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GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols
6-64442 Issue 4.0
© Nokia Oyj
GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols
The information in this document is subject to change without notice and describes only the product defined in the introduction of this documentation. This document is intended for the use of Nokia's customers only for the purposes of the agreement under which the document is submitted, and no part of it may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or means without the prior written permission of Nokia. The document has been prepared to be used by professional and properly trained personnel, and the customer assumes full responsibility when using it. Nokia welcomes customer comments as part of the process of continuous development and improvement of the documentation. The information or statements given in this document concerning the suitability, capacity, or performance of the mentioned hardware or software products cannot be considered binding but shall be defined in the agreement made between Nokia and the customer. However, Nokia has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the instructions contained in the document are adequate and free of material errors and omissions. Nokia will, if necessary, explain issues which may not be covered by the document. Nokia's liability for any errors in the document is limited to the documentary correction of errors. NOKIA WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE IN ANY EVENT FOR ERRORS IN THIS DOCUMENT OR FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL (INCLUDING MONETARY LOSSES), that might arise from the use of this document or the information in it. This document and the product it describes are considered protected by copyright according to the applicable laws. NOKIA logo is a registered trademark of Nokia Oyj. Other product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks of their respective companies, and they are mentioned for identification purposes only. Copyright © Nokia Oyj 2004. All rights reserved.
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6-64442 Issue 4.0
1 2 3 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 3.7 3.8 3.9 4 5 6 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 7 7.1 7.2 8 9 Module objectives ..................................................................................4 Introduction ............................................................................................5 Network elements...................................................................................7 Packet Control Unit (PCU) .......................................................................8 Channel Codec Unit (CCU) ......................................................................8 Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) .....................................................8 Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN)...................................................9 GPRS MS...............................................................................................10 Domain Name Servers ...........................................................................12 Firewalls .................................................................................................12 Border Gateway .....................................................................................13 Charging Gateway..................................................................................13 GPRS interfaces ...................................................................................14 Transfer of packets between GSNs ....................................................16 Nokia GPRS solution ...........................................................................19 Nokia GPRS functionality .......................................................................19 Nokia Base Station Subsystem (BSS) ...................................................22 Nokia Core Network Subsystem (CNS) .................................................25 Nokia Network Management System (NMS)..........................................32 Key points .............................................................................................35 GPRS architecture: key points ...............................................................35 Nokia GPRS solution: key points ...........................................................36 Review questions .................................................................................38 Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols..............................40
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© Nokia Oyj
GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols
At the end of the module, the participant will be able to:
• • •
Name the GPRS specific network elements and their most important functions Name and explain five important open interfaces in the GPRS network Explain the principle of the GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP)
without using any references.
© Nokia Oyj
6-64442 Issue 4.0
GPRS provides mobile users access to value-added WAP services and different external packet switched networks. These networks can be, for example, the Internet or corporate intranets. The GSM-BSS provides the radio interface, and the GPRS core network handles mobility and access to external packet networks and services. This is shown in Figure 1.
Radio Resource & Radio Link Management
Switching/routing, mobility & connection management External Packet Networks
GSM (cs) Core Network
GPRS (ps) Core Network
Value-Added Services (WAP)
GPRS access to packet switched networks
The GPRS network acts in parallel with the GSM network, providing packet switched connections to the external networks. The requirements of a GPRS network are the following:
• • • • • •
The GPRS network must use as much of the existing GSM infrastructure with the smallest number of modifications to it. Since a GPRS user may be on more than one data session, GPRS should be able to support one or more packet switched connections. To support the budgets of various GPRS users, it must be able to support different Quality of Service (QoS) subscriptions of the user. The GPRS network architecture has to be compatible with future 3rd and 4th generation mobile communication systems. It should be able to support both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint data connections. It should provide secure access to external networks.
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that is. These functions are itemised below: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • Capability to separate circuit switched and packet switched traffic from mobile station (MS) Radio resource management. allocation of radio resources to GPRS subscribers across the air interface Interfaces to Internet. and subscription information Mobility management as in GSM Location management as in GSM Handover as a GPRS subscriber moves within a coverage area Power control to minimise the transmitted power by the user Network management that facilitates GPRS network management Generation and collection of network performance statistics Generation and collection of charging or billing information Signalling links between the GPRS network elements Routing of packets to appropriate destination Protocol conversion between networks that may use different protocols Buffering of data at GPRS nodes Allocation of static or dynamic address for packets originating from MS Protection of the GPRS network from security threats Capability to monitor target subscriber by law enforcement agencies Translation between logical names and IP addresses using Domain Name System (DNS) Facilitation of roaming subscribers so that they can connect to home networks Delivery of SMS messages through the GPRS network Redundancy mechanisms if one or more network elements were to fail Translation between private and public addresses using NAT and NAPT Detection of faulty or stolen GPRS handsets 6 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols A GPRS network must provide all of the functionality of a GSM network for packet switched networks and more. intranets. and other Public Land Mobile Networks (PLMN) Authenticate subscriber requests for packet switched resources Encrypt data transmitted on the air interface for security purposes Data compression for data transmitted over the air interface Interact with databases (HLR/VLR) containing subscriber information such as IMSI.0 . Public Data Networks (PDN). security data. The GPRS is expected to perform the functions of a traditional mobile communication network and a traditional packet switched computer network.
network GGSN F W PDN WAP BSS CG Billing Centre LEA Inter-PLMN Network Figure 2. GPRS architecture 6-64442 Issue 4.Network elements 3 Network elements Figure 2 shows the architecture of a GPRS network. BTS CCU BSS BSC PCU TRAU NSS MSC/VLR GMSC PSTN/ ISDN MS BTS CCU EIR BTS CCU HLR AC TRAU GPRS MS BTS CCU BSC PCU SGSN DNS IPbackbone LIG BG corp.0 © Nokia Oyj 7 (55) . The GPRS system brings some new network elements to an existing GSM network. These elements are: • • • • • • • • • Packet Control Unit (PCU) Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN): the MSC of the GPRS network Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN): gateway to external networks Border Gateway (BG): a gateway to other PLMN Intra-PLMN backbone: an IP based network inter-connecting all the GPRS elements Charging Gateway (CG) Legal Interception Gateway (LIG) Domain Name System (DNS) Firewalls: used wherever a connection to an external network is required. Not all of the network elements are compulsory for every GPRS network.
Decides dynamically. The SGSN of the GPRS network is equivalent to the MSC of the GSM network. based on • load situation • priority. The SGSN has the following functions: 8 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. The PCU can be either located in the BTS. Frame Relay technology is being used at present to interconnect the PCU to the GPRS core. As the network expands and the number of subscribers increases. BSC.1 Packet Control Unit (PCU) The PCU separates the circuit switched and packet switched traffic from the user and sends them to the GSM and GPRS networks respectively. or some other point between the MS and the MSC.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 3. There must at least one SGSN in a GPRS network.2 Channel Codec Unit (CCU) The CCU is realised in the BTS to perform the Channel Coding (including the coding scheme algorithms). PCU – its position within the BSS 3. there may be more than one SGSN in a network.0 . and • operator set rules PCU cs resources ps resources cs Radio Resource Management BSC ps Radio Resource Management PCU Figure 3.3 Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) The SGSN is the most important element of the GPRS network. power control and timing advance procedures. which resources are allocated to cs and ps usage. There is a coverage area associated with a SGSN. It also performs most of the radio resource management functions of the GPRS network. There will be at least one PCU that serves a cell in which GPRS services will be available. 3.
3.4 Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) The GGSN is the gateway to external networks. the GGSN forwards the data to the SGSN serving the mobile. MSC/VLR. and they back up each other up in case of failure. EIR) via the SS7 network in order to retrieve subscription information Collection of charging data pertaining to the use of GPRS users Traffic statistics collections for network management purposes. If it is. There are usually two or more GGSNs in a network for redundancy purposes. the GGSN is simply a router to an IP sub-network. the data is discarded. 6-64442 Issue 4. The GGSN acts as the anchor point in a GPRS data connection even when the subscriber moves to another SGSN during roaming. HLR. If the address is inactive. Every connection to a fixed external data network has to go through a GGSN. The GGSN may accept connection request from SGSN that is in another PLMN. and possibly one SGSN to another Routing of data to the relevant GGSN when a connection to an external network is required Interaction with the NSS (that is. The functions of a GGSN are given below: • • • • • • Routing mobile-destined packets coming from external networks to the relevant SGSN Routing packets originating from a mobile to the correct external network Interfaces to external IP networks and deals with security issues Collects charging data and traffic statistics Allocates dynamic or static IP addresses to mobiles either by itself or with the help of a DHCP or a RADIUS server Involved in the establishment of tunnels with the SGSN and with other external networks and VPN. When the GGSN receives data addressed to a specific user in the mobile network.Network elements • • • • • • • • • Protocol conversion (for example IP to FR) Ciphering of GPRS data between the MS and SGSN Data compression is used to minimise the size of transmitted data units Authentication of GPRS users Mobility management as the subscriber moves from one area to another. The GGSN also routes mobile originated packets to the correct external network. Hence. This is shown below.0 © Nokia Oyj 9 (55) . From the external network's point of view. it first checks if the address is active. the concept of coverage area does not apply to GGSN.
xxx Host 131.44.3 Router LAN Figure 4. GPRS network as seen by another data network 10 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 184.108.40.206 GPRS MS Different GPRS MS classes were introduced to cope with the different needs of future subscribers.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols GPRS subnetwork 155. GPRS network as seen by another data network 3.33.44. class B class A class C simultaneous • attach • activation • monitor no simultaneous traffic simultaneous • attach • activation • monitor • invocation • traffic of GSM and GPRS pure GPRS or alternative use of GSM and GPRS only Figure 5.55 Corporate subnetwork 131.33.15.xxx Internet Router Host 155. The mobiles differ in their capabilities.15.0 .
