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Alcatel BSS

BSS System Description

Descriptive Documentation
BSS Concepts

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02


BLANK PAGE BREAK

Status RELEASED

Short title System Description


All rights reserved. Passing on and copying of this document, use
and communication of its contents not permitted without written
authorization from Alcatel.

2 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


Contents

Contents
Preface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13
1.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
1.2 BSS Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.2.1 Call Set Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16
1.2.2 Call Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.3 Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.2.4 Operations & Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
1.3 BSS Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1.3.1 Base Station Controller . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
1.3.2 Base Transceiver Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19
1.3.3 Transcoder And Transmission Function . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
1.3.4 The Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23
1.3.5 Multi-GPU per BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
1.4 Extended GSM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26
1.5 External Components . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
1.5.1 Network Subsystem . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29
1.5.2 Mobile Stations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30
1.5.3 Phase 2 Mobile Support in a Phase 1 Infrastructure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
1.5.4 Operations and Maintenance Center-Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33
1.6 Network Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
1.6.1 Telecommunications Management Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
1.6.2 Q3 Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35
1.7 BSS Telecommunications Layers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
1.7.1 Call Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
1.7.2 Mobility Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
1.7.3 Radio Resource Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
1.7.4 The A Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38
1.7.5 The Abis Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
1.7.6 Satellite Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39
1.7.7 The Air Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41
2 GPRS in the BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47
2.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
2.1.1 Packet Switching . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48
2.1.2 GPRS Elements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
2.2 GPRS Channels and System Information Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2.2.1 Master Channels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2.2.2 Static Allocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 52
2.2.3 Dynamic Allocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53
2.2.4 Multiple PCCCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54
2.2.5 Logical Channels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
2.2.6 Virtual Channels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56
2.2.7 System Information Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
2.3 GPRS Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
2.3.1 The Gb Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
2.3.2 The BSCGP Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
2.3.3 The GCH Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 61
2.4 GPRS Network Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62
2.4.1 Mobility Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 63
2.4.2 Paging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
2.4.3 Radio Power Control and Radio Link Measurement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
2.5 Resource Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
2.5.1 Time Slot Allocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65

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2.5.2 Frequency Hopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66


2.5.3 PCM Link Sharing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 66
2.5.4 Resource Reallocation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
2.6 Traffic Load Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
2.6.1 Congestion Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
2.6.2 Smooth PDCH Traffic Adaption to Cell Load Variation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
2.6.3 GPRS Overload Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70
2.6.4 Delayed Downlink TBF Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71
2.7 Data Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
2.7.1 GPRS Attach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
2.7.2 Packet Data Protocol Context Activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
2.7.3 Data Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
2.7.4 Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
2.7.5 GPRS Suspend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
2.7.6 GPRS Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
2.7.7 GPRS Detach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
3 Call Set Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 87
3.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
3.2 Mobile Originated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
3.2.1 Radio and Link Establishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90
3.2.2 Authentication and Ciphering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
3.2.3 Normal Assignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 96
3.3 Mobile Terminated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
3.3.1 Radio and Link Establishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
3.3.2 Authentication and Ciphering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 103
3.3.3 Normal Assignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
3.3.4 IMSI Attach-Detach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 106
3.4 Paging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
3.4.1 Paging Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
3.4.2 Discontinuous Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 111
3.5 Congestion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
3.5.1 Queueing . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 112
3.5.2 In-queue . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 113
3.5.3 Pre-emption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 116
3.6 Classmark Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
3.6.1 Classmark IE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
3.6.2 Classmark Updating . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
3.6.3 Location Updating with Classmark Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121
3.7 Authentication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 123
3.8 Ciphering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
3.8.1 Ciphering Keys . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
3.8.2 Ciphering Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127
3.9 Tandem Free Operation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129
3.9.1 TFO Functional Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 131
3.9.2 TFO Optimization and Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132
4 Call Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 133
4.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
4.2 In-Call Modification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 134
4.2.1 In-Call Modification Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135
4.2.2 Circuit-switched Group 3 Fax Data Rate Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
4.2.3 Error Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136
4.3 Frequency Hopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 137
4.3.1 Baseband Frequency Hopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
4.3.2 Synthesized Frequency Hopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139
4.4 Discontinuous Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140
4.4.1 Speech Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 140

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4.4.2 BSS Discontinuous Transmission Towards Mobile Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141


4.4.3 Mobile Station Discontinuous Transmission Towards BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
4.5 Radio Power Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
4.5.1 BTS Radio Power Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
4.5.2 Mobile Station Radio Power Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 144
4.5.3 Radio Link Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
4.5.4 Power Control Decision and Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
4.5.5 Change Power Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
4.6 Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 149
4.6.1 Radio Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 151
4.6.2 Handover Detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 152
4.6.3 Target Cell Evaluation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 159
4.6.4 Synchronous and Asynchronous Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 161
4.7 Overload Control . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
4.7.1 BTS Overload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 168
4.7.2 BSC Overload . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169
4.8 Call Re-establishment by the Mobile Station . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 171
5 Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 173
5.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 174
5.2 Call Release Procedures in Normal Service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
5.2.1 Normal Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
5.2.2 Calls Terminated Following a Channel Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
5.3 Call Release - Special Cases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
5.3.1 Call Release Following Reset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181
5.3.2 BSC-Initiated Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
5.3.3 BSC-Initiated SCCP Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 185
5.3.4 BTS-Initiated Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186
5.3.5 Mobile Station-Initiated Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
5.3.6 Remote Transcoder Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191
6.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
6.2 Speech . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
6.2.1 Enhanced Full-Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 194
6.2.2 Half-Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 195
6.2.3 Adaptive Multiple Rate . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196
6.2.4 Channel Mode Adaption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 198
6.3 Circuit-Switched Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
6.3.1 Transparent Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
6.3.2 Non-Transparent Mode . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 201
6.4 Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
6.5 Support of Localized Service Area . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 204
7 Cell Environments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 205
7.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 206
7.2 Concentric Cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 208
7.3 Sectored Site . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
7.4 Extended Cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
7.5 Umbrella Cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
7.5.1 Mini Cell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
7.5.2 Microcell . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 213
7.6 Cell Shared by Two BTS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 217
8 Operations & Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 219
8.1 Overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
8.2 O&M Architecture and Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220
8.2.1 O&M Architecture . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 221
8.2.2 O&M Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 222

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Contents

8.3 O&M Control - The OMC-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 223


8.3.1 Multiple Human-Machine Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
8.3.2 ACO . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
8.3.3 Secured X.25 Connection From BSC to OMC-R . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
8.3.4 Electronic Documentation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 228
8.4 Configuration Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
8.4.1 Hardware Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
8.4.2 Logical Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
8.4.3 Software Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 230
8.4.4 Auto Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 231
8.4.5 OML Auto-detection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 232
8.4.6 NE Provisioning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 233
8.5 Fault Management - Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 234
8.5.1 Alarm Generation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
8.5.2 Alarm Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 236
8.5.3 BSC Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 237
8.5.4 BTS Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
8.5.5 Alarms Detected by the TSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
8.5.6 MFS Alarms . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 242
8.5.7 Recovery Example: Carrier Unit Failures with BCCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 243
8.5.8 Automatic Power-Down . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
8.5.9 BSC Alerter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 245
8.6 Performance Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
8.6.1 Traces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
8.6.2 Performance Monitoring . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 247
8.6.3 Radio Measurements Statistics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 248
8.6.4 Results Analysis . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 249
8.7 Audits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250
8.8 Remote Inventory . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 252

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Figures

Figures
Figure 1: BSS in the PLMN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
Figure 2: Antenna Diversity on G1 and G2 BTSs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
Figure 3: Antenna Diversity on the BTS A9100 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21
Figure 4: Transmission Components in the BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22
Figure 5: Cell Mapping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
Figure 6: Logical Position of External Components Associated with BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28
Figure 7: Location Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32
Figure 8: TMN System Hierarchy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34
Figure 9: General Telecommunication Layers within GSM . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36
Figure 10: BSS Application, Transmission Layers and Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37
Figure 11: Time Slot 4 of a Time Division Multiple Access Frame Supporting Access Grant Channels . . . 41
Figure 12: Model LLC Packet Data Unit used in GPRS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Figure 13: The Alcatel GPRS solution in the PLMN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Figure 14: GPRS Traffic Load Management . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69
Figure 15: GPRS Attach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 72
Figure 16: Mobile Station-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context Activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Figure 17: GGSN-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context Activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75
Figure 18: Mobile-Originated Data Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Figure 19: Mobile-Terminated Data Transfer . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 77
Figure 20: Mobile Station Originating Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 78
Figure 21: Network-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation Processes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79
Figure 22: GPRS Suspend . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Figure 23: GPRS Resume . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 82
Figure 24: Mobile Station-Originating GPRS Detach . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 84
Figure 25: Network-Originating GPRS Detach Procedures . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85
Figure 26: Radio and Link Establishment for Mobile Originated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 91
Figure 27: SDCCH Channel Activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 92
Figure 28: Immediate Assignment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 93
Figure 29: Connection for Mobile Originated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 95
Figure 30: Normal Assignment for Mobile Originated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 97
Figure 31: Channel Activation Process for the Traffic Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Figure 32: Channel Assignment Process for the Traffic Channel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100
Figure 33: Call Connection for Mobile Originated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 101
Figure 34: Radio and Link Establishment for Mobile Terminated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102
Figure 35: Normal Assignment for Mobile Terminated Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 104
Figure 36: CCCH with Three Blocks Reserved for AGCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107
Figure 37: Four TDMA Frame Cycles Providing 24 Paging Sub-channels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108
Figure 38: Paging Message Sequence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Figure 39: Location Update with Classmark Update . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

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Figures

Figure 40: Location Update with Mobile Station Sending Location Area Identity of Previous VLR . . . . . . . 123
Figure 41: Ciphering Procedure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128
Figure 42: Example of TFO Establishment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130
Figure 43: Frequency Hopping within an FHS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 138
Figure 44: Different Forms of Discontinuous Transmission . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 143
Figure 45: Power Control Flow of Measurement and Decision Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146
Figure 46: Power Output Balancing Based on Received Quality and Signal Levels . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 147
Figure 47: Quality and Level Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 153
Figure 48: Better Zone Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154
Figure 49: Better Cell Handover (Power Budget) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 155
Figure 50: Distance Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156
Figure 51: Umbrella Cell Load in Mobile Velocity Dependent Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 157
Figure 52: Synchronous Internal Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 162
Figure 53: Asynchronous External Handover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 165
Figure 54: Mobile Station Disconnecting a Call . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 175
Figure 55: Normal Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176
Figure 56: Initiation of Normal Release by MSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 177
Figure 57: BSC/BTS/Mobile Station interactions in Normal Call Release . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 178
Figure 58: Normal Release Final Steps . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 179
Figure 59: Call Release Following a Channel Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 180
Figure 60: Call Release Following Reset . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 182
Figure 61: BSC-initiated Call Release toward the MSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 183
Figure 62: BTS-initiated Call Release following LAPD failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 187
Figure 63: Call Release due to Mobile Station initiated Radio Link Failure . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 189
Figure 64: Call Release due to Communication Failure detected by Transcoder . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 190
Figure 65: Encoded Speech Transmission Across the BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 192
Figure 66: Multiplexed Ater Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 193
Figure 67: Data Transmission Across the BSS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 199
Figure 68: Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 202
Figure 69: Example: Cell Configurations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 207
Figure 70: Sectored site configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209
Figure 71: Example of Extended Cell Topology . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 210
Figure 72: Umbrella Cell with Mini Cells . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 212
Figure 73: Example: Handovers due to Threshold Triggering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 214
Figure 74: Indoor cell example network hierarchy with three layers and two bands . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 215
Figure 75: Multiple HMI Access to OMC-Rs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 224
Figure 76: ACO Links . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 225
Figure 77: X.25 Without Redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 226
Figure 78: X.25 With Redundancy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 227
Figure 79: RSL Correlation on the Abis Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 238

8 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


Figures

Figure 80: Example: Alarm Report . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 239


Figure 81: Example: Loss of Carrier Unit Holding BCCH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 244

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 9 / 252


Tables

Tables
Table 1: System Information Messages . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 45
Table 2: GPRS System Information Message . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57
Table 3: GPRS System Information Messages Used with MPDCH . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 58
Table 4: Gb Interface Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59
Table 5: BSCGP Interface Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60
Table 6: Network Operation Modes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64
Table 7: Time Slot Allocation Parameters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65
Table 8: PDCH Traffic Load States . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68
Table 9: Types of Calls . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88
Table 10: Call Set Up Phases . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 89
Table 11: Cell List Identifier and Paging Performed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 109
Table 12: Paging Request Message and Mobile Station Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 110
Table 13: Classmark Handling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 118
Table 14: Classmark Configuration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120
Table 15: Mobile Station Ciphering Capabilities . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 125
Table 16: Downlink Discontinuous Transmission Status in Channel_activation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 141
Table 17: Operator Discontinuous Transmission Options . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142
Table 18: Radio Link Measurements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145
Table 19: Mobile Station Maximum and Minimum Power Ranges . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 148
Table 20: Circuit-Switched Data Rate Conversions Across the Air Interface . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 200
Table 21: Configuration Management Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 229
Table 22: Fault Management Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 235
Table 23: BTS Alarm Hardware Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
Table 24: BTS Alarms Functional Description . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 240
Table 25: Performance Management Functions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 246
Table 26: Audit Types . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 250

10 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


Preface

Preface
Purpose This document provides detailed descriptions of the functions and features
of the Alcatel BSS. Some functions and features may not be available on
the system installed at your location.
The technical information in this document covers:

Mobile Communications Support


These areas describe how the BSS handles communications between a
mobile station and the NSS. It follows a call through the Alcatel BSS, and
describes how each element in the system functions individually and with
other elements. This shows how the BSS and its units react as a system.

Operations and Maintenance


These areas describe the O&M functions within the system. It describes
both local and distributed O&M functions in a BSS.

Audience This manual is for people requiring an in-depth understanding of the functions
of the Alcatel BSS:

Network decision makers who require an understanding of the underlying


functions of the system, including:
Network planners
Technical design staff
Trainers.

Operations and support staff who need to know how the system operates in
normal conditions, including:
Operators
Support engineers
Maintenance staff
Client Help Desk personnel.

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 11 / 252


Preface

Assumed Knowledge The document assumes that the reader has an understanding of:
GSM
GPRS
Mobile Telecommunications

Network Management concepts and terminology.

12 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

1 Introduction

This chapter gives a brief overview of the Alcatel BSS, its functions and
features. It describes:

Overview
BSS functions

Internal and external components and interfaces

BSS Network Management

The distribution of telecommunications software in the BSS.

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 13 / 252


1 Introduction

1.1 Overview
The BSS provides radio coverage for GSM subscribers in a defined area. Its
principal role is to provide and support signalling and traffic channels between
mobile stations and the NSS.
The following figure shows the BSS within the PLMN, and its links to the PSTN
and the PSDN in a fixed network.
PLMN

Mobile Network Fixed


Stations Base Station Subsystem Subsystem Network

MSC PSTN
TC
BTS BSC

MFS
SGSN PSDN

OMC−R

NMC

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


HLR : Home Location Register
MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
NMC : Network Management Center
PSDN : Packet Switched Data Network
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 1: BSS in the PLMN
EVOLIUM™ Radio To respond to the swiftly evolving needs in BSSs, Alcatel offers the EVOLIUM™
Solutions Radio Solutions.
The Alcatel EVOLIUM™ Radio Solutions includes the following BSS equipment
described in this document:

G2 BSC

G2 Transcoder
G2.5 Transcoder

BTS A9100

BTS A910

A935 MFS.

Note: BTS G1 and BTS G2 are still supported by EVOLIUM.

14 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

Extended GSM Band The Alcatel BSS supports the E-GSM band. E-GSM consists of:
(E-GSM) The 900 MHz primary band, called the P-GSM band. This uses 890-915
MHz for uplink, and 935-960 MHz for downlink.

The 900 MHz extended band, called the G1 band. This uses 880-890 MHz
for uplink, and 925-935 MHz for downlink.

This corresponds to a total number of 174 addressable frequencies.

GSM 850 The GSM 850 MHz band has been introduced in the Release 1999 of the 3GPP
Standard in 1999 to allow operators to replace progressively the D-AMPS and
CDMA technologies that were using these frequencies. Besides certain Asian
countries, the GSM 850 MHz band concerns in particular the Latin American
countries where many operators already use in their network the GSM system
with the GSM 1900 MHz to extend or replace their D-AMPS existing network.
The term GSM 850 is used for any GSM system which operates in 824 MHz to
849 MHz band for the uplink direction and in the 869 MHz to 894 MHz band for
the downlink direction. The GSM 850 band is defined by 124 absolute radio
frequency channel numbers (ARFCN) among the 1024 ARFCNs available in
the GSM standard.

Frequency Band The Alcatel BSS supports the following multiband network configurations:
Configurations BSS with a mix of GSM 850 and GSM 1900 cells

BSS with a mix of GSM 850 and GSM 1800 cells

BSS with a mix of GSM 900 and GSM 1800 cells.

Refer also to Basic GSM System Specifications.

GPRS GPRS, the solution chosen by European Telecommunication Standards


Institute to answer the demand for increased data transmission rates, is now
available in the Alcatel BSS. This means there are now two parallel systems
in the PLMN: circuit-switched transmission for voice, and packet-switched
transmission for data. For information on how GPRS functions within the BSS,
see GPRS in the BSS (Chapter 2).

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 15 / 252


1 Introduction

1.2 BSS Functions


Functions are defined by the International Telecommunications Union and
European Telecommunication Standards Institute recommendations.
This section describes the BSS functions with a system-wide view; that is, how
the BSS functions work together within the system. Network elements and
functional units are indicated where applicable, but are not described. For more
information, refer to the specific network element description manuals, such
as the BTS Functional Description.
The BSS provides signalling and traffic channels between the mobile station
and the NSS. To ensure a high level of service to the subscribers, the BSS
offers the following functions:

Call Set Up
Call Handling

Call Release

Operations & Maintenance.

1.2.1 Call Set Up


The Call Setup function is used for speech and data calls. The three basic
types of call are:

Mobility Management

Supplementary service

User traffic.
Mobility Management Mobility Management calls, such as location update, are used by the system
Calls to gather mobile station information. The exchanges are protocol messages
only. Therefore, only a signalling channel is used.

Supplementary Service Supplementary service calls, such as SMS, allows the mobile station to send
Calls and receive messages to and from the BTS. These calls pass small amounts of
information. Therefore, only a signalling channel is used.

User Traffic Calls User traffic calls, such as speech or data calls to a correspondent, can pass
large amounts of information. Therefore, they require greater bandwidth than a
signalling channel. These calls use traffic channels.
Call set up processes include:

Radio and Link Establishment to assign a signalling channel between


the mobile station and the NSS

Classmark handling to manage different mobile station power and ciphering


capabilities
Ciphering to ensure data security on the Air Interface

The normal assignment process to assign a traffic channel between the


mobile station and the NSS.

See Call Set Up (Chapter 3) for more information.

16 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

1.2.2 Call Handling


The call handling function is used to supervise and maintain calls which are
in progress. Call handling involves:

In-call channel modification during a call.


Maintenance of call integrity and quality through features such as Frequency
Hopping, Discontinuous Transmission or Radio Power Control.

Handover to change channels when a mobile station moves from one


cell to another

Handover when the quality of the current channel drops below an acceptable
level.
Ciphering to ensure data security on the Air Interface.

Overload control to manage the call load on the system.

See Call Handling (Chapter 4) for more information.

1.2.3 Call Release


The call release function ensures that resources allocated to a call are free for
reuse when they are no longer required by the current call.
Specifically the Call Release function includes:

Call Release in normal service:


Calls terminated by call management
Calls terminated following a channel change.

Special Cases:
Call release following a reset
BSC-initiated release
BTS-initiated release
Mobile station-initiated release.

See Call Release (Chapter 5) for more information.

1.2.4 Operations & Maintenance


O&M provides the operator interface for the management and control of the
BSS, and its interconnection to the NSS. O&M is divided into three principal
areas:
Configuration Management

Fault Management

Performance Management.

See Operations & Maintenance (Chapter 8) for more information.

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 17 / 252


1 Introduction

1.3 BSS Components


There are three main units in the BSS:
The BTS, which provides the radio transmission and reception functions
for a cell.

The BSC, which acts as the controller of the BSS. The BSC provides
control of the BTSs and their resources, and performs switching functions
within the BSS.

The Transcoder, which performs rate adaptation and encoding/decoding of


speech and data between the MSC and the BSC.

The BSS shown in Figure 1 is supervised by the OMC-R. In a large network,


one or more high-level supervisors, such as NMCs, can exist to centralize
network management activities. The NMC has the authority to send directives
to the OMC-R.
For more information about the NMC, refer to documentation supplied with
the NMC.

1.3.1 Base Station Controller


The BSC provides control of the BTSs and manages radio resources and radio
parameters. From a transmission point of view, the BSC also performs a
concentration function if more radio traffic channels than terrestrial channels are
connected to the MSC. A single BSC can control a large number of BTSs. The
exact number is a function of the BSC equipment and the configurations used.
The BSC provides:
Resource management

Database management

Radio measurement processing

Channel management
Operations and maintenance functions within the BSS

Communication with the OMC-R

Switching between the Air Interface channels (and their associated Abis
channels), and the A Interface channels. Further information concerning
these interfaces can be found in The A Interface (Section 1.7.4), The Abis
Interface (Section 1.7.5) and The Air Interface (Section 1.7.7).

The BSC also incorporates the following transmission equipment:

The Base Station Interface Equipment, which performs signalling and


submultiplexing on the Abis Interface

The Transcoder Submultiplexer Controller, which collects and processes


transmission data. It also provides an operator interface to certain
transmission functions via a Local Maintenance Terminal.

For a more detailed description of the BSC, refer to the EVOLIUM BSC/TC
Overall Description document.

18 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

1.3.2 Base Transceiver Station


The BTS provides radio transmission, control and baseband functions for a
cell. The BTS also supports the Air Interface with the mobile stations. Alcatel
furnishes two families of BTS:

BTS G1 or G2 (includes Micro-BTS M1M and M2M)

BTS A9100 or BTS A910.

These families of BTS have different architectures, and are not functionally
identical, (e.g. only the BTS A9100 or BTS A910 can support GPRS).
The BTS performs the following functions under the control of the BSC:
Transmit and receive functions

Antenna diversity

Frequency hopping

Radio channel measurements

Radio frequency testing.

The BTS also includes BIEs which enable it to communicate with the BSC over
the Abis interface. In the BTS A9100 and BTS A910, the BIE is integrated
into the SUM.
For a more detailed description of the BTS, refer to the BTS Functional
Description or the EVOLIUM BTS A9100/A910 Functional Description
documents.

1.3.2.1 Antenna Diversity


Antenna Diversity is a BTS feature that protects against multipath fading. This
is achieved by duplicating the receive antenna and receive path up to the Frame
Unit of the BTS (or the TRE for a BTS A9100 or BTS A910). The Frame Unit
(or TRE) uses the data burst which has the fewest errors. This increases the
low-power mobile station range, thereby allowing larger cells.

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 19 / 252


1 Introduction

1.3.2.2 G1 and G2 BTS Antenna Diversity


Antenna diversity on G1 and G2 BTSs duplicates the receive antenna and
receive path up to the Frame Unit. The Frame Unit uses the data burst which
has the fewest errors. This increases low-power mobile station range, thus
allowing larger cells and lowering infrastructure investment.
The following figure shows the antenna diversity path through the G1 and
G2 BTS.
OTHER ANTENNAS

TX

C
O
U
P
L
I
B F N
I FU H CU G
E U a
U RX
a N
a a I
T
ab
best of a&b

b b RX
b
b
(option)

OMU

CONTROL BASEBAND BASEBAND RADIO COUPLING


CONTROL
BIE : Base Station Interface Equipment
CU : Carrier Unit
FHU : Frequency Hopping Unit
FU : Frame Unit
OMU : Operations and Maintenance Unit
RX : Receiver
TX : Transmitter
Figure 2: Antenna Diversity on G1 and G2 BTSs

20 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

1.3.2.3 BTS A9100/A910 Antenna Diversity


Antenna diversity on the BTS A9100 or BTS A910 follows the same principle as
in the G1 and G2 BTSs. The antennas are used for both transmit and receive,
and the receive path is duplicated up to the TRE, providing the same gain in
efficiency and low-power mobile station range.
The following figure shows the antenna diversity path through the BTS A9100.

TRE 1
best of a a
ab a&b
b ANT a
Tx / Rx

TRE 2
a
best of a
ab a&b
S b
U b
M

TRE 3
best of
ab ab b
a&b
a

TRE 4 b b
best of b ANT b
ab a&b a Tx / Rx
a
ANy ANx

ANC
BASEBAND BASEBAND RADIO RADIO
CONTROL COMBINING DUPLEXING
ANT : Antenna
ANx : Antenna Network Type x
ANy : Antenna Network Type y
SUM : Station Unit Module
TRE : Transmitter/Receiver Equipment
Figure 3: Antenna Diversity on the BTS A9100

Note: The configuration shown above (1 Sector, 3X4 Transceivers) is one example
only. Other combinations of Antennas and TREs are possible. There is no
antenna network y in the BTS A910, and the antenna network y is not needed if
the sector has two TREs.

3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed. 02 21 / 252


1 Introduction

1.3.3 Transcoder And Transmission Function


The Transcoder is the key component for the transmission function, which
provides efficient use of the terrestrial links between the equipment of the BSS.
The Transcoder provides:

Conversion between A-law and Radio Test Equipment-Long Term Prediction


encoded traffic (speech)

Conversion between A-law and Algebraic Code Excited Linear Prediction


encoded traffic (speech)
Rate adaptation (data)

O&M control of the transmission function.

The Transcoder is normally located next to the MSC.

Submultiplexers The Submultiplexer performs submultiplexing on the Ater Interface, between


the MSC and the BSC. When submultiplexing is used, a Submultiplexer is
located at each end of the link.
The following figure shows how transmission components are distributed in
the BSS.

TSC

OMC−R

BTS BIE BIE BSC SM SM TC

MSC

BTS BIE BIE BSC TC

TSC
BTS

BIE : Base Station Interface Equipment


SM : Submultiplexer
TSC : Transcoder Submultiplexer Controller
TC : Transcoder
Figure 4: Transmission Components in the BSS

22 / 252 3BK 20572 AAAA TQZZA Ed.02


1 Introduction

1.3.4 The Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server


The MFS is preferably located at the Transcoder/MSC site. It is internal to the
BSS and provides the following functions:

PCU functions:
PAD function
Scheduling of packet data channels
Automatic Retransmission Request functions
Channel access control functions
Radio channel management functions.

The Gb interface protocol stack.

The MFS converts GPRS frames, carried on multiple 16 kb/s links from multiple
BTSs, to one or more frame relay channels connected to the SGSN on the Gb
interface. See The Gb Interface (Section 2.3.1) for details of the Gb interface.
The set-up of Packet Data Channels is controlled by the MFS. It also negotiates
resources with the BSC and routes GPRS packets. When an additional channel
is required on a BTS, the MFS asks the BSC to allocate a channel and to
connect it to an Ater channel which the MFS controls.
The Alcatel solution also supplies two dedicated GPRS interfaces between the
MFS and the BSS:

The BSCGP interface supplies routing of GPRS messages and resource


negotiation between the BSC and the MFS.
The GCH interface routes user data traffic and signaling between the MFS
and the BTS transparently (to the BSC).

Hardware and software management of the MFS is provided using the IMT.
The MFS is divided in GPRS processing units (GPU) which are inter-connected
via an Ethernet bus and controlled a control station. The GPU handles the
O&M and telecom functions of several cells, but a cell cannot be shared
between several GPUs.
A GPU cannot be connected to more than one BSC, which means that each
GPU cannot manage simultaneously several BSSs. However, the use of several
GPUs per BSS is required for traffic capacity reasons. The MFS is in charge of
associating each cell to a GPU. This later operation is called GPU cell mapping.
The GPU is in charge of:

O&M functions:
Initialization of the MFS
Software download
Software configuration
Performance monitoring.

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Telecom functions:
Radio and transmission resources control
Radiolink control of packet connections
Common control channels management
MS radio resource control
Logical Link Control (LLC)
Protocol Data Unit (PDU) transfer
Multiframe management
Congestion control
Gb interface management
Signalling management on the GSL interface.

The GPU is split into two sub-units, the Packet Management Unit (PMU)
and the Packet Traffic Unit (PTU).
The protocols handled by a GPU are split in the following manner:
Protocols handled by the PTU:
Radio interface protocols (RLC and MAC)
GCH interface protocols (L2-GCH and L1-GCH).
The PTU manages the corresponding GCH interface (see The GCH
Interface (Section 2.3.3) for more information).
Protocols handled by the PMU:
Gb interface protocols (BSSGP, Network Service, and FR)
BSC interface protocols (BSCGP, L2-GSL, and L1-GSL)
RRM protocol.
The PMU manages the corresponding Gb and GSL interfaces.

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1.3.5 Multi-GPU per BSS


To increase the GPRS capacity of the BSS in terms of number of PDCH,
several GPU boards can be connected to the BSC to support the PCU function.
This feature is applied regardless of the BTS type. Four GPU boards can
be connected in each BSC.

Cell Mapping Mapping a cell means that a cell is associated to a GPU. Remapping a cell
means that a cell, already linked to a GPU, is moved to another GPU. The
mapping of cells onto GPUs is performed by the MFS, which actually defines
the mapping of cells onto LXPUs (logical GPU). An LXPU is either the primary
GPU, or the spare GPU in the case of switch-over. All the GPRS traffic of one
cell is handled by only one GPU. The following figure shows an example of
cell mapping.

MFS

Cell 1
Cell 4 Cell 2 GPU1
Cell 3

Cell 5
Cell 6 GPU2
Cell 7
BSC
Cell 8
Cell 12 Cell 9 GPU3
Cell 11
Cell 10

Cell 14
Cell 13
GPU4

GPU : GPRS Processing Unit


Figure 5: Cell Mapping

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1.4 Extended GSM


Two 10 MHz extended bands for GSM 900 in the range 880-890 MHz/925-935
MHz have been specified as an option on a national basis. The reason for
this is mainly due to the lack of primary band frequencies in countries outside
Europe. The term “G1” is used for the extended band. The term “P-GSM” is
used for the primary band. The term “E-GSM” is used for the whole GSM-900
frequency band, i.e. the primary band (890-915 MHz/935-960 MHz) plus
the extended band (880-890 MHz/925-935 MHz). This corresponds to 174
addressable carrier frequencies and leads to an increase of 40% against the
124 frequencies in the primary band.
All BCCH frequencies and SDCCH channels are entirely supported on the
GSM primary band. This allows for the support of both primary and extended
band mobiles in the same network.

E-GSM Mobile Station From messages sent by the mobile station, the BSS determines if a mobile
Recognition supports the E-GSM band.
The mobile station is determined to be E-GSM if:
The FC bit of the Classmark 2 is set to 1 (regardless of the value of the
Band 2 bit of the Classmark 3) or

The FC bit of the Classmark 2 is set to 0, and the Band 2 bit of the
Classmark 3 is set to 1.

If the information is not available, the mobile station is considered as not


supporting the G1 band. The BSS never triggers a Classmark Interrogation
procedure to obtain the E-GSM ability of a mobile station.

E-GSM Management Once the E-GSM ability has been initially determined as described above, it
After Initial may happen that the mobile station radio characteristics change during a
Determination transaction. If the BSC receives a classmark change message, it takes this
into account and updates the E-GSM ability according to the content of the
received message.

E-GSM Determination In the case of internal handover, the E-GSM ability of a mobile station is
at Handover stored in the BSC memory. In the case of external incoming Handover, the
handover request message includes either Classmark 1 or Classmark 2 IE,
and optionally Classmark 3 IE. If Classmark 1 is present and Classmark 3 is
not present or Classmark 3 is present but does not contain the Band 2 bit,
the mobile station is not considered as E-GSM. If both Classmark 1 and
Classmark 3 are present, and Classmark 3 contains the Band 2 bit, the BSC
gets the E-GSM ability of the mobile station from the Classmark 3. If Classmark
2 is present and Classmark 3 is not present, or Classmark 3 is present but
does not contain the Band 2 bit, the BSC gets the E-GSM ability of the mobile
station from the Classmark 2 ("FC" bit). If both Classmark 2 and Classmark 3
are present, the mobile station is seen as E-GSM:

If the FC bit of the Classmark 2 is set to 1 (whatever the value of the band
2 bit of the Classmark 3)
If the FC bit of the Classmark 2 is set to 0 and the band 2 bit of the
Classmark 3 is set to 1.

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After an incoming external handover, if a classmark change message has


been received from the mobile station, the BSC ignores any subsequent
classmark update message received from the MSC.

TCH Allocation The allocation of G1 band channels can be done for Normal Assignment
(NASS), Internal Channel Change (ICC), or External Channel Change (ECC).
Each TRE has the capability to support the P-GSM or the E-GSM band. Each
TRX is configured as a P-GSM TRX or a G1 TRX. When a TCH is needed, if it
is for an E-GSM mobile station then a TCH belonging to the G1 TRX subset
is preferably chosen. If no resource is available in the G1 TRX subset, the
mobile station is allocated to the P-GSM TRX subset.

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1.5 External Components


The BSS communicates with three external components:
The NSS on the A Interface

The mobile station on the Air Interface

The OMC-R on the BSS/OMC-R Interface.

The following figure shows the logical position of the External Components.
PLMN

Mobile Network Fixed


Stations Subsystem Network
Base Station Subsystem
A
Ater Interface Interface MSC PSTN
BTS
Transcoder

BTS BSC

MFS
BTS Gb Interface
SGSN GGSN PSDN
Abis
Interface

OMC−R HLR

NMC

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


HLR : Home Location Register
MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
NMC : Network Management Center
PSDN : Packet Switched Data Network
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 6: Logical Position of External Components Associated with BSS

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1.5.1 Network Subsystem


Managing communication within the PLMN and external networks is the
primary role of the NSS. The NSS manages the subscriber administration
databases. It contains the following components:

MSC

Home Location Register

Visitor Location Register

Authentication Center
Equipment Identity Register

MSC Performs and coordinates the outgoing and incoming Call Set Up function.
The MSC is a large capacity switch used for passing mobile traffic to mobile
subscribers, or to subscribers of external networks. This part of the NSS
interfaces with the BSS.

Home Location Register The HLR is the central database within a given network for mobile subscriber
specific data. It contains static data such as access authorization, information
about subscribers and supplementary services. It also controls the dynamic
data about the cell in which the mobile station is located.

Visitor Location Register The VLR temporarily stores information about mobile stations entering its
coverage area. Linked to one or more MSCs, the VLR transmits data to a new
VLR when a mobile station changes areas.

Authentication Center The AuC manages the security data used for subscriber authentication.

Equipment Identity The EIR contains the lists of mobile station equipment identities.
Register

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1.5.2 Mobile Stations


Mobile stations provide radio and processing functions which allow subscribers
to access the mobile network via the Air Interface. Subscriber related
information is stored on a specific device called a SIM.
The SIM is a removable smart-card that conforms to internationally recognized
standards specified by the ISO. It contains the IMSI. This is used by the
Network Operator to identify the subscriber in the network and to provide
security and protection against misuse.
Each mobile station has its own IMEI. The IMEI is used by the Network
Operator to prevent stolen, or non-type approved mobile stations, from
accessing the network.
There are three types of mobile station in GSM:

Phase 1

Phase 1 extended

Phase 2.

For information on GPRS mobile stations, refer to GPRS Elements (Section


2.1.2).
Mobile stations have different capabilities according to the class of mobile
station and the purpose for which the mobile station was designed. These
differences include power output and ciphering.
Only phase 2 mobile stations can turn off ciphering, or change the ciphering
mode, during a channel change procedure such as a handover. The ciphering
capability of a mobile station is signalled to the BSS in the mobile station
classmark.
Ciphering is used to protect information transmitted on the Air Interface. This
is performed between the BTS and the mobile station (i.e. Air Interface).
Transmission ciphering does not depend on the type of data to be transmitted
(i.e. speech, user data, signalling), but to normal transmission bursts. See
Ciphering (Section 3.8) for further information concerning mobile station
ciphering capabilities.

Mobile Station Idle Mode A mobile station is in idle mode when it is switched on, but not communicating
with the network on an SDCCH or a traffic channel. The BSS supports three
idle mode functions:

Cell selection and cell reselection


Location updating

Overload control.

Mobile Station A mobile station monitors the broadcast messages from the BTS. This includes
Cell Selection and monitoring the FCCH and SCH.
Reselection The mobile station chooses the best cell on which to camp. If this cell is in a
location area other than that stored in the mobile station memory, then the
mobile station initiates a location update procedure. For a mobile station to
camp on a cell, it has to synchronize with the cell.
The BTS broadcasts an FCCH and an SCH at a defined time in the BCCH
cycle. These channels are used as reference points for the mobile station to
synchronize with the BCCH. Once synchronized, the mobile station continues
to monitor these channels to stay synchronized.

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This type of synchronization, along with cell configuration and channel


frequency information, enables the mobile station to calculate where channels
occur in the multiframe sequences.
Timing advance information is sent to the mobile station when an SDCCH is
assigned. The mobile station uses the channel configuration information
to calculate which part of the CCCH contains its paging message, and
therefore which time slot to monitor for paging messages. When the mobile
station is camped on a cell, it continues to monitor the BCCH transmissions
from neighboring cells. The BCCH frequencies of the neighboring cells are
transmitted on the BCCH of the home cell (sys_info 2). It can decide to camp
on a new cell if it receives a better signal from an adjacent cell.
Reasons for moving to a new cell include:

A problem in the existing cell

The mobile station moving.


If the mobile station moves to a new cell which is in the same location area
as the one currently in its memory, it does not initiate a location update. It
recalculates its paging group and monitors the new paging channel. Paging
messages are broadcast from all cells in a particular location area.

GSM/GPRS to UMTS The reselection of a UTRAN cell is triggered by a multi-RAT mobile station
Cell Reselection in circuit-switched idle mode, packet-switched idle mode, or packet-switched
transfer mode. In NC0 mode, a multi-RAT mobile station can reselect a
UTRAN cell in any GMM state. In dedicated mode, the multi-RAT mobile
station follows the GSM handover procedures. The BSS then broadcasts the
set of UTRAN cell parameters which allows the multi-RAT mobile station to
reselect a UTRAN cell on its own.

Location Updating The location update procedure is always initiated by the mobile station.
Location update is performed after the call has finished (cell reselection).
Reasons for location updates include:

A periodic update
Periodic location update is performed by the mobile station after a lack of
signalling activity for a specific time. If the timer expires, the mobile station
initiates a location update, even if it has not changed Location Area. The
duration of the mobile station timer is defined by the network and sent to the
mobile station as system information messages on the BCCH. The time can
be between six minutes and 25 hours.

A handover to a cell in a new location area.


When a mobile station is handed over to a cell in a new location area, there
is no automatic location update in the network. A new Location Area
Identity in the BCCH (sys_info 3 and sys_info 4) is detected by the mobile
station when the current call has finished, and initiates the location update
procedure. This saves the system performing several location updates if the
mobile station is handed over several times during a call.

The mobile station camps on a cell with a different location area code to the one
in the mobile station memory. The mobile station initiates the location update
procedure by sending a channel_request message indicating that the call is
for a location update. The BSS assigns a dedicated signalling channel and
establishes a signalling path between the mobile station and MSC. See Mobile
Originated Call (Section 3.2) for more information.
When a signalling path is established, the mobile station sends the Location
Area Identity of the old cell on which it was camped to the MSC. The new VLR

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interrogates the old VLR for authentication and subscriber information. For
further information see Location Updating with Classmark Procedure (Section
3.6.3) and Authentication (Section 3.7).
The Location Area Identity is made up of:
Mobile Country Code

Mobile Network Code

Location Area Code.

The BSS adds the cell identity of the mobile station current location to the
message sent to the MSC. This information is sent in a Mobility Management
sub-layer message and is transparent to the BSS. The NSS stores this
information in either its HLR or its VLR. Following a location update procedure,
the VLR can assign a new Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity to the mobile
station. See Authentication (Section 3.7) for more information about the TMSI.
The following figure shows a mobile station as it moves to a new location area.

Mobile BTS BSC


BSC MSC VLR
Station

Mobile Station connecting


in a new location area

Protocol Messages
Mobile MSC VLR
Station
BTS BSC
BSC

VLR : Visitor Location Register


Figure 7: Location Update
Overload Control To protect the system against overload, the system can bar access to mobile
stations, by changing the RACH control information in the system information
messages described in Table 1. For further information, see GPRS Overload
Control (Section 2.6.3) and Overload Control (Section 4.7).

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1.5.3 Phase 2 Mobile Support in a Phase 1 Infrastructure


When a phase 2 mobile station is used in a phase 1 infrastructure network,
the BSS functions as phase 2 on the Air Interface and has the capability of
functioning as phase 1 or phase 2, depending on the MSC capabilities. The
infrastructure (BSS and MSC) remains phase 1. This conforms to updated
GSM recommendations for phase 1.
The problems of using phase 2 mobile stations on a phase 1 network are:
The implementation rules for phase 1 are not strictly defined. Therefore
some implementations cannot function with phase 2 mobiles.
For example, some of the spare bits in phase 1 are now used by the phase
2 protocol. However, some phase 1 infrastructures reject the message as
spare bits are used.

Some protocol changes in phase 2 changed or replaced a phase 1 protocol.


For example, power and quality measurements sent by phase 2 mobile
stations have a finer range of power control, which the phase 1 infrastructure
must process.

Phase 2 mobile stations send some phase 2 messages even though they
are in a phase 1 environment.
For example, phase 2 mobile stations send either new messages or new
elements in messages, which the phase 1 infrastructure could reject. This
blacklists the mobile station due to an invalid protocol message for phase
1. Depending on what these messages are, the updates to the phase 1
infrastructure would accept these messages/elements. The messages
can be either ignored or only partly treated. This is based on information
contained within the messages or elements.

