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Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

(1) PCS Architecture

What is PCS
• Personal Communication Services A wide variety of network services that
includes wireless access and personal mobility services
– Provided through a small terminal
–Enables communication at any time, at any place, and in any terminal form.

Several PCS systems:

• High-tier Systems:
– Widespread vehicular and pedestrian services
• GSM: Global System for Mobile Communications
– The mobile telephony system that we are using
• IS-136
– USA digital cellular mobile telephony system
– TDMA based multiple access
• Personal Digital Cellular
• IS-95 cdmaOne System
– CDMA based multiple access
• Low-tier systems:
– Residential, business and public cordless access applications and systems
• Cordless Telephone 2 (CT2)
• Digital Enhanced Cordless Telephone (DECT)
• Personal Access Communication Systems (PACS)
• Personal Handy Telephone System (PHS)

PCS Architecture:

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

Each PCS technology has similar architectures which consists two parts
– Radio Network
• MS (Mobile Station)
• BS (Base Station) System
– Wireline Transport Network
• MSC (Mobile Switching Center)
• The Mobility Database connected to MSC is used to track the locations of
mobile station
PCS (personal communications service) is a wireless phone service similar to cellular
telephone service but emphasizing personal service and extended mobility. It's sometimes
referred to as digital cellular (although cellular systems can also be digital). Like cellular,
PCS is for mobile users and requires a number of antennas to blanket an area of coverage.
As a user moves around, the user's phone signal is picked up by the nearest antenna and
then forwarded to a base station that connects to the wired network. The phone itself is
slightly smaller than a cellular phone. According to Sprint, PCS is now available to 230
million people.

The "personal" in PCS distinguishes this service from cellular by emphasizing that,
unlike cellular, which was designed for car phone use and coverage of highways and
roads, PCS is designed for greater user mobility. It generally requires more cell
transmitters for coverage, but has the advantage of fewer blind spots. Technically,
cellular systems in the United States operate in the 824-849 megahertz (MHz) frequency
bands; PCS operates in the1850-1990 MHz bands.

Several technologies are used for PCS in the United States, including Time Division
Multiple Access (TDMA), Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA), and Global System
for Mobile (GSM) communication. GSM is more commonly used in Europe and

(2) Mobility Management

A GSM or UMTS network, like all cellular networks, is a radio network of individual
cells, known as base stations. Each base station covers a small geographical area which is
part of a uniquely identified location area. By integrating the coverage of each of these
base stations, a cellular network provides a radio coverage over a much wider area. A
group of base stations is named a location area, or a routing area.

The location update procedure allows a mobile device to inform the cellular network,
whenever it moves from one location area to the next. Mobiles are responsible for
detecting location area codes. When a mobile finds that the location area code is different
from its last update, it performs another update by sending to the network, a location
update request, together with its previous location, and its Temporary Mobile Subscriber
Identity (TMSI).

There are several reasons why a mobile may provide updated location information to the
network. Whenever a mobile is switched on or off, the network may require it to perform

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

an IMSI attach or IMSI detach location update procedure. Also, each mobile is required
to regularly report its location at a set time interval using a periodic location update
procedure. Whenever a mobile moves from one location area to the next while not on a
call, a random location update is required. This is also required of a stationary mobile
that reselects coverage from a cell in a different location area, because of signal fade.
Thus a subscriber has reliable access to the network and may be reached with a call,
while enjoying the freedom of mobility within the whole coverage area.

When a subscriber is paged in an attempt to deliver a call or SMS and the subscriber does
not reply to that page then the subscriber is marked as absent in both the MSC/VLR and
the HLR (Mobile not reachable flag MNRF is set). The next time the mobile performs a
location update the HLR is updated and the mobile not reachable flag is cleared.

Strategies to detect the need for Handoff:

Mobile-controlled handoff (MCHO)

–MS continuously monitors the signals of the surrounding BSsand
initiates handoff process when some criteria are met
–Used in DECT and PACS
Network-controlled handoff (NCHO)
–The surrounding BSsmeasure the signal from the MS, and the network
initiates the handoff process when some criteria are met
–Used in CT-2 Plus and AMPS
Mobile-assisted handoff (MAHO)
–The network asks the MS to measure the signal from the surrounding BSs.
The network makes the handoff decision based on reports from the MS
–Used in GSM and IS-95 CDMA