A subscriber can get data from an active GPRS link while simultaneously making a phone call. Having terminated the voice call. but he can no longer originate or terminate GSM circuit switched calls. a subscriber has established a GPRS data connection and receives data packets. increased data rates can be achieved by channel bundling. In other words. the GPRS virtual connection is “held or busy”. If a subscriber switches his mobile into GPRS mode. If it supports both then it can be used only in one of the two modes.0 © Nokia Oyj 11 (55) . the mobile stations have a multislot capability. • • In GPRS and HSCSD. Class B: A class B mobile allows a simultaneous attach. packet data can again be transmitted via the still existing GPRS virtual connection. Channel bundling is the allocation of several timeslots to a MS.Network elements Three GPRS MS classes were defined: • Class A: With a class A mobile GSM circuit switched services and GSM GPRS services can be simultaneously activated. A class A mobile allows also a simultaneous attach. It does not allow a simultaneous transmission of user data on GSM and GPRS. For instance.02. A mobile terminating GSM circuit switched call is indicated. activation and monitor of the classical GSM and GPRS services. Multislot class 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Maximum number of Minimum number of Type slots slots Rx Tx Sum Tta Ttb Tra Trb 1 1 2 3 2 4 2 1 2 1 3 3 2 3 1 1 2 2 3 3 2 3 1 1 3 1 4 3 1 3 1 1 2 2 4 3 1 3 1 1 3 2 4 3 1 3 1 1 3 3 4 3 1 3 1 1 4 1 5 3 1 2 1 1 3 2 5 3 1 2 1 1 4 2 5 3 1 2 1 1 4 3 5 3 1 2 1 1 4 4 5 2 1 2 1 1 3 3 NA NA a) 3 a) 2 6-64442 Issue 4. Class C: A class C mobile is either a pure GPRS MS or it supports both GSM circuit switched services and GPRS. but no packet data transfer is possible. he can originate or terminate GPRS calls. In the specification 05. the individual GSM multislot MS classes are specified. activation and monitor of the circuit switched GSM and GPRS services. The subscriber accepts the call. While he is making the voice call.
The firewall can also include NAT (Network Address Translation).5. b) = 1 with frequency hopping or change from Rx to Tx. the main vendors have chosen to separate the DNS functions from the SGSN. = 0 without frequency hopping and no change from Rx to Tx. 12 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. 3.7 Firewalls A firewall protects an IP network against external attack (for example. = 0 without frequency hopping and no change from Tx to Rx.0 . the DNS functionality is included in the SGSN. for example. However. Details of DNS were described in Introduction to TCP/IP module. hackers from the mobile users or from the Internet). c) = 1 with frequency hopping or change from Tx to Rx.44. 3.com to 133. In the case of GPRS.nokia. server. and information is also found in the IP CORE Course. There is a primary DNS server and a secondary DNS server. the firewall might be configured to reject all packets that are not part of a GPRS subscriberinitiated connection. In the specifications.6 Domain Name Servers These devices convert IP names into IP addresses. see the Introduction to TCP/IP module.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 14 15 16 17 18 19 19 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 4 5 6 7 8 6 6 6 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 4 5 6 7 8 2 3 4 4 6 2 3 4 4 6 8 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA 3 3 3 2 2 3 3 3 2 2 2 a) a) a) a) 0 b) b) b) b) b) b) b) b) b) b) b) 3 3 2 1 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 a) a) a) a) 0 c) c) c) c) c) c) c) c) c) c) c) 2 2 2 2 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 a) = 1 with frequency hopping = 0 without frequency hopping.15.
9 Charging Gateway GPRS users have to be charged for the use of the network. It is however included here due to the fact that operators usually need to implement firewalls in their GPRS network (for security reasons). It will essentially allow a roaming subscriber to connect to company intranet through the Home GGSN via the visiting PLMN network.Network elements In the specifications for GPRS. and passes it on to the Billing System. It is more secure to transfer data between two operators' PLMN networks through a direct connection rather than via the public Internet. These GPRS charging data are generated by all the SGSNs and GGSNs in the network. duration. This data is referred to as Charging Data Records or CDRs. so it not possible to charge subscribers on the connection duration. charging is based on the destination. Here the GPRS subscriber is billed for the data transaction. A protocol called GTP' (pronounced GTP prime) is used for the transfer of data records between GSNs and the Charging Gateway. so these need to be collected and processed. QoS. and time of call. 3. processes it. However. The Border Gateway will commence operation once the GPRS roaming agreements between various operators have been signed. This is referred to as an interPLMN data network.0 © Nokia Oyj 13 (55) . the firewalls are not included. One data session may generate a number of CDRs. The Charging Gateway (CG) collects all of these records. GPRS offers connectionless service to users. and other parameters of a connectionless data transfer. sorts them. All CDRs contain unique subscriber and connection identifiers to distinguish it. 6-64442 Issue 4. 3. Charging has to be based on the volume. In a GSM network. destination.8 Border Gateway The Border Gateway (BG) is a router that can provide a direct GPRS tunnel between different operators' GPRS networks.
The GPRS element interfacing with the NSS is SGSN. SGSN-EIR (Gf). Frame Relay based network services is used for this interface.0 . The important interfaces to the NSS are the SGSN-HLR (Gr). or the external networks (Gi). MSC/ VLR EIR SMSGMSC HLR Signalling and data Signalling Gf Gs BSC Gd Gr Gc GGSN External packet network SGSN Gi CG Gn Ga Ga Gb Gn Air (Um) SGSN Gp BG Gp Inter-PLMN GPRS backbone Figure 6. the inter-PLMN backbone network (Gp). The Um is the access interface the MS uses to access the GPRS network. GPRS interfaces Connections from the GPRS system to the NSS part of the GSM network are implemented through the SS7 network. and SGSN-MSC/VLR (Gs). The radio interface to the BTS is the same interface used by the existing GSM network with some GPRS specific changes. The other interfaces are implemented through the intra-PLMN backbone network (Gn). • 14 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. Gb between a SGSN and a BSS.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 4 GPRS interfaces The GPRS system introduces new interfaces to the GSM network. The Gb interface carries the GPRS traffic and signalling between the GSM radio network (BSS) and the GPRS network. The interfaces used by the GPRS system are described below: • Um between an MS and the GPRS fixed network part. Figure 6 illustrates the logical architecture with the interfaces and reference points of the combined GSM/GPRS network.
0 © Nokia Oyj 15 (55) . • 6-64442 Issue 4. The GPRS network is connected to an external data networks via this interface. The SGSN can send location data to the MSC or receive paging requests from the MSC via this optional interface. The GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) is used in the Gn (and in the Gp) interface over the IP based backbone network. This interface uses BSSAP+ protocol. The GPRS system will support a variety of data networks. The interface can be used if the GGSN needs to forward packets to an MS that is not active. The protocol used is GTP'. but the R is common with the circuit switched GSM network: • Gi between a GGSN and an external network. The Gf gives the SGSN access to GPRS user equipment information. This reference point connects terminal equipment to mobile termination. Gf between an SGSN and the EIR. all the functions needed for inter-PLMN networking. Gd between the SMS-GMSC and an SGSN. Gp between two GSNs in various PLMNs.28 or the PCMCIA PC-Card standards. routing. The Gr gives the SGSN access to subscriber information in the HLR. together with the BG and the Firewall. The Gi is GPRS specific. but it also provides. an enhanced version of GTP. that is. The Gn provides a data and signalling interface in the Intra-PLMN backbone. This interface is used for sending the charging data records generated by GSNs to the CG. for example. thus allowing. security. the ITU-T V. for example. The Gp interface provides the same functionality as the Gn interface. grey list for mobiles under observation and white list for other mobiles (MAP).24/V. Gr between an SGSN and the HLR. the Gi is not a standard interface. but merely a reference point. The physical R interface follows. Ga between the GSNs and the CG inside the same PLMN. The HLR can be located in a different PLMN than the SGSN (MAP). • • • • • • • There are two different reference points in the GPRS network. Gc between the GGSN and the HLR. R between terminal equipment and mobile termination. Because of that. The Ga provides a data and signalling interface. Gs between a SGSN and a MSC. The EIR maintains three different lists of mobile equipment: black list for stolen mobiles. etc.GPRS interfaces • Gn between two GSNs within the same PLMN. The GGSN may request the location of an MS via this optional interface. The Gs interface will greatly improve the effectiveness of the radio and network resources in the combined GSM/GPRS network. The Gd interface is available for more efficient use of the SMS services (MAP). and between SMS-IWMSC and an SGSN. a laptop-PC to transmit data over the GSM-phone.