1.5.4 Operations and Maintenance Center-Radio


The OMC-R supervises one or more BSSs. It performs the following functions:

Manages the BSS software versions

Acts as the central repository for configurations


Manages fault and performance measurement reports

Handles supervision of alarms and events

Manages the MFS.

The reported data is available to the operator from the OMC-R’s central
database. The OMC-R only performs O&M activities. It does not perform user
traffic processing or call establishment and control activities. Refer to the
Operations & Maintenance Principles for more information.
Operator actions via the terminal interface trigger commands throughout the
BSS. The OMC-R provides object-oriented management information, and
supports a Manager/Agent scheme to perform and control management
activities. The terminal interface supports different user profiles with different
access rights.

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1.6 Network Management


Normally the OMC-R provides all the network management and control
functions required by the BSS. However, the management and control
functions are proprietary to the system supplier. In keeping with International
Telecommunications Union and European Telecommunication Standards
Institute recommendations, the Telecommunications Management Network
structure has been developed to standardize the Network Management
function. Network Management is compatible with all equipment, even that
of different manufacturers. Network Management is controlled from one or
several NMCs.

1.6.1 Telecommunications Management Network


The ability to transfer management information across the Telecommunications
Management Network environment is defined by a protocol suite, the Q
Interfaces. The following figure shows the hierarchical structure of the
Telecommunications Management Network. It graphically defines the
respective management responsibilities in the three main levels of the
Management Information Tree.
Telecommunications Management Network is more fully discussed in the
BSS/MFS and TMN Functions section of the Operations & Maintenance
Principles document.
NMC Operator Network Management
(Resource Management)
OSS &
NMC
Network Element
Management
Q3

OMC−R Operator OMC−R Mediation Function


(Resource and Equipment
Management)

Network Element
MFS

Security Block (SBL) BSC BSS


Management

BTS
BTS
BTS

OSS : Operation Support System


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
NMC : Network Management Center
Figure 8: TMN System Hierarchy

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1.6.2 Q3 Interface
Communication between the NMC and the OMC-R takes place across the Q3
Interface (see Figure 8). The Q3 protocols can be divided into the following
main areas:

Association connection and disconnection mechanisms

Message format and structure

Command types.

For further information on Network Management and the Q3 Interface see the
Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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1.7 BSS Telecommunications Layers


The telecommunications functions of a GSM network are split into layers.
These layers are split into two basic categories:

The Application layer is split into sub-layers, to control:


Call Management
Mobility Management
Radio Resource Management.

The transmission layers which provide transmission between the various


components.

Note: These transmission layers relate to the OSI layers, that is, the Physical Layer
(i.e. Layer 1) and the Data Layer (i.e. Layer 2). The protocols used for these
layers are standard.
The following figure shows the general distribution of the telecommunication
functions within a GSM network.
MS BTS BSC NSS

CM

MM GSM
Application
Layers
RRM

TRANSMISSION

CM : Call Management
MM : Mobility Management
MS : Mobile Station
RRM : Radio Resource Management
Figure 9: General Telecommunication Layers within GSM

1.7.1 Call Management


The Call Management sub-layer performs Call Control to establish, maintain
and release calls. SMS within Call Management allows the mobile station to
send and receive messages of up to 160 characters. The Supplementary
Service functions are also provided to the mobile stations as part of Call
Management.

1.7.2 Mobility Management


The Mobility Management sub-layer is used by the NSS to manage the
subscriber database, including information on subscriber location and
authentication. It is also used by the mobile stations to send location updates
when they move to new location areas.

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1.7.3 Radio Resource Management


The Radio Resources Management sub-layer establishes, maintains and
releases stable connections between the mobile station and the MSC for the
duration of a call. This includes functions such as managing the limited radio
resources, to ensure high service availability. It also performs handovers
when a mobile station moves during a call, or the channel quality falls below
an acceptable level. RRM functions occur mainly between the mobile station
and the BSC.
The following figure shows the application layers, transmission layers and
Interfaces of the BSS.
MS BTS BSC MSC

CM
GSM
MM Application
Layers
RRM

BSSAP BSSAP BSSAP

SCCP SCCP
LAPDm LAPDm LAPD LAPD Layer 2
SS7 SS7

Layer 1 Layer 1 Layer 1 Layer 1 Layer 1 Layer 1

08.60 TC
Air Interface Abis Interface A Interface
BSSAP : BSS Application Part
CM : Call Management
LAPD : Link Access Protocol on the D Channel
LAPDm : Link Access Protocol on the Dm Channel
MM : Mobility Management
RRM : Radio Resource Management
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
SS7 : Signaling System No. 7
TC : Transcoder
Figure 10: BSS Application, Transmission Layers and Interfaces

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1.7.4 The A Interface


The A Interface is used for communication between the BSC and the MSC. The
connection between the BSC and MSC can be via one of the following:

Terrestrial lines

Satellite link.

The A Interface comprises the:


Physical layer 1

Data Link layer 2

RRM sub-layer 3 of the application layer

Physical Layer 1 The physical layer provides a physical connection to transport the signals. It
supports a 2 Mbit/s link divided into 32 x 64 kbit/s channels by Time Division
Multiplex. The actual physical link used depends on Network Operator
implementation.

Data Link Layer 2 Layer 2 provides the frame handling functions for the interface. It is also used to
pass signalling messages using the International Telecommunications Union
signalling System No. 7 protocol. This comprises:

Message Transfer Part, which provides the mechanism for reliable transfer
of the signalling messages

Signalling Connection Control Part, which provides the mechanism to


identify transactions relating to a specific communication.

Application Sub-layer To transfer layer 3 messages relating to a transaction, the SCCP uses the BSS
RRM Application Part. This is divided into two parts:

Direct Transfer Application Part, which transfers messages directly between


the MSC and the mobile station. These messages are not interpreted
by the BSS. The BSS must read and recognize the initial message as
a DTAP message.

BSS Management Application Part which supports procedures between the


MSC and the BSC, such as resource management and handover control.
On the A Interface, the process is terminated at the BSC. Messages for the
BSS, passed by the BSSMAP, are interpreted by the BSC layer 3.

Ater Interface The part of the A Interface between the Transcoder and BSC is known as the
Ater Mux Interface. The Ater Mux Interface is the result of multiplexing four Ater
Interfaces. Transcoding is a layer 1 process, therefore the difference between
the two interfaces is at the physical level.

Optimized Ater Interface This feature improves efficiency on the Ater Mux PCM connection between
Mapping the G2 BSC and the G2 Transcoder.
Four Ater Interfaces are submultiplexed onto the Ater Mux connection. This
interconnects four Digital Trunk Controllers and four Transcoder Rate Adaption
Units, achieving a 4:1 mapping.
The 4:1 mapping of the G2 BSC and G2 Transcoder allows up to 116 traffic
channels.

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1.7.5 The Abis Interface


The Abis Interface is used for communication between the BSC and the BTS.
The Abis Interface comprises:

Physical layer 1

Data Link layer 2

BTS management sub-layer 3 of the application layer.


Physical Layer 1 The physical layer provides a physical connection to transport the signals. It
supports a 2 Mbit/s link divided into 32 x 64 kbit/s channels by TDM.
The physical link used depends on the Network Operator implementing the
interface.

Data Link Layer 2 The data link layer provides frame handling and signalling functions using
the LAPD.
This layer supports three types of signalling links:

The Radio Signalling Link for signalling to the mobile station (including SMS)

The O&M Link for O&M information


The OML Auto-detection feature (see OML Auto-detection (Section 8.4.5))
allows the time slot reserved for the O&M Link to be used for signalling
(if there are no G1/G2 BTS on the Abis interface). This provides for an
increase in the amount of telecom traffic on the Abis interface.
The Layer 2 Management Link for the layer 2 management functions such
as frame checking and error correction.

Application Sub-layer The BTS management layer is used for layer 3 messages between the BSC
BTS and the BTS. Some of these messages are transparent to the BTS. These are
passed directly to the mobile station using the BTS RR management sub-layer
3 on the Air Interface. Non-transparent messages include messages for radio
link layer control and channel management.

1.7.6 Satellite Links


The Abis and Ater interfaces were designed to use terrestrial transmission links.
However, in developing countries the terrestrial transmission infrastructure does
not exist and in many cases is difficult and costly to provide. There is also a
need in the developed world to provide temporary GSM coverage for transient
mobile population density increases, for example at sporting events. Using
geostationary earth orbiting satellites is a simple and relatively low cost solution
to these problems. Unfortunately, there is one major drawback, transmission
delay. The Geostationary orbit is located at an altitude of 35,786 km above
the equator, therefore propagation delay of radio signals can vary between
119 ms at the equator to a maximum delay of 139 ms. The delay for one hop
(the path from one point on earth to another point, via one satellite link) varies
between 238 and 278 ms. This delay degrades speech quality, but although the
degradation is worse than experienced in the PSTN, it is usable. The delay also
has an effect on signaling messages.
Satellite links can be used on the Abis interface or on the Ater interface (but
not both).

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Modification of parameters is done from the OMC and propagated to the BSC
and the concerned BTSs. A new connection type parameter is associated to
each Abis link. The operator can set the parameter at Abis creation time. If
the satellite link is to be made using the Ater interface, the new connection
type parameter associated to Ater as a whole is used. Both Abis and Ater
connection types can be either terrestrial, or via satellite. The default value for
each is terrestrial.

Note: This is not a standard GSM feature and Alcatel cannot guarantee the
performance because there are so many unknown factors, such as error rate
and mobile population variations, which have significant effects because of
the delay.

1.7.6.1 Abis Interface Using Satellite Links


This feature is available only for EVOLIUM™ BTSs and later. When the link is
installed on the Abis interface, for those BTS where the satellite link is installed,
the following features are not available:

Closed multidrop
PCM synchronization (the BTS must be configured as free running).

GPRS not supported. GPRS connections are not supported for:


All BTS if the satellite is between MFS and BSC.
Some BTS if the satellite is between BSC and BTS.
GPRS timers are generally shorter than GSM timers and the establishment
of the connection may fail due to the round trip delay induced by the satellite
link. The coding of the parameter BS_CV_Max, which defines the round trip
delay on the radio interface cannot be extended for satellite usage.

Synchronous handovers, fax and data (in circuit-switched mode, transparent


and not transparent), are supported.

1.7.6.2 Ater Interface Using Satellite Links


On the Ater interface, the satellite link can be installed either on the Ater
(between the BSC and the Transcoder), or on the A interface (between the
Transcoder and the MSC). Because this latter case is rare, the wording Ater
is used for both cases. When only some of the time slots are routed via the
satellite, at least the Qmux and the X.25 (if the satellite link is on the A interface)
must be routed. Channels that are not routed must be blocked, either from the
MSC or from the OMC-R. If only one link is forwarded, there will be no longer
be redundancy on the following: System No. 7, X.25, and Qmux.

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1.7.7 The Air Interface


The Air Interface is the radio interface between the BTS and the mobile station.
The Air Interface comprises:

Physical layer 1

Data Link layer 2

RRM sub-layer 3 of the application layer.


Physical Layer 1 The physical layer is a radio link where channels are divided by time and
frequency.

Data Link Layer 2 The data link layer provides frame handling and signalling functions, using
a modified version of the LAPDm.

Application Sub-Layer On the Air Interface, most of the layer 3 messages are transparent to the BTS.
Radio Resources The BTS uses layer 3 to extract certain information from some messages
Management before passing on the equivalent message.
For example, when the BTS receives an encryption_command message from
the BSC, it reads the Ki value and the algorithm to be used, before passing
on the cipher_mode_command message. This procedure is explained
in detail in Ciphering (Section 3.8).

Air Interface Channels The Air Interface is divided by frequency and time, using Frequency-Division
Multiplex Access and Time Division Multiple Access. This provides frames of
eight time slots for each frequency supported by the cell. The channels of the
cell are then assigned to specific time slots within the Time Division Multiple
Access frames.
GPRS traffic uses the same radio resources as circuit-switched traffic, and
is carried on the same type of physical channel. Refer to GPRS in the BSS
(Chapter 2) for information on GPRS channels.
However, not all channels require the full capacity of a time slot at each
occurrence of a frame. Channels are configured to share time slots by only
using certain occurrences of the frame. The cycle of frame occurrences is
known as a multiframe. A multiframe can be 26 or 51 occurrences of a frame,
depending on the channels configured within it. Within a multiframe, the same
physical channel can support more than one logical channel.
The following figure shows time slot four of a TDMA frame supporting Access
Grant Channels.

A A A A A
G G G G G
C C C C C
H H H H H

Frame 1 Frame 2 Frame 3 Frame 4 Frame 5


AGCH : Access Grant Channel
Figure 11: Time Slot 4 of a Time Division Multiple Access Frame Supporting Access Grant Channels

Channels can be divided into traffic channels and control channels.

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1 Introduction

Traffic Channels A traffic channel can be used for speech or data. The Alcatel BSS supports the
following types of traffic channels:

Speech:
Full-rate speech traffic channel
Enhanced full-rate speech traffic channel
Half-rate speech traffic channel.

Data:
Full-rate data traffic channel (9.6 Kbit/s)
Full-rate data traffic channel (4.8 Kbit/s)
Half-rate data traffic channel (4.8 Kbit/s)
Full-rate data traffic channel (<2.4 Kbit/s)
Half-rate data traffic channel (<2.4 Kbit/s).

Control Channels CCHs control communications between the BSS and the mobile stations.
There are three types of CCH:

The BCCH broadcast cell information to any mobile station in range. Three
channels use the BCCH time slot:
FCCH: used on the downlink for frequency correction of the mobile
station with the BTS
SCH: used on the downlink for frame synchronization of the mobile
station with the BTS
BCCH: used to broadcast system information to the mobile stations on
the downlink, to give the cell configuration, and how to access the cell.

The CCCH communicate with mobile stations in the cell before a dedicated
signalling channel is established. Three channels use the CCCH time slot:
RACH: used on the uplink by the mobile station for initial access to
the network
PCH: used on the downlink for paging messages to the mobile station
AGCH: used on the downlink to give the mobile station access
information before a dedicated channel is assigned.

The DCCH and ACCH pass signalling information for a specific mobile
station transaction. Two channels use the DCCH time slot:
SDCCH: used for signalling and short message information
CBCH: uses an SDCCH channel for Short Message Service — Cell
Broadcasts.

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Two channels use the ACCH time slot:


FACCH: associated with a traffic channel, and can steal slots out of 24 or
26 slots which are normally dedicated to the traffic channel for signalling
purposes as well as the SACCH slot.
SACCH: associated with a traffic channel, which uses 1 out of 26 slots
for signalling purposes.
An ACCH channel is always associated with a traffic channel.
System Information System information messages transmit information about the cell to the mobile
Messages station. There are six system information messages. Four are sent on the
BCCH as a general broadcast to any mobile stations in the cells, and two sent
on the SACCH to mobile stations in communication with the BSS. System
information messages 2 and 5 have several variations to avoid compatibility
problems with phase 1 mobile stations.
The following table shows the system information messages, the channel on
which they are transmitted and the type of information in each.

Message Channel Information


Sys_info 1 BCCH Cell channel description
RACH control information.
Sys_info 2 BCCH Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list
Indication of which Network Color Code it is allowed to monitor
RACH control information.
Sys_info 2bis BCCH Extended Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list in same band as serving
(multiband cell. This message is only sent if Sys_info 2 is not sufficient to encode
systems only) all available frequencies.
RACH control information.
Spare bits
Sys_info 2ter BCCH Extended Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list in different band as
(multiband serving cell.
systems only) The minimum number of cells, if available, to be reported in each
supported band in measurement results.
RACH control information.
Spare bits

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1 Introduction

Message Channel Information


Sys_info 3 BCCH Cell Identity
Location Area Identity
Control channel description
Cell options:

Power central information

Discontinuous Transmission (mechanism) information


Radio link timeout.
Cell selection parameters:

Cell reselect hysteresis for Location Area reselection

Maximum transmit power allowed in cell


Additional reselection parameter

Allows/forbids new establishment causes (phase 2 mobile stations)

Minimum receive level to access cell.


RACH control information
Spare bits setting flags and timers.
Sys_info 4 BCCH Location Area Identity
Cell selection parameters:

Cell reselect hysteresis for Location Area reselection

Maximum transmit power allowed in cell


Additional reselection parameter

Allows/forbids new establishment causes (phase 2 mobile stations)

Minimum receive level to access cell.


RACH control information
CBCH channel description
CBCH Mobile Allocation
Spare bits setting flags and timers.
Sys_info 5 SACCH Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list.
Sys_info 5bis SACCH Extended Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list. This message is only
(multiband sent if:
systems only)
The serving cell is a GSM 1800 cell and Sys_info 5 is not sufficient
to encode all GSM 1800 neighbor frequencies
The serving cell is a GSM 900 cell and
The mobile station is phase 2 and
There are neighboring GSM 1800 cells and
Sys_info 5ter is not sufficient to encode all of the GSM 1800 cells.

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Message Channel Information


Sys_info 5ter SACCH Extended Neighbor cell BCCH frequency list in different band as
(multiband serving cell.
systems and The minimum number of cells, if available, to be reported in each
phase 2 mobile supported band in measurement results.
stations only)
Sys_info 6 SACCH CI
Location Area Identity
Cell options:

Power control information

Discontinuous Transmission information


Radio link timeout

Indication of which Network Color Code it is allowed to monitor.

Table 1: System Information Messages

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2 GPRS in the BSS

GPRS in the BSS, provides an introduction to GPRS and describes:

Overview

Packet Switching

GPRS Elements
GPRS Channels and Interfaces

GPRS Network Functions

GPRS Data Transmission.

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2 GPRS in the BSS

2.1 Overview
The success of GSM has taken place in parallel with the explosion of interest in
the Internet and related data services. Presently, data transmission over the air
interface is limited to 9.6 kb/s, too slow for use of graphics-intensive services
such as the World Wide Web and personal video conferencing. In addition,
the circuit-switched method used for data transmission makes inefficient use
of radio resources, which are under increasing pressure from the growth in
GSM subscribers and use.
The solution chosen by European Telecommunication Standards Institute for
the double challenge of increased demand for data service and pressure
on radio resources is called General Packet Radio Service. The European
Telecommunication Standards Institute recommendations establish a standard
for inserting an alternative transmission method for data in the PLMN: packet
switching instead of circuit switching.
The Alcatel GPRS solution follows the ETSI GSM phase 2+ recommendations
closely.

2.1.1 Packet Switching


In circuit switching, a connection is established and maintained during the entire
length of the exchange, whether data is being transmitted or not. Resources
are dedicated to a single end-to-end connection, and a radio channel in a cell,
with its associated transmission channels, may be unavailable for use even
when little or no information is passing across it at a given moment.
In packet-switched systems, data is transmitted over virtual circuits, which exist
only while data is actively being transmitted over them. This means that during
idle time, time slots can be used for carrying other data.
Packet-switching systems operate according to the following general
procedures:
1. The PAD function disassembles data into “packets” of a predefined size.
2. The PAD encloses the packets in a data envelope (headers and footers).
This data envelope includes information about origination and destination
points, and the order in which the packet’s contents are to be reassembled
at the destination. The following figure shows a model of a GPRS Packet
Data Unit at the LLC layer.
3. Packets move from origination to destination point by different routes and can
arrive at the destination in a different order than that in which they were sent.

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4. At the destination, another PAD reads the envelope information, strips it off,
and reassembles the data in the proper order.
Header DATA Footer
Address Control
Field Field Information Field FCS

ENVELOPE

Address Field Contains: Control Field − 4 possible types:


Protocol discriminator Confirmed information transfer
Command/response SAPI Supervisory functions
(mobility management, Unconfirmed information transfer
QoS, SMS) Control functions
FCS : Frame Check Sequence
SAPI : Service Access Point Indicator
Figure 12: Model LLC Packet Data Unit used in GPRS

Examples of packet switching protocols include X.25 and Internet Protocol.


Since GPRS is compatible with these widely used protocols, it is suitable for
access to public or custom packet data services, or to the Internet. Mobile
telephones using packet data services must be connected to a portable
computer or an electronic organizer.

2.1.2 GPRS Elements


The different elements shown in the figure below represent a parallel system to
the circuit-switched system used in GSM until now.

To Public Data
Networks

OMC−R
MS
Gb Gb
FRDN
Packet
SGSN Switched GGSN
Traffic
BSS

BTS MFS

GCH BSCGP
Abis
Transcoder Circuit
BTS Ater
BSC Switched
Traffic To PSTN
MSC/
GCH GCH VLR

BSCGP : BSC GPRS Protocol


FRDN : Frame Relay Data Network
GCH : GPRS Channel
GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node
MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
VLR : Visitor Location Register
Figure 13: The Alcatel GPRS solution in the PLMN

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In the Alcatel solution, the Multi-BSS Fast packet Server with its associated
interfaces is the BSS element. All other components are external to the BSS.
The following internal and external components are described in this chapter:

GPRS mobiles
The Serving GPRS Support Node

The Gateway GPRS Support Node

The Multi-BSS Fast packet Server.

GPRS Mobiles There are three classes of GPRS-capable mobile stations:

Class A
Class B

Class C.

Currently, only class B and C mobile stations are supported.

Class A Class A mobile stations can handle circuit-switched voice and GPRS traffic
simultaneously.

Class B Class B mobile stations can be IMSI attached and GPRS attached at the same
time, but use only one service (circuit-switched or GPRS) at a time. A GPRS
attached class B mobile station can initiate an IMSI connection and suspend its
GPRS service in the following cases:
When the user is not engaged in any GPRS data transfer, and either:
A mobile station originated call is initiated
The mobile station receives a mobile termination call.

When the user is engaged in a GPRS session (e.g. an internet session),


and either:
A mobile station originated call is initiated
The mobile station receives a mobile termination call.

The mobile station performs a LAU procedure in network mode II or


network mode III

Class C Class C mobile stations an be either IMSI attached or GPRS but not both, and
can use circuit-switched or GPRS services alternately.

The Serving GPRS The SGSN is a GPRS network entity at the same hierarchical level as the
Support Node MSC. It is external to the BSS and communicates with it via Frame Relay
over the Gb interface. The SGSN is involved in requesting specific network
resources for GPRS traffic. It performs GPRS paging, authentication, and
cipher setting procedures based on the same algorithms, keys and criteria
as in circuit-switched GSM traffic.
When a mobile station wants to access GPRS services, it makes its presence
known to the network by performing a GPRS Attach procedure. This
establishes a logical link between the mobile station and the SGSN. The mobile
station is then available for SMS over GPRS, paging from the SGSN, and
notification of incoming GPRS data.

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The SGSN also participates with other network elements in the routing and
relaying of packets from one node to another.
One SGSN can be connected to many MSCs and many MFSs.

The Gateway GPRS The GGSN is connected with SGSNs via an IP-based backbone. It provides
Support Node interworking between the GPRS network and external packet switched
networks. It is external to the BSS.
When the mobile station sends or receives GPRS data, it activates the Packet
Data Protocol address that it wants to use. This has the effect of making the
mobile station known to the GGSN. User data is transferred transparently from
the mobile station and external data systems by the GGSN using encapsulation
and tunnelling. This allows data packets equipped with GPRS-specific protocol
information to be transferred between the mobile station and GGSN. This
reduces the requirement for the GPRS system to interpret external data
protocols.
The GGSN also works with other network elements in the routing and relaying
of packets from one node to another.

The Multi-BSS Fast See The Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server (Section 1.3.4) for details of the MFS
Packet Server

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2.2 GPRS Channels and System Information Messages


GPRS traffic uses the same radio resources as circuit-switched traffic, and
is carried on the same type of physical channel. When a physical channel is
allocated to carry packet logical channels (using TDMA frames, as does
circuit-switched traffic), it is called a Packet Data Channel, or PDCH.

2.2.1 Master Channels


Master Channels are packet channels that carry Packet Broadcast Control
Channel (PBCCH) only on the primary MPDCH, the Packet Common Control
Channel (PCCCH), the Packet Data Traffic Channel (PDTCH) and the Packet
Associated Control Channel (PACCH). They allow:

More performance packet services to be offered through:


Enhanced cell reselection by using optimized cell reselection criteria
Optimized system information reception (the mobile station does not
interrupt its data transfer to acquire or refresh system information from
serving and neighbor cells)
Faster TBF establishment (through dedicated PCCCH channels and
multislot TBF allocation in one phase).

GPRS signalling traffic to be placed on dedicated PCCCH channels.


To prevent CCCH channel congestion, and thus degradation of the quality
of the circuit-switched services, even at a low level of GPRS traffic (e.g.
cells where the signalling induced by the circuit-switched services is already
high, or cells at the border of a Location Area). Multiple MPDCHs may be
required in case of an increase in the GPRS traffic in the cell.

There are two types of Master Channel:

GPRS Primary

GPRS Secondary

Primary Master Channels can be statically or dynamically allocated, secondary


Master Channels can only be dynamically allocated.

2.2.2 Static Allocation


A dedicated O&M parameter allows the operator to configure the primary
MPDCH. Only a primary MPDCH can be configured for static allocation. The
primary MPDCH is permanently established in the cell even if there is no
GPRS traffic. This is of use if the operator wants the mobile station to perform
autonomous cell reselection based on the C31 and C32 parameters, or if the
paging load is high independent of the GPRS traffic.

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2.2.3 Dynamic Allocation


The number of MPDCHs needed in a cell may significantly change in a day
according to the GPRS traffic variation. Dynamic allocation of MPDCHs avoids
forcing the operator to permanently configure MPDCHs (and hence GPRS
radio slots), even when the GPRS traffic decreases.

GPRS Primary Master A primary Master Channel can be dynamically allocated as soon as there is
Channel GPRS traffic in a cell. This feature can be enabled on a per cell basis. If there
is no GPRS traffic, the primary Master Channel is released in this cell.
The GPRS Primary Master Channel is a Packet Data Channel (PDCH) carrying
the Packet Broadcast Control Channel (PBCCH) to broadcast GPRS system
information in the cell and the Packet Common Control Channel (PCCCH)
providing GPRS specific control channels.
The Primary MPDCH is dynamically allocated by the BSS upon occurrence
of any GPRS traffic in the cell (receipt of either a downlink LLC PDU, or a
channel request from a mobile station with any establishment cause). The
primary MPDCH is dynamically de-allocated when no GPRS traffic is detected
during a given period (typically a few minutes). This minimizes the TCU load
(and also the CCCH load).
When there is a GPRS Primary Master Channel in a cell, the Alcatel BSS
broadcasts its channel description on the BCCH. Mobile stations can monitor
the broadcast and thus receive all GPRS specific system information pertaining
to the cell. The Primary Master Channel is mandatory when the Optimized
access on CCCH feature is not used. There may be at most one Primary
Master Channel in a cell.
The Primary Master Channel feature allows the operator to set a primary Master
Channel and to benefit from the following advantages, on a per cell basis:

More complete GPRS system information to be broadcast which enhances


the overall performance of the network. For example, the permanent
broadcast of C31 and C32 criteria enhances the cell reselection for all
GPRS attached mobile stations.
Better performance in a GPRS network by reducing the load on CCCH.

Shortened access time for multislot mobile stations.

A faster paging cycle.

A higher radio resource efficiency due to the flexibility in the mapping of


logical channels onto the physical channels.

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GPRS Secondary Master The GPRS Secondary Master Channel is a Packet Data Channel (PDCH)
Channel carrying the Packet Common Control Channel (PCCCH) providing GPRS
specific control channels. In addition to the Primary Master Channel, one
or several Secondary Master Channels can be allocated in the cell. This
feature enables automatic dynamic allocation and release of secondary Master
Channels based on common signalling traffic load estimates. This dynamically
adapts the GPRS signalling capacity of the cell to the traffic demand. The
secondary master PDCH are always dynamically established or released in
the cell, regardless of whether the Primary Master Channel is statically or
dynamically allocated. The feature provides the operator with the following
improvements:

Increase the GPRS signalling capacity as the traffic load increases in


the cell.

Avoids the need to reserve static radio resources to match the maximum
traffic demand.
Configuration of the allocation and de-allocation algorithm thresholds is
performed automatically by the BSS.

2.2.4 Multiple PCCCH


To allow for an increase in GPRS traffic and its associated signaling, and
advanced servises (e.g. network controlled cell reselection, GPRS in multiband
networks, traffic load management), more than one MPDCH is required. A
secondary MPDCH is required to handle the increase in signaling.
The following logical channels can be dynamically multiplexed on one MPDCH:

PBCCH

PCCCH

PDTCH
PACCH.

The MPDCH carrying the PBCCH is called the primary Master PDCH. The
PBCCH carrier is indicated on the BCCH (in the SI13 message). Up to
16 MPDCH can be allocated in a cell (one primary MPCCH, 15 secondary
MPDCH). The additional MPDCH are called secondary Master PDCH.
When the primary MPDCH is activated, the BSC broadcasts the SI 13 message
with the radio configuration of the PBCCH. When the primary MPDCH is
deactivated (always decided by the MFS even following a fault, e.g. TRX
recovery impacting the MPDCH), the SI 13 message no longer contains a
PBCCH description. Paging and assignment messages are routed either on
CCCH or PCCCH according to the presence or not of the MPDCH.
To summarize, if the primary MPDCH is on slots 0 to 3, the secondary MPDCH
can be located at any slot position. If primary MPDCH is on slot k (k = 4 to 7),
secondary MPDCH shall be on slot n with n > k – 4; in such case, the lower k is,
the highest flexibility is to allocate a secondary MPDCH.

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The following table describes the parameters that can be defined by the
operator.

Parameter Name Definition Type Mandatory Rules


BS_PBCCH_BLKS Number if:
Coded on 2 bits:
BS_PBCCH_BLKS=1
00=Block then
B0 used for PSI_REPEAT_PERIOD >
3.
PBCCH
if:
01=Block B0 BS_PBCC
H_BLKS > 1 then
and B6 used
PSI_REPEAT_PERIOD >
for PBCCH 4/BS_PBCC H_BLKS.
10=Block
B0, B6, and
B3 used for
PBCCH

11=Block B0,
B6, B3, and
B9 used for
PBCCH

BS_PAG_BLKS Number of blocks Number None.


_RES allocated to
the PAGCH or
PDTCH or PACCH
per 52 multiframe.
BS_PRACH_ Number of static Number BS_PRACH_BLKS <=
BLKS prach blocks. BS_PRACH_BLKS_MAX
BS_PRACK_ Number of Number BS_PRACH_BLKS_MAX
BLKS_MAX dynamic prach >= BS_PRACH_BLKS
blocks. S/(16 * BS_PRAC
H_BLKS_ MAX) >
round_trip_delay.

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2.2.5 Logical Channels


The types of logical channels which can be carried on a PDCH are:

Packet traffic channel

Packet Timing Advance Control Channel

Packet Traffic Channel This channel is analogous to a circuit-switched traffic channel, and is used for
user data transmission and its associated signaling. It has two sub-channels:

Packet Data Traffic Channel which contains the user data traffic

Packet Associated Control Channel (bi-directional) which contains the


signalling information.

If multiple PDTCHs are assigned to one mobile station, the PACCH is always
allocated on one of the PDCHs on which PDTCHs are allocated.
The function of these sub channels is analogous to their circuit-switched
counterparts.

Packet Timing Advance This bi-directional channel is used for maintaining a continuous timing advance
Control Channel update mechanism.

2.2.6 Virtual Channels


Packet switching is a mode of operation adapted to transmission of "bursty" data
- that is, data which comes in intense "bursts" separated by periods of inactivity.
The network establishes a connection during the transmission of such a "burst"
of data. If there is no activity on this connection, the connection is taken down.
When the original user needs to send or receive another burst of data, a new
temporary connection is put up. This can be on another channel in the same
cell, or in another cell if the mobile station is in motion. The routing of one burst
of data may be different from the routing of another.
The establishment and dis-establishment of temporary connections is
transparent to the user. The user sees an exchange of data that seems to be
a continuous flow, unless the network is over congested. This semblance of
continuous flow is a Virtual Channel.
A virtual channel can be represented as the flow of data between two terminals
during a user session. The user has the impression of a single continuous
connection, but in the network, this is not the case.
A single data transfer, either in the uplink or in the downlink direction, can
pass between the MFS and the mobile station via one or more PDCH. A
PDCH is shared between multiple mobile stations and the network. It contains
asymmetric and independent uplink and downlink channels.

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2.2.7 System Information Messages


GPRS system information messages, like their GSM counterparts, transmit
information about the cell to the mobile station. GSM BCCH messages, shown
in Table 1, are also used in GPRS. GPRS also uses the additional message
shown in the following table.

Message Channel Information


SI 13 BCCH The SI 13 message is sent on the BCCH and
contains all the necessary information required
for GPRS. It also indicates the presence and
the location of the PBCCH in the serving cell.
The SI13 message is broadcast only if GPRS
is supported in the cell.

Table 2: GPRS System Information Message

Also, when an MPDCH exists, the messages shown in the following table
are used.

Message Channel Information


PSI 1 PBCCH The PSI 1 message is sent on the PBCCH and
gives information on:
Cell selection

Control of the PRACH

Description of the control channels

Description of power control parameters.


To reduce the possibility that a mobile station
involved in a data transfer has to reread the
PBCCH, the PSI 1 message is also broadcast on
PACCH/D of a MS in packet transfer mode:

When one of the packet system information


messages has been modified
Every T_PSI_PACCH seconds.

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PSI 2 PBCCH The PSI 2 message is sent on the PBCCH


in several instances (up to 8) in order to give
information on:

Reference frequency lists

Cell allocation
GPRS mobile allocations

PCCCH channel description

Non GPRS cell options applicable to circuit


switched access
Cell identification.
If the PSI 2 message is modified, the new PSI
2 message is also broadcast on PACCH/D of a
mobile station that is in packet transfer mode.
PSI 3/3bis PBCCH The PSI 3/3bis messages are sent on PBCCH
in several instances (up to 16) in order to give
information on:
BCCH allocation in the neighbor cells: The
list of BCCH frequencies is then called the
BA(GPRS) list.
Cell selection parameters for the serving cell
and the neighbor cells.

Localized Service Area (LSA) identification of


the serving cell and of the neighbor cells for
the SoLSA feature.
Up to 32 neighbor cells can be defined by the
PSI 3/3bis messages. In order to reduce the
number of PSI3/3bis instances, the coding
of the PSI3/3bis messages is optimized by
compressing the redundant parameters.
PSI 8 PBCCH The PSI 8 message is optionally sent on the
PBCCH to give information on the configuration
of the cell broadcast channel (CBCH).

Table 3: GPRS System Information Messages Used with MPDCH

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2.3 GPRS Interfaces


New interfaces have been introduced for GPRS needs. These interfaces link
the MFS and the SGSN, the BTS, and the BSC.

2.3.1 The Gb Interface


The Gb interface uses frame relay techniques to link the PCU function of the
MFS and the SGSN. Physically, it can be routed in a variety of ways:

A direct connection between the MFS and the SGSN

Via a public Frame Relay Data Network

Via the MSC

Via the Ater Mux interface through the Transcoder to the MSC. In this case
it carries a combination of packet-switched and circuit-switched traffic
and signalling.

Combinations of these methods are also possible. See Figure 13 for the
position of the Gb interface in the system.
The Gb interface provides end-to-end signaling between the MFS and the
SGSN, and serves as the BSS-GPRS backbone. Its principal functions are
shown in the following table.

Function Description
Network services Transfer of BSSGP-PDUs between BSS and
SGSN
Allocation and load sharing of PDUs among
Virtual Channels
Access to intermediate Frame Relay Data Network
BSS-GPRS Protocol Radio resource information
services
Quality of Service Information
Routing information
Transfer of LLC-PDUs between the BSS and the
SGSN
Suspend and Resume procedures for class B
mobile stations

Table 4: Gb Interface Functions

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2.3.2 The BSCGP Interface


The BSCGP interface provides communication between the BSC and the MFS
(see Figure 13). The BSC GPRS Protocol controls two LAPDs connections
(for redundancy) using 64 kb/s time slots. The following information is carried
on the BSCGP Interface:

Function Description
Common radio signaling Circuit-switched and packet-switched paging
(MFS to BSC)
Channel Requests from BSC to MFS
Uplink and downlink channel assignment (MFS
to BSC)
GPRS radio resource Allocation/de-allocation of resources (MFS to
management BSC)
Release indication (BSC to MFS)
Load indication: this limits the allocation for GPRS
traffic (BSC to MFS)

Table 5: BSCGP Interface Functions

Note: The common radio signaling functions of the BSCGP are handled on the GPRS
Signaling Link, which is carried inside the Ater interface.

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2.3.3 The GCH Interface


The GCH interface provides a synchronous connection between the MFS and
the BTS, using 16 kb/s time slots. The GCH links pass transparently through
the BSC (see Figure 13). Its functions are as follows:

Transfer of PDUs between MFS and BTS (thus packet data is not directly
handled by the BSC but passes transparently through it on the GCH
interface)

Synchronization with the radio interface at GCH link establishment

Correction of clock drifts between Abis and BTS clocks.

The protocol for the GCH interface uses two layers:

L1-GCH layer
L1-GCH is the physical layer based on ITU-T recommendations G.703.
The L1-GCH layer utilizes digital transmission at a rate of 2048 kbit/s with a
frame of 32 x 64 kbit/s time slots. An L1-GCH channel has a transmission
rate of 16 kbit/s.

L2-GCH layer
L2-GCH is the data link layer which is an Alcatel proprietary protocol. This
layer is in charge of the data transfer of the GCH frames between the
MFS and the BTS.
The L2-GCH layer offers a service of data transport for the RLC/MAC layers
located in the MFS. Its main functions are:
GCH link establishment and release
Synchronization with the radio interface
RLC/MAC PDUs transfer.

For more information on GSM transmission, refer to Call Set Up (Chapter 3).

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2 GPRS in the BSS

2.4 GPRS Network Functions


This section describes various GPRS-specific network functions necessary
for successful packet data transfer. This includes paging, cell reselection,
error checking and reestablishment, as well as radio power control and link
measurement.

MAC and RLC Functions Since multiple mobile stations can be competing for the same physical
resource(s), an arbitration procedure is necessary. This is provided by the
Medium Access Control function.
The MAC function operates between the MFS and the mobile station, and
works in conjunction with the Radio Link Control function. Radio Link Control
defines the procedures for retransmission of unsuccessfully delivered data
blocks (error correction) and for the disassembly and reassembly of PDUs.

Temporary Block Flow When PDUs need to be transferred between the MFS and the mobile station,
a temporary point-to-point physical connection is set up to support the
unidirectional transfer of PDUs on one or more PDCHs. This connection
is called a Temporary Block Flow.
A Temporary Block Flow is maintained only for the duration of the data transfer.
The Temporary Block Flow is allocated radio resources on one or more PDCHs
and comprises a number of RLC/MAC blocks carrying one or more PDUs.
A typical user session in which data is exchanged bi-directionally requires the
establishment of one Temporary Block Flow in each direction, and the path
of each Temporary Block Flow can be different.

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2.4.1 Mobility Management


Since the integrity of the data transmitted is crucial, packet-switched networks
employ a method of error checking. This confirms that the data received
correspond exactly to the data transmitted.
In GPRS, an LLC-PDU includes a Frame Check Sequence used to detect errors
in the header and information fields of the PDU (see Figure 12). The Frame
Check Sequence uses the Cyclic Redundancy Check method of error checking.
When an error is detected, retransmission of the LLC-PDU is requested. This
characteristic of packet-switched data transfer means that handovers, as they
are done in traditional circuit-switched GSM calls, are not necessary.
Mobility Management in GPRS can be accomplished by the combination of
autonomous cell reselection by the mobile station and packet error correction.
The process is as follows:
1. The mobile station performs an autonomous cell reselection. The process is
based on average measurements of received signal strength on the PBCCH
frequencies of the serving cell and the neighbor cells as indicated in the
GPRS neighbor cell list.
The cell reselection procedure is the same as for circuit-switched traffic, but
based on GPRS reselection parameters configurable by the operator.
If the cell does not have a PBCCH the mobile station applies existing circuit
switching parameters using the BCCH.
2. Once the mobile station is camped on the new cell, the data transfer is
resumed If an LLC-PDU has not been correctly received, it is re-emitted.
This process produces a slight overhead on throughput but has the advantage
of greatly simplifying the cell change process.

Re-establishment If the mobile station detects a radio link failure, it will re-establish the link with
the SGSN. The BSS transmits the reselection configuration parameters to be
used by the mobile station. Mobile controlled re-selection is equivalent to
circuit-switched call re-establishment. Refer to Call Re-establishment by the
Mobile Station (Section 4.8) for more information.

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2.4.2 Paging
Paging is the procedure by which the network contacts a mobile station.
The network can coordinate circuit-switched and packet-switched paging, if
there is a Gs interface between the MSC and the SGSN. This means that
circuit-switched paging messages can be sent on the channels used for
packet-switched paging messages, and vice-versa. Three modes are defined.

Mode Description
Network Circuit-switched paging messages are sent via the SGSN
Operation Mode and MFS
1 The circuit-switched paging message for the
GPRS-attached mobile station is sent on the PPCH or
CCCH paging channel, or on the PACCH. This means
that the mobile station only needs to monitor one paging
channel. It receives circuit-switched paging messages on
the PACCH when the mobile station is in packet transfer
mode.
Network Circuit-switched paging messages are sent via the MSC
Operation Mode and BSC, but not the MFS.
2 The circuit-switched paging message for the
GPRS-attached mobile station is sent on the CCCH
paging channel. The channel is also used for
packet-switched paging messages. This means that
the mobile station only needs to monitor the PCH.
Circuit-switched paging continues on the PCH even if the
mobile station is assigned a PDCH.
Network Circuit-switched paging messages are sent via the MSC
Operation Mode and BSC, but not the MFS.
3 The circuit-switched paging message for the
GPRS-attached mobile station is sent on the CCCH
paging channel. The packet-switched paging message is
sent on either the PPCH (if allocated) or on the CCCH
paging channel

Table 6: Network Operation Modes

Packet-switched paging does not use the Local Area for paging, but a GPRS
Routing Area . The RA is smaller, thus fewer cells are involved.

