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Feature Description

M900/M1800 Base Station Subsystem Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Chapter 3 Interface Description ................................................................................................... 3-1


3.1 A Interface.......................................................................................................................... 3-2
3.1.1 Overview ................................................................................................................. 3-2
3.1.2 Protocols on the A-Interface.................................................................................... 3-3
3.1.3 A-Interface Management at BSS Side .................................................................. 3-12
3.2 Um Interface .................................................................................................................... 3-20
3.2.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-21
3.2.2 Layer 1 - Physical Layer........................................................................................ 3-22
3.2.3 Layer 2 - Data Link Layer...................................................................................... 3-29
3.2.4 L3 .......................................................................................................................... 3-33
3.3 Abis interface ................................................................................................................... 3-37
3.3.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-37
3.3.2 Protocols on the Abis Interface ............................................................................. 3-43
3.3.3 Characteristics of Abis Interface ........................................................................... 3-49
3.4 Gb interface ..................................................................................................................... 3-55
3.4.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-55
3.4.2 Protocols on the Gb Interface ............................................................................... 3-56
3.4.3 Characteristics of Gb Interface.............................................................................. 3-58
3.5 G-Abis Interface ............................................................................................................... 3-59
3.5.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-59
3.5.2 Interface Features ................................................................................................. 3-59
3.5.3 Physical Layer/Transmission Media...................................................................... 3-60
3.5.4 G-TRAU Frame Structure ..................................................................................... 3-62
3.5.5 G-Abis Characteristics .......................................................................................... 3-63
3.6 Pb Interface...................................................................................................................... 3-64
3.6.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-64
3.6.2 Internal Structure of Pb Interface .......................................................................... 3-65
3.6.3 Pb Interface Management..................................................................................... 3-66
3.6.4 Characteristics of Huawei Pb Interface................................................................. 3-69
3.7 Operation & Maintenance Interface ................................................................................. 3-70
3.7.1 Overview ............................................................................................................... 3-70
3.7.2 Feature .................................................................................................................. 3-71

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Chapter 3 Interface Description

M900/M1800 BSS offers standard external interfaces including Um interface between


MS and BSS, A interface between BSS and MSC and Gb interface between BSS and
SGSN. The interface protocols and interface procedures strictly follow the ETSI
specifications.

They guarantee Huawei BSS’s compatibility with the equipment of other


manufacturers. The interfaces between BSS elements (BTS, BSC, and PCU) and
between BSS and OMC are close interfaces. Although ETSI draws specification for
these interfaces, the implementation of these interfaces is manufacturer-specific.

It is the GSM protocol stack. Figure 3-2 illustrates the protocol stack of GPRS.

MS BTS BSC MSC

CM CM

MM MM

BSSMAP
BSC
RR BSSMAP
RR
L3
RR BTSM BTSM
SCCP SCCP
L2 LAPDm LAPDm LAPD LAPD

Sign. Sign. MTP MTP


Sign. Sign.
L1 Layer1 Layer1
Layer1 Layer1

Um Abis A

MS: Mobile Station CM: Connection Management BSC: Base Station Controller
MSC: Mobile services Switching Centre, Mobile Switching
MM: Mobility Management
Centre
BSSMAP: Base Station Subsystem Management Application
RR: Radio Resource Management
Part
LAPD: Link Access Procedure on the D
LAPDm: Link Access Procedure on the Dm channel
channel
BTS: Base Transceiver Station SCCP: Signaling Connection Control Part
MTP: Message Transfer Part (MTP) BTSM: Base Transceiver Station Site Management
Figure 3-1 GSM protocol stack

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GMM/SM GMM/SM
LLC LLC
Relay
RLC RLC BSSGP BSSGP

MAC Network Network


MAC
Service Service
GSM RF GSM RF L1bis L1bis

Um Gb
MS BSS SGSN

GMM: GPRS Mobility Management LLC: Logical Link Control


RLC: Radio Link Control MAC: Medium Access Control
BSSGP: Base Station Subsystem GPRS Protocol SM: Session Management

Figure 3-2 GPRS protocol stack

3.1 A Interface

3.1.1 Overview

A-interface is the standard interface between BSS and MSC, so that M900/M1800
BSS can be easily deployed in any network in which the MSC of other vendor is
being used. It is a standard GSM interface specified to achieve the following targets.

The standard interface is adopted so as to:


z Support BSSs of different vendors in any PLMN
z Support MSCs of different vendors in any PLMN
z Use different BSSs in any PLMNs.
z Use different MSCs in any PLMNs.
z Ensure the independent developments of MSC and BSS technologies
z Ensure the independent development of O&M functions
z Enable lower speech coding rate
z Support all GSM Phase II services
The reference model of A-interface signaling protocol in M900/M1800 BSC is shown
in Figure 3-3, which describes the hierarchical structure of A-interface:

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BSS MSC

BSSAP BSSAP

DTAP BSSMAP DTAP BSSMAP

Allocation function Allocation function

SCCP SCCP

MTP MTP

Physical layer

DTAP: Direct Transfer Application Part MTP: Message Transfer Part (MTP)
SCCP: Signaling Connection Control Part BSSAP: Base Station Subsystem Application Part
BSSMAP: Base Station Subsystem Management Application Part
Figure 3-3 A-interface signaling protocol reference model

3.1.2 Protocols on the A-Interface

I. Physical layer

The physical layer of the A-interface is of 120-ohm symmetrical twisted pair or


75-ohm coaxial cable whose rate is 2 Mbit/s. The physical layer of A-interface has the
following features:
z The 2 Mbit/s transfer rate complies with G.703.
z Frame structure, synchronization and timing comply with G.705.
z Fault management complies with G.732.
z CRC4 check complies with G.704.

II. Message Transfer Part (MTP)

The main function of MTP is to ensure reliable signaling message transfer in the
signaling network. In case of system and signaling network faults, it can takes
measures to avoid or reduce the loss.

MTP protocols are defined in ITU-T Q.701~710 Recommendations.

MTP comprises three functional levels: signaling data link function, signaling link
function and signaling network function.
1) Signaling data link function
Signaling data link (layer 1) is the channel used for signaling transmission. It
comprises two data channels of the same data rate but two opposite working
directions. A semi-permanent path between the signaling processing equipment of
BSS and digital trunk equipment is established via the digital-switching network. The

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former one occupies a timeslot to provide 64 kbit/s. The digital trunk equipment
actually implements the first level function of MTP. The advantage of semi-permanent
connection is, any TS (except synchronous TS) can be used as the signaling data link,
which can be configured through the man-machine commands.
2) Signaling link function
Signaling link function (layer 2) regulates the functions and procedures to send the
signaling to the data link, and guarantees to provide reliable signaling message
transfer between two directly connected signaling points. Functions of layer 2 include:
signaling unit delimitation, signaling unit alignment, error detection, error correction,
initial alignment, processor fault, level-2 flow control, and signaling link error rate
monitoring.

The BSS signaling processing equipment executes the above functions. In addition,
different error control means can be set for it via the OMC. The basic error correction
method applies to the terrestrial signaling links and the international signaling links
whose unidirectional transmission delay is less than 15ms. The preventive cyclic
retransmission mode applies to the international signaling links with the unidirectional
transmission delay more than or equal to 15ms and to all the signaling links
established through satellites.
3) Signaling network function
Signaling network functions (level 3) refer to the functions and procedures that
transfer management information between signaling points to guarantee the reliable
transfer of signaling information when the signaling links and signaling transfer points
in the signaling network fail. Signaling network functions include signaling message
processing and signaling network management.

Signaling message processing

Signaling message processing function sends signaling messages to the


corresponding signaling links or user parts (such as TUP, ISUP and SCCP) on the
basis of analyzing message flags. Signaling message processing functions comprise
three parts: message routing (MRT), message discrimination (MDC) and message
distribution (MDT), as shown in Figure 3-4.

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MTP user part

Message allocation

Message to local office


Message Message to other SP Message
discrimination routing

MTP L3 signaling message processing

MTPL2 signaling message processing

Figure 3-4 Signaling message processing flow

z Message Routing
Message Routing function is used at each signaling point to determine the signaling
link group and the signaling link to destination signaling point. The message route
should be identified by the route flag and the service indicator in message signaling
unit. The routing function is fulfilled by message routing part according to the network
indicator in message, DPC and SLS in route flag, as well as the routing data of
relevant destination signaling point.
z Message Discrimination (MDC)
Message Discrimination (MDC) part is designed to receive the messages from Layer
2 to ascertain whether the destination of the messages is the local signaling point. If
the destination is the local signaling point, the MDC part will send the messages to
the Message Distribution (MDT) part. If the destination is not the local signaling point,
the MDC part will send the messages to the Message Routing (MRT) part.
z Message Distribution (MDT)
Message Distribution (MDT) part is designed to allocate the messages from the MDC
part to the user part and the signaling network management and test & maintenance
part accordingly.
z Signaling network management
Signaling network management is to re-construct the signaling network and to keep
and recover the normal transfer ability of the signaling unit when the signaling
network fails. Signaling network management includes three parts: signaling traffic
management, signaling link management and signaling route management.
z Signaling Traffic Management (STM)

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Signaling Traffic Management (STM) is used to transit the signaling flow from one
link/route to another or multiple available links/routes when the signaling network fails.
It is also used to temporarily reduce signaling traffic in case of congestion at the
signaling point.
z Signaling link management
Signaling link management is used to recover or startup the signaling link in the
signaling network or to exit from the signaling link, and to ensure the provision of
certain pre-determined link groups. The connection between the signaling data link
and the signaling terminal is normally established by the man-machine commands.
Operations in the signaling system can not automatically change the above
connection relationship.
z Signaling route management
Signaling route management is used to ensure the reliable exchange of signaling
route availability information between signaling points so as to block or unblock
signaling routes when necessary. It mainly comprises such procedures as transfer
prohibited, transfer allowed, controlled transfer and restricted transfer, signaling route
group test, and signaling route group congestion test. These procedures are used
only when the signaling services from the originating point reach the destination
through the signaling transfer point.

III. Signaling Connection & Control Part (SCCP)

The purpose of SCCP is to provide complete network layer functions with the help of
MTP. According to OSI model, network layer provides connectionless services and
connection-oriented services.

SCCP protocols are defined in ITU-T Q.711~716 Recommendations.

The application of SCCP enables:


z Interconnection of signaling networks.
z New services and functions in mobile communications, e.g., intelligent network
and intelligent management.
z ISDN supplementary services.
z Data transfer between network management centres
In general, SCCP provides reliable services for any information exchange on the
basis of MTP. SCCP not only provides network service functions, but also has certain
routing functions and network management functions.

The routing function of SCCP is mainly used in addressing with such information as
DPC + SSN (destination signaling point code + subsystem No.) and GT (global title),
etc.

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SCCP network management function mainly executes signaling point state and
subsystem state management, active/standby subsystem switchover, state
information broadcast and subsystem state testing.
1) Basic services of SCCP
SCCP services can be classified into four classes: Basic connectionless service,
in-sequence delivery connectionless service, basic connection-oriented service and
flow control connection-oriented service. 0 and 1 are connectionless service, while 2
and 3 are connection-oriented.

Various SCCP services are introduced as follows:

-Connectionless service

In connectionless service, users do not establish the signaling connection before data
transfer, but use the routing function of SCCP and MTP to transfer data information
directly in the signaling network. This service is flexible and simple and it applies to
the transfer of a small amount of data. Class-0 service does not guarantee the
sequential transfer of messages. Class-1 service guarantees the sequential transfer
of messages depending on the coordination of SLS (Signaling Link Selection) and
MTP.

Connectionless services transfer user data by adopting the Unit Data Message (UDT)
and Extended Unit Data Message (XUDT). UDT messages do not have data
segmentation/concatenation capability and can transfer only a small amount of user
data. XUDT messages have the segmentation/concatenation capability and can
transfer up to 2 kbyte user data.

-Connection-oriented service

Connection-oriented services require the establishment of signaling connection


(virtual connection) via the acknowledged mode between the originating point and the
destination point before the transfer of signaling information. In such cases, there is
no need to select routes by using the SCCP routing function when transferring data.
Instead, the data is transferred through the established signaling connection. When
the transfer of data is finished, the signaling connection need not be released. This
class of service applies to the transfer of large volumes of data because the
destination has confirmed to be able to receive data before the data is transmitted,
and hence the invalid transmission of data batches can be prevented. At the same
time, the pre-established connection results in no SCCP routing for the subsequent
data transfer, so the transfer delay of data batches can be effectively curtailed.
2) SCCP routing control
The SCCP routing control provides a powerful address translation function, which is
required for connectionless and connection-oriented service.

