPDN PSTN Node B Support Node (3G-SGSN) no longer comprises logical link management functions. UTRAN is located between two new open interfaces. Each PLMN. NodeB connects with the UE via the WCDMA Uu radio interface and with the RNC via the Iub UE Node B Radio (Uu) Iu Figure 2. The UMTS PLMN is a fully featured and operational network. Hence.2.UMTS functional Architecture asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) – based interface. Functionally these elements are grouped into the Radio Access Network (RAN.2. Communication and Mobility Management (CM and MM). the locations of several functions have been shifted from the SGSN which is part of the GPRS CN to the Radio Network Controller (RNC) in UTRAN. However. Whereas.UTRAN) and the Core Network (CN) [8. Internet. RNC is where the radio resources are managed. Iu connects the UTRAN to the CN.1 .1 NodeB Node B Iub Iub RNC Gn 3G SGSN NodeB is the physical unit for radio transmission/reception in cells. The system is completed by the User Equipment (UE) or 3G terminal . The Uu Interface is a WCDMA radio interface through which the UE accesses the fixed part of the system. Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). Uu and Iu. either on its own or together with other sub-networks. The main task of Node B is to perform the air interface Layer 1 processing (transfer information from transport to physical channels) although it also participates in some basic Radio Resource Management (RRM) operation. and so on. 9]. where each one is controlled by a Radio Network Controller (RNC) . The collection of at least one logical network element of each type defines a UMTS Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN). soCN CS Domain called Radio Access Bearers (RABs) are defined between UE and the UTRAN.1. With RAB the CN elements are given an illusion of a fixed communication path to the UE. each of which can serve one or several cells. one or more cells may be served by a NodeB. Within a RNS.2. is connected to other PLMNs as well as to other types of networks. The main task of UTRAN is to create and maintain Radio Access Bearers (RABs) for communication between User Equipment (UE) and the Core Network (CN).1 UMTS Radio Access Network UTRAN is subdivided into individual Radio Network Systems (RNSs). typically established and operated by a single operator. UTRAN RNS Iub Iub RNC Node B HSS 3G MSC/VLR 3G GMSC 2. Depending on sectoring (omni/sectored cells). such as Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN).2 ARCHITECTURE OVERVIEW The UMTS system consists of a number of logical network elements connected through open interfaces or access points. UMTS Terrestrial RAN . The UTRAN handles all radio-related functionality. Radio Resource and Mobility Management (RRM and MM).1. 7 8 . The high-level architecture is shown in Figure 2. While in GPRS/EDGE networks the logical link is defined between UE and SGSN.
The SRNC also terminates the Radio Resource Control Signalling. Logical Role of RNC The RNC controlling one Node B (i. more detail is not provided as the CS domain is not the basis of the investigation presented in this thesis. UTRAN Radio Resource Management (RRM) and control functions. Release 4 explains in detail its functionalities . The UTRAN control functions include all of the functions related to setup. the CN is functionally further divided into two domains. As mentioned earlier.2. The information is split into separated but related packets before being transmitted and is reassembled at the receiving end. 9 10 . In case one mobile-UTRAN connection uses resources from more than one RNS. It contains routing information for PSattached users. The DRNC is any RNC. the PS CN has been extended with the IP multimedia CN sub-system (IM CN) functionality.2. that is the signalling protocol between the UE and UTRAN. i. one or more DRNCs. The SRNC may also be the CRNC of some Node B used by the mobile for connection with UTRAN.1. the PS domain offers "PS type connection". 12]. 