We can say that we transport GTP packets between the SGSN and the GGSN. 16 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. see Figure 7. This is shown in Figure 8. The TID is a label that tells the SGSN and the GGSN. In data communications. The GTP packet headers.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 5 Transfer of packets between GSNs User data packets are sent over the GPRS backbone in 'containers'. it seems like he/she is connected directly via a router (the GGSN) to external networks. for example. The GTP packet is carried over the GPRS backbone using IP and TCP or UDP (in the example. whose packets are inside the container. will tell the receiving GSN who the user is. When a packet coming from an external packet network arrives at the GGSN. UDP). including the tunnel ID (TID). Figure 7. a TCP/IP packet that carries some part of an e-mail. The tunnel ID includes the user IMSI (and another user specific number). SGSN r Use et k pac User packet User packet GGSN Use pack r et Use pack r et The stream of containers forming a tunnel. The stream of containers inside the GPRS backbone network is totally transparent to the user: To the user. User packets over the GPRS backbone in ‘containers’ The protocol that performs the tunnelling in GPRS is called GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP). Over the GPRS backbone.0 . We say that the GSNs are performing tunnelling of user packets. The user packet. is carried inside a GTP packet. it is inserted in a container and sent to the SGSN. The GTP packets then contain the actual user packets. IP packets are used to carry the GTP packets. this type of virtual stream of containers is called a tunnel.
ATM. Figure 10 shows the GTP tunnel related to the user payload.) connected to the GPRS backbone must have an IP address. etc. user data using 'public' IP addresses IP GTP IP Tunnel GTP IP backbone data using private IP addresses IP MS SGSN GGSN Figure 9. They are what we call private IP addresses. a TCP/IP packet carrying e-mail Who is the user? To which GSN? Figure 8. The chosen technology for the GPRS backbone is IP. the GTP packets that contain the user packets could be transferred between the GSNs using any technology. Transfer of packets between the GGSN and the MS 6-64442 Issue 4. the user packets are carried in the GPRS core between the SGSN and the GGSN using the private IP addresses of the GPRSbackbone. All the network elements (the GSNs. IP addresses used in the backbone are invisible to the MS and to the external networks. and the relationship between the protocol stacks in the Gi and Gn interfaces. for example. X.Transfer of packets between GSNs IP (+TCP/UDP) GSN IPaddress THE GTP PACKET Tunnel ID: IMSI… User packet E. That is.g.25. the charging gateway. GTP container From the point of view of the user and the external network.0 © Nokia Oyj 17 (55) . or Frame Relay. This concept of tunnelling and hiding backbone addresses ('private') to the user level is illustrated in the following figures. Figure 9 shows a close-up of the user and backbone IP address levels.
GTP tunnelling and user payload Note For additional information on the GPRS transmission protocols.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols HLR BTS BSC SS7 SGSN MSC/ VLR GPRS Core Network GGSN Internet Server USER PAYLOAD GTP UDP IP L2 L1 Tunnelled payload APP TCP/UDP IP L2 L1 Figure 10.0 . 18 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. see the Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols.
There is an option in the GPRS specifications to enable network controlled cell reselection.0 © Nokia Oyj 19 (55) .3 SMS through GPRS Nokia GPRS supports the sending of SMSs via the GPRS network. 6. 6. SMS through GPRS is achieved by the Gd interface (SGSN to Gateway MSC). For each subscriber.1 SGSN to MSC/VLR interface (Gs) The Nokia solution includes the SGSN to MSC/VLR interface (Gs).1 Nokia GPRS functionality This section describes the capabilities of the Nokia GPRS solution. The parameters used by the mobile for cell reselection are sent from the network and can be different for each cell. 6-64442 Issue 4.1. This will give the following functions: • Class-A and B GPRS mobiles can receive paging for circuit switched calls via GPRS channels. which is made autonomously by the mobile.Nokia GPRS solution 6 Nokia GPRS solution 6. Instead. there is cell reselection. • • 6. Combined routing area and location area attaches and updates. For class-A and class-B mobile terminals.1. This is more efficient for GPRS mobiles using SMS since it frees up the GSM signalling channels for other purposes. an association is made in the VLR and SGSN to indicate that they refer to the same physical mobile. This requires GPRS terminals to send measurement results to the BSS. Combined detaches from GPRS and circuit switched services.1. The GPRS is then suspended and the mobile moves to circuit switched mode to start the call. a parameter in the HLR indicates if the SMS will be delivered via GPRS or via GSM channels.2 Cell reselection There are no handovers as such in GPRS.
the total circuit switched capacity is available for use by GPRS dynamically. and is then delivered to the Nokia Charging Gateway.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 6.6 Quality of Service In each cell. so implementing GPRS will not reduce the quality of service (QoS) given to speech.and circuit switched data subscribers.1. Operator A (Home network) GGSN GPRS Backbone IP Network Border Gateway Internet GGSN Operator B Inter PLMN backbone network GPRS backbone IP network Border Gateway Roaming user Secure GPRS Tunnelled Connection Figure 11. 6. rather than connecting via the public Internet. If a guaranteed minimum quality of service for GPRS users is required. because all services are provided by the GGSN itself.1.1. Circuit switched calls always have priority over GPRS traffic. it is possible to reserve a number of timeslots per cell that can only be used for GPRS traffic.5 Roaming A Border Gateway (see Figure 11) enables users to use a secure GPRStunnelled connection to their home network when roaming (via an inter-operator backbone network). Roaming via Border Gateway and Inter-PLMN network' 6.1. or 20 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.4 Charging Charging information is collected by the SGSN and GGSN. 6.0 . where it is processed and forwarded to the billing system.7 Access to Internet Direct Internet Connection (transparent access) access is the simplest way to connect to the Internet.
The Internet ISP backbone sees the AP as a router. is defined in the subscriber data in the HLR. which external network to connect the user to). For each GPRS subscriber. either from: • • RADIUS/DHCP servers within the operators network. Small corporate intranets may not have a RADIUS server. 6-64442 Issue 4.0 © Nokia Oyj 21 (55) .8 Corporate access solutions A key difference for an operator will be the ability to provide secure connections to corporate networks (and hence capture the corporate's complete mobile telecommunications business). This also allows the subscriber to be authenticated against the corporate intranet server (non-transparent access).Direct Internet connection The address and netmask of the AP will be dictated by the network configuration of the operator's ISP backbone. The RADIUS and DHCP clients included in the Nokia GGSN can retrieve IP addresses from corresponding servers located. in corporate networks. external ISP or corporate network. the access point (AP) used (that is. Transparent access . or from The GGSN's internal address pool. the GGSN internal pool can be used to allocate IP addresses. which is associated with the physical interface to the Internet. GPRS backbone IP Network MS BTS BSC SGSN GGSN AP Ethernet ISP Backbone Figure 12. The Nokia GPRS solution includes features that allow offering of secure and reliable corporate access solutions. In this case. Multiple access points One Nokia GGSN can connect to many corporate intranets. 6. DHCP and RADIUS server access The Nokia solution supports both static IP address allocation (defined in the HLR) and dynamic IP address allocation. and the mobile stations (MSs) as nodes in the AP's subnet. for example. the access point (AP).Nokia GPRS solution to be more exact.1. This is illustrated in Figure 12.
