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GSM infrastructure

MSC, BSC, BTS, VLR, HLR, GSGN, GSSN

Johan Montelius
jm@sics.se

Compared to a fixed
network
Transit exchang
Gateway MSC
Local switches

MSC
BSC

Subscriber stage

Fixed phone

MS

Whats new?
Radio access network
Encryption
Voice coding
Locate a mobile station
Identify and authenticate
Handle mobility during a call

A bird eyes view


Access Network

BTS

MSC

GMSC

databases

BSC
BSC

MS

BTS

BSC
BTS

Typical Mobile operator


One to ten MSC per 1 M
subscribers
Ten to one hundred BSC per MSC
Thousands of BTS per 1 M
subscribers

Base Transceiver Station


Controls the radio link
encryption
error control
signal strength

1 - 6 duplex carriers, for


example:
two layers
120o sectors
(6+8)*3 = 42 voice calls

Cost ~ 100 200 k$

Base Station Controller


communication with the mobile
terminal

local hand-over
voice codecs
carrier allocation
paging to terminals

talks to the MSC


serves up to 40 BTSs
could be co-located with MSC

Mobile Swicthing Center


Mobility management

identifies and authenticates


locates
switches between BSCs
Handover to other MSCs

64 kbps regular voice channels

Radio Access network


A carrier is divided into logical channels
control channels CCH

traffic channels TCH


The first carrier holds 2 controll channels and
6 traffic channels. Additional carriers holds only
traffic channels.

Control Channels
Broadcast
Frequency correction: to synchronize (FCCH)
Broadcast control: this is me, these are my neighbours (BCCH)

Common control
Paging: to notify a mobile station (PCH)
Random access: for the mobile to request service (RACH)
Access grant: reply with assigned dedicated control channel (AGCH)

Dedicated control

Standalone dedicated control: used during call set-up, SMS etc (SDCCH)
Slow associated control: power, time etc (SACCH)
Fast associated control: handover etc, uses the TCH (FACCH)
Cell broadcast: cell broadcast

Traffic Channels
Duplex
Error control
Forward Error Correction (FEC)
retransmission (ARQ)

Full rate (TCH/F)


13 Kbps speech
9,6 or 14,4 Kpbs data

Half rate (TCH/H)


6,5 Kbps speech
7,2 or 4,8 Kbps data

Logical channels
Hyperframe: 2048 superframes

3h28m

Superframe: 26 or 51 multiframes
CCH

6.12 s

CCH

Multiframe: 26 or 51 TDMA frames


CCH

TCH

8 time-slot TDMA frame

4.143 ms

One TDMA frame


148 b 0.577 ms
tail

Normal burst

tail

training
57 b

26 b

user data

57 b
user data

stealing flags

Frequency correction burst


Synchronization burst
Dummy burst
Access burst

guard 8.25

Keeping track of a mobile


station
Location area

VLR
visiting location register

Location area
update the VLR with new
location area

Moving to a new MSC


VLR
which LA which MSC ?
Location area
Location area
update the VLR with new
location area and new MSC

but also.
HLR
home location register

VLR
update the home location register!

Home Location Register


PSTN

incomming call

where is the mobile?

GMSC

HLR

MSC
VLR

How do we reach him?

Mobile station numbers


PSTN

mobile subscriber ISDN number


(MSISDN) i.e. the phone number

GMSC

Mobile Station Roaming


Number (MSRN).

MSC
VLR
International Mobile
Subscriber Identity

HLR

Temporary Mobile
Subscriber Identity

GPRS

Internet

Gateway GPRS Support Node


GGSN

Access Network

Packet Control Unit

BTS
BSC

UDP/TCP tunnel
Serving GPRS Support Node
SGSN

MS

BTS

BTS