2. The RNC interfaces the CN for both Packet-Switched and Circuit-Switched service domains and also terminates the Radio Resource Control (RRC) protocol that defines the messages and procedures between the mobile and UTRAN. circuit switched domain (CS domain) and packet switched domain (PS domain). This new platform enables PLMN operators to offer their subscribers multimedia services based on Internet applications and protocols. The GGSN may request location information from the HSS.2. It also has a third interface called Iur for inter-RNS connections.2 Packet-Switched CN On the other hand.2. The SRNC is the RNC that terminates both the Iu link for the transport of user data and the corresponding RAN Application Part (RANAP) signalling to/from the core network.1 Circuit Switched CN The CS domain refers to the set of all CN entities offering a “CS type connection”.2 UMTS Core Network The UMTS Core Network (CN) can be seen as the basic platform for all communication services provided to the UMTS subscribers. the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) and the Gateway GPRS Support Node [11. terminating the Iub interface towards the Node B) is indicated as the Controlling RNC (CRNC) of the Node B. the RNCs involved have two separate logical or functional roles: • 2.e. The entities specific to the CS domain are the Mobile-services Switching Centre (MSC).2. Each UE may have zero. The Radio Network Controller (RNC) is the switching and controlling element of the UTRAN located between the Iub and Iu interface.e. The basic communication services include switching of circuit-switched calls and routing of packet data. The CN PS domain in UMTS has two basic network elements evolved from 2. which transports the user information using autonomous concatenation of bits called packets. In order to handle both types of user traffic as well as the related signalling. and also executes the admission control and code allocation for new radio links to be established in those cells. In such connection dedicated network resources are allocated at connection establishment and released at connection release. other than SRNC. The GGSN is the node that is accessed by the packet data network due to the evaluation of the PDP address. The RRM is a collection of algorithms used to guarantee the stability of the radio path and the QoS of radio connection by efficient sharing and managing of the radio resources. One UE connected to UTRAN has only one SRNC.5G General Packet Radio System (GPRS).2. The DRNC is involved in the active connection through an inter-RNC soft-handover. the SGSN. Serving RNC. that controls cells used by the mobile. The CRNC is responsible for the load and congestion control of its own cells. the Media Gateway and the Gateway MSC (GMSC). The whole functionality of a RNC can be grouped into two parts.2 Radio Network Controller 2. The routing information is used to tunnel N-PDUs to the UE’s current point of attachment. maintenance and release of Radio Bearers including the support functions for the RRM algorithms.2. • Drift RNC.
Serving CSCF (S-CSCF). Breakout Gateway CF (BGCF) or Multimedia Resource Function (MRF).3. This includes the collection of signalling and bearer related network elements as defined in TS 23.2 – IM Subsystem entities 11 12 . 2.1. Furthermore. The Session Control Function can take various roles as defined in 3GPP TS 23. both mobile and fixed. Such services are based on IETF defined session control capability.2. and access to. Interrogating CSCF (I-CSCF). In order to achieve access independence and to maintain a smooth interoperation with wireline terminals across the Internet. it accesses the HSS to resolve the SIP server addresses involved in the session (ICSCF. D. Gc.1.2 Serving-CSCF IP Multimedia Networks PSTN Mb Mb PSTN The Serving-CSCF (S-CSCF) is always assigned in the home network. Which will install the IP bearer level policy based on information from the SDP payloads (end-points.1.2. The Home Subscriber Server (HSS) is also introduced providing user profile information similar to that of today’s HLR. voice. the S-CSCF can also act as a SIP proxy server.002  and TS 23. or a roaming subscriber currently located within that network