The following specific address information can be found in SCCP:

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z DPC
z DPC + SSN or GT (or both)
z GT + (SSN)
DPC is the destination point code used by MTP in addressing. SSN, the subsystem
number, is used to identify different SCCP users in the same node, such as ISUP,
MAP, TCAP, and BSSAP. It eliminates the disadvantages of the small number of MTP
message users, and the addressing range can be expanded to meet the
requirements of future new services.

GT (Global Title) is a dialed number, such as international and national telephone


numbers, ISDN numbers, and E.214 numbers that are unique in GSM. It does not
represent directly routing information in the signaling network, and can be obtained
only through GT code translation. GT codes differ from DPC. DPC is meaningful only
in the designated signaling network while GT is meaningful in the global range. The
address range of GT is far larger than that of DPC, which enables the transfer of
information unrelated to circuits between any two signaling points in the global range.
The powerful addressing capability of GT is an important feature of SCCP.
3) SCCP management
SCCP management (SCMG) is to keep the network functionality by re-routing or
adjusting traffic in case of network faults or congestion. This function is accomplished
by transferring SCCP management messages and primitives. The management
messages adopt class-0 UDT. SCCP management includes signaling point
management, subsystem management, active/standby subsystem switchover, state
information broadcast, and faulty subsystem state testing.

IV. BSSAP

1) Protocol overview
The BSSAP protocol, which serves as A-interface specification, describes two kinds
of messages: BSSMAP and DTAP message. The former, which is responsible for
traffic flow control, needs to be handled by the internal functional module of the
A-interface accordingly. For the latter, the A-interface is equivalent to a transmission
channel. It is transported directly to the radio channel at the BSS side while it is
transported to the corresponding functional processing units at the NSS side.

BSSAP protocols are defined in ETSI GSM 08.08 and ETSI GSM 04.08
specifications.
2) Typical message contents
-DTAP messages

According to the functional units of the NSS that process the DTAP messages, the
DTAP messages can be divided into Mobile Management (MM) messages and Call
Control (CC) messages.

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The MM messages consist of messages related to authentication, CM service


request, identification request, IMSI detach, location update, MM state, TMSI
re-allocation, etc.

The call control messages consist of alerting, call proceeding, connection, setup,
modification, release, disconnection, notification, state query, DTMF startup
messages, etc.

-BSSMAP messages

The BSSMAP messages can be divided into connectionless and connection-oriented


messages.
z The connectionless messages consist of Block/Unblock, Handover, Resource,
Reset, Paging messages, etc.
The Block/Unblock messages include Block & Block ACK messages and
Unblock & Unblock ACK messages. The Circuit Group Block/Unblock messages
include Circuit Group Block message, Circuit Group Block ACK message, Circuit
Group Unblock and Circuit Group Unblock messages.

Handover messages include Handover Candidate Enquire and Handover


Candidate Enquire Response.

The resources messages include Resources Request and Resource Indication


messages.

The Reset messages include Reset and Reset ACK messages.


z The connection-oriented messages include Assignment, Handover, Clear and
Cipher messages.
The Assignment messages include Assignment Request, Assignment Complete
and Assignment Error messages.

The Handover messages include Handover Request, Handover Request ACK,


Handover Command, Handover Complete and Handover Error messages.

The Clear messages include Clear Request and Clear Complete messages.

The Cipher messages include Cipher Mode Command and Cipher Mode
Complete messages.
3) BSSAP protocol functionality
The BSSAP protocol can deliver its own functions in connection-oriented mode and
connectionless mode of SCCP. When MS needs to exchange service-related
messages over radio resources with the network side while there is no MS-related
SCCP connection between MSC and BSS, a new connection will be established. A
new connection shall also be set up for external handover.

There are two kinds of connection setup:

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z While MS sends the Access Request message on the RACH, BSS allocates a
dedicated radio resource (DCCH or TCH) to MS. After the L2 connection is set
up on the SDCCH (or FACCH) where resources are allocated, BSS starts the
connection setup.
z When MSC decides to execute an external handover (the target BSS might be
the original BSS), it must reserve a new DCCH or TCH from the target BSS. In
this scenario, MSC starts the connection setup.
The BSSAP protocol implements the functional flow as shown in Table 4-1 using the
connection and connectionless messages.

Table 3-1 Functions

Serial
Function Description
number
“Assign” is to ensure the dedicated radio resources are
allocated or re-allocated properly to the MS. The initial MS
1 Assign
random access and “immediate assignment” to a DCCH is
processed automatically by BSS but not controlled by MSC.
During circuit assignment, MSC selects an available terrestrial
channel. If this channel is no longer available then BSS
2 Block/Unblock
notifies it to MSC. The Block/Unblock procedure can carry out
this function.
Resource indication serves to notify MSC:

Amount of the radio resource available for TCH in BSS,


Amount of all available radio resource (i.e. able to provide
3 Resource Indication service or have been specified)

It is not easy to get this information from the MSC-controlled


services. These must be considered when MSC decides an
external handover.
“Reset” is to initialize the BSS or MSC. For instance, if BSS
goes faulty or loses all the reference messages about
processing, BSS sends a Reset message to MSC, which
4 Reset releases the affected calls, deletes the affected reference
messages and sets all the circuits related to the BSS to idle.
If MSC or BSS is only locally faulty, the affected parts can be
cleared using the Clear procedure.

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Serial
Function Description
number
BSS may send a “handover request” to MSC requesting to
perform handover of the MS, to which dedicated resources
have been allocated, for the reasons as listed below:
a) BSS detects a radio cause for handover.
b) MSC starts the Handover Candidate Enquirer procedure.
The MS is waiting for the handover.
Due to congestion, the serving cell needs to be changed
during the call setup such as directed retry.
5 Handover Request
The Handover Request messages should be re-sent once in a
while till one of the following situations occurs:
Receive the "Handover Command" message from MSC
Reset message is received
All communications with MS will be interrupted and the
processing is aborted
Processing is over, such as call clearing.
Handover Resources Allocation enables MSC to request for
Handover Resource resources from BSS based on the handover request. The
6
Allocation target BSS will reserve resources and wait for an MS to
access this channel.
This is the procedure in which MSC instructs MS to access
the radio resources of another cell. When handover is carried
Handover
7 out, the original dedicated radio resources and terrestrial
Procedure
resources are maintained all the time until MSC sends a Clear
Command message or Reset occurs.
When processing is done, MSC sends a “Clear Command” to
BSS to release radio resources. On receiving the command,
BSS starts the Clear procedure at the radio interface, then
Release of Radio sets the configured terrestrial circuit to idle and returns a
Resources and Clearing Complete message to MSC, which in turn releases
8 the terrestrial resources of the local end.
Terrestrial
Resources If resources need to be released by BSS, BSS will send a
“Clear Request” to notify MSC to start the release procedure
to release the terrestrial and radio resources concerning MSC
and BSS.
The paging to MS is transported with the SCCP
connectionless service via BSSMAP. If BSS receives the
Paging Response message at the radio channel interface, it
9 Paging
will establish an SCCP connection to MSC. The paging
response message, which is loaded in the BSSMAP Full L3
Message, is transported on the signaling connection to MSC.

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Serial
Function Description
number
Flow control can prevent the entities from receiving too much
traffic. Flow control on the A-interface is implemented by
10 Flow Control controlling the traffic at the traffic source. Two levels of flow
control are available. Flow control can be implemented based
on subscriber classes.
Classmark Update serves to notify the class messages
received from MS to the receiving entities. Generally, BSS
notifies MSC after receiving the class messages from MS. It is
11 Classmark Update
also likely that when handover is complete, MSC sends the
corresponding MS Classmark messages to the new BSS via
the A-interface.
The Cipher Mode Control procedure allows MSC to transport
Cipher Mode the cipher mode control messages to BSS and start the
12
Control subscriber equipment and signaling cipher equipment with a
correct Kc.
This procedure is designed to notify MSC that BSS wants to
delay the allocation of necessary radio resources. This
13 Queuing Indication procedure is valid only when the queuing function is
introduced for traffic channel assignment and traffic channel
handover in the BSS.
Load indication serves to notify the traffic state of a cell to all
the adjacent BSSs so that an overall control over the
14 Load Indication handover services in an MSC can be exercised. In a certain
valid period, the traffic state of the adjacent cells will be taken
into account by the adjacent BSS during handover.

3.1.3 A-Interface Management at BSS Side

An interface management in M900/M1800 BSC includes terrestrial channel


management (or A interface circuit resource management), management of part of
the radio resources, and so on.

I. A interface circuit resource management

The purpose of the terrestrial channel management between BSS and MSC is to
keep the states of terrestrial circuits at both ends consistent. An idle circuit can be
found when the MSC "assigns circuit" in calling and assigns terrestrial circuit during
MS handover to make sure a successful call/handover.

Procedures included in the interface circuit resource management are Circuit


Block/Unblock, Circuit Group Block/Unblock, Unequipped Circuit, and Reset Circuit.

General principles of the circuit control includes:


z The circuit management messages, except Reset Circuit, are initiated by BSC.

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z The MSC can only block/unblock the local circuits without affecting the circuit
state of the BSS.
z The BSS can not change the circuit state that has been changed at the local end
of the MSC. For circuits blocked on the maintenance console at MSC side, the
BSS has no authority to unblock or reset the circuit.
1) Block Circuit
The process of blocking the circuit is shown in Figure 3-5.

BSC MSC
Block circuit

Block ackonwledge

Figure 3-5 Process of blocking the circuit

Circuit Block procedure means the circuits corresponding to the BSS and the MSC
are blocked simultaneously. This procedure can be initiated by the maintenance
console of the BSC or by the allocation of circuit during call process or during
handover request. This procedure can be used in Phase I and Phase II.

When there is no "Block ACK" message received by BSC for a certain period of time,
this message will be sent again. Even if BSC does not receive Blocking ACK, the
circuit at BSC side is still in the blocked state. When BSC is sending Block message,
an alarm will generate at BSC. The Circuit Group Block procedure does not affect the
circuits in service, that is, the busy circuit will not be blocked until the communication
is completed.
2) Unblock the Circuit
The process of unblocking the circuit is shown in Figure 3-6.

BSC MSC
Unblock circuit

Unblock anknowledged

Figure 3-6 Process of unblocking the circuit

The purpose of Circuit Unblock is to unblock the circuit blocked by the BSC. This
procedure can be originated by maintenance console or originated during equipment

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fault recovery. The Circuit Unblock procedure is generally started by the maintenance
console and can be used by GSM Phase 2 and Phase 1.

When there is no "Unblock ACK" message received by BSC for a period of time, this
message will be sent again. Even if BSC does not receive the Unblock message, the
circuit at BSC side is still in idle state. When BSC is sending the unblocking message,
an alarm will be generated at BSC.
3) Group-unblock the Circuit
The process of blocking the circuit is shown in Figure 3-7.

BSC MSC
Group block

Group block acknowledged

Figure 3-7 Process of blocking the circuit

The purpose of the Circuit Group Block is to block multiple A-interface circuits
simultaneously. This procedure can be started by the maintenance console or by
trunk equipment itself automatically. This procedure is used for Phase 2 only.

When there is no "Group Block Ack" message received by BSC for a certain period of
time, this message will be sent again. Even if BSC does not receive the message of
Group Block ACK, the circuits at the BSC side are still in the blocked state. When
BSC is sending Group Block message, an alarm will generate at BSC. The Circuit
Group Block procedure does not affect the circuits in service, that is, the busy circuit
will not be blocked until the communication is completed.
4) Group-unblock the circuit
The process of unblocking the circuit is shown in Figure 3-8.

BSC MSC
Group unblock

Group unblock acknowleged

Figure 3-8 Process of blocking the circuit

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The purpose of the Circuit Group Unblock is to unblock multiple A-interface circuits
simultaneously. This procedure can be started by the maintenance console or by
trunk equipment itself automatically. This procedure is used for Phase 2 only.

When there is no "Group Unblock ACK" message received by BSC for a period of
time, this message will be sent again. Even if BSC does not receive the Group
Unblock ACK message, the circuits at BSC side are still in the idle state. When BSC
is sending the group-unblocking message, an alarm will be generated at BSC.
5) Unequipped Circuit
The Unequipped Circuit procedure is shown in Figure 3-9.

