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1. Abstract 2
2. Acknowledgement 3
3. Company Profile 4
4. Introduction to GSM 13
5. Wireless Concept 17
6. GSM Basics 19
7. GSM Transmission process 29
8. GSM Network 36
9. GSM Switching System 37
10. Base Station System 44
11. Operation & Support System 51
12. BSS Interfaces 52
13. Channel Concepts 56
14. GSM Identities 60
15. Traffic Cases 64
16. Call Processing 72
17. My Departments 78
17.1. Operation & Maintenance Centre 79
17.1.1. Structure of OMC 80
17.1.2. Functions of OMC 80
17.1.3. Introduction to OSS 84
17.1.4. OSS applications 86
17.2. Network Switching subsystem 91
17.2.1. Switch hardware 92
17.2.2. Mobile Intelligent Network 107
17.2.3. CCS#7 Signalling 112
18. My Projects During Training 121
18.1. Monitoring of Alarms 122
18.2. Fault Management 123
18.3. TRU additions 127
18.4. Definition of New Cell site 128
18.5. Roaming Testing 133
18.6. Definition of A-Links & A-ter Links 147
18.7. Definition of CCS#7 & semi-permanent links 151
18.8. B- number Analysis 155
18.9. Backups 164
19. Bibliography & References 168

This report includes all my learning work done during my six months Industrial T
raining in Operation & Maintenance Centre and Network Switching Subsystem depart
ments at IDEA.
This whole report is divided mainly into three different sections. First section
gives the knowledge about basic concepts of Global System for Mobile Communicat
ion. The second section gives the overview of both departments in which I comple
ted my training. The third section describes my profile during my six months ind
ustrial training.
The first section of report covers all the basic concepts related to GSM like wi
reless concepts, switching system, channel concepts, various identities related
to GSM, base station system and operation and support system.
The second section of report covers the overview idea of my departments, various
responsibilities of both departments, hardware related to switch, CCS#7 signall
ing and basic concepts of mobile intelligent networks.
The third section covers my profile during six months period. My training profil
e includes alarm monitoring of nodes and cell sites, fault management, TRU addit
ion, new cell site definition, roaming testing, definition of A-links, A-ter lin
ks, definition of C7 signalling routes and semi- permanent connections, backup o
f different nodes, B- number analysis etc.

It is a pleasure of mine to find my self penning down these lines to express my
sincere thanks to our Principle Mr. H.B. Sharda, Mr. Sanjeev Dewra (H.O.D; ECE D
eptt.) and my training & placement officer Mr.
, S.B.S.C.E.T; Ferozepur, who gave me this opportunity of industrial
training for 6 months to enhance my professional practice & to get preliminary
industrial exposure in the concerned discipline.
It gives me immense pleasure & honor to express my heartful thanks to Ms. Satind
er Ahuja (Senior Manager- Human Resource) & Mr. Bhupinder Singh (D.G.M, Punjab)
for giving me opportunity for the training in their reputed industry.
I express my deep sense of gratitude to Mr. Nitesh Suri (Head – Operation & Mainte
nce Centre), Mr. Harpreet Singh (Senior Engineer, Haryana), Mr. Gagan Chhabra, M
r. Chirag Chugh, Mr. Sameer Gagneja, Mr. Sumeet Arora, Mr. Vipin Garg, Mr. Vinay
Sharma for giving me knowledge about cellular communication and concepts relate
d to NSS & BSS operations.
The six months at IDEA gave me intense understanding of mobile communication and
the cellular technology concepts. Apart from it gave me a practical Outlook of
the functioning involving both technical and personal communication skills thus
enriching my knowledge in various aspects.
My deepest gratitude is to my teachers & all the members of S.B.S.C.E.T; Ferozep
ur, for always boosting my morale & providing me encouraging environment.
In the last but not the least, I want to thank my Parents without grace of whom
nothing was possible.

Spearheading the Indian telecom revolution for two decades

Bharti Enterprises, India’s leading telecom conglomerate has been at the forefront
of technology and has revolutionized with its world class services. Established
in 1976, Bharti Enterprises has been a pioneering force in the telecom sector w
ith many firsts and innovations to its credit. Working on the principle of provi
ding end to end communication solution across the telecom value chain from manuf
acture of hardware to development of telecom software and from fixed line to cel
lular and wireless services, e-commerce, broadband, domestic long distance, unde
rsea cable, infrastructure development and business solutions. Bharti Enterprise
s under cable chairmanship of Sunil Bharti Mittal is the only company to have br
ought to India the excellence and expertise of leading Telecom players of the wo
rld. Bharti Telecom, the manufacture division of Bharti is the largest sets unde
r the brand name Beetel. Bharti Tele-ventures, the services division of Bharti h
as major interests in Basic, long Distance and Cellular, Broadband and Infrastru
cture Operations in the country.
BHARTI announces agreement with VODAFONE marking the entry of the World s Larges
t Telecom Operator into India
BHARTI TELE-VENTURES adds another first by winning the prestigious ‘MIS ASIA IT EX
Bharti Enterprises and AXA Asia Pacific Holdings Limited announce Partnership fo
r a life insurance joint venture in India
IDEA Launches future factory - Centers of Innovation to Incubate Pioneering Mobi
le Applications
“As we spread wings to expand our capabilities and explore new horizons, the funda
mental focus remains unchanged: seek out the best technology in the world and pu
t it at the service of our ultimate user: our customer.”
Sunil Bharti Mittal

Bharti Enterprises has successfully focused its strategy on telecom while stradd
ling diverse fields of business. Bharti Tele-Ventures Limited, a part of Bharti
Enterprises, is India s leading provider of telecommunications services. The bus
inesses at Bharti Tele-Ventures have been structured into two main strategic bus
iness groups - the Mobility Leaders business group and the Infotel Leaders busin
ess group. The Mobility business group provides GSM mobile services across India
in twenty three telecom circles, while the Infotel business group provides broa
dband & telephone services, long distance services and enterprise services. All
these services are provided under the IDEA brand. Bharti Tele-Ventures is today
acknowledged as one of India s finest companies and its flagship brand IDEA , w
ith an aggregate of 14.42 million customers as of end of August ‘05, consisting of
approximately 13.41 million mobile customers across the length and breadth of I
Business Strategy
Bharti Tele-Ventures strategic objective is “To capitalize on the growth opportun
ities that the Company believes are available in the Indian telecommunications m
arket and consolidate its position to be the leading integrated telecommunicatio
ns services provider in key markets in India, with a focus on providing mobile s
The Company has developed the following strategies to achieve its strategic obje
• Focus on maximizing revenues and margins;
• Capture maximum telecommunications revenue potential with minimum geographical c
• Offer multiple telecommunications services to provide customers with a "one-stop
shop" solution;
• Position itself to tap data transmission opportunities and offer advanced mobile
data services;
• Focus on satisfying and retaining customers by ensuring high level of customer s
• Leverage strengths of its strategic and financial partners; and
• Emphasize on human resource development to achieve operational efficiencies.
Bharti Tele-Ventures current businesses include -
• Mobile services
• Fixed-line
• National and international long distance services
• VSAT, Internet services and network solutions
Competitive Strengths
Bharti Tele-Ventures believes that the following elements will contribute to the
Company s success as an integrated telecommunication services provider in India
and will provide the Company with a solid foundation to execute its business st
• Nationwide Footprint - As of September 30, 2003, approximately 91% of India s to
tal mobile subscribers resided in the Company s fifteen mobile circles. These 15
circles collectively accounted for approximately 56% of India s land mass;
• Focus on telecommunications to enable the Company to better anticipate industry
trends and capitalize on new telecommunications-related business opportunities;
• The strong brand name recognition and a reputation for offering high quality ser
vice to its customers;
• Quality management team with vision and proven execution skills; and
• The Company s strong relationships with international strategic and financial in
vestors such as SingTel, Warburg Pincus, International Finance Corporation, Asia
n Infrastructure Fund Group and New York Life Insurance.


IDEA comes to you from Bharti Tele-ventures Limited - a part of the biggest priv
ate integrated telecom conglomerate, Bharti Enterprises.
Current News:
IDEA Becomes The First GSM Operator In The Country To Cross The 10 Million-Custo
mer Milestone
IDEA “Express Yourself” campaign wins two “Silvers” at the prestigious AAAI awards
rand Campaign of the Year and Best Advertising Film, amidst stiff competition fr
om 37 advertising agencies.
IDEA adds another first becomes the first private sector mobile service to launc
h operations in J&K
IDEA Live launched - the most comprehensive mobile portal featuring movies, musi
c, mobile games & sports on the mobile
By 2010 IDEA will be the most admired brand in India:
• Loved by more customers
• Targeted by top talent
• Benchmarked by more business
Error free service delivery
Innovative products and services
Cost efficiency

After touching the hearts of more than 1 million customers and winning the Techi
es Award for Best Cellular Services for four consecutive years, Bharti Cellular
has reached Punjab- the land of colors, festivals, industrious people and emergi
ng opportunities, Haryana- the place of handicrafts & textile industry, and Hima
chal Pradesh the ultimate destination for nature lovers.
Punjab is said to be a sweet home-coming for Bharti, launched on Feb 8,2002. Wit
h over 25000 bookings on day 1 and having 50,000 customers in just 75 days it is
already on an expressway to success.
Ahead of competitors in Himachal, and with grand start in Haryana, Bharti is her
e to take care of communication needs and live up to the true spirit of Northern
Region of Excellence.
1: Introducing three new circles in the region: Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, U.P
2. Market leaders in Punjab.
3. One of the best cellular companies of Country.
4. Achieving a record 15 lakh customers in 4 years duration. Fastest growing
5. Best HR team of the region.