I) Inter-BS Handoff :
•New and Old BSsare connected to the same MSC
•Need for Handoff is detected by the MS
•Steps of Actions:
–MS momentarily suspends conversation and initiates the Handoff procedure by
signaling on an idle channel in the new BS. Then itresumes conversation on the old BS
–MSC transfers the encrypted information to the selected channel of the new BS and
setup the new conversation path. The switch bridges the new path with the old path and
informs the MS to transfer from the old channel to the new channel
–After the MS has been transferred to the new BS, it signals the network, and
resumes conversation using the new channel
–Upon receipt of the Handoff completion signal, the network removes the bridge from
the path and releases resources associated with the old channel

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

Intersystem Handoff
•New and Old BSsare connected to two different MSCs
•Network-controlled Handoff
•Steps of Actions:
–MSC A requests MSC B to perform handoff measurements on the callin progress. MSC
B selects a candidate BS and interrogates it for signal quality parameters on the call in
progress. MSC B returns the signal quality parameter values to MSC A.
–MSC A checks if the MS has made too many handoffs recently or Intersystem trunks
are not available. If so MSC A exits the procedure. Otherwise MSC A asks MSC B to
setup a voice channel, and then MSC B instructs MSC A to start the radio link transfer.
–MSC A sends the MS a handoff order. The MS synchronizes to new BS. After the MS is
connected to new BS, MSC BinformsMSC A that handoff is successful. MSC A then

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

What happens if the mobile moves again ?

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

(3) Roaming Management:

Roaming is one of the fundamental mobility management procedures of all cellular
networks. Roaming is defined as the ability for a cellular customer to automatically make
and receive voice calls, send and receive data, or access other services, including home
data services, when travelling outside the geographical coverage area of the home
network, by means of using a visited network. This can be done by using a
communication terminal or else just by using the subscriber identity in the visited

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

network. Roaming is technically supported by mobility management, authentication,

authorization and billing procedures.

Basic Operations
•Two basic operations in roaming management.
–Registration (location update): an MS informs theb system of
its current location
–Location Tracking: the system locates the MS

Location Tracking and Update

•When a mobile user moves from one PCS system to another, the current location of the
user should be updated.
•How to get the current location of the user ?
•Where to store the current location of the

Two-level Hierarchical Strategy

•In IS-41 and GSM MAP, the two-level strategies are proposed.•A two-tier system of
home and visited databases–Home Location Register (HLR)–Visited Location Register

Home Location Register (HLR)

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•HLR is a network database that stores and manages all subscriptions

of a specific operator.
•The information in HLR:
–MS Identity, directory number, profile information, current location, validation period

Visitor Location Register (VLR)

•The VLR has temporary information for the visiting mobile users.
•The information in VLR:
–MS Identity, directory number, current location

MS Registration Process

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

1.When the mobile user moves from one visited system to another, it must
register in the VLR of the new visited system
2.The new VLR informs the mobile user’s HLR of the person’s current
location –address of the new VLR. The HLR sends an acknowledgement,
which includes MS’s profile, to the new VLR.
3.The new VLR informs the MS of the successful registration.
4.After step 2, the HLR also sends a deregistration message to cancel the obsolete
location record of the MS in the old VLR. The old VLR acknowledges the deregistration.

Call Origination Procedure :

•MS contacts the MSC in the visited PCS network

•The call request is forwarded to the VLR for approval
•If the call is accepted, the MSC sets up the call to the called party following the standard
PSTN call setup procedure

Call Delivery :

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

1.Call attempted by a wirelinephone is forwarded to a switch in PSTN, 3

which queries the HLR to find the current VLR of the MS.
2.The VLR returns the routable address to the originating switch
through the HLR
3.Based on the routable address, the trunk is setup from the originating switch to the MS
through the visited MSC

Roaming Management under SS7 :

•How mobile roaming is managed by the PSTN signaling?
•Common Channel Signaling (CCS) is a signaling method that provides control and management
functions in the telephone network.
•CCS channel conveys messages
–to initiate and terminate calls
–determines the status of some part of the network
–controls the amount of traffic allowed
•CCS uses a separate out-of-band signaling network to carry signaling
•Signaling System No. 7 (SS7) is a CCS system
•Signaling between a PCS network and the PSTN network are achieved by the SS7

Interconnection between a PCS network and the PSTN

Components of SS7
•Service Switching Point (SSP)
–Telephone switch interconnected by SS7 link

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

–SSPsperform call processing on calls that originate or terminate at

that node
–A local SSP in the PSTN can be central officeor end office
–An SSP in a PCS network is MSC
•Signal Transfer Point (STP)
–Switch that relays SS7 messages between network switches and databases
–Based on the address fields of the SS7 messages, the STPsroute the
messages to the correct outgoing signaling links
•Service Control Point (SCP)
–Contains databases (HLR or VLR) for providing enhanced services, and accepts queries
from SSP