BSC MSC

Unequipped circuit

Unequipped circuit

Figure 3-9 Process of unequipped circuit

The Unequipped Circuit procedure is used by BSC or MSC to inform the peer end
that the circuit does not exist and cannot be used. This procedure can be initiated
during any procedures related to circuits. This procedure is used for Phase II only.
The unequipped circuit will not be sent again. When BSS or MSC sends Unequipped
Circuit message, alarms will be generated.
6) Reset circuit
The Reset Circuit procedure is shown in Figure 3-10.

BSC MSC
Reset circuit

Reset circuit acknowledged

Figure 3-10 The process of resetting the circuit

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The purpose of Reset Circuit is to recover the system resource information of the
MSC and BSC when the fault (e.g. abnormal release of SCCP) affects only a small
part of the equipment.

Figure 3-10 shows the Reset Circuit procedure initiated by the BSC. When the MSC
receives the Reset Circuit message, it clears the possible calls on the circuit and sets
the circuit to idle state. Then it returns the Reset Circuit ACK message. The Reset
Circuit procedure initiated by MSC is similar to the above figure, the only difference is
the direction of the messages.

If a BSC does not receive Reset Circuit ACK message and time is out, Reset Circuit
message will be sent repeatedly. The repetition times can be set through software.
Even if the BSC does not receive the Reset Circuit ACK message, the circuit at the
BSC side is still in the idle state. When BSC is sending the resetting message, an
alarm will be generated at BSC. Similar procedure is followed by MSC.

The Reset Circuit can also be initiated through maintenance console to be used for
maintenance and testing.

II. A-interface radio resources management

A-interface radio resource management mainly includes Resource Indication and


Clear procedures.
1) Resource Indication
The Resource Indication procedure is shown in Figure 3-11.

The purpose of the Resource Indication procedure is to inform MSC about the
number of idle radio resources in BSS which can be used as traffic channels, as well
as the total available radio resources (resources able to provide services or already
assigned). The MSC may consider the relevant information when identifying the
external handover.

BSC MSC

Resource indication request

Resource indication

Figure 3-11 Resource indication process at A interface

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There are four types of resource indications including automatic indication, single
indication, periodic indication and no indication. No indication is the default mode.

In the automatic indication mode, the cell corresponding to the BSS will continuously
send Resource Indication messages to MSC according to the cycle set in the
Resource Indication Request message when resource of the cell satisfies the
conditions.

In the single indication mode, the BSS instantly return a Resource Indication
message about the corresponding cell to MSC.

In the periodic indication mode, the BSS continuously sends Resource Indication
Request message according to the cycle set in Resource Indication Request, until it
receives the new Resource Request message or Reset message. The period shall be
set by the MSC, and the actual period are 100ms multiply the original value.

In the non-indication mode, the BSS immediately returns a single Resource


Indication" message without any resource information, and the procedure is finished.

For each idle channel, the BSS calculate the average value of the interference level
within a period. And the average result shall divide the idle channel into 5 interference
sections according to the interference level.

The Resource Available Information Elements includes two pieces of information for
each of the five interference bands: number of available half-rate traffic channels in
the interference band and number of available full-rate traffic channels in the
interference band.
2) Clear process
The purpose of the Clear procedure is to release all relative terrestrial circuit
resources and radio resources. This procedure includes two cases: Clear initiated by
MSC and Clear initiated by BSS.

The clear process originated by MSC is illustrated in Figure 3-12.

BSC MSC
Clear command

Clear complete

Figure 3-12 Clear procedure initiated by MSC

The clear process originated by BSS is illustrated in Figure 3-13.

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BSC MSC

Clear request

Clear command

Clear complete

Figure 3-13 Clear procedure initiated by BSS

III. Other A-interface management procedures

There are some other A-interface management procedures, which are Classmark
Update, Reset, Flow Control, Queuing, Error Handling, SCCP Link Control and Load
Indication.
1) Classmark update
The purpose of Classmark update is to notify MSC about the class information
received from MS. This process is applied when the power Classmark of a dedicated
resource occupied by MS is changed. See Figure 3-14.

BSC MSC

Classmark update

Figure 3-14 Process of Classmark update

2) Reset process
Reset procedure is to initialize the BSS or MSC in the event of failure so that all
resources can be released.

Reset at BSS: BSS releases all resources and sends the Reset message to the MSC,
which will release all calls and connection resources and set all circuits related to
BSS as idle. After guard period T2 seconds, the MSC returns the Reset ACK
message to the BSS, indicating that the reset is successful. See Figure 3-15.

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BSC MSC

Reset

Reset acknowledged

Figure 3-15 BSS reset process

Reset at MSC: MSC releases all resources and sends the Reset message to the BSC,
which will release all calls and connection resources upon the receipt of the message.
After guard period T13 seconds, a Reset ACK message is returned to the MSC,
indicating that the reset is successful. See Figure 3-16.

BSC MSC
Reset

Reset acknowledged

Figure 3-16 MSC reset process

3) Flow Control Process


The purpose of Flow Control at the BSC side is, when the MSC is overloaded, the
BSC can control the flows from MS. System malfunction or congestion will not be
caused, and the flow of calls can be controlled within a reasonable range.

When the MSC is overloaded, A-interface at the MSC side will generate the Overload
message to inform the BSC to control the traffic flow. The control algorithm used is
the flow control algorithm stipulated by the GSM specifications, which is executed by
using the specific design developed by Huawei. That is, a dynamic sliding window is
adopted, which is started in overloading, and the size of the window can be modified
according to the size of the traffic so as to control the traffic. The window is invalid
when the MSC is no longer overloaded. See Figure 3-17.

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BSC MSC
Overload

Overload

Overload

Figure 3-17 Flow Control Process

Note:
When BSC is overloaded, BSC will send "Overload" message to MSC. MSC implements flow control.
BSC side also has the corresponding flow control measure.

4) Load Indication
Load Indication procedure informs the traffic condition of a cell to all neighboring BSS.
This procedure is used to control the handovers.

After the MSC receives the Load Indication message, it forwards the information to
the BSS, which contains this cell, according to the cell list attached to the message.
5) SCCP Link Control
In case of the abnormal disconnection on the SS7 link, A-interface will stop sending
control messages through software. When the SS7 link recovers, A-interface
continues sending control messages. Due to the long-time disconnection, A-interface
shall start clearing the resources as soon as the link is recovered to prevent the
hang-up of resources.
6) Error handling
As errors may occur on the transmission links, messages transferred may not be
understandable. Therefore, A-interface shall omit the error messages and send
selectively "confusion" messages (these messages are used in GSM Phase 2+).

3.2 Um Interface

Um interface (air interface or radio interface) is defined as the communication


interface between MS and BSS. It is for the communication between MS and the
fixed part of GSM. Its physical link is the radio link. The information transmitted via

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this interface include radio resource management, mobility management and


connection management.

3.2.1 Overview

In a GSM/GPRS network, MS is connected through radio channels to the fixed


network so that a call can be routed to the specific destination. To realize the
inter-working between MS and BSS, it is necessary to standardize the transmission of
the signals on the radio channel. The norm concerning the signal transmission on the
radio channel is the radio interface, or Um interface.

The Um interface is the most important interface in the GSM system. It is necessary
to follow a standard interface so that a complete compatibility can be achieved
between different of different manufactures, which is the basic condition for global
roaming.

The Um interface is specified by the following features:


z Channel structure and access capability
z MS-BSS protocols
z Maintenance and operation characteristics
z Performance characteristics
z Service characteristics.
The Um interface can be divided into 3 layers, as shown in Figure 3-18.

L3

L2

L1

Figure 3-18 Layered structure of Um interface

The first layer is the physical layer at the bottom. It includes various channels, and
provides basic radio channels for information transfer on higher layer.

The layer 2 is the data link layer using the LAPDm protocol. It includes various data
transmission structures, and controls data transmission.

The layer 3 is the highest layer. It includes various messages and programs, and
controls services. It includes 3 sub-layers, which are Radio Resources management
(RR), Mobility Management (MM), and Connection Management (CM).

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3.2.2 Layer 1 - Physical Layer

I. Physical layer interface and services

The interfaces between the physical layer (L1) and data link layer (L2), the physical
layer (L1) and radio resources management sublayer (RR) of L3, the physical layer
(L1) and other functional unit, are shown in Figure 3-19.

Radio resource
management L3

Data link
Other functional unit

TCH
MPH Primitive PH Primitive

Physical layer

Figure 3-19 Physical layer interface

The physical layer provides the following services:


z Access capability: the physical layer provides a series of limited logical channels
for transmission service. The logical channel is multiplexed on the physical
channel.
z Error code detection: Physical layer provides error protection transmission,
including error detection and correction.
z Ciphering:

II. Multiple access scheme

Both FDMA and TDMA techniques are used by Um interface, along with frequency
hopping.

The transmission unit on Um interface is the burst consisting of about 100 modulated
bits. It is called "BP (Burst Pulse). Each BP is of 200kHz wide with duration of
0.577ms (15/26ms) as shown in Figure 3-20. The time and frequency window it
occupies is called slot. The duration of the slot is the timeslot. Frequency width
occupied by the slot is called frequency slot. The frequency slot here is the RF
channel in GSM specification.

Frame consists of n consecutive timeslots. In GSM system, "n" is 8. The frame in this
format is called a TDMA frame. A TDMA frame consists of 8 consecutive timeslots.

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Frequency

2
200
kHz
1

Time
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
BP Slot

15/26ms

Figure 3-20 Concept of timeslot

A physical channel is the burst sequence transported in the timeslots that occur at
specific and periodic intervals. In the GSM system, the period is 8, namely, one TDMA
frame. In other words, one RF channel contains 8 physical channels, which can be
differentiated by serial numbers. This serial number is called time slot number.

If a RF channel is not Frequency Hopping, it follows that its central frequency is


constant, otherwise its central frequency changes in a unit of 200kHz.

Figure 3-21 illustrated the complete TDMA frame.

1 Hyper Frame=2048Super Frame=2715648TDMA Frame (3h28m53s760ms)

0 1 2 3 2044 2045 2046 2047

TCH BCCH
SACCH/T CCCH
1 Super Frame=1326TDMA Frame (6.12s)
FACCH SDCCH
0 1 2 3 47 48 49 50

0 1 24 25

1 Multiframe=51TDMA Frame(3060/13ms)
1 Multiframe= 26TDMA Frame(120ms)
0 1 24 25 0 1 49 50

1TDMA Frame=8 Timeslot (120/26=4.615ms)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Figure 3-21 Frame structure of channel

One TDMA frame has a duration of 4.615ms (120/26ms), consisting of 8 timeslots.

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Multiframe consists of 26 or 51 frames. Multiframe of 26 frames has duration of 120


ms and carries traffic channel, slow associated control channel and fast associated
control channel. A Multiframe of 51 frames has duration of 235.365 ms and be used
as control channel.

One superframe consists of 51 traffic multiframes or 26 control multiframes and


consists of 51×26 TDMA frames with a total duration of 6.12 seconds. The period of
superframe is 6.12 s.

A hyperframe contains 2048 superframes. Its period is 12533.76 s, i.e.


3h28m53s760ms. Each period of the hyper frame contains 2715648 TDMA frames,
which are numbered from 0 to 2715647.

III. Physical channel and logical channel

1) Physical channel
The physical channel is the combination of FDM and TDM and is composed of the
slot stream between BTS and MS. The physical channel is a combination of
frequency division and time division, so a physical channel must be described from
two perspectives:
z Frequency band description

Table 3-2 GSM/GPRS frequency bands

Item 900 band 1800 band


Uplink (MS to BTS): 890~915 MHz Uplink: 1710~1785 MHz
Working frequency band
Down (BTS to MS): 935~960 MHz Downlink: 1805~1880 MHz
Duplexing interval 45MHz 95MHz
Carrier interval 200kHz 200kHz

z Time description
TN: Timeslot No.

FN: TDMA Frame No.


2) Logical channel
The logical channel is obtained by multiplexing the physical channel in TDM. Different
logical channels serve to transport different types of messages between BSS and
MS.

The logical channel is mapped to the physical channel as per certain rules.