Northern Region of Excellence

Northern Region –Overview


Global system for mobile communication (GSM) is a globally accepted standard for
digital cellular communication. GSM is the name of a standardization group esta
blished in 1982 to create a common European mobile telephone standard that would
formulate specifications for a pan-European mobile cellular radio system operat
ing at 900 MHz.
The Evolution of Mobile Telephone Systems Cellular is one of the fastest growing
and most demanding telecommunications applications. Today, it represents a cont
inuously increasing percentage of all new telephone subscriptions around the wor
ld. Currently there are more than 45 million cellular subscribers worldwide, and
nearly 50 percent of those subscribers are located in the United States. It is
forecasted that cellular systems using a digital technology will become the univ
ersal method of telecommunications. The countries with highest number of subscri
bers are the United Kingdom and Italy.

Figure 1. Cellular Subscriber Growth Worldwide

The concept of cellular service is the use of low-power transmitters where frequ
encies can be reused within a geographic area. The idea of cell-based mobile rad
io service was formulated in the United States at Bell Labs in the early 1970s.
However, the Nordic countries were the first to introduce cellular services for
commercial use with the introduction of the Nordic Mobile Telephone (NMT) in 198
1. Cellular systems began in the United States with the release of the advanced
mobile phone service (AMPS) system in 1983. The AMPS standard was adopted by Asi
a, Latin America, and Oceanic countries, creating the largest potential market i
n the world for cellular.
In the early 1980s, most mobile telephone systems were analog rather than digita
l, like today s newer systems. One challenge facing analog systems was the inabi
lity to handle the growing capacity needs in a cost-efficient manner. As a resul
t, digital technology was welcomed. The advantages of digital systems over analo
g systems include ease of signaling, lower levels of interference, integration o
f transmission and switching, and increased ability to meet capacity demands.
Throughout the evolution of cellular telecommunications, various systems have be
en developed without the benefit of standardized specifications. This presented
many problems directly related to compatibility, especially with the development
of digital radio technology. The GSM standard is intended to address these prob
This history of GSM is outlined in the following table:

1982-1985 • Conférence Européenne des Postes et Telecommunications (CEPT) began spe
cifying a European digital telecommunications standard in the 900 MHz frequency
band. This standard later became known as Global System for Mobile communication
1986 • Field tests were held in Paris to select which digital transmission technol
ogy to use. The choice was Time Division Multiple Access
(TDMA) or Frequency Division Multiple Access (FDMA).
1987 • A combination of TDMA and FDMA was selected as the transmission technology
for GSM.
• Operators from 12 countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding committing themsel
ves to introducing GSM by 1991.
1988 CEPT began producing GSM specifications for a phased implementation.
1990 • Phase 1 specifications were frozen to allow manufacturers to develop networ
k equipment.
1991 • The GSM 1800 standard was released.
1992 • Phase 1 specifications were completed.
• First commercial Phase 1 GSM networks were launched.
• The first international roaming agreement was established between Telecom Finland a
nd Vodafone in UK.
1993 • The number of GSM subscribers reached one million.
• The first commercial DCS 1800 system was launched in the U.K.
1994 • The MoU now had over 100 signatories covering 60 countries.
• More GSM networks were launched.
• The total number of GSM subscribers exceeded 3 million.
1995 • The specification for the Personal Communications Services (PCS) was develo
ped in the U.S.A. This version of GSM operates at 1900 MHz.
• GSM growth trends continued steadily through 1995, with the number of GSM subscribe
rs increasing at the rate of 10,000 per day and rising.
• In April 1995, there were 188 members of the MoU from 69 countries.
1996 • The first GSM 1900 systems became available.
These comply with the PCS 1900 standard.
1998 • At the beginning of 1998 the MoU has a total of 253 members in over 100 cou
ntries and there are over 70 million GSM subscribers world-wide. GSM subscribers
account for 31% of the world’s mobile market.


GSM worldwide (indicated by darker areas)

Analog Information
Analog information is continuous and does not stop at discrete values. An exampl
e of analog information is time. It is continuous and does not stop at specific
points. An analog watch may have a second-hand which does not jump from one seco
nd to the next, but continues around the watch face without stopping.
Analog Signals
An analog signal is a continuous waveform which changes in accordance with the p
roperties of the information being represented.

Digital Information
Digital information is a set of discrete values. Time can also be represented di
gitally. However, digital time would be represented by a watch which jumps from
one minute to the next without stopping at the seconds. In effect, such a digita
l watch is taking a sample of time at predefined intervals.
Digital Signals
For mobile systems, digital signals may be considered to be sets of discrete wav


Human speech is a form of analog information. It is continuous and changes in bo
th frequency (higher and lower pitches) and amplitude (whispering and shouting).
At first, analog signals may appear to be a better medium for carrying analog i
nformation such as speech. Analog information is continuous and if it were to be
represented by discrete samples of the information (digital signal), then some
information would be missing (like the seconds on the digital watch). An analog
signal would not miss any values as it too is continuous. All signals, analog an
d digital, become distorted over distances.
In analog, the only solution to this is to amplify the signal. However, in doing
so, the distortion is also amplified. In digital, the signal can be completely
regenerated as new, without the distortion.
The problem with using digital signals to transfer analog information is that so
me information will be missing due to the technique of taking samples. However,
the more often the samples are taken, the closer the resulting digital values wi
ll be to a true representation of the analog information. Overall, if samples ar
e taken often enough, digital signals provide a better quality for transmission
of analog information than analog signals.

A mobile station communicates with a base station via a radio channel. A radio c
hannel is a bi-directional radio transmission path. Each radio channel has two d
istinct frequencies; one for downlink and one for uplink.
Downlink is defined as the transmission path from the base station to the mobile
station, while uplink is defined as the transmission path from the mobile stati
on to the base station..
Uplink and downlink on a radio channel
The base station transmits on one frequency while the mobile station transmits o
n another frequency. This creates a full duplex communication path. That is, sim
ultaneous communication in both directions.
Different frequency bands are used for GSM 900, GSM 1800 and GSM 1900. An operat
or applies for the available frequencies or, as in the United States; the operat
or buys frequency bands at an auction
For GSM 900 the available frequency bands are:
Uplink 890 - 915 MHz
Downlink 935 - 960 MHz
For GSM 1800 the frequency bands are:
Uplink 1710 - 1785 MHz
Downlink 1805 - 1880 MHz
For GSM 1900 the frequency bands are:
Uplink 1850 - 1910 MHz
Downlink 1930 - 1990 MHz
The distance between one uplink frequency and its corresponding downlink frequen
cy is called the duplex distance. The duplex distance varies for different frequ
ency bands, refer to Table below:

Duplex distance
The distance between adjacent frequencies on either the uplink or downlink is ca
lled channel separation. Channel separation is 200 kHz, regardless of the standa
rds mentioned above. This separation is necessary to reduce interference between
In addition to the duplex distance, every mobile system includes a channel separ
ation. This is the distance on the frequency band between channels being transmi
tted in the same direction. This is required in order to avoid the overlapping o
f information in one channel into an adjacent channel.
The length of separation between two channels is dependent on the amount of info
rmation which is to be transmitted within the channel. The greater is the amount
of information to transmit, the greater the amount of separation required.

Channel Separation (200 KHz)

From the figure above, it can be seen that the information to be sent is modulat
ed around the carrier frequency of 895.4 MHz. The same is true of the informatio
n to be sent on 895.6 MHz. To avoid interference between the two sets of informa
tion, a separation distance of 200 kHz is required. If less separation were used
, they would interfere and a caller on 895.4 MHz may experience crosstalk or noi
se from the caller on 895.6 MHz.
The transmission rate over the air is 270 kbit/s. This is true for GSM 900, GSM
1800 and GSM 1900. The amount of information transmitted over a radio channel ov
er a period of time is known as the transmission rate. Transmission rate is expr
essed in bits per second or bit/s.
Ericsson has chosen the Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) method for all Eric
sson GSM networks. TDMA allows several different calls to share the same frequen
cy i.e. TDMA is a technique in which several different calls may share the same
carrier. Each call is assigned a particular time slot. Most digital cellular sys
tems use the technique of Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) to transmit and r
eceive speech signals. With TDMA, one channel is used to carry a number of calls
, each call using that channel at designated periods in time. These periods of t
ime are referred to as time slots. Each MS on a call is assigned one time slot o
n the uplink frequency and one on the downlink frequency. The information sent d
uring one time slot is called a burst. In GSM, a TDMA frame consists of 8 time s
lots. This means that a GSM radio carrier can carry 8 calls.

In GSM 900, the frequency that is used to transfer the information over the air
interface is around 900 MHz. Since this is not the frequency at which the inform
ation is generated, modulation techniques are used to translate the information
into the usable frequency band. Frequency translation is implemented by modulati
ng the amplitude, frequency or phase of the so called carrier wave in accordance
with the wave form of the input signal. Any modulation scheme increases the car
rier bandwidth and hence is a limit on the capacity of the frequency band availa
ble. In GSM, the carrier bandwidth is 200 kHz.
As a general rule, using simpler modulation techniques, 1 bit/s can be transmitt
ed within 1 Hz. Using this method, only 200 kbits/s could be transmitted within
200 kHz. However, more advanced modulation techniques are available which can tr
ansmit more bits/s within 1 Hz. The modulation technique used in GSM is Gaussian
Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK). GMSK enables the transmission of 270kbit/s within
a 200 kHz channel.
The modulation method used in GSM is Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying (GMSK). It is
a digital modulation form, that is, the information sent is digital. It can be
data or digitized speech. The modulator can be looked upon as a phase modulator.
The carrier changes phase depending on the information bits sent into the modul
ator. GMSK includes the desirable feature of a constant envelope modulation with
in a burst. To get smooth curve shapes when changing the phase, the base-band si
gnal is filtered with a Gaussian shaped pass-band. GMSK provides narrower bandwi
dth compared to ordinary MSK, but it has less resistance against noise.