Registration through SS7

1.MSC2 launches a registration query to its VLR through STP2, assuming that
VLR2 and MSC2 are not colocated
2.VLR2 sends a registration message to the MS’s HLR (HLR4). VLR2 may not
know the actual address of HLR. Instead, VLR2 sends the message containing

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

Mobile Identification Number (MIN) to an STP (STP3) that can translate the MIN
into the HLR address
3.MIN-to-HLR address translation is performed at STP3 by a GTT. STP3
then forwards the registration message to HLR.
4.HLR sends an acknowledgement back to VLR2
5.HLR sends a deregistration message to VLR1, and then VLR1 acknowledges the
Obsolete VLR records are not deleted until the database is full.
•If the database is full when an MS arrives, a record is deleted, freeing storage space to
accommodate the newly arrived MS.
•A replacement policy is required to select a record for replacement.
•Advantage: No deregistration messages are sent among the SS7 network elements.

Periodic re-registration
•The MS periodically re-registers to the VLR.
•If the VLR does not receive the reregistrationmessage within a timeout period, the
record is deleted
•Creates local message traffic between MSC and VLR
•No SS7 signaling messages are generated if VLR is collocated with the MSC

Pointer Forwarding Scheme

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Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•Move Operation (Registration):

–When MS moves from one VLR to another, a pointer is created from the old VLR to the
new VLR.
–No registration to HLR is required
•Find operation (Call delivery):
–When the HLR attempts to locate the MS for call delivery, the pointer chain is traced.
–After find operation, the HLR points directly to the destinationVLR.
•Number of pointers visited in the find operation is limited by k
•Pointer forwarding scheme should not be considered when the net cost of pointer
creation and pointer traversal is higher than the cost of accessing the HLR

Call Delivery through SS7

(4)Handoff Management

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

In a cellular telephone network, handoff is the transition for any given user of signal
transmission from one base station to a geographically adjacent base station as the user
moves around. In an ideal cellular telephone network, each end user's telephone set or
modem (thesubscriber's hardware) is always within range of a base station. The region
coveredby each base station is known as its cell. The size and shape of each cell in
anetwork depends on the nature of the terrain in the region, the number of base
stations,and the transmit/receive range of each base station. In theory, the cells in
anetwork overlap; for much of the time, a subscriber's hardware is within range of
morethan one base station. The network must decide, from moment to moment, which
basestation will handle the signals to and from each and every subscriber's hardware.

Each time a mobile or portable cellular subscriber passes from one cellinto another, the
network automatically switches coverage responsibility from one basestation to another.
Each base-station transition, as well as the switching processor sequence itself, is called
handoff. In a properly functioning network, handoffoccurs smoothly, without gaps in
communications and without confusion about which basestation should be dealing with
the subscriber. Subscribers to a network need not doanything to make handoff take place,
nor should they have to think about the process orabout which base station is dealing with
the signals at any given moment.

BS Coverage Area
•BS coverage area: irregular
•In the cell boundary–Signal from a neighboring BS –Signal from the serving BS
•Otherwise: Forced termination

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

Issues for Handoff Management

I) Handoff detection
–Who and how
II) Channel assignment
III) Radio link transfer

I) Handoff Detection
•Handoff detection:
–Who initiates the handoff process?
–How is the need for handoff detected?
•Handoffs are expensive.
•Overlap of adjacent coverage area is desired
•Handoff criteria
–If not chosen appropriately, then the call might be handed back and forth several times
between two adjacent BSs
–If too conservative, then the call may be lost before the handoff
•Unreliable and inefficient handoff procedures will reduce the quality and
reliability of the system

Link Measurement
•Handoff detection is based on link measurement.
•Signal measurements used to determine the quality of a channel:
–WEI (Word Error Indicator)
•Metric that indicates whether the current burst was demodulated properly in the MS
–RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indication)
–QI (Quality Indicator)
•Signal to interference and noise (S/I) ratio
•To make the handoff decision accurately and quickly, it is desirable to use both WEI
(over a period of time) and RSSI (instantaneously)
•RSSI measurements are affected by Fading

•Distance-dependant Fading or Path Loss
–Occurs when the received signal becomes weaker due to increasing distance between
MS and BS
•Lognormal Fading or Shadow Fading
–Occurs when there are physical obstacles (e.g. hills, towers, and buildings) between the
BS and MS, which can decrease the received signal strength
•RayleighFading or MultipathFading
–Occurs when two or more transmission paths exist between MS and BS
–Two types of MultipathFading
i)RayleighFading: when obstacles are close to the receiving antenna