Different logical channels have different frame structure, but whatever the
arrangement is, the frame structure of the logical channels are always periodic in time.
Great effort has been made to design the frame structure of the logical channels in

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order to build a high-performance system in the GSM specifications. This results in a


complicated frame structure system in the GSM system. The relation between logical
channel and physical channel is detailed described in ETSI GSM 05.02 specification.
z Among all carriers of a cell, there is only one supporting BCCH (and CCCH). The
cell is uniquely identified through this carrier. This carrier is defined as C0 in the
protocol.
z Carrier C0 must be transmitted on the same frequency with constant power. The
frequency used by the C0 is called nominal frequency.

IV. The timing advance of uplink, downlink and MS

In GSM/GPRS system, uplink refers to the link from MS to BTS, and downlink from
BTS to MS.

The size of the MS can be greatly reduced if the transmission and receiving can be
completed in different time. To realize this, in the GSM system, the TDMA frame on
the uplink always lags behind the TDMA frame on the downlink by 3 BP. For BTS, this
delay is fixed, but to MS, it is a different issue. There is always some transmission
delay during its passage to the BTS (serving cell) due to the mobility of MS and the
transmission delay is generally not fixed. To make up the transmission delay between
MS and BTS, the transmitting at MS side should be in advance. This is the timing
advance. The range of timing advance is 0 ~ 233μs (corresponding TA: 0 ~ 63).
Therefore, the precision deviation of the uplink and downlink is 3BP minus the timing
advance with respect to MS.

The MS under the dedicated mode must do the transmission at any time in proper
timing advance, or it will lose synchronization with BTS. In the GSM system, the
“Adaptive Timing Adjustment” approach is introduced to ensure the MS in a dedicated
mode uses proper timing advance.

V. Procedure from source data to radio wave

The radio channel bears features totally different from the wireline channel. First, the
radio channel exhibits remarkable time-varying features. Impacted by interference,
multipath fading and shadow fading, the signals are characterized by high error codes.
To address the problems brought about by radio channel transmission, a series of
conversions and inverse conversions are needed to give necessary protection for the
transmitted signals. These include the conversion from the primitive user data or
signaling data to the messages carried by the radio wave, and that vise versa. These
conversions mainly include channel encoding/decoding, interleaving and
de-interleaving, burst formatting, encryption and decryption, modulation and
demodulation. For voices, the transformation procedure is shown in Figure 3-22. (This
procedure is the same for other user data or signaling).

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Voice Voice

Digitalization and
source coding Source coding

Channel coding Channel decoding

Interleaving De-interleaving

Burst formatting Burst formatting

Ciphering De-ciphering

Modulation Demodulation

Transmitter Receiver

Figure 3-22 Procedure from source data to radio wave

1) The operation process at the transmitting side


z Channel coding
Redundancy is introduced to the message flow to detect and rectify errors in the
transmission process. The result of channel encoding is a data block. The length of
voice data is 456 bit.
z Interleaving
Interleaving means mixing several data blocks so that the neighboring bits in the
modulated signals can be extended into these data blocks. In the message flow, the
consecutive errors are correlated. If the correlation between the errors is eliminated,
the channel encoding performance can be improved. The purpose of interleaving is to
eliminate the correlating error and the location correlation in the data block. After
interleaving, the message flow becomes the sequence of message block. Each
channel burst pulse has a message block.

The interleaving and encoding schemes of various transmission modes are listed in
Table 3-3.

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Table 3-3 Interleaving and encoding under various transmission mode

Input Inpu
Outpu
Channel and rate t
Code t Interleaving
transmission mode bloc
kbit/s block
k
Odd-even code (3bit)
Ia 50 1/2 convolutional
code
TCH/FS
1/2 convolutional On 8.5 burst
Ib 13 132 456
code pulse

II 78 None

1/2 convolutional
12 Combined on 22
TCH/F9.6 code
240 456 uneven burst
TCH/F4.8 6 Subtracting 1 bit from
pulse.
each 15 bit
Add 32 "0" bits
Same as the
TCH/F4,8 6 120 1/3 convolutional 456
above
codes
1/6 convolutional On 8.5 burst
TCH/F2,4 3.6 72 456
codes pulses
Combined on 22
1/3 convolutional
TCH/F2,4 3.6 144 456 uneven burst
codes
pulses
Odd-even code
(10bit) On 1 S burst
SCH 25 78
1/2 convolutional pulse
code
Odd-even code (6bit)
RACH On 1 access
8 1/2 convolutional 36
(+ Handover access) burst pulse
code
Fast Associated
Control Signaling on 224/184 Fire code On 8 burst pulses
TCH/F and TCH/H 184 456
1/2 convolutional
TCH/8, SACCH; codes
On 4 burst pulses
BCCH, PAGCH

z Format burst pulse


Add the training sequence to the message bit flow so that the receiving end can
estimate the transmission feature of the channel, so as to restore the received signal.

An ordinary burst contains two groups of 58bit, which are separated with a 26 bit
training sequence. Three ends are all 0. They are added to the head and end of the
burst. For the content of the ordinary burst, see Table 3-4.

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Table 3-4 Content of an ordinary burst

Head Information Training sequence Information End


3 58 26 58 3

The access burst is the only short burst in GSM. It contains a 41 bit training burst, 36
bit information, 7 bit at the head and 3 bit at end. The content of the access burst is
listed in Table 3-5.

Table 3-5 Content of an access burst

Head Training sequence Information End


7 41 36 3

S burst is applicable to downlink SCH. Its length is the same as other ordinary bursts
(142 bit). For its content, see Table 3-6.

Table 3-6 Content of an ordinary burst

Head Information Training sequence Information End


3 39 64 39 3

F burst is a long burst. Its only purpose is to enable the MS to find and modulate the
S burst in the same cell. Its length is 148 bit, all 0.
z Ciphering
Modify the message flow with the ciphering mode recognizable to both MS and BTS
to ensure the safety of the subscriber data.
z Modulate
Convert the burst sequence into RF analog signal so that it can be transmitted on the
RF channel in the form of radio wave. The modulation adopts GMSK. BT = 0.3, the
modulation rate is 2705/6 kbit/s.
2) The operation process at the receiving end
z Demodulate
When antenna receive radio signal, selects the useful signal according to multi
address rule. Then it demodulates the signal and output binary bit stream.
z Decipher
Modify the received message bit flow by reversing the process of ciphering.
z Format burst pulse

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Remove the training sequence in the message flow.


z De-interleaving
Restore the original locations of various bursts and reestablish the codes.
z Channel decoding
Use the attached redundancy information to check and correct the errors in the
message flow as much as possible.

3.2.3 Layer 2 - Data Link Layer

Data link layer is the second layer of the OSI model. It receives the service from the
physical layer and provides service to L3. The data link Service Access Point (SAP) is
the node that provides services for layer 3. SAP is identified through SAPI. Each SAP
is associated with one or multiple Data Link Connection End Points (DLCEP). Viewed
from layer 3, DLCEP is identified by Data Link Connection End Point Identifier
(DLCEPI). Viewed from layer 2, it is identified by the Data Link Connection Identifier
(DLCI).

The communication between data link layer entities is governed by a peer-to-peer


protocol specific to the layer. For information exchange between two or more layer 3
entities, an association must be established between the layer 3 entities in the data
link layer using a data link layer protocol. This association is called a data link
connection. (DLC).

Messages at the data link layer are transferred between entities at layer 2 of the
physical layer. Layer 3 request services from the data link layer via service primitives.
The same applies for the interaction between the data link layer and the physical
layer.

The link layer protocol used by the GSM system at the radio interface is the LAPDm
protocol, which evolves from the LAPD protocol. Currently, two SAPI values are
defined in the LAPDm protocol: 0 (main signaling) and 3 (short messages).

I. LAPDm

1) Function
LAPDm transfers information between layer 3 entities through the radio interface on
the Dm channel. LAPDm supports multiple layer 3 entities and physical layer entities,
and signaling of BCCH, PCH, AGCH and DCCH.

Note:
The Dm channel is a generic term for all the signaling channels at the Um interface in the GSM system.
For instance, the Dm channel can either be PCH or BCCH.

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LAPDm includes functions for:


z The provision of one or more data link connections on a Dm channel.
Discrimination between the data link connections is by means of a data link
connection identifier (DLCI).
z Allows for frame type identification.
z Allows L3 message units to be transmitted transparently between L3s.
z Exercises sequence control to maintain the order of frames that pass DLC.
z Check on the format and operation errors on the data links.
z Flow control.
z Contention resolution when establishing a data link after an access request has
been made on the RACH.
2) Operation types
Two types of operation of the data link layer are defined for layer 3 information
transfer: unacknowledged operation and acknowledged (multiple frame) operation.
They may co-exist on a Dm channel.
z Unacknowledged operation:
In unacknowledged operation, layer 3 information is transmitted in Unnumbered
Information (UI) frames. At the data link layer, the UI frames are not acknowledged.
Flow control mechanisms and error recovery mechanisms are not defined.
Unacknowledged operation is applicable to different types of control channels except
for RACH.
z Acknowledged operation:
In unacknowledged operation, layer 3 information is transmitted in Unnumbered
Information (UI) frames. The data link layer acknowledges the transmitted I frame.
Error recovery procedures based on retransmission of unacknowledged frames are
specified. In case of errors, which cannot be corrected by the data link layer, a report
is issued to the layer 3 entity. Flow control procedures are also defined.
Acknowledged operation is applicable to DCCH.
3) Information transfer mode:
On different channels, information transfer modes are different.
z Information transfer on the BCCH: The BCCH exists only in the network to MS
direction and is used for broadcasting radio sub-system information to MSs. Only
UI frames are sent on the BCCH.
z Information transfer on the PCH + AGCH: These channels exist only in the
network to MS direction. On the PCH + AGCH only unacknowledged operation is
possible.
z Information transfer on the DCCHs: On the DCCHs both unacknowledged
operation and multiple frame operation are possible. The type of operation
required at any time is determined by layer 3.
4) Release of data links:

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Multiple frame operation may be released in the following ways:


z Normal release by exchange of commands/responses.
z Local end release, i.e. without exchange of commands/responses, initiated and
controlled by layer 3.
This type of release is initiated by layer 3.

II. Service characteristics.

The data link layer provides services to layer 3 and uses the services provided by the
physical layer. Interaction among them is accomplished by primitives. The primitive
format between layer 2 and layer 3 is DL_XX_XXX. The primitive format between
layer 2 and the management layer is MDL_XX_XXX. And the primitive format
between layer 2 and physical layer is PH_XX_XXX.
1) Services provided to layer 3
Unacknowledged information transfer service

The characteristics of the unacknowledged information transfer service are


summarized in the following:
z Provision of a data link connection between layer 3 entities for unacknowledged
information transfer of layer 3 message units;
z Identification of data link connection endpoints to permit a layer 3 entity to
identify another layer 3 entity.
z Sending of frames in accordance with priority given to the message.
z No verification of message arrival within the data link layer.
The primitives associated with the unacknowledged information transfer service are:
DL-UNIT DATA-REQUEST/INDICATION

The DL-UNIT DATA-REQUEST primitive is used to request that a message unit be


sent using the procedures for unacknowledged information transfer service; DL-UNIT
DATA-INDICATION indicates the arrival of a message unit received by means of
unacknowledged information transfer.

Acknowledged information transfer service

One mode of acknowledged operation is defined, i.e. multiple frame operation. The
characteristics of this service are summarized in the following:
z Provision of a data link connection between layer 3 entities for acknowledged
information transfer of layer 3 message units.
z Identification of data link connection endpoints to permit a layer 3 entity to
identify another layer 3 entity.
z Sequence integrity of data link layer message units in the absence of machine
malfunctions.

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z Notification to the peer entity in the case of errors, for example, loss of
sequence.
z Notification to the layer 3 entity of unrecoverable errors detected by the data link
layer.
z Flow control.
z Sending of frames in accordance with the indicated SAPI value.
z Segmentation and concatenation control functions.
Primitives used for multiframe acknowledged information transfer include:

DL_DATA_REQUEST/INDICATION: used to request that a message unit be sent


using the procedures for multiframe acknowledged information transfer and the arrival
of message units received by means of acknowledged information transfer.

DL_ESTABLISH_REQUEST/INDICATION/CONFIRM: These primitives are used to


request, indicate and confirm the establishment of multiple frame operation between
two data link layer entities.

DL_RELEASE_REQUEST/INDICATION/CONFIRM: used for the termination of the


multiframe mode.