2.4.3 Radio Power Control and Radio Link Measurement


In order to decrease the level of interference in a network, the uplink and
downlink transmissions are constantly measured and a balance maintained
between transmission power and the actual quality of the link. In GPRS, power
control is implemented in open loop on the uplink path. This maintains speech
quality in the network and keeps a low bit error rate for data transmission.
The BSS broadcasts the configuration parameters necessary for the mobile
station. When it first accesses a cell, the mobile station sets its output power as
defined in the system information. It then re-sets its power output according to
the parameters broadcast, and to an evaluation of the uplink path loss.

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2.5 Resource Management


In order to provide flexibility to the operator in managing the use of resources
by circuit-switched and packet-switched traffic, resources are shared between
the MFS and the BSC. Use of these resources by one system or the other can
be controlled by a variety of parameters to meet operators’ needs. The MFS
and BSC co-ordinate resource management over the BSCGP interface.
In GPRS, resource management refers principally to the allocation of Packet
Data Channels. PDCHs are dynamically allocated according to user-settable
criteria.
When a Temporary Block Flow request is made, resources are allocated on
one or more PDCH for the transfer of PDUs. The allocation process takes
place as follows:
1. A TBF establishment request is received (through a (Packet) Channel
request for the uplink, or through a downlink LLC PDU for the downlink)
2. The number of PDCHs is determined with the:

Mobile station multislot class. This is not always known in the uplink case.

O&M parameter (MAX_PDCH_PER_TBF). This defines the maximum


number of PDCHs which can be allocated per TBF.

3. If the requested number of PDCHs is not available, a request to establish a


TBF is sent to the BSC.
4. PDCHs are allocated to the TBF

2.5.1 Time Slot Allocation


GPRS allows bandwidth to be shared between several mobiles. On a radio
time slot, bandwidth can be shared between up to nine users on the downlink
path and six on the uplink path- or up to 16 GPRS requests within one time slot.
Circuit-switched data services require at least one time slot per user.
The radio blocks on each time slot are equally distributed among the users
assigned to the channel. For example, on the uplink path when coding scheme
2 is used, the minimum raw bit rate per user is 1.9 kbit/s (13.4/7) instead of 13.4
kbit/s. The following table describes the parameters for time slot allocation.

This parameter: Is used to:


MAX_UL_TBF_ Define the maximum number of users (between one and
SPDCH six) that share a PDCH in the uplink direction.
MAX_DL_TBF_ Define the maximum number of users (between one and
SPDCH nine) that share a PDCH in the downlink direction.
N_TBF_PER_ Define the optimum number of shared users per direction
PDCH and per PDCH. This ensures a good bit rate as long as
the GPRS load is normal.

Table 7: Time Slot Allocation Parameters

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Time Slot Allocation If MAX_UL_TBF_SPDCH is set to five, the minimum raw bit rate per user will be
Scenario increased from 1.9 kbit/s to 2.68 kbit/s (13.4/5). When the PDCH reaches five,
it is declared full and will not accept a sixth shared user.
However, setting the N_TBF_PER_PDCH parameter will affect a compromise
between resource efficiency and quality of service For example, if
N_TBF_PER_PDCH= 2 and coding scheme 2 is used, the preferred raw bit rate
per user will be 6.7 kbits/s (13.4/2). When the number of users on the PDCH
reaches the N_TBF_PER_PDCH value (2), the PDCH is declared “busy” and will
preferably not accept a third user. But if the GPRS load is such that all PDCHs
are busy, the BSS will override the number of users set in N_TBF_PER_PDCH
and increase the number of shared resources to the maximum, using the
MAL_XL_TBF_SPDCH value.

2.5.2 Frequency Hopping


Frequency hopping improves the bit error rate and therefore contributes to
overall network quality. Frequency hopping, already provided for circuit-switched
channels, has been extended to the packet-switched channels for GPRS
implementation. The BSS sends the hopping law when setting up a connection.
All GPRS channels then use the same hopping law in a synchronized scheme.
For detailed information on frequency hopping, refer to Call Set Up (Chapter 3).

2.5.3 PCM Link Sharing


Resource allocation is facilitated by the use of a shared 2048 kb/s PCM link.
GPRS signaling and traffic channels can be multiplexed with circuit-switched
traffic channels on this link between the MFS and the BSC.
Traffic on the Ater Mux interface between the MFS and the Transcoder is either
processed by the MFS as GPRS traffic, or passed transparently through the
cross-connect in the MFS to the BSC as circuit-switched traffic.

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2.5.4 Resource Reallocation


This feature can be enabled using the EN_RES_REALLOCATION parameter. The
feature provides radio and transmission resources for a TBF following an uplink
request received from the mobile station, or one or more downlink LLC PDUs
received from the SGSN, when there is no established TBF for the mobile
station. It is also now possible for more than one TRX allocated to GPRS
services in any given cell. Resource allocation needs to be prioiitized, so
proirity is set on PDCH groups. The allocation is granted towards the PDCH
group with the highest priority. The feature avoids PDCH groups is a congested
state and PDCG groups that are dual-rate capable.
There can be one or more master PDCHs in a given cell (to support PBCCH
and PCCCH channels). The primary master channel is allocated on time slots
0-3. The MPDCH allocation is therefore done preferrably on the leftmost
available PDCH on the preferred TRX. In order to avoid holes between the
MPDCH(s) and the SPDCH(s), the SPDCH allocation is therefore also done
preferrably on the leftmost available PDCH.
The requested throughput is served on the:

Maximum number of slots allowed by the MS multislot class

GPRS service constraints (the operator gives the maximum number of


allowed slots for one GPRS connection)

Network constraints (resource availability).

Therefore the allocation strategy consists in maximising the usage of the


allocated PDCH(s) and, if necessary, to request additional PDCH(s) from
the BSC.

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2.6 Traffic Load Management


Traffic load conditions affect PDCH allocation, as described in Congestion
Control (Section 2.6.1). A PDCH can have one of four possible states, as
shown in the following table.

State Explanation
Empty No established TBFs.
Active At least one established TBF and the total number of
established TBFs is smaller than a defined threshold
(O&M Parameter N_TBF_PER_PDCH).
Busy The number of established TBFs is greater than
or equal to O&M Parameter N_TBF_PER_PDCH but
smaller than the maximum allowed (O&M Parameter
MAX_UL/DL_TBF_PDCH).
Full The number of established TBFs is equal
to the maximum set by O&M Parameter
MAX_UL/DL_TBF_PDCH.

Table 8: PDCH Traffic Load States

Additional O&M parameters are available to define a condition of "high load"


traffic in the BSC. When traffic exceeds the threshold defining “high load”,
the following occurs:
1. The maximum number of PDCHs allowed is lower than under normal load
conditions. This maximum is set by the parameter MAX_PDCH_HIGH_LOAD.
This corresponds to the reception of a high load BSC notification. There
are two phases involved:

A "soft pre-emption" where exceeding PDCHs are marked and cannot


support new TBFs. The timer T_PDCH_Pre-emption is started.

A "fast pre-emption" phase is entered when the timer


T_PDCH_Pre-emption expires. When this occurs, the remaining TBFs on
marked PDCHs are released.

2. The MFS de-allocates PDCHs as soon as they become empty until the
new, lower threshold is reached.
3. When normal load conditions resume, the MFS can then reallocate
additional resources up to the limit defined for its PDCH group. This is set by
the parameter MAX_PDCH_GROUP.
This is the process that takes place during the phase marked “High BSC Load”,
shown in the figure below. The figure shows a typical sequence illustrating the
PDCH allocation procedure. Numbers in bold refer to the steps above.

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Allocated PDCHs Maximum number of


PDCHs is reached
2

MAX_PDCH_GROUP

MAX_PDCH_HIGH_LOAD

1
MIN_PDCH_GROUP

GPRS MS requests time slots Time

Normal BSC load High BSC load Normal BSC load


Cell activated

GPRS : General Packet Radio Service


MS : Mobile Station
PDCH : Packet Data Channel
Figure 14: GPRS Traffic Load Management

2.6.1 Congestion Control


Capacity on Demand Capacity on demand allows operators to both reserve a number of PDCH for
GPRS traffic and reserve other PDCH for shared traffic, according to the real
traffic load in the cell at any given moment. The actual GPRS traffic load is
dynamically matched by allocating or de-allocating PDCH after negotiation
between the MFS and the BSC.
The BSC is the master in the negotiation process, which means if
circuit-switched traffic is heavy in a cell, there is no guarantee a GPRS mobile
station can establish a call. To ensure GPRS calls are possible at any time,
the parameter MIN_PDCH can be set at the OMC-R to define the number of
PDCH permanently allocated to GPRS in a cell. Using this parameter to set the
minimum number of PDCH allocated to GPRS traffic also sets the maximum
number of PDCH allocated to circuit-switched traffic.

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2.6.2 Smooth PDCH Traffic Adaption to Cell Load Variation


To avoid wasting GPRS traffic resources when entering a high load situation,
(with the ability to allocate GPRS traffic on multiple TRXs the gap between
MAX_PDCH and MAX_PDCH_HIGH_LOAD could be much bigger than in B6.2),
the BSC evaluates the total (circuit and packet-switched) traffic per cell and
indicates the amount of PDCHs that can be granted for GPRS traffic to the MFS.
The BSC notifies the MFS about any change in the number of available GPRS
resources. Thus the GPRS traffic is constantly adapted to the actual traffic
situation in the cell.
Two parameters conrol smooth PDCH traffic adaption:

EN_DYN_PDCH_ADAPTATION. Enables smooth PDCH traffic adaption.

Load_EV_Period_GPRS. Calculates the number of load samples (calculated


every TCH_INFO_PERIOD) for the PDCH traffic adaption load averaging
algorithm.

2.6.3 GPRS Overload Control


To prevent traffic overload conditions, the SGSN and the BSS constantly
exchange traffic load information. This exchange of information, or flow control,
regulates the downlink traffic between the SGSN and the BSS. The BSS sends
mobile station and BSSGP Virtual Connection radio status information to the
SGSN, which then regulates the output traffic to the BSS when needed. Flow
control is thus applied at two levels: mobile station and BVC.
Because more than one Network Service Virtual Connection can be used
between the BSS and the SGSN, the traffic load can be shared and thus
smoothly distributed over the Gb interface. At data transfer uplink initialization,
an Network Service Virtual Connection is selected and the uplink bandwidth
is reserved. If an Network Service Virtual Connection is unavailable, traffic
is then put on another Network Service Virtual Connection. The reserved
bandwidth on the Network Service Virtual Connection is released at the end of
the transfer. Load sharing allows different data transfers within the same cell to
be carried by different Network Service Virtual Connection.

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2.6.4 Delayed Downlink TBF Release


Delaying the release of downlink TBFs allows enhancement of the data
throughput served to mobile station end users. It also significantly reduces
the GPRS signalling load. GPRS RLC/MAC procedures were designed for
nonreal-time data transfer where the data arrives as one large block. However,
the true nature of packet traffic is usually different from this assumption. For
example, TCP based applications often send small packets between peer
entities before the actual data transfer starts. This leads to a high number of
TBF establishments and releases. Consequently, the resource utilization is far
from optimal and transmission delays unnecessary long. The problem can
be avoided by delaying TBF release for a short period (e.g. 0.5-2s) after the
transmission buffer becomes empty.
Delayed downlink TBF release can occure in the following two modes:

Acknowledged mode

Unacknowledged mode.

Two paramaters control delayed downlink TBF release:

EN_DELAYED_DL_TBF_REL, enables the delayed TBF release feature on the


downlink. The default value is OFF.

T_NETWORK_RESPONSE_TIME. This timer indicates the typical response time


of a network server as seen from this MFS. The timer range is 0-5000 ms
(in 100 ms steps). The default value is 700 ms.

Acknowledged Mode When the network wishes to delay the release of the TBF, it sends the last
RLC data block but does not set the Final Block Indicator (FBI) bit. The
network only sets the FBI bit when it wishes to permanently end the TBF.
Once the network has sent the RLC data block containing the last octets of
the most recent LLC frame to the MS, the network maintains the downlink
TBF by occasionally sending dummy downlink RLC data blocks to the MS,
incrementing the BSN with each dummy data block sent. When the network
receives a new LLC frame, it begins to transmit new RLC data blocks to the MS,
beginning with the next available BSN.
When the network wishes to poll the MS for a Packet Downlink Ack/Nack when it
has no LLC data to send, the network sends a dummy downlink RLC data block.
The dummy downlink RLC data block is formed by inserting an LLC Dummy
UI Command into a CS-1 downlink RLC data block. The LLC Dummy UI
Command is an invalid LLC PDU and is discarded by the LLC entity in the MS.

Unacknowledged Mode In RLC unacknowledged mode the MS detects the end of the TBF by detecting
the Final Block Indicator (FBI) bit set to 1. The MS then transmits a Packet
Control Acknowledgement, acknowledging the end of the TBF. The procedure
for delayed release of downlink TBF in RLC acknowledged mode applies
except that no retransmission of data blocks is done.

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2.7 Data Transmission


This section describes the actual process for GPRS data transmission,
and explains Attach/Detach procedures, Packet Data Protocol Context
Activation/De-activation, and mobile-originated and mobile-terminated data
transfer.

2.7.1 GPRS Attach


To access GPRS services, the mobile station performs a GPRS Attach or
combined GPRS/IMSI Attach to the SGSN. (For more information on IMSI
Attach-Detach, a mobility feature, see IMSI Attach-Detach (Section 3.3.4)).
This procedure establishes a logical link between the mobile station and the
SGSN, and allows the mobile station to be available for paging from the SGSN
and notification of incoming GPRS data.
This process is illustrated in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN HLR

GPRS
Attach
Reque
st

Update
Locati
on

er
nticati
on scrib
Authe Sub ta
Da

Subs
c
Data riber
ACK

ate
Upd ACK
a t i o n
Loc

t
Accep
Attach
GPRS

GPRS
Attach
Comp
lete

HLR : Home Location Register


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
GPRS : General Packet Radio Service
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 15: GPRS Attach

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1. The mobile station sends a GPRS Attach Request to the SGSN. This
request contains:

The mobile station identity (IMSI or P_TMSI)

The mobile station Routing Area Identity

The type of Attach procedure requested (GPRS Attach, or combined


GPRS/IMSI Attach)

The mobile station classmark

2. The SGSN verifies the mobile station identity, sends a location update to
the HLR, (if the attach requested is a combined GPRS/IMSI Attach, the
MSC/VLR is also updated), and requests a subscriber data profile.
3. The HLR sends a location acknowledgment back to the SGSN with the
subscriber data inserted.
4. The SGSN then assigns a P_TMSI to the mobile station.
5. The mobile station acknowledges the P_TMSI, and the Attach procedure
is complete.
Once the GPRS Attach procedure is performed, the mobile station is in Standby
and can activate Packet Data Protocol contexts.

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2.7.2 Packet Data Protocol Context Activation


A Point-To-Point GPRS subscription contains one or more Packet Data
Protocol addresses. Each Packet Data Protocol address is defined by an
individual Packet Data Protocol context in the mobile station, the SGSN, and
the GGSN. Before a mobile station can send or receive data, a Packet Data
Protocol context must be activated. Only the GGSN or a mobile station in
Standby or Ready can activate Packet Data Protocol contexts. This process
is illustrated in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN GGSN

Activat
e PDP
Context
Reque
st

Create
PDP
Context
Reque
st

DP
te P
Crea sponse
t Re
tex
Con

ept
xt Acc
Conte
te PDP
Activa

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 16: Mobile Station-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context Activation
Mobile 1. The mobile station sends an Activation Request to the SGSN. This request
Station-Originating contains:
Activation Transaction Identifier

Packet Data Protocol type

Packet Data Protocol address

Access Point Name

Quality of Service requested


Packet Data Protocol configuration options.

2. The SGSN verifies the mobile station subscriber data, creates a Tunnel
Identifier (TID — a logical bidirectional tunnel between the mobile station
and the GGSN), and sends the new Packet Data Protocol type and address
to the GGSN.
3. The GGSN creates a context, sends an acknowledgment to the SGSN,
which sends an acknowledgment to the mobile station.
4. The GGSN can now send data through the SGSN, and billing can begin.

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GGSN-Originating The GGSN Packet Data Protocol context activation process is illustrated in
Activation the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN HLR GGSN

PDU
PDP
Info
ting
Rou
uest
Req

Routin
g Info
ACK

t
eques
tion R
otifica
PDU N

PDU N
otificatio
n Resp
onse
n
itvatio
text Ac
st PDP Con
Reque

PDP C
ontext
Activatio
n

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


HLR : Home Location Register
MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
PDU : Protocol Data Unit
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 17: GGSN-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context Activation

1. When the GGSN receives data, it sends a message to the HLR requesting
the mobile station location.
2. The HLR sends the GGSN location information and the current SGSN IP
address.
3. The GGSN sends a PDU Notification Request to the SGSN, which indicates
a Packet Data Protocol context needs to be created.
4. The SGSN returns a PDU Notification Response to the GGSN, and sends a
Request Packet Data Protocol Context Activation message to the mobile
station. This message contains the Packet Data Protocol type and address
5. The mobile station then begins a Packet Data Protocol context activation
procedure as described above

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2.7.3 Data Transfer


Mobile-Originated Data The following figure illustrates the process.
Transfer MS BSS SGSN

Pack
1 et Ch
Requ annel
est

F
L TB
et U t
Pack ignmen
2 Ass

RLC
3 PDU

PDU
RLC ACK
4 K / N
AC
UL L
LC P
DU

5
PDU
RLC ACK
/ N
ACK
6

LLC : Logical Link Control


MS : Mobile station
PDU : Protocol Data Unit
RLC : Radio Link Control
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
TBF : Temporary Block Flow
UL : Uplink
Figure 18: Mobile-Originated Data Transfer

When the mobile station has data to send:


1. An Uplink Temporary Block Flow is requested (either on PRACH, if there
is a master PDCH, or on RACH).
2. An Uplink Temporary Block Flow is established.
3. Data is sent to the network through the Radio Link Control Protocol Data
Units.
4. Radio Link Control Protocol Data Units are acknowledged by the network.
5. Radio Link Control Protocol Data Units are re-assembled into Logical Link
Control Packet Data Units and sent to the SGSN.
6. On receipt of the last Radio Link Control Protocol Data Units, an
acknowledgment is returned and the Uplink Temporary Block Flow is
released.

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Mobile-Terminated Data The following figure illustrates the process.


Transfer MS BSS SGSN

STAND BY

g PS 1
in
Pag

PCH
H or
PPC
2
Pack
et Ch
Requ annel
3 est

F
L TB
a c k et U ent
P gnm
Assi

4 LLC
PDU

UL −
LLC
PDU

READY

PDU 5
LLC
DL −
F
L TB
a c k et D ent
P gnm
6 Assi

DL : Downlink
MS : Mobile station
LLC : Logical Link Control
PCH : Paging Channel
PDU : Protocol Data Unit
PPCH : Packet Paging Channel
PS : Packet Switched
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
TBF : Temporary Block Flow
UL : Uplink
Figure 19: Mobile-Terminated Data Transfer

When the network has data to send to the mobile:


1. The SGSN receives a downlink Packet Data Protocol PDU for a mobile
station, and sends a paging request to the BSS.
2. The BSS sends packet paging requests to all the cells in the routing area, on
the PPCH if there is a master PDCH in the cell, or on the PCH.
3. The mobile station requests the establishment of an UL TBF from the BSS.
4. The UL TBF is established, which allows the mobile station to send a Logical
Link Control PDU to the SGSN in order to acknowledge the paging message.
5. The SGSN sends the data LLC PDUs to the BSS.
6. The BSS establishes a Downlink TBF on receipt of the first LLC PDU, and
releases on receipt of the last LLC PDU.

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2 GPRS in the BSS

2.7.4 Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation


Before a GPRS Detach procedure can be initiated, the Packet Data Protocol
context must be de-activated.

Mobile The following figure illustrates this process.


Station-Originating
De-activation
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN GGSN

De−Ac
tivate
PDP C
ontext
Reque
st

Delete
Conte PDP
xt Req
uest

P
te PD
Dele esponse
t R
tex
Con
ept
xt Acc
PDP Conte
De−Activate

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 20: Mobile Station Originating Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation

1. The mobile station sends a De-activate Packet Data Protocol Context


Request to the SGSN.
2. The SGSN sends a Delete Packet Data Protocol Context Request to the
GGSN, which contains the TID.
3. The GGSN deletes the Packet Data Protocol context, and sends a Delete
Packet Data Protocol Context Response with the de-activated TID to the
SGSN.
4. The SGSN sends a De-activate Packet Data Protocol Context Accept
message to the mobile station, confirming the de-activation.

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SGSN-Originating Network originated Packet Data Protocol context de-activation processes


De-activation are shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN GGSN
Delete
PDP
Conte
xt Req
SGSN−Originating uest

DP
te P
Dele sponse
e
xt R
C onte

st
Reque
ontext
vate PDP C
ti
De−Ac

De−Ac
tivate
PDP C
ontext
Accep
t

GGSN−Originating te P
DP
Dele equest
R
text
Con

uest
xt Req
PDP Conte
tivate
De−Ac

De−Ac
tivate
PDP C
ontext
Accep
t

Delete
Conte PDP
xt Res
ponse

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 21: Network-Originating Packet Data Protocol Context De-activation Processes

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2 GPRS in the BSS

1. The SGSN sends a Delete Packet Data Protocol Context Request to the
GGSN, which contains the TID.
2. The GGSN de-activates the Packet Data Protocol context and sends a
Delete Packet Data Protocol Context Response to the SGSN.
3. The SGSN sends a De-activate Packet Data Protocol Context Request to
the mobile station.
4. The mobile station de-activates the context, and returns a De-activate
Packet Data Protocol Context Accept.

GGSN-Originating 1. The GGSN sends a Delete Packet Data Protocol Context request to the
De-activation SGSN, which contains the TID.
2. The SGSN sends a De-activate Packet Data Protocol Context Request to
the mobile station.
3. The mobile station de-activates the context and returns a De-activate
Packet Data Protocol Context Accept.
4. The SGSN sends a Delete Packet Data Protocol Context Response to the
GGSN, which deletes the context.

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2.7.5 GPRS Suspend


GPRS suspend processes are shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN

RR Su
spend

Susp
end

Susp
end

T3
nd Ack
Suspe

nd Ack
Suspe

MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server


SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 22: GPRS Suspend

1. The GPRS suspension procedure is initiated by the mobile station by


sending an RR Suspend (TLLI, RAI, suspension cause) message to the
BSC. This is sent as soon as possible, after entering the dedicated mode. If
the GPRS suspension procedure was initiated during a GPRS transfer, the
mobile station releases all its GPRS resources.
2. The BSC sends a Suspend (TLLI, RAI, suspension cause) message to the
MFS, via the GSL link. The BSC stores TLLI and RAI in order to be able to
request the SGSN (via the MFS) to resume GPRS services when the mobile
station leaves the dedicated mode. A timer is not necessary to monitor the
Suspend Ack reception. If this acknowledgment is not received (i.e. no
Suspend Reference Number (SRN) reception, see step 4), the Resume will
not be sent at circuit-switched call completion.
3. The MFS sends a Suspend (TLLI, RAI) message to the SGSN.
4. The MFS receives a Suspend Ack from the SGSN, in which there is a
Suspend Reference Number which is used in the GPRS resume process.
The acknowledgment of the SGSN is supervised by a timer (T3).
5. The MFS sends a suspend acknowledgment to the BSC, with the Suspend
Reference Number information.

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2 GPRS in the BSS

2.7.6 GPRS Resume


GPRS resume processes are shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN

Resu
me

Resu
me

T_GPRS_Resume T4
ck
me A
Resu

ck
me A
Resu

se
Relea
annel
RR Ch

Routing Area
Update Reque
st

MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server


MS : Mobile station
RR : Radio Resource
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 23: GPRS Resume

1. The BSC determines that the circuit-switched radio channel must be


released (typically upon circuit-switched call completion). If the BSC is able
to request the SGSN to resume GPRS services (i.e. the suspend procedure
succeeded and the BSC received the Suspend Reference Number, and no
external handover has occurred), the BSC sends a Resume (TLLI, RAI,
Suspend Reference Number) message to the MFS. After sending the
Resume message, the BSC starts a guard timer (T_GPRS_Resume) and
waits for a Resume Ack message from the MFS. The guard timer is set as
short as possible, so as to be compatible with the usual RR connection
release procedure, and therefore not delay the procedure. However, this
message is not sent in the case of successful completion of an external
handover. In this case, the BSC deletes any stored data or suspend/resume
context related to that mobile station.
2. On receipt of a Resume message from the BSC, the MFS sends a Resume
(TLLI, RAI, Suspend Reference Number) message to the SGSN, starts a
guard timer (T4) and waits for a Resume Ack message from the SGSN.
3. The MFS receives a Resume Ack from the SGSN.

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2 GPRS in the BSS

4. On receipt of the Resume Ack from the SGSN, the MFS stops the guard
timer (T4) and sends a Resume Ack message to the BSC. If no Resume Ack
is received from the SGSN before expiry of the guard timer (T4), the MFS
sends a Resume Nack to the BSC. On receipt of the Resume Ack or Nack
message from the MFS, the BSC stops the guard timer (T_GPRS_Resume).
5. The BSC sends an RR Channel Release (GPRS Resumption) message
to the mobile station and deletes its suspend/resume context. GPRS
Resumption indicates whether the BSS has successfully requested the
SGSN to resume GPRS services for the mobile station, (i.e., whether
Resume Ack was received in the BSS before the RR Channel Release
message was transmitted). The mobile station then exits dedicated mode. If
the guard timer expired, or if a Resume Nack message was received by
the BSC, the Channel Release message includes the GPRS Resumption
indication equal to NOK.
6. The mobile station resumes GPRS services by sending a Routing Area
Update Request message in the following cases:

Reception of a Channel Release with GPRS Resumption = NOK

Reception of a Channel Release without GPRS Resumption IE

T3240 expiry.

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2 GPRS in the BSS

2.7.7 GPRS Detach


After the Packet Data Protocol Context has been de-activated, the mobile
station or the network can perform a GPRS Detach procedure. Whether the
detach is initiated by the mobile station or the network, the results are the same:

The mobile station leaves the Ready mode and enters the Idle mode

All Packet Data Protocol contexts are deleted

The mobile station returns to the circuit-switched system.


Mobile The following figure illustrates this process.
Station-Originating
Detach
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN GGSN

Detac
h Req
uest

Delete
Conte PDP
xt Req
uest

P
te PD
Dele esponse
R
text
Con

pt
h Acce
Detac
GPRS

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 24: Mobile Station-Originating GPRS Detach

1. The mobile station sends a GPRS Detach Request to the SGSN. This
message contains:

The type of Detach (GPRS or GPRS/IMSI)

An indication if the Detach is due to a mobile station Switch off.

2. The SGSN tells the GGSN to de-activate the Packet Data Protocol context,
and sends a Detach Accept message to the mobile station.

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Network-Originating Network-originating GPRS Detach procedures are shown in the following figure.
Detach
MS BTS BSC MFS SGSN GGSN HLR

ion
ocat
cel L
Can

Delete
PDP
Conte
xt Req
uest

uest
h Req
Detac
GPRS
DP
te P
Dele sponse
t R e
Contex

Detac
h Acce
pt

Cance
l Loca
tion AC
K

GGSN : Gateway GRPS Support Node


HLR : Home Location Register
MFS : Multi-BSS Fast Packet Server
MS : Mobile station
PDP : Packet Data Protocol
SGSN : Serving GRPS Support Node
Figure 25: Network-Originating GPRS Detach Procedures

A GPRS Detach can be initiated by both the SGSN and the HLR.
An SGSN Detach is the most common network Detach. In this procedure:
1. The SGSN sends a Detach Request to the mobile station, which contains
the Detach type. The Detach type tells the mobile station if it needs to
re-attach and re-activate the Packet Data Protocol context previously used.
2. The SGSN tells the GGSN to de-activate the Packet Data Protocol contexts,
and the mobile station sends the Detach Accept message to the SGSN.
If the Detach is requested by the HLR:
1. The HLR sends a Cancel Location message to the SGSN, which initiates
the above process.
2. The SGSN confirms the Packet Data Protocol context deletion by sending a
Cancel Location Acknowledgment to the HLR.

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3 Call Set Up

3 Call Set Up

This chapter provides an overview of how a call is set up between the NSS and
the mobile station. It describes the various kinds of calls that can be set up.
The type of teleservice and bearer service required are also described.
This chapter also describes the following parts of the Call Set Up procedure:

Overview

Mobile Originated Call

Mobile Terminated Call


Paging

Congestion

Classmark Handing

Authentication

Ciphering.

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3 Call Set Up

3.1 Overview
Call set up is required to establish communication between a mobile station
and the NSS. The NSS is responsible for establishing the connection with the
correspondent. Different types of calls require different teleservices. These
teleservices are defined in the GSM specifications. The type of teleservice
and bearer service to be used is negotiated before the normal assignment
procedure. See Normal Assignment (Section 3.2.3) for more information.

Call Types The following table shows the three basic types of call:

Type of Call Description


Mobility Management Calls These calls, e.g. location update, are used by
the system to gather mobile station information.
The exchanges are protocol messages only;
therefore, only a signalling channel is used.
Figure 7 illustrates the location update
procedure.
Service Calls These calls, e.g. SMS and SS calls, pass
small amounts of information. Therefore, only
a signalling channel is used.
User Traffic Calls These calls, e.g. speech or data calls to a
correspondent, can pass large amounts of
information. Therefore they require greater
bandwidth than a signalling channel. These
calls use traffic channels.

Table 9: Types of Calls

The channels used for calls are the SDCCH for signalling and the traffic channel
for user traffic (see The Air Interface (Section 1.7.7) for more information).
These channels are associated with FACCH/SACCH. An SDCCH is always
assigned for call set up, even if a traffic channel is later required for the call.
The role of the BSS in call set up is to assign the correct channel for the
call, and to provide and manage a communications path between the mobile
station and the MSC.

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3 Call Set Up

Call Set Up Phases The following table shows the phases involved in call set up:

Phase Composition
Radio and Link Paging (for mobile terminated calls only) informs
Establishment the mobile station that it is being called.
If attach_detach_allowed is activated, the
mobile station IMSI_detach message can
eliminate the need for paging. See IMSI
Attach-Detach (Section 3.3.4).
Immediate assignment procedure allocates a
resource to the mobile station and establishes a
Radio signalling Linkbetween the BSS and the
mobile station.
A interface connection, to assign an SCCP
signalling channel between the BSC and MSC
Assignment of a switching path through the BSC.
Authentication and Classmark handling
Ciphering Authentication
Ciphering.
Normal assignment Teleservice/bearer service negotiation
Channel allocation
Physical context procedure
Assigning a traffic channel, if required
Connecting the call.

Table 10: Call Set Up Phases

The phases are described in Mobile Originated Call (Section 3.2) and Mobile
Terminated Call (Section 3.3).

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3 Call Set Up

3.2 Mobile Originated Call


A call initiated by a mobile station can either be a subscriber call, where
speech and/or data is passed across the network, or a location update call
from a mobile station in idle mode. Location update information is passed
on the signalling connection. Therefore, the initial call set up procedure is
similar to a subscriber call. The location update does not require allocation
of a traffic channel.

3.2.1 Radio and Link Establishment


When a connection with a mobile station is required, the following must happen:

A radio channel must be assigned to permit communication between the


mobile station and the BSS.
A terrestrial link must be established in order to signal the presence of
the mobile station to the network.

The procedure of obtaining these initial connections is called radio and link
establishment. The radio and link establishment procedure establishes
signalling links between:

The BSS and the mobile station via the SDCCH channel

The BSS and the MSC via the SCCP link.

These links pass the information for call negotiation, and set up a traffic
channel, if required.
The figure below shows radio and link establishment for a mobile originated call.

Channel Request The mobile station initiates a call by sending a channel_request message,
with an REF. The REF includes an establishment cause and a RAND (used for
authentication). It is transmitted on the RACH channel. The RACH channel is
associated with the CCCH channel which the mobile station is monitoring while
in idle mode. The establishment cause field of the REF specifies:

An emergency call

Call re-establishment

Response to paging

Mobile station originating speech call


Mobile station originating data call

Location update

Service call (SMS, etc.).

The mobile station notes the random number and frame number associated
with each channel_request message. These are used by the mobile station to
recognize the response sent from the BSS. This response is sent on the AGCH,
which can be monitored by many mobile stations. The mobile station decodes
all messages sent on this AGCH, and only accepts a message with a random
number and frame number matching one of the last three requests sent.

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3 Call Set Up

MS BTS BSC MSC


Channe
l Reque
st (RAC
H)
REF
Chann
el Requ
ired
REF+R
FN+TA
REF stored
in MS SDCCH
memory Allocation
vation
el Acti
Chann
er
+pow
DCCH
TA+S

Chann
el Activ
ation A
ck

d
mman
ign co
ed iate ass
Imm REF
RFN+
wer+
GCH) C C H+po
ment (A TA+SD
iate assign
MS compares Immed
message with +SD CCH
RF N+TA
REF in memory REF+

Switch to SABM
SDCCH + cm +
Service
Request Establis
h Indic
ation
UA cm + Se SCCP
rvice Re Conne
quest ction R
equest
uest cm + Se
e Req rvice Re
Servic quest

Service Request must


match original sent onfirm
ction C
by MS in the SABM Conne
SCCP

cm : Classmark
ID : Mobile station identity
power : Mobile station power or BTS power
REF : Random access information value
RFN : Reduced frame number
SDCCH : Description of the allocated SDCCH (Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel)
Service : Initial layer 3 message
Request
TA : Timing advance
UA : Un-numbered acknowledgment
Figure 26: Radio and Link Establishment for Mobile Originated Call

The mobile station continues to transmit channel_request messages until it


receives a response. If no response is received before the mobile station has
transmitted a predefined number of retries, the mobile station:

Displays a network error message for all calls except location updates

Performs automatic reselection for location update calls. This means that
the mobile station attempts random access on a different cell.

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3 Call Set Up

On receipt of the channel_request message from the mobile station, the BTS
sends a channel_required message to the BSC. This message contains the
random number sent by the mobile station, and the timing advance measured
by the BTS.

Note: Under peak load conditions, resources may be over allocated due to this
process. See below for details on how the Immediate Assignment Extended
feature works to alleviate this problem.

SDCCH Channel The BSC checks the channel_required message to ensure it can accept the
Activation request. It allocates an SDCCH channel if one is available. The resource
management software of the BSC allocates the SDCCH on the basis of which
traffic channel has the most available SDCCHs. This ensures the load is
spread between the traffic channels.
The BSC then sends a channel_activation message to the BTS. It also sets a
timer to wait for an acknowledgment from the BTS, indicating that it is ready to
activate the channel. The channel_activation message contains:
A description of the SDCCH to be used

The timing advance

Mobile station and BTS power commands. The mobile station and BTS
power are set to the maximum allowed in the cell.

The BTS initiates the physical layer resources for the channel and sets the
LAPDm contention resolution ready for the first mobile station message on the
SDCCH. It then sends a channel_activation_acknowledgment message to
the BSC. The BSC stops its guard timer.

Note: Contention resolution prevents two mobile stations connecting to the same
SDCCH.
The following figure shows the Channel Activation procedure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

SDCCH
Allocation
vation
el Acti
Chann
er
+pow
DCCH
TA+S

Chann
el Activ
ation A
ck

power : Mobile station power or BTS power


SDCCH : Description of the allocated SDCCH (Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel)
TA : Timing advance
Figure 27: SDCCH Channel Activation

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3 Call Set Up

Immediate Assignment The BSC builds and sends an immediate_assign_command message


reiterating the information given in the channel_activation message. This
message also includes the random number and frame number of the original
mobile station request to which the BSC is replying. It also instructs the BTS to
inform the mobile station of the SDCCH channel assignment. The BSC starts a
guard timer for the mobile station to respond.
The following figure shows the Immediate Assignment procedure.
MS BTS BSC M

nd
omma
sign c
m ediate as FN
Im EF+R
er+R
+pow
GCH) DC C H
ent (A TA+S
te as signm
Im media DCCH
TA+S
F+RFN+
Switch to RE
SDCCH

REF : Random access information value


RFN : Reduced frame number
SDCCH : Description of the allocated SDCCH (Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel)
TA : Timing advance
Figure 28: Immediate Assignment

The BTS sends the immediate_assignment message to the mobile station


on the AGCH.
The mobile station checks the random number and frame number in the
immediate_assignment message. If it matches those from one of its
last three channel_request messages, the mobile station switches to the
indicated SDCCH and sets its timing advance to the value indicated in the
immediate_assignment message.

Immediate Assignment When there is congestion on the SDCCH, the mobile station could retry
Reject repeatedly without success to access a channel. This produces the following
undesired effects:
Undesirable messages on the mobile station screen

The subscriber has to restart his call attempt manually

Repeated futile attempts to connect overload the RACH and Abis interface

“Ping-pong” cell reselection by the mobile station.

Therefore, the system implements a special immediate_assignment_reject


message when the following conditions are met:

The BSC flag EN_IM_ASS_REJ is set to true. This flag is set on a BSC
basis, and can be viewed but not modified from the OMC-R.

All SDCCHs in the cell are busy.

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3 Call Set Up

The BSC receives a channel_required message from the BTS with one of
the following establishment causes:
Emergency call
Call re-establishment
Mobile station originating call
Location update
Service Calls.

The immediate_assignment_reject message is contained in the information


element of the immediate_assign_command message. This message starts
a timer in the mobile station which causes it to wait in idle mode until the timer
expires, before sending new channel_request messages. The length of the
timer is dependent upon the establishment cause, and is user setable.
If an immediate_assign_command message is received before expiration
of the timer, it has priority and the mobile station will respond to it, thus
connecting the call.

Note: This message can not be used when the mobile station is responding to
paging, i.e. in the case of a Mobile-terminated call.

Immediate Assignment Under peak load conditions, it is likely that the mobile station will send several
Extended channel_request messages before receiving an immediate_assignment
message indicating that a channel has been allocated to it. At this stage,
the BSC is unable to identify the mobile station which sent a given
channel_request and so it will grant several SDCCHs to the same mobile
station, thus wasting resources and reducing throughput on the AGCH.
If several immediate_assignment messages are queued on the AGCH,
the BTS will try to build an immediate_assignment_extended message,
passed to the mobile station on the air interface, constructed from pieces of
two immediate_assignment messages as follows:

The first immediate_assignment message in the queue (i.e. the oldest)


The first of the remaining immediate_assignment messages in the queue,
which are able to be merged according to one of the following criteria:
At least one of the two allocated channels is non-hopping
If both allocated channels are hopping, they share the same Mobile
Allocation (see Baseband Frequency Hopping (Section 4.3.1) for more
information about Mobile Allocation).

If there are several immediate_assignment messages in the AGCH queue,


but the first one cannot be merged with any other in the queue (using the above
criteria), a “classic” immediate_assignment message is sent on the air
interface.

Set Asynchronous The first layer 2 frame sent on the SDCCH is a standard LAPDm type frame,
Balanced Mode known as the Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode. This is equivalent to the
Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode Extended frame in the LAPD. On the Air
interface, it establishes the LAPDm connection with the BTS. This frame
can also contain layer 3 messages.

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3 Call Set Up

Contention Resolution The mobile station starts its LAPDm connection and sends a layer 3 message
in its first frame. The BTS uses this message for contention resolution. The
BTS sends an acknowledgment to the mobile station containing the same layer
3 message. Therefore, only the mobile station that sent the message can
accept the acknowledgment from the BTS and consider itself connected.
The following figure shows the establishment of the connection for a mobile
originated call.
MS BTS BSC MSC

SABM
+ cm +
Service
Reques Establi
t sh Indic
ation
cm + Se
UA rvice Re SCCP
quest Conne
ction R
equest
quest cm + Se
Serv ice Re rvice Re
quest

nfirm
on Co
Co nnecti
SCCP

cm : Classmark
Service : Initial layer 3 message including the mobile station identity and classmark
Request
UA : Un-numbered acknowledgment
Figure 29: Connection for Mobile Originated Call

For a mobile station originated call, the layer 3 message from the mobile
station contains:
An Information Element indicating:
CM service request (speech/data, SMS, emergency call)
Location updating request (location updating procedure)
CM re-establishment request (after a failure)
IMSI detach indication (mobile station power off - see IMSI Attach-Detach
(Section 3.3.4) for more information).

The mobile station identity (see Authentication (Section 3.7) for more
information)

The mobile station classmark (see Classmark Handling (Section 3.6) for
more information).

The network uses this message to decide which call negotiation procedures are
required and whether to assign a traffic channel.

Establish Indication The BTS sends an establish_indication message to the BSC to indicate that
the mobile station has connected. The BSC stops the guard timer, extracts the
classmark information, and initiates an SCCP connection with the MSC.

SCCP Connection The BSC sends an SCCP_connection_request message to the MSC. The
MSC replies with an SCCP_connection_confirm message. This message
can contain a classmark request or a cipher mode command.
The signalling link is established between the mobile station and the MSC.

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3 Call Set Up

3.2.2 Authentication and Ciphering


Classmark Procedure The content of the classmark IE sent during radio and link establishment
depends on the type of mobile station. The classmark information is used for
mobile station power control and to set ciphering. The MSC can request a
classmark update to ensure that it has the correct information. Classmark
procedures are described in Classmark Handling (Section 3.6).