operator’s service area. BGCF or S-CSCF). As P-CSCF.2. the Media Gateway Control Function (MGCF) and the Media Gateway (MGW). the IP multimedia subsystem interfaces uses an IETF defined protocol. which along with multimedia bearers utilises the PS domain. C. It obtains the S-CSCF linked with the user in the registration procedure and the S-CSCF of the terminating counterpart in the session establishment.3.1 Call Session Control Function The Call Session Control Function (CSCF) is a SIP server that provides/controls multimedia services for packet-switched IP terminals. Its address is discovered after or as a part of a successful PDP context activation.2. when the P-CSCF receives a SIP message containing Session Description Protocol (SDP) information it triggers the Authorize QoS Resource procedure . Gr Mj BGCF 2.3. IM Subsystem Figure 2.3 IP Multimedia Sub-system The IP Multimedia CN sub-system (IMS) comprises all CN elements for provision of multimedia services. It can act as Proxy CSCF (P-CSCF). As the contact MRFP Mp Mb Mb Mb MRFC P-CSCF Gm Go UE point.228 .2. It acts as a registrar Legacy mobile signalling Networks making information available through the location server (HSS) and subsequently performs the session control services for the registered endpoint. video.922 . The P-CSCF forwards SIP messages from UE to the specific I-CSCF or to the SIP server (S-CSCF) acting as a SIP Proxy . data and web-based technologies for the wireless user. messaging.3 Interrogating-CSCF IMSMGW Mb MGCF Mn Mg Mr HSS CSCF Mw The Interrogating-CSCF (I-CSCF) is mainly the contact point within an operator’s network for all IMS connections destined to a subscriber of that network operator. 2. The IMS introduces three main logical network elements to the existing infrastructure: the Call Session Control Function (CSCF). 2. The IM CN sub-system enables the convergence of. the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) . It handles the session states in the BGCF PSTN Mk Mk CSCF Mm Mw Mi Cx network for support of the services.3. bandwidth requirements. and characteristics of the media exchange).1 Proxy-CSCF The Proxy-CSCF (P-CSCF) is the first contact point for the UE within the IM CN subsystem thus always located in the network where the UE resides.2.
Therefore this logical entity acts as a signalling entity for call/session control.3. 13 14 . and SIP signalling.2. As depicted in Figure 2.3 Media Gateway Control Function Figure 2.3 – Basic HSS Structure The Media Gateway Control Function (MGCF) entity controls the MGW and performs translation at the call control signalling level between ISUP signalling. This entity also integrates the Home Location Register (HLR) functionality for both packet and circuit domain. Once in the network in which the inter-working with PSTN/CS domain is to occur.1.3. MRFP controls the bearer on the Mb reference point and provides media stream resources to be controlled by the MRFC.2 Media Gateway Gr (MAP based ) Gc (MAP based ) Mh Cx (IP based interface) The Media GateWay (MGW) terminates bearer channels from a circuit switched network and media streams from a packet network.220.127.116.11 Multimedia Resource Function The Home Subscriber Server (HSS) is the master database for 3G/UMTS Rel5/6 IP users.2.3. It contains the subscription-related information to support the network entities handling the IP session.3.2. The Multimedia Resource Function (MRF) is split into Multimedia Resource Function Controller (MRFC) and Multimedia Resource Function Processor (MRFP). Subscription information HSS (HLR / UMS) Location information 2. it selects a MGCF which will be responsible for such inter-working. SGSN GGSN R-SGW CSCF 2.4 Breakout Gateway Control Function 2.3 HSS provides heterogeneous information from core network diverse domains. 2. which is thereon considered as a HSS subset.4 Home Subscriber Server The Breakout Gateway Control Function (BGCF) selects the network in which PSTN/CS Domain breakout is to occur forwarding the session signalling to another BGCF if it is a different one. used in PSTN. used in the UMTS multimedia domain.2.3.