Random access procedure

The primitive used by the random access process is DL_RANDOM


ACCESS_INDICATION, which is used in the MS to request the transmission of a
random access burst.
2) Services required from the physical layer
The services provided by the physical layer are summarized in the following:
z Physical layer connection for transparent transmission of frames.
z Indication of physical state of the Dm channel.
z Transmission of data link layer message units in the same order as they were
issued by the data link layer.
z Provision of frame synchronization.
z Provision of error protection to ensure a low residual bit error rate at the data link
layer.
z Transmission (in the MS) and reception (in the network) of random access
bursts.
3) Administrative services
Primitives used by management layer services:

MDL_ERROR_INDICATION, used by the data link layer to indicate that there is an


error in the data link layer procedures that cannot be resolved by normal exception
handling procedures.

MDL_RELEASE_REQUEST, used by the layer 3 entity to initiate abnormal local end


release of a data link.

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3.2.4 L3

I. Introduction

The signaling layer 3 provides the functions to establish, maintain and terminate
circuit-switched connections across a GSM PLMN and other networks to which the
GSM PLMN is connected. It provides the necessary supporting functions related to
supplementary services control and short messages service control. Furthermore it
includes the functions necessary for mobility management and radio resource
management.

The layer 3 body consists of many functional program blocks. These program blocks
transfer message units carrying various kinds of information among all layer 3 entities
and between layer 3 and neighboring layers. The objectives of the layer 3 are to
provide the means for:
z The establishment, operation and release of a dedicated radio channel
connection (RR).
z For location updating, authentication and TMSI reallocation (MM).
z For establishment, maintaining and termination of circuit-switched calls (CC).
z Supplementary services support (SS).
z Short messages service support (SMS).
Layer 3 consists of 3 sub-layers including Connection Management (CM), Mobility
Management (MM) and Radio Resource management (RR).

The functions of the signaling layer 3 are performed by means of the signaling layer 3
protocols between two systems which represent the Mobile Station side and the
Network side of the radio interface as viewed by the Mobile Station. GSM 04.07 does
not consider the distribution of signaling functions among the different network
equipment. The functions of layer 3 and its supporting lower layers, therefore, provide
the Mobile Network Signaling (MNS) Service to the upper layers..

Interaction between layer 3 and higher layers and between services interfaces of
layer 2 as well as that between neighboring sub-layers in layer 3 can be described in
primitives and parameters. Exchange of information between two peers of the
signaling layer 3 is performed by means of the three sublayer protocols.

II. L3 Structure

As have already introduced, the 3 sub-layers of layer 3 are further discussed here:
Among them, the highest sub-layer is composed of three functional entities: Call
Control (CC), Short Message Service support (SMS) and Supplementary Service
support (SS). In total, there are five functional entities consisted in the layer 3 radio
interface. Below is the brief introduction to these entities:

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z Radio Resources (RR) management handles the establishment, maintenance,


and release of physical channels and logical channels, as well as cross-cell
transfer on the request of CM sub-layer.
z Mobility Management (MM) deals with the all necessary functions of mobile
features to support mobile subscribers. It notifies the network when the mobile
station is activated and deactivated, or the location area is changed. It is also
responsible for the security of activated radio channels.
z CC deals with all necessary functions to establish or release the circuit-switched
connections.
z SS deals with all necessary functions to support GSM supplementary services.
z SMS performs all necessary functions to support point-to-point short message
services.
In addition, other functions are contained in layer 3 which are related to the transport
of messages, e.g. multiplexing and splitting. Those functions are defined in the Radio
Resource Management and Mobility Management. They have the task to route the
messages according to the protocol discriminator (PD) and transaction identifier (TI)
which are part of the message header.

The MM routing function route the messages of the CM entities and the messages of
the MM entity of its own sublayer towards the service access point of RR, and
multiplex them in case of parallel transactions. The routing function of Radio
Resource Management shall distribute the messages to be sent according to their
protocol discriminator (PD) and the actual channel configuration.

The messages provided at the different service access points of layer 2 are split by
the RR routing function according to the protocol discriminator (PD). If PD equals to
RR, this message will be transferred to RR at the local sub-layer. Other messages
are provided to MM via the access point RR-SAP. The routing function of MM passes
the messages according to the protocol discriminator (PD) and the transaction
identifier (TI) towards the MM entity or towards the CM entities via the various
MM-SAP's.

Figure 3-23 illustrates the protocol model of L3 signaling.

The RR sub-layer at the bottom receives services provided by layer 2 through various
service access points (i.e., various types of channels) of layer 2, and provides
services via RR-SAP to the MM sub-layer. The MM sub-layer provides services to the
three entities (CC, SS and SMS) on the CM sub-layer through different service
access points MMCC-SAP, MMSS-SAP and MMSMS-SAP respectively. The 3
independent entities on the CM sub-layer provide services to higher layers through
MNCC-SAP, MNSS-SAP and MNSMS-SAP respectively.

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Mobile Service
MNCC-SAP MNSS-SAP MNSMS-SAP

CC SS SMS

MMSS-SAP
MMCC-SAP MMSMS-
MMREG -SAP SAP

MM MM CC SS SMS
Layer 3 Signaling

RR-SAP

RR ..RR
PD
RR

SAPI 0 SAPI 3
AGCH+PCH
SDCCH

SDCCH
SACCH

SACCH
FACCH
RACH
BCCH

Figure 3-23 Um interface L3 protocol model

III. Service characteristics.

1) Services provided by layer 3 on the MS side


z Registration services, i.e., IMSI attach and detach operations.
z Call Control services for normal and emergency calls including call related
Supplementary Services Support services.
z Call independent Supplementary Services Support.
z Short Message Services Support.
Services provided by layer 3 on the network side
z Call Control Services, including call establishment, call maintaining, call
termination and call related supplementary service support.
z Call independent Supplementary Services Support.
z Short Message Services Support.

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2) Inter-layer services between the mobile station and network side


z Services provided by Radio Resource Management entity. These services are
provided to MM via RR-SAP. They are used for establishing control channel
connections, establishing traffic channel connections, ciphering mode indication,
releasing control channel connections, and control-data transfer.
z Services provided by mobility management entities (MM). These services
support call control, supplementary services and short messages services of
connection management entities.

MS Network Side

MM

RR - Primitive
RR
SAP

corresponding layer protocol

RR

Figure 3-24 Communication at RR

MS Network Side

CC SS SM CC SS SM

Corresponding layer protocol

MM MM

Figure 3-25 Communication at MM

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3.3 Abis interface

3.3.1 Overview

The Abis interface is the interface between Base Station Controller (BSC) and Base
Transceiver Station (BTS). It is an internal interface of the BSS. At the beginning,
ETSI hope to realize the complete standardization of Abis interface, so that the BTS
can connect to the BSC of different supplier. However, the complete standardization
of Abis interface has not been turned into reality. As a result ETSI only strictly define
the service part of Abis interface in 08.52, 08.54, 08.56 and 08.58 of the GSM
specification, and didn't define the O&M part. Therefore, the Abis interface can only
be regarded as an internal interface. The interworking between different vendors' BTS
and BSC has not been realized.

The terrestrial traffic channels on the Abis interface and the radio traffic channels on
the Um interface are in one-to-one correspondence with one another.

I. Protocol Model

1) Protocol Model
The protocol model of the Abis interface is shown in Figure 3-26.

BTS BSC

RR BSSAP

RR BTSM BTSM
SCCP
LAPDm LAPD
LAPD
MTP
Sign
Layer1 Layer1
Layer1

Abis
BTSM: Base Transceiver Station
LAPD: Link Access Procedure on the D Channel
Management
RR: Radio Resource LAPDm: Link Access Procedure on the Dm Channel
SCCP: Signaling Connection Control Part MTP: Message Transfer Part
BSSAP: Base Station Subsystem Application Part
Figure 3-26 Protocol model of Abis interface

z Layer 1 of the Abis interface is hardware-based and responsible for receiving


and transmitting data to the physical link.
z The layer 2 protocol of the Abis interface is based on the LAPD. LAPD
addresses TRX (or BCF) through TEI. Different logical links are used for traffic
management message (RSL, Radio Signaling Link), network management

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message (OML, Operation & Maintenance Link), and L2 management messages


(L2ML, Layer 2 Management Link).
z RR (Radio Resource Management) messages are mapped onto the BSSAP
(BSS Application Part) in BSC. In BTS, most of RR messages are handled as
transparent messages. However, some of them have to be interpreted and
executed by BTS (for example, cipher, random access, paging and assignment),
these messages are processed by the BTSM (BTS Management) entities in BSC
and by BTS.
z BSC and BTS do not interpret CM (Connection Management) and MM (Mobility
Management) messages. These messages are transferred over the A-interface
by DTAP (Direct Transfer Application Part). At the Abis interface, DTAP
messages are transferred as transparent messages.
2) Abis interface related protocols:
z GSM 08.52 defines the basic principles for the Abis interface specifications, and
the traffic function division between BSC and BTS.
z GSM 08.54 defines the physical structure of Abis interface.
z GSM 08.56 defines the data link protocol of Abis interface.
z GSM 08.58 defines the layer 3 procedures.
z GSM 12.21 defines the transmission mechanism of the OM message on the Abis
interface.
z GSM 08.60 defines the in-band control protocol of the remote transcoder and
rate adapters.

II. Structure of Abis interface

The Abis interface can support three different internal BTS configurations (as
illustrated in Figure 3-27):
z Single TRX.
z Multiple TRXs are connected with the BSC via a common physical connection.
z Multiple TRXs are connected with the BSC via different physical connections.

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BSS

Abis
TRX BTS1
BCF

TRX

TRX BTS2
A Abis
MSC TRX
BSC

BCF

Abis
TRX

TRX BTS3

TRX

TRX

BCF

Figure 3-27 Struction of Abis interface

In Figure 3-27:
z TRX is the functional entity that supports 8 physical channels that belong to the
same TDMA frame, which is defined in the PLMN.
z The BCF (Base Control Function) is the functional entity that performs common
control functions including BTS initialization, software loading, channel
configuration, operation and maintenance.
There are two types of channels at the Abis interface, which are:
z Traffic channels with the rates of 8kbit/s, 16kbit/s and 64kbit/s respectively,
carrying speech or data from radio channels.
z Signaling channels with rates of 16kbit/s, 32kbit/s or 64kbit/s respectively,
carrying signaling between BSC and MS, and between BSC and BTS.
Different Terminal Equipment Identifiers (TEI) are assigned to get unique addresses
of TRXs. Three separate logical links are defined with each TEI (as shown in
Figure 3-28):
z RSL: Radio Signaling Link used to support traffic management procedures, one
for each TRX.
z OML: Operation & Maintenance Link used to support network management
procedures, one for each SITE.
z L2ML, L2 management link, for transferring the management messages at L2.

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BSC BTS

RSL SAPI=0
OML SAPI=62
TRX
L2ML SAPI=63 TEI1

BCF

RSL SAPI=0
LAYER 2 OML SAPI=62 TRX
L2ML SAPI=63 TEI2
BCF
TEI
RSL SAPI=0
OML SAPI=62
TRX TEI3
MANAGE- L2ML SAPI=63
MENT
BCF
OML SAPI=62
L2ML SAPI=63 BCF TEI4

BCF

Figure 3-28 Abis interface layer 2 logical links

III. Functional division between BSC and BTS

The BSS is composed of two functional entities, i.e. BSC and BTS. BTS is the radio
part of the BSS under the control of the BSC, providing services for a specific cell.
The BTS fulfills the interworking and mapping of the terrestrial channels and the radio
channels, as well as the interworking of the MS and the network via the radio
interface (Um interface). The BSC is the controlling part of the BSS, which manages
the external and the internal interfaces, as well as the radio resource and radio
interface parameters.

The specific function division between the BTS and the BSC is shown in Table 3-7.

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Table 3-7 Distribution of services and functions between BTS and BSC

Location Remark
Function
BTS BSC/MSC
Channel

MSC-BSC allocation
channel Blocking

Terrestrial channel indication
management Channel

allocation
BSC-BTS channel
Blocking

indication
Channel
configuration √
management

Management √
Frequency
hopping
Execution √

Channel

allocation

Link monitoring √

DCH Channel

management release
Idle channel

observation

Radio channel Power control


√ √ Note 1
management decision
System
information √
management
System
information √
broadcast

BCCH/CCCH Random access



management check
Immediate

assignment
DTX paging

management
DTX paging

execution

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Location Remark
Function
BTS BSC/MSC
Channel

coding/decoding
Transcoding/rate

adaptation
Uplink

measurement
Processing
Measurement measurement √ √ Note 2
report
Traffic

measurement

Timing advance Calculation √

Indication to MS
Radio channel during random √
management access
Indication to MS
Timing advance
during √
handover
Indication to MS

during session

LAPDm function √

Management √
Ciphering
Execution √

Management √
Handover
Handover

access check
Mobility

Management

Calling Control √

Note 1: The support of power control in BTS is optional

Note 2: The initial measurement data is reported by BTS to BSC through Abis
interface. As an option, the BSC/BTS may support preprocessing of the initial data in
BTS, which reduces the load of BSC.