In addition. 6. and accounting). and cooperate with its infrastructure (for example authentication.Dedicated and VPN connections Whether the AP is connected to a VPN device or an intranet. part of the service is provided outside the GPRS operator’s network.RADIUS . MAC. Non-transparent access . In this case. and FR 22 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Secure connections: Non-transparent access A dedicated and Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection or a nontransparent access to an intranet covers both corporate nets and independent ISPs. they should also define RADIUS addresses and (if necessary) DHCP server addresses.2 Nokia Base Station Subsystem (BSS) The functions performed by the Nokia BSS elements to support GPRS include: • • • Communication with GPRS MS using CS 1-4 and MCS 1-9 (EGPRS) Separation of circuit switched (CS) and packet switched (PS) traffic and sending of the PS traffic to SGSN Support of GPRS protocols such as RLC. BSSGP. GPRS backbone IP Network MS BTS BSC SGSN GTP GGSN AP AP ISP Backbone Infra servers .DNS Intranet Internet Service Figure 13. address allocation. The AP must provide secure access to that external part. it is regarded as a router and the MSs are part of its subnet.0 . When the GPRS and intranet operators sign an interworking agreement. netmask and the default route can be exchanged when the agreement is made.
Nokia PrimeSite and Nokia MetroSite BTSs support GPRS coding schemes CS1 and CS2 without any hardware changes. Automated radio network tuning with NetAct' OSS 3. Talk-family. Tri Band . If needed.Common BCCH for GSM 900 and GSM 1800 TRX in the same cell GSM . To support GPRS. • • • • 6. Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE). 6. which can significantly improve speech quality and provide more capacity even in low C/I conditions.2 BSC Implementing GPRS has no effect on the capacity of the Nokia BSC to handle circuit switched calls. and their numbering is fixed.1 BTS All Nokia 2nd-generation. • 6-64442 Issue 4. these might already be installed.0 © Nokia Oyj 23 (55) . new ET cartridges (ET5C) could also be installed. which should increase the air interface throughput by a factor of 3. since there are new internal PCM links with GPRS.2.WCDMA networking for inter-system handover and hence seamless services to end-users MS location services.Nokia GPRS solution • • • Allocation of channels and radio blocks to MS using the USF flag Multiplexing and demultiplexing of data transmission on a TS Controlled by the NMS (network management system). These units are stated below: • • One Packet Control Unit (PCU unit) must be installed into each BCSU signalling unit of the BSC (one slot is vacant). The features available in the Nokia GSM/EDGE BSS10 are: • • Adaptive Multirate Codec (AMR). In a fully configured BSC. These changes are discussed in this section. new plug-in units are required in the BSC. Most operators will have an existing GSM network that may have to be upgraded for GPRS.1.2. One Switching Unit (SW64) must be installed into each Group Switch (GSW). which will enable location-based services to be offered. New EDGE-capable TRX will be introduced for the UltraSite and MetroSite.
The data processing capacity of one PCU is 2 Mbit/s. MAC. each BCSU must have one PCU. It takes care of switching GPRS traffic between Abis interface (TRAU frames) and Gb interfaces (FR) using the Group Switch (GSW). but the number of active PCUs is determined by software licence. One PCU can be connected to a maximum of 64 BTSs and/or 64 cells. A BSC must be fully (hardware) equipped. New plug-in units in BSC for GPRS Nokia PCU unit The PCU unit is a new plug-in unit of the BCSU. that is. that is.0 . TCHs of 32 TRXs. FR) required for GPRS operation and handles GPRS channel allocation and radio resource management functions. The PCU also supports the new protocols (RLC. The following specifications apply to the PCU: • • • • • BSC contains eight active and one redundant PCU in a n+1 configuration.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Figure 14. 24 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. One PCU can handle 256 GPRS channels.
This interface supports paging and combined LA and RA update procedures for class-A and B mobiles. The interface is implemented using MAP v.3 Nokia Serving GPRS Support Nodes The Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) of a GPRS network is equivalent to the MSC of a GSM network. Nokia has implemented the Gs interface between the MSC/VLR and the SGSN. For SMS support. The HLR supports procedures such as GPRS attach/detach and authentication.3. This can be configured in 64 kbit/s steps. 6. one new parameter per subscriber has been added in the HLR to indicate whether short messages should be delivered via the MSC or the SGSN. 6. subscriber information for GPRS is stored in the Home Location Register (HLR). 6-64442 Issue 4.2 HLR and EIR The Nokia-combined Home Location Register (HLRi). 6.3 Nokia Core Network Subsystem (CNS) 6. Nokia has implemented interfaces between the HLR and SGSN (Gr) and the Equipment Identity Register (EIR) and SGSN (Gf).3. and Equipment Identity Registry (EIR) is based on the DX200 switching platform.3. As for circuit switched services. It combines the functions of a digital switching platform with the functions necessary for interfacing between the GSM Base Station Subsystem (BSS) and IP backbone networks. To allow support for terminals attached to both GSM and GPRS services (A and B type). from two to 31 PCM timeslots.Nokia GPRS solution • Each PCU has a separate frame relay interface to the SGSN (Gb interface).3.0 © Nokia Oyj 25 (55) . but supports signalling for class-A and class-B mobiles as well as SMS delivery. Authentication Centre (AC).1 MSC/VLR The MSC/VLR is not involved in GPRS data transfer.
collects charging and statistical information. There must at least one SGSN in a GPRS network. The SGSN can be physically located at the MSC or BSC site. It is not the intention of this section to give a complete explanation of all the units in this section. but communicate when and as necessary using a common message bus. each with its own processor and back-up facility carrying out a number of tasks. but only a simple overview of them to give an understanding. and provides flexible network management interfaces. traffic and charging data. it handles signalling interfaces with the MSC/VLR and HLR. Additional functions performed by the Nokia SGSN include mobile terminal authentication and mobility management. The SGSN is connected to the GPRS network via the GPRS backbone. The number of BSCs connected to a SGSN depends on the amount of data traffic expected. The GPRS backbone is a private network that provides IP connectivity between the GPRS network elements in order to carry signalling. The Nokia SGSN consists of a number of functional units. Finally.0 .GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Figure 15. One SGSN can support BSCs working under several different MSCs. The Nokia SGSN The SGSN is connected to one or several BSCs (Base Station Controllers) by the Gb interface. These functional units have independent tasks. as well as user data compression to and from the terminal. It then passes the data to the relevant GGSN when a connection to an external data network is required. The SGSN consists 26 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. The primary function of the Nokia SGSN is to convert the IP network protocol to the protocols used in the BSS and the mobile terminal. This network is not directly accessible from the public Internet.
and deactivation. system configuration administration. generates call detail records (CDRs) and transfers them to Charging Gateway (CG) through the Ga interface. based on its collected fault data. Up to 4 + 1 SMMU can be within a Nokia SGSN. modification. hunts free circuits. and system management. It takes care of ciphering and compression between the MS and SGSN. location management. The Marker within the MCHU controls and supervises the group switch (GSW). Up to 16 + 1 PAPUs can be found in a Nokia SGSN Signalling and Mobility Management Unit (SMMU) The main purpose of the SMMU is to support subscriber mobility management using SS7-based interfaces Gr. ET). It has a temporary storage for GPRS subscriber data called visiting GPRS subscriber database. Marker and Charging Unit (MCHU) The Charging Unit within the MCHUcollects and stores charging information. and is responsible for establishing and releasing all connections. If Gs interface is implemented. as well as SMS delivery. as needed.Nokia GPRS solution • Packet Processing Unit (PAPU) The main purpose of the PAPU is to process user data and protocol conversion between the BSS and the GPRS backbone network and vice versa. and Gf. The tasks of the Operation and Maintenance Unit include traffic control functions. If CG is not present in the GPRS network. a Group Switch (GSW) used for semi-permanent connections between the SGSN and the BSS. It supports the SMS delivering procedure forwarding the short messages either to SMS-GMSC through Gd interface or to the MS after checking related subscriber information on the visiting GPRS subscriber database. Operation and Maintenance Unit IOMU) The OMU acts as an interface between the user and the exchange and takes automatic recovery measures.0 © Nokia Oyj 27 (55) . maintenance. It is responsible for session management (SM) including PDP context activation. and a high-speed Message Bus (MB) for interconnecting computer units • • • • • • 6-64442 Issue 4. similar to the VLR in a MSC. Gs. and GPRS detach. the SMMU handles all the combined GPRS/GSM mobility management for those GPRS and IMSI attached subscribers that have class A or B capabilities. It handles the GPRS mobility management (GMM) procedures such as GPRS attach. Gd. the CDRs are saved and transferred off-line to Billing and Customer Care System (BCCS). and the SGSN and the NSS units to connect transmission systems to the GSW (Exchange Terminal.
whereas the MCHU. The main functions of the GGSN are: • • • • • • Interfacing the GPRS backbone to external data networks GTP tunnelling to the SGSN Gathering of charging and statistics information Network management interfaces Dynamic IP address allocation to mobile station (MS) Protecting the GPRS backbone from external attacks.3.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Exchange Exchange Terminal Terminal (ET) (ET) Gb (to BSC) Gr. GSW and CLS have 2N redundancy. MB.Gs. This relates to the network or services used. 6.0 . Unit Sync. tariff change. PDP IP address. and cause for record close. Unit (SMMU) 2N WDU WDU Marker & Charging Unit (MCHU) 2N Operation & Maintain. OMU. Unit (OMU) Packet Processing Unit (PAPU) Charging Figure 16. for example. Each of the functional units is described in the following chapters. Charging in GGSN Various charging information is provided.4 Nokia Gateway GPRS Support Nodes The Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) provides the interconnection between the GPRS network and external packet data networks such as the Internet. and access point name. The SMMU and PAPU have N+1 redundancy. PDP context active time. Gd (to NSS) Clock and Clock and Sync. static or dynamic IP address usage. Unit (CLS) (CLS) Group Group Switch Switch (GSW) (GSWB) N+1 Gn (to GGSN) N+1 Signalling & Mobility Man. data volume uplink or downlink. 28 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. Logical architecture of the Nokia SGSN The main units supporting GPRS are PAPU and SMMU.