Many problems may occur during the transmission of a radio signal. Some of the m
ost common problems are described below.
Path loss occurs when the received signal becomes weaker and weaker due to incre
asing distance between MS and BTS, even if there are no obstacles between the tr
ansmitting (Tx) and receiving (Rx) antenna. The path loss problem seldom leads t
o a dropped call because before the problem becomes extreme, a new transmission
path is established via another BTS.
Shadowing occurs when there are physical obstacles including hills and buildings
between the BTS and the MS. The obstacles create a shadowing effect which can d
ecrease the received signal strength. When the MS moves, the signal strength flu
ctuates depending on the obstacles between the MS and BTS.
Multipath fading occurs when there is more than one transmission path to the MS
or BTS, and therefore more than one signal arriving at the receiver. This may be
due to buildings or mountains, either close to or far from the receiving device
Rayleigh fading and time dispersion are forms of Multipath fading.
3.1 Rayleigh fading
This occurs when a signal takes more than one path between the MS and BTS antenn
as. In this case, the signal is not received on a line of sight path directly fr
om the Tx antenna. Rather, it is reflected off buildings, for example, and is re
ceived from several different indirect paths. Rayleigh fading occurs when the ob
stacles are close to the receiving antenna.
Rayleigh fading
3.2 Time Dispersion
Time dispersion is another problem relating to multiple paths to the Rx antenna
of either an MS or BTS. However, in contrast to Rayleigh fading, the reflected s
ignal comes from an object far away from the Rx antenna. Time dispersion causes
Inter-Symbol Interference (ISI) where consecutive symbols (bits) interfere with
each other making it difficult for the receiver to determine which symbol is the
correct one.

Time dispersion
If the reflected signal arrives one bit time after the direct signal, then the r
eceiver detects a 1 from the reflected wave at the same time it detects a 0 from
the direct wave. The symbol 1 interferes with the symbol 0 and the MS does not
know which one is correct.
Each MS on a call is allocated a time slot on a TDMA frame. This is an amount of
time during which the MS transmits information to the BTS. The information must
also arrive at the BTS within that time slot. The time alignment problem occurs
when part of the information transmitted by an MS does not arrive within the al
located time slot. Instead, that part may arrive during the next time slot, and
may interfere with information from another MS using that other time slot.

The time alignment problem

In digital transmission, the quality of the transmitted signal is often expresse
d in terms of how many of the received bits are incorrect. This is called Bit Er
ror Rate (BER). BER defines the percentage of the total number of received bits
which are incorrectly detected.

Channel coding is used to detect and correct errors in a received bit stream. It
adds bits to a message. These bits enable a channel decoder to determine whethe
r the message has faulty bits, and to potentially correct the faulty bits.
Channel coding is most effective in detecting and correcting single errors and s
error sequences. It is not suitable for handling longer sequences of bit errors.
For this reason, a process called interleaving is used to separate consecutive b
its of a message so that these are transmitted in a non-consecutive way.
For example, a message block may consist of four bits (1234). If four message bl
ocks must be transmitted, and one is lost in transmission, without interleaving
there is a 25% BER overall, but a 100% BER for that lost message block. It is no
t possible to
recover from this.

If interleaving is used, as shown in Figure 3-18, the bits of each block may be
sent in a non-consecutive manner. If one block is lost in transmission, again th
ere is a 25% BER overall. However, this time the 25% is spread over the entire s
et of message blocks, giving a 25% BER for each. This is more manageable and the
re is a greater possibility that the errors can be corrected by a channel decode

Received interleaved message blocks

Antenna diversity increases the received signal strength by taking advantage of
the natural properties of radio waves. There are two primary diversity methods:
space diversity and polarization diversity.
3.1 Space Diversity
Increased received signal strength at the BTS may be achieved by mounting two re
ceiver antennae instead of one. If the two Rx antennae are physically separated,
the probability that both of them are affected by a deep fading dip at the same
time is low. By choosing the best of each signal, the impact of fading can be r
educed. Space diversity offers slightly better antenna gain than polarization di
versity, but requires more space.
3.2 Polarization Diversity
With polarization diversity the two space diversity antennae are replaced by one
dual polarized antenna. This antenna has normal size but contains two different
ly polarized antenna arrays. The most common types are vertical/horizontal array
s and arrays in 45 degree slant orientation. The two arrays are connected to the
respective Rx branches in the BTS. The two arrays can also be used as combined T
x/Rx antennas.
Adaptive Equalization is a solution specifically designed to counter act the pro
blem of time- dispersion. It works as follows:
1. A set of predefined known bit patterns exist, known as training sequence
s. These are known to the BTS and the MS (programmed at manufacture). The BTS in
structs the MS to include one of these in its transmissions to the BTS.
2. The MS include straining sequence to its transmission to BTS.
3. The BTS receives the transmission from the MS and examines the training
sequence within it. The BTS compares the received training sequence with the tra
ining sequence which it had instructed the MS to use. If there are differences b
etween the two, it can be assumed that the problems in the radio path affected t
hese bits must have had a similar affect on the non-training sequence bits.
4. The BTS begins a process in which it uses its knowledge of what happened
the training sequence to correct the other bit.

Adaptive equalization
As mentioned previously, Rayleigh fading is frequency dependent. This means that
the fading dips occur at different places for different frequencies. To benefit
from this fact, it is possible for the BTS and MS to hop from frequency to freq
uency during a call. The frequency hopping of the BTS and MS is synchronized.
In GSM there are 64 patterns of frequency hopping, one of which is a simple cycl
ic or sequential pattern. The remaining 63 are known as pseudo-random patterns w
hich an operator can choose from.

Frequency hopping
Timing advance is a solution specifically designed to counteract the problem of
time alignment. It works by instructing the misaligned MS to transmit its burst
earlier than it normally would.

Timing advance
The following figure summarizes the GSM transmission process. The details of tra
nsmission from an MS are described later in this section.

GSM transmission process


One of the primary functions of an MS is to convert the analog speech informatio
n into digital form for transmission using a digital signal. The analog to digit
al (A/D) conversion process outputs a collection of bits: binary ones and zeros
which represent the speech input.

The A/D conversion is performed by using a process called Pulse Code Modulation
(PCM). PCM involves three main steps:
Sampling involves measuring the analog signal at specific time intervals.

Analog signal sampling

The accuracy of describing the analog signal in digital terms depends on how oft
en the analog signal is sampled, among other things. This is expressed as the sa
mpling frequency. The sampling theory states that:
To reproduce an analog signal without distortion, the signal must be sampled wit
h at least twice the frequency of the highest frequency component in the analog
Normal speech mainly contains frequency components lower than 3400 Hz. Higher co
mponents have low energy and may be omitted without affecting the speech quality
much. Applying the sampling theory to analog speech signals, the sampling frequ
ency, should be at least 2 x 3.4 kHz = 6.8 kHz. Telecommunication systems use a
sampling frequency of 8 kHz, which is acceptable based on the sampling theory.
The next step is to give each sample a value. For this reason, the amplitude of
the signal at the time of sampling is measured and approximated to one of a fini
te set of values. The figure below shows the principle of quantization applied t
o an analog signal. It can be seen that a slight error is introduced in this pro
cess when the signal is quantized or approximated. The degree of accuracy depend
s on the number of quantization levels used. Within common telephony, 256 levels
are used while in GSM 8,192 levels are used.
Coding involves converting the quantized values into binary. Every value is repr
esented by a binary code of 13 bits (213= 8192). For example, a quantized value
of 2,157 would have a bit pattern of 0100001101101:
Coding of quantized value 2157
Summary of A/D Conversion
The result from the process of A/D conversion is 8,000 samples per second of 13
bits each. This is a bit rate of 104 kbits/s. When it is considered that 8 subsc
ribers use one radio channel, the overall bit rate would be 8 x 104 kbits/s = 83
2 kbits/s. Recalling the general rule of 1 bit per Hertz, this bit rate would no
t fit into the 200 kHz available for all 8 subscribers. The bit rate must be red
uced somehow - this is achieved using segmentation and speech coding.
The key to reducing the bit rate is to send information about the speech instead
of the speech itself. This can be explained with the following analogy:
In GSM, the speech coding process analyses speech samples and outputs parameter
s of what the speech consists of: the tone, length of tone, pitch, etc. This is
then transmitted through the network to another MS which generates the speech ba
sed on these parameters.
The process of segmentation and speech coding is explained in more detail as fo
The human speech process starts in the vocal chords or speech organs, where a t
one is generated. The mouth, tongue, teeth, etc. act as a filter, changing the n
ature of this tone. The aim of speech coding in GSM is to send only information
about the original tone itself and about the filter.
Segmentation: Given that the speech organs are relatively slow in adapting to ch
anges, the filter parameters representing the speech organs are approximately co
nstant during 20 ms. For this reason, when coding speech in GSM, a block of 20 m
s is coded into one set of bits. In effect, it is similar to sampling speech at
a rate of 50 times per second instead of the 8,000 used by A/D conversion.

