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A Study of Throughput for Iu-CS and Iu-PS Interface in UMTS Core Network

Ye Ouyang M. Hosein Fallah, Ph.D, P.E.

Howe School of Technology Management Howe School of Technology Management
Stevens Institute of Technology Stevens Institute of Technology
Hoboken, NJ, USA Hoboken, NJ, USA

Abstract—Current literature provides many practical tools or As the core NE of the CN in UMTS, MSC Server is a
theoretical methods to plan and dimension GSM or UMTS functional entity that implements mobile call service,
radio networks but overlooks the algorithms of network plan mobility management, handover, and other supplementary
and dimensioning for core networks. This paper introduces an services. MSC Server provides Nc interface to connect with
algorithm for traffic and throughput dimensioning for UMTS
its peer MSC Server, Mc interface with MGW, C/D
core network. A case study is provided to verify the algorithms
created for UMTS core network. This paper is aimed at interface with HLR, A interface with 2G Base Station
helping wireless carriers plan and dimensioning their 3G core Controller (BSC), and the optional Gs interface with SGSN.
networks. A MGW in UMTS implements bearer processing
functions between different networks. MGW provides Iu-CS
Keywords-UMTS; core network; circuit switch; packet interface to connect with Radio Network Controller (RNC)
switch; throughpu; network plan, network dimension. in Radio Access Network (RAN), Nb interface with its peer
MGW, E interface with 2G MSC, Mc interface with MSC
Server, A interface with BSC, and Ai interface with PSTN.
As mobile operators evolve their networks to UMTS or SGSN is responsible for the delivery of data packets
even LTE, they will look to minimize cost and maximize from and to MSs within its serving area. Its interfaces
subscriber usage. Therefore, a new problem appears: how to include Iu-PS interface connecting to RNC, Gn/Gp interface
correctly plan and dimension the emerging UMTS core to GGSN, Gr interface to HLR, Gs interface to MSC Server
networks (CN) with a new flat and all-IP structure to avoid or MSC, Gd interface to Short Message Center (SMC), and
configuring unnecessary network resources and maintain a Ga interface to Charging Gateway.
high quality of service (QoS) to subscribers? Meanwhile, In order to accurately design and dimension the UMTS
the dimension algorithms for UMTS CN should be CN, this paper will develop the algorithms of traffic and
significantly differentiated from the traditional design throughput for the CN NEs. The analysis will be based on
philosophy for circuit switched (CS) and time division the traffic and throughput generated or absorbed in the
multiplexing (TDM) networks such as 2G GSM and CDMA interfaces of CN mentioned above.
The core network (CN) is the heart of a mobile II. THROUGHPUT ALGORITHMS OF UMTS CORE
communication network. The CN plays an essential role in NETWORK
the whole mobile network system to provide such important Wherever Times is specified, Times Roman or Times
capabilities as mobility management, call and session New Roman may be used. If neither is available on your
control, switching and routing, charging and billing. With a word processor, please use the font closest in appearance to
logical division, the CN in Universal Mobile Times. Avoid using bit-mapped fonts if possible. True-Type
Telecommunications System (UMTS) is classified into the 1 or Open Type fonts are preferred. Please embed symbol
circuit switched domain (CS) including such logical fonts, as well, for math, etc.
Network Entities (NE) as Mobile Switching Center Server Since Iu-CS, and Iu-PS interface are newly developed in
(MSC Server or MSS), Media Gateway (MGW), Visitor UMTS CN, this section 2 is focused on the algorithms for
Location Register (VLR) integrated in MSS physically, the new interfaces. The calculation of TDM based traffic for
Home Location Register (HLR), Authentication Center the other interfaces such as A to E and Gb interface, since
(AUC), Equipment Identity Register (EIR) and the packet they have been existing in GSM CN, is still based on
switched domain (PS) including NEs: Serving GPRS traditional algorithm: multiply total traffic (Erlang) and
Support Node (SGSN) and Gateway GPRS Support Node traffic proportion to obtain the traffic distribution for each
(GGSN). Below is a short description on the NE of MGW, NE and each link.
A. Iu-CS Interface 6 bits 1 bit 1 bit 0-47 bytes
Iu-CS interface locates between MGW and RNC to
establish the voice channel and transport the Radio Access TABLE III. AAL2CPS PDU PAYLOAD
Network Application Part (RANAP) signaling message [4].
AAL2 Header Information Payload
The transmission medium in Iu-CS interface is ATM in R4
CID LI UUI HEC Information payload
and is suggested to be replaced by IP from UMTS R5. As 8 bits 6 bits 5 bits 5 bits 1-45/64 bytes
per References [1] and [2], the interface Iu-CS consists of AAL2 PDU Payload
user plane based on ATM Adaption Layer 2 (AAL2) and The AMR (Adaptive Multi-Rate) codec encodes
control plane based on AAL5. The protocol stack of Iu-CS narrowband (200-3400 Hz) signals at variable bit rates
interface is shown in Table I. ranging from 4.75 to 12.2 kbps. We adopted mode 7 with a
In CS voice user plane, Iu Interface User Plane Protocol codec speed at 12.2kbps for voice signal and use 64 kbps as
(Iu-UP) stands on the top layer and follows by AAL2 and the codec speed for video call service in our case. The
ATM. Reference [3] defines the PDU format for Iu-UP in following Table summarizes the necessary parameters for
which we are able to obtain the overhead of Iu-UP frame = Iu-CS interface.
Frame Control Part (FCP) + Frame Check Sum Part (FCSP).
PDU type 0, 1 and 14 in which both FCP and FCSP Iu- AAL AAL AT AT AMR G.711
occupies 2 bytes respectively. One exception is FCSP is 1 UP 2 2 M M Payloa Payload
byte for type 1 defined to transfer user data over the Iu UP Ov Start Head Head Cell d (at (at
in support mode for pre-defined SDU sizes when no payload erh Field er er 12.2 64kbps)
ead kbps)
error detection scheme is necessary over Iu UP. But this Size 4 1 3 5 53 31 40
scenario is not usually adopted for the reason that error (Octet
detection is always needed in transmission. Generally we s)
obtain the overhead of Iu-UP frame = FCP + FCSP = 2+2=4
bytes. This value is used for the following calculation.
Codec Type Codec Speed Payload per Speech
TABLE I. IU-CS UMTS PROTOCOL STACK (kbps) Frame (Octets) Frame (ms)
AMR. Type 7 12.2 31 20
Radio Network Transport Network Circuit Switching CS
Control Plane Control Plane Data User Plane Voice AMR_SID. Type Not a fixed value 5 160
User 8
Plane G.711 64 40 5
Video Type, e.g. 64 40 5
MM/SM/CC Application
RANAP ALCAP RLP AMR Based on the conditions obtained above, we are able to
Codec give the functions for the voice channel bandwidth in Iu-CS
SCCP STC interface. Without the Voice Activity Detection (VAD)
MTP3-D MTP3-D technique, a single channel bandwidth in Iu-CS is given by
AAL5 AAL5 AAL2 (1)
ATM where SPAMR denotes the codec speed of AMR, obtained
AAL2 below the layer of Iu-UP provides bandwidth - from Table V,
efficient transmission of low-rate, short and variable packets EAAL2 denotes the efficiency of AAL2 encapsulation. It is
in delay sensitive applications. So it is the ideal bearer given by formula 2 below.
medium for the circuit switching service of UMTS. From From Table II, Channel Identification is 8 bits, meaning
Reference [2] and [6], AAL2 can be subdivided into two 28=256 CIDs are available. However CID 0 is not used and
layers: the Common Part Sub-layer (CPS) and the Service CID from 2 to7 are reserved, so only from 8 to 255, 248
Specific Convergence Sub-layer (SSCS). The later is CIDs are actually provided for AAL2 user.
normally void so only CPS is considered in our case. The EAAL 2 = NCID × PFrame /( NATMcell × SATMcell )
structure of the AAL2 CPS PDU is given in the following (2)
illustration. From the PDU structure, we obtain the Start where NCID denotes the number of CID,
Field=8 bits=1bytes=1 Octet; AAL2 Header=8+6+8+5=24 PFrame denotes the payload of frame in Table V,
bits=3 bytes=3 Octets. In addition, the ATM cell is 53 bytes NATMcell denotes the number of ATM cells, obtained by
and the header of ATM cell is 5 bytes. formula 4,
TABLE II. AAL2 CPS PDU SATMcell denotes the size of ATM cell which is 53 octets.
Start field AAL2 CPS-PDU payload
PCodec = SCodec × FSpeech / 8
OSF SN P AAL2 PDU payload PAD (3)
where FSpeech denotes the speech frame in Table V. is adopted to transfer signaling messages in control plane.
NATMcell = (HIuUP + HAAL 2 + PCodec ) The protocol stack of Iu-PS interface is shown below.
User Plane Header Size (Octets)
where HIuUP denotes the header of IuUP, HAAL2 denotes the Iu-UP 4
header of AAL2, GTP-U 12
PCodec denotes the payload of Codec obtained from formula UDP 8
3, IP 20
HATMcell denotes the header of ATM cell which is 5 octets, AAL5 3
SFAAL2 denotes the start field of AAL2 obtained from Table Total 52
IV. From Table VI, the Number of ATM Cell is given
Then substituting the known parameters from Table II to by
V into the conditions in formula 1 to 4 to obtain BWNon-
⎛ S Packet + HIuUP + HGTP ⎞
VAD=16.95kbps. NATMCell = ⎜⎜ ⎟ /(53 − HATM )