is responsible for providing the general-purpose transport service for all UMTS network elements across the interfaces. Radio Interface Uu RRC/ PDCP System Network Layer USER PLANE CONTROL PLANE Terrestrial Interfaces Iub RRC/ RANAP/ PDCP Iu FP Iu RANAP/ Iu FP Radio Network Layer USER PLANE CONTROL PLANE Transport Network Layer Layer 2 RLC RLC MAC MAC FP FP Transport Transport Layers Transport Layers Figure 2. divide UMTS system functionality among the network elements. The different UMTS layers are analysed separately and if the data and user protocols domains differ. the Radio network and the System network layer. the user plane protocols are used to transparently transmit user data. although they are open to operator definition.4. UMTS radio interface or UMTS terrestrial interface.1 Transport Network Layer The transport network layer is the lowest of the UMTS protocol architecture thus providing facilities to transport and route both control and user traffic across all UMTS network interfaces.5 . Within all three layers it is then possible to distinguish between control aspects and user data transfer aspects.UMTS protocol internetworking architecture The horizontal decomposition separates (generic) transport aspects from (UMTS-specific) mobile networking aspects by dividing the UMTS protocol into three layers. which creates the vertical structuring to the UMTS protocol model.e.3. Whereas. The transport layer is subdivided into two protocols layers – the physical layer (L1) and the data link layer (L2). into horizontal layers and vertical planes.1 WCDMA Physical Layer The physical layer of the UMTS radio interface is based on the WCDMA radio technology . as depicted in Figure 2.. Layer 1 WCDMA WCDMA Transport L1 UE L1 Node B SRNC CN Figure 2. whereas terrestrial interfaces are typically based on digital transmission technology.. The following transport channels are defined in WCDMA : 15 16 . UE Node B RNC USER PLANE CONTROL PLANE SGSN GGSN 2. The specified protocols can be grouped depending on the UMTS interfaces they refer to.2. Transport channels are always unidirectional and either common (i. The general UMTS protocol model is structured. which are mapped to different physical channels in the physical layer.1. which are logically independent.5 illustrates the UMTS transport protocols (coloured blue). named Transport network layer. Figure 2. detailed information is given. shared among several users) or dedicated (i. such as ATM.4 .e.UMTS Transport network protocols 2. allocated to a specific user).3 UMTS PROTOCOL STRUCTURE The UMTS protocols are used to control the execution of network functions in a coordinated manner between the different UMTS domains. The lower layer.3. In UTRAN the data generated at higher layers is carried over the air with transport channels. While the control plane protocols ensure system-wide control of communication resources and services. which are by definition UMTS system-specific protocols. The next section will give a detailed overview of the UMTS protocols as defined by 3GPP.
• Dedicated Channel (DCH) – Downlink or uplink dedicated channel used to carry user data or control information intended for a given user. • Random Access Channel (RACH) – Uplink common transport channel intended to be used to carry control information such as requests to set up a connection and short user packets from the terminal. onto the appropriate transport channels.6. uses the PCH.Control Plane Radio Network Protocols Protocol (PDCP) on the PS domain.• Broadcast Channel (BCH) – Downlink common transport channel used to broadcast specific system and cell information. These transport layers are present in both user and control plane but offering different services to the upper-layers.2 Transport Network Protocols over terrestrial Interfaces Unlike in the radio interface the L2 transport network protocol for the UMTS terrestrial interfaces use two major existing protocols suites.1 Radio Network Control Plane The control plane protocols in the radio network layer execute all control needed for management of radio access bearers (RABs). paging procedures. i. • Paging Channel (PCH) – Downlink common transport channel that carries control information to a UE.3. The radio network extends from UE across the access network (UTRAN) and terminates at the edge nodes of the CN. the SRNC is responsible for the radio interface related activities for UE on the WCDMA transport channel level and the Node Bs actually only maintain the WCDMA physical channels as depicted in Figure 2.1.6 .3. 2.2. known as Signalling Radio Bearers. 2. On the control plane the RLC services. the location cell of which is known to the system.3. Those non-specific UMTS protocols are introduced in the stack in combination with some adaptation protocols.2 Transport Network Protocols in Uu Interface Over the Uu interface the L2 is defined with two specific UMTS link protocols. Uu RRC NBAP 2. Layer 3 protocols are defined to perform UTRAN–specific signalling and control. are used by the RRC network layer. the ATM protocol and the TCP/UDP/IP protocol family.5. Within UTRAN. 17 18 . The IP-based transport is widely applied only within the CN PS domain backbone network and at the Iu interface for PS domain user plane traffic whereas the ATM transport protocol is dominating on the UTRAN side. UTRAN-specific control protocols exist in each of the four interfaces as depicted in the Figure 2. RLC provides segmentation/reassembly of variable-length higher layer Protocol Data Units (PDUs) into smaller RLC Payload Units (PUs) and it also provides error correction through packet retransmission. • Forward Access Channel (FACH) – Downlink common transport channel used to carry control information and short user packets to a UE.1. characterized by the type of data transported. whereas on the UE Node B DRNC SRNC CN Iub NBAP RNSAP Iur RNSAP RRC RANAP Iu RANAP user plane are used by the service-specific protocol layers such Packet Data Convergence Figure 2. When the network initiate communication with the terminal. such AAL(n) for ATM and a GPRS tunneling protocol (GTP) in the IP case.e. the location cell of which is not known by the system.2. 2. MAC is responsible for mapping logical channels. the Medium Access Control protocol (MAC)  and the Radio Link Control protocol (RLC) .2 Radio Network Layer The radio network protocols compose the next layer (L3) on top of the generic transport network protocols discussed above. On the other hand.