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3.3.2 Protocols on the Abis Interface

I. Physical layer

Abis interface physical layer adopts the PCM link with the working rate at 2048 kbit/s
to provide 32 channels at 64kbit/s. The electro-technicial parameter at the physical
layer conforms to the CCITT G.703 recommendations.

BSS is the connection point of the radio channel and terrestrial channel. Both kinds of
channels have different transfer patterns and coding rates. In the radio channel of
BSS, the transfer rate is 16kbit/s while it is 64kbit/s in the terrestrial channel.
Therefore transcoding and rate adaptation is needed. This function is realized at the
physical layer of Abis interface by the Transcoder & Rate Adaptation Unit (TRAU). TRAU
can be located at BTS side, BSC side or MSC side. Given to the channel utilization at
the Abis interface, M900/M1800 BTS does not support TRAU at BTS side, but the
BSC or MSC instead.

Data coding is described in GSM 08.20. The in-band control protocol of TRAU is
stipulated in GSM 08.60.

II. Data link layer

1) Overview
The data link layer of Abis uses LAPD protocol. It utilizes the service on the physical
layer, and provides connection-oriented or connectionless services for layer 3. The
data link Service Access Point (SAP) is the point that provides services for layer 3.
SAP is identified by Service Access Point Identifier (SAPI). A data link connection
endpoint is identified by a data link connection endpoint identifier as seen from layer 3
and by a data link connection identifier (DLCI) as seen from the data link layer.

For information exchange between two or more layer 3 entities, an association must
be established between the layer 3 entities in the data link layer using a data link
layer protocol.

The communication between data link layer entities is governed by a peer-to-peer


protocol specific to the layer. Messages at the data link layer are transferred between
entities at layer 2 through physical layer. Inter-layer service request is implemented
with service primitive.
2) Function
The purpose of LAPD is to realize reliable end-to-end information transfer between
layer 3 entities through the user-network interface by using the D-channel. To be
specific, LAPD supports:
z Multiple terminal equipment between subscriber and interface,
z Multiple L3 entities.

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Functions of LAPD includes:


z Establishes one or several data links on the D channel.
z Delimits, locates and transmits transparently frames so that a string of bits
transmitted on the D channel in the form of frames can be identified.
z Implements sequence control to keep the order of the frames that pass the data
link connections.
z Checks the transmission errors, format errors and operation errors in the data
link connections.
z Makes recovery based on the detected transmission errors, format errors and
operation errors.
z Notifies the management layer entities of the unrecoverable errors.
z Flow control.
Data link layer provides the means for information transfer between multiple
combinations of data link connection points. The information may be transferred
through point-to-point data link connections or via broadcast data link connections.

III. Traffic management of Layer 3

The traffic management part of the Abis interface layer 3 is mainly described in GSM
08.58 specifications. The procedures defined in this specifications has two major
functions:
z Realizing the interworking of the MS and BSS/NSS on the Um interface.
z Implementing part of the radio resource management functions under the control
of BSC.
The traffic management message is divided into the transparent and non-transparent
messages, as shown in Figure 3-29.
z The transparent message refers to the messages forwarded without
interpretation or being processed by the BTS.
z The non-transparent message refers to the messages processed and structured
by the BTS.
The traffic management messages can also be divided into four groups in terms of
functions, which are:
z Radio link layer management message, used for the management of the data
link layer on the radio channel.
z Dedicated channel management message used for the management of
dedicated channels (SDCCH and TCH).
z Common control channel management message used for the management of
common control channels.
z TRX management message used for TRX management.
Transparency and group of the message is determined by the message discriminator
at the header of the message.

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1) Radio link layer management procedures


Radio link layer management procedures include:
z Link establishment indication procedure: BTS uses this procedure to indicate to
BSC the success of setting up multi-frame link originated by the subscriber. BSC
establishes a link from MSC to SCCP through the indication.
z Link establishment request procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to request
the establishment of a link layer connection in multi-frame mode on the radio
channel.
z Link release indication procedure: This procedure is used by BTS to indicate to
BSC that a link layer connection on the radio channel has been released at the
initiative of an MS.
z Link release request procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to request the
release of a link layer connection on the radio channel.
z Transmission of a transparent L3-message on the Um interface in acknowledged
mode: This procedure is used by BSC to request the sending of a transparent L3
message to MS on the Um interface in acknowledged mode.
z Reception of a transparent L3-message on the Um interface in acknowledged
mode: This procedure is used by BTS to indicate the reception of a transparent
L3 message on the Um interface in acknowledged mode.
z Transmission of a transparent L3-message on the Um interface in
unacknowledged mode: This procedure is used by BSC to request the sending
of a transparent L3 message to MS on the Um interface in unacknowledged
mode.
z Reception of a transparent L3-message on the Um interface in unacknowledged
mode: This procedure is used by BTS to indicate the reception of a transparent
L3 message in unacknowledged mode.
z Link error indication procedure: Through this procedure BTS indicates BSC
incase of any abnormality in the radio link layer.
2) Dedicated channel management procedures
The dedicated channel management principles includes:
z Channel activation procedure: This procedure is used to activate a channel at
BTS for an MS which later will be commanded to this channel by an Immediate
Assignment, an Assignment Command, an Additional Assignment or a Handover
Command message.
z Channel mode modification procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to
request a change of the channel mode of an active channel.
z Handover detection procedure: This procedure is used between the target BTS
and BSC to detect the accessing of the MS being handed over.
z Start of encryption procedure: This procedure is used to start encryption
according to the procedure defined in Technical Specification GSM 04.08.

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z Measurement report procedure: It includes the necessary basic measurement


report procedure and measurement report preprocessing procedure. BTS reports
all parameters related to handover decision to the BSC through this procedure.
z Deactivate SACCH procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to deactivate the
SACCH at BTS according to the Channel Release procedure defined in
Technical Specification GSM 04.08.
z Radio channel release procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to release a
radio channel that is no longer needed.
z MS power control procedure: This procedure is used by BSS to set the MS
power level or the parameters required by TRX. MS power control decision must
be implemented in BSC, and as an optional procedure in BTS.
z BTS Transmission power control procedure: This procedure used between BSC
and BTS to set the TRX transmission power level or the parameters required by
TRX. The BTS transmission power control decision should be implemented in
BSC, or in BTS.
z Connection failure procedure: This procedure is used by BTS to indicate to BSC
that an active connection has been broken.
z Physical context request procedure: This is an optional procedure which allows
the BSC to obtain information on the "physical context" of a radio channel just
prior to a channel change.
z SACCH information modification procedure: BSC uses this procedure to instruct
BTS to change the information (system information) filled in a specific SACCH
channel.
3) Common channel management procedures
Common channel management regulations include:
z Channel request by MS procedure: The procedure is initiated by TRX upon
detection of a random access from an MS (Channel Request message from
MS).
z Paging principle procedure: It is used to page an MS on the specified paging
sub-channel. The paging of an MS is initiated by BSC sending a Paging
Command message to BTS. BSC determines the paging group to be used
according to the IMSI of the called MS. The value of this paging group together
with the identity of the mobile station is sent to BTS.
z Immediate assignment procedure: When a mobile station accesses BTS, BSC
uses this procedure to assign a dedicated channel for the mobile station
immediately.
z Delete indication procedure: This procedure is used by BTS to indicate that due
to overload on the AGCH, an Immediate Assign Command has been deleted.
z CCCH load indication procedure: This procedure is used by BTS to inform BSC
the load on a designate CCCH. Indication period is also set by OM.
z Broadcast information modification procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to
indicate to BTS the new information to be broadcast on BCCH.

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z Short message cell broadcast procedure: Short Message Service Cell Broadcast
messages are sent to BTS as SMS Broadcast Request messages.
4) TRX management procedures
This type of procedure is used for TRX management. There are:
z SACCH filling information modify procedure: This procedure is used by BSC to
indicate to BTS the new information to be used as filling information on SACCHs.
z Radio resources indication procedure: This procedure is used to inform BSC on
the interference levels on idle channels of a TRX.
z Flow control procedure: This procedure is defined to give some degree of flow
control. It can be used for TRX processor overload, downlink CCCH overload
and ACCH overload.
z Error reporting procedure: This procedure is used by BTS to report detected
downlink message errors, which cannot be reported by any other procedure.

IV. Operation and maintenance part of Layer 3

1) Operation and maintenance information model


z Managed objects
There are four types of management objects: site, cell, carrier and channel. The basic
structure is illustrated in Figure 3-29.

SITE

CELL 0 CELL 1 CELL n

TRX0 TRX1 TRXm

TRX

CH0 CH1 CH7

Figure 3-29 Basic structure of management object

z Object addressing
Addressing of network management messages is realized by means of managed
object types and cases. For each object case in BTS there is a complete L2
connection description. The setup of the first connection uses one (semi-) permanent
default TEI. Subsequent connections use the TEIs provided when setting up TEI
procedures. Object cases can also use layer 3 addresses. The mixed use of layer 2
and layer 3 addressing enables one BTS site have one or multiple physical links.
z Managed object state

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Management status include management status, operation status and availability


status. See Table 3-8, Table 3-9 and 0.0.0 . The management state of managed
objects is only controlled by BSC, and available state is the specific explanation of
operative state.

Table 3-8 Management status

State Description
BSC has disconnected all calls through this managed object, and no new calls can
Locked
be connected to this object.
New services can not be connected to this managed object, but those existing calls
Shut down
will be maintained.
Unlocked New calls can be connected to this managed object.

Table 3-9 Operation status

State Description
Resources are completely unavailable, and can no longer provide services to the
Disabled
users.
Enabled All or part of resources are available and can be used.

Table 3-10 Availability status

State Description
ln test The resource is being tested. Its operational state is disabled.
The source/object is not working due to some internal error. Its operational state is
Failed
disabled.
Power off The resource needs power supply. Its operational state is disabled.
The resource needs manual or automatic operations. Its operational state is
Off line
disabled.
Services provided by this resource are degraded in a certain sense, such as rate or
Dependency
operational capacity. Its operational state is disabled.
Services provided by this resource are degraded in a certain sense, such as rate or
Degraded
operational capacity. Its operational state is disabled.
Hardware or software of the managed objects is not installed. Its operational state
Not Installed
is disabled.

1) Basic procedures
All procedures are based on formatted O&M messages. Most formatted O&M
messages initiated by BSC or BTS require the peer layer 3 endpoint to give response

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or acknowledgment in the form of formatted O&M messages. Single formatted O&M


messages that need not be responded are called a basic procedure. All formatted
O&M messages are sent on layer 2 in the form of I frames. A group of procedures,
called as structured procedures, are based on the combination of some basic
procedures.

For a specific object, if a certain basic procedure is not completed, the system will not
start its subsequent basic procedures. When there is no response to the formatted
operation and maintenance message from the peer layer 3 before L3 timeout, the
basic procedure is regarded as “not completed”. When the previous basic procedure
has not received any response (ACK or NACK) before layer 3 timeout, then no
subsequent basic procedure is sent to this object case. The default timeout for layer 3
is 10s. If part of an original message is not understood or supported, the whole
message is discarded. A ACK message returned by the object indicates affirm
response, it is used to notify the message sender that the command has been
executed or will be executed. A NACK message returned by the object indicates
disaffirm response, it is used to notify the message sender that the command
executed unsuccessfully and the corresponding failure cause.

There are mainly the following types of basic procedures:


z Software loading management procedure
z Abis interface management procedure
z Transmission management procedure
z Air interface management procedure
z Test management procedure
z State management and event reporting procedure
z Equipment state management procedure
z Other procedure

3.3.3 Characteristics of Abis Interface

Huawei's Abis interface supports various services. It also supports the control over
BTS and the allocation of frequency. Abis interface has the following characteristics:
z Supporting all the services as stipulated in the GSM 02 series.
z Supporting smooth expansion of BTS capacity.
z There are three types of multiplexing modes on Abis interface: 10:1, 12:1 and
15:1, meaning the ability to simultaniously transmit 10, 12 or 15 TRX data on the
same E1 respectively.
z The transmission modes on the Abis interface can be terrestrial, satellite,
microwave or optical fiber.