Instead of using 13 bits per sample as in A/D conversion, GSM speech coding uses
260 bits. This calculates as 50 x 260 = 13 kbits/s. This provides a speech qual
ity which is acceptable for mobile telephony and comparable with wire-line PSTN
phones. Many types of speech coders offer better speech quality, at the expense
of a higher bit rate (waveform coders). Others use lower bit rates, at the expen
se of lower speech quality (vocoders). The hybrid coder which GSM uses provides
good speech quality with a relatively low bit rate, at the expense of speech cod
er complexity.
Channel coding in GSM uses the 260 bits from speech coding as an input and outpu
ts 456 encoded bits. The 260 bits are split according to their relative importan
Block 1: 50 very important bits
Block 2: 132 important bits and
Block 3: 78 not so important bits
The first block of 50 bits is sent through a block coder, which adds three parit
y bits to result in 53 bits. It is these three bits which are used to detect err
ors in a received message.
These 53 bits, the 132 bits in the second block and 4 tail bits (total = 189) ar
e sent to a 1:2 convolutional coder which outputs 378 bits. The bits added by th
e convolutional coder enable the correction of errors when the message is receiv
The remaining bits of block 3 are not protected.
Channel coding
First level of interleaving
The channel coder provides 456 bits for every 20 ms of speech. These are interle
aved, forming eight blocks of 57 bits each, as shown in the figure below.

Interleaving of 20 ms of encoded speech

As can be seen in Figure, in any one burst, there is space for two of these bloc
ks. (The remaining bits are explained later in this book.) Thus, if one burst tr
ansmission is lost, there is a 25% BER for the entire 20 ms of speech (2/8 = 25%
Normal burst
Second level of interleaving
If only one level of interleaving is used, a loss of this burst results in a tot
al loss of 25%. This is too much for the channel decoder to correct. A second le
vel of interleaving can be introduced to further reduce the possible BER to 12.5
Instead of sending two blocks of 57 bits from the same 20 ms of speech within on
e burst, a block from one 20 ms and a block from another 20 ms are sent together
. This causes a delay in the system, because the MS must wait for the next 20 ms
of speech. However, the system can now afford to loose a whole burst because th
e loss only affects 12.5% of the bits from each speech frame. This rate can be c
orrected by a channel decoder.
Speech frame
The purpose of ciphering is to encode the burst so that it cannot be interpreted
by any device other than the intended receiver. The ciphering algorithm in GSM
is called the A5 algorithm. It does not add bits to the burst, meaning that the
input and output to the ciphering process is the same as the input: 456 bits per
20 ms.
As previously explained, every transmission from an MS/BTS must include some ext
ra information such as the training sequence. The process of burst formatting is
to add these bits (along with some others such as tail bits) to the basic speec
h/data being sent. This increases the overall bit rate, but is necessary to coun
teract problems encountered on the radio path. In GSM, the input to burst format
ting is the 456 bits received from ciphering. Burst formatting adds a total of 1
36 bits per block of 20 ms, bringing the overall total to 592.
However, each time slot on a TDMA frame is 0.577 ms long. This provides enough t
ime for 156.25 bits to be transmitted (each bit takes 3.7 ms), but a burst only
contains 148 bits. The rest of the space, 8.25 bit times, is empty and is called
the Guard Period (GP). This time is used to enable the MS/BTS “ramp up” and “ramp dow
n”. To ramp up means to get power from the battery/power supply for transmission.
Ramping down is performed after each transmission to ensure that the MS is not u
sing battery power during time slots allocated to other MSs.
The output of burst formatting is a burst of 156.25 bits or 625 bits per 20 ms.
However, in order to regulate the modulator, some dummy bits are used on either
side of the burst. This brings the total to 676 bits per 20 ms of speech. When i
t is considered that there are 8 subscriber per TDMA frame, the overall bit rate
for GSM can be calculated to be 270.4 kbits/s.
The 676 bits per 20 ms of speech must then be sent over the air using a carrier
frequency. As previously explained, GSM uses the GMSK modulation technique. The
bits are modulated onto a carrier frequency (e.g. 912.2 MHz) and transmitted.


The GSM network is divided into three major systems:
Switching system (SS),
Base station system (BSS),
Operation and support system (OSS).
The basic GSM network elements are shown in figure:
The Switching System in Ericsson’s GSM systems contains the following components:

Switching System


The primary node in a GSM network is the MSC. It is the node which controls call
s both to MSs and from MSs. The primary functions of an MSC include the followin
• Switching and Call Routing: an MSC controls call set-up, supervision and release
and may interact with other nodes to successfully establish a call. This includ
es routing of calls from MSs to other networks such as a PSTN.
• Charging: an MSC contains functions for charging mobile calls and information ab
out the particular charge rates to apply to a call at any given time or for a gi
ven destination. During a call it records this information and stores it after t
he call, e.g. for output to a billing centre.
• Service provisioning: supplementary services are provided and managed by an MSC.
In addition, the SMS service is handled by MSCs.
• Communication with HLRs: the primary occasion on which an MSC and HLR communicat
e is during the set-up of a call to an MS, when the HLR requests some routing in
formation from the MSC.
• Communication with the VLR: associated with each MSC is a VLR, with which it com
municates for subscription information, especially during call set-up and releas
• Communication with other MSCs: it may be necessary for two MSCs to communicate w
ith each other during call set-up or handovers between cells belonging to differ
ent MSCs.
• Control of connected BSCs: as the BSS acts as the interface between the MSs and
the SS, the MSC has the function of controlling the primary BSS node: the BSC. E
ach MSC may control many BSCs, depending on the volume of traffic in a particula
r MSC service area. An MSC may communicate with its BSCs during; for example, ca
ll set-up and handovers between two BSCs.
The role of a VLR in a GSM network is to act as a temporary storage location for
subscription information for MSs which are within a particular MSC service area
. Thus, there is one VLR for each MSC service area. This means that the MSC does
not have to contact the HLR (which may be located in another country) every tim
e the subscriber uses a service or changes its status.

The following occurs when MSs move into a new service area:
• The VLR checks its database to determine whether or not it has a record for the
MS (based on the subscriber’s IMSI).
• When the VLR finds no record for the MS, it sends a request to the subscriber’s H
LR for a copy of the MS’s subscription.
• The HLR passes the information to the VLR and updates its location information f
or the subscriber. The HLR instructs the old VLR to delete the information it ha
s on the MS.
• The VLR stores its subscription information for the MS, including the latest lo
cation and status (idle).
VLR-HLR interaction
For the duration which the MS is within in its MSC service area, a VLR contains
a complete copy of the necessary subscription details, including the following i
nformation for each MS:
• Identity numbers for the subscriber
• Supplementary service information (e.g. whether the subscriber has call forwardi
ng on busy activated or not)
• Activity of MS (e.g. idle)
• Current LA of MS
Gateway functionality enables an MSC to interrogate a HLR in order to route a mo
bile terminating call. It is not used in calls from MSs to any terminal other th
an another MS. For example, if a person connected to the PSTN wants to make a al
l to a GSM mobile subscriber, then the PSTN exchange will access the GSM network
by first connecting the call to a GMSC. The GMSC requests call routing informat
ion from the HLR which provides information about which MSC/VLR to route the cal
l to. The same is true of a call from an MS to another MS.


The HLR is a centralized network database that stores and manages all mobile sub
scriptions belonging to a specific operator. It acts as a permanent store for a
person’s subscription information until that subscription is cancelled. The inform
ation stored includes:
• Subscriber identity (i.e. IMSI, MSISDN)
• Subscriber supplementary services
• Subscriber location information (i.e. MSC service area)
• Subscriber authentication information
The primary functions of the HLR include:
• Subscription Database Management: as a database, the HLR must be able to process
data quickly in response to data retrieval and update requests from other netwo
rk nodes. For this reason it acts as a database management system. Each subscrib
er record contains a substantial amount of parameters.
• Communication with MSCs: when setting up calls to an MS, it is necessary for the
HLR to contact the MSC serving the MS for routing information.
• Communication with GMSCs: during call set-up to an MS, the GMSC requests MS loca
tion information from the HLR, which then provides this in the form of routing i
nformation. Also, if the subscriber is detached the HLR will inform the GMSC tha
t there is no need to perform further routing of the call. By analysing the IMSI
, a GMSC knows which HLR to contact worldwide for that MS’s subscription.
• Communication with AUCs: before any activity involving change or use of subscrip
tion information takes place, the HLR must retrieve new authentication parameter
s from an AUC.
• Communication with VLRs/ILRs: when an MS moves into a new MSC service area the V
LR for that area requests information about the MS from the HLR of the subscribe
r. The HLR provides a copy of the subscription details, updates its MS location
information and instructs the old VLR to delete the information it has about tha
t MS. As the ILR acts as a VLR for AMPS subscribers, the HLR communicates with i
t in a similar way.
PLMNs need a higher level of protection than traditional telecommunication netwo
rks. Therefore, to protect GSM systems, the following security functions have be
en defined:
• Subscriber Authentication: by performing authentication, the network ensures tha
t no unauthorized users can access the network, including those which are attemp
ting to impersonate others.
• Radio Information Ciphering: the information sent between the network and an MS
is ciphered. An MS can only decipher information intended for itself.
• Mobile Equipment Identification: because the subscriber and equipment are separa
te in GSM, it is necessary to have a separate authentication process for the MS
equipment. This ensures, e.g. that a mobile terminal which has been stolen is no
t able to access the network.
• Subscriber Identity Confidentiality: during communication with an MS over a radi
o link, it is desirable that the real identity (IMSI) of the MS is not always tr
ansmitted. Instead a temporary identity (TMSI) can be used. This helps to avoid
subscription fraud.