Various connections between GPRS and external networks 6-64442 Issue 4.0 © Nokia Oyj 29 (55) . Internal RADIUS client can be used to access a RADIUS server in the intranet or ISP network. The exact functions provided by interconnecting networks depend on which of the following three connection options is required (see Figure 17): • • • Direct Internet connection to an existing ISP infrastructure owned by the operator Dedicated connection to an intranet outside the operator's network. Figure 17. Internal DHCP client can be used to access a DHCP server in the intranet or ISP network.Nokia GPRS solution GGSN interworking services The allocation of IP addresses can be carried out by one of the following: • • • GGSN allocates the address from an internal pool. Indirect connection to an intranet employing a Virtual Private Network (VPN). The virtual connections run between the VPN software in the GGSN and the VPN software in the accessed intranet.
The SGSN sends four CDR types: 30 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. • • When a subscriber switches the terminal on. An ETSI-specified real-time transfer protocol. In the Nokia GPRS solution.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 6. that is the G-CDR. The GGSN informs SGSN to which CG unit it sends CDRs. a mediation device is needed because GSNs are not able to send Charging Detailed Records (CDRs) to the Customer Care and Billing System (CCB).0 .3. the PDP context is activated and the GGSN starts to send CDRs to the CG. Why is that? • Better service for the operator: A separate mediation device is not needed. the CG is a stand-alone network element. If GSNs send CDRs to the CCB. If CG is in GSNs. This means more workload. is used to transfer CDRs to the CCB. as shown in Figure 18. ETSI gives the following two possibilities to implement the CG functionality: • • Stand-alone Integrated in GSNs (SGSN and GGSN). Implementation of the Nokia CG in the GPRS backbone GGSN has only one type of CDRs. Each CG has one access point to the CCB. there are as many access points to the CCB as there are GSNs.5 Nokia Charging Gateway (CG) CG and CDRs In the GPRS standardisation. GTP' (enhanced GPRS Tunnel Protocol). GTP' SGSN Charging gateway Billing System Operator IP backbone GTP' GGSN Border Gateway Inter operator IP network Internet Figure 18.
enabling credit control and fraud detection in an early phase. 3&4. eliminating the need for costly and failure risk storage capabilities at the GSNs Fast transfer of CDRs from the GSNs and CG hot billing internal architecture are future-proof for hot billing and prepaid.Nokia GPRS solution 1. M-CDR is for mobility management. If one CG is down. The CG implementation enables the auditing and tracing of every phase of CDR processing. and produces them in a format suitable for the Customer Care and Billing System (CCBS). • • • An overview of the CG functions and management is shown in Figure 19.0 © Nokia Oyj 31 (55) . Nokia CG benefits CG offers the following major benefits: • • Reliable storage capability for CDRs. The CG validates and consolidates CDRs. 2. for example. Reduction of the CCB processing load by pre-processing and consolidating The audit trail function enables tracing of CDR-processing phases and CDR contents. FTP over TCP/IP and NFS are implemented in CG. in case of customer complaints. CG functionality The Nokia Charging Gateway will consolidate and pre-process the CDRs before passing them to the billing system. no long-term storing capabilities are required at GSNs. The CG forms an intermediate storage for the CDRs. In normal conditions all CDRs from the same PDP context are transferred to the same CG. 6-64442 Issue 4. Standard billing system interfaces FTAM. S-CDR – The content is like G-CDR plus some other fields. Therefore. SMS-CDR The GPRS Charging Gateway receives CDRs from GGSNs and SGSNs using a real-time transfer protocol (GTP’). Automated validation makes it easier to detect errors. a redundancy procedure built in the GTP' protocol allows the transfer of CDRs from the GSNs towards other CGs.
GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Charging Gateway Management SGSN • Receiving CDRs from GSNs • Real-time transfer protocol • Fixed CDR format (Rel 1) GGSN • Configuration management • CDR transfer settings • backup/restore • tariff changes • Fault management • current alarms • alarm history • Performance management • KPIs • Time management • synchronising with other NEs • Security management • Interfaces towards Billing System / CCB Billing System • CDR transfer towards BS • password settings • Management methods • SNMP CG • Intermediate CDR storage • CDR consolidation • Pre-processing • Handling erroneous CDRs Figure 19. All the functions are brought together in a common framework and are connected to the physical network elements through a UMA (Unified Mediation and Adaptation) object. 32 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.0 . It also extends the multivendor integration capability of the Network Management System (NMS). CG functions 6. which allows NetAct to talk to Nokia elements and 3rd party systems. it is possible to deploy new technologies with the same system that manages the current infrastructure. Thanks to this. independent of technology. NetAct provides a full-scale management capability for both packet data and traditional voice traffic. The structure of the solution is not built around the technology but the functions and processes that an operator must perform to ensure the operation of the business. The following figure illustrates the different functions that the NetAct supports.4 Nokia Network Management System (NMS) The Nokia solution to support the operation of a network is known as the Nokia NetAct. Nokia has launched the Nokia NetAct Framework in order to support the transition from 2G to 3G.
Nokia GPRS solution Workflow Manager Workflow Manager Planner Planner Configurator & Configurator & Provisioning Provisioning Monitor Monitor Service Quality Service Quality Manager Manager Common network typology Common WEB GUI Reporter Reporter Administrator Administrator 3rd Party Tools 3rd Party Tools Rating & Rating & Charging Charging Unified Mediation Unified Mediation and Adaptation and Adaptation Network Network Figure 20. or troubleshooting the individual equipment.g. Nokia NMS − sitting on top of the managed network elements − provides tools for making large-scale modifications at the network level. Business Management Systems MIS Functions of Service management systems: • take care of subcriber data • provision services and subscribers • collect and rate. RNC.etc. promote and monitor services Network management system (NMS): • collect information from the underlying networks and pre/post-process the raw data • analyse and distribute information • optimise network capacity and quality Element management systems (EM): • EMs are part of the NE (RNC. setting up.) functionality • monitor the functioning of the equipment • collect raw data (performance indicators) • local GUI provided for site engineers • mediate towards the NMS system Service Management Systems CCB Planning System Network Management Systems NMS Element Management Systems BTS BTS AXC NE y RNC NE x NE = network element. Nokia NetAct Framework The Nokia network elements (e. How the TMN is visualised in the Nokia GSM/UMTS solution 6-64442 Issue 4. MIS = management information system Figure 21. CCB = customer care and billing. BTS) themselves provide the necessary functions on commissioning.0 © Nokia Oyj 33 (55) . AXC. BTS. AXC. bill offered services • create.
the technology differences between IP and other subnetworks have been scaled down.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 6. Element Management IP Core Development • IP Core Planning • IP Core Implementation • IP Core Analysis Management Data Nokia NMS for UMTS • Shared Applications • Common Resources • Shared Processes Internet / Intranet Figure 22.1 IP configuration management In the Nokia NMS solution. IP core network planning can be integrated into the operator's general network planning process. In the element management layer. The tasks include capacity planning and IP routing set-up in order to ensure proper functionality of this transport network. access to the actual element can be supported by web-based applications. both in time and O&M resources. Special emphasis has been placed on security management applications.0 . Management of the IP backbone in the Nokia NetAct 34 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. This results in major savings. so the needed configurations of the IP elements are always visible to O&M personnel from any O&M screen.4. so shared management methods can be used.