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

ii)Time Dispersion: when the object is far away from the receiving antenna
•Ideally, the Handoff decision should be based on distance-dependent fading and,
to some extent, on shadow fading
•Handoff decision is independent of RayleighFading
•This can be accomplished by averaging the received signal strength for a sufficient time

Channel Comparison

•MS must also measure or sample all frequencies in the band of interest to find suitable
handoff candidate
•Channel comparisons for handoff are based on RSSI and QI metrics
•Since multipathenvironment tends to make the RSSI and QI metric vary widely in the
short term
•Since it is preferable not to perform handoff to mitigate brief multipathfades
•Such handoff could cause unnecessary load on the network
•Hence the MS should average or filter these measurements before using them to
make decision
•Handoff should be initiated whenever the channel has the best filtered RSSI exceeding
that of the current channel.
•Filtering process applied to the RSSI and QI metrics will reduce their usefullnessin
mitigating sudden “shadow” fades, such as when rounding a corner or closing a door.
•The downlink WEI can be used to detect and correct these trouble situations on an
“override” basis.
•Cdown: number of downlink word errors that is reset by every complete measurement
•If Cdownexceeds some threshold, the MS should initiate a handoff when an appropriate
channel can be found

Dwell Timer
•To reduce the potential tendency of an MS to request a large number of handoffs in
quick succession
•This timer prevents the MS from requesting another handoff until some reasonable
period of time after a successful handoff.
•Adaptive measurement interval for handoffs:
–Uses Doplerfrequency to estimate the velocity of the vehicle
–Then averaging measurement interval
As the MS moves away from one BS toward another, the signals received from the first
BS become weaker, and from the second BS become stronger
•This slow effect is often masked by the multipathRayleighfading and the lognormal
shadow fading
•Short-term Rayleigh fading is handled in mobile system designs by techniques:
–Diversity techniques such as Frequency hopping, multiple receivers
–Signal Processing techniques such as bit interleaving, equalizers
•Rayleighfading is frequency dependent

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•Longer-term shadow fading is compensated by increasing transmitter power and the co-
channel reuse distance

Strategies for Handoff detection

•Who makes a decision for handoff?
•Three handoff detection schemes:
1>Mobile-controlled handoff (MCHO)
•MS continuously monitors the signals of the surrounding BS sand
initiates handoff process when some criteria are met
2>Network-controlled handoff (NCHO)
•The surrounding BSsmeasure the signal from the MS, and the network initiates
the handoff process when some criteria are met
3>Mobile-assisted handoff (MAHO)
•The network asks the MS to measure the signal from the surrounding BSs. The
network makes the handoff decision based on reports from the MS
•Advanced mobile systems follow MAHO

1>Mobile-Controlled Handoff (MCHO)

•Popular for low-tier radio systems
•MS continuously monitors the signal strength and quality from the accessed BS and
several handoff candidate BSs
•When some handoff criteria are met, the MS checks the best candidate BS for
an available traffic channel and launches a handoff request
•Two common handoffs:
–automatic link transfer (ALT) -transfer between two base stations
–time slot transfer (TST) -transfer between channels of a single
Automatic link transfer control requires the MS to make quality measurements
of the current and candidate channels in the surrounding BSs.
•The MS’s handoff control between channels on the same BS is made possible
by passing uplink-quality information, in the form of word-error indicator, back
to the MS on the downlink
•As a part of the demodulation process, the MS obtains two pieces of information: RSSI
and QI

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

2>Network-Controlled Handoff (NCHO)

•Used by low-tier CT-2 plus and by high-tier AMPS
•BS monitors the signal strength and quality from the MS
•When deteriorate below some threshold, the network arranges for a handoff to another
•The network asks all surrounding BSsto monitor the signal from the MS and the
measurement results back to the network
•The network then chooses a new BS for the handoff and informs both the MS (through
old BS) and the new BS
Network uses multiple (current and surrounding) BSsto supervise the quality of all
current connections by making measurements of RSSI
•MSC will command surrounding BSsto occasionally make measurements of these links
•MSC makes the decision when and where to effect the handoff
•Heavy network signaling traffic and limited radio resources at BSsprevent frequent
measurements of neighboring links long handoff times
•Handoff time: upto10sec or more

3>Mobile-Assisted Handoff (MAHO)

•Used in GSM, IS-136 and IS-95
•The network asks the MS to measure the signal from the
surrounding BSsand report back to old BS
•The network makes the handoff decision based on the reports from the
•Handoff process is more decentralized
•The MS and the BS supervise the quality of the link, RSSI and WEI values
•In GSM the MS transmits measurements twice a second
•GSM handoff execution time ~ 1sec