Authentication The authentication procedure:

Authenticates the mobile station identity


Checks the mobile station has the correctIndividual Subscriber
Authentication Key value on the SIM for the ciphering procedure

Sends the Random Number for the ciphering and authentication procedures.

This procedure is described in Authentication (Section 3.7).

Ciphering Information passed on the Air interface must be protected. The MSC can
request that the BSS set the ciphering mode before information is passed on
the SDCCH. Ciphering is described in Ciphering (Section 3.8).

3.2.3 Normal Assignment


The figure below shows the normal assignment process for a mobile originated
call.
Once the Radio and Link Establishment procedure has been successfully
completed, the mobile station has a signalling link with the network. If the call
requires a traffic channel to communicate with a called party, the mobile station
sends a setup message. This indicates the teleservice and bearer service
required, and the called party number. The information is sent transparently
through the BSS. This message can contain more than one bearer service
element, and a parameter indicating that the subscriber may request a change
of service (In-Call Modification) during the call. See In-Call Modification
(Section 4.2) for information concerning In-Call Modification.
The MSC sends a call_proceeding message to the mobile station. This
indicates that the call parameters have been received, and that attempts to
establish communication with the called party are under way.

Channel Request The MSC initiates the assignment of the traffic channel by sending the
assignment_request message and sets a timer to supervise the response
from the BSC.
The BSC checks the message which must contain a channel type (for traffic
channel this is speech or data plus data rate). This message also contains
the mobile station classmark which the BSC uses if it has not received the
classmark from the mobile station.
The assignment_request message may contain a codec list, giving, in order of
preferences, the type of codec it prefers to use (for example, one that supports
enhanced full-rate speech). In this case, the BSC checks the list against those
supported by the cell, and chooses the preferred codec type that can be used
by both the BTS and by the mobile station.
If the BSC finds an error in the assignment_request message, it sends an
assignment_failure message. If no error is detected, it starts the normal
assignment procedure towards the mobile station.

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3 Call Set Up

MS BTS BSC MSC


set up (S
DCCH)
tele/bearer layer 3 CC
service
called party layer 3 CC
no.

layer 3 CC call proceeding


layer 3 CC

quest
ment re
assign
m
pe+c
nel ty
chan
TCH
allocation
quest
text re
al con
physic

physica
l conte
xt confi
rm
power +
TA

vation
el acti
chann
her
+ cip
+ TA er
(SACC
H) TCH p o w
X+
+ DT
ates
r upd channe
powe l activa
TA + in fo 5 e6 tion ac
knowle
+ sys dge
and
comm
ment
assign
H)
(SDCC
mand
nment com
assig

release
SDCCH SABM
(FACC
H)

estab
lish in
dicatio
Set n
H) transcoder
UA (FACC

assign Set switching


ment c
omple path
te (FA
CCH)

assign
ment c
o mplete
initiate SDCCH
release alerting
layer 3 CC
layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC connect
layer 3 CC

connect acknowledgement
layer 3 CC

cipher : Encryption algorithm + ciphering key


cm : Classmark
DTX : Discontinuous transmission flags
TA : Timing advance
Figure 30: Normal Assignment for Mobile Originated Call

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Traffic Channel The BSC ensures that it is not running any other procedures for the mobile
Allocation station and then allocates resources for the traffic channel. The resources
allocated are calculated using an algorithm in the BSC. The BSC can receive
an assignment_request message in various situations. Therefore, it has traffic
channel resource allocation algorithms for:

Normal assignment

In-call modification
Intercell handover

Intracell handover

Directed retry

Concentric cells

Microcells.

In normal conditions (mobile station originated call, normal assignment), the


normal assignment algorithm is used. The BSC keeps a table of idle channels
in which the channels are classified by their interference level (1 = low, 5 = high).
The interference level of all free channels is monitored by the BTS. This
information is periodically sent to the BSC in the RF_resource_indication
message. The BSC does not automatically allocate a channel from the lowest
interference level, as a number of channels can be reserved for handover.
After all reserved channels are accounted for, the channel allocated is from
the lowest interference level. If the number of reserved channels exceeds
the number of free channels, then the BSC allocates a channel from the
highest interference level. If no channels are available, the BSC sends an
assignment_failure message to the MSC indicating the cause of the failure.

Traffic Channel The BSC sends a physical_context_request message to the BTS, to find out
Activation the current power and timing advance being used by the mobile station on
the SDCCH. The BTS responds with a physical_context_confirm message,
containing the relevant information. If no channel is available, and queuing
is enabled, the call is placed in the queue. Refer to Congestion (Section
3.5) for more about queuing.

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The following figure shows the channel activation process for the traffic channel.
MS BTS BSC MSC

TCH
allocation
quest
text re
al con
physic

physical
context
confirm

power +
TA

ation
el activ
chann
er
+ ciph
+ TA
H) TCH ower
(SACC X + p
+ DT
ates
r upd
powe channe
TA + 5&6 l activa
in fo tion ack
+ sys nowled
ge
com mand
assignment

CH)
d (SDC
omman
ment c
assign

cipher : Encryption algorithm + ciphering key


DTX : Discontinuous transmission flags
MS : Mobile station
TA : Timing advance
TCH : Traffic Channel
Figure 31: Channel Activation Process for the Traffic Channel

The BSC sends a channel_activation message to the BTS. This contains:

A description of the traffic channel to be used

The mobile station timing advance to be applied

The encryption algorithm and ciphering key (same as for SDCCH


assignment)

A Discontinuous Transmission indicator for uplink (not used) and downlink


(see Speech Transmission (Section 4.4.1) for more information)
The mobile station power to be used (see Radio Power Control (Section
4.5) for more information)
The BTS power to be used.

The BSC starts a timer, and waits for the BTS to acknowledge that it has
activated the channel.
The BTS initializes its resources for the traffic channel, sets the ciphering
mode, sends timing advance and power information to the mobile station
on the SACCH associated to the traffic channel, which is constantly
monitored by the mobile station. At the same time, the BTS sends a
channel_activation_acknowledgment message to the BSC. The BSC stops
its timer and sends an assignment_command message on the SDCCH to the
mobile station. This instructs the mobile station to change to the traffic channel.
When the mobile station receives the assignment_command message, it
disconnects the physical layer, and performs a local release to free the LAPDm
connection of the SDCCH.

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The following figure shows the channel assignment process for the traffic
channel.
MS BTS BSC MSC

release
SDCCH SABM
(FACC
H)

establi
sh ind
ication
Set
CCH) transcoder
UA (FA

assign Set switching


ment c
omple
te (FA path
CCH)

assign
ment c
omple
te

FACCH : Fast Associated Control Channel


MS : Mobile station
SABM : Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode
UA : Unnumbered Acknowledgment
Figure 32: Channel Assignment Process for the Traffic Channel

The mobile station then establishes the LAPDm connection (via the SABM on
the FACCH) for the traffic channel. The BTS sends an establish_indication
message to the BSC. It also sets the Transcoder and its radio link failure
detection algorithm. The BTS sends a layer 2 acknowledgment to the mobile
station. The mobile station sends an assignment_complete message to
the BSC.
When the BSC receives the establish_indication message, it establishes
a switching path between the allocated Abis and A interface resources.
When it receives the assignment_complete message, it sends an
assignment_complete message to the MSC and initiates release of the
SDCCH (see chapter 4 for more information).

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Connecting the Call Once communication with the called party is established (but before the call is
answered), the MSC sends an alerting message to the mobile station. The
mobile station generates a ring tone.
When the called party answers, the MSC sends a connect message to the
mobile station. The mobile station responds with a connect_acknowledgment
message. The call is established.
The following figure shows the call connection process for a mobile originated
call.
MS BTS BSC MSC

initiate SDCCH
release alerting
layer 3 CC layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC connect
layer 3 CC

connect acknowledgement
layer 3 CC

MS : Mobile station
SDCCH : Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel
Figure 33: Call Connection for Mobile Originated Call
Off Air Call Set-Up OACSU is a method available in the BSS where the network assigns a traffic
channel only when the called party has answered the call. This improves the
efficiency of traffic channel allocation as unsuccessful calls will not take up any
traffic channel resources. This feature is controlled by the MSC.
Practically speaking, the way this happens is the Layer 3 alerting message
is sent by the MSC just after the call_proceeding message. The mobile
station then enters the ringing phase. The assignment_request message is
not sent by the MSC until the called party answers. The rest of the Layer 3
exchanges between MSC and BSC take place after the mobile station sends
the assignment_complete message to the MSC.
When OACSU is in use the mobile station may provide internally generated
tones to the user (in a Mobile Originated call) during the ringing phase, as the
traffic channel is not yet available for tones or in-band announcements to be
sent.
This feature has the effect on the system of increasing the probability of an
internal (SDCCH to SDCCH) handover being initiated by the BSS while the
Normal Assignment procedure is being initiated by the MSC.

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3.3 Mobile Terminated Call


A call from the NSS to a mobile station can be either a call routed through
the NSS from a calling party, or it can be initiated by the NSS for mobility
management.
A mobile terminated call set up follows the same basic procedures as a
mobile originated call. This section describes only those procedures which
are different. The following figure shows radio and link establishment for
a mobile-terminated call.
MS BTS BSC MSC

paging
t
cell lis
IMSI +
TMSI/
com mand
paging
up +
ing gro
SI pag
(PCH) TMSI/IM
el num
b e r
reques
t chann
paging
SI
TMSI/IM

chann
el requ
est
(RACH
)
chann
el requ
ired

IMSI : International Mobile Subscriber Identity


MS : Mobile station
PCH : Paging Channel
RACH : Random Access Channel
TMSI : Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity
Figure 34: Radio and Link Establishment for Mobile Terminated Call

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3.3.1 Radio and Link Establishment


Paging Before the BSS sets up a signalling link, the mobile station has to be paged.
This procedure is initiated by the MSC. It sends a paging message to the BSC
controlling the location area from which the mobile station last performed a
location update. This message is sent in connectionless mode and contains:

The mobile station identity (TMSI or IMSI of the mobile station to be paged)
A cell identifier list which identifies the cells where the paging request is to
be sent. This could be all cells or a group of cells.

The MSC sets a timer to wait for a paging_response message from the
mobile station.
The BSC checks the paging message and, if valid, calculates the mobile
station paging group and the CCCH time slot for the paging group.
The BSC sends a paging_command message to each BTS, indicating the
TMSI or IMSI, the paging group and the channel number.
Each BTS formats the information and broadcasts a paging_request message
on the Paging Channel.
The mobile station listens to messages sent to its paging group. When
it receives a paging message with its mobile station identity, it sends a
channel_request message on the RACH to the BTS, indicating that the
request is in response to a paging_request message.
The BSS then performs the radio and link establishment procedure described
in Mobile Originated Call (Section 3.2).

Note: When the mobile station sends the SABM, it indicates that the connection is
in response to a paging request. For more information about paging, see
Paging (Section 3.4).

3.3.2 Authentication and Ciphering


The system handles authentication and ciphering for a mobile terminated
call in the same manner as a mobile originated call. Refer to Authentication
and Ciphering (Section 3.2.2). Refer to Classmark Handling (Section 3.6)
for more information about the classmark, Authentication (Section 3.7) for
more information about authentication, and Ciphering (Section 3.8) for more
information about ciphering procedures.

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3.3.3 Normal Assignment


The normal assignment procedure for a mobile station terminated call is
initiated by the MSC. This is shown in the figure below.
The MSC sends a layer 3 Call Control set_up message to the mobile station,
indicating the bearer service and teleservice to be used for the call. The MSC
can indicate more than one bearer service.
The mobile station checks this message. If it can accept the call, it sends a
call_confirmation message which can contain a bearer capability parameter
indicating which bearer service is preferred.
The BSS performs the physical context and channel assignment. This is
described in Normal Assignment (Section 3.2.3). Once the traffic channel
is assigned, the mobile station alerts the user and sends an alerting
message to the MSC. When the mobile station user answers, the mobile
station sends a connection message to the MSC. The MSC sends a
connection_acknowledgment message to the mobile station and connects
the call.
All these messages are layer 3 Call Control messages, and are transparent to
the BSS.
MS BTS BSC MSC
set up

layer 3 CC r service
tele/beare

layer 3 CC

call confirmed
(SDCCH)
bearer service layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC

ring
tone alerting

layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC

user
answer connect

layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC

e
knowledg
connect ac

layer 3 CC

layer 3 CC

MS : Mobile station
SDCCH : Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel
Figure 35: Normal Assignment for Mobile Terminated Call
Off Air Call Set-Up If OACSU is in use, it is possible that at one moment the called party may have
answered the call, but the traffic channel is still not assigned by the network (for
example, the call is queued). In this case the mobile station may supply tones

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3 Call Set Up

to the answering user, so that the user does not hang up before the Normal
Assignment procedure completes.

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3.3.4 IMSI Attach-Detach


IMSI Attach-Detach is a mobility feature which primarily concerns the MSC
and the mobile station. Used together with the periodic location update
procedure, IMSI Attach-Detach allows the network to provide more efficient
control and use of resources.
For example, if a mobile-terminated call arrives for a mobile station which is
“detached”, the MSC knows that the mobile station is not active and does not
need to start a paging request. For the BSS, this can reduce load on the PCH.
Initiation of the IMSI Attach-Detach procedure is controlled by a parameter
in the BSS, attach_detach_allowed. When this parameter is set, the BSS
broadcasts system information on all cells indicating that the network supports
IMSI Attach-Detach.
Mobile stations which have successfully connected and logged themselves
onto the network are then obliged to perform IMSI Attach-Detach procedures.
Refer to documentation supplied with mobile stations which support this
function.
For more information about the attach_detach_allowed parameter, see
A1353–RA Configuration Handbook.
IMSI Attach-Detach is also used for other functions at the MSC. Refer to
documentation for your network’s MSC equipment.

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3.4 Paging
Paging is the procedure by which the network contacts a mobile station. For
example, if the network needs to inform the mobile station of an incoming call, it
pages the mobile station to prompt it to request a channel. After the immediate
assign procedure, the service_request message from the mobile station
indicates that the connection is in response to a paging message.
Paging messages are sent on the CCCH. The downlink CCCH carries the
AGCH and the PCH.
The PCH is divided into sub-channels, each corresponding to a paging group.
To save the mobile station from monitoring every occurrence of the PCH,
each mobile station is assigned a paging group calculated from the IMSI.
Each mobile station calculates its paging group and monitors only that PCH
sub-channel. This saves mobile station battery power.
The number of paging groups and the CCCH organization varies for each
configuration. The mobile station knows the CCCH organization from the
information passed on the BCCH (sys_info 3).
The AGCH sends the immediate_assignment message to the mobile station.
A number of blocks can be reserved for the AGCH using the BS_AG_BLKS_RES
parameter. If this parameter is set to 0, then the immediate_assignment
message is sent on the PCH. The following figure shows a TDMA frame with
nine CCCH blocks, three of which are reserved for the AGCH and the rest are for
the PCH. The parameter to reserve these blocks is set to BS_AG_BLKS_RES = 3.
TDMA Frame Cycle

CCCH0 CCCH1 CCCH2 CCCH3 CCCH4 CCCH5 CCCH6 CCCH7 CCCH8

Reserved for AGCH Available for PCH channels

AGCH : Access Grant Channel


CCCH : Common Control Channel
PCH : Paging Channel
TDMA : Time Division Multiple Access
Figure 36: CCCH with Three Blocks Reserved for AGCH

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3 Call Set Up

In the example shown in the figure above, BS_AG_BLKS_RES is set to three.


Every occurrence of the TDMA frame cycle carrying the CCCH has three
AGCHs and six PCHs. However, more than six paging groups can be defined
by assigning a different group of six PCHs to a number of TDMA multiframe
cycles. This is specified using the parameter BS_PA_MFRMS, as shown in
the following figure.
First TDMA Frame cycle

AGCH AGCH AGCH PGR0 PGR1 PGR2 PGR3 PGR4 PGR5

Second TDMA Frame cycle

AGCH AGCH AGCH PGR6 PGR7 PGR8 PGR9 PGR10 PGR11

Third TDMA Frame cycle

AGCH AGCH AGCH PGR12 PGR13 PGR14 PGR15 PGR16 PGR17

Fourth/1 TDMA Frame cycle

AGCH AGCH AGCH PGR18 PGR19 PGR20 PGR21 PGR22 PGR23

These four TDMA frames represent 24 PCHs. The parameter


to reserve these is BS_PA_MFRMS =4

AGCH : Access Grant Channel


PGR : Paging Group
PCH : Paging Channel
TDMA : Time Division Multiple Access
Figure 37: Four TDMA Frame Cycles Providing 24 Paging Sub-channels

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3.4.1 Paging Control


The MSC has to initiate the paging procedure, as it holds the information on the
last mobile station location update.
The MSC sends the paging message to the BSC(s) and sets a timer for
the paging_response from the mobile station, which is sent as part of the
service_request message after the immediate assign procedure.
The paging message from the MDC contains a cell list identifier IE, identifying
the cells in which the paging message is to be transmitted.
The BSC checks the cell identifier list and builds a paging_command message
for the relevant BTSs. The following table shows the different cell identification
lists and the paging performed by the BSC.

Cell List Identifier Paging Performance


No IE present Paging performed in all cells controlled
by BSC
IE indicates all cells Paging performed in all cells controlled
by BSC
Error in IE Paging performed in all cells controlled
by BSC
IE indicated specific cell(s) Paging performed in only those cells
specified
IE indicates specific location area(s) Paging performed in all cells of each
location area specified

Table 11: Cell List Identifier and Paging Performed

The BSC calculates the paging group of the mobile station for each cell and the
CCCH time slot. It then sends a paging_command message to each BTS,
indicating the CCCH time slot number, mobile station paging group and the
mobile station identity (IMSI/TMSI).
The BTS builds a paging_request_type_x message to send to the mobile
station. There are three types of paging request messages, as the BTS can
page more than one mobile station at a time. The following table shows the
relationship between the paging message type, the number of mobile stations
to be paged and the mobile station ID used.

Paging Request
Message Mobile Station Identification
Type_1, identifying up to IMSI or TMSI (for 1 mobile station)
two mobile stations IMSI, IMSI or TMSI, TMSI or IMSI, TMSI (for two
mobile stations)

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Paging Request
Message Mobile Station Identification
Type_2, identifying three TMSI, TMSI, TMSI or
mobile stations TMSI, TMSI, IMSI
Type_3, identifying four TMSI, TMSI, TMSI, TMSI
mobile stations

Table 12: Paging Request Message and Mobile Station Identification

By using a combination of paging message types, several mobile stations can


be simultaneously paged. This is done even if some mobile stations are paged
using the IMSI and others are paged using the TMSI.
The paging_request messages are stored in a buffer, while waiting to be
sent on the relevant PCH subchannel. If this buffer becomes full, the next
paging_command message is discarded.
When the mobile station receives the paging_request message, it sends a
channel_request message to initiate the immediate assign procedure. The
service request message following the immediate assign procedure indicates
that the channel_request is in response to a paging request message. This is
shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

paging

list IE
+ cell
nd
comma
paging
up
ing gro
t + pag
CH timeslo
reques
t + CC
paging
S I
TMSI/IM

channe
l reque
st

channe
l requir
ed
REF +
RFN +
TA

SABM
+ serv
ice req
uest (p
aging
respon establis
se) h indic
ation

CCCH : Common Control Channel


IE : Information Element
IMSI : International Mobile Subscriber Identity
MS : Mobile station
REF : Random access information value
RFN : Reduced frame number
SABM : Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode
TA : Timing advance
TMSI : Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity
Figure 38: Paging Message Sequence

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3.4.2 Discontinuous Reception


Discontinuous Reception adds to the power saving abilities of the system,
extending mobile station autonomy under battery operation.
The DRX feature implements a receiver off/on ratio of 98 to 2. When the mobile
station is in idle mode, DRX allows the mobile station to switch off its receiver
and data processing. Instead of the mobile station listening continually on the
Paging Channel sub-channel of the CCCH for a paging message, it only listens
to that part of the PCH which corresponds to its paging group. The PCH is
split into a number of paging sub-channels, each of which serves the mobile
stations of a particular paging group.
The mobile station calculates its paging group and the part of the PCH it
has to monitor. It gets the information from its IMSI, and from the Control
Channel description sent on the BCCH (sys_info 3). The paging information is
transmitted at predefined regular intervals. The mobile station only turns on
its receiver to listen to its paging group and then turns itself off again. This
occurs cyclically, between 0.95 seconds and 4.25 seconds, depending on
the configuration of the cell.
Apart from listening to the PCH, the mobile station monitors the home cell’s
BCCH up to once every 30 seconds, and the top six neighboring cells up to
once every five minutes. For more information about Paging, refer to Paging
(Section 3.4).

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3.5 Congestion
To prevent an assignment_request or an external handover_request
message being rejected, the BSS allows queueing of traffic channel requests.
Congestion occurs when all traffic channels are busy for a particular cell
and the message arrives at the BSC. Queueing is allowed if indicated by
the MSC in the request message.

3.5.1 Queueing
Queueing is used to achieve a higher rate of successful call set up and external
handover completion in cases of traffic channel congestion. This is achieved by
queueing the request for a defined period of time. During this time a traffic
channel can become available and the traffic channel assignment can then
be completed.
When all traffic channels of a cell are busy, assignment and external handover
requests for traffic channel allocation can be queued, if:
Requested by the MSC
If the MSC allows queueing, this information and the priority of the request
for queueing are sent in the Priority Information Element of the request.
Configured in the BSC
The BTS can perform queueing if specified in the BSC configuration. BTS
queueing can be enabled/disabled by an operator command through the
OMC-R. Setting the BTS_Q_LENGTH parameter to 0 disables the queueing.

If either the MSC or BSC does not allow the request to be queued, the request is
immediately rejected and an assignment_failure message is sent to the MSC.

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3.5.2 In-queue
If queueing is allowed, the request cannot be queued if one of the two queue
limits is exceeded. These limits are:

The maximum number of requests that can be queued per BTS if defined by
the O&M parameter BTS_Q_LENGTH. The range is from 1 to 64. This can
be individually set for each BTS.

The global limit of 64 queued requests in the BSS. The sum of all BTS
queue lengths cannot exceed 64.

When one of the queue limits is exceeded, the request may still be queued if
there is a lower priority request in the queue. If the priority of the incoming
request is higher than the lowest in the queue, the incoming request is queued
and the oldest lowest priority request is then rejected.
Once a request is queued, the BSC informs the MSC by sending a
queueing_indication message.
A timer is activated when the request is queued. If the timer expires or the
request is preempted by a higher priority request, the request is rejected.
Once in the queue, the request waits to be either accepted or rejected due to
one of the following events:
Traffic channel availability

Forced Directed Retry.

Traffic Channel If another traffic channel disconnects within the cell, the request at the top of
Availability the queue is assigned to the newly available traffic channel. The request is
removed from the queue. An assignment_complete message is sent to the
MSC notifying it of the successful assignment of a traffic channel.

Forced Directed Retry The BSC detects that the call can be supported on another cell, and
implements Forced Directed Retry.
If the BSC detects the possibility of a handover for the queued request, it
generates an internal or external handover alarm and initiates the appropriate
handover procedure. A handover from an SDCCH in the serving cell to a traffic
channel in a target cell is known as directed retry.
On detection of the handover alarm, the BSC cancels the queued request,
stops the timer, and selects a neighbor cell in the target cell list. The target cell
must be able to support the ciphering requirements of the call. Once a cell is
selected, a traffic channel is chosen and a handover is attempted (SDCCH to
traffic channel). If the handover fails, another cell is chosen from the target cell
list. This procedure continues until a successful handover or the handover limit
(number of handover attempts allowed) is exceeded.
The MSC is notified of a successful handover by an assignment_complete
message. The direct retry finishes if the number of handover attempts is
exceeded, or there are no more cells left in the target cell list. Finally an
assignment_failure message is sent to the MSC indicating that there are no
radio resources available.

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Queue Preemption If a higher priority request arrives in the queue, Queue Preemption is
implemented.
If one of the queue limits is exceeded and the request is the oldest of the lowest
priority requests in the queue, the request is rejected. An assignment_reject
message is sent to the MSC indicating that there are no radio resources
available.

Timer Expires If the timer expires, the request is de-queued and rejected. An
assignment_reject message is sent to the MSC indicating that there are no
radio resources available.

Reshuffling Half-Rate Half-rate calls use only a half time slot. If two half-rate calls are alone on
Calls separate time slots they are gathered on to a single time slot. This frees a
whole time slot to serve a queued full-rate request. Reshuffling half-rate calls
is enabled on a per cell basis, by setting the EN_HR_RESHUFFLING parameter
to TRUE. Setting the EN_HR_RESHUFFLING parameter to FALSE disables
reshuffling half-rate calls for that cell.
Fast traffic handover is enabled when all of the following conditions are met:

A request is queued at the top of the queue. The request is of full-rate


type for assignment or emergency external incoming handover, and is not
in the HOLD state

There are at least two half-rate resources in the half-rate pool

The parameter EN_HR_RESHUFFLING is set to TRUE.

If the request is a half-rate request, it is not queued but served, because at least
two half-rate resources in the half-rate pool are required to trigger the algorithm.
If there is only one resource in the half-rate pool, it means there is an odd
number of half-rate calls in the cell, so it is not possible to pair the last one. The
queued request may be an assignment, or an incoming external emergency
handover. If the algorithm has been triggered once and the queued request
served (or rejected by expiry of the timer), if at least another request still
remains in the queue, and if the trigger condition is still fulfilled for the top
queued request (assignment or external emergency handover), then the
algorithm is triggered again. If a half-rate request is queued behind a full-rate
request, the half-rate request is served on a remaining half-rate resource of the
half-rate pool (if any) without triggering the algorithm again.
Half-rate calls are paired using an intracell handover. In the case of concentric
cells, mobile stations are queued in the outer zone only. The check for two
free half-rate resources applies to the outer zone only (to free a resource in
the outer zone). The mobile station selected will make its handover into the
outer zone (i.e. this handover does not allow handover from the outer zone
to the inner zone).

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Fast Traffic Handover Another possibility to save resources in case of traffic peaks is to force
handovers toward neighbor cells which have less traffic. The fast traffic
handover searches in the whole cell for a mobile which can perform a handover
to a neighbor cell with less traffic if the received signal level of the BCCH is
good enough. It is much more efficient than the forced directed retry when the
overlap of adjacent cells is reduced, e.g., in the case of single layer networks,
or for deep indoor coverage (if the umbrella cell does not overlap totally the
microcells). Fast traffic handover is enabled on a per cell basis, by setting the
EN_FAST_TRAFFIC_HO parameter to TRUE. Setting the EN_FAST_TRAFFIC_HO
parameter to FALSE disables fast traffic handover for that cell.
Fast traffic handover is enabled when all of the following conditions are met:

A request is queued at the top of the queue. The request is of full-rate


type for assignment or emergency external incoming handover, and is not
in the HOLD state.

The parameter EN_FAST_TRAFFIC_HO is set to TRUE.

The queued request is an assignment. If it is an external incoming handover, it


is an emergency handover to trigger the algorithm; otherwise the algorithm
shall not be triggered.

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3.5.3 Pre-emption
Pre-emption is an optional feature and is initiated during congestion periods.
The feature allows radio resources in a cell to be allocated to those calls which
are deemed to be the most important. The importance of the connection
is given by the MSC to the BSC via signalling on the A interface. During
congestion periods, the BSC ensures that high priority transactions obtain the
resources they require. The BSC performs a release of radio resources in order
to obtain the radio resource for the higher priority call.
For Phase 1 & Phase 2 GSM the signalling for priority and pre-emption exists
on the A interface. The setting of this data on the A interface is controlled by
the MSC. The conditions under which the information is set is up to operator
choices. For Phase 2+ GSM the priority and pre-emption information is based
on subscription data which is stored in the HLR and downloaded to the VLR via
MAP protocols. This information can also be used by the MSC when setting the
priority level and pre-emption attributes for the call.
The pre-emption attributes of a call are defined by three bits:
pci. The pre-emption capability indication indicates if the transaction can
pre-empt another transaction

pvi. The pre-emption vulnerability indication indicates if the transaction


can be pre-empted

prec. The pre-emption recommendation. This is needed in order that


pre-emption can be deferred while a suitable non-congested cell is found in
the preferred cell list. The pre-emption recommendation is used when the
old BSS recommends that another connection is to be pre-empted.

Pre-emption isapplied to TCH only. The pre-emption feature is optional and


controlled by the O&M parameter (EN_TCH_PREEMPT) on a per-BSC basis.
The BSC provides pre-emption of TCH radio resources. This takes into account
the priority of the call. The lowest lower priority call with the pvi bit set is
pre-empted and thus released. Directed retry and/or forced handover in order
to avoid pre-emption is not supported.

eMLPP Enhanced Multi Level Priority and Pre-emption (eMLPP) is a supplementary


service that allows a subscriber in the fixed or mobile network to initiate calls
that have a priority and pre-emption attribute known to all the network elements.
The eMLPP standardization provides the transportation of the subscription
information for priority and pre-emption on MAP. This subscription information is
stored in the HLR and the GCR and is transported to the VLR.
The informaton is used for the following procedures:

Paging

TCH Assignment

TCH Handover.

Only TCH pre-emption is supported (i.e. only for circuit-switched services).

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Pre-emption Rules An Assignment Request message with pci=1 and priority level=p1 will
pre-empt an on-going call with pvi=1 and priority level=p2 (p2 is lower than p1).
A Handover Request message with pci=1 and priority level=p1 will pre-empt
an on-going call with pvi=1 and priority level=p2, except if the prec bit is present
and set to 0 (i.e. the old BSS does not recommend the pre-emption of an
on-going call to be performed by the target BSS).
In both cases, the call with the lowest priority level=p2 value is selected first,
and if several calls have the same lowest priority level=p2 value, one of them
with the pci bit set to 0 is preferred.

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3.6 Classmark Handling


The mobile station classmark contains information about the mobile station
type and capabilities. This information is used by the BSS when implementing
procedures that affect a mobile station, such as:

Handover
Power Control

Ciphering

Overload Control

Location Updating.

Mobile stations of different types have different capabilities within the network.
It is essential that the network recognizes the mobile station classmark when
initiating procedures for a specific mobile station.
There are three entities that provide classmark handling as shown in the
following table.

Entity Classmark Handling


BSS Performed by the BSC, which is responsible for
collecting the classmark data needed to perform
procedures on the mobile station.
MSC Indicates the mobile station classmark data to the
BSC for MSC-initiated procedures.
Mobile station The BSS is informed of any classmark changes and
information is sent on request from the BSS.

Table 13: Classmark Handling

Note: The BSS can receive mobile station classmark information from both the MSC
and the mobile station. The information from the mobile station overrides
information from the MSC.

3.6.1 Classmark IE
The Alcatel 900/1800 BSS supports classmark 1, classmark 2 and classmark 3
IEs. The classmark 1 IE is always sent to the BSS when the mobile station
tries to establish communication.

Classmark 1 The classmark 1 IE contains:

The revision Level

The RF Power Level

Support of A5/1 Encryption.


Classmark 2 The classmark 2 IE is defined in GSM to allow the coding of phase 2 capabilities
such as the A5/2 ciphering algorithm. The classmark contains the same
elements as the classmark 1 IE, plus support of A5/2 encryption.

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Classmark 3 The classmark 3 IE is defined in GSM to allow multiband mobile stations


to indicate their capabilities. The classmark specifies the supported bands
and the respective power classes.

Revision Level The revision level indicates either a phase 1 or phase 2 mobile station. It does
not distinguish between phase 1 and phase 1 extended mobile stations. If there
is an error in this field, then a default phase 1 is assumed.

RF Power Level The RF Power Level indicates the mobile station power capability.
For Alcatel 900:

Class 1 = 20W
Class 2 = 8W

Class 3 = 5W

Class 4 = 2W

Class 5 = 0.8W.

For Alcatel 1800:

Class 1 = 1W
Class 2 = 0.25W.

The value is not permitted if there is an error in this field. The result of this
is that the mobile station power capability is assumed to be the same as the
maximum transmit power allowed in the cell.

Support of A5/1 This field indicates whether the mobile station supports the A5/1 encryption
Encryption algorithm. If the A5/1 encryption algorithm is not supported, there is no
indication of other algorithms being supported.

Support of A5/2 This field indicates whether the mobile station supports the A5/2 encryption
Encryption algorithm. If the A5/2 encryption algorithm is not supported, there is no
indication of other algorithms being supported.

Impact on BSS and MSC The main difference between classmarks 1 and 2 for the BSS or MSC is the
support of the encryption algorithm. For procedures that require ciphering,
the BSS and MSC cannot recognize the mobile station ciphering capability if
only the classmark 1 Information Element was received. Therefore, there is
a classmark updating procedure.
Similarly, for classmark 3, the BSS and MSC do not recognize the mobile
stations multiband capabilities if only classmark 1 Information Element was
received. Therefore, a classmark updating procedure is required.

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3.6.2 Classmark Updating


Further classmark information may be required by the BSS or MSC when
initiating a procedure which needs to encrypt information. The mobile station
can also send updated information if, for example, its power capability changes.
This means that the updating of classmark information can be initiated from the:

Mobile station by sending a classmark_change message to the BSC which


sends a classmark_update message to the MSC.

BSC by sending a classmark_enquiry message through the BTS to the


mobile station. The mobile station responds with a classmark_change
message.

MSC by sending a classmark_request message to the BSC. This prompts


the BSC to send a classmark_enquiry message to the mobile station which
responds with a classmark_change message.

The classmark_change message from the mobile station is passed through


the BTS to the BSC. The BSC stores the information for its own use and
forwards the information to the MSC. Depending on the network type and
configuration, the classmark update is not always required. Therefore, the BSS
has a parameter in the BSC (Parameter: BSS_SEND_CM_ENQUIRY) which can be
configured. The following table shows the possible configurations.

Parameter Value Action


0 The classmark_enquiry message is never initiated by
the BSC.
1 The BSC always initiates a classmark update when it
receives a location update request.
2 The BSC only initiates a classmark update on reception
of a location update request if A5/1 is not available. This
is worked out from the classmark 1 IE.

Table 14: Classmark Configuration

If the system requests a classmark update to a phase 1 mobile station, the


mobile station is not able to respond. It considers the message an error and
sends an RR_status message. This message is ignored by the BSS and
is not passed to the MSC.

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3.6.3 Location Updating with Classmark Procedure


If the mobile station is a phase 1 extended or phase 2 mobile station, it can send
classmark update information on request from the BSS or MSC. Because the
BSS does not know the mobile station ciphering capability from the classmark 1
Information Element, updating is required. This is received when the mobile
station establishes the LAPDm connection, as shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC
channel re
quest
(RACH)

channel
required

switch to
SDCCH SABM +
rn + fn + cm

establish
indication

SCCP co
nnection

ion
connect
SCCP
H/SA CCH)
(FACC
confirm
5&6
+s ys info ark enauiry
pow er + TA classm

classmark change

classmark 2IE

classmark update

classmark 2IE
location update

(SDCCH)

cm : Classmark
FACCH : Fast Associated Control Channel
IE : Information Element
MS : Mobile station
RACH : Random Access Channel
SABM : Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
SDCCH : Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel
TA : Timing advance
Figure 39: Location Update with Classmark Update

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The mobile station initiates a location update procedure by sending a


channel_request message on the RACH.
The BSS performs the immediate assign procedure, as described in Mobile
Originated Call (Section 3.2).
The mobile station establishes the LAPDm link and sends the location update
request and classmark 1 IE. The BTS sends an establish_indication message
to the BSC, containing the location update request and classmark 1 IE.
The BSC uses the classmark to send mobile station power control information
to the BTS to start power control. It stores the classmark information and
requests an SCCP connection with the MSC.
When the BSC receives an SCCP_connection_confirm message, it sends a
classmark_enquiry message to the mobile station.
The mobile station responds with a classmark_change message
containing the classmark 2 IE. This information is passed to the MSC in a
classmark_updating message. If the mobile station is a phase 1 mobile
station, it responds with an RR_status message which is ignored by the
BSS. In this case, the BSS sets ciphering with the information available from
the classmark 1 IE.
The MSC initiates the authentication procedure and on receipt of the
authentication response message, initiates the ciphering procedure. Refer to
Ciphering (Section 3.8) for more information about ciphering.
When ciphering is set, the MSC can accept the location update.

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3.7 Authentication
The authentication procedure ensures that the subscriber identification (IMSI,
TMSI) and the IMEI are valid. The system behavior for non-valid identifications
is at the discretion of the Network Operator. The procedure also validates
the Ki value in the mobile station, and sends the RAND which is used to
calculate the ciphering key.

IMSI/TMSI When the subscriber accesses the network for the first time, the subscription is
identified by the IMSI sent in the location_updating_request message. When
the NSS has performed authentication and set the ciphering mode, the VLR
assigns a TMSI, in an encrypted format over the Air interface.
The next time the subscriber connects to the system, it uses the TMSI as its
identification. If the mobile station has changed location area, it includes the
old Location Area Identity. The new VLR interrogates the old VLR for the
authentication information (IMSI and Ki value). The new VLR then assigns a
new TMSI. This is shown in the figure below.
New TMSIs can be assigned by the serving VLR at any time. The subscriber
identity is secure because the TMSI is always ciphered and changed regularly.

BTS BSC MSC VLR


Mobile
Station

info IMSI +
Mobile Station moving and connecting request
in a new location area Ki

service request + TMSI + old LAI


new TMSI MSC VLR

BTS BSC
Mobile
Station

IMSI : International Mobile Subscriber Identity


Ki : Individual Subscriber Authentication Key
LAI : Location Area Identity
TMSI : Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity
VLR : Visitor Location Register
Figure 40: Location Update with Mobile Station Sending Location Area Identity of Previous VLR

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Authentication The authentication procedure is initiated by the NSS. It sends an


Procedure authentication_request message to the mobile station and sets a guard
timer. This message contains:

Parameters for the mobile station to calculate the response


A ciphering key sequence number.

The ciphering key is calculated from the authentication Key value assigned to
the IMSI or TMSI and the value RAND.
The mobile station responds using the RAND and the value authentication
Key assigned to its TMSI or IMSI.
For mobile station originated calls, the mobile station uses:

The TMSI, if available

The IMSI, if no TMSI is assigned.

For mobile station terminated calls, the mobile station uses the TMSI or IMSI as
requested in the paging message from the network.
For emergency calls, the mobile station uses:
The TMSI, if available

The IMSI, if no TMSI is assigned

The IMEI, if there is no TMSI or IMSI. This can happen when there is no
SIM in the mobile station.

When the mobile station sends the authentication_response message, the


NSS stops its guard timer and validates the response.
If the mobile station response is not valid, the network response depends on
whether the TMSI or IMSI was used:

If the TMSI was used, the network can request that the mobile station
sends its IMSI.

If this is a valid IMSI, but is different from the IMSI that the network
associated with the TMSI, the authentication procedure is restarted with
the correct parameters.

If the IMSI is invalid, the network sends an authentication_reject message


to the mobile station.

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3.8 Ciphering
Ciphering is supported in the Alcatel 900/1800 BSS to protect information
transmitted on the Air interface. This includes:

Subscriber information such as the IMSI

User data

SMS and SS data


Information such as called and calling party numbers.

Ciphering protects the information by using encryption. There are three


different ciphering modes, the use of which depends on the mobile station
classmark and the capability of the BTS. These modes are:

Encryption using algorithm A5/1


Encryption using algorithm A5/2

No encryption.

The two encryption algorithms are defined in GSM. If either is to be used, both
the mobile station and BTS must have the same encryption capability.

Mobile Station Capability The mobile station ciphering capability depends on whether it is a phase 1
mobile station, a phase 1 extended mobile station, or a phase 2 mobile station.
The following table shows the different mobile station ciphering capabilities.

Mobile Station Type Capability


Phase 1 No encryption and A5/1
Phase 1 Extended No encryption and A5/1 and A5/2
Phase 2 No encryption
No encryption and A5/1
No encryption and A5/2
No encryption and A5/1 and A5/2

Table 15: Mobile Station Ciphering Capabilities

Only phase 2 mobile stations can turn off ciphering or change the ciphering
mode during a channel change procedure such as a handover.
The ciphering capability of a mobile station is signalled to the BSS in the
mobile station classmark.

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BSS Capability The Alcatel 900/1800 BSS supports both uniform ciphering network
configurations and mixed ciphering network configurations.
A cell can be configured to support one of the following:

No encryption

No encryption and the A5/1 algorithm


No encryption and the A5/2 algorithm.

A uniform ciphering network configuration is where all cells have the same
ciphering capability.
A mixed ciphering network configuration is where the cells have different
ciphering capabilities.

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3.8.1 Ciphering Keys


The encryption used on the Air interface is provided by the physical layer
hardware. This means that it does not distinguish between signalling and user
traffic; therefore, the entire bit stream is encrypted.
The encryption pattern added to the bit stream is calculated by the algorithm
A5/1 or A5/2, using a ciphering key.
For maximum security, the value of the Ciphering Key is not a fixed value. It is
calculated separately by the HLR, BSC and the mobile station for each call.
This means that the value Kc is never transmitted on the Air interface.
The value Kc must be the same in the HLR, BSC and the mobile station. It
is calculated using:
A value Ki, which is assigned to the IMSI when the user subscribed
to the service

A RAND, sent from the MSC during the authentication procedure.

The resulting value Kc is used to decipher the encrypted bit stream on the
downlink, by the mobile station, and on the uplink, by the BTS.

3.8.2 Ciphering Procedure


Choosing the Ciphering The ciphering chosen by the BSC for a call depends on:
Mode The algorithms that the Network Operator allows in the network. This
information is sent in the permitted_algorithm message from the MSC
during ciphering or external handover procedures.
The ciphering capability of the mobile station. This information is sent to the
BSC in the mobile station classmark.