With the VAD technique, the codec speed of a AMR_ ⎝ + HUDP + HIP + HAAL5 ⎠
Silence Descriptor (SID) = 1.8kbps, we obtain (9)
BWVAD=5kbps. in which SPacket denotes the average size of packet data,
BWVAD = SPSID / EAAL 2 HIuUP denotes the header of Iu-UP packet which is obtained
(5) from Table VI,
where SPSID denotes the codec speed of AMR SID, obtained HIP denotes the header of IP packet which is obtained from
from Table V. Table VI,
So the BWVoice Channel is given by HAAL5 denotes the header of AAL5 packet which is obtained
BWVoicechannel = BWNonVAD(1 − FVAD ) + BWVAD × FVAD from Table VI,
(6) HATM denotes the header of ATM cell which is obtained
where FVAD denotes VAD factor: the ratio of silence time in from Table VI,
a call to the total time of call, Finally we obtain the bandwidth of Iu-PS interface.
Similarly the bandwidth of single channel for video call (
BWIuPS = NS × ThUser / BH × NATMCell × 53 / S Packet)
service is provided below × 8 / (3600 × F Re dundancy )
BWVideochannel = SPVideo / EAAL 2 (7) (10)
where SPvideo denotes the codec speed of video call, obtained where NS denotes the number of 3G GPRS subscribers,
from Table V. ThUser/BH denotes the average throughput per user per busy
In Iu-CS interface, the major throughput is generated by hour,
voice service and video call service. At last the total NATMCell denotes the number of ATM Cells.
bandwidth of Iu-CS interface is provided by
C. Summary of Section 2
⎛ PVoice × ErlVoU / BH × BWVoicechannel ⎞
BWIuCS = NS ⎜⎜ ⎟⎟ / F Re dudancy Section 2 provides the algorithms of throughput for the
⎝ + PVideo × ErlViU / BHBWVideochannel ⎠ Iu interface in UMTS CN. The algorithms for the other
(8) interfaces such as A, C, E, Gb, Gs, Gi, Gs and Gc interface
where NS denotes the number of 3G subscribers in RNC. are still the same with those in GSM/GPRS stage. In the
PVoice denotes the percentage of subscribers using voice call control plane of Iu-CS and Mc interface, throughput of
to total subscribers. Normally it’s 100%. RANAP protocol may also be considered in dimensioning
PVideo denotes the video call service penetration rate. the CN topology. Section 2A for Iu-CS interface only
ErlVoU/BH denotes the average voice call traffic in Erlang per considers the main sources of throughput. Throughput
user per busy hour. generated by RANAP may be accumulated onto the result of
ErlViU/BH denotes the average video call traffic in Erlang per formula 8.
user per busy hour. III. CASE STUDY
FRedundancy denotes redundancy factor which prevents the
network from traffic overflow. Normally set it 0.7. A mobile operator intends to build a new 3G UMTS CN
in the area with heavy traffic loading to replace the legacy
B. Iu-PS Interface GSM systems. The plan is to provision one MSC Server to
Iu-PS interface, logically a part of interface Iu, is control three MGWs in the three areas with high traffic
between RNC and SGSN. Similar to Iu-CS interface, it also loading. Each MGW supports 100,000 3G subscribers in its
consists of user plane and control plane: AAL5 protocol is local area. MSS supports 300,000 3G subscribers. The
responsible for transporting the messages in both control traffic model is shown in Table VII. Based on the formulas
and user plane. Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP) in section 2, we obtain the results below.
Figure 1. CN topology