The primary function of an AUC is to provide information which is then used by a
n MSC/VLR to perform subscriber authentication and to establish ciphering proced
ures on the radio link between the network and MSs.
The information provided is called a triplet and consists of:
1. A non predictable RANDom number (RAND)
2. A Signed RESponse (SRES)
3. A ciphering Key (Kc)

Provision of Triplets
At subscription time, each subscriber is assigned a subscriber authentication Ke
y (Ki). Ki is stored in the AUC along with the subscriber’s IMSI. Both are used in
the process of providing a triplet. The same Ki and IMSI are also stored in the
SIM. In an AUC the following steps are carried out to produce one triplet:
1. A non-predictable random number, RAND, is generated.
2. RAND and Ki are used to calculate SRES and Kc, using two different algorithms
, A3 and A8 respectively.
3. RAND, SRES and Kc are delivered together to the HLR as a triplet.

Authentication Procedure
1. The MSC/VLR transmits the RAND to the MS.
2. The MS uses RAND in the A3 and A8 algorithms to compute the SRES and Ki.
3. The signature SRES is sent back to MSC/VLR which performs authentication, by
checking whether the SRES from the MS and the SRES from the AUC match. If so, th
e subscriber is permitted to use the network. If not, the subscriber is barred f
rom network access.

Authentication can be performed during:

• Each registration
• Each call setup attempt
• Location updating
• Before supplementary service activation and deactivation There can be exceptions
for subscribers belonging to other PLMNs.


An MC may be added to a GSM network to provide one or more of the following mess
aging services:
• Voice mail
• Fax mail
• Short Message Service (SMS) text messages
• SMS Cell Broadcast (SMSCB) text messages


In GSM there is a distinction between subscription and mobile equipment. As ment
ioned above, the AUC checks the subscription at access. The EIR checks the mobil
e equipment to prevent a stolen or non-type-approved MS from being used.
Equipment Identification Procedure
The equipment identification procedure uses the identity of the equipment itself
(IMEI) to ensure that the MS terminal equipment is valid.
1. The MSC/VLR requests the IMEI from the MS.
2. MS sends IMEI to MSC.
3. MSC/VLR sends IMEI to EIR.
4. On reception of IMEI, the EIR examines three lists:
– A WHITE LIST containing all number series of all equipment identities that have
been allocated in the different participating GSM countries.
– A BLACK LIST containing all equipment identities that have been barred.
– A GRAY LIST (on operator level) containing faulty or non approved mobile equipme
5. The result is sent to MSC/VLR, which then decides whether or not to allow net
work access for the terminal equipment.

Equipment identification
The decision to identify equipment remains with individual operators. GSM specif
ications recommend identification for each attempted call set-up.
Ericsson’s ILR offers roaming capabilities between mobile telephony systems comply
ing with different standards. The ILR is specific to the CMS 40 product portfoli
o and enables AMPS network subscribers to roam to a GSM 1900 network. The ILR co
nsists of an AMPS HLR, a GSM 1900 VLR and interfacing functions.


The Base Station system is responsible for all the radio related functions in th
e system, such as:
Radio communication with the mobile units
Handover of calls in progress between cells
Management of all radio network resources and cell configuration data.
Ericsson’s BSS consists of three components:
• Base station Controller (BSC): BSC is the central node within a BSS and co-ordin
ates the actions of TRCs and RBSs.
• Transcoder controller (TRC): The TRC provides the BSS with rate adaptation capab
ilities. This is necessary because the rate used over the air interface and that
used by MSC/VLR are different – 33.8 kbits/s and 64 kbits/s respectively. A devic
e which performs rate adaptation is called a Transcoder.
• Radio Base Station (RBS): RBS acts as interface between MSs and the network, by
providing radio coverage functions from their antennae.

The Base Station Controller, BSC, controls and supervises the radio resources in
BTS. Together with BTS, the BSC forms the Base Station System (BSS), responsibl
e for the management and cell configuration data in the radio network. The main
functions of the BSC are:
• administration of resources in BSS,
• supervision of BTS,
• connection handling of mobile stations,
• locating and handover,
• administration of paging,
• transmission network management,
• operation and maintenance of BSS
The Transcoder Rate Adaptation (TRA) function performs encoding and decoding of
speech and rate adaptation of data. It multiplexes a number of TCHs onto one 64
kbps channel improving transmission efficiency between the BSC and the BTS.
TRA functions include:
• Transcoding of speech information: Speech at 64 kbps to/from the MSC is transcoded
to 13 kbps towards the RBS enabling four compressed channels to be multiplexed o
nto one 64 kbps channel.
• additional control information (3 kbps) is added to the transcoded rate of 13 kbps
towards the RBS giving a final output of 16 kbps.
• rate adaptation of data information (maximum data rate supported at present in GSM
is 9.6kbit/s).
• DTX functions on the uplink, which allows the mobile radio transmitter to be powere
d down most of the time during speech pauses.
Radio Base Station (RBS)
The RBS handles the radio interface to the mobile station. One RBS can serve 1,
2 or 3 cells. A group of RBSs is controlled by 1 BSC. Ericsson has 3 base statio
n families and they are RBS 200 & RBS 2000 series (2202 & 2206).RBS 2202 is expl
ained below:

RBS 2202:
The RBS 2202 is a member of the RBS 2000 family and is used in indoor applicatio
ns with up to six transceivers. It can be configured for omni cells or multi-cel
ls up to three-sector cells.

The RBS 2202 can be installed in any indoor environment. RBS 2202 uses the same
replaceable units as all RBSs in the RBS 2000 Macro family. RBS 2202 supports al
l the standard features of the RBS 2000 family,
Such as
frequency hopping
receiver diversity
duplex filters
dynamic power regulation
discontinuous transmission/reception

RBS 2202 is designed to apply to the most common voltage systems. In order to re
duce the cabinet size, all required transmission equipment and backup battery mu
st be housed outside the RBS 2202 cabinet. The RBS 2202 cabinet contains the rad
io equipment, power supply and the Climate equipment (fans). RBS 2202 is designe
d to fulfill applicable parts of the GSM standards.
The RBS 2202 cabinet consists of the radio cabinet mounted on a base frame. On t
op of the cabinet it is possible to mount a cowl.
The radio cabinet contains a number of units. These are all easily accessible fr
om the front of the cabinet. The base frame is used as a mounting base. It is mo
unted on the floor in order to hold the radio cabinet in place.
Product Architecture of RBS
Replaceable Units (RUs)
The RBS 2202 consists of the following RUs:-
Distribution Switch Unit (DXU)
Transceiver Unit(TRU)
Energy Control Unit (ECU)
Combining and Distribution Unit (CDU)
Power Supply Unit (PSU)
RBS 2202
Distribution Switch Unit (DXU)
The Distribution Switch Unit (DXU) is the central control unit of the RBS. There
is one DXU per RBS. In multi cabinet configurations the DXU is located in the M
aster Cabinet only. DXU node handles the Managed Object Central Functions (CF).
The DXU consists of four/five main blocks:
Central Processing Unit (CPU)
Central Timing Unit (CTU)
High Level Data Link Controller (HDLC) concentrator
TG Synchronization (TG Sync)
The functions of the DXU are common to one RBS. These include:
• Distribution Switch
• Timing Unit (A timing reference for the RBS is generated by extracting the synchro
nization information from the PCM link or from an internal source).
• Collects up to 16 external alarms (product dependent)
• Local bus interface RS 485 (Acts as master on the bus and communicates with distri
buted main RUs).
• PCM interface G.703 (Supervision of transmission faults)
• Manages the A-bis link resources
• Concentrates the control links (LAPD signaling to the BSC)
• Stores software for the entire RBS in a non-volatile memory
• Maintains the Installation Database (IDB) which is integrated with the DXU (The ID
B contains information regarding the installed hardware - each RU identity, its
physical position and related configuration parameters).
These functions enable the DXU to establish connection with the BSC (the PCM Lin
k) and cross connect individual time slots to certain transceivers.
Transceiver Unit (TRU)
The Transceiver Unit (TRU) is a transmitter/receiver and signal processing unit
which transmits and receives the radio frequency signals that are passed to and
from the mobile station. There are different versions of TRU depending on the fr
equency band. One TRU can serve eight full rate duplex channels or 16 half rate
channels. The TRU has one transmit antenna terminal and two receive terminals.
The TRU supports diversity reception. Diversity is used to improve the receiver
performance. It is achieved by having two independent receiver paths. The signal
s are combined in the signal processing in the Digital Block.
The TRU consists of three main blocks.
Digital Block
Transmitter Block (TX-block)
Receiver Block (RX-Block)
Digital Block
The digital block serves as the TRX controller. It communicates with other RBS c
omponents via the Local Bus, CDU Bus, and Timing Bus and X Bus. The digital bloc
k performs uplink and downlink digital signal processing such as channel coding,
interleaving, ciphering, and burst-formatting and equalization.

Transmitter Block (TX-block)

The transmitter block carries out the Transmitter (TX) functions including GMSK
modulation, RF generation and power amplification. When base-band hopping is emp
loyed each TX transmits on the same frequency and the physical channel data will
be sent from different TXs with each burst. With synthesizer hopping the physic
al channel data will be sent from the same TX all the time but will use a new fr
equency with every burst.
Receiver Block (RX-block)
The receiver block carries out the Receiver (RX) functions for reception and dem
odulation. There are two RX per TRU. The receiver is capable of frequency hoppin
g. The radio loop between the TX and RX makes it possible to test the entire TRU
by generating test signals.
The TRU includes all functions related to one radio carrier supporting eight Bas
ic Physical Channels (BPC) on a TDMA frame. The functions include:
• Radio transmitting
• GMSK modulation
• RF generation
• Power amplification
• Radio receiving
• Base band hopping/synthesizer hopping
• Diversity
• Air interface signal processing
• TRX management
Energy Control Unit (ECU)
The Energy Control Unit (ECU) controls and supervises the power equipment (PSU,
BFU, battery, AC Connection Unit) and climate equipment (fans, heater, cooler an
d heat exchanger). The ECU observes alarm signals from power and climate system.
The purpose of the ECU is to protect equipment within the RBS from conditions t
hat could reduce lifetime and reliability. The ECU protects the equipment during
power failure conditions and cold-start up.
The ECU consists of five main blocks:
Central Processing Unit
Power and cold start
Local bus
Optical interface
Combining & Distribution Unit (CDU)
The Combining and Distribution Unit (CDU) is the interface between Transceivers
(TRUs) and the antenna system. The CDU allows several TRUs to share antennas.
To support different configurations a range of CDU types have been developed. Th
is description is of the CDU as a unit.