The ciphering capability of the BTS being used to set up the call.

If the mobile station capability is not compatible with that of the BTS or is
not allowed by the Network Operator, then the BSC sets ciphering with
no encryption.

Setting the Ciphering Ciphering is initiated by the MSC by sending a cipher_mode command to the
Mode BSC. This command contains the permitted_algorithms message.
The BSC compares the permitted algorithms with the mobile station
classmark and the BTS capability. If they match, the BSC sends an
encryption_command message to the BTS containing the value Kc and the
algorithm to be used. If there is no match and ’no encryption’ is permitted, the
BSC sends the encryption_command to the BTS indicating ’no encryption’.
If the BTS and mobile station capabilities are not compatible and the MSC does
not allow the ’no encryption’ option, then the BSC sends a cipher_mode_reject
message to the MSC.
The BTS sends the ciphering_mode command on the SDCCH to the mobile
station indicating the algorithm or ’no encryption’. If encryption is to be used
the BTS sets its decryption mode ready to receive encrypted frames from
the mobile station.
The mobile station either:

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Starts the encryption and sends an encrypted layer 2 acknowledgment


message to the BTS. This prompts the BTS to start encryption mode for
frames sent to the mobile station.
Sends an unencrypted level 2 acknowledgment to the BTS.

The mobile station sends a ciphering_mode_complete message to


the BTS which is passed transparently to the BSC. The BSC sends a
cipher_mode_complete message to the MSC.
This process is shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

mand
e com
ng mod
cipheri
s + Kc
orithm
ted alg
comm
and permit
tion
encryp
c or
m+K
and algorith tion
mm ry p
ng mode co no e n c
cipheri
H)
(SDCC

algorithm or
no encryption

cipheri
ng mo
de com
plete

cipher
mode
comple
te

MS : Mobile station
SDCCH : Stand-alone Dedicated Control Channel
Figure 41: Ciphering Procedure
Ciphering During Only phase 2 mobile stations can change ciphering mode during a handover.
Handover If a phase 2 mobile station using the A5/1 algorithm is handed over to a cell
which supports A5/2 and ’no encryption’, the BSC instructs the target BTS to
set the new ciphering algorithm and sends the value Kc.
If a phase 1 mobile station using the A5/1 algorithm needs to be handed over,
the target cell must support A5/1, as the phase 1 mobile station cannot change
ciphering mode. For mixed ciphering networks, it is normal that the initial
cipher_mode command from the MSC only allows a phase 1 mobile station to
use the ’no encryption’ option, as this is supported by all cells.

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3.9 Tandem Free Operation


Tandem Free Operation (TFO) provides a better voice quality by avoiding
unnecessary successive coding and decoding operations in the case of
mobile to mobile calls. The importance of TFO is always increasing, as the
percentage of mobile to mobile calls increases with the number of subscribers.
Taking the example of a call involving two mobile stations, mobile station 1
and mobile station 2:
With TFO feature, the same codec will be used on both BSS, this will improve
the speech quality of mobile-to-mobile calls, and particularly when using
the half-rate codec.

Without TFO
One GSM coding and decoding scheme (codec), is used between mobile
station 1 and Transcoder 1, then A/µ law coding is used (at 64 kbit/s)
between the two Transcoders and finally one GSM codec is used between
Transcoder 2 and mobile station 2. This means a loss of quality for the
speech call.

With TFO
The intermediate transcoding realized by the two involved Transcoders is
avoided. The same codec is used on both BSS. This improves the speech
quality of mobile-to-mobile calls, particularly when using the half-rate codec.
This allows the wide use of the half-rate codec, with a good level of speech
quality, in order to save resources in BSS.

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The TFO procedure can be applied whenever the two mobile stations use the
same codec. To satisfy this condition, after TCH allocation, the two BSS
negotiate at each side a common codec (full-rate, half-rate or enhanced
full-rate), by using an in-band protocol in the speech frame. The following figure
shows an example of TFO call establishment.
BTS A BSC A TC A TC B BSC B BTS B
Channel activation Channel activation
TFO enabled PCM samples TFO enabled 1
TRAU frames TRAU frames
CON_REQ CON_REQ
DL_ACK
DL_ACK
TFO_REQ
2
TFO_REQ TRAU frames
TRAU frames 3
TFO_ACK
TFO_ACK
Codecs match
4
TFO_ON TFO frames TFO_ON

5
TFO REPORT (TFO STATUS= ON) TFO REPORT (TFO STATUS= ON)

PCM : Pulse Code Modulation


TC : Transcoder
TFO : Tandem Free Operation
TRAU : Transcoder Rate Adaptation Unit
Figure 42: Example of TFO Establishment

Referring to the figure above, the call establishment scenario is as follows:


1. At call establishment, the BSC sends to the BTS the channel activation
message, containing information related to TFO.
2. TRAU frames are exchanged between the BTS and the Transcoder. PCM
samples are exchanged between TRAUs. One TRAU frame is stolen from
the BTS by the Transcoder, to send TFO configuration information (in
the con_req message).
3. As soon as the TRAUs have received the information that the TFO is enabled
in the con_req message, (and also the TFO configuration information), they
send the tfo_req message, within PCM speech samples, to indicate that the
TRAUs are TFO-capable. Meanwhile, the TFAUs acknowledge the con_req
message to the BTS with the dl_ack indication.
4. The TRAUs acknowledge that the tfo_req message has been received
by sending a tfo_ack indication.
5. The same codecs are then used on both sides. The TRAUs can exchange
TFO frames.
6. The BTS are made aware of the exchange of TFO frames with the tfo_on
indication. The BSC is informed via a tfo_report message on the Abis
interface.

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The Alcatel TFO implementation is fully compliant with the GSM standard
and additionally provides:

As an operator s choice, the Alcatel BSS is able to force the distant BSS
(Alcatel or not) to overcome ETSI codec choice rules, in order to optimize
voice quality and load management. This mechanism is patented by Alcatel.

Codec optimization, to take into account that the two mobile stations may
use the same codec, but a better codec is available on both parts.

3.9.1 TFO Functional Architecture


The TFO procedure is defined between two Transcoding and Rate Adaptation
Units (TRAU). When TFO is possible between two Mobile Stations, TFO frames
(similar to TRAU frames) are transferred between the two TRAUs on the A
interface. These frames contain coded speech streams, and may also contain
embedded TFO messages. They are supported by a 0.5 kbit/s signalling
channel between two Transcoders, emulated during the TFO negotiation
phase. This channel uses one bit (Least Significant Bit) every 16 PCM
samples, regularly stolen on the 64 kbit/s circuit. Note that when TFO frames
are transmitted, speech is nevertheless coded to G.711 law and sent to the A
interface on the remaining MSB bits of the PCM samples. This allows a faster
reversion to normal operation mode if required. Moreover, lawful interception in
MSCs is still possible. The Alcatel solution avoids any Ater supplementary
links, because the BSC-Transcoder TFO messages are exchanged through the
BTS and the Abis layer 3 protocol.

Same Codec Used on As the same codec is used on both sides, there is no TFO negotiation needed
Each Side between the TRAU.

Codec Mismatch, In this case, TFO communication is possible between the two BSS, but the
Negotiation Needed TRAUs do not use the same speech codec. TFO negotiation and resolution by
the BSS are needed. When detecting the mismatch, each TRAU sends to the
other (using TFO messages) the codec locally used, and the list of possible
codecs. At each side, the BSS determines the matching codec. On each BSS,
the same algorithm is implemented, this algorithm attempts to find a matching
codec using the information given by the TRAU. If a common codec can be
found, an internal intra-cell handover is performed to change the speech codec
locally used, and TFO exchange of speech stream begins. A logical parameter,
configurable at OMC-R level, allows the BSC to ignore the load in the cell
and to force the handover in order to solve codec mismatch situations. If no
common codec can be found, or internal intra-cell handover is not possible,
TFO mode is given up, and the system reverts to normal mode.

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3.9.2 TFO Optimization and Management


TFO is fully managed by the OMC-R operator, on a per cell basis. Several
functions have been introduced to provide full control of TFO optimization,
regarding load regulation, speech quality, or Adaptive Multi-Rate (see Adaptive
Multiple Rate (Section 6.2.3)) codec support.

TFO Optimization For a better speech quality, TFO Optimization allows a new TFO negotiation
on an on-going TFO mobile-to-mobile call, to find a better common codec, in
terms of speech quality. Therefore, enhanced full-rate coding is considered to
be better than full-rate coding which is considered to be better than half-rate
coding. The Enable TFO Optimization feature can be enabled or disabled, per
cell, at the OMC-R.
In some cases, both parts may use the same codec, but a better codec is
available at each side and may be used (e.g., half-rate is used at both sides,
but full-rate is possible). The procedure is then the same as the modification of
speech codec in mismatch status, except that it takes place only when TFO
frames are already exchanged. The TFO messages exchanged between both
TRAUs are then embedded in TFO frames.

TFO Negotiation Control For a better traffic load regulation Alcatel has defined the function "Force
TFO half-rate when loaded" to give control to the operator of load regulation
precedence over TFO. This function can be enabled or disabled, per cell, at
the OMC-R, and allows the BSC to take into account the load in the cell while
building the list of supported codec types. If the cell is loaded, only half-rate (if
possible) will be included in the list. If the distant BSS supports TFO but not
half-rate, the function "Force TFO half-rate when loaded" allows the BSC in
this case to recompute the list of supported codec types by inserting full-rate
and enhanced full-rate in the list. Therefore, the function Force TFO half-rate
when loaded leads to three different behaviors, depending on three possible
values of corresponding flag:

TFO half-rate not forced. No filtering on the load is done. The load is not
tested and all the codec types supported by the call and by the cell are listed
in the supported codec type list

TFO half-rate only. Filtering is done on the load, half-rate is forced if the cell
is loaded and the mobile station supports half-rate, and if this codec type
is authorized in the cell. The list of supported codec types is restricted to
the half-rate codec type. As a consequence, if the distant part supports
half-rate, then the distant part will do an intra-cell handover to use half-rate,
and TFO will go on with half-rate. If the distant part does not support
half-rate, TFO will not be possible.

TFO half-rate preferred. Filtering is done on the load, but TFO is preferred
to half-rate. In the case of a load situation, only half-rate is sent in the list of
preferred codecs. But if the distant BSS does not support half-rate, a new
list is computed, without taking into account the load in the cell.

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4 Call Handling

This chapter provides an overview of Call Handling and describes the


supervision of a call in progress. The following specific areas are described:

Overview
In-call modification

Frequency hopping

Discontinuous Transmission

Radio Power Control

Handover procedures
Overload conditions

Call re-establishment by the mobile station.

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4.1 Overview
An obvious requirement for the effective management of calls in the BSS
is to provide the following:

Maximum perceived signal quality with minimum perceived interference

Call continuity regardless of changes in propagation conditions or change


of location of the mobile station.

Given that spectrum is limited, this must be accomplished with maximum


resource reuse. Another important factor for the customer (and the operator as
well) is power efficiency to reduce overall power consumption and prolong the
autonomy of the mobile station under battery operation.
The supervision of calls in progress is provided by the Call Handling function.
Call Handling, with associated features, implements needed changes in the
required teleservice to maintain call quality and continuity. Call Handling
functions and features include:

In-Call Modification

Frequency Hopping
Discontinuous Transmission

Radio Power Control

Handover

Overload Control

Call re-establishment by the mobile station.

4.2 In-Call Modification


In-call modification allows the teleservice to be changed during a call. This
means that a call does not have to be cleared, and a new call established,
if more than one teleservice is to be used. The different types of in-call
modification are:

Alternate between speech and a transparent data service


Alternate between speech and a non-transparent data service

Change from speech to a transparent data service

Change from speech to a non-transparent data service

Alternate between speech and transparent fax group 3


Alternate between speech and non-transparent fax group 3

Data rate change for transparent fax group 3

Data rate change for non-transparent fax group 3.

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Calls requiring a change of service have to negotiate a ’dual-service’ before the


normal assignment procedure. This is indicated in the set_up message, which
is described in Call Set Up (Chapter 3).

Note: Changing the data rate of a fax call is not a true in-call modification procedure,
as the teleservice is not changed (no dual-service negotiation).
The main difference between the in-call modification procedure and a change
of data rate for fax are as follows:

The in-call modification procedure is triggered by a message from the


mobile station

The data rate change for fax is triggered by in-band signalling from the
fax machine to the MSC.

Both procedures use existing resources, therefore no new resources need to


be allocated. All full-rate traffic channels can be used for speech or data at any
of the defined data rates.
Both procedures use the mode ’modify procedure’ to change the transmission
mode. This is basically a normal assignment procedure but instead of a new
channel being assigned, a new mode is assigned.

4.2.1 In-Call Modification Procedure


In-call modification is initiated from a mobile station. This can occur during a
call to a correspondent on the public telephone network or to a mobile station.

Mobile Station to Mobile For a mobile station to mobile station call, both mobile stations must negotiate a
Station Call dual service during call establishment.
The mobile station initiates the procedure by sending a layer 3 Call Control
modify message to the MSC, indicating the new mode. If the data call direction
is different to the original call set up, then this message contains an indicator
to reverse the call direction. The mobile station starts a guard timer for the
procedure.
The MSC checks the modify message. If it can accept the mode change, it
starts the normal assignment procedure by sending an assignment_request
message and starting a guard timer. This message contains a channel type
(speech or data plus data rate).
The BSS handles the normal assignment procedure as if assigning a traffic
channel during call set up (described in Call Set Up (Chapter 3)), with the
following exceptions:

When the BSC has checked and accepted the assignment_request


message, it does not assign a new traffic channel. This is because it
already has a traffic channel assigned for the transaction. The transaction
is identified by the SCCP connection on which the assignment_request
message was received.

The channel_activation and channel_activation_acknowledge


messages are replaced by the mode_modify and mode_modify
acknowledge messages.

When the MSC receives the assignment_complete message from the BSC, it
sends a layer 3 CC modify_complete message to the mobile station. This

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informs the mobile station that the procedure is successfully completed, and
the mobile station can start transmitting in the new mode.

4.2.2 Circuit-switched Group 3 Fax Data Rate Change


Group 3 facsimile equipment can change the data transmission speed to
reduce the error rate. Fax data rates can be:

9600 bit/s

4800 bit/s

2400 bit/s
1200 bit/s.

The Alcatel 900/1800 BSS supports both transparent and non-transparent fax
transmission. The BSS supports the Group 3 fax data rate change by:

In-band signalling for non-transparent fax

The mode modify procedure for transparent fax.

Non-Transparent Group For non-transparent fax transmission, the data rate change is handled within
3 Fax the BSS, using in-band signalling. This means that the frame size is signalled
in the frame by a "frame delimiter" field. The Radio Link Protocol in the BTS
uses this information to control the data flow on the Air interface. The BSS does
not need to change the channel mode.

Transparent Group 3 Fax Transparent fax frames are passed transparently through the BSS. Therefore,
in-band signalling cannot be used within the BSS. The Group 3 fax equipment
informs the MSC of a data rate change using in-band signalling. The MSC then
initiates a mode modify procedure using the assignment_request message.
This procedure is the same as the mode modify procedure for in-call
modification, except that the MSC does not send a layer 3 Call Control
mode_modify_complete message. This is because the procedure was not
triggered by a layer 3 CC modify message from the mobile station. When the
MSC receives the assignment_complete message from the BSC, it sets the
new data rate to the correspondent.

4.2.3 Error Handling


The Alcatel 900/1800 BSS tries to provide the highest level of service at all
times. In general, if errors occur during an in-call modification, the BSS tries
to revert to the old mode to keep the call active.

In-Call Modification For example, if the mobile station does not reply to the channel_mode_modify
Example message from the BSC, it is assumed that it is still active but in the old mode.
The BTS, however, has set the new mode. The BSC sends a mode_modify
message to the BTS indicating the old mode. If the BTS acknowledges that it
has reverted to the old mode, the call is kept active.

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4.3 Frequency Hopping


Frequency Hopping is a method to increase frequency reuse and improve the
system’s ability to cope with adjacent channel interference.
The Frequency Hopping algorithm can be either random or cyclic. Associated
(i.e. paired) uplink and downlink frequencies are always ±45 MHz.
There are two major types of frequency hopping:

Baseband Frequency Hopping


Synthesized Frequency Hopping.

Frequency Hopping improves BSS-mobile station performance by providing


two types of diversity:
Frequency diversity

Interference diversity.

Frequency Diversity Frequency Diversity averages the effects of signal fading by using several
frequencies to improve transmission performance. Obstacles such as buildings
produce fading by reflecting the signal out of phase with the main signal. Each
frequency is affected differently by fading.
After error correction information is added to the data, it is encoded so that
the data is split into packets and the information is repeated. This creates
redundant information which is transmitted in bursts on the Air Interface. With
Frequency Hopping, each redundant information burst is transmitted on a
different frequency. This enables the original data to be reconstructed from the
received flow, even if errors occur due to fading.
In this way Frequency Hopping improves transmission performance.

Interference Diversity Interference Diversity spreads the co-channel interference between several
mobile stations. In high traffic areas, the capacity of a cellular system is limited
by its own interference; that is, the interference caused by frequency re-use.
Interference Diversity minimizes the time during which a given user on a given
mobile station will experience the effects of such interference.

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4.3.1 Baseband Frequency Hopping


A Mobile Allocation is a set of all the frequencies available for frequency
hopping. When the Frequency Hopping procedure is implemented a group of
mobile stations is assigned to a Mobile Allocation.
When a traffic channel is set up in a cell where Frequency Hopping is active,
the traffic channel is assigned:

A particular time slot

An FHS. An FHS is defined as the subset of frequencies within the MA to


be used by a given cell for Frequency Hopping.

A MAIO. The MAIO indicates the initial hopping frequency of the traffic
channel within the FHS. Use of the MAIO ensures that each traffic channel
is assigned a different frequency during hopping.

An HSN. The HSN supplies the identifying number of an algorithm which is


used to calculate the next frequency in the FHS on which the traffic channel
transmits. There can be up to 63 different HSN algorithms, all of which are
pseudo random. Within a given FHS, only one algorithm is used to avoid
collisions. An HSN of zero means a cyclic use of the frequencies.

An example of Frequency Hopping is shown in the figure below. Because the


HSN = 0, hopping occurs in a sequential manner. With a non-zero HSN, each
of the 3 traffic channels would hop in a random fashion determined by the
algorithm corresponding to the HSN.
Within this FHS
the HSN=0
Frame Frame Frame Frame
n n+1 n+2 n+3
Assignment
for TCH 1:
TS=1 TCH1 on TS1 f1 f2 f3 f1
MAIO=0
MAIO=0
HSN=0

TCH2 on TS2
f2 f3 f1 f2
MAIO=1

TCH3 on TS3
f3 f1 f2 f3
MAIO=2

f : Frequency
FHS : Frequency Hopping System
TCH : Traffic Channel
MAIO : Mobile Allocation Index Offset
HSN : Hopping Sequence Number
TS : Time slot
Figure 43: Frequency Hopping within an FHS

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4.3.2 Synthesized Frequency Hopping


Synthesized Frequency Hopping functions in a similar fashion to Baseband
Frequency Hopping, but is performed at a different location. Instead of
switching each time slot between traffic channels, the channel assigned to a
time slot is assigned to a fixed Carrier Unit (or TRE).
The Carrier Unit/TRE changes frequency with each TDMA frame in accordance
with the HSN algorithm selected, in the same manner as above. Thus, instead
of the channel hopping from one fixed transceiver to another, the transceiver
itself hops from one frequency to another, in both cases, according to the
algorithm and parameters selected.
Synthesized Frequency Hopping has the advantage of allowing an FHS to
contain one more frequency than the number of Carrier Units/TREs in the
system. This is particularly useful in some microcellular applications where only
one transceiver is available for Frequency Hopping.

Note: Normally, in both Frequency Hopping schemes (Baseband and Synthesized),


time slot 0 (TS0) is not available for Frequency Hopping. This is because
it carries the BCCH, which must always be at maximum power and on a
frequency known to mobile stations in Idle mode in the cell.

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4.4 Discontinuous Transmission


Discontinuous Transmission and VAD work together to decrease the average
transmission time on a channel. By transmitting only when actual speech is
present, the system reduces the interference level generated by the network in
both the uplink and downlink directions and saves power.
In tandem with Frequency Hopping, this improves spectrum efficiency without
jeopardizing the quality of the telephony service.

4.4.1 Speech Transmission


Speech is transmitted over the air in the following ways:

Continuous transmission

Discontinuous transmission.

Continuous Sound is continuously encoded into digital information even when no one
Transmission is talking.
In normal conversation, only one participant at a time talks. This is used by the
system to its advantage, by transmitting only when someone is speaking.

Discontinuous Only actual speech is digitally encoded and transmitted. During the non-speech
Transmission phase (silent periods), noise/comfort mode information is sent once every 480
ms instead of once every 20 ms for speech. In this way the system:

Improves spectral interference

Increases power savings.

By transmitting at a reduced rate of 1 in 24 during the silent phases, the power


autonomy of the mobile station improves.
Discontinuous Transmission does not occur during half-rate speech or data
modes. It can be activated for either the uplink or the downlink or both.
The receivers of Discontinuous Transmission information can automatically
detect that the transmitter is in Discontinuous Transmission mode by the
reception of Silence Indication messages.
During quiet periods SID messages are sent instead of speech bursts. SIDs
carry noise information about background noise. This information is used to:

Let the receiver know that the link is still open


Provide comfort noise. Users of telephones prefer to hear background noise
rather than silence; complete silence disturbs the listener.

Provide measurements of the link quality and timing advance. If there are
no bursts of data over the Air Interface for a particular channel, no power
level control and quality can be performed.

To eliminate the noise side effects generally known as banjo noise, the operator
can ban Discontinuous Transmission on the downlink for all calls that are
established on the BCCH TRX, without hopping, for all types of BTS. This is
achieved using the FORBID_DTXD_NH_BCCH parameter. The parameter can
be set to one of two values:

0. This is the default value, and allows Discontinuous Transmission on the


downlink for all calls that are established on the BCCH TRX.

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1. This bans Discontinuous Transmission on the downlink for all calls that
are established on the BCCH TRX.

Voice Activity Detection VAD is used to detect when there is speech, silence or just background noise.
The VAD device is located in the Transcoder. Once the VAD detects speech, it
starts transmitting speech bursts. After four bursts of detected silence, the VAD
goes back into silent mode, and SID information frames are transmitted (i.e. the
comfort noise generation is activated).

4.4.2 BSS Discontinuous Transmission Towards Mobile Station


Downlink Discontinuous Transmission is activated on a per call basis by
combining information from the MSC and the OMC-R.
The MSC informs the BSC about its downlink Discontinuous Transmission
preference. It does this via the Downlink Discontinuous Transmission flag in the
assignment_request or handover_request messages on a per call basis.
The OMC-R can enable or disable the possibility of downlink
Discontinuous Transmission per BSC via the Discontinuous
Transmission_DOWNLINK_ENABLE parameter. This is a static parameter which
can be set via the CMISE command M_LOGICAL_PARAM_MODIFY. The
overall system reaction is shown in the following table.

MSC Downlink_ Result


OMC-R Discontinuous Discontinuous Discontinuous
Transmission_ DOWNLINK_ Transmission flag Transmission
ENABLE (per BSC basis) (per call basis) flag
True Allowed ON
True Unavailable/not OFF
allowed
False Allowed OFF
False Unavailable/not OFF
allowed

Table 16: Downlink Discontinuous Transmission Status in Channel_activation

The MSC requests no downlink Discontinuous Transmission during mobile


station to mobile station calls, where double clipping can occur if both ends
perform Discontinuous Transmission. This can have a staccato-like effect
on speech.
The BTS tells the Transcoder to perform Discontinuous Transmission by setting
the Discontinuous Transmission bit in the speech frame.
In the BSS, the Transcoder is responsible for Discontinuous Transmission
operation. In the BTS, the information is processed in the FU in the following
way:
1. When the Transcoder detects voice activity it informs the FU, using inband
signalling. The speech signalling flag is set in the speech frame.
2. Every 20 ms the FU receives either speech frames or SID frames containing
background noise characteristics.
3. At the end of the speech period (four bursts of detected silence) the FU
sends a SID frame over the Air Interface.

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4. During speech inactivity, the last received SID frame is sent at regular 480
ms intervals rather than at 20 ms. Otherwise dummy bursts are sent.
These dummy bursts are:

Transmitted for traffic channels on the BCCH frequency, due to the need
for constant transmission on the BCCH frequency

Not transmitted for traffic channels on other frequencies.

Note: The BTS uses the measurement_result message to inform the BSC
that Discontinuous Transmission is operating. The BSC compensates for
Discontinuous Transmission when calculating power control and handover.

4.4.3 Mobile Station Discontinuous Transmission Towards BSS


The OMC-R operator controls whether a mobile station can perform
Discontinuous Transmission towards the BSS per cell. This information is sent
in cell options information (sys_info 3, and sys_info 6 on the Air Interface).
The following table shows the available operator options.

Option Description
Will perform This forces the mobile station to use Discontinuous
Discontinuous Transmission. It reduces the call quality but also
Transmission reduces interference in the cell and saves mobile
station battery power. During silent phases only
1 in 24 bursts are sent, which greatly reduces
interference.
Can perform This allows the mobile station to choose either quality
Discontinuous by not using uplink Discontinuous Transmission,
Transmission or power-saving by using uplink Discontinuous
Transmission.
Cannot perform The OMC-R operator has decided, due to low
Discontinuous interference, to have improved speech and
Transmission measurement control on the uplink side.

Table 17: Operator Discontinuous Transmission Options

The Transcoder detects that the mobile station is in Discontinuous Transmission


mode by the reception of SIDs.

Note: There is a small quality reduction due to the fact that VAD only starts sending
speech when a user starts to talk. This can cut the start of each speech activity.
Power control and handover are also affected, as the BTS has fewer incoming
messages with which to calculate power and interference.

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The following figure shows the different forms of transmission.

Sound continuously encoded DTX during ’Silence’ in uplink

DTX during ’Silence’ in downlink DTX during ’Silence’ in up and downlink

Continuous Transmission

Discontinuous Transmission
DTX : Discontinuous Transmission
Figure 44: Different Forms of Discontinuous Transmission

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4.5 Radio Power Control


Radio Power Control operates independently, but in a coordinated manner with
Handover to provide reliable service to the user.
Both directions of the radio link between the mobile station and the BTS
are subject to continuous power adjustments. The power adjustment of the
BTS and the mobile station are under the control of the BSC (see Radio
Measurements (Section 4.6.1)). RPC improves spectrum efficiency by limiting
intra-system interference. It also increases the autonomy of the mobile station
by saving battery power.
The reasons for changing the mobile station power level are:

Uplink power level too high or too low

Uplink link quality too low, or using power resources beyond quality
requirements of the call.

Similarly, the reasons for changing the BTS power control are:

Downlink power level too high or too low

Downlink link quality too low, or using power resources beyond quality
requirements of the call.

4.5.1 BTS Radio Power Control


The mobile station performs power measurements of radio signals being
transmitted by the BTS. The mobile station, via the SACCH, regularly sends a
measurement_report message to the BTS indicating the quality and strength
of the downlink plus measurements of neighboring cells. This information is
combined with uplink measurements taken by the BTS and sent to the BSC in
the measurement_result message.
The BSC then alters the BTS power, based on the measurement information it
receives from the mobile station. The maximum power level is limited by the
maximum power of the BTS, and also by the maximum power allowed in the cell.

4.5.2 Mobile Station Radio Power Control


The BTS measures the signal power transmitted by the mobile station. The
resulting measurements are combined with the measurement_report message
from the mobile station and are sent to the BSC in the measurement_result
message. The BSC sends commands to change the power level of the mobile
station as needed. The maximum power level is limited by the maximum power
of the mobile station, and also by the maximum power allowed in the cell.
Power control can be applied to traffic channels and Stand-Alone Dedicated
Control Channels.

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4.5.3 Radio Link Measurements


Due to interference and signal quality problems on the Air Interface, the uplink
and the downlink transmissions are constantly measured to maintain maximum
efficiency of the air-waves. A balance is maintained between the transmission
power, which can interfere with other cells using the same frequency, and
the quality of the actual link.
The following table shows the measurements used to achieve this balance.

Measurement Description
Signal strength Signal strength is calculated on both active and
inactive channels.
On active channels, this measurement is used to
provide the actual strength of the signal received
from the transmitter.
Inactive channel strength provides measurement of
interference levels.
Signal quality The signal quality of a channel is calculated on
the average Bit Error Rate on a particular channel.
BER is a standard quality calculation in radio
transmission.
Absolute mobile This is estimated by measuring the Time Of Arrival of
station-BS distance the received burst at the BTS for each allocated time
slot. The TOA is based on transmission distance
and not the actual ground distance travelled. The
calculation of one bit period (3.69 µs) corresponds
to 550m.

Table 18: Radio Link Measurements

Reporting Period The statistical parameters of signal level and quality are obtained over a
measurement period. This period is called the ’Reporting Period’. The reporting
period for a traffic channel is 104 TDMA frames (480 ms). The information is
transmitted in the SACCH frames.

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4.5.4 Power Control Decision and Handover


At every measurement interval, the BSC receives:

Pre-processed power measurement information (uplink and downlink)

Timing advance (distance information)

Power level information about neighboring cells (only the best six are
transmitted).

The BSC uses this information to perform power control by:

Lowering the power level in the uplink or downlink, as this has little effect
on the quality of the link
Increasing the power on the uplink or downlink if the link quality/level is low

Producing a handover alarm (refer to Handover Detection (Section 4.6.2) for


more information)

Taking no action, if the quality/level balance is acceptable.

The following figure illustrates the measurements described previously, as well


as power-control flow. Figure 46 shows how power control tries and maintains
optimum quality and power levels.
MS BTS BSC MSC

Interruption of SACCH frames

start counter
conn
ectio
n fail
ure in
dicati
on
caus
e va
lue

clear
requ
est
e
leas
n el re
chan
RF

and
mm
r co
clea alue
se v
g cau
in
clud
MIE in

MS : Mobile station
TX : Transmitter
Figure 45: Power Control Flow of Measurement and Decision Action

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Note: The signal and quality levels are converted into the ranges Received Signal
Level and Received Signal Quality respectively. Each range is classed from
0-63 (Received Signal Level where 63 is high) and 7 -0 (Received Signal
Quality where 7 is poor).
High Quality

Signal level low


Desired
Increase power Signal level too high
balance
R output Decrease power output
no
X change
Q
U
A
L
Signal level too high
Quality bad Quality bad
Increase power output Handover desired

Low Quality High Signal Level


Low Signal Level RXLEV

RXQUAL : Received Signal Quality


RXLEV : Received Signal Level
Figure 46: Power Output Balancing Based on Received Quality and Signal
Levels

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4.5.5 Change Power Levels


The BSC controls the power levels of the BTS and the mobile station.
The BTS power level can be altered down from its maximum power. This is done
in 2 dBm steps to a minimum of -30 dBm from the maximum level. The BSC
informs the BTS of the new power level via a BS_power_control message.
The mobile station power level can be altered in steps of 2 dBm. The following
table shows the maximum and minimum power ranges of mobile stations.

Mobile Station Phase


GSM 850/900/1800/1900 Max Power Min Power
Mobile station phase 1, 43 dBm (20 W) 13 dBm
GSM 900
Mobile station phase 1, 30 dBm (1 W) 10 dBm
GSM 1800
Mobile station GSM 850 39 dBm (8 W) 13 dBm
Mobile station phase 2, 39 dBm (8 W) 13 dBm
GSM 900
Mobile station phase 2, 30 dBm (1 W) 4 dBm
GSM 1800
Mobile station GSM 1900 33 dBm (2 W) 0 dBm

Table 19: Mobile Station Maximum and Minimum Power Ranges

The maximum power setting of a mobile station is based on two factors: its
classmark (its physical maximum power rating), and the maximum mobile
station power setting for the cell.
Each cell can limit the maximum power level for all mobile stations in the cell.
For example, a 20 W mobile station can be limited to 5 W maximum power if
that is the maximum mobile station power level allowed in the cell. However, a 1
W mobile station can never exceed 1 W, and can therefore never reach the
5 W maximum allowed in the cell.
The BSC informs the BTS of the new power levels via the BS_power_control
message. The BTS in turn transmits a power_command to the mobile station
over the SACCH.
Changing power from one power level to another happens gradually. The power
level changes by 2 dB every 60 milliseconds, until the desired level is reached.

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4.6 Handover
A handover changes an active call from one channel to another channel. The
new channel can be in the same cell or another cell. The types of handover are:

Internal
External

Directed retry
Internal
External.

Incoming emergency

Fast traffic
UMTS to GSM

Handovers ensure a high level of call quality. They are performed when the
BSS detects that the call quality has dropped below a defined level, and the
call can be better supported by a different channel.
The call quality can drop due to problems in the cell, such as an interface or
an equipment problem. Call quality can also be affected simply because the
mobile station has moved to an area where the radio coverage from another
cell is better.
The BSS detects the need for a handover by:

Measuring the Air interface channel quality, mobile station and BTS power
outputs and the timing advance
Using an algorithm to see if the received information conforms to the criteria
for handover

Selecting a more suitable channel from a list of target cells and their
available channels.

If the BSS decides that a handover is required, the exact sequence of events
depends on the type of handover to be performed. In all cases:

A new channel is assigned, ready to support the call

The mobile station moves over to the new channel


On successful completion of the handover, the system clears the resources
for the old channel.

Internal Internal handovers take place between cells controlled by the same BSC. This
can include channel changes within the same cell. More details about these
handover cases is given in Target Cell Evaluation (Section 4.6.3).

External External Handovers take place between cells controlled by different BSC’s.
These can be under control of the same MSC or of different MSCs. See Target
Cell Evaluation (Section 4.6.3) for more details about these handover cases.

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Directed Retry Handovers can also be performed when there is congestion in a cell. If
congestion exists, the traffic channel assignment can be queued. For more
information about congestion management, refer to Congestion (Section 3.5).
If there is no available traffic channel for the normal assignment procedure, a
Directed Retry can be performed. A Directed Retry is an attempt to assign a
mobile station to a traffic channel in a cell other than the serving cell.
There are two types of Directed Retry:

An Internal Directed Retry without queueing attempts to handover the call to


a traffic channel of a neighbor cell controlled by the same BSC.

An External Directed Retry attempts to handover the queued call to a traffic


channel of a neighbor cell which is controlled by a different BSC.

Secured Incoming The ability to keep free resources in a cell for incoming emergency and power
budget handovers is provided on a cell basis. When the resource threshold is
reached, assignments and other handover types are handled as if the cell was
completely congested. Once such a request is queued, a directed retry can be
performed as usual. The free resources can also be accessed in the case of a
full-rate to half-rate handover in the case of AMR calls, because it allows half a
resource (full-rate to half-rate) to be freed from the cell point of view. The feature
improves the quality of service, as it helps to limit the number of lost calls.

Fast Traffic The fast traffic handover searches in the whole cell for a mobile which can
perform a handover to a not loaded neighbor cell if the received signal level of
the BCCH is good enough. It is much more efficient than the forced directed
retry when the overlap of adjacent cells is reduced, e.g., in the case of single
layer networks, or for deep indoor coverage (if the umbrella cell does not
overlap totally the microcells).

UMTS to GSM For circuit-switched services, the BSS supports handover from UMTS to GSM.
The handover from GSM to UMTS is not supported in this release of the BSS.
A hard handover is performed from the UTRAN to the GSM BSS between a
UMTS core network and a 2G MSC. This handover is regarded by the BSS as
a GSM inter-BSS hand over. The signalling procedures, from the BSS point of
view, rely almost on the normal GSM procedures.
For packet-switched services, the current 3GPP standard does not allow
handover with channel preparation. Therefore, the UMTS mobile station
receives the 2G radio resource cell change order Information Element from the
UTRAN in the Inter System handover message. The UMTS mobile station then
performs an access request in the GPRS cell. Therefore, from a BSS point
of view, the UMTS mobile station is regarded as a 2G mobile station when it
indicates that it has selected a GSM cell.

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4 Call Handling

4.6.1 Radio Measurements


The BTS constantly monitors the radio link by:

Measuring the received signal strength for active channels

Measuring the received signal quality for active and inactive channels

Measuring the received signal timing for active channels


Collecting signal strength and quality measurements from the mobile
station for the active channel

Collecting adjacent cell BCCH signal strength measurements from the


mobile station (adjacent cell BCCH frequencies are sent to the mobile
station in the sys_info 5 message on the SACCH).

The mobile station sends its measurements to the BTS in a layer 3Radio
Resource measurement_report message on the SACCH. The mobile
station and BTS measurements are passed to the BSC in a layer 3 RR
measurement_result message. These messages are sent once per
multiframe and are processed by the BSC. The BSC uses this information to:
Perform power control for the BTS and mobile station

Calculate whether a handover is needed

Make traffic channel quality tables

Make the target cell list

Make a handover decision.


Power Control BTS and mobile station power control is described in Power Control Decision
and Handover (Section 4.5.4). From a handover point of view, no handover
decision is made due to signal quality until the power levels have been set
to maximum.

Need for Handover The BSC calculates the need for a handover using an algorithm, the use of
which is described in Handover Detection (Section 4.6.2).

Traffic Channel Quality The BSC uses the uplink idle channel measurements made by the BTS to
Tables make a table of traffic channel channels, classified by interference levels. This
table is used to select a channel for assignment.

Target Cell List A target cell list can be made by the BSC using the neighbor cell BCCH
measurements sent by the mobile station. This is used to evaluate whether a
neighbor cell can provide a better channel than the existing one.

Handover Decision Handover decision is based on averaged measurements and the results are
averaged over a period of time. For example, the BSC detects the need for
a handover, based on one measurement that may have been caused by
freak conditions changing the signal propagation for a short period. This
measurement is averaged with other measurements and a handover decision
may or may not result, depending on the other measurements.

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4 Call Handling

4.6.2 Handover Detection


Each time the BSC processes a set of Air interface measurements, it checks
whether a handover is needed. If the need for a handover is detected, it
triggers the target cell evaluation process. See Target Cell Evaluation (Section
4.6.3) for more information.
If the handover algorithm in the BSC detects the need for a handover, it
produces a handover alarm. As the target cell evaluation is handled by the
BSC, this alarm is also handled internally by the BSC. The alarm includes a
cause value used by the BSC to evaluate which type of handover is required.
The basic types of handover are:
Quality and level

Better zone

Better cell (power budget)

Distance

Mobile velocity dependent


Preferred band.

4.6.2.1 Quality and Level Handover


These handovers are used to keep an active call connected when the signal
quality falls below a defined threshold. If a handover is not performed, a radio
link failure may be detected and the call cleared. This type of handover can
be caused by the following events:

Quality level too low on the uplink or downlink

Signal level too low on the uplink or downlink


Interference level too high on the uplink or downlink

Signal level too low on the uplink or downlink compared to low threshold
(microcells only)

Signal level too low on the uplink or downlink compared to high threshold
(microcells only)

Several consecutive bad SACCH frames received (microcells only)

Signal level too low on the uplink or downlink inner cell (concentric cells
only).

Microcell handovers are described in detail in Microcell (Section 7.5.2). Refer to


Concentric Cell (Section 7.2) for more information on concentric cells.
If the received signal level or the received signal quality is too low, the BSC
performs BTS and mobile station power control to try and achieve the optimum
level/quality ratio. This is described in Power Control Decision and Handover
(Section 4.5.4).
The figure below shows a graph of received signal level and received signal
quality. The hatched areas show where power control is successful. The solid
gray shaded areas show where power control fails to achieve the desired
level/quality ratio. These areas are where the BSC detects the need for a
handover.

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4 Call Handling

High Quality

123456 123456789
123456
123456 123456789
123456789
Level 123456 123456789
Intercell 123456 123456789
Power Desired Power

Handover123456 and Level 123456789


Increase Quality Decrease to
Received
Signal
123456
to

123456
Improve 123456789
Conserve

(no action 123456789


Balance Resources

123456 needed) 123456789


Level and Minimize
Quality
123456 123456789
Interference

123456 123456789
123456
12345612345678901234
123456789
12345678901234
12345612345678901234Power Increase to

123456
123456 12345678901234
improve quality

12345678901234
Quality Intercell Quality Intracell
Handover Handover
Low Quality High
Level
Low Level
Received Signal Level
Figure 47: Quality and Level Handover
Level Intercell Handover The Level Intercell Handover area represents the range of measurements
where the received signal quality is acceptable, but the received signal level is
too low. If the power output levels are already set to the maximum allowed in
the cell, the BSC generates a handover alarm with a cause value indicating
the reason for handover. Although the quality of the signal is acceptable (and
may be very good), the call is in danger of being lost if the signal level drops
rapidly, causing a radio link failure.
The handover is an intercell handover, as the serving cell cannot support the
call at the required power level. The call is handed over to a channel in a cell
which can support the call at the required level and quality.

Quality Intercell The Quality Intercell Handover area represents the range of measurements
Handover where both the receive signal quality and the received signal level are too
low. If the power output levels are already set to the maximum allowed in
the cell, the BSC generates a handover alarm with a cause value indicating
the reason for the handover.
The handover is an intercell handover, as the serving cell cannot support the
call at the required quality and power level. The call is handed over to a channel
in a cell which can support the call at the required quality and level.

Quality Intracell The Quality Intracell Handover area represents the range of measurements
Handover where the received signal quality is too low, but the received signal level is
acceptable. This situation is caused by interference on the channel, so the call
is handed over to another channel in the same cell.