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•In both NCHO and MAHO -if the network can’t tell the mobile about the new
channel/time slot/… to use before the link qualityhas decayed too far, the call may be

Handoff Failures
•No channel on selected BS
•Insufficient resources as determined by the network (for example, no available bridge,
no suitable channel card {for example, none supporting the voice CODEC or radio link
•It takes too long for the network to set up the new link
•Target link fails during handoff

Channel Assignment
–to achieve a high degree of spectrum utilization for a given grade of service
–use a simple algorithm
–require a minimum number of database lookups
•Unfortunately it is hard to do all of these at once!
•If there is no available channel, then
–new calls are blocked
–existing calls that can’t be handed over forced terminations

Schemes introduced to reduce the number of forced terminations, at the cost of

increased block or decreased efficiency:
–Nonprioritizedscheme (NPS) -handoff call treated the same as a new call
–Reserved Channel scheme (RCS)-reserves some resources for handoffs
–Queuing Priority scheme (QPS) -exploit the over lap (handoff
–Subratingscheme (SRS) -switching codes of one or more calls to free
Flowchart for Non-prioritized Scheme:

Flowchart for Reserved Channel Scheme

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

Flowchart for Queuing Priority Scheme (for Handoff Calls)

Implementation Issues
•RCS is easy to implement
•It reduces the forced termination probability more effectively than NPS
•New call-blocking probability for RCS is larger than that of NPS

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•RCS is desirable when reducing forced termination is much more important than
reducing new call blocking

Implementation for the measurement-based priority scheme (MBPS) is more complex

than that for the FIFO scheme, but performance is identical
•QPS reduce forced terminations, at the expense of increased new call
•Probability of incomplete calls for FIFO and MBPS is
slightly lower than that for NPS
•QPS add hardware/software complexity for both BSsand MSsto manage waiting queues
SRS has the least forced termination probability and the probability of incomplete calls
when compared with other schemes.
•This benefit is gained at the expense of the extra hardware/software complexity required
to subratea channel.

Implementation Issues: Conclusion

•Trade-off between implementation complexity and performance
•If reducing forced termination is more important than reducing total call
incompletion, then RCS, QPS, and SRS are all better than NPS
•If implementation cost is major concern, then RCS and NPS should be
•To achieve the best performance with a slight voice quality degradation,
SRS should be selected.
•If BS density is high in a given PCS service area, then QPS may be good choice.

Handoff Management: Radio Link Transfer

Link Transfer Procedure
•Hard Handoff-Oriented
–MS connects with only one BS at a time
–Some interruption in the conversation during the link transition
–Used in TDMA and FDMA systems
•Soft Handoff-Oriented
–MS receives/transmits the same signal from/to multiple BS
•Soft Handoff is more complicated than Hard Handoff

Link Transfer Types

•Two Operations
–The radio link is transferred from the old BS to the new BS.
–The network bridges the trunk to the new BS and drop the trunk to the old BS.

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•Link transfer cases:

•Link transfer is between two time slots or channels in the same BS
•In TDMA system, this is referred as Time Slot Transfer (TST)
2.Intercellor inter-BS
4.Intersystem or inter-MSC
5.Intersystem between two PCS networks
•Focus on Inter-BS Handoff

Hard Handoff

MCHO Link Transfer

•New radio channel is selected by MS
•Handoff request message is transmitted by the MS to the new BS
•MS is responsible to choose the best BS

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

MCHO Inter-BS handoff message flow

MAHO/NCHO Link Transfer

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

MAHO Inter-BS handoff message flow

SubratingMCHO Link Transfer
•Procedure of subratinga full-rate channel into subratedchannels for handoff request
consists of three parts:
1.Requesting the Handoff
2.Subratingan existing call
3.Assigning the newly created subratedchannel to the MS requesting the Handoff

Message flow for subratingautomatic link transfer

Soft Handoff
CDMA allows many users to share a common frequency/time channel for transmission,
and the user signals are distinguishedby spreading them with different PN sequences.

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

•Also, an MS can transmit/receive the same information to/from several BSs if they have
same PN sequence
•Signaling and voice information from multiple BSs are combined (or bridged) at the
MSC, and the MSC selects the highest-quality signals from the BSs.
•Signaling and voice information must be sent from the MSC to multiple BSs, and the
MS must combine the results
•Thus, within the overlap area of two cells, an MS can simultaneously connect to both the
old and new BSs, and the link transfer procedure is no longer time-critical
•Focus on adding and removing BSs with MAHO soft handoff

Adding a new BS
Dropping the old BS

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10
Mr. Tushar Patil KCE COE&IT, Jalgaon

B. E. COMPUTER 2009-10