1 GPRS architecture: key points • • A GPRS network is expected to perform the functions of GSM network and data network.0 © Nokia Oyj 35 (55) .Key points 7 Key points 7. The functions of the Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN)are the following: − − − − − • Routing mobile-destined packets from external networks to relevant SGSN Routing packets originating from an MS to the correct external network Interfacing to external IP networks Collecting charging data and traffic statistics Allocating dynamic IP addresses to mobiles either by itself or with the help of a DHCP or a RADIUS server. • The functions of the Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) are the following: − − − − − Converting protocols used in IP backbone to protocols used in the BSS and MS Handling of authentication and mobility management Routing data to relevant GGSN when connecting to an external network Collecting charging data and traffic statistics Handling of ciphering and data compression. The new elements of the GPRS network are the PCU. BG. SGSN. DNS. • The interfaces in the GPRS network are the following: − − − − Gb SGSN to BSS Gn between GSNs (GTP) Gr between SGSN and HLR (MAP) Gs SGSN to MSC (BSSAP+) 6-64442 Issue 4. GGSN. and Firewalls. CG.
The CG validates and consolidated CDRs. the Nokia GGSN. Nokia BSC. Tri Band . which collects CDRs from GSNs. MS location services. The features available in the Nokia GSM/EDGE BSS10 are adaptive multirate codec (AMR). Multivendor Integration ( Corba Integration Kit. Capacity Estimation Tool. The tunnelling protocol in GPRS is called the GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) over the GPRS backbone. Nokia Charging Gateway (CG). b. • The Nokia CG is a stand-alone element. Tunnelling is used when: a. the Nokia LIG. The new features in T12 are Capacity Indication Tool. Channel • 36 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. Tunnelling is the process by which user packets are transported encapsulated in containers and transported through a network. Radio Network Management (Automatic Picocell Planning. and produces them in a format suitable for the Customer Care and Billing System (CCBS). Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE). the Nokia NMS for GPRS and the Nokia BTSs. the packets with private IP addresses have to transmitted through a public network packets of one protocols have to be sent through a network that does not understand it for security reasons. GSM-WCDMA networking. Service Access Control. Automated radio network tuning. ASCII Alarm Forwarding feature).0 . NMS backup. c. The capacity of the Nokia SGSN: − − − − • • Maximum attached subscriber capacity 120 000 (SG1)/ 240 000 (SG2) Up to 300 000 short messages in the busy hour Mean switching capacity of 48 Mbit/s (SG1) and 100 Mbit/sec (SG2) Capacity can be configured in steps of 25% of maximum capacity. 7.Common BCCH. The backbone is an IP network.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols − − − − • • • Gi Gf GGSN to external data networks SGSN and the EIR (MAP) Gd between SGSN and the GMSC (SMSC) Ga between GSNs and CG.2 Nokia GPRS solution: key points • The components of the Nokia GPRS solution are: the Nokia SGSN.
Firewall and VPN Management. GPRS backbone management (Configuration. 6-64442 Issue 4. Backbone Name and Address Management). Basic Report Set) and Routing Area IP manager. GPRS Performance Management (ASCII Interface for GPRS Measurement Data.Key points Finder).0 © Nokia Oyj 37 (55) .
7. 4. Draw the GPRS architecture including the main GPRS network elements. 6. 3.0 . 8.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 8 Review questions 1. 5. What are the functions of SGSN? What are the functions of GGSN? Which interfaces exist in GPRS (draw into sketch in Question 1)? Which protocol is used on each of the interfaces? What is GTP? Why is GTP used? What modifications need to be performed to Nokia BTS? 38 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. 2.
Review questions 9.0 © Nokia Oyj 39 (55) . What are the important specifications for the Nokia PCU solution? 6-64442 Issue 4.
Signalling plane protocols are used to convey signalling information that controls and supports the transmission plane functions.0 . The user data transfer between the two network entities is organised based on the Gninterface specification. The transmission plane protocols convey user data in the form of IP datagrams from the mobile station to external networks. The network elements GGSN. which is interfacing the external PDN. which is interfacing the BSS and locally serving the GPRS Ms. The subscriber’s packets (PDU) have to be exchanged between the GGSN. The user data transfer can be decomposed into several steps: • The user data has to be transmitted from the external PDN to the GGSN.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 9 Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols 1. The SNDCP and LLC protocol are used to specify the user data exchange between the GPRS MS and the SGSN on a logical. Lower layer protocols define. The transmission is organised on a logical level peer-to-peer between the SGSN and GPRS MS. Information is passed between the existing GSM network and the GPRS network by employing protocols on two separate planes: • • Transmission plane protocols are used for the transmission of user data and control functions. and it has to be transmitted from the GGSN to the external PDN. PCU/BSC. The user data transfer is organised via the interface Gi. that a connection between the MS and the external PDN has been established. Overview of protocols used in GPRS A GPRS network introduces many new protocols designed to convey user data in a reliable and secure way. such as the Internet or corporate data networks. and the SGSN. User data has to be transmitted in a well defined way between the SGSN and the MS. we can assume. peer-topeer level. This is done with the protocols SNDCP and LLC (see figure below). BTS/CCU are now responsible for the user data transfer. The signalling plane contains many protocols that are already employed in existing GSM network elements. how user data is exchanged • • • 40 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. 2 GPRS transmission plane protocols When looking at the transmission protocols. SGSN.
0 © Nokia Oyj 41 (55) .) MS Relay Um BSS Gb SGSN Gn GGSN Relay IP/ X. if he assumes the PCU and CCU to be realised at the BSC site. based on standard Internet protocols or standard layer 1 and 2 link protocols. Only the highest layer protocol. and GSM RF (Radio Frequency Layer and Physical Link Layer) organise the user data transport between PCU + CCU and the GPRS MS. and TCP/UDP form a transmission network solution. while • the protocols RLC. (Note: the subject is easier to understand for a beginner.1 Transmission protocols in the Gn interface The Gn interface forms the GPRS backbone network.25 UDP / TCP IP L2 L1 UDP / TCP IP L2 L1 L2‘ L1‘ L2‘ L1‘ BSS GP NS L1bis L2‘ L1‘ BSSGP: NS: GTP: IP: MAC GSM RF BSS GPRS Protocol Network Service GPRS Tunnelling Protocol Internet Protocol Logical Link Control Medium Access Control Radio Link Control SNDCP: SubNetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol TCP: Transmission Control Protocol UDP: User Datagram Protocol Figure 23. The protocols BSSAP and NS are responsible for user data transmission between SGSN and PCU. 6-64442 Issue 4.25 IP/ X. IP. the GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) is GPRS specific.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols between the BSS network elements and SGSN and GPRS MS.25 SND CP LLC RLC GTP IP/ X. The protocol layers L1. Transmission plane protocols 2. (see figure below).25 Gi Router Application/ Higher level protocols IP/ X. MAC. L2.25 Relay SND GTP CP LLC Relay RLC BSS GP MAC GSM RF NS L1bis LLC: MAC: RLC: IP/ X.
25 IP / X. • operator dependent Gn GGSN Relay IP/X. The GPRS backbone network carries the subscriber IP or X.1.0 . GPRS Tunnelling Protocol principle 2. SGSN • PDU en-/decapsulation • Tunnelling protocol between GSNs • Signalling between GSNs • TCP: reliable • UDP: unreliable but fast • UDP = minimum solution in NSS • IPv4 or IPv6 • path selection (next hop) • datagram format adjustment • outside the scope of the Rec.25.1. TCP is used for user X. The relay function in the SGSN relays the user PDP (Packet Data Protocol) PDUs (IP or X. This makes the GPRS backbone IP network invisible to the subscribers and vice versa. The GPRS backbone (core) network and the GPRS subscribers use different IP addresses. The Internet Protocol (IP) datagram in the Gn interface is internally used in the GPRS backbone network. TCP or UDP are used to carry the GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) PDUs across the GPRS backbone network. • depends on agreement Figure 24.25 traffic in a secure GPRS tunnel. Transport The L1 and the L2 protocols are vendor dependent OSI layer 1 and 2 protocols that carry the IP datagrams for the GPRS backbone network between the SGSN and the GGSN. This is illustrated above.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 2.25 GTP Gi PDN (z.25 TCP Transmission Control Protocol TCP Transmission Control Protocol IP Internet Protocol IP Internet Protocol L2 Link Layer L2 Link Layer L2‘ Link Layer L2‘ Link Layer L1 Physical Layer L1 Physical Layer L1‘ Physical Layer L1‘ Physical Layer • outside the scope of the Rec.25) between the Gb and the Gn interfaces. IP) GTP UDP User Datagram Protocol GPRS Tunnelling Protocol UDP User Datagram Protocol IP / X. .B. 42 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.25 data and UDP is used for user IP data and signalling in the Gn interface. All data from the mobile subscribers or external networks is tunnelled in the GPRS backbone.2 GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) The GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) allows multi-protocol packets to be tunnelled through the GPRS backbone between GPRS Support Nodes (GSNs). X.1. The GTP can have proprietary extensions to allow proprietary features.