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4.6.2.2 Better Zone Handover


This is used in concentric cell configurations when the mobile station moves
into the inner zone. If the inner zone has a free channel, an interzone handover
is triggered. This enables the mobile station to be supported on a channel
requiring a lower power level, therefore creating less interference in the cell. The
detection of this type of handover is performed on signal level measurements
only (SACCH of serving cell, BCCH of adjacent cells). This is shown in the
following figure. This type of handover can be caused by the signal level being
too high on the uplink and downlink outer zone (concentric cells only).

High Power
Outer Zone

Low Power
Inner Zone
MS Handed
Over to
Low Power
Zone
MS : Mobile station
Figure 48: Better Zone Handover

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4 Call Handling

4.6.2.3 Better Cell Handover


This feature is used to handover the mobile station to a cell that can support the
call using lower BTS and mobile station power levels. The algorithm in the BSC
calculates the power levels for the current cell, and the power levels required by
adjacent cells from the adjacent cell information sent by the mobile station.
This is shown in the figure below.
This type of handover is often referred to as a power budget handover, as it
uses the Power Budget parameter to detect whether an adjacent cell can be
used (see also Multiband Power Budget Handover in Multiband Handover
(Section 4.6.2.6 )). If the power budget for an adjacent cell gives a ’better’
reading for a certain amount of time (a defined number of SACCH frames),
then a handover alarm is produced. This type of handover can be caused by
the following events:
Power budget is greater than handover margin threshold

High signal level in neighbor microcell (macrocell to microcell handover).

BSS 1 = Best Cell BSS 2 = Best Cell

Serving Cell Target Cell


BSS 1 BSS 2

Zone for Power Budget Handover


from BSS 1 to BSS 2
Figure 49: Better Cell Handover (Power Budget)

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4 Call Handling

4.6.2.4 Distance Handover


This handover occurs when the propagation delay between the BTS and the
mobile station is considered excessive. The mobile station is considered to
be too far from the BTS and needs to be served by a closer BTS. This is
shown in the figure below.
Under normal circumstances, as the mobile station moves away from a BTS, a
Quality and Level or Better Cell handover takes place. However, under certain
conditions which change the propagation qualities of a signal, a cell can
provide a very high quality signal outside of the normal operating range of the
serving cell. These propagation qualities are often due to climactic conditions
which can change suddenly. If the high quality signal ’disappears’ due to a
change in the weather, the call would be lost. The distance handover ensures
that this does not happen by handing the mobile station over to a ’closer’ cell
once a distance limit is exceeded. This type of handover is caused by too great
a distance between the mobile station and the Base Station .

1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
BSS 1 BSS 2

1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890
1234567890

Area of Normal Distance Handover


Cell Boundaries Area from BSS1 to BSS2
Figure 50: Distance Handover

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4 Call Handling

4.6.2.5 Mobile Velocity Dependent Handover


In a hierarchical cell structure, where mini or microcells are overlaid by
an umbrella cell (macrocell), fast moving mobile stations are handled by
the upper layer cell.
Discrimination of the speed of a mobile station is based on the dwell time of
that mobile station in a lower layer cell. Depending on the time elapsed in the
serving cell, the call is transferred to the lower layer cell or the umbrella cell.
If the dwell time in the serving cell is above the threshold, the mobile station
is considered slow moving and is sent to the lower layer cell that triggered
the handover.
If the dwell time is below the threshold, the mobile station is considered fast
moving. To prevent a high number of handovers between the smaller lower
layer cells, the call is sent to the umbrella cell.
Dwell time is only calculated if there has been a power budget handover
from another lower layer cell. This is to avoid sending a call to the umbrella
cell in the following cases:

A call initiated at the limit of the lower layer cell

A call transferred from the umbrella cell to the lower layer cell, just before
reaching the limit of that cell

After an external handover, when there is no information on the preceding


cell and handover cause.

Whatever the dwell time, any emergency handover sends the call to the
umbrella cell, which acts as the rescue cell.
The load on the umbrella cell is taken into consideration when determining
the threshold at which handovers are performed. Saturation of the umbrella
cell can cause the loss of calls, when a handover is required from another
umbrella cell or a lower layer cell.
As the load on the umbrella cell increases, the dwell time threshold is
increased, keeping some mobile stations in the lower layer cells. When the
load on the umbrella cell is very high, speed discrimination is disabled, and
priority is given to the load in the umbrella cell. The following figure shows a
graph of umbrella cell load and minimum dwell time.
Load in Umbrella Cell

Speed
Macrocell discrimination
saturated disabled
High load
Traffic
regulation

Low load
Max speed Macrocell with
discrimination little traffic
in force

Minimum Dwell Time


Low minimum High minimum
dwell time dwell time
Figure 51: Umbrella Cell Load in Mobile Velocity Dependent Handover

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4 Call Handling

4.6.2.6 Multiband Handover


There are two types of multiband handover:

Preferred-band handover

Multiband Power Budget handover.

Preferred-Band Network capacity can be expanded by introducing multiband operation. This


Handover means that an existing network (for example, GSM 900) is expanded by adding
cells in a different band (for example, GSM 1800). In such a network, the
original band (GSM 900) is referred to as the first band. The new band (GSM
1800) is referred to as the preferred band.
The existing monoband mobile stations, which use the first band, continue to
do so. However, multiband mobile stations are handed over to the preferred
band, where possible. This is done to free resources in the first band for use
by monoband mobile stations. Normal handovers (for example, better cell
handover), hand over multiband mobile stations to the preferred band.
A new handover type, called preferred-band handover, hands over multiband
mobile stations immediately when a first-band cell reaches a specified
congestion threshold. This frees up resources for the monoband mobile
stations in the cell.
For a preferred-band handover to occur, the following conditions must be met:

The first band cell’s traffic load reaches a high threshold

Suitable neighboring cells in the preferred band are available

The preferred band handover facility is enabled.


Multiband Power Budget In certain networks, two different frequency bands can exist, for example, one
Handover frequency band uses the GSM frequencies, the other frequency band uses
the DCS frequencies. In this case, multiband power budget handovers can be
enabled between the two frequency bands using the EN_MULTIBAND_PBGT_HO
parameter:

Setting the EN_MULTIBAND_PBGT_HO parameter to TRUE enables multiband


power budget handovers between two frequency bands.

Setting the EN_MULTIBAND_PBGT_HO parameter to FALSE disables multiband


power budget handovers between two frequency bands.

This parameter must be defined for each cell where multiband power budget
handovers are required.

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4.6.3 Target Cell Evaluation


Cell evaluation is performed by the BSC. Once a handover alarm is detected
within the BSC, it evaluates the neighbor cells and compiles a list of possible
target cells. The serving cell can be on the target cell list.
The cells are evaluated and ranked by preference, calculated by one of the
two algorithms, ORDER or GRADE. The Network Operator chooses which
algorithm is to be used on a cell-by-cell basis.
The BSC tries to handover to the most suitable cell. If this cell is controlled
by the BSC, the BSC handles the handover procedure. If the target cell is
controlled by another BSC, the serving BSC sends a handover_request
message to the MSC.

Target Cell The exact calculation performed to choose the target cell depends on the
algorithm used and the cause of the handover alarm.
The target cell is chosen taking into account the following criteria:

Received signal level

Power budget

Number of free channels


Relative load on the traffic channel of the cell

Maximum power allowed in cell

HO_MARGIN parameter

Mobile station distance from target BTS

Handover cause.

The HO_MARGIN parameter is an O&M parameter set by the Network Operator.


It is used to prevent a call being continually handed over between two cells. For
example, following a power budget handover, the new cell immediately starts
power budget calculations for its neighbor cells. It may find that the original cell
is giving a better power budget reading and try to hand back immediately. This
effect can be caused by slight climactic changes which affect the propagation of
signals. It is known as the ’ping-pong’ effect. The HO_MARGIN parameter stops a
call being handed back to a cell from which it has just been handed over.
There is also an O&M parameter, W_PBGT_HO which can be set by the
OMC-R operator, to add a weighting for the power budget parameters of cells
controlled by another BSC. Refer to A1353–RA Configuration Handbook
for more information.
The target cell chosen also depends on the mobile station classmark (see
Classmark Handling (Section 3.6)) and its compatibility with the BTS’s ciphering
capabilities (see Ciphering (Section 3.8)).
The procedures initiated to handover a call depend on which cell has been
chosen as the target cell.

Internal: Intracell If the target cell and the serving cell are the same, the call is handed over to a
channel in the same cell. This is an intracell handover. This type of handover is
most commonly due to interference in the cell. It is controlled by the BSC.

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4 Call Handling

Internal (IntraBSS): If the target cell is not the same as the serving cell but is controlled by the same
Intercell BSC, this is called an intercell intraBSS handover. This handover is normally
controlled by the BSC. However, the Network Operator can specify that this
type of handover is controlled by the MSC.

External (InterBSS): If the target cell and the serving cell are not controlled by the same BSC, but the
IntraMSC two BSC are controlled by the same MSC, this is called an interBSS intraMSC
handover. This handover is controlled by the MSC.

External (InterBSS): If the target cell and the serving cell are controlled by different BSCs and the
InterMSC two BSCs are controlled by different MSCs, this is called an interBSS interMSC
handover. The control of this handover is shared between the MSCs.
Handovers controlled by the BSC are called internal handovers. Handovers
controlled by the MSC are called external handovers.

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4 Call Handling

4.6.4 Synchronous and Asynchronous Handover


The handover to the target cell can be synchronous or asynchronous. A
synchronous handover can be performed if the master clocks of the serving cell
and the target cell are synchronized. This is the case when:

The serving cell and the target cell are the same cell

The BTSs of the serving cell and the target cell are in a collocated
configuration.

BTSs in a collocated configuration take the clock pulse from one BTS in the
configuration.
For a synchronous handover, the mobile station does not have to resynchronize
with the target BTS. Therefore, the physical context procedure for power levels
and timing advance does not have to be performed after the mobile station
accesses the target cell.
For an asynchronous handover, the mobile station has to synchronize with
the target cell before transmitting any user traffic.
4.6.4.1 Synchronous Internal Handover
This section describes the message flow for a synchronous internal handover.
The example in the figure below is for a handover of a traffic channel between
two separate cells controlled by two BTSs in a collocated configuration.

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4 Call Handling

Target Serving
MS BTS BTS BSC MSC
measu
remen
t report
s (S
ACC H)

measu
re ment re
s ults

HO detect
HO alarm
cell evaluation
quest
text re
al con
physic
physic
al con
text
confirm
TA + p
ower

vation chann
el
el acti
chann + power +
DTX
ipher +
TA + c
chann
el acti
vation
ack

d
mman nel
ver co + chan
hando cipher
TA +
ell desc +
er + c
f + pow
HO re

release with
serving BTS
acces
s burs
t (SAC
CH)

hando
ver de
tection

SABM

establi
sh ind
ication

hando
ver co
mplete

hando
ver pe
rforme
d

DTX : Discontinuous Transmission


HO : Handover
MS : Mobile station
SABM : Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
TA : Timing advance
Figure 52: Synchronous Internal Handover

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Measurement Reporting The mobile station and BTS take measurements on the Air interface as
described above. The mobile station sends measurement information to the
BTS in a measurement_report message. The BTS sends mobile station and
BTS measurements to the BSC in a measurement_results message.

Handover Detection The BSC detects the need for a handover and creates a handover alarm
indicating the reason for the handover. The BSC evaluates possible target cells
and creates a cell list. For this example, the first cell on the list (target cell)
is a cell controlled by this BSC and the BTSs of both serving and target cell
are collocated. Once this cell is chosen, the BSC initiates the synchronous
internal handover procedure.
The BSC sends a physical_context_request message to the serving BTS,
requesting current timing advance and power level information. This information
is passed to the target BTS.
The serving BTS responds with a physical_context_confirm message.

Channel Activation When the BSC receives the physical context information, it sends a
channel_activation message to the target BTS, indicating:

The channel to be used

The mobile station timing advance to be applied


The encryption algorithm and ciphering key

A Discontinuous Transmission indicator for uplink (not used) and downlink


(see Speech Transmission (Section 4.4.1))

The mobile station power to be used


The BTS power to be used.

The target BTS sets its resources to support the channel. It then uses a
channel_activation_acknowledgment message to reply to the BSC. This
lets the BSC know that the target BTS is ready. The target BTS also starts
transmission of SACCH/FACCH frames so that when the mobile station
accesses this BTS, it receives sys_info 5 and sys_info 6 messages. The
mobile station also receives the timing advance and power control updates.

Handover Command The BSC sends the handover_command message transparently through the
BTS to the mobile station. This message contains:
The new channel and its associated control channel

The target cell description

A power level indication for the mobile station initial access to the target cell

A handover reference

The timing advance to be used in the target cell


Any cipher mode information (phase 2 mobile stations can change cipher
mode during a handover procedure).

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The Handover The mobile station releases its connection with the serving BTS and sends
four consecutive access bursts to the target BTS on the uplink SACCH. These
bursts include the handover reference and use a timing advance of 0.
The BTS calculates the timing advance (it may have changed since the physical
context procedure). It sends a handover_detection message to the BSC
indicating the timing advance measured for the access burst. If the mobile
station timing advance needs to be updated, the BSC sends this information in
the physical_information message on the FACCH channel associated with
the traffic channel.
The mobile station then sets ciphering (as required). It sends its first
frame, SABM, using the timing advance information either as sent in the
handover_command message, or as updated in the FACCH frames.
When the BTS receives the frame from the mobile station, it sends an
acknowledgment frame to the mobile station and an establish_indication
message to the BSC. This informs the BSC that the radio link has been
established. The BSC starts BTS and mobile station power control.
On receipt of the acknowledgment frame, the mobile station sends a
handover_complete message to the BSC. The mobile station can now start
transmitting on the new channel.
The BSC informs the MSC of the handover in a handover_performed
message and initiates the release of the old channel.

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4.6.4.2 Asynchronous External Handover


This section describes the message flow for an asynchronous external
handover. The example in the figure below is for a handover of a traffic channel
between two separate cells controlled by two different BSCs.
Target Serving Target Serving
MS BTS BTS BSC BSC MSC

measurement repo
rts
(SACCH)

measurement resu
lts

HO detect
HO alarm
handover required

est
handover requ
on
channel activati X+cause+cm
her+cell IDs+DT
channel type+cip
SACCH/FACCH

channel activation hanover request


ack ack

+ handover com
mand

handover command
mand
handover com
d ch+cell+HOref+cipher
handover comman

release with
serving BTS
Synchronization handover detect
(FCCH + SCH)

access burst (SAC


CH)
handover detect

HO ref + TA handover detect

set up switching
path between Abis
& A interfaces

physical info
(FACCH)
physical info

establish indication
ack

(FACCH)
handover complete

handover performed

d
clear comman

DTX : Discontinuous Transmission


FACCH : Fast Associated Control Channel
HO : Handover
MS : Mobile station
SABM : Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
TA : Timing advance
Figure 53: Asynchronous External Handover

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4 Call Handling

Measurement Reporting The mobile station and BTS take measurements on the Air interface as
described above. The mobile station sends measurement information to the
BTS in a measurement_report message. The BTS sends mobile station and
BTS measurements to the BSC in a measurement_results message.

Handover Detection The BSC detects the need for a handover and creates a handover alarm
indicating the reason for the handover. The BSC evaluates possible target
cells and creates a candidate cell list.
To initiate the external handover procedure, the BSC sends a
handover_required message to the MSC including the candidate cell list. It
also starts a timer to prevent it sending the same cell list. It can only re-send the
cell list when the timer times out, or if it receives a handover_request_reject
message from the MSC.
The MSC chooses the target cell from the cell list. It sends a handover_request
to the target BSC to inform it that a mobile station is going to be handed
over. This message contains:
Channel type required

Cipher mode information

Mobile station classmark information

Serving cell identification

Target cell identification


Downlink Discontinuous Transmission flag

Handover cause.

Channel Activation The target BSC initiates the channel activation for the new channel with the
channel_activation message.
The target BTS sets its resources to support the new channel, starts sending
the SACCH/FACCH and sends a channel_activation_acknowledgment
message to the target BSC.

Handover Command The target BSC builds a handover command. This command is sent to the
MSC in the handover_request_acknowledgment message. The handover
command contains:

The new channel and its associated control channel

The target cell description

A handover reference

Any cipher mode information (phase 2 mobile stations can change cipher
mode during a handover procedure).

The MSC forwards the handover_command message to the serving BSC.


The serving BSC sends the handover command message to the mobile station.

The Handover The mobile station releases its connection to the serving BTS. It synchronizes
with the target BTS using the FCCH and SCH information. Once synchronized,
the mobile station continually sends access burst on the uplink SACCH until it
receives the physical_information message on the FACCH from the target
BSC.

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When the target BTS receives an access burst, it checks the handover
reference and calculates the timing advance. This is sent to the target BSC
in the handover_detect message.
The target BSC informs the MSC of the handover detection and establishes a
switching path between the allocated Abis and A interface resources.
When the mobile station receives the physical_information message, it
sends its first frame on the new channel using the timing advance sent in the
physical_information message.
The target BTS acknowledges the mobile station’s first frame and sends an
establish_indication message to the target BSC, and an acknowledgment to
the mobile station. On receipt of the acknowledgment, the mobile station sends
a handover_complete message on the uplink FACCH to the target BSC.
The target BSC informs the MSC that the handover has been performed.
The MSC initiates the call clearing procedure towards the serving BSC.

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4 Call Handling

4.7 Overload Control


A lot of telecommunications signalling is required for the BSS to support
communication between mobile stations in the cells under its control and
the MSC. Telecommunication processors in the BTS or BSC can become
overloaded. To avoid a sudden loss of communication when a processor
becomes saturated, the BSS controls the load on these processors in the
following steps:
1. Taking local action to reduce the load.
2. Taking global BSS action to further reduce the load.

Note: The telecommunications processors of the MSC can also become overloaded.
However, MSC overload control is not the domain of the BSS.

4.7.1 BTS Overload


The BTS Frame Unit (TRE for a BTS A9100 or BTS A910) handles all the
telecommunications signalling on the Air interface. If the FU or TRE becomes
saturated, this can result in the loss of calls. Therefore, the BTS monitors the
load and takes action where appropriate. On initial detection of the overload
condition, the BTS takes local action to reduce the load. If the BTS local action
does not reduce the load, the BTS sends overload messages to the BSC,
which can decide to take global action.
The different stages of BTS overload, from detection to resolution, are
described below.

BTS Overload Detection The BTS monitors the load on the FU or TRE by measuring the free time on
the FU or TRE’s Signalling Control Processor and the free message space on
the associated buffers. If either of these passes a set threshold, a counter is
incremented. If a threshold is not passed again within a given time, the counter
is decremented. The counter has two thresholds. If the first of these is passed,
the BTS takes local overload action. If the second of these is passed the BTS
sends overload messages to the BSC.

BTS Overload Action When local action is triggered in the BTS, it discards low priority messages
such as the establish_indication message to reduce the load on the SCP.

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4 Call Handling

4.7.2 BSC Overload


The BSC has two entities handling telecommunications signalling:

The TCU handles telecommunications signalling for the Abis interface

The DTC handles telecommunications signalling for the A interface.

The different stages of BSC overload, from detection to resolution, are


described below.

BSC Overload Detection For the BTS, overload is calculated on the processor free time and the free
message space of the associated buffers. As the BSC handles more signalling
traffic than the BTS, the detection of an overload, and whether to trigger local or
global defense actions, is more complicated. The BSC uses an algorithm that
takes into account which processors are affected, the level of overload, and
which buffers are affected. Each processor has a local overload controller.
The BSC’s centralized overload controller is responsible for global overload
defence actions.

BSC Local Overload Local action in the BSC is taken by the local overload controller on each
Action processor. Local actions reduce the load on an individual board. The local
actions are:

TCU Action
The TCU discards a percentage of the measurement_result messages
received from the BTS. The percentage of discarded messages is increased
and decreased in steps, under the control of the local overload control. This
only affects the handover and power control algorithms which still function
but with less information.

DTC Action
When the DTC detects an overload, its state is set to congested on the
BSC database. This means that it cannot be selected by the resource
management software to provide a new SCCP connection. Also, the DTC
cannot send connectionless messages to the MSC.

BSC Global Overload Action


The BSC controls global actions for the whole BSS. Global action reduces
the amount of telecommunications signalling traffic in the BSS by inhibiting
new calls. The BSC bars mobile station access classes either in one cell
if the global action is requested by a BTS or TCU, or in several cells if a
DTC MSC are overloaded.

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4 Call Handling

Mobile Station Access When the BSC receives a request for global overload action from a BTS, from
Class Barring the MSC, or from one of its local overload control processors, it checks the
message for errors. If it can accept the request, it builds new system information
messages (1 to 4). These messages are sent on the BCCH. They bar certain
mobile station classes from sending channel_request messages on the RACH.
If the overload condition persists, the BSC can change the system information
messages to bar more mobile station access classes from using the RACH.
When the BTS is barring access classes, its behavior can be modified from
the OMC-R by modifying the following parameters:

AUT_BAR enables/disables the automatic banning of cells after all access


classes have been barred. This forces the mobile station to camp on
another cell.

EC_BAR enables/disables the automatic barring of emergency calls.

EN_BSS_OVRL_CLASS_BARR enables/disables the ability of the BSC to


perform global action for BTS to BSC overload conditions.

The number of access classes that can be barred and unbarred in one step can
also be configured from the OMC-R.

Mobile Station Access When an overload message is received from the BTS or when an overload is
Class Unbarring detected in the BSC, a timer is set. If no overload message is received from the
BTS, or no overload detected in the BSC during the period of the timer, the
timer expires. When the timer expires, the BSC unbars some access classes
according to a defined algorithm.

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4 Call Handling

4.8 Call Re-establishment by the Mobile Station


The mobile station initiates call re-establishment when there is already a
speech or data call in a stable state (traffic channel path connected) and
the mobile station detects a radio link failure. The mobile station waits a
predetermined time for a response from the network. If there is no response
the mobile station performs a cell reselection procedure.
If the new cell allows the re-establishment procedure to be performed, the
mobile station initiates the channel request procedure RACH and awaits the
immediate_assignment message. The mobile station then performs the
contention resolution procedure using the cm re-establishment request
message.
The radio and link establishment procedure continues as described in Mobile
Originated Call (Section 3.2).
The network may not allow the mobile station to perform the channel request
procedure, due to inhibition of the mobile station access class broadcast in the
sys_info 1 to 4 messages. If this is the case the mobile station radio resource
entity reports the failure of the radio and link establishment procedure to the
higher layer entities in the mobile station.
When the MSC receives the cm re-establishment request message it initiates
the procedures necessary to establish a new radio resource connection and
continue the call management connection.

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4 Call Handling

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5 Call Release

5 Call Release

This chapter provides an overview of Call Release and describes the


procedures which ensure resource allocation to a call. It specifically describes
Call Release procedures in normal service plus the following special cases:

Overview

Following Reset

BSC initiated

BTS initiated
Mobile station initiated

This chapter also describes Remote Transcoder Alarms, and the processes
used to break a connection and disconnect the resources, depending on the
nature of radio transmission.

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5 Call Release

5.1 Overview
The Call Release procedures ensure that resources allocated to a call are free
for reuse when they are no longer required by the current call.
Call Release procedures are required when:

A call is finished and either the called or calling party hang up

A mobile station is turned off


A call is handed over and the resources for the original call are released

A call is modified and the resources for the original channel are released

There is operator intervention, such as a channel being blocked

There is a failure

There is a radio link failure


The system detects an LAPDm failure.

If a call is terminated normally, the Call Release procedures are triggered


automatically. If the call is terminated abnormally, the system has to detect that
the resources are no longer required and release them.
For a complete Call Release, the following resources must be released:
A interface resources

Abis interface resources

Air interface resources

MSC resources:
Layer 3 for the A interface
SS7 signalling for the A interface
Layer 1 physical resources for the A interface.

BSC:
Layer 3 for the A, Abis and Air interface
Layer 2 SS7 for the A interface and LAPD for the Abis interface
Layer 1 physical resource for the A and Abis interface.

BTS:
Layer 3 for the A, Abis and Air interface
Layer 2 LAPD for the Abis interface and LAPDm for the Air interface
Layer 1 physical resources for the Abis and Air interface.

Mobile station:
Layer 3 for the Air interface
Layer 2 LAPDm for the Air interface
Layer 1 for the Air interface.

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5 Call Release

5.2 Call Release Procedures in Normal Service


The Call Release procedures, and the order in which they are triggered,
depend on the reason for the release. This section describes the following Call
Release scenarios, which occur during normal service:

Normal Release (Calls terminated by Call Management)


Calls terminated following a channel change.

Special cases, including detailed behavior of the MSC, BSC, BTS and mobile
station are described later in this chapter.

5.2.1 Normal Release


Call termination initiated by Call Management is considered to be a normal
reason for Call Release. In this type of Call Release, the MSC initiates the
release. Before this can happen, the mobile station must inform the MSC that
it has disconnected the call. This is done with layer 3 messages passed
transparently through the BSS between the mobile station and MSC, as shown
in the following figure.
MS BSS MSC

discon
nect (la
yer 3 CC)

3 CC)
(layer
uest
release req

release
comple
te (layer 3
CC)

MS : Mobile station
Figure 54: Mobile Station Disconnecting a Call

Once the MSC has confirmation that the mobile station wants to disconnect and
no longer requires the connection, it initiates the release procedure towards
the BSC. This procedure:

Releases the circuit (if applicable)

Releases the SCCP connection.

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5 Call Release

The BSC responds to the MSC to clear the connection on the A interface, and
initiates the Call Release procedure toward the BTS and mobile station. This
procedure releases the radio resources.
This action triggers the mobile station to release the LAPDm connection (disc
message) and the BSC to release physical resources allocated to the call.
This is shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

nd
omma
clear c
alue
ause v
cluding c
MIE in

ase
el rele
chann release of A
CH
AC interface resources
vat eS
deacti Timer start (SCCP release)
clear c
omplete
disc
disable remote Timer start (release indication)
(to re TC alarm detect
lease
LAPD
m) ed
relea releas
se in SCCP
UA dicati
on
SCCP
release
comple
te
t
reques
c ontext
physical

physic
al con Timer
text co
nfirm

lease
nnel re
RF cha

RF ch
annel
Timer
releas
e ack

LAPDm : Link Access Protocol on the Dm Channel


LAPDm : Link Access Protocol on the Dm Channel
MIE : Mandatory Information Element
MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
TC : Transcoder
UA : Unnumbered Acknowledgment
Figure 55: Normal Call Release

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5 Call Release

MSC actions The MSC initiates Call Release at the end of the mobile station transaction.
The MSC can be informed of the end of the mobile station transaction:

By a level 3 disconnection message from the mobile station (Figure 54)

By a disconnection message from the Network Operator if the


correspondent terminates the call

At the end of a service call (i.e., SMS or location updating).

The normal release procedure of the MSC releases both the A interface
resources used for the call, if any, and the SCCP connection used for the
signalling which controls the connection.
The MSC initiates the release procedure by sending a clear_command
message to the BSC. This command can include a cause value in the
Mandatory Information Element.
The BSC accepts the command even if no cause value is included. It
immediately releases the A interface resources for the call and replies to the
MSC with a clear_complete message. This is shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

nd
omma
clear c
e
e valu
g caus
cludin
MIE in

ase
el rele
chann release of A
C CH interface resources
SA
ate Timer start (SCCP release)
ctiv
dea clear c
omplete

Timer start (release indication)


ed
releas
SCCP

SCCP
release
comple
te

MIE : Mandatory Information Element


MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
Figure 56: Initiation of Normal Release by MSC

The BSC initiates the release of the Abis and Air interface resources. It also
sets a timer to ensure that the MSC releases the SCCP signalling resources.
On receipt of the clear_complete message from the BSC, the MSC releases
the resources associated with the A interface and initiates the release of the
SCCP signalling resources by sending the SCCP_released message to
the BSC.
The BSC stops its timer and sends the SCCP_release_complete message.
The SCCP resources are now released and can be used for another call.
If the BSC timer expires before the SCCP_released message is received, then
the BSC force releases the SCCP connection.

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5 Call Release

BSC/BTS/Mobile Station The normal Call Release procedure towards the mobile station/BTS releases:
Interactions The radio resources associated with the call

The Radio Frequency channel.

The BSC initiates the release of the radio resource by sending:

A channel_release message to the mobile station via the BTS

A deactivate_SACCH message to the BTS.

Thechannel_release message prompts the mobile station to send a disc


message to the BTS to release the LAPDm resource. When this is received,
the BTS acknowledges this with a ua message to the mobile station and sends
a release_indication message to the BSC. This procedure is supervised by
a timer in the BSC. The BSC considers the mobile station disconnected and
starts the RF channel release when:

The timer expires

The BSC receives the release_indication message and stops the timer.

When the BTS receives the deactivate_SACCH message, it stops sending


SACCH information and disables the remote Transcoder alarm detection. This
stops the sending of Transcoder alarms to the BSC when the Transcoder
detects inactivity on the channel. This is shown in the figure below.
If the mobile station does not receive the channel_release message, it
considers the stopping of SACCH information as a radio link failure and
performs a local release.
MS BTS BSC MSC

nd
omma
clear c
alue
ause v
cluding c
MIE in
ase
el rele
chann CH release of A
te SAC interface resources
c tiva
dea Timer start (SCCP release)
clear c
omplete
disable remote
disc TC alarm detect Timer start (release indication)
(to re
lease
LAPD ed
m) releas
SCCP
relea
se in
UA dicati
on
SCCP
release
comple
te

LAPDm : Link Access Protocol on the Dm Channel


MIE : Mandatory Information Element
MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
TC : Transcoder
UA : Unnumbered Acknowledgment
Figure 57: BSC/BTS/Mobile Station interactions in Normal Call Release

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5 Call Release

Once the BSC considers the mobile station disconnected, it initiates release
of the RF channel from the BTS. In a normal call release procedure, this
occurs following the release of the mobile station from the Air interface (as
described earlier in this section).
Before releasing the RF channel, the BSC sends a physical_context message
to the BTS and starts a timer to supervise the response. The response from the
BTS is a physical_context_confirm message which contains the last LAPDm
performance measurements for the RF channel.
On receipt of the physical_context_confirm message, or after the timer has
timed out, the BSC sends an RF_channel_release message to the BTS and
starts a timer to supervise the release. The BTS releases the level 1 and 2
resources for the channel and replies with an RF_channel_release_ack
message.
On receipt of the acknowledgment, the BSC releases all resources for the RF
channel. This is shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

relea
UA se in
dicati
on

quest
text re
al con
physic

physic
al con
Timer
text co
nfirm

e
releas
annel
RF ch

RF ch
annel
Timer
releas
e ack

MS : Mobile station
UA : Unnumbered Acknowledgment
Figure 58: Normal Release Final Steps

If the timer supervising the release times out, the BSC sends the
RF_channel_release message again and restarts the timer. If the timer times
out again, the BSC releases all resources locally. It also sends an O&M
error report to the OMC-R with a cause value indicating that the RF channel
release procedure has failed.

Note: The RF channel can be released locally by the BTS and still be active. If the
RF channel is still active, it is released when the BSC attempts to assign it
to another call with a channel_activation message. The BTS replies with a
channel_activation_nack and the BSC releases the channel (refer to chapter
3 for more information).

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5 Call Release

5.2.2 Calls Terminated Following a Channel Change


This section describes the Call Release procedure following a successful
channel change procedure. The case presented is an external intercell
handover. For an internal channel change, the serving and target BSCs are the
same, and in some cases, the serving and target BTSs are the same.
The target BSC receives confirmation of the successful handover from the
mobile station when the mobile station sends the handover_complete
message. This message is passed transparently through the target BTS. See
Call Handling (Chapter 4) for more information about handovers.
The target BSC informs the MSC of the handover and initiates the Call Release
procedure towards the serving BSC, by issuing a clear_command message.
The serving BSC issues a channel_release message to the mobile station
and a deactivate_SACCH message to the serving BTS. The normal Call
Release procedure described in Normal Release (Section 5.2.1) continues
between the serving BSC, the serving BTS, the MSC and the mobile station.
This is shown in the following figure.
Target Serving Target Serving
MS BTS BTS BSC BSC MSC
(FACCH)
handover comple
te

handover perform
ed

and
comm
clear lue
se va cau
ding
inclu
MIE

ase
el rele
chann

CH
AC
te S
ct iva
dea

FACCH : Fast Associated Control Channel


MIE : Mandatory Information Element
MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
Figure 59: Call Release Following a Channel Change

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5 Call Release

5.3 Call Release - Special Cases


Call Release can occur for reasons outside normal service. This section treats
the following special cases in which Call Release happens:

Call Release following Reset

BSC-initiated Call Release

BTS-initiated Call Release


Mobile station-initiated Call Release

Remote Transcoder alarms.

5.3.1 Call Release Following Reset


Resets are used in software/hardware failure situations, or when the database
is corrupted and recovery procedures have failed. The MSC can reset all calls
within a BSC or an individual circuit. For example, if the MSC loses dynamic
information regarding calls (i.e. preventing it from providing such services as
accounting), it can send a reset or a reset_circuit message to the BSC.

Reset The MSC initiates Call Release when it has to release all calls associated
with the BSS (Reset).
The MSC sends a reset message containing a cause value to the BSC.
The BSC then:

Sends an alarm to the OMC-R

Sends a block message to the MSC to block circuits


Starts to clear all calls in the BSS. For each call, the procedure in Normal
Release (Section 5.2.1) is repeated.

For each SCCP connection on the A interface, the BSC can send an
SCCP_release message and release any A interface resources associated
with the SCCP.
A timer allocates a certain amount of time for the calls to clear. When the timer
expires, the BSC sends a reset_ack message to the MSC. The figure below
shows the Call Release process after a reset is initiated.

Reset Circuit The reset circuit procedure is initiated from the MSC. The procedure informs
the BSC that an individual circuit is no longer active in the MSC. This triggers
the call clearing procedure if the circuit has an active SCCP connection.
The MSC sends a reset_circuit message to the BSC for each circuit to be
reset. Depending on the resources allocated, this can trigger the BSC to:
Release the A interface resources

Initiate the release of the SCCP

Initiate Call Release towards the BTS and mobile station.

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5 Call Release

MS BTS BSC MSC

reset

send alarm to OMC−R block

SCCP
e releas
l releas e
channe circuits blocked
te
comple
release
disc SCCP

e SCCP re
to relea l releas lease
se LAP
Dm channe
release
indicatio
n
lete
omp
t request rele ase c
ntex CCP
physical co S
disc
to re physic
leas al con
e LA text co
PDm nfirm
rele
indic ase
atio nnel
n RF cha
release

RF channe
l release
ack
l
physica request
context
physical
context
confirm

lease
nnel re
RF cha

RF chan
nel relea
se ack

timer
reset a
ck

LAPDm : Link Access Protocol on the Dm Channel


MS : Mobile station
SCCP : Signal Connection Control Part
Figure 60: Call Release Following Reset

Note: If this procedure is invoked due to SCCP problems, then messages on the A
interface may not be passed. The MSC and BSC locally release resources
for the A interface connections. Refer to BSC-Initiated Release (Section
5.3.2) for more details.

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5 Call Release

5.3.2 BSC-Initiated Release


The BSC is involved in Call Release for both the A interface and Abis/Air
interfaces.
The BSC initiates Call Release on the A interface when events internal to the
BSS terminate communication with the mobile station.
The Call Release towards the mobile station may already be in progress or
have finished when the BSC initiates a release on the A interface. If the
mobile station is still connected when the BSC initiates a release on the A
interface, the release towards the MSC is triggered by the clear message
from the MSC to the BSC.

Towards the MSC The BSC initiates the release towards the MSC by sending a clear_request
message. It also starts a timer to supervise the procedure. The MSC releases
resources for the A channel and sends the clear_command message to
the BSC. This command contains a cause value indicating that the BSC
initiated the release.
From this point, the Call Release follows the procedure described for normal
Call Release (refer to Normal Release (Section 5.2.1)). The procedure starts
with the BSC releasing A channel resources. It initiates the release procedure
towards the mobile station (if still attached), and returns a clear_complete
message to the MSC. This sequence is shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

clear
requ
est

and
mm
r co
clea alue
se v
cau
ing
includ
MIE

MIE : Mandatory Information Element


MS : Mobile station
Figure 61: BSC-initiated Call Release toward the MSC

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5 Call Release

Towards the Mobile The Call Release procedure towards the mobile station/BTS releases:
Station/BTS The radio resources associated with the call

The RF channel.

The BSC initiates the release of the radio resource by sending:

A channel_release message to the mobile station via the BTS

A deactivate_SACCH message to the BTS.

This is the Normal Release procedure described in Normal Release (Section


5.2.1).
Note: In this process, once the BSC considers the mobile station disconnected, it
initiates release of the RF channel from the BTS. This can occur following:

The release of the mobile station from the Air interface (as in the Normal
Release procedure)

A handover, when the BSC is sure that the mobile station has successfully
changed to the new channel. Refer to Calls Terminated Following a Channel
Change (Section 5.2.2).
An immediate assign procedure failure. This ensures that the SDCCH is
available for reuse as quickly as possible.
A normal assignment failure or handover failure. This ensures that the traffic
channel is available for reuse as quickly as possible.

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5 Call Release

5.3.3 BSC-Initiated SCCP Release


The BSC initiates an SCCP release when:

A release procedure has failed

Inactivity is detected in the BSC SCCP entity.

Failed Release If there are no resources allocated to a call and the normal release of the SCCP
Procedure connection has failed, the BSC forces the release of the SCCP connection:

Internally by sending a level 3 command to its SCCP entity

Externally by sending an SCCP_released message to the MSC.

The BSC does not wait for a reply from the MSC before releasing the SCCP
connection.
If the original failure is due to a problem on the SCCP connection or in the BSC
SCCP entity, the SCCP_released message may not be sent. If the message
is sent, the MSC replies with an SCCP_release_complete message and
releases any allocated resources.

Inactivity Procedure The BSC performs an inactivity procedure for each SCCP connection. If
the BSC detects inactivity, it assumes that the associated transaction is no
longer active and therefore:

Performs Call Release on the Air and Abis interfaces


Initiates a reset circuit procedure if an A channel is active

Initiates the release of the SCCP connection.

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5 Call Release

5.3.4 BTS-Initiated Call Release


The BTS initiates a Call Release only if it detects an LAPD failure or when
O&M requests a restart of the BTS. Otherwise the role of the BTS in Call
Release is to:

Relay channel release messages to the mobile station

Deactivate the SACCH under control of the BSC

Send a release_indication message to the BSC when the mobile station


releases the LAPDm connection.

LAPD Failure When the BTS detects an LAPD failure on a link between one of its frame units
and the BSC, it forces the release of all mobile stations on active channels
associated with that Frame Unit (TRE for a BTS A9100 or BTS A910).
The BTS stops SACCH frames and sends a layer 2 disconnect message to
each affected mobile station. It also starts a timer to supervise each LAPDm
disconnection. The LAPD connection cannot be re-established until the BTS
receives an acknowledgment, or the timer expires for each LAPDm connection.
If a mobile station sends an acknowledgment, the BTS releases the RF
resources.
If a mobile station does not respond, the BTS continues to send layer 2
disconnect messages up to a predefined number. It then waits for the timer to
expire and the BTS releases the RF resources.

Note: If the maximum number of disconnect retries is reached, the BTS LAPDm entity
sends an error report to the BSC. This does not stop the timer supervising
the disconnection.
When all mobile stations are disconnected, the BTS attempts to re-establish
the LAPD connection. The BTS then sends an error report to the BSC with
a cause value indicating O&M intervention. This cause value indicates that
the FU or TRE has cleared all calls.
The BSC reinitializes the link with the frame unit and starts Call Release for the
affected calls with the MSC. This sequence is shown in the following figure.

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5 Call Release

MS BTS BSC MSC

Detection of LAPD
failure. BTS stops
sending SACCH frames.

disc
timer
disc
timer
disc
timer
UA

UA
release RF resources

UA
release RF resources

release RF resources
Re−establish LAPD connection

error
repo
rt
caus
e valu
e

Re−initialize FU or TRE link


clear re
quest

d
mman
clear co
se va lue
cluding cau
MIE in cl
ear compl
ete

FU : Frame Unit
LAPD : Link Access Protocol on the D Channel
MIE : Mandatory Information Element
MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
TRE : Transmitter/Receiver Equipment
UA : Unnumbered Acknowledgment
Figure 62: BTS-initiated Call Release following LAPD failure

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5 Call Release

O&M Intervention The BTS initiates a Call Release if its O&M entity requests a restart of an
Frame Unit (TRE for a BTS A9100 or BTS A910).
The FU or TRE’s response to a restart request is to stop sending frames
on the Air interface. The BTS starts a timer to supervise the disconnection
of the mobile stations. The timer allows enough time for the mobile stations
to detect a radio link failure due to the lack of SACCH frames. The BTS RF
performs a local release.
The BTS resets the FU or TRE and waits for the timer to expire. When the
timer expires, the FU or TRE attempts to reestablish the LAPD link with the
BSC. The BTS sends an error report to the BSC with a cause value indicating
O&M intervention.
The BSC releases the RF resources and initiates a Call Release with the MSC.

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5 Call Release

5.3.5 Mobile Station-Initiated Call Release


The mobile station can initiate a Call Release by:

Initiating a radio link failure

Disconnecting the LAPDm connection.

Mobile Station-Initiated If SACCH frames are no longer received from the mobile station, the BTS starts
Radio Link Failure to count the number of missing frames. When the BTS has counted a certain
number of missing SACCH frames, it considers that the radio link has failed.
This happens when the mobile station ’disappears’ from the Air interface
(caused by adverse radio conditions, the mobile station is switched off, fatal
error, etc.).