update and active set update). However. It handles the control of the resources between the RNC and the core network.7. In addition. 19 20 . maintain control plane signalling across the UTRAN Iub and Iur interfaces 2. 17] operates between the UE and the RNC. CM. The UTRAN frame protocols (FP) carry the UMTS data across the UTRAN interfaces (Iu. It is located on top of the Iu signalling transport layers (SS7 in the CS case or IP protocol stacks over ATM in the IP case). etc.7 . which create the communication service to the users of those terminals.2. the Packet Data Convergence Protocol (PDCP) is required in order to get better spectral efficiency for services requiring IP packets (PS domain). the service specific Communication Management (CM) protocols operate providing Session Management (SM). The PDCP. On top of the MM sub-layer. 2.) and the mobility of user equipment in the connected mode (cell update. necessary for the provision of the end-to-end communication. reside the application and transport layers. their operation analysis will be presented in the next chapter. Supplementary service (SS) and GPRS Short Message Service (GSMS) for the PS CN domain. it is the system network protocols. NodeB AP (NBAP)  and RNS AP (RNSAP) .2 Radio Network User Plane GPRS MM MM Context GPRS MM The user-plane protocols are used to transfer user data along the radio access bearers established by the control plane.2.3.The Radio Resource Control (RRC) protocol [21.323 . Iur & Iub) using the specific transport network. The remaining Application Parts protocols.Control Plane System Layer Protocols The lower Mobility Management (MM) sub-layers operates over the signalling connection provided by the radio network. Uu SS SMS SM Session Iu SS SMS SM providing means for the two AP peers to communicate. The Radio Access Network Application Part (RANAP)  allows the CN domain to access the services provided by the UTRAN. CM. makes the UMTS radio interface applicable to carry Internet Protocol (IP) data packets providing compression of redundant protocol control information. On top of the above-mentioned UMTS network layer. for the data plane. which controls the communication between UEs and CN . as they are not UMTS signalling specific. UE Signalling Connection RNC SGSN Figure 2. on the WCDMA radio interface. transfer of user data and multiplexing radio bearers into one RLC entity. The protocols in this group belong to two sub-layers of the system network as shown in Figure 2. RRC also handles all higher-layer signalling belonging to the non-access stratum protocols (MM.3 System Network Layer Once the radio network protocols have facilitated the communication across the UTRAN sub-network by maintaining the communication path to the mobile terminals. as defined in 3GPP 25. UTRAN registration area – URA . The system protocols operate on top of the radio network transparently through the radio access (non-access stratum) and within the UMTS CN itself. The non-access stratum refers to the group of control plane protocols. with IP defined protocols. The main function of the RRC protocol is to control the radio bearers for user plane traffic (RRM) using the signalling radio bearers established in the RRC connection procedure.
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