The NSAPI (Network Service Access Point Identifier) is a fixed value between 0 and 15 that identifies a certain PDP context. Two modes of operation of the GTP layer are therefore supported for information transfer between the GGSN and SGSN. In the transmission plane. A GTP tunnel is necessary for forwarding packets between an external packet data network and an MS. the interface between GSNs within the same PLMN. The choice of path is dependent on whether the user data to be tunnelled requires a reliable link or not. the MSs are connected to a SGSN without being aware of GTP. 6-64442 Issue 4. The Tunnel ID identifies the MM and PDP contexts (MM Context ID and a NSAPI). A UDP/IP path is used when the user data is based on connectionless protocols. The GTP protocol header being added to user data A GTP tunnel is defined by two associated PDP contexts in different GSN nodes and is identified by a Tunnel ID (TID). user IP Data GTP Layer GTP GTP Header Header User Data Payload (T-PDU) User Data Payload (T-PDU) (user IP Data) (user IP Data) UDP Layer UDP UDP Header Header GTP GTP Header Header User Data Payload (T-PDU) User Data Payload (T-PDU) (user IP Datagram) (user IP Datagram) Backbone IP Layer GPRS GPRS Backbone IP Backbone IP Header Header UDP UDP Header Header GTP GTP Header Header User Data Payload (T-PDU) User Data Payload (T-PDU) (user IP Datagram) (user IP Datagram) Figure 25. A TCP/IP path is used when the user data is based on connectionoriented protocols. that is. for example. the tunnel created by the signalling plane is used to carry user data packets between network elements connected to the GPRS backbone network. • • unacknowledged (UDP/IP) acknowledged (TCP/IP). and the Gp interface between GSNs in different PLMNs. The UDP/IP and TCP/IP are examples of paths that may be used to multiplex GTP tunnels. No other systems need to be aware of GTP. such as X.25. It identifies a PDP context belonging to a specific MM context ID. The GTP layer supports both modes simultaneously.0 © Nokia Oyj 43 (55) . such as IP.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols GTP is defined both for the Gn interface. such as the SGSNs and GGSNs.
(A T-PDU is an IP datagram from an MS or a network node in an external packet data network.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols The GTP header The GTP header contains 16 octets and is used for all GTP messages. Higher layer peer-to-peer transmission between SGSN and MS The protocols are responsible for a peer-to-peer user data transmission between MS and SGSN: • • Subnetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol Layer (SNDCP) Logical Link Control Layer (LLC). A Sequence Number to provide a transaction identity for signalling messages and a growing sequence number for tunnelled T-PDUs. An LLC frame number that is used for the Inter SGSN Routing Update procedure to co-ordinate the data transmission on the link layer between the MS and the SGSN. The information contained in the GTP header includes the following: • • • The type of GTP message (signalling messages = 1-52. Tunnel ID (TID) format The Tunnel Identifier (TID) consists of the following: • • • • Mobile Country Code (MCC) Mobile Network Code (MNC) Mobile Subscriber Identification Number (MSIN) Network Service Access Point Identifier (NSAPI) These represent the MM and PDP contexts. but when used for data transmission the GTP message type = 255). A flag to indicate whether an LLC frame number is included or not.2. The T-PDU is the payload that is tunnelled in the GTP tunnel).0 . The length of the GTP message (G-PDU) in octets. A TID (Tunnel Identifier) that points out MM and PDP contexts. 2. 44 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. • • • The content of the GTP header differs depending on whether the header is used for signalling messages or user data (T-PDUs).
25 packets) and the lower layers. The LLC layer retransmits LLC-PDUs if confirmation has not been received within a certain timeout period. It also performs segmentation. SNDCP provides a mapping and compression function between the network layer (IP or X. In unacknowledged mode. SMS. Higher Layer peer-to-peer user data transport 2. The LLC layer is responsible to transmit • • • signalling and control information.0 © Nokia Oyj 45 (55) . and Subnetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol (SNDCP) packets.25 • compression • multiplexing/de-multiplexing • segmentation & re-assembly Um Gb SGSN SNDCP SNDCP SubNetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol • logical connection • acknowledge/ unacknowledged peer-to-peer operation • ciphering • SAPs to higher layer (SNDCP.2. Two modes of operation of the LLC layer are defined for information transfer: unacknowledged and acknowledged.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols MS IP / X. the receipt of LLC-PDUs is confirmed. The LLC layer can support both modes simultaneously. In acknowledged mode. SMS) LLC Relay RLC Radio Link Control LLC Logical Link Control BSSGP RLC BSS GP BSS GPRS Protocol MAC Medium Access Control MAC GSM RF FR L1bis FR Frame Relay L1bis Physical Layer GSM RF Figure 26. 6-64442 Issue 4. It is independent of lower layers. reassembly. there is no confirmation required for LLU-PDUs. and multiplexing. GMM.1 Logical Link Control (LLC) The Logical Link Control (LLC) layer offers a secure and reliable logical link between the MS and the SGSN for upper layer protocols.
• Figure 27. In unacknowledged mode. which is used to identify the points where the LLC provides a service to a higher layer. SMS. TLLI is used for addressing at the LLC layer. the frame will not be discarded. SAPIs have different priorities.0 . 46 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Signalling and SMS is transferred in unacknowledged mode. Multiplexing of network protocols LLC provides the services necessary to maintain a ciphered data link between an MS and an SGSN. The LLC layer supports several different QoS delay classes with different transfer delay characteristics. and user data are multiplexed to the lower layers in the following way : • SAPI is the Service Access Point Identifier. the LLC layer offers he following two options: • • Transport of "protected" information means that if errors occur within the LLC information field. which unambiguously identifies the logical link between the MS and SGSN. TLLI is the Temporary Logical Link Identity. The network layer protocols for signalling. the frame will be discarded. Transport of "unprotected" information means that if errors occur within the LLC information field.
The LLC protocol link is established between the MS and the SGSN upon GPRS attach.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols The LLC connection is maintained as the MS moves between cells served by the same SGSN.0 © Nokia Oyj 47 (55) . and to ensure optimum performance. the NSAPI (Network layer Service Access Point Identifier) identifies which application inside the MS the packet belongs to. the maximum LLC PDU length and the LLC protocol timer values. One subscriber may have several PDP contexts and NSAPIs. More than one NSAPIs may be associated with the same SAPI. GPRS supports several network layer protocols providing protocol transparency for the users of the service. When the MS moves to a cell being served by a different SGSN. 6-64442 Issue 4. all functions related to the transfer of Network layer Protocol Data Units (N-PDUs) are carried out in a transparent way by the GPRS network. A logical communication pipe is established between the GGSN and the MS through a SGSN. In the LLC header. The Network Service Access Point Identifier (NSAPI) is an index to the PDP context of the PDP that is using the services provided by the SNDCP (see Figure 4). the existing connection is released and a new logical connection is established with the new SGSN. LLC is independent of the underlying radio interface protocols. The GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP) establishes a tunnel between the SGSN and the GGSN at PDP context activation. They all use the same SNDCP entity. The maximum length of an LLC PDU shall not be greater than 1600 octets minus the BSSGP protocol control information. 2. which then performs multiplexing of data coming from different sources to be transferred using the service provided by the LLC layer. Another requirement of the SNDCP is to provide functions that help to improve channel efficiency. This is one of the requirements of SNDCP. To enable the introduction of new network layer protocols to be transferred over GPRS without any changes to GPRS. In order to allow LLC to operate with a variety of different radio interface protocols. The set of protocol entities above the SNDCP consists of commonly used network protocols. for example. This is achieved by means of compression techniques. Such adjustments can be made through negotiation between the MS and the SGSN.2 SNDCP (Subnetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol) Network layer protocols are intended to be capable of operating over a wide variety of subnetworks and data links.2. Each active NSAPI uses the services provided by the Service Access Point Identifier (SAPI) in the LLC layer. it may be necessary to adjust.