Note: There is an optional feature where, after a number of missing SACCH frames,
the BSC sets both mobile station and BTS power to maximum in an attempt to
regain the Air Interface. If the BTS continues to register missing frames, the
radio link fails as described below.
The BTS sends a connection_failure_indication message to the BSC with a
cause value indicating that the radio link has failed. The BSC initiates Normal
Call Release procedures to the BTS by sending an RF_channel_release
message to the BTS and a clear_request message to the MSC. This is
shown in the following figure.
MS BTS BSC MSC

Interruption of SACCH frames

start counter
conn
ectio
n fail
ure in
dicati
on
caus
e va
lue

clear
requ
est
as e
e l rele
ch ann
RF

and
mm
r co
clea alue
se v
cau
lu d ing
inc
MIE

MIE : Mandatory Information Element


MS : Mobile station
SACCH : Slow Associated Control Channel
Figure 63: Call Release due to Mobile Station initiated Radio Link Failure
Mobile Station-Initiated If the mobile station has an error which unexpectedly terminates the call,
LAPDm Disconnection it sends a disconnect message to the BTS. The system reaction to the
disconnect message in this instance is the same as when the disconnect
message from the mobile station is prompted by a channel_release message
from the BSC (as explained in BSC-Initiated Release (Section 5.3.2)).

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5 Call Release

5.3.6 Remote Transcoder Alarms


If the Transcoder detects a break in communication with the BTS, it sets a
timer. This timer is defined by GSM standards. On expiration of this timer, the
Transcoder sends an alarm to the BTS. If the BTS remote Transcoder alarm
detection is active, a connection_failure_indication message is sent to the
BSC with a cause value indicating a remote Transcoder alarm.
If the BTS detects a break in communication with the Transcoder, it sends a
connection_failure_indication message to the BSC with a cause value
indicating a remote Transcoder alarm. See the figure below.
During an internal handover, this can cause remote Transcoder alarms to arrive
at the BSC, as the connection is still active but the call has been handed over.
The BSC ignores these alarms for a guard period on new and old channels
during handover.
MS BTS BSC MSC

TC detects a communication
break and times out

Alarm

conn
ectio
n fail
ure in
dicati
on
caus
e valu
e

clear
requ
est
e
leas
el re
chann
RF

and
mm
r co
clea alue
se v
g cau
inc ludin
MIE

MIE : Mandatory Information Element


MS : Mobile station
TC : Transcoder
Figure 64: Call Release due to Communication Failure detected by Transcoder

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

This chapter describes the flow of speech and data traffic across the BSS. It
describes:

Overview
How speech is encoded and rate adapted throughout the BSS

What types of data can be transferred across the BSS

Where data error correction is performed

How the data rate is adapted.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.1 Overview
The BSS performs traffic handling in the uplink and downlink directions
for speech and data.
The BSS uses the BSC and BTS to perform the required radio transmission,
control and baseband functions of a cell and to control the BTSs in its domain.
The TSS provides the efficient use of the terrestrial links between the BSS
components.
Together these components perform the required encoding and rate adaptation
procedures.

6.2 Speech
Speech is passed from the mobile station to the PSTN and from the PSTN to
the mobile station. This section describes how speech is encoded from the
mobile station to the PSTN, as shown in the following figure. Speech in the
opposite direction follows the reverse process and so is not described.
Full Rate Speech TCH

A 13 kbit/s CIM 13 kbit/s 64 kbit/s A/D

BTS BIE BIE BSC SM SM TC MSC PSTN

Mobile
Station

A 6.5 kbit/s CIM 6.5 kbit/s 13 kbit/s 64 kbit/s A/D

Half Rate Speech TCH


A : Analog
A/D : Analog/Digital
BIE : Base Station Interface Equipment
CIM : Channel Encoded, Interleaved, and Modulated
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network
SM : Submultiplexer
TC : Transcoder
TCH : Traffic Channel
Figure 65: Encoded Speech Transmission Across the BSS
Analog The microphone converts speech to an analog signal. The analog signal is
encoded into a digital signal depending on the type of traffic channel used:

13 kbit/s for a full-rate traffic channel (or enhanced full-rate)

6.5 kbit/s for a half-rate traffic channel.

It is then transmitted on a 16 kbit/s (8 kbit/s for half-rate) radio time slot. 3


kbit/s and 1.5 kbit/s are used for signalling on full-rate and half-rate channels
respectively.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

Interleaving and Forward To pass speech over the Air interface, error checking and redundancy are
Error Correction included to make sure speech information is correctly transmitted. This ensures
that valid continuous speech is passed through the BSS.
Error correction is based on high redundancy with complicated parity and cyclic
redundancy methods. This is done to ensure that many types of parasitic and
sporadic errors are detected and to some degree, corrected. In the case of
speech, there is cyclic coding, convolutional and parity error encoding of the
data. The speech data starts as 260 bits (112 bits) and, after forward error
checking, is encoded as a 456 bit block (228 bit block).
These blocks are then split into eight (four for half-rate), and interleaved with
adjacent blocks into TDMA frames to be transmitted as radio wave bursts.
This means that if some of the blocks are lost during transmission, there is
a high chance that the other blocks hold enough redundancy to still have a
valid speech block.

Speech Data Bursts The interleaved blocks are transmitted over the Air interface and are then
reassembled in the BTS. As described above, when the interleaved blocks are
reassembled and checked for parity errors, there is a high chance that the data
can be recovered. In speech data the most significant bits are heavily protected
and are always transmitted at the start of a TDMA frame. This ensures that
even if the speech block cannot be reassembled, at least the most significant
speech data can be used to provide a close approximation.

Digital Speech Speech bursts are returned to digital speech blocks in the BTS. They are sent
to the Transcoder as 13 kbit/s digital speech, plus 3 kbit/s for in-band signalling
if they are full-rate speech. The channels on the Abis and Ater interfaces are
64 kbit/s. The speech blocks to be multiplexed on to these links. This is
shown in the figure below.
Half-rate speech is sent to the BSC on the Abis interface as 6.5 kbit/s, plus
1.5 kbit/s signalling. Two half-rate 8 kbit/s channels are associated together
into a 16 kbit/s channel. On the Ater interface a 16 kbit/s submultiplexing
scheme is used for all types of traffic. The two mated 8 kbit/s Abis channels are
independently switched by the BSC onto two 16 kbit/s Ater channels.
Ater Interface Ater−mux Interface Ater Interface A Interface

BSC SM SM TC MSC

30 x 16 kbit/s user 90 x 16 kbit/s user 30 x 16 kbit/s user 30 x 64 kbit/s user


traffic channels traffic channels traffic channels traffic channels
per link per link per link per link
SM : Submultiplexer
TC : Transcoder
Figure 66: Multiplexed Ater Interface
Digital 64 kbit/s A-law The Transcoder converts the 13 kbit/s digital speech to the 64 kbit/s A-law
Encoded Speech encoding. This is a standard digital speech interface for ISDN and PSTN
exchanges. The information passes through the MSC and is sent to the PSTN.
The Transcoder performs rate adaptation in both directions.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.2.1 Enhanced Full-Rate


Enhanced full-rate provides advanced speech encoding on a full-rate traffic
channel, for improved voice quality and user comfort. The feature uses a
codec with ACELP coding.

Enhanced Full-Rate Enhanced full-rate is enabled in the BSC, on a cell-by-cell basis, by the O&M
Process parameter EFR_ENABLED. When an enhanced full-rate call is set up, the
following processes occur:

The mobile station makes a call requiring speech, in which it announces its
codec preferences to the MSC in the setup message.
The MSC passes appropriate assignment_request and handover_request
messages to the BSC.

The BSC uses the codec list supplied by the MSC to choose the correct
codec, based on the support for the codec in the BTS and A Interface
TRAU equipment.

The BSC activates the selected channel in the BTS, giving the indication
of codec type.

The BTS configures itself to handle the correct channel coding, and starts
sending TRAU frames to the TRAU, in order to configure the TRAU.
The BSC builds either an assignment_command message or a
handover_command message, indicating to the mobile station which
codec it should use when accessing the new channel.

Once the mobile station is attached, the BSC reports the selected codec
type to the MSC.

In the case of subsequent handover if the BSC has had to change the codec
the BSC informs the MSC of the change.

For further information concerning enhanced full-rate, refer to the A1353–RA


Configuration Handbook.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.2.2 Half-Rate
Half-rate speech channels allow the operator to save time slots on the air
interface when the number of available frequencies is very limited. Half-rate
uses a different encoding algorithm than full-rate, in order to minimize any
perceived loss of comfort by the subscriber. Use of the half-rate feature does
create extra overhead on the A interface.
Half-rate is activated on a per-cell basis. In effect, the cell is capable of
operating in Dual Rate\mode, permitting either half-rate or full-rate traffic
channels to be allocated.
Half-rate can be applied to BSSs with the following equipment:

G2 BSC
G2 Transcoder

One of the following BTSs:


G1 BTS equipped with Dual Rate Frame Unit
EVOLIUM™ BTS.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.2.3 Adaptive Multiple Rate


AMR increases the quality of speech during conversations and also increases
the offered capacity due to the provision of half-rate channels.
When looking at current GSM codecs (full-rate, half-rate, and enhanced
full-rate), each of them answers only one facet of capacity and quality
requirements:

Enhanced full-rate brings a higher speech quality than full-rate but with
no noticeable impact on capacity.

Half-rate provides an answer to capacity requirement, but suffers from poor


speech quality in bad radio conditions, or mobile station to mobile station
calls when TFO (see Tandem Free Operation (Section 3.9)) cannot be used.

AMR is a new technology defined by ETSI which relies on two extensive sets of
codec modes. One has been defined for full-rate and one for half-rate. When
used in combined full-rate and half-rate mode, AMR brings new answers to the
trade-off between capacity and quality:

Speech quality is improved, both in full-rate and half-rate.

Offered capacity is increased due to the provision of half-rate channels.


This allows the density of calls in the network to be increased, with only
a low impact on speech quality.

The AMR technology also provides the advantage of a consistent set of


codecs, instead of the one by one introduction of new codecs. Alcatel offer
two versions of AMR:

Full-rate mode only, for operators who do not face capacity issues and want
to benefit from the optimized quality of speech.
Combined full-rate/half-rate mode, for operators who want to benefit from
the above defined trade-off between quality of speech and capacity.

Through these codec mode adaptations, AMR is able to adapt the sharing of
speech information and speech protection to current radio conditions, which
can vary in a large scale, depending on location, speed, and interference.
Therefore, for any radio conditions, the Alcatel BSS is able to offer the best
existing codec, thus the best existing voice quality.
AMR functionality can be activated by configuration of the cells and the BTS
radio resources in all the network elements (OMC, BSC, BTS). The relevant
algorithms are activated on a call by call basis. On the radio interface, the AMR
can only be used with AMR mobiles. On the A interface , the AMR can only
be used if the NSS implements it.
The AMR capability is available on a cell by cell basis.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

Normal Assignment AMR is controlled on a per call basis by the MSC. In the assignment request
message, the MSC gives the Channel type IE, which indicates the following:

In octet 4 if full-rate or half-rate is to be used and if the BSS is allowed to


change.
In octet 5 and following octets indicate that AMR is allowed in half-rate or
full-rate.

The BSC activates the channel in the BTS by sending a channel activation
message, containing the IE Multirate configuration. It indicates the subset
of codecs used for full-rate (or half-rate, respectively) link adaptation, the
threshold and hysteresis sent to the mobile station for full-rate (or half-rate,
respectively) link adaptation and, optionally, the start mode (i.e. the initial codec
mode). If the initial codec mode is not given, the BTS chooses the default start
mode depending on the number of codec modes contained in the subset. Once
the channel is activated within the BTS, the BSC sends all AMR relevant
parameters to the mobile station in the assignment command message.
When the speech path is established and synchronization is performed between
the Transcoder and the BTS, the BTS checks if the Request or Indication
Flag (RIF) given in the TRAU frame is coherent with the type of Codec
Mode (Indication or Command) that should be sent on the radio interface. If
necessary, a CMI_CMR alignment command is sent to the Transcoder. Once
the BTS detects that downlink CMI/CMR is synchronized between the TRAU
frames and the radio interface, it starts codec mode adaptation.

O&M Management This section summarizes the main O&M configuration parameters that can be
changed by the operator from the OMC-R:

AMR_SUBSET_FR Bitmap of 8 bits defining the codec subset for AMR full-rate
(1 to 4 codecs out of 8), on a per BSS basis.

AMR_SUBSET_HR Bitmap of 6 bits defining the codec subset for AMR half-rate
(1 to 4 codecs out of 6), on a per BSS basis.

EN_AMR_CHANNEL_ADAPTATION Flag on a per cell basis, used only for AMR


calls, to enable or disable intra-cell handovers for channel adaptation.

EN_AMR Flag on a per cell basis to enable or disable AMR. This single flag is
used for AMR full-rate and AMR half-rate.

OFFSET_CA_NORMAL Offset for the channel mode adaptation hysteresis


under normal load. It can take the value from 0.0 to 7.0 (step = 0.1) on a
per cell basis.

OFFSET_CA_HIGH Offset for the channel mode adaptation hysteresis under


high load. It can take the value from 0.0 to 7.0 (step = 0.1) on a per cell basis.

RXQUAL_CA_NORMAL Threshold for channel mode adaptation under normal


load. It can take the value 0.0 to 7.0 (step = 0.1) on a per cell basis.

RXQUAL_CA_HIGH Threshold for channel mode adaptation under high load. It


can take the value from 0.0 to 7.0 (step = 0.1) on a per cell basis.

AMR_THR_3, AMR_THR_2, AMR_THR_1 Definition of thresholds on a per BSS


basis.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

AMR_HYST_3, AMR_HYST_2, AMR_HYST_1. Definition of thresholds and


hysteresis, on a per BSS basis.

6.2.4 Channel Mode Adaption


Channel mode adaptation is the change from one full-rate channel to an
half-rate channel and vice-versa. This adaptation is independent from the
codec mode currently used. This feature is available when the AMR half-rate
option has been installed. The operator has direct operational control of it
through the parameter EN_AMR_CHANNEL_ADAPTATION used for both changes
from full-rate to half-rate and from half-rate to full-rate.

Full-Rate Channel This channel adaptation involves ongoing AMR full-rate communications within
Adaptation Due to High cells where half-rate is enabled. During any AMR call, the downlink radio quality
Radio Quality is reported by the mobile station through the RX_QUAL. In the same time, the
uplink radio quality is evaluated by the BTS through the RX_QUAL, and both
are compared to a load dependent threshold. Indeed, in a cell heavily loaded,
a half-rate channel will be preferred even with a bad quality. Whenever both
uplink and downlink radio quality are higher than this threshold, then an intracell
handover takes place from full-rate to half-rate channel. To take into account
the load, two different threshold values are used. The change will also only be
performed if the current channel type is dual rate and it authorizes changes.

Half-Rate Channel This channel adaptation involves ongoing AMR half-rate communications,
Adaptation Due to Low using a dual-rate channel type authorizing changes. During any such AMR
Radio Quality call, the downlink and uplink radio quality are evaluated with the same
metrics as stated for the full-rate channel adaption, and the same threshold
comparison is performed. If either uplink or downlink radio quality are lower
than this threshold, then an intracell handover takes place from half-rate to
full-rate channel. To take into account the load, two different thresholds are
also used but they differ from the ones used in full-rate adaptation by an offset
value which is also cell load dependent. This offset allows a hysteresis to be
introduced between full-rate and half-rate channels.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.3 Circuit-Switched Data


There are two types of circuit-switched data modes:
Transparent

Non-transparent.

Transparent The transparent data mode is based on the V.110 protocol.


V.110 is an ITU recommendation. It specifies how ISDN supports DTE. It also
specifies the transport of synchronous/asynchronous data over a synchronous
link.
Data is packaged and sent to the Transcoder in the same way as speech. It is
converted to the 64 kbit/s ISDN format for data transmission. Error handling is
dealt with by the Air interface.

Non-Transparent The non-transparent data mode is similar, although data is transmitted as


packets from the modem on the mobile station to the modem in PSTN. Error
handling is handled end-to-end.
Refer to Transparent Mode (Section 6.3.1) for more information about the
transparent mode and to Non-Transparent Mode (Section 6.3.2) for more
information about the non-transparent mode.
The following figure illustrates data transmission across the BSS.

BTS BIE BIE BSC SM SM TC MSC PSTN

Mobile
Station
V.110 data blocks ISDN
/Analog
A 13 kbit/s CIM 13 kbit/s 64 kbit/s A/D
A : Analog
A/D : Analog/Digital
BIE : Base Station Interface Equipment
CIM : Channel Encoded, Interleaved, and Modulated
PSTN : Public Switched Telephone Network
SM : Submultiplexer
TC : Transcoder
Figure 67: Data Transmission Across the BSS

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.3.1 Transparent Mode


Transparent mode implies that the following functions are performed by the
BSS:

Interleaving and Channel Coding

Rate adaptation.
Interleaving and Channel Interleaving for data is more complicated than for speech. The data block is split
Coding into 22 parts for interleaving 9.6 kbit/s and 4.8 kbit/s data rates. For 2.4 kbit/s,
the interleaving is the same as speech. The lower the data rate, the more space
can be used for redundancy and error detection. This lowers the error rate.
The Air interface performs the error handling. The V.110 data packets are
grouped together and transmitted across the Air interface exactly like speech.
The table below shows the data rate and error rate. A low data rate provides
more space for a better forward error correction scheme, in turn reducing
the number of errors.

Rate adaptation Data is packaged differently in V.110 for different data rates. The bandwidth is
reduced and therefore the rate is lower. See the table below for the rate
conversions. The Transcoder plays the final role in the rate adaptation when
the data stream is adapted to 64 kbit/s packets.
There is a difference between data and speech rate adaptation. Speech is
encoded to A-law, while data is transposed to the first bit, and if required the
second bit of a Pulse Code Modulation byte. PCM transmission is at 8 000
bytes (64 kbit/s). The 8 kbit/s and 16 kbit/s intermediate rates (before the
Transcoder) are transposed as 1 or 2 bits per byte respectively.

Error Rate (at


User Rate Intermediate Rate Radio Interface Full-Rate)
9600 16 kbit/s 12 kbit/s 0.3%
4800 8 kbit/s 6 kbit/s 0.01%
<=2400 8 kbit/s 3.6 kbit/s 0.001%

Table 20: Circuit-Switched Data Rate Conversions Across the Air Interface

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.3.2 Non-Transparent Mode


The non-transparent data mode is a data transmission protocol. It is based on
sending RLP packets as four V.110 frames. This is the same process used
in transparent mode. Interleaving and channel coding are still used, as they
are in the transparent mode. The RLP adds extra protection and also allows
the re-transmission. Packing RLPs in four V.110 frames ensures transparency
over the network. RLP packet size is the same as a radio block size, so it
is transmitted as one radio block.
The non-transparent data mode uses a 12 kbit/s radio interface rate.
Interleaving and channel coding are at 9.6 kbit/s (the same as in Transparent
mode). The only difference between transparent and non-transparent modes
for the BSS is the processing of the four V.110 frames of an RLP packet.

Error Handling The non-transparent data mode has a better error rate as there is no forward
error checking or interleaving. Therefore, the size of packets remains small and
less prone to errors. There are however, some cyclic redundancy bytes and
the protocol is very similar in principle to (LAPD).

Rate Adaptation There is no rate adaptation in non-transparent mode. The rate can only be
adapted by physically transmitting less than the full bandwidth available. The
data rate is also limited by the number of errors, as packets have to be
retransmitted. The difference between transparent and non-transparent mode
data links is transparent to the Transcoder, but not to the BTS. The Transcoder,
as described in transparent mode, puts the data in the first bits of a PCM byte.
The BTS must ensure that an RLP packet maps into four V.110 frames
numbered 0, 1, 2, 3. These must be sent in one block on the Air interface.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.4 Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast


There are two types of SMS:
Point-to-point SMS allows a short message to be sent to, or received
from, a mobile station

SMS-CB allows messages to be broadcast to the mobile stations (i.e.,


one way).

SMS-CB can be used for a number of reasons, e.g. to transmit emergency


information, road traffic information, etc. An SMS-CB message can be
transmitted to all the cells connected to the BSC, or to selected cells only, as
required.
The following figure shows the SMS-CB components.

Broadcast Message set


up by OMC−R Operator

OMC−R HMI
Broadcast
Message to
Selected SMS−CB
Cell(s) commands
and signaling
BTS BSC
Message
broadcast to all SMS−CB
Transmission commands
Mobile Stations Request and signaling

CBC

Broadcast Message set


up by CBC Operator
CBC : Cell Broadcast Center
HMI : Human Machine Interface
SMS-CB : Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast
Figure 68: Short Message Service - Cell Broadcast

The SMS-CB is managed and operated from a separate CBC. The CBC is
connected to the BSC and the data needed to connect the BSC to the CBC is
sent from the OMC-R.
The operator at the CBC inputs the cell broadcast message identifying the
broadcast text and the selected cell identities. Only one broadcast message
per cell, or cells, is allowed. Any subsequent message simply replaces the
message being broadcast.
The message is sent from CBC to the BSCs handling the selected cells. The
BSCs then send the message to the individual BTSs of the selected cells.
On receipt of the transmission request message from the BSC, the BTS
broadcasts the message to the mobile stations in the cell over the Cell
Broadcast Channel of the Air Interface.
For SMS-CB, the BSC supports only the connection to an external CBC
platform. The SMS-CB implements all of the improvements of the phase 2+
recommendations.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

Phase 2+ Enhancements An external CBC can be connected directly to the BSC. This allows the BSC to
send information to the CBC, e.g., billing information. Two types of connection
can be used to connect the CBC to the BSC:

CBC to BSC via PSDN


This is the default connection. A BSC can be connected to one CBC.

CBC to BSC via MSC


The CBC and OMC-R must be connected to the same MSC

In addition to the feature SMS-CB managed from CBC, the following


enhancements are defined in the phase 2+ GSM recommendation:

Greater throughput with a second CBCH channel (extended CBCH)

Better responsiveness when urgent data is to be broadcast due to the use


of high priority messages. Messages can be allocated a priority of high,
normal, or background.

Better service availability through the restart with recovery indication feature.

The feature brings also better convenience with the support of multipage
messages.

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6 Handling User Traffic Across the BSS

6.5 Support of Localized Service Area


The aim of SoLSA is to link radio resources (cells) with services such as
specific billing or differentiated access rights. These services are associated
to LSAs (Localized Service Area). An LSA can be defined over several cells,
and a cell can belong to several LSAs. One possible usage of this feature
is to enable the efficient deployment of dedicated corporate applications.
The following description uses this example. In order to manage efficiently
corporate LSAs, the Alcatel BSS SoLSA implementation:

Favors the camping of SoLSA mobiles on cells belonging to an LSA where


they have a subscription. These mobile stations will likely camp on the
corporate cells, even if they are not the best ones

Informs the end user that he is camping on a cell belonging to a subscribed


LSA and thus that he can benefit from the LSA services. This is achieved
through the Localized Service Area Indication SoLSA service.

The localized service area concept gives the operator the basis to offer
subscribers or groups of subscribers different service features, different tariffs
and different access rights depending on the location of the subscriber.
It is up to the operator to decide which services features are required for
a specific service.
The LSA (Localized Service Area) can be considered as a logical subnetwork
of the operator‘s PLMN. This subnetwork can be configured by the operator.
A subscriber can have LSA‘s at several PLMN‘s. The following list shows
examples of different types of localized service area:
Office indoors. The office cells are those that are provided by indoor base
stations.

Home or office and its neighborhood. The localized service area can be
broadened outdoors. The neighborhood cells outdoors can be included
into the local service area.

Industry area. A company having several office buildings may want to have a
localized service area that covers all its buildings and outdoor environments.

A part of a city or several locations.

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7 Cell Environments

7 Cell Environments

This chapter describes the cell environments available in the Alcatel 900/1800
BSS. The following cell environments are described:
Overview

Single Cell

Concentric Cell

Sectored Site

Extended Cell
Umbrella Cell

Mini Cell

Microcell.

Indoor cell

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7 Cell Environments

7.1 Overview
The Alcatel BSS provides coverage suited to the needs of urban, rural and
coastal areas by offering a variety of possible cell environments. The BSS
supports a set of cell configurations to optimize the reuse of frequencies. The
operator may choose to deploy a network using both GSM 900 and DCS 1800
bands. The parameters to define cells are grouped into five types:

Cell dimension. This consists of macro up to 35 Km (can be up to 70 km


with extended cell), and micro up to 300 meters.

Cell Coverage. There are four types of coverage, single, lower, upper,
and indoor.

Cell Partition. Two types of frequency partition exist, normal or concentric.


Cell Range. The cell range can be normal or extended.

Cell Band Type. A cell belongs to either the GSM 900 or DCS 1800 bands,
or both in case of a multi-band cell.

Rural and Coastal In the rural and coastal environment coverage is principally a function of cell
Coverage planning. Standard cell layouts provide coverage of up to 35 km. Extended
cells, which have two co-located antennae, provide options covering traffic
density and ranges up to 70 km.

Urban Coverage In the urban environment the coverage is determined by the location of the BTS
antennae. Two types of cells are normally used:

Macrocells - where the antenna is located above the roof tops and
propagation occurs in all directions. These cells can be sectored by using
specific antenna patterns.

Microcells - where the antenna is located below roof top level, on building
facades or street lights. Propagation occurs mainly as line of sight along the
street, with strong attenuation at street corners.

Indoor cells.

These three cell types can be used in a hierarchical cell environment where
continuous coverage is provided by the macrocell (umbrella cell) and locations
of increased traffic density are covered by dedicated microcells and indoor
cells. See Umbrella Cell (Section 7.5) for more information.
The figure below shows various configurations of the normal GSM 900 or GSM
1800 cell type. Each of the following sections explain the functional differences
between the cell described and the single cell configuration.

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7 Cell Environments

Inner Zone

Outer Zone
Single Cell Concentric
Cell

Sectored Site

Umbrella Cell

Microcell
Microcell
Umbrella &
Microcell Concentric
Cell

Inner Cell Outer


Limit Microcell
Microcell

Microcell

Extended Cell

Inner Cell

Outer Cell

Overlap Zone Outer Cell Inner


Limit

Figure 69: Example: Cell Configurations

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7.2 Concentric Cell


The goal of concentric cells is to increase the frequency economy of the
network. This is done by reducing the interference levels of some BTS carriers.
These carrier frequencies can be re-used for smaller distances.
The inner zone serves a high concentration of mobile station calls in a small
area, with a reduced maximum power output limit. The outer zone performs call
handling for a greater radius with a normal maximum power output limit.
The BCCH, CCCH and SDCCH in concentric cells are put on the outer
zone frequencies. Traffic channel assignment during call connection can be
allocated to either the outer or inner zones. It depends on the location of the
mobile station at that time.
The inner and outer zones are part of the same cell, and a frequency carrier is
assigned either to the inner or outer zone. This is signalled by the zone_type
flag of 1 or 0, (1=inner, 0=outer).
The outer zone maximum power limit is the same as normal zones. The
inner zone is controlled by two maximum power limit values: one maximum
power limit value for the mobile station and one maximum power limit value for
the BTS.

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7.3 Sectored Site


A sectored site consists of one or more BTS. Each BTS hosts up to six
antennae illuminating up to six sectors, each sector covering a separate single
macrocell. The figure below shows a three-sector arrangement.
The BTS in a sectored site contains up to three transceivers which are each
allocated to different given sectors. Each sector and its associated cell are
managed independently and are seen functionally, by the OMC and BSC, as
separate BTSs connected in chain mode.
Within the physical BTS site, there is a master BTS and up to two slave BTSs
(for G2 BTS and G3 BTS, each BTS can have three slaves using the Shared
Cell feature, see Cell Shared by Two BTS (Section 7.6) for more information).
Each BTS generates its own clock locally, but the slave BTSs are synchronized
to the master BTS.

Sector
1

Cell 1

BTS

Cell 2 Sector
2

Cell 3

Sector
3 Antenna

Figure 70: Sectored site configuration

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7.4 Extended Cell


An extended cell is made up of two cells, an inner and an outer, as shown in the
figure below. The inner cell handles calls up to a distance of 35 km (the same as
a normal cell), while the outer cell handles traffic from 33 km up to a maximum
range of 70 km. Extended cells are supported only by EVOLIUM™ BTSs.

Inner Cell

Highway
Urban Area
70 km
max
Outer Cell

35 km
max

Figure 71: Example of Extended Cell Topology

The inner and outer cells are covered by two synchronized, co-located G2
BTSs. The reception (uplink) of the outer cell is delayed to correspond to a 33
km shift in range. Radio continuity between the two cells is ensured by the
overlap zone.
The inner cell uses two carrier units:

Carrier Unit BCCH Inner: at the inner cell BCCH frequency

Carrier Unit RACH Catcher: at the outer cell BCCH frequency, but with
transmission switched off.

Because the outer cell can have areas of strong signal within the inner cell’s
coverage area, it is necessary to prevent a mobile station in such a region
from camping on the outer cell frequency. This could lead to sudden signal
degradation as conditions change, and eventual loss of the call.
The RACH Catcher receives channel_request messages from mobile stations
which are synchronized on the outer cell BCCH frequency, but are within 33
km of the BTS. The BTS knows, from the timing advance sent by the mobile
station, that it is actually in the inner cell, and assigns the mobile station
to an inner cell SDCCH frequency.
The outer cell uses one Carrier Unit with reception delayed by 60 bits. This
effectively shifts the logical position of a mobile station 33 km nearer than
its actual position and allows it to be handled in the standard GSM 0-63 bit
timing advance range.
The handover procedure is controlled normally, with the settings ensuring that
the necessary distance has been reached before handing a call over to the
outer or inner cell.
Different types of coverage are possible depending on the type of antenna
used for the inner and outer cells. The example in the figure above shows an
extended cell with an omnidirectional inner cell and directional outer cell.

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Enlarged Extended Cell The enlarged extended cell is an extended cell designed to provide enlarged
capacity for areas where sustained traffic is high. It is especially well-suited for
rural areas and dense highways where more than one TRX is necessary to
handle traffic.
The enlarged extended cell relies on the general principles of the extended
cell: it is made up of two sub-cells to handle calls up to a distance of 70 km.
However, with enlarged extended cell the two sub-cells are covered by one
BTS, assuring a higher synchronization rate.
The following telecom features are supported:

The TDMA frame time slots can be used independently, providing any
TRX with full capacity

Inner cell mobile station access requests use the outer cell BCCH frequency

Handover between the two sub-cells

BCCH TRX recovery.

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7.5 Umbrella Cell


In much denser traffic areas, depending on the required traffic capacity, a
hierarchical network is used, where continuous coverage is provided by an
umbrella cell (macrocell), and traffic hot-spots are covered with dedicated lower
layer cells of limited range. Fast moving mobiles are kept in the upper layer cell
to avoid a high rate of handovers.
For medium density areas small macrocells (called mini cells) are overlaid with
one umbrella macrocell. See Mini Cell (Section 7.5.1) for more information.
For higher traffic densities microcells are installed in all the streets where very
dense traffic occurs. Umbrella macrocells provide continuous coverage for level
and quality handovers, and saturated overlaid cells.
Refer to Microcell (Section 7.5.2) for more information about the relationship
between umbrella cells and microcells.

7.5.1 Mini Cell


Mini cells are used for dense urban areas where traffic hot-spots are covered
by very small macrocells (500 m to 1 km radius) and continuous coverage is
provided by an overlaid macrocell (5 to 10 km radius). The lower layer mini
cells handle pedestrian traffic while the umbrella cell handles the faster moving
mobiles. As only macrocells are used there is no street corner effect.
The following figure shows the application of the two-layer hierarchical network,
with macrocells for both layers, in a small town.
Umbrella Cell

Pedestrian area

Mini Cells

Urban area
Figure 72: Umbrella Cell with Mini Cells

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7.5.2 Microcell
Microcells have a small coverage area (less than 300 m radius). These cells
are usually situated indoors or along streets in built-up areas. Microcells
have an umbrella cell (1 to 2 km radius) to minimize the risk of losing calls
by providing maximum coverage.
The microcell’s small radius is created by limiting the maximum power output
strategically to cover a pre-defined microcell area.
Handover occurs more frequently in a microcell environment due to the small
radius sizes. Microcell handovers occur:

To handle stationary mobile stations (especially mobile stations used


indoors)
When a mobile station moves in a street covered by microcells

To avoid losing calls. Whenever there is a risk of losing a call, a handover


is triggered to the umbrella cell.

Fast moving mobiles are handled by the umbrella cell. A mobile handled by a
microcell is sent to the umbrella cell if the delay between handovers becomes
too small. Conversely a mobile is sent to a microcell if it receives a high
level of signal for a sufficient time.
Call quality/control is achieved by providing four thresholds for microcell
handover and one handover threshold for macrocell handover.

7.5.2.1 Micro to Micro Handover


Microcell to microcell handover occurs due to the proximity of the two cells.
When the power budget is better in another cell, the mobile station is handed
over to the cell which will serve the call more efficiently. This normally occurs in
microcells serving in the same street.
7.5.2.2 Micro to Macro Handover
High Threshold This type of handover occurs when the signal strength has dropped below the
Handover theoretical signal level at the radius of the cell. This would normally mean that
the mobile station has turned a street corner.

Low Threshold This type of handover occurs when the mobile station level is under the high
Handover threshold and the signal level has dropped below the low threshold. The
handover is to the umbrella/macrocell, which supports the call until the mobile
station moves into another cell. When the macro to micro threshold is exceeded
in the umbrella/macrocell, the mobile station is passed to a new microcell.

Rescue Handover The mobile station is forced to handover to the umbrella cell when no
measurement reports are transmitted. This occurs after a number of
consecutive SACCH reporting periods.

7.5.2.3 Macro to Micro Handover


M_to_m Threshold This occurs when the mobile station signal level in a microcell is above the
Handover M_to_m threshold for a certain period. This threshold value must always
be higher than the low threshold value of the cell. Otherwise, a handover
ping-pong effect can occur between the umbrella and the microcell.

Note: If the low threshold is not used, the M_to_m Threshold value must be above the
high threshold value.

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7.5.2.4 Threshold Handover Example


The example in the figure below shows two typical cases of handover in
microcells:

Micro-micro handover along a street (Case 1 in the figure below)

Signal levels rising and dropping, causing macro/micro handover (Case


2 in the figure below). This example shows the use of the two levels
of Macro-micro handover (strong to weak signal, and weak to weaker
signal). This is represented by the high and low threshold handovers. This
example also shows the macrocell handing back to a microcell once a
stronger signal level is received.

High Signal Level

1
Micro−Micro
Handover
2
High Threshold
d 3 4 6
B M_to_m Threshold
m
Low Threshold
5

Low Signal Level


Figure 73: Example: Handovers due to Threshold Triggering
Micro-Micro Handover A mobile station is moving along a street.
(Case 1) As it moves along a street, the mobile station is handed over from microcell to
microcell (1).

Macro-Micro Handover A mobile station turns a corner then moves indoors.


(Case 2) 1. Call starts at (2). The signal level is normal.
2. The mobile station signal level drops below the high threshold level (3), e.g.
when turning a corner. To protect the call, it is handed over to the macrocell
until a better microcell is found. The call remains with the macrocell until a
strong signal from another microcell is received (normal case).
3. If a strong signal from a microcell cannot be found, a weaker signal from a
microcell with enough strength to be above M_to_m threshold level, but
remain below the high threshold is found (4).
In this case, as long as the signal strength remains above the low threshold
and there is not a better microcell, the call remains with that microcell
(e.g. the mobile station is indoors).
4. The signal level drops below the low threshold (5). The mobile station is
again passed to the macrocell (e.g. the mobile station moves further inside
a building). The macrocell is used to ensure call quality.
5. The mobile station moves into a position whereby the mobile station reports
a microcell signal level above M_to_m threshold (6). The call is handed
over to that microcell, e.g. the mobile station is still indoors, but has a
stronger signal from a microcell.

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7.5.2.5 Indoor Cell


The aim of indoor layer support is twofold:

Firstly, to enable a better radio coverage inside large buildings (hotels,


shopping malls, corporate centers) by the public network.

Secondly, to unloaded the cells provided for outdoor coverage but which are
accessible from these buildings.

Indoor cells can be deployed in all types of network, even in already very dense
networks which already have two layers (upper and lower). The feature eases
the optimization of multilayer networks which include cells dedicated to indoor
coverage. Indoor coverage is performed mostly from outdoor BTS. Although
already satisfactory in many cases, the indoor quality of service can be
improved by using dedicated in-building equipment. Together with this improved
quality, an increase in the indoor capacity can be achieved, particularly in high
density public areas such as airports, train stations, shopping malls, business
parks, etc. A three layer per band management is introduced and a new type
of cell is defined (the indoor cell) that maximizes traffic in these indoor cells
while preserving quality. In idle mode, classical criteria (C2) allows mobiles to
be forced to camp on indoor cells.
For example, when entering a building covered by an indoor cell, calls are
automatically transferred from outdoor cells, whatever their type. When moving
inside the building, calls are transferred from one indoor cell to another one,
even if the received power from outdoor cells is higher. It is only when the
mobile leaves the indoor coverage that it is transferred to an outdoor cell.
It is important for the Operator to minimize interference from indoor to
outdoor. Therefore, indoor cells will often be used with very low radiated
power (picocells). In this context, the feature provides also enhanced Power
Control algorithms.
The cells added to the network for indoor coverage are referred as indoor cells
and form a new layer referred as the indoor layer. The following figure gives an
example of network structure with three layers and two bands.

Umbrella cell 1800


Upper layer

Umbrella cell 900

Micro−cell 1800 Micro−cell 1800 Micro−cell 1800 Lower layer


Micro−cell 900 Micro−cell 900 Micro−cell 900

Indoor cell 1800


Indoor layer
Indoor cell 900

Figure 74: Indoor cell example network hierarchy with three layers and two bands

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The already deployed network hierarchy has to be adapted as follows:


If there were already two layers, cells belonging to the upper layer will
remain unchanged. Outdoor cells belonging to the lower layer will also
remain in the lower layer. New cells introduced for the indoor layer will
belong to the indoor layer.

If there was only one layer, cells having the cell_layer_type single will
become upper. New cells introduced for the indoor layer will belong to the
indoor layer. There is no lower layer.

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7.6 Cell Shared by Two BTS


The system is able to handle cells whose TRXs are located in two different
BTS. This feature brings important flexibility by allowing:

An existing site to be extended by only adding TRXs in a new BTS, not


changing the arrangement of the existing BTS.
Existing cells to be combined into one, e.g. combine one 900 cell and one
1800 cell in order to get a multi-band cell.

The support of 3x8 TRXs configurations in 2 racks (instead of 3).


The support of 16 TRX per cell.

Note: This feature is applies only to BTS A9100.


Each set of TRX in a certain BTS must have its own coupling. It is possible to
combine the coupling output towards the same antenna through an additional
duplexer, although this is a special installation. The fact that part of the sector is
in another BTS does not increase the number of necessary antennae. For BTS
A9100, each BTS can have one slave, but each slave can in turn have another
slave, up to a maximum of 3 linked slaves for one master BTS. If linked BTSs
support part of the same cell, the linked BTSs must be clock synchronized with
each other (master/slave).
With this feature, the operator can associate two physical sectors from different
BTSs into one shared sector. This shared sector can be mono or dual-band
and it can support one cell as a normal sector. It takes the identity of one of
the physical sectors, called the main sector. The other physical sector is
the secondary sector.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8 Operations & Maintenance

This chapter provides an overview and describes O&M functions in the context
of an operational network. It describes:
Overview

O&M Architecture and Functions

O&M Control - The OMC-R

Configuration Management

Fault Management - Alarms


Performance Management

Audits

Remote nventory.

This chapter does not describe the principles of O&M. For more information
about O&M, refer to the Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.1 Overview
To ensure that the BSS operates correctly, O&M actions are implemented at
all levels within the BSS. The O&M functions in the BSS are grouped into
three categories:

Configuration Management
Fault Management

Performance Management.

These categories are described later.

8.2 O&M Architecture and Functions


The BSS subsystems perform O&M functions, as follows:

Configuration Management
The main benefit of configuration management is the reduced time needed
to perform operations and reduce telecom outages. This is achieved by
having fewer operator commands and providing smooth migration and
equipment configuration. The main functions of configuration management
include radio configuration management and equipment management.

Fault Management
The BTS monitors the condition of the hardware modules it manages,
and reports any change in status to the BSC.
The BSC supervises its own hardware modules and reports changes
in status to the OMC-R.
The BSC and Transcoder provide together a set of transmission O&M
functions to ensure a high level of fault tolerance and reliability. The
function also provides efficient use of the terrestrial links between the
equipment of the BSS.
The MFS, like the BSC, supervises its own hardware modules and
reports changes in status to the OMC-R.
Hardware and software management of the MFS is provided using
the IMT.
The OMC-R is the primary control station for the BSS/MFS and is
the heart of the O&M function.

Performance Management
Performance Management consists of three main system activities:
The collection of raw measurement data from network elements by
the BSC and the MFS
The transfer of the raw measurements to the OMC-R
The processing of the raw measurements and presentation of the
results on the OMC-R.