Block diagram, CDU

CDUs consist of the following main blocks:
RF Filtering
It combines a number of transmitter outputs to one antenna. Several combiners ma
y be used to combine two groups of transmitters, although there is a practical l
imit as to how far this may be taken. See (A) in the functional diagram above.
Receiver (RX) Divider Amplifier splits received signals into several independent
circuits, thus permitting many receivers to operate from one antenna. See (B) i
n the simplified functional diagram above.
Allows a transmitter signal to pass an antenna at the same time as allowing rece
ive signals to pass from the same antenna to the receiver.
RF Filtering
Due to the possibility of interference from unwanted signals and other undesirab
le products, it is necessary to incorporate RF filtering inside the CDUs. This i
s implemented by means of band pass filters (BP) in both Transmit and Receive pa
ths which reject signals outside the operating band in use. The receiver BP is c
onnected in the circuits from antennas before any active amplifying device or si
gnal path splitter circuit. The transmitter BP is inserted into the signal path
after all transmitter combining circuits.
Functions of the RBS
• This provides a system interface to the A-bis interface and is used to cross con
nect individual time slots to transceivers. The DXU also provides the RBS synchr
onization timing reference for RBS operation.
• This contains the receiver and transmitter circuitry needed for handling 8 time
slots of information on the air interface. The TRU contains RF measurement circu
its used for testing transmitter and receiver properties.
• This is responsible for combining transmitted signals from various transceivers
and distributing received signals to all transceivers.
• This supervises and controls the power equipment (PSUs), and regulates the envir
onment conditions inside the cabinet.
The operations and maintenance centre (OMC) is connected to all equipment in the
switching system and to the BSC. The implementation of OMC is called the operat
ion and support system (OSS). The OSS is the functional entity from which the ne
twork operator monitors and controls the system. The purpose of OSS is to offer
the customer cost-effective support for centralized, regional and local operatio
nal and maintenance activities that are required for a GSM network. An important
function of OSS is to provide a network overview and support the maintenance ac
tivities of different operation and maintenance organizations.
One of the most important tasks in a mobile telephony system is to continuously
keep track of where mobile stations are located. One primary function of the Mob
ile Services Switching Centre (MSC) and Visitor Location Register (VLR) is to st
ore information, such as location area, about different mobile stations.
It is the responsibility of the mobile station to always inform the network abou
t changes in its location and it must also continuously verify that it is tuned
to the strongest frequency.
There are four primary interfaces within the BSS where traffic and signalling in
formation is received and transmitted. The A interface exchanges information be
tween the MSC/VLR and the TRC, the A-ter Interface between the TRC and BSCs, the
A-bis Interface transmits information between the BSC and BTS, while the Air In
terface operates between the BTS and MS.
There are basically two ways of building the interfaces:
2 Mbps PCM interface. The E1 physical channel is divided into 32 time slots, eac
h with a bit rate of 64 kbps. This is the normal configuration in a GSM 900 and
GSM 1800 network
1.5 Mbps PCM interface. The T1 physical channel is divided into 24 time slots, e
ach with a bit rate of 64 kbps. This is the normal configuration in a GSM 1900 n

The A-Interface provides two distinct types of information, signalling and traff
ic, between the MSC and the BSS. The speech is transcoded in the TRC and the SS7
signalling is transparently connected through the TRC or on a separate link to
the BSC. The picture below shows the mapping of the traffic information on the P

The A-ter interface is the link between the TRC and the BSC. In the TRC the spee
ch is transcoded from 64 kbit/s to 16 kbit/s: 13 kbit/s of speech information an
d 3 kbit/s of in-band signalling information. The pictures below show how the tr
affic information is mapped to the PCM links:

The A-bis Interface is responsible for transmitting traffic and signalling infor
mation between the BSC and the BTS. The transmission protocol used for sending s
ignalling information on the A-bis interface is Link Access Protocol on the D Ch

The Air Interface uses the Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) technique to tra
nsmit and receive traffic and signalling information between the BTS and MS. The
TDMA technique is used to divide each carrier into eight time slots. These time
slots are then assigned to specific users, allowing up to eight conversations t
o be handled simultaneously by the same carrier.
The path used to carry information between a Mobile Station and a Base Transceiv
er Station is known as the Physical Channel. The Control and Traffic Channels ar
e further subdivided; there are two types of Traffic Channels and three categori
es of Control Channels with a total of nine different types.
Each timeslot on a TDMA frame is called a physical channel. Therefore, there are
8 physical channels per carrier frequency in GSM. Physical channels can be used
to transmit speech, data or signaling information.

The TDMA channel concept

A physical channel may carry different messages, depending on the information wh
ich is to be sent. These messages are called logical channels. For example, on o
ne of the physical channels used for traffic, the traffic itself is transmitted
using a Traffic Channel (TCH) message, while a handover instruction is transmitt
ed using a Fast Associated Control Channel (FACCH) message.
The information contained in one time slot on the TDMA frame is called a burst.
There are five types of bursts:
Normal Burst: used to carry information on traffic and control channels.
Frequency Correction Burst: used for frequency synchronization of the mo
Synchronization Burst: used for frame synchronization of the mobile.
Access Burst: used for random access and handover access.
Dummy Burst: used when no other type of burst is to be sent.
There are 12 logical channels in the system. Two are used for traffic, nine for
control signaling and one for message distribution. Many types of logical channe
ls exist; each designed to carry a different message to or from an MS. All infor
mation to and from an MS must be formatted correctly, so that the receiving devi
ce can understand the meaning of different bits in the message.

Logical channels and bursts

When an MS is switched on, it searches for a BTS to connect to. The MS scans the
entire frequency band, or, optionally, uses a list containing the allocated car
rier frequencies for this operator. When the MS finds the strongest carrier, it
must then determine if it is a control channel. It does so by searching for a pa
rticular logical channel called Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH). A frequency ca
rrying BCCH contains important information for an MS, including e.g. the current
LA identity, synchronization information and network identity. Without such inf
ormation, an MS cannot work with a network. This information is broadcast at reg
ular intervals, leading to the term Broadcast Channel (BCH) information.
According to their functions, four different classes of control channels are def
• Broadcast channels.
• Common control channels.
• Dedicated control channels.
• Associated control channels.
Broadcast channels (BCH)
The BCH channels are used, by the base station, to provide the mobile station wi
th the sufficient information it needs to synchronize with the network. Three di
fferent types of BCHs can be distinguished:
• The Broadcast Control Channel (BCCH), which gives to the mobile station the para
meters needed in order to identify and access the network
• The Synchronization Channel (SCH), carries information about the TDMA frame numb
• The Frequency-Correction Channel (FCCH), which supplies the mobile station with
the frequency reference of the system in order to synchronize it with the networ
When the MS has finished analyzing the information on a BCH, it then has all the
information required to work with a network. However, if the MS roams to anothe
r cell, it must repeat the process of reading FCCH, SCH and BCCH in the new cell
. If the mobile subscriber then wishes to make or receive a call, the Common Con
trol CHannels (CCCH) must be used.
Common Control Channels (CCCH)
The CCCH channels help to establish the calls from the mobile station or the net
work. Three different types of CCCH can be defined:
• The Paging Channel (PCH). It is used to alert the mobile station of an incoming
• The Random Access Channel (RACH), which is used by the mobile station to request
access to the network
• The Access Grant Channel (AGCH). It is used, by the base station, to inform the
mobile station about which channel it should use. This channel is the answer of
a base station to a RACH from the mobile station
At this stage the MS and BSS are ready to begin call set-up procedures. For this
the MS and BSS use Dedicated Control CHannels (DCCHs).

Dedicated Control Channels (DCCH)

The DCCH channels are used for message exchange between several mobiles or a mob
ile and the network. Two different types of DCCH can be defined:
• The Standalone Dedicated Control Channel (SDCCH), which is used in order to exch
ange signaling information in the downlink and uplink directions.
• The Slow Associated Control Channel (SACCH). It is used for channel maintenance
and channel control.
• The Fast Associated Control Channels (FACCH) replace all or part of a traffic ch
annel when urgent signaling information must be transmitted. The FACCH channels
carry the same information as the SDCCH channels.
Traffic Channels
Once call set-up procedures have been completed on the control physical channel,
the MS tunes to a traffic physical channel. It uses the Traffic CHannel (TCH) l
ogical channel. There are two types of TCH:
1. Full rate (TCH): transmits full rate speech (13kbits/s). A full rate TCH
occupies one physical channel.
2. Half rate (TCH/2): transmits half rate speech (5.6kbits/s). Two half rate
TCHs can share one physical channel, thus doubling the capacity of a cell.