3 Transmission protocols in the Gb interface (BSS layers) BSS (PCU) Gb SGSN SNDCP SubNetwork Dependent Convergence Protocol LLC Logical Link Control • LLC frame transmission (transparent) • routing information • QoS information • no error correction unreliable BSSGP PDU transport E1/T1 (PCM30/PCM24) BSSGP BSS GPRS Protocol BSSGP BSS GPRS Protocol FR Frame Relay FR Frame Relay L1bis Physical Layer L1bis Physical Layer Figure 29. and L1bis 48 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. BSSAP. NS.0 . SNDCP used to multiplex different protocols 2.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Figure 28.
where a single user has the exclusive use of a dedicated physical resource throughout the lifetime of a call irrespective of activity. Frame Relay Permanent Virtual Circuits (PVC) are used. 2. The following characteristics apply for the Frame Relay connection: • • • • • The maximum Frame Relay information field size is 1600 octets.2 Network Services layer The Gb interface Network Services layer is based on Frame Relay. These virtual circuits may traverse a network of Frame Relay switching nodes. Frame Relay virtual circuits are established between the SGSN and BSS. Normally a G703/704 2Mbit/s connection is provided. Bandwidth is allocated to a user upon activity (when data is sent or received) and is reallocated immediately thereafter. Data rates over the Frame Relay Gb interface may vary for each user without restriction.1 Physical Layer Protocol Several physical layer configurations and protocols are possible at the Gb interface and the physical resources are allocated by Operation & Maintenance (O&M) procedures.3. GPRS signalling and user data are sent in the same transmission plane and therefore no separate dedicated physical resources are required to be allocated for signalling purposes. The Frame Relay layer offers detection of errors.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols The Gb interface allows many users to be multiplexed over the same physical link using Frame Relay (FR). 6-64442 Issue 4. 2. LLC PDUs from many users are statistically multiplexed onto these virtual circuits. The Frame Relay address length is two octets. Frame Relay is used for signalling and data transmission over the Gb interface. One or more Frame Relay PVCs are used between an SGSN and a BSS to transport BSSGP PDUs. in contrast to the A interface. which is the maximum available bit rate of a 2Mbit/s (E1) link). This is.0 © Nokia Oyj 49 (55) .3. or may just be provided on a point to point link between the PCU and the SGSN (if the PCU and SGSN are co-located). from zero data to the maximum possible line rate (for example 1984 kbit/s. but no recovery from errors.
3. 2. Link & RF Figure 30. and routing information that is required to transmit user data between a BSS and an SGSN. The main functions for the BSSGP protocol are to: • • • • • • provide a connectionless link between the SGSN and the BSS transfer data in an unconfirmed way between the SGSN and the BSS provide for bi-directional control of the data flow between the SGSN and the BSS handle paging requests from the SGSN to the BSS give support for deleting old messages in the BSS.3 Base Station System GPRS Protocol (BSSGP) The Base Station System GPRS Protocol (BSSGP) transfers control and signalling information and user data between a BSS and the SGSN over the Gb interface. RLC. A secondary function is to enable two physically distinct nodes. and physical layers 50 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 2. MAC. to operate node management control functions.0 . CCU) SNDCP LLC • LLC segmentation/ re-assembly • acknowledged/ unacknowledged mode • Backward Error Correction BEC RLC Radio Link Control RLC Radio Link Control MAC Medium Access Control MAC Medium Access Control • Access signalling procedures • physical channel bundling • sub-multiplexing • physical channel organisation • channel coding • GSMK GSM RF phy.25 Um BSS (PCU. the SGSN and PCU. the SGSN has to have one BSSGP protocol device for each BSS/PCU. Link & RF GSM RF phy.4 Transmission protocols in the Um interface (BSS protocols) MS IP / X. If one SGSN handles multiple BSSs/PCUs. The primary function of BSSGP is to provide Quality of Service (QoS). for example when an MS changes BSSs support multiple layer 2 links between the SGSN and the BSS. There is a one-to-one relationship between the BSSGP protocol in the SGSN and in the BSS/PCU.
contention resolution between channel access attempts. The Physical Link layer supports multiple MSs sharing a single physical channel and provides communication between the MSs and the network. The GPRS MAC function is responsible for: • Providing efficient multiplexing of data and control signalling on both the uplink and downlink. Priority handling. The Physical Link layer is responsible for: • Forward Error Correction (FEC) coding. The Radio Frequency (RF) is the normal GSM physical radio layer. routing area updates and cell updates are used. multiplexing is controlled by medium allocation to individual users (for example. the use of physical layer functions. Instead. scheduling of access attempts.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols 2. Among other things the RF layer specifies: • • • the carrier frequency characteristics and GSM radio channel structures the radio modulation scheme used for the data the radio transmitter and receiver characteristics as well as performance requirements. • 2.2 Medium Access Control (MAC) The Medium Access Control (MAC) protocol handles the channel allocation and the multiplexing.0 © Nokia Oyj 51 (55) . multiplexing is controlled by a scheduling mechanism. This process is controlled by the network.1 Physical layer The physical layer can be divided into the Radio Frequency (RF) layer and the Physical Link layer.4. The GSM RF physical layer is used for GPRS with the possibility for future modifications. including collision detection and recovery. Mobile terminated channel access. in response to a service request). • • • 6-64442 Issue 4. Network controlled handovers are not used in the GPRS service. On the downlink. Mobile originated channel access.4. that is. allowing the detection and correction of transmitted code words and the indication of incorrectable code words the interleaving of one RLC Radio Block over four bursts in consecutive TDMA frames. including queuing of packet accesses. On the uplink.
BCS corresponds to the Fire code) Figure 31.0 .3 The Radio Link Control (RLC) The Radio Link Control (RLC) protocol offers a reliable radio link to the upper layers.GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols 2. The RLC function is responsible for: • • • Providing transfer of Logical Link Control layer PDUs (LLC-PDU) between the LLC layer and the MAC function. Segmentation and reassembly of LLC-PDUs into RLC Data Blocks.4. See Figure 2. LLC Frame Information Field FH FCS LLC Layer BH Information Field BCS BH Information Field RLC Block BCS BH Information Field BCS RLC/MAC Layer Normal TDMA Burst Normal TDMA Burst Normal TDMA Burst Normal TDMA Burst Physical Layer FH = Frame Header FCS = Frame Check Sequence BH = Block Header BCS = Block Check Sequence (When SDCCH coding is used. Segmentation of LLC-PDUs into RLC data blocks 52 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. This process is generally known as Automatic Request for Retransmission (ARQ). Note The Block Check Sequence for error detection is provided by the Physical Link layer. Backward Error Correction (BEC) procedures enabling the selective retransmission of uncorrectable code words. The RLC layer can support both modes simultaneously. Two modes of operation of the RLC layer are defined for information transfer: unacknowledged and acknowledged.
MS IP / X. SMS) Um Gb SGSN GMM/SM GPRS Mobility Management and Session Management GMM/SM GPRS Mobility Management and Session Management LLC Logical Link Control LLC Logical Link Control Relay RLC Radio Link Control BSSGP RLC BSS GP BSS GPRS Protocol MAC Medium Access Control NS MAC GSM RF NS L1bis Network Service L1bis Physical Layer GSM RF Figure 32.25 • GPRS attach / detach • security • routing area update. Signalling is used to create. Signalling plane In the signalling plane. The signalling plane also handles path management and location management. GPRS Mobility Management and Session Management Information are exchanged. GMM. L1 are used as transport solution for GTP signalling transport. IP. modify and delete tunnels.0 © Nokia Oyj 53 (55) . The protocols below MM in the BSS. L2. modification & deactivation • logical connection • acknowledge/ unacknowledged peer-to-peer operation • ciphering • SAPs to higher layer (SNDCP. The underlying protocols TCP/UDP. Between the MS and the SGSN. SGSN and MS are used for signalling transport. location update • PDP context activation. Signalling plane over BSS 6-64442 Issue 4. the GTP specifies a tunnel control and management protocol which allows the SGSN to provide GPRS network access for an MS.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols 3.
Signalling to registers and SMSC 54 (55) © Nokia Oyj 6-64442 Issue 4. SGSN Gr.d GGSN GPRSspecific MAP extension Gc HLR SGSN Gs MSC/VLR BSSAP+ BSS Application Part + MAP Mobile Application Part MAP Mobile Application Part BSSAP+ Subset of BSSAP functionalities TCAP Transaction Capabilities Application Part TCAP SCCP SCCP Signalling Connection Control Part SCCP MTP L3 MTP L2 L1 SCCP MTP L3 MTP L2 L1 MTP L3 MTP L2 L1 MTP L3 MTP L2 L1 Figure 33.f. Gd.0 .GPRS Architecture: Interfaces and Protocols Signalling via the interfaces Gc. and Gr is based on the modified mobile specific SS7 protocols MAP and BSSAP. Gf.
011 3GPP Specification 24.008 3GPP Specification 24.065 3GPP Specification 27.018 3GPP Specification 29.002 3GPP Specification 29.016 3GPP Specification 28.060 6-64442 Issue 4.018 3GPP Specification 29.070 3GPP Specification 28.064 3GPP Specification 24.Appendix – GPRS transmission plane protocols References Nokia DX200 SGSN Product Description Nokia GPRS Charging Gateway Product Description Nokia GGSN Product Description Nokia GPRS Solution Description Nokia GPRS System Description 3GPP Specification 23.064 3GPP Specification 24.0 © Nokia Oyj 55 (55) .060 3GPP Specification 23.016 3GPP Specification 29.060 3GPP Specification 27.014 3GPP Specification 28.