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I. Transmission Modes on the Abis Interface

The transmission modes on the Abis interface can be terrestrial or satellite. These two
types of transmission mode are selected in the BSC data configuration. For thinly
populated and scattered areas where ordinary transmission technology is expensive
and difficult to implement, Huawei offers connectivity through satellite. Figure 3-30
shows a typical example of networking through satellite.

Satelite

MSC Earth Station


Earth Receiving E1
Station BTS
BSC
BTS

SDH/PDH
/HDSL/Microware
Earth Receiving E1
/E1 BTS BTS
Station

Figure 3-30 Networking of satellite transmission

The networking implementation through satellite transmission is different from the


land transmission due to long transmission delay. To get good quality transmission,
following measures are taken:
z LAPD protocol is modified to overcome the impact of delay.
z The adjustment algorithm of the TRAU frame is modified from fixed cycle
adjustment to self-adaptive adjustment.
z The BTS clock works in internal clock mode.

II. Abis interface channel assignment

Abis interface has three types of channels, including Traffic Channel (TCH), Radio
Signaling Link (RSL) and Operation & Maintenance Link (OML). Each site
corresponds to an OML, each TRX corresponds to an RSL, and a radio traffic
channel corresponds to the traffic channel at the Abis interface.

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There are three multiplexing modes for Abis interface: 10:1, 12:1 or 15:1, respectively
meaning that the data of 10, 12 or 15 TRXs can be simultaneously transmitted on one
E1.

In the following description, the row is the timeslot No., and the column is the
sub-timeslot No. Which is calculated by 8kbit/s rate. Ti.j refers to the No. j
sub-timeslot of the No. i TRX which occupys a 16kbit/s sub-timeslot on E1.
1) Timeslot distribution of E1 in 10:1 multiplexing

Table 3-11 Sequence table under 10:1 mode

Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
0 Synchronization
1 T0.0 T0.1 T0.2 T0.3
2 T0.4 T0.5 T0.6 T0.7
3 RSL0
4 T1.0 T1.1 T1.2 T1.3
5 T1.4 T1.5 T1.6 T1.7
6 RSL1
7 T2.0 T2.1 T2.2 T2.3
8 T2.4 T2.5 T2.6 T2.7
9 RSL2
10 T3.0 T3.1 T3.2 T3.3
11 T3.4 T3.5 T3.6 T3.7
12 RSL3
13 T4.0 T4.1 T4.2 T4.3
14 T4.4 T4.5 T4.6 T4.7
15 RSL4
16 T5.0 T5.1 T5.2 T5.3
17 T5.4 T5.5 T5.6 T5.7
18 RSL5
19 T6.0 T6.1 T6.2 T6.3
20 T6.4 T6.5 T6.6 T6.7
21 RSL6
22 T7.0 T7.1 T7.2 T7.3

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Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
23 T7.4 T7.5 T7.6 T7.7
24 RSL7
25 T8.0 T8.1 T8.2 T8.3
26 T8.4 T8.5 T8.6 T8.7
27 RSL8
28 T9.0 T9.1 T9.2 T9.3
29 T9.4 T9.5 T9.6 T9.7
30 RSL9
31 OML

In 10:1 multiplexing, each E1 carries 10 TRXs. Each signaling link occupies a 64kbit/s
timeslot on the E1. If some sites cascad on one E1, , the E1 can carry 4 sites/9 TRXs
or 7 sites/8 TRXs.
2) Timeslot distribution of E1 in 12:1 multiplexing

Table 3-12 Sequence table under 12:1 mode

Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
0 Synchronization
1 T0.0 T0.1 T0.2 T0.3
2 T0.4 T0.5 T0.6 T0.7
3 RSL0, RSL1
4 T1.0 T1.1 T1.2 T1.3
5 T1.4 T1.5 T1.6 T1.7
6 T2.0 T2.1 T2.2 T2.3
7 T2.4 T2.5 T2.6 T2.7
8 RSL2, RSL3
9 T3.0 T3.1 T3.2 T3.3
10 T3.4 T3.5 T3.6 T3.7
11 T4.0 T4.1 T4.2 T4.3
12 T4.4 T4.5 T4.6 T4.7
13 RSL4, RSL5

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Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
14 T5.0 T5.1 T5.2 T5.3
15 T5.4 T5.5 T5.6 T5.7
16 T6.0 T6.1 T6.2 T6.3
17 T6.4 T6.5 T6.6 T6.7
18 RSL6, RSL7
19 T7.0 T7.1 T7.2 T7.3
20 T7.4 T7.5 T7.6 T7.7
21 T8.0 T8.1 T8.2 T8.3
22 T8.4 T8.5 T8.6 T8.7
23 RSL8, RSL9
24 T9.0 T9.1 T9.2 T9.3
25 T9.4 T9.5 T9.6 T9.7
26 T10.0 T10.1 T10.2 T10.3
27 T10.4 T10.5 T10.6 T10.7
28 RSL10, RSL11
29 T11.0 T11.1 T11.2 T11.3
30 T11.4 T11.5 T11.6 T11.7
31 OML

In 12:1 mode, each E1 carries 12 TRXs, and every two RSLs share a 64kbit/s
timeslot of E1. If some site cascaded on one E1, then the E1 can carry 3 sites/11
TRXs or 6 sites/10 TRXs.
3) Timeslot distribution of E1 in 15:1 multiplexing

Table 3-13 Sequence under 15:1 mode

Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
0 Synchronization
1 V1 V2 V3 V4
2 V5 V6 V7 V8
3 V9 V10 V11 V12
4 V13 V14 V15 V16

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Sub-TS
Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3
TS
5 V17 V18 V19 V20
6 V21 V22 V23 V24
7 V25 V26 V27 V28
8 V29 V30 V31 V32
9 V33 V34 V35 V36
10 V37 V38 V39 V40
11 V41 V42 V43 V44
12 V45 V46 V47 V48
13 V49 V50 V51 V52
14 V53 V54 V55 V56
15 V57 V58 V59 V60
16 V61 V62 V63 V64
17 V65 V66 V67 V68
18 V69 V70 V71 V72
19 V73 V74 V75 V76
20 V77 V78 V79 V80
21 V81 V82 V83 V84
22 V85 V86 V87 V88
23 V89 V90 V91 V92
24 V93 V94 V95 V96
25 V97 V98 V99 V100
26 V101 V102 V103 V104
27 V105 V106 V107 V108
28 RSL11, 12, 13, 14
29 RSL7, 8, 9, 10
30 RSL3, 4, 5, 6
31 OML+RSL0, 1, 2

In 15:1 mode, each E1 carries 15 TRXs, and timeslots 1 to 27 contain 108


sub-timeslots of 16kbit/s for the use by traffic channels of 15 TRXs. Vi refers to the ith
traffic channel of the site. The E1 can be configured with 16 signaling links, every 4 of

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which share a 64kbit/s timeslot. If all cascaded sites have the same 15:1
configuration, then a single E1 can carry 2 sites/14 TRXs or 4 sites/12 TRXs.

3.4 Gb interface

3.4.1 Overview

The Gb interface is the standard open interface between BSS and SGSN.
M900/M1800 BSS, which includes the PCU, can be connected with the SGSN from
any other vendor. Through this interface SGSN communicates with BSS to implement
such functions as packet data transfer, flow control, mobility management, etc. This is
a mandatory interface in GPRS network.

The location of Gb interface in GPRS system is similar to that of the A interface in


GSM system. A interface is between BSS and MSC, while Gb interface is between
BSS and SGSN. Their difference is that Gb interface is more suitable to provide
packet service.

I. Layered Model of the Gb interface protocol

Figure 3-31 describes the location of the Gb interface and the main structure of the
interface protocol stack.

LLC
RELAY
RLC BSSGP BSSGP

MAC NS NS

L1 L1 L1

Gb
BSS SGSN

Figure 3-31 Protocol stack at Gb interface

z The L1 physical layer of the Gb interface, which is based on the Frame Relay
(FR) protocol, can be actually implemented by means of point-to-point frame
relay network connection or multipoint-to-multipoint frame relay network
connection.
z The Network Service (NS) L2 protocol of the Gb interface implements the
transmission function of the NS SDUs at the Gb interface as well as
configuration and state management of NS-VS, etc.
z The BSSGP L3 protocol of the Gb interface is designed mainly to carry out such
operation & maintenance functions as uplink and downlink transmission of the

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upper layer (LLC layer) signaling and data, downlink data flow control, and
blocking/unblocking and restarting of BVC (BSSGP Virtual Connection).

II. Related protocols of the Gb interface

Like the A interface, the Gb interface is also an open interface so it is strictly designed
according to GSM specifications to ensure good interworking between the GPRS
BSS and the GPRS core network of different manufacturers. The related protocols of
the Gb interface include:
z GSM 03.60, which specifies the location definition and the protocol stack
structure of the Gb interface.
z GSM 08.14, which specifies that physical layer of the Gb interface between BSS
and SGSN should use the FR protocol.
z GSM 08.16, which specifies the details of the L2 protocol NS of the Gb interface
between BSS and SGSN.
z GSM 08.18, which specifies the details of the L3 protocol BSSGP of the Gb
interface between BSS and SGSN.

3.4.2 Protocols on the Gb Interface

I. FR

Frame Relay protocol introduced for the physical layer of the Gb interface and E1 or
T1 is imported for the physical media. The frame relay module enables the
interworking between sub-networks so that the two ends (PCU and SGSN) can
connect with each other directly through dedicated link (in point-to-point mode) or
through frame relay network (in an intermediate network mode). As shown in
Figure 3-32 and Figure 3-33.

Gb
BSS SGSN
(user) (network)

Figure 3-32 Point to Point mode

Gb Gb
BSS Frame Relay SGSN
(user) network (user)

Figure 3-33 Intermediate network mode

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The Frame Relay is a mature and universal physical layer protocol, not limited to the
GPRS Gb interface only.

II. NS

Distributed over the two sides of the Gb interface, the NS protocol layer has
symmetrical functions on both sides of the Gb interface. But as a whole it provides
simple and clear interface services to the upper-level BSSGP. It delivers mainly three
service functions as follows:
z Upper Layer SDU transfers: All messages transported in the BSSGP layer are
transferred in the NS layer in the form of NS SDU. The normal operation of the
NS layer affords a reliable channel and protection for the normal operation of the
upper layer protocol.
z Network congestion indication: When the NS layer detects congestion or
congestion removed on the bottom layer link, it will notify the upper layer through
the congestion indication message so that the latter can handle it accordingly.
z Network state indication: When the NS layer finds the bottom layer link is faulty
and it cannot transmit data or the bottom layer link fault has recovered, it will
notify the specific faulty point (recovery point) message to the upper layer so that
the latter can handle it accordingly.

III. BSSGP L3 protocol

Distributed over the two sides of the Gb interface, the NS protocol layer has
symmetrical functions on both sides of the Gb interface. Figure 3-34 describes the
service model implemented by the BSSGP protocol at both ends i.e. BSS and SGSN.

Service model in a BSS Service model in an SGSN

RELAY GMM NM LLC GMM NM

GSM 03.64 RL GMM NM BSSGP GMM NM

RLC/MAC BSSGP BSSGP

GSM 08.16 GSM 08.16

Netw ork service Netw ork service

Figure 3-34 BSSGP service model

It can be seen from the protocol service model that the functions offered by BSSGP to
the upper layer fall into three major parts:

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z NM BSSGP: This part performs the network management function at the Gb


interface, involving downlink data flow control, blocking, unblocking and resetting
of BVC (BSSGP Virtual Connection), and MS tracing.
z GMM BSSGP: This part performs the GPRS mobility management function at
the Gb interface, including network paging to MS, MS radio access capability,
and suspending and resuming of the GPRS service.
z Uplink and Downlink Data Transfer: Gb interface delivers the data
transmission service at BSS and SGSN. Although they differ in their names (it is
called RL BSSGP service at the BSS side and LLC BSSGP service at the SGSN
side), they are fully identical in their function implementation. It also carries out
transparent transmission of the uplink and downlink upper-layer data.

3.4.3 Characteristics of Gb Interface

1) Flexible physical interface and LMI support


M900/M1800 PCU supports ITU-T standard E1 interface.