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8.2.1 O&M Architecture


Control of O&M Local Maintenance Terminals are used when performing maintenance tasks at
Functions the BSC, BTS, and Transcoder. LMTs are connected directly to the equipment.
The operations available at the LMTs act only on the local hardware, not
on logical resources.
The IMT performs maintenance tasks at the MFS, using a Netscape browser.
All these tasks (except for three tasks associated with alarms, enable/disable
sound, view history file, and enable/disable external alarm management) can
also be accessed from the OMC-R terminal. The IMT alarm tasks are not
provided when the IMT is accessed from the OMC-R because the OMC-R
already has its own alarm management tasks.
The IMT software can be accessed from either the IMT or the OMC-R. It has
three different user profiles: administrator, operational, basic.
If the IMT software is accessed from the IMT, only one session at a time can be
run. Two instances of the IMT can be in use at the same time. For example,
if there is one IMT connected to the MFS, then only one IMT window can
be opened at the OMC-R.
For more information about LMTs, refer to one of the following:

BSC Terminal User Guide


Transmission Terminal User Guide
BTS Terminal User Guide
EVOLIUM A925 Compact TC Terminal User Guide
EVOLIUM A935 MFS IMT User Guide
OML Auto-detection An OML auto-detection feature has been introduced in order to take full
advantage of the transmission configuration via OML feature (it is more
reliable and more robust than configuration via the Qmux channel). The OML
auto-detection feature provides the following benefits:
Transmission configuration via OML on all EVOLIUM™ BTS

No LMT configuration necessary during Move BTS

Secure recovery after OML breakdown

A simplification of the BTS installations (in the idea of Plug&Play BTS).

See OML Auto-detection (Section 8.4.5) for more information.

Managed Objects Managed Objects are used to represent elements of the Telecommunication
TMN environment on the Q3 interface in terms of system resources. This
concept is also used to represent the activities of management function blocks
performed on these resources.
In Alcatel’s network management model, Managed Objects can be physical
entities, such as a BSS, BTS, BSC, or a hardware module within one of these
entities. They can also be a logical entity, such as programs or program
routines which implement communication protocols.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

Security Blocks Alcatel has an internal object model structure, based on objects called
Security Blocks. Security Blocks are only used for the BSC, the BTS, and
the Transcoder. Security Blocks are only visible to an operator performing
local maintenance using certain LMTs, i.e. BSC terminal, BTS terminal, or
transmission terminal. The SBL model is not used by the OMC-R or the IMT.
The OMC-R can display SBLs in certain circumstances, e.g. in BSSUSM.

8.2.2 O&M Functions


Each BSS subsystem has its own O&M function.

Configuration Configuration Management is the process of viewing and controlling network


Management resources. Configuration Management allows the operator to:

Configure the BSS/MFS hardware and software when it is first installed

Change the network by adding, deleting, or moving network entities

Upgrade to new hardware or software


Change equipment and telecom parameters to improve system performance.

Fault Management Fault Management allows the operator to supervise and to repair the network
when anomalies occur. It does this through a sequence of steps from
detection to reporting and recovery. These are carried out by all the BSS/MFS
subsystems, and are reported to the operator at the OMC-R.

Performance Performance Management allows the operator to monitor the efficiency of the
Management system and the telecom services. It is controlled entirely from the OMC-R
and provides measurements and statistics about various traffic events and
resource usage in the BSS.

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8.3 O&M Control - The OMC-R


The OMC-R is the primary control station for the BSS/MFS and is the heart
of the O&M function. Its principal operations are:

Network configuration. Provides the operator with an interface to the


system to:
Perform software configuration management (files, version downloading)
Perform hardware configuration management (e.g. update the
configuration according to extension-reduction operations, configure
certain BSS parameters such as Abis link characteristics and some
BTS characteristics)
Provide configuration functions for logical parameters.

Network supervision. Provides the operator with an interface to the system


to:
Display alarm status and history
Display equipment and resource states
Monitor and display Performance Measurements
Provide Usage State on Demand observations
Definition and supervision of counter thresholds (Quality of Service
alarms).

Network maintainance. Provides the operator with an interface to the


system to:
Access to equipment management functions (test)
Access to resource equipment state management.

Locking and unlocking equipment and resources

Keeping track of hardware and software configurations in the system and


managing software versions

Providing mediation between the Alcatel BSS and one or more NMCs.
This uses the Q3 interface.

Provide an interface to the electronic documentation collection.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.3.1 Multiple Human-Machine Interface


This feature permits one OMC-R operator to perform actions normally done by
several OMC-Rs, typically during off-duty hours. The connection between the
multiple access workstation and the other OMC-R hosts is made via an X.25
network. The following figure illustrates the principle of operation.

Central Site

Additional
Printer
Workstation

HMI Multiple Access


Server Workstation

X.25 Network

OMC−R OMC−R
Host 1 Host n

OMC−R
Host 2

HMI : Human Machine Interface


Figure 75: Multiple HMI Access to OMC-Rs

The implementation of this feature takes advantage of the distributed


configuration of the OMC-R which usually consists of a host machine and
distinct local or remote HMI servers.

Central Site The site used for multiple access contains the following:
Configuration Printing facilities

Additional workstations which connect to the multiple access workstation,


but only connect to the same OMC-R
Configuration of each OMC-R is specific to the multiple access workstation
and its peripherals.

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8.3.2 ACO
Alarm Call Out (ACO) is a process within the HMI server to perform alarm
management tasks for a complete network. Alarms from the BSSs controlled
by other OMC-Rs are directed to one OMC-R. These links are used to transfer
alarm notifications from the controlled OMC-Rs to the ACO OMC-R as shown in
the figure below. The ACO OMC-R collects alarms from these OMCs, applies
filters defined by the on duty operator, sends the filtered results to a dedicated
printer and sends e-mail to support technicians.
ACO can be started and stopped from any OMC-R.
ACO OMC−R

Workstation

OMC−R 3

OMC−R 1 Area 3

Area 1

OMC−R 2

Area 2

ACO : Alarm Call Out


Figure 76: ACO Links

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.3.3 Secured X.25 Connection From BSC to OMC-R


The Secured X.25 Connection feature provides redundant links in the event of a
link failure on either the OMC-R or BSC side. When a link failure occurs, the
initiator system involved must process the change over.
The configuration for the X.25 links consists of two physical links, one for
CMISE, and one for FTAM. The following figure illustrates the configuration
without redundancy.

OMC−R
X.25 Network
BSC A
CMISE BSC A CMISE
HSI 0 OSI CPRA 1
BOARD
1
2 FTAM BSC A FTAM
3 OSI CPRA 2

CMISE : Common Management Information Service Element


CPRA : Common Processor Type A
FTAM : File Transfer Access and Management
HSI : High Speed Interface
OSI : Open System Interconnection
Figure 77: X.25 Without Redundancy

Definition of the primary and the secondary links based on their hardware
configuration can achieve various types of redundancy, such as:

OMC-R side redundancy

BSC side redundancy

Complete redundancy.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

The following figure illustrates these redundancy types.

OMC−R
X.25 BSC
Network Primary Link
HSI 0 OSI CPRA 1
Board
1 1

2 2
OSI CPRA 2
3 3 Secondary
Link

Secondary Link Configurations


1. OMC−R side redundancy
2. BSC side redundancy
3. Complete redundancy
CPRA : Common Processor Type A
HSI : High Speed Interface
OSI : Open System Interconnection
Figure 78: X.25 With Redundancy
X.25 Link Transfer When the OMC-R or the BSC sets up a CMISE or FTAM association, the
Scenario subsystem chooses the active link. The active link is the primary link if it is in
traffic, otherwise it is the secondary link. The following events occur:

The transfer is performed on the primary link if the association is successful.


The association is attempted three times.

The primary link is set out of service if the association is unsuccessful


after the third try.

If the secondary link is in traffic, it becomes the active link and the
association is tried on this link.

If the secondary link is out of service, the application is impossible.


Links are periodically tested for availability. When the primary link is recovered
it becomes active and in traffic. Loss of one link (i.e. primary or secondary)
triggers an alarm and the recovery triggers the end of alarm.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.3.4 Electronic Documentation


Installation and use of the electronic documentation collection depends of the
configuration.

Small Configurations The documentation collection is installed on each OMC-R as a collection


without a Verity search engine. To search the documentation collection, install
the documentation collection CD-ROM on a single PC, and use the search
function provided on the CD-ROM.

Standard, Large, and The license for the documentation collection and Verity search engine is
XLarge Configurations installed on one OMC-R. All other OMC-R on the same site are connected
to this OMC-R. The maximum number of users that can be managed for
each search engine license is 75. This corresponds to a site with five Large
configuration OMC-R.
Refer to A1353-RA Capacity per BSS Category for more information on the
various OMC-R configurations.

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.4 Configuration Management


Configuration Management, simply, is the process of putting in place the
essential hardware and software components of the network, and determining
their operating capabilities. The table below shows the configuration
management functions of each network element.

Network Element Configuration Management Functions


BSC
Software and database replacement
Reading and modifying logical parameters.
BTS
Supervision of the BTS equipment. This includes
initializing and configuring the BTS.

Transfer of software and data files to the FUs


(G1/G2 BTS) or TREs (BTS A9100/A910)

Software and database replacement

Auto Identification (BTS A9100/A910 only).


See Auto Identification (Section 8.4.4) for more
information.

Application of the logical configuration of the BTS.


Transcoder
Communication through the Q1 interface with the
Transcoder, SM and BIE modules

Permission for configuration and reconfiguration


of the Transcoder, SM and BIE modules.
TSC
Communication through the LAPD link with the
BSC

MFS
Reading and modifying parameters

Control station and GPU configuration

Framer configuration for Gb Interface messages

GPU switch configuration for circuit-switched


connections.

Table 21: Configuration Management Functions

For detailed information about configuration management refer to the


Configuration Management chapter in the Operations & Maintenance Principles
document or the descriptive documentation.

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8.4.1 Hardware Configuration


Hardware Configuration enables the operator to control the placement in
service of both BSS and MFS hardware, the manner in which deployed
hardware elements will act and interact within the BSS and MFS, and to modify
the parameters that control these elements. It also permits the operator to view
the current hardware configuration status of the network.

8.4.2 Logical Configuration


There are three types of Logical Configuration:

Radio Logical Configuration allows the operator to change the parameters


that control the Air Interface. This includes channel definitions, manipulating
and reconfiguring the Carrier Units or TREs and defining the Frequency
Hopping System.
Cell Logical Configuration displays and modifies BSS logical parameters
and threshold values which influence a cell’s operational behavior. These
are divided into several classes which simplify searches.
GPRS Logical Configuration allows the management of the following:
The telecommunications application, including bearer channels, Gb
Interface, Ater Mux Interface towards the BSC, and cell management
domains.
Synchronization of the logical GPU resource states after a server
changeover.
Configuration of a logical GPU when requested by the GPU (after a
start, reset or changeover).
Network service configuration and the supervision of the Gb Interface
domain.

8.4.3 Software Configuration


Software Configuration enables new versions of the BSS software to be
installed in the BSS. This feature also allows the operator to display current
software versions of the BSS. BSC and BTS software is managed from the
OMC-R, MFS software is managed from the IMT.

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8.4.4 Auto Identification


Auto Identification gives the BTS A9100 and the BTS A910 the capacity to
recognize their own hardware configuration, and to provide this information
to the OMU and the BTS Terminal.
The auto identification procedure is triggered by the OMU in the following
situations:

BTS/SUM power up

BTS reset
OMU reset/auto reset

Module initialization (on maintenance operator command, or during a Local


Recovery Action or Hardware Extension, the auto identification takes place
only for the module(s) concerned by the operation).

The BTS A9100 and the BTS A910 capabilities received by the OMU at auto
identification are stored and can be used internally by the OMU software or
sent to the BSC at Hardware audit.
Auto identification has two components:
Remote Inventory

RF Cable Identification.

Remote Inventory Remote inventory identifies the following:

RIT type of each managed module

Hardware capabilities of each RIT.


RF Cable Identification RF Cable Identification provides the following information:

Location of each RIT (subrack and slot)

Sector to antenna network x mapping

TRE to antenna network x mapping.

For more information, refer to the BTS Functional Description and the BTS
Terminal User Guide.

Consistency Checks When a new Configuration Data Message is received from the BSC, the BTS
A9100 and the BTS A910 performs a consistency check of its capabilities
against the Configuration Data Message. It also does this at module
initialization due to maintenance operator command or to a Hardware Extension
operation. The BTS A9100 and the BTS A910 also checks that the received
OMU Configuration Parameter Data File is valid for this generation of BTS.
Consistency checks are also performed by G1 and G2 BTS.
For more information, refer to the following:

EVOLIUM BTS A9100/A910 Functional Description


EVOLIUM BTS A9100 Hardware Description
EVOLIUM BTS A910 Hardware Description
BTS Terminal User Guide

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8 Operations & Maintenance

8.4.5 OML Auto-detection


An OML auto-detection feature has been introduced in order to take full
advantage of the transmission configuration via OML feature (it is more
reliable and more robust than configuration via the Qmux channel). The OML
auto-detection feature provides the following benefits:

The feature allows one extra time slot to be used for signalling (if no G1/G2
BTS are present on the Abis interface). This provides an increase of telecom
traffic on one Abis (because there are no time slots dedicated to the Qmux).

There is no need of on-site BTS reconfiguration during a move BTS scenario


(using the LMT to reconfigure the BTS). Also, the Qmux address for the
EVOLIUM™ BTS can be modified remotely from the OMC-R.

No need of on-site BTS reconfiguration during an OML multiplexing change


(from 16k to 64k)

Secure recovery after OML breakdown

Simplification of the commissioning procedure: No synchronization any


more between OMC-R and commissioning people. The BTS can be
installed before or after the BTS is created at the OMC-R.

The OMC-R operator no longer needs to know on which time slot is the
OML, and no longer needs to configure it manually.

Transmission configuration via OML for all EVOLIUM™ BTS.

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8.4.6 NE Provisioning
Network element provisioning allows equipment that is not yet in commercial
use to be distinguished from equipment that is under maintenance. This is mot
important for network monitoring. The feature introduces the status "commercial
use" that can be associated to the BTS. This status is changeable online from
the OMC-R. It is also available at the radio configuration export/import interface
of the OMC-R for coordination with the operators‘ information systems. For the
BTS marked as "not in commercial use", potential alarms are raised with only a
"warning" severity and the performance measurement results are not taken
into account. The BTS marked as "not in commercial use" are not reported
in the topology files sent to the A985-NPA and A956-RNO. They can be also
filtered from the supervision view.
Previously, as soon as a BTS was declared, it was supervised, but this raised
permanent alarms when the BTS was not physically connected. If cells were
created on this BTS, PM cell measurements were running on the BTS, and this
lead to very poor PM results as the BTS was not in commercial service.
An attribute (commercialUse = On or Off) is associated to each BTS. The
attribute can be changed from both the SC and the PRC radio network level
to mark the BTS as out of commercial use, or in commercial use. When this
attribute is set (i.e. the BTS is out of commercial use), all alarms related to the
BTS have a severity maximum equal to a warning (except for the alarms from
the MFS). At the OMC-R, the operator still sees all of the alarms and alarm
states, and is able to trigger all O&M commands, as usual. This allows the
operator to be aware of the fault situation of the BTS, but does not give a false
status of the network. There is no PM handling and storage for the BTS that are
marked out of commercial use (except for the PM counters that are relative to
RSL/OML traffic which are not filtered).

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8.5 Fault Management - Alarms


The BSS generates alarms to signal a change in the behavior of a particular
function within the system, such as a potential problem or a confirmed failure
in the system.
This section describes the alarm generation process. It describes the alarms
and their effects on the system.
The following table shows the fault management functions of each network
element.

Network Fault Management Functions


Element
BSC
Fault detection, fault correlation and fault localization on
all devices controlled by the processor

BSC reconfiguration in case of loss of the BCCH,


Terminal Control Unit/FU or a Carrier Unit (G1 or G2
BTS)

BSC reconfiguration in case of loss of the BCCH,


TCU/TRE (BTS A9100/A910).
Through the TSC, the BSC also performs the following
functions:

Status monitoring of the Transcoder, SM and BIE


modules
Local access provision to configuration of the
Transcoder, SM and BIE modules via an RS-232
connection to the BSC terminal.
Giving access to the fault localizing features of the TSC
(for example, the ability to set up loop-back tests)

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BTS
Testing of the equipment. This includes collecting
alarms and reporting to the BSC.

Fault detection, fault correlation and fault localization


for the BTS

Management of equipment states. This includes


triggering BTS channel configuration in case of a failure.

Access provision for the local diagnostics and


configuration of the BTS

BTS power supply control

Event report management. See Alarm Generation


(Section 8.5.1) for further information concerning
events.
MFS
Collects all fault information for telecom and external
alarms, the telecommunications hardware and the
active server
Records the fault information in a table

Allows the IMT and the OMC-R to access the fault


information

Generates the ending alarm for pending alarms


Manages the communications with the IMT.

Table 22: Fault Management Functions

For additional information about fault management refer to the descriptive


documentation and the Fault Management chapter of the Operations &
Maintenance Principles document.

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8.5.1 Alarm Generation


When an Alarm is generated, it is indicated as either:

Fault (begin or end)


If a fault arises, the related alarm is stored in the relevant BSS unit, and also
in the OMC-R. The alarm begin message signals that a particular system
activity has stopped due to an error. When the error is corrected, an alarm
end message is sent to indicate that the condition no longer exists, and the
alarm is taken out of the Alarms-in-Force List.

Event
An Event occurs when an unexpected situation arises during system
operation.

Alarms can be generated as a result of previous alarms or events which


influence other parts of the system. For example, when the Carrier Unit
produces an alarm to signal an internal fault, the FU and the Radio Signalling
Link produce alarms to signal that no information is being received from the
Carrier Unit. Fault correlation and filtering actions are performed by the O&M
modules in each unit, so that a single fault is sent as an alarm. In the case of
the faulty Carrier Unit, an alarm is sent signalling a Carrier Unit fault. In this
example, the loss of the RSL link is signalled from the BSC but is not correlated.
Refer also to the Alarm Handling section of the Operations & Maintenance
Principles document.

8.5.2 Alarm Functions


Correlation Correlation refers to the collection and analysis of all available fault indications
for a particular problem. Fault correlation is performed to define where and why
the fault occurred.
An example of correlation is as follows:
1. When several boards in the BTS report clock problems, these reports are
correlated by the OMU.
2. The ’clock generator is faulty’ alarm is sent to the OMC-R via the BSC.

Filtering Alarms are filtered to minimize the number of fault alarms reported and
displayed to the operator. Alarms are displayed in order of severity.
Refer also to the Alarm Handling section of the Operations & Maintenance
Principles document.

Persistency A fault is signalled only if there is no recovery after the timer expiration. For
example, in the case of an LAPD failure of an RSL link, an alarm is sent only if
the LAPD link has not recovered before the persistency timer has expired.

Alarm Surveillance AS is an OMC-R application that supports fault management integration in


TMN functions. It collects alarms issued by applications residing in the various
Management Layers and processes them.

Alarms-in-Force List Each BSS component keeps an Alarms-in-Force List, so that the system
knows that an alarm has begun. This list ensures synchronization of alarms
throughout the BSS components. This makes the alarm situation visible
at all times. The OMC-R also keeps track of all the Alarms-in-Force Lists
for each BSS component.

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8.5.3 BSC Alarms


The BSC detects alarms on the Abis and A trunk via the TCU and the DTC. It
also detects alarms from each functional unit of the BSC.
Refer also to the Alarm Handling section of the Operations & Maintenance
Principles document.

Processor Failure The active S-CPRA creates a daisy-chain map of all the processors in the
BSC. Every ten seconds, the S-CPRA sends the map to the next processor.
This processor sends the information to the next processor in line, until the
S-CPRA receives the daisy-chain map.
The daisy-chain map can be modified by an intermediary processor when that
processor cannot send the map to the next processor in line. In this case, the
intermediary processor skips the processor and removes that processor
from the daisy-chain map. When the S-CPRA receives the map with the
same processor missing twice in a row, it tries to recover the processor. If
the processor cannot be recovered, the S-CPRA places the processor in
the FLT state.
The S-CPRA signals the processor failure to the OMC-R as follows:

If the processor failure is in the TCU, recovery only takes place to ensure
BCCH functionality.
If a DTC processor fails, the BSC tries to inform the MSC, so that the MSC
is aware the SS7 link is out of service. This implies:
The loss and, if possible, the change-over of the SS7
The blocking of circuits.

Telecom Link or Trunk The TSC supervises its trunks between the Transcoder, BTS, and MSC.
Failure Failure of the Abis interface is signalled to the BSC by all of the RSLs of the
associated BTS. A single RSL failure reflects the status of the corresponding
LAPD and FU.
All A interface faults are controlled by the Transcoder and the MSC. However
they are also monitored by the BSC, in order to define the status of each
"end-to-end" A-trunk. The following figure shows RSL fault correlation on
the Abis interface.

Note: The BTS_TEL SBL describes the status of the GSM defined BTS telecom
functions. Its state is defined by operator commands, and correlation of the
LAPD RSL states or of the different Carrier Units.

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Fault Start CPR Informed RSL State Change


RSL−1 Alarm begin BTS_TEL

ACTIVE
Persistency Correlation
INACTIVE
Fault Start
RSL−2

Fault Start
RSL−N (last RSL)

CPR : Common Processor


RSL : Radio Signalling Link
Figure 79: RSL Correlation on the Abis Interface
Abis Interface Fault The BSC monitors the Abis interface faults as follows:
Monitoring 1. The BSC detects the first LAPD RSL link failure of the BTS. The BSC
starts a persistency timer. It puts the SBL of the RSL into a Maintenance
Seized-Auto state while the following actions occur:

The RITs are now in the SOS state. This is because the RTS belonging
to the RSL still functions, but cannot communicate with the BSC.

Telecoms resources are blocked to prevent new activity at the BSC


end of this link.

The RSL SBL is put into the FLT state, reflecting the loss of the RSL.

2. The persistency timer expires and the CPR is informed of the fault. If the
link recovers during the persistency period, nothing is reported. Otherwise
a correlation timer starts and waits for further RSL link failures belonging
to the same BTS.
3. Once the correlation timer expires, the BSC sends a state-change-report
message to the OMC-R. The message contains a list of all RSL that are in
the FLT state.
4. The OMC-R is then informed about the state of the BTS_TEL. If all the RSLs
belonging to the BTS have failed, then an alarm is sent to the OMC-R
signalling the loss of the cell. When an SBL is put in to the FLT state, it is
shown in the Alarms-In-Force List.

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A Interface Fault When the BSC detects a DTC failure, the BSC puts the DTC SBL in the
Monitoring MSD-Auto state, then into the FLT state. Through the TS0 signalling, the MSC
is informed that the trunk is no longer operational and prevents all transactions
requiring the A channel (includes new mobile station-originated calls) from
using the failed link of the DTC. The failure is also signalled to the OMC-R. The
TSC also detects a failure of the Ater link and signals the failure to the OMC-R.
Note: The A channel is allocated only by the MSC.

Failures Detected by Software throughout the BSC detects error and alarm conditions. It reports
Software these conditions to the alarm handling software. The alarm handling software
performs persistency, filtering and correlation actions on the received alarm
indicators, and determines the required action (e.g. to isolate a faulty SBL).
The figure below shows an example alarm report.
If one or more RSL links remain for the failed BTS, an event change is sent. The
BTS_TEL is put in a FIT state, as some channels for that cell are in operation.
The AIFL shows the new alarm. The BSC marks the cell as degraded in
service and reconfigures the BTS.

Figure 80: Example: Alarm Report

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8.5.4 BTS Alarms


Alarms in the BTS are tracked by the OMU. The following tables show the
OMU hardware and functions.

Alarm OMU Function


G1/G2 Alarm Buses The OMU has a Q1 interface to the Carrier
Units, MCLU, EACB, and FHU modules in
the system, as well as a Token Bus interface
with all of the FU modules.
BTS A9100/A910 Alarm The BSII provides the OMU with an interface
Buses to the TRE functional unit, and to the
antenna network x and TRANS & CLOCK
functional entities, which have their own
on-board controllers. The BCB provides an
interface to all the functional entities in the
BTS.

Table 23: BTS Alarm Hardware Description

Alarm OMU Function


Q1 Interface (G1/G2 BTS) On the Q1 interface, a system of double
polling takes place. The OMU polls each
subsystem individually to find out if there
is an error. If there is an error, the OMU
demands an error report from that board.
Normally, the information from the error
report is used as an alarm or an event
notification.
Token Bus Interface (G1/G2 The OMU is informed by the FU about the
BTS) type of error that has occurred. The OMU
sends the alarm information to the BSC.
BSSI (BTS A9100/A910) Each module spontaneously reports errors
to the OMU, which processes the report as
an alarm or an event notification.
BCB (BTS A9100/A910) The Base Station Control Bus operates in a
master/slave configuration where the SUM
functions as Pilot (master) and the functional
entities function as Terminals (slaves) in
normal conditions. The OMU collects alarm
information on the BCB and sends it to the
BSC.

Table 24: BTS Alarms Functional Description

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Alarm Collection The mechanism for BTS alarm collection on all buses is as follows:
1. The alarm is added to the AIFL.
2. The OMU enters alarm information in a queued buffer. In this way, alarms
are queued even if the link between the BTS and the BSC is temporarily
unusable. If the buffer becomes full (over 100 messages):
All fault/state change messages are deleted

No more messages are sent until a state and alarm audit takes place
to synchronize the BSC and the OMC-R. An audit BTS request is
transmitted on a regular basis until an audit occurs.

3. The alarm messages containing the alarm information are transmitted to the
BSC. The alarm messsages are described in the BTS Alarm Dictionary
and the BSC/TC Alarm Dictionary.
4. The message is sent to the CPR-A, where it is date and time stamped.
5. The BSC performs one of two activities:

If possible, it converts the alarm into a CMISE message, performs


an action and sends a different alarm/event to the OMC-R, via the
alarm queue

Otherwise, it re-transmits the message to the OMC-R, via the alarm


queue.

6. The message is put in the alarm queue for BTS alarms. If the queue
overflows, the BSC performs an Alarms-in-Force audit on all the modules
in the BTS. This signals that information was received and lost when the
queue overflowed, and that resynchronization is required.
7. The OMC-R receives the alarm over the CMISE link. The alarm is put into
the AS component where it is logged.

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8.5.5 Alarms Detected by the TSC


TSC O&M activities are similar to those performed by the BTS. The TSC has
a Q1 interface to the transmission equipment. A system of double polling
occurs on the Q1 interface:

The first poll checks if there was a change in states.

The second poll occurs only if the state has changed, in order to obtain
more information about the changes.

The Transcoder supervises PCM links. The loss of a link between the BSC and
Transcoder is reported by the Transcoder to the TSC.

8.5.6 MFS Alarms


The MFS generates alarms to signal a change in the behavior of a particular
function within the system, such as a potential problem or a confirmed failure
in the system. The Global Alarm Manager manages the MFS alarms. It
processes all hardware and telecom alarms and is responsible for:

Collecting all fault information relating to GPUs, the active server, and
telecom and external alarms

Recording alarms in a table

Allowing the IMT and the OMC-R to access the alarms


Generating ending alarms when a fault is cleared (for example, when a
GPU is replaced)

Managing a communication session with the IMT.

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8.5.7 Recovery Example: Carrier Unit Failures with BCCH


This recovery example considers a BTS with two Carrier Units. One Carrier
Unit is used for BCCH channel handling, another is used for normal traffic.
If the Carrier Unit holding the BCCH fails, it is switched out and the second
Carrier Unit takes the place of the first.
As an example, this section describes the system’s reactions when a Carrier
Unit (TRE for a BTS A9100 or a BTS A910) which has the BCCH channel fails.
Note: In the BTS A9100 or the BTS A910, the SBLs FU and Carrier Unit have been
merged into one indivisible SBL, called the TRE. At the BSC, however, all BTS
A9100 and BTS A910 TRE faults are mapped to the Carrier Unit to provide
compatibility with G1 and G2 BTSs. Thus, at the BSC all such errors are
displayed as Carrier Unit faults. That is how they are presented in this example.
FU faults in G1 and G2 BTSs continue to be reported as such.

Fault Recovery The recovery mechanism in the BSS allows a failed unit to switch to a
Mechanism replacement unit, such as:

Redundant hardware
A similar unit which had lower priority active use than the failed unit. (For
example, the BCCH has to exist for the cell to function, so another Carrier
Unit/FU pair (TRE for a BTS A9100 or a BTS A910) is expendable to
replace the failed Carrier Unit).

The recovery mechanism of the BSS recognizes that the Carrier Unit can
change to its twin Carrier Unit.
Below is a step-by-step scenario of Carrier Unit recovery.

Carrier Unit Recovery 1. The Carrier Unit holding the BCCH fails.
Scenario 2. The BTS sends the BSC a recovery request, reporting that the Carrier Unit
is faulty and is out of service, and that a recovery is required. The BTS also
suggests a new Carrier Unit to the BSC, to be used to carry the BCCH.
When the recovery request is received, the BSC temporarily blocks the
resources while it checks if reconfiguration is available. If reconfiguration is
available, the BTS_TEL SBL becomes FIT and all calls on the Carrier Unit
are immediately released. The RSL is blocked. All calls on the Carrier Unit
are immediately released.
3. The BSC sends an alarm to the OMC-R, signalling the loss of BCCH.
4. The BSC attempts a recovery. The recovery command is
BTS-CONF-DATA(2).

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5. The BTS receives and acknowledges the recovery message. It then


switches off the faulty Carrier Unit and switches on the second Carrier Unit.
The second Carrier Unit adjusts its frequency to the BCCH frequency.
6. If the configuration was successful, the BTS sends a confirmation to the
BSC. The BSC then sends the new SYS_INFO (1-6).
7. The BCCH is now broadcasting on the same frequency as before, via
the newly configured Carrier Unit.
8. The BSC sets the BTS_TEL SBL to FIT and informs the OMC-R by sending
an end of alarm. The BTS_TEL remains FIT due to the loss of a channel.
9. If the new Carrier Unit was previously IT, its previously attached resources
are lost. An alarm is sent to the OMC-R to update the information on
lost channels.
The following figure shows the redundancy process for a failed Carrier Unit
with BCCH.
OMC BSC BTS
1
CU Fault
BTS_TEL=IT
2
Resources OS)
req (CU, F
blocked, BCCH Reco_
reconfiguration
possible
3 BTS_TEL=FIT

in)
H beg 4
ss of BCC
(cell, lo
Alarm BTS_CO
NF_DAT
A (2)
5
BTS_TEL=FIT BTS performs the reconfiguration

L
COMP
ONF_
BTS_C
6

SYS_INF
8 O (1..6)

nd)
CCH e
ell, lo ss of B
Alarm (c 9

begin)
of TCH
(ce ll, loss BTS_TEL=FIT
Alarm

BCCH : Broadcast Control Channel


CU : Carrier Unit
TCH : Traffic Channel
Figure 81: Example: Loss of Carrier Unit Holding BCCH.

Note: BTS_TEL SBL describes the status of the GSM defined BTS telecom functions.
Its state is driven by operator commands, or by correlation of the LAPD RSL
states or of the different Carrier Units.

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8.5.8 Automatic Power-Down


This feature is available only on the BTS A9100. It is used typically in an
outdoor installation where the BTS has a backup battery power supply.
In case of main power-supply failure, the BTS A9100 is automatically switched
to battery power. This situation continues until the main power is restored or the
battery is drained, whichever happens first.
To extend the time during which the BTS A9100 can function under battery
power, the BTS is reduced to a minimum configuration to reduce power
consumption.

Power-Down Alarm Once a power-supply failure alarm arrives, the OMU starts a timer. If, once the
Processing timer expires, the alarm is still active, the OMU switches off all TREs except
the BCCH TRE (one per sector for a sectored site), by placing the TREs
to be powered down in FOS state.
If, in a given sector of a sectored site, the BCCH TRE is configured without a
traffic channel, another TRE (which carries the SDCCH) is kept powered on, so
that calls are still possible in this sector, though limited to one TRE.
When the power-supply failure alarm disappears, the OMU starts a timer. If the
alarm re-occurs before the timer expires, the OMU takes no further action. This
is to guard against a possible unstable restoration of power.
If the BTS power-supply remains stable until the timer expires, the OMU
performs an autonomous auto reset with BTS activation. This re-initializes
all available TREs.
For more information on this feature, refer to the following:

EVOLIUM BTS A9100/A910 Functional Description


EVOLIUM BTS A9100 Hardware Description
EVOLIUM BTS A910 Hardware Description

8.5.9 BSC Alerter


The BSC Alerter is a telecom supervision function which generates an alarm
event when the system suspects abnormal behavior of a resource. This is
system defined and not dependent on site configuration or traffic conditions
in a particular cell.
An Alerter functions by monitoring and computing the levels of specific
Performance Management counters. If the count exceeds the operator-defined
parameters, the Alerter generates an alarm for the BSC resource. This alarm is
sent to the OMC-R operator.

Note: For performance reasons, each alerter type has a maximum limit of 16 alarms.
For further information concerning BSC Alerters, refer to the BSC Alerters
section of the Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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8.6 Performance Management


The following provides a brief overview of performance management facilities in
the BSS.
For detailed information on performance management, refer to the Performance
Management chapter of the Operations & Maintenance Principles document.
For a description of individual counters, refer to the PM Counters and Indicators
document.
The following table shows the performance management functions of the
BSC and the MFS.

Network Element Performance Management Functions


BSC
Result collection and collation
X.25 related counters

Traffic measurements on radio channels

Performance Measurement result reporting

Trace invocation result reporting.


MFS
Collects the performance management counters
associated with each logical GPU

Creates a file to counter values.

Table 25: Performance Management Functions

8.6.1 Traces
Trace management coordinates and triggers trace activities within the BSS.
Tracing is originated from the MSC. There are two types of tracing:

Call tracing

IMSI tracing.

Call tracing follows a specified transaction (subscriber call, location update,


short message, etc.) inside the BSC. When the specified transaction ends, or
the transaction changes to another BSC, the trace activity ends.
IMSI tracing is not restricted to speech. It includes information about the radio
resources set up for the mobile. This includes, for example, location updating,
supplementary services, short messages, etc.
For more information on trace management, refer to the Trace Management
section of the Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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8.6.2 Performance Monitoring


Monitoring system performance provides information that can be used to
improve the system performance, optimize traffic levels, perform network radio
planning and optimization, and plan network reconfiguration. The OMC-R
manages the gathering of data collected from all the network elements by
means of PM counters. PM counter values are collected into results files in
the BSC.
In the BSS, there are two types of raw counters: standard and detailed. These
two counter types are gathered in the following counter groups:

Cumulative counters

Status inspection counters


DER counters

RMS counters

For the MFS, the counters are all standard counters. These counters are
divided into two groups

Counters monitoring activity between the BSC and the MFS


Counters monitoring activity between the MSC and the MFS.

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8.6.3 Radio Measurements Statistics


In order to help the operator find "clean" frequencies for better frequency
planning, the Radio Measurements Statistics (RMS) counters provide
information based on the Mobile Assisted Frequency Allocation (MAFA) feature.
MAFA is a standardized GSM feature that provides a way for the system to ask
each mobile station to measure extra frequencies (frequencies of non-neighbor
cells). MAFA can also be used to check interferences from non-neighbor
cells. RMS is a BSC/BTS feature that records measurements from the BTS
and mobile stations. For MAFA, specific mobiles supporting this standardized
GSM feature are required. Every mobile station supporting MAFA acts as a
potential spectrum analyzer and provides excellent information on the radio
conditions for each single cell.
Using this feature, the operator can:

Detect interfered frequencies

Assess the quality of the cell coverage

Detect and quantify cell unexpected propagation

Assess the traffic distribution in the cell from statistics on reported neighbor
cells

Evaluate the voice quality in the cell.

During the observation period, the BTS/FU keeps track of all the RMS
statistics derived from the measurements reported by the mobile stations
or measured by the BTS/FU itself on the TCH (SDCCH are not used with
RMS). At the end of the observation period when the RMS data has been
collected from the concerned BTS/FUs, the BSC builds a report (called the
RMS result file). The transfer towards the OMC-R occurs via FTAM. In
addition, it is possible during the observation period to apply MAFA (also called
Extended Measurement Reporting). This procedure consists in sending an
Extended Measurement Order (EMO) to the mobile stations. On receipt of
the command, the mobile stations take one SACCH multiframe to perform
measurements on specific frequencies. The measurements are reported via
the EXTENDED_MEASUREMENT_REPORT message. The EMO is sent only
once per call. The statistics related to MAFA are collected in the BTS and
integrated in the RMS results. The statistics are based on the measurements
performed at the BTS and the mobile station, on the TCH only.
The statistics can be classified as follows:
Radio related statistics. These can be classified as follows:
Statistics related to the whole serving cell
Statistics related to the TRXs

Voice quality statistics. Nine counters and indicators that provide an


overview of the communications quality (TCH only) for each TRX.

Radio Measurement Statistics is available on G1 BTS Mk2 and G2 BTS


equipped with DRFU, EVOLIUM™ BTS, and Micro BTS M1M and M2M.

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8.6.4 Results Analysis


Using the OMC-R, an operator can view alarms and PM measurements from
the OMC-R databases, and use this information to analyze data and produce
reports. The OMC-R also generates QoS alarms to notify the operator of
possible network problems.
Counter and indicator information can be processed by a tool, in one of two
versions:
MPM, which is integrated in the OMC-R. It provides instant access to
results files.

NPA is usually a stand-alone tool that runs on a separate Sun workstation


(but in the case of a small configuration, NPA can be embedded into the
OMC-R). It has nearly the same functionality as MPM, with the following
differences:
NPA can aggregate the data on a day, week, or month basis, where MPM
can only aggregate on a daily basis.
NPA cannot manage alerters.

For more information on results analysis and the tools available to process
counter and indicators information, refer to the Results Analysis section of the
Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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8.7 Audits
Audits can be automatic or initiated by an operator. They can be performed at
several levels:

From the OMC-R to the Transcoder, the BSC, or the MFS


From the BSC to the BTS.

More information on Audits can be found as follows:


Configuration Management Audits in the Configuration Management
Audits/Resynchronization section of the Operations & Maintenance
Principles document.

Fault Management Audits in the Fault Management Audits section of the


Operations & Maintenance Principles document..

Using the IMT, it is possible to perform a radio re-initialization, or a radio


resynchronization of the MFS.

Audit Types There are several types of audits, as described in the following table.

Type Description
Logical Audit A logical audit is performed on logical parameters. The
logical parameters include dynamic cell information,
its power ratings, information on adjacent cells, the
radio configuration of the cell, and hopping and paging
groups. No logical audit is provided for the MFS side.
Software Version The software version audit controls the versions of
Audit software that exist on the subsystem.
Hardware Audit Hardware audits control the hardware on the
subsystem. This audit provides a physical list of all
components in the subsystem, their SBLs, and their
associated RITs. The OMC-R updates the database
with this information.
Alarm Audit The OMC-R requests the AIFL from a unit of the BSS.
The OMC-R then compares this with its own list and
updates its database if there are any differences.
State Audit A state audit checks the state of SBLs on a particular
subsystem, to ensure that SBL databases are
synchronized. All the SBLs and their states are
compared with the data in the OMC-R. If the SBL does
not exist in the database, it is created and its state is
registered.

Table 26: Audit Types

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Two types of action are possible for the MFS:


Re-initialize GPRS configuration
Allows the OMC-R to force the logical configuration of the MFS, by deleting
the current one, and then recreating one from scratch, using the current
OMC-R configuration. This is roughly the equivalent of a Force configuration
at the BSS side. However, it always induces some outages.

Re-synchronize GPRS configuration


Allows the OMC-R to force the logical configuration of the MFS, by
computing the differences with the current OMC-R configuration. It is
the preferred synchronization action at the MFS side, as it minimizes the
MFS outage.

A suite of audits is automatically invoked by the OMC-R or the BSC, to


resynchronize the system. This is done:

To perform a RESET/RESTART
When there is a loss of links between subsystems. This ensures that the
system databases are synchronized after autonomous operation while the
link was down (i.e. the BTS_O&M was disabled).
To make changes in the databases, without the possibility of aligning
both subsystems

To start a BSC Alarms-in-Force audit if the BSC alarm queue overflows


To perform software database replacement.

Audit information for the whole system is stored in the OMC-R.

Audit Flow Audit flow is based on an action request from the OMC-R, or on an automatic
request.
The subsystem receiving the audit request performs an audit of its functional
units.
The reply can have one or several report messages to pass the information back
to the request originator. The request originator can generate more actions
based on the information received. For example, when the state of the Carrier
Unit and its pair FU do not match, the BSC disables the FU/Carrier Unit pairs.
The OMC-R, on reception of the audit report, updates its database. During
download the results of the software audit are used to provide the list of
modules the OMC-R needs to update the BSS subsystem. This is done by
comparing the OMC-R lists of modules to transfer, and their version numbers,
to see if they already exist in the subsystem. Only the newer versions are
transferred to the subsystem.

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8.8 Remote Inventory


The Remote Inventory feature allows an operator to get hardware and firmware
information from the OMC-R. This information is used for retrofit, deployment or
maintenance. The main benefit is that the amount of site visits can reduced
considerably. The Remote Inventory data is reported to the OMC-R by the BTS
A9100 and the BTS A910 which are very numerous and spread out on the
field. The operator can get this data in two ways, automatic or on-demand. The
on-demand mode remains available when the automatic mode is selected.
Among the reported data is information that is very useful for retrofit or
maintenance actions, e.g. the site name, the exact location of the board, the
serial number, the part number and the variant. Sending the data to external
tools is possible due to the ASCII file format. This format is the same as the
one obtained when using a BTS Terminal at a BTS site. Existing external tools
can therefore be re-used.
The Remote Inventory feature brings the following benefits:
Reliability
Inventory data is reported directly (periodically if requested) by the BTS
to the OMC-R (through the BSC which is transparent), so the operator
always has the correct information. To keep the OMC-R at a high level of
performance, Alcatel recommends using the automatic mode with a seven
day acquisition period.
Cost cutting
It is no longer necessary to go on site to get hardware and firmware
information before performing a retrofit or a maintenance action.

Remote Inventory can be performed at the MFS. Information can be displayed


for the selected subrack. For more information, refer to the online help of the
IMT.
For more information on Remote Inventory, see the Remote Inventory section in
the Operations & Maintenance Principles document.

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