To switch a call to a mobile subscriber, the right identities need to be involve
d. It is therefore important to address them correctly. The numbers used to iden
tify the identities in a GSM network are described in this chapter. Numbering pl
ans are used to identify different networks.
The MSISDN is a number which uniquely identifies a mobile telephone subscription
in the public switched telephone network numbering plan. These are the digits d
ialed when calling a mobile subscriber.
GSM 900
In GSM 900, the MSISDN consists of the following:
CC = Country Code
NDC = National Destination Code
SN = Subscriber Number
A NDC is allocated to each PLMN. In some countries, more than one NDC may be req
uired for each PLMN.
The IMSI is a unique identity allocated to each subscriber to allow correct iden
tification over the radio path and through the network and is used for all signa
lling in the PLMN. All network related subscriber information is connected to th
e IMSI. The IMSI is stored in the SIM, as well as in the HLR and in the serving

MCC = Mobile Country Code

MNC = Mobile Network Code
MSIN = Mobile Station Identification Number
According to the GSM specifications, IMSI has a maximum length of 15 digits. MNC
expansion In order to make it possible to define more than 100 operators under
one MCC, the MNC is extended from two to three decimal digits in Ericsson’s GSM sy
stem. The MNC parameter is also used in the Cell Global Identity and in the Loca
tion Area Identity. In order to maintain backward compatibility and to allow the
Ericsson BSS to be connected to equipment from other vendors, the Ericsson impl
ementation has the possibility to switch from two to three MNC digits on both th
e air interface and the A interface. A changeable exchange property is used to d
ecide if the third digit is used.
The TMSI is a temporary number used instead of IMSI to identify a MS. The TMSI i
s used for the subscriber’s confidentiality on the air interface. The TMSI has onl
y local significance (that is, within the MSC/VLR area) and is changed at certai
n events or time intervals. The TMSI structure can be chosen by each operator bu
t should not consist of more than four octets (8 digits).
A MSRN is used during the call setup phase for mobile terminating calls. Each mo
bile terminating call enters the GMSC in the PLMN. The call is then re-routed by
the GMSC, to the MSC where the called mobile subscriber is located. For this pu
rpose, a unique number (MSRN) is allocated by the MSC and provided to the GMSC.
The MSRN is seized for the call setup phase only and released immediately afterw
ards. The call setup takes place in the following way:
1. GMSC receives a signalling message "Initial Address Message" for the incoming
call (MSISDN).
2. GMSC sends a signalling message "Send Routing Information" to the HLR where t
he subscriber data is stored (MSISDN).
3. HLR uses MSISDN to find the subscriber data in the database. The Supplementar
y Service (Call forward unconditional not active) is verified. The VLR address t
hat corresponds to the subscriber location and the IMSI are retrieved. HLR sends
a signalling message "Provide Roaming Number" using the VLR address as the dest
ination (IMSI).
4. VLR having received the message, requests MSC to seize an idle MSRN and to as
sociate it with the IMSI received. VLR sends back the result to the HLR (MSRN).
5. HLR sends back the result to the GMSC (MSRN).
6. GMSC uses MSRN to re-route the call to the MSC. MSC receives a signalling mes
sage "Initial Address Message" for the incoming call (MSRN). MSC performs digit
analysis on the received MSRN. The result is "Mobile terminating". The MSC finds
the association between the MSRN and the IMSI. The MSRN is released and the IMS
I is used for the final establishment of the call.
The Use of MSRN:
The interrogation call routing function (request for a MSRN) is a part of the Mo
bile Application Part (MAP). All data exchanged between the GMSC-HLR-MSC/VLR for
the purpose of interrogation is sent over the signalling network. The Mobile St
ation Roaming Number (MSRN) consists of three parts:
CC = Country Code
NDC = National Destination Code
SN = Subscriber Number
The CGI is used for cell identification within a location area. This is done by
adding a Cell Identity (CI) to the components of a LAI. CI has a maximum length
of 16 bits.
CGI consists of:


BSIC allows a mobile station to distinguish between different neighboring base s
tations. BSIC consists of:
NCC = Network Colour Code (3 bits), identifies the PLMN. Note that it does not u
niquely identify the operator. NCC is primarily used to distinguish between oper
ators on each side of a border.
BCC = Base Station Colour Code (3 bits), identifies the Base Station to help dis
tinguish between BTS using the same BCCH frequencies.
When any subscriber (MS) roam with in the same PLMN or in other than it continuo
usly changes its location area, than to access the new network it has to make lo
cation update. In other words when MS roam and select a network in IDLE MODE it
A roaming mobile subscriber, moves freely within the GSM network. To keep the sy
stem updated with the current subscriber location information, the MS must infor
m the system whenever it changes location area. A location area consists of one
or more cells in which a MS can move around without needing to update the system
on its location. A location area is controlled by one or more Base Station Cont
rollers (BSCs) but by only one Mobile services Switching Center (MSC). A MSC can
control more than one location area.
The BSC sends paging messages to the Radio Base Station (RBS) defined within a c
ertain location area. If the MS moves between cells belonging to different locat
ion areas, then network must be informed via a procedure called location updatin
There are four different types of location updating:
• Normal
• IMSI detach
• IMSI attach
• Periodic registration


The Base Transceiver Station (BTS) of every cell continuously transmits the loca
tion area identity on the control channel (BCCH). When the MS detects that the b
roadcast location area identity is different from the one stored in the SIM-card
, it performs a location update.
If the mobile subscriber is unknown to the Mobile services Switching Center/Visi
tor Location Register (MSC/VLR), i.e. the broadcast location area belongs to a n
ew MSC/VLR serving area, then the new MSC/VLR must be updated with subscriber in
formation. This subscriber information comes from the Home Location Register (HL

This location updating procedure is described in the following steps and shown i
n Figure below:
1. The MS requests a location update to be carried out in the new MSC/VLR. The I
MSI is used to identify the MS. An International Mobile Equipment Identity (I
MEI) check is also performed if carried out in the network.
2. In the new MSC/VLR, an analysis of the IMSI number is carried out. The result
of this analysis is a modification of the IMSI to a Mobile Global Title (MGT) w
hich is used to address the HLR.
3. The new MSC/VLR requests the subscriber information for the MS from the HLR.
4. The HLR stores the address of the new MSC/VLR.
5. The HLR sends the subscriber data to the new MSC/VLR.
6. The HLR also orders the old serving MSC/VLR to cancel all information for the
subscriber because the mobile subscriber is now served by another MSC/VLR.
7. When the new MSC/VLR receives the information from the HLR, it sends a locati
on updating confirmation message to the MS.

Normal Location up date (to a new MSC/VLR)

In the system information broadcast on the control channel (BCCH), the MS receiv
es information on whether the IMSI attach/detach function is used or not. If it
is used, the MS must inform the network when it is entering an inactive state (d
The procedure is as follows:
1. At power off or when the SIM card is taken out, the MS asks for a signaling c
2. The MS uses this signaling channel to send the IMSI detach message to the M
3. In the VLR, an IMSI detach flag is set for the subscriber. This is used to re
ject incoming call to the MS.

Implicit Detach
If the MS sends an IMSI detach message to the system and the radio link quality
is poor, the system might not be able to decode the information. Because no ackn
owledgment is sent to the MS, no further attempt is made. In this case, the syst
em still regards the MS as attached. If periodic registration is in use, the sys
tem will soon determine that the MS is detached. The VLR then performs an implic
it detach, marking the MS as detached.
MS Purging
MS purging is used to inform the HLR that the VLR is about to remove a subscribe
r record from the VLR. The HLR then sets the MS purged flag and treats the subsc
riber as unreachable. This saves unnecessary network signaling and database look
up. For example, a UK MS travels to Australia and performs a location update in
an MSC/VLR in Australia. Later, the subscriber travels back to the UK, which tak
es some time. During this period, the subscriber is not active. If MS purging is
not used, when a caller makes a call to the MS, the HLR identifies the MS as re
gistered in the Australian MSC/VLR and routes the call to it. The MSC/VLR then i
nforms the HLR that the subscriber is unreachable. If MS purging is used, the UK
subscriber’s record will have been purged from the Australian MSC/VLR. When a cal
l is made to the subscriber, the HLR identifies the MS as unreachable and does n
ot contact the Australian MSC/VLR.
IMSI attach is a complement to the IMSI detach procedure. It is used by the mobi
le subscriber to inform the network that it has re-entered an active state and i
s still in the same location area. If the MS changes location area while being s
witched off, a normal
Location update takes place.
The IMSI attach procedure is as follows:
1. The MS requests a signaling channel.
2. The MSC/VLR receives the IMSI attach message from the MS.
3. The MSC/VLR sets the IMSI attach in the VLR. The mobile is now ready for norm
al call handling.
4. The VLR returns an acknowledgment to the MS.
Periodic location updating is used to avoid unnecessary paging of the MS in case
s where the MSC does not receive the IMSI detach message
The periodic location updating procedure is as follows:
1. The MS receives information on whether periodic registration is used. If peri
odic registration is used, the MS is told how often to inform the system that
it is reachable.
2. The procedure is controlled by timers both in the MS and in the MSC . In the
MSC there is a time-scanning function for the MSs.
3. When the timer in the MS expires, the phone is forced to perform periodic loc
ation updating The timers in the MS and the MSC then restart. If the cellular ph
one does not register within the determined time interval plus a safety interval
, then the MSC scanning function detects this and the MS is marked detached.
An MS is in active mode when there is a call (speech, fax or data), or a call se
t up procedure taking place.
Whenever MS roams in active mode means in busy condition and changes location ar
ea than it is necessary that call would remain continue, under this condition w
hen MS makes LU in different LA it is called HANDOVER.

The process of changing cells during a call is called handover in GSM terminolog
y. To choose the best target cell, measurements are performed by the MS and the
RBS. Because the MS contributes to the handover decision, this type of handover
is often called Mobile Assisted Hand-Over (MAHO).
An MS continuously measures signal strength and quality on it’s own cell and signa
l strength on the BCCH carriers of the neighboring cells. The measurements are c
arried out on the downlink while MS is in active mode. The measurement results a
re sent to the RBS on SACCH at regular intervals. The serving RBS measures signa
l strength and quality on the uplink.