The Local Management Interface (LMI) supports Annex A of ITUT Q933 as stipulated
in the GSM protocol as well as Annex D of CISCO LMI and ANSI T1-617, making it
easy to interwork with the equipment of other manufacturers in the network.
2) Flexible FR BC bandwidth and NS-VC bandwidth
The bandwidth of the physical carrier channel of the FR layer of M900/M1800 PCU
can be configured flexibly between 64x1kbit/s~64x31kbit/s. The bandwidth of NS-VC
in the NS layer can be configured flexibly between 1kbit/s~1984kbit/s. This measure
greatly facilitates the network planning.
3) Load sharing on the NS layer
M900/M1800 PCU supports full load sharing between NS-VSs of an NSE. NS-VSs
can be located on different boards. This is crucial in enhancing the transmission
reliability and utilization of the Gb interface.
4) BSSGP layer entity switchover
M900/M1800 PCU supports full switchover between BSSGP PTP entities and
between BSSGP SIG entities. When a PTP entity is somehow unavailable, the
services in the entity can be switched over automatically to another available PTP
entity, regardless of whether or not the available PTP entity is in the same physical
board as the faulty PTP entity. When a SIG entity is somehow unavailable, the
services in the entity can be switched over automatically to another available SIG
entity, regardless of whether or not the available SIG entity is in the same physical
board as the faulty SIG entity. The entity switchover function in the BSSGP layer is
vital in boosting the reliability of the BSSGP layer.

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3.5 G-Abis Interface

3.5.1 Overview

G-Abis interface is an internal interface between PCU and BTS in Huawei’s GPRS
BSS. Through this interface, PCU fulfils communication with BTS and handles packet
signaling transfer, packet data transfer, in-band signaling transfer and block
synchronization, etc. It is similar to the Abis interface between BSC and BTS. The
difference lies in that G-Abis interface provides functions and features more suitable
for packet switching service.

3.5.2 Interface Features

A PCU can be located at three positions. But there is no substantial specification of


the interface between BTS and PCU in the GSM/GPRS specifications, so the G-Abis
interfaces of different manufacturers are implemented in different ways. Huawei’s
G-Abis interface has maximum transmission bandwidth utilization and effectively
supports the processing of packet data and signaling. The G-Abis interface has the
following features:
z Packet switching services, data and signaling are transferred by G-TRAU frame.
z Provide 16kbit/s band width to transmit packet data of CS-1/CS-2 code and
32kbit/s band width to transmit packet data of CS-3/CS-4 code.
z G-TRAU frame format transfer is adopted, with abundant in-band signaling
contents including a series of mechanisms such as BTS measurement, BTS
power control, RLC/MAC block coding scheme indication, air interface block
synchronization, etc.
The transmission parameter of GPRS encoding mode is listed in Figure 3-10.

Table 3-14 Transfer parameters of coding schemes

Coding scheme Coding rate Code bits Rate kbit/s


CS-1 1/2 456 9.05
CS-2 2/3 588 13.4
CS-3 3/4 676 15.6

CS-4 1 21.4

When CS-1/2 encoding mode is supported, the rate of G-Abis interface should be
less than 16kbit/s. When CS-3/4 encoding mode is supported, G-Abis interface
should be able to provide the rate of 32 kbit/s.

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BTS measures the strength and quality of the uplink radio signals and reports via the
G-Abis interface the measurement results to PCU, which controls the uplink power
based on the results.

PCU sends the BTS control parameters to BTS through G-Abis and provides control
over the downlink power based on the parameters.

The RLC/MAC block coding scheme is sent by PCU via G-Abis to BTS, which makes
radio block coding for the downlink data and the uplink radio blocks based on the
code.

All the packet data channels (PDCH) used by GPRS take the structure of 52
multiframes and maintain a strict mapping relationship with the G-TRAU frames of the
G-Abis interface. The frame number message of the air interface is transported
between PCU and BTS via the in-band signaling. After a synchronization process, the
data blocks sent by PCU to BTS can establish a precise time sequence relationship
with the TDMA frame numbers of BTS, so that there is minimum time delay when the
uplink and downlink data blocks are processed in BTS.

3.5.3 Physical Layer/Transmission Media

Like the Abis interface, the G-Abis interface counts physically on the 2Mbit/s E1,
which reaches BTS through BSC relay. The BSC functions only as a physical relay for
the data of the G-Abis interface.

There are packet traffic channel of the G-Abis interface and LAPD channel of the Pb
interface in the E1 from PCU to BSC, as shown in Table 4-8. There are packet traffic
channel of the G-Abis interface, circuit traffic channel of the Abis interface, RSL
(circuit-switched radio signaling link) and OML (circuit-switched operation &
maintenance link) link in the E1 from BSC to BTS. Depending on the usage of
channel resources, the G-Abis interface and the Abis interface may share one E1.
The sub-TSs in E1 occupied by the G-Abis interface and the Abis interface are shown
in Table 4-9.

Table 3-15 Sample of G-Abis interface TS configuration (in PCU-BSC section)

TS Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3 Usage


0 0 1 2 3 E1 synchronization TS
1 4 5 6 7 Packet data channel
n 4n 4n+1 4n+2 4n+3 Packet data channel
Dynamic additional sub-TS,
m 4m 4m+1 4m+2 4m+3 supporting additionally CS-3/CS-4
packet traffic channel
31 124 125 126 127 LAPD channel

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Table 3-16 Sample of G-Abis interface configuration (in BSC-BTS section)

TS Sub-TS 0 Sub-TS1 Sub-TS2 Sub-TS3 Usage


0 0 1 2 3 E1 synchronization TS
Circuit traffic channel or packet
1 4 5 6 7
data channel
Dynamic additional sub-TS,
n 4n 4n+1 4n+2 4n+3 supporting additionally CS-3/CS-4
packet traffic channel
m 4m 4m+1 4m+2 4m+3 RSL
31 124 125 126 127 OML

The radio channel on the air interface can be dynamically allocated as TCH or PDCH
to supports GPRS services. The sub-TSs at the E1 can be allocated dynamically to
the Abis interface or the G-Abis interface. The sub-TSs for the Abis interface transport
speech data with E-TRAU frames (GSM 08.60) and the sub-TSs for the G-Abis
interface transport packet data with G-TRAU frames.

In CS-1/CS-2, the PDCH with the rate of 16kbit/s can be carried by one sub-TS. Two
type sub-TSs can convert each other. In CS-3/CS-4, the bandwidth of the PDCH
exceeds 16kbit/s, so one sub-TS is not enough to carry the PDCH. This issue can be
resolved with the additional sub-TS. This is made up of 16kbit/s main TSs configured
for TCH by Abis interface, and the dynamic additional Sub-TS pool consisting of
16kbit/s idle TSs. When the data blocks of CS-3/CS-4 need to be transported
between PCU and BTS, additional Sub-TS will be taken from the additional Sub-TS
pool and attached to the main TS. After the data to be transmitted are decomposed
by BTS, they are transmitted simultaneously in the main and additional Sub-TS. PCU
is responsible for restoring the messages.

3.5.4 G-TRAU Frame Structure

It transports a bi-directional G-TRAU frame between BTS and PCU in every 20ms for
one PDCH. Each G-TRAU frame has the following fields as listed in Table 4-10.

Table 3-17 G-TRAU structure

G-TRAU frame field Description


Serves to synchronize G-TRAU frames between BTS and PCU. It is a
Frame Header
group of special bit sequences designed to define G-TRAU frames.
RLC/MAC data blocks generated during BTS decoding, or RLC/MAC data
Data Domain
blocks sent by PCU to BTS after being encoded.
In-band signaling Performs signaling interworking between PCU and BTS.

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The signaling between PCU and BTS is in-band signaling.

The G-TRAU frame in-band signaling contains a large variety of complicated


mechanisms including BTS measurement, BTS power control, RLC/MAC block
coding scheme indication, synchronization of air interface blocks between BTS and
PCU.

3.5.5 G-Abis Characteristics

1) Half Standalone PCU and Flexible Physical Location


In GSM/GPRS specification, there is no concrete definition about the interface
between PCU and BTS (G-Abis interface). Despite the fact that PCU is part of GPRS
BSC, it can either be an embedded device or half stand-alone device. The
M900/M1800 PCU, a half stand-alone device can be located in BSC or SGSN (or in
MSC in a special networking mode) flexibly.

The addition of PCU makes the smallest impact on the existing GSM circuit switching
system. It makes possible for the existing BTS and BSC to support GPRS without
hardware upgrading. It can meet the processing capacity requirements posed by
packet-switched services to the greatest extent and cut the impact on the processing
capacity of the already-planned BSS to the minimum.
2) Dynamic Additional Sub-TS Technology
Abis interface is based on the 16kbit/s links (or called 16kbit/s sub-TS). M900/M1800
GPRS BSS is also based on the 16kbit/s link at the G-Abis interface. When CS-3 and
CS-4 encoding mode is adopted, the rate of a PDCH is 15.6 kbit/s and 21.4 kbit/s,
therefore, when mapping the radio channels to the terristrial channels, a PDCH is
mapped to two 16 kbit/s links. However, the encoding mode adopted by PDCH is
adjusted according to the change of the radio transmission environment of the MS
that occupies it. Mapping a PDCH permanently onto two 16kbit/s links will greatly
decreases the multiplexing ratio of the G-Abis interface, and thus greatly reduce the
utilization ratio of the G-Abis interface transmission equipment.

With dynamic allocation, M900/M1800 GPRS BSS can resolve the transmission issue
of CS-3 and CS-4 on the G-Abis interface perfectly. The dynamic attached sub-slot
technology is to statically allocate a main 16 kbit/s sub-timeslot at the G-Abis interface
for the CS-3/CS-4 PDCH. With the dynamic additional sub-TS technology, it is not
necessary for GPRS BSS to upgrade the hardware of BTS, BSC or PCU for
supporting CS-3 and CS-4. In addition, in its support for CS-3 and CS-4, the
multiplexing ratio of the G-Abis interface is greatly improved, thus saving investments
on the G-Abis interface transmission equipment.

The dynamic additional sub-TS technology used by M900/M1800 GPRS BSS


displays the following features:

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z Any idle Sub-TS of the G-Abis interface can be used as additional sub-TS, so
that each has maximum utilization.
z Within a same site address, the additional sub-TSs can be dynamically attached
to various main TSs to enhance the utilization ratio of this sub-TSs according to
statistical multiplexing rules.
z The locations of the additional 16kbit/s sub-TS are relatively flexible. They do not
have to be adjacent to the main 16kbit/s sub-TS.
z It packs and unpacks the data packets through software to avoid hardware
upgrading.
3) Fast and stable time synchronization mechanism for the air interface blocks
With advanced synchronization mechanism and algorithm, PCU can stably
synchronize CCU within one TDMA multiframe duration (240ms) in terms of
cell-based air interface block after system initialization.

The stable air interface block synchronization between PCU and CCU is of great
significance for ensuring normal packet system information broadcast and
high-efficiency radio transmission in GPRS cells.
4) Scalable G-TRAU Frames
The issue of forward and backward compatibility is taken into full account in the
definition of the structure of the G-TRAU frames, so it features good scalability.
Three-bit version number is defined in the header of the G-TRAU frame so that it can
support 8 different G-TRAU frames. M900/M1800 BSS, which features good forward
and backward compatibility on the G-Abis interface, can smoothly evolve to next
generation through the G-TRAU version mechanism.

3.6 Pb Interface

3.6.1 Overview

Pb interface is the interface between PCU and BSC. Like other BSS systems
available in market, Huawei’s own proprietary Pb interface is efficiently designed and
implemented.

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MSC

BTS BSC

Um

PCU

Pb

BSS
Gb
SGSN

Figure 3-35 Position of PCU

PCU can be co-located with BSC or MSC or SGSN sites, even though it serves as
part of BSS. Huawei-developed Pb interface satisfies all the requirements of
BSC-PCU interface. It implements management functions between PCU and BSC for
various kinds of shared resources such as cell, packet channel, E1 trunk and system
information.

Besides, it supports dynamic channel conversion, MS access to CCCH, etc.


Figure 3-35 Location plan of PCU In actual practice, one PCU frame (with a maximum
of 12 Radio Packet Processing Units RPPUs) can connect with several BSCs through
E1, while one BSC can only connect with one PCU frame (or with several RPPUs
concurrently).