75 Mbps

60 BWIuCS2



15 Iu-CS Interface
Throughput Trial

T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

Figure 2. Iu-CS interface throughput trial

⎛100% × 0.025 × 17 × 10 3 ⎞ Inter-office call rate 50%

BWIuCS 1 = 100,000 × ⎜ ⎟ / 0.7 Call fail rate (Call fail tone played) 1%
⎜ + 10% × 0.005 × 85 × 10 3 ⎟ BHCAHandover per sub 0.5
⎝ ⎠
BHCAInter-officeHOper sub 0.1
= 66.79Mbps = BWIuCS 2 = BWIuCS 3 Inter-office call rate 50%
Figure 2 display the result from a trial which
records the average throughput of three Iu-CS interface in
Parameter Value Notes 6 selected time frames (busy hour). It shows the real-time
Network Volume 300,000 3G subscribers throughput in Iu-CS interface is below the designed
Local 1 Volume 100,000 3G subscribers threshold value:
Local 2 Volume 100,000 3G subscribers
Local 3 Volume 100,000 3G subscribers
Threshold 1=66.79Mbps when FRedundancy=0.7.
Redundancy factor 0.7 Range: 0.7-1 Threshold 2=58.44Mbps when FRedundancy=0.8.
Voice traffic per Sub at BH 0.025 Decided by Threshold 3=51.95Mbps when FRedundancy=0.9.
Video traffic per Sub at BH 0.005 historical data,
VAD Factor 0.5 engineering IV. SUMMARY AND CONCLUSION
TrFO rate 100% experience or
Video Call penetration rate 10% carriers’ The current literatures introduced many applied methods
BHCACall per sub 1.5 request. and tools to plan and design 3G radio networks. Not much
effort, however, has been focused on the evolution of the Multimedia Sub-system (IMS) and System Architecture
core network. This paper illustrated the encapsulation, Evolution (SAE) NEs integrated into UMTS core network.
delivery and transport process of traffic and messages in
UMTS CN. Based on the traffic flow and message flow, the REFERENCES
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