Fig: Measurements sent to BSC

The measurements from the RBS and MS are sent to the BSC in the form of measurem
ents reports. Based on these reports, the BSC decides if a handover is necessary
and to which cell. This is called locating. As soon as a neighboring cell is con
sidered to be better than the serving cell, a handover is attempted. Another rea
son for attempting a handover, apart from signal strength and quality, is when t
he Timing Advance (TA) used by MS exceeds a threshold value set by the operator.
This usually happens when the MS is moving over the cell border to another cell
. When the MS has changed cells, the new RBS informs the MS about the new neighb
oring BCCH carriers so measurements can be taken again. If the MS has also switc
hed to a new LA, a location updating type normal takes place after the call has
There are several types of handover, including:
• Intra-MSC handover — both cells belong to the same MSC. There are two types of intr
a-MSC handovers defined:
– Intra-BSC handover — both cells belong to the same BSC. In this case, the BSC mana
ges most of the handover.
– Inter-BSC handover — the two cells belong to different BSCs, but to the same MSC.
In this case, the MSC is involved in the signaling.
• Inter-MSC handover — the two cells belong to different MSCs. In this case, at least t
wo MSCs are involved. This case has some sub-cases which are covered later. Inte
r-MSC handover is defined as national handover only. According to GSM, it works
within one network only. That is, MSCs belonging to one operator.
Handover between cells controlled by different MSC/VLRs can only be performed wi
thin one PLMN and not between two PLMNs. Cells controlled by different MSC/VLRs
also means that they are controlled by different BSCs.
The sequence follows as :
1. The serving (old) BSC sends a Handover required message to the serving MSC (M
SC–A), with the identity of the target cell.
2. MSC–A identifies that this cell belongs to another MSC, (MSC–B), and requests hel
3. MSC–B allocates a handover number to reroute the call. A Handover Request is th
en sent to the new BSC.
4. The new BSC orders the target RBS to activate a TCH.
5. MSC–B receives the information, and passes it on to MSC– A together with the hand
over number.
6. A link is set up to MSC–B, possibly via PSTN.
7. MSC–A sends a handover command to the MS, via the old BSC.
8. The MS tunes to the new frequency and transmits handover access bursts in the
correct time slot.
9. When the new RBS detects the handover bursts it sends information about TA.
10. The MS sends Handover Complete message to the old MSC via the new BSC and th
e new MSC/VLR.
11. A new path in the group switches in MSC–A is established, and the call is swit
ched through.
12. The old TCH is deactivated by the old BSC (not shown in the picture). The ol
d MSC, MSC–A, retains main control of the call until the call is cleared. This is
because it contains the information about the subscriber and call details such a
s charging. After call release, the MS must perform location updating because an
LA never belongs to more than one MSC/VLR service area. The HLR is updated by t
he VLR–B, and will in turn tell VLR–A to delete all information about the mobile sub

Handover: cells controlled by different MSCs

GSM phase 2+ uses different MAP versions: (MAP 1, MAP 2, and MAP 3). This sectio
n describes the Basic Handover procedures for MAP 2 only.
1. When the MS moves between cells, the serving BSC detects that a handover to a
new cell is necessary. The BSC sends a HANDOVER REQUIRED message to the serving
MSC (MSC-A), identifying the cell to which the MS should be handed over to.
2. Once the HANDOVER REQUIRED message is received from the serving MSC, MSC-A se
lects and analyzes the cell in the Cell Identifier List.
3. MSC-B now allocates a free radio resource in the target cell by contacting th
e target BSC (BSC-B).If the allocation is successful, the MSC-B sends a PREPARE
HANDOVER reply containing a HANDOVER REQUEST ACKNOWLEDGE message and the handove
r number, if requested, to MSC-A.
4. After MSC-B has allocated a radio resource, MSC-A sets up a speech connection
with the received handover number to MSC-B through the PLMN or PSTN/ISDN networ
5. MSC-A orders the MS to tune to the new radio channel by sending the HANDOVER
COMMAND message to the serving BSC.
6. MSC-A then waits for a response, such as a HANDOVER DETECT message, the answe
r signal, or the SEND END SIGNAL containing a HANDOVER COMPLETE message. The Gro
up Switch (GS) only operates if a circuit connection had been established and ve
rified via a response before the GS trigger timer expires.

7. If the MSC-A receives a HANDOVER COMPLETE message, the handover is considered

complete and the A interface resources toward BSC-A are released. Now MSCB has
the main radio resource control for the call and is regarded as the serving MSC,
but not the anchor MSC.

8. MSC-A has the overall call control until the call is cleared. When the called
or calling party initiates clearing of the call, DTAP messages are used to info
rm the other party of the call clearing.
Now MSC-A releases the speech connection and ends the TCAP dialogue with the END
SIGNAL message. This signal is used by the MSC-B to clear its radio side. The R
ELEASE signal is used to clear the speech path between the MSCs.

The following highlights the actions required as well as the actions being perfo
rmed by the BSS as part the MS originated call. The events required for an MS or
iginated call are shown in a diagram in this section.
• MS channel request
After the dialed digits are entered, the MS transmits a Channel Request on the R
ACH. After receiving this request, the BTS decodes the message. The BSS software
immediately assigns the MS to a SDCCH with an Immediate Assignment message sent
on the AGCH channel.
• MS response
The MS responds to the immediate assignment message and switches to the assigned
SDCCH. Once on the SDCCH, the MS transmits the Set Asynchronous Balanced Mode (
SABM). The network responds to SABM with UA to establish the Layer 2 radio link.
Within the SABM the MS transmits a Service Request indicating to the BSS what t
ype of service, for example, a call or location update is required. This service
request is processed by the BSS then passed to the MSC via the A interface sign
alling link.

Call from MS
• Authentication request
After receiving the service request, the MSC sends an Authentication Request to
the MS. This service request is passed through the BSS via the signalling link.
The BTS transmits the request to the MS on the SDCCH. Since no action is require
d by the BSS on the authentication request, it is passed through the BSS and is
considered transparent to the BSS.
• MS authentication response
The MS responds to the authentication request with an Authentication Response. T
he authentication response from the MS is received by the BTS and is passed thro
ugh the BSS on the signalling link, as with the authentication request no action
is required by the BSS and as such is transparent to the BSS.


• Cipher mode command
After receiving the correct authentication response, the MSC sends a Cipher Mode
Command. The network must start the cipher mode because the set up message cont
ains sensitive information such as dialed digits.
• MS cipher mode complete
The MS responds to the set cipher command by transmitting a Ciphering Mode Compl
ete message indicating to the BSS that the MS is now communicating encrypted wit
h the previously assigned cipher key.
• Alert message
The MSC sends an Alerting message to the MS. The alert message informs the MS th
e called phone is ringing, which initiates the MS generated ring-back tone. This
message is transparent to the BSS.
• Connect message
When the called party answers the phone (goes off-hook), a Connect message is se
nt to the MS. This signal is transparent to the BSS and is switched through in t
he same manner as the alerting message. The connect message is transmitted via t
he FACCH. In response to the connect signal, the MS opens the audio path and tra
nsmits, via the FACCH, a Connect Acknowledge message to the MSC. Conversation ca
n now take place.
The following highlights the events required to terminate (receive) a call as we
ll as the actions being performed by the BSS to set up the MS terminated call. T
he events required for an MS terminated call are same as in the MS originated ca
Paging request
After dialed digits are received from the PSTN/ISDN, the MSC sends a Paging Requ
est to the BSS via the E1/T1 line. The BSS processes the paging request and sche
dules it for transmission on the PCH at the appropriate time.

• MS response
Upon receiving the paging request, the MS responds by transmitting a Channel Req
uest on the RACH.
• SDCCH assignment
After receiving the channel request, the BSS processes it and immediately assign
s the MS a SDCCH. This assignment is encoded as an Immediate Assignment and tran
smitted on the AGCH.

• MS Paging Response
After receiving the immediate assignment command, the MS switches to the assigne
d SDCCH and transmits within SABM a Paging Response. The network responds to SAB
M with UA to establish the Layer 2 radio link. This paging response is received
by the BSS for processing. The paging response is then sent to the MSC via the E
1/T1 line.

The MSC sends a Set up message to the MS that indicates to the MS the bearer ser
vice and or called party. The BSS sends the set up message via the SDCCH. This s
et up message is transparent to the BSS.
• MS call confirmation
After receiving the set up information, the MS transmits a Call Confirmation mes
sage. This message confirms that the MS is capable of receiving the call type id
entified in the set up message. The MS transmits this message on the SDCCH. The
BSS receives the call confirmation and passes to the MSC via the A interface.
Assignment command message
After receiving the call confirmation, the MSC sends an Assignment Command messa
ge. The BSS takes the assignment command and allocates and assigns the MS to a f
ree TCH and transmits the assignment command to the MS via the SDCCH.
MS assignment complete
The MS then switches to the assigned TCH and transmits an Assignment Complete me
ssage on FACCH (which is a logical channel on a TCH). This assignment complete i
s received and sent to the MSC.

Alert message
The MS sends an Alert message to the MSC on the FACCH, which informs the MSC tha
t the called MS is ringing and causes the MSC to send a ring-back tone to the ca
lling phone. This message is transparent to the BSS.
• MS connect acknowledge
When the MS subscriber answers, the MS transmits a Connect message on the FACCH,
and opens the audio path to the user. The connect message is transparent to the
BSS and is passed to the MSC via the signalling link.
The Connect Acknowledge message is passed from the MSC to the PSTN/ISTN, which i
n turn stops the ring-back tone and opens the audio path.
• Set up complete
The connection is now established and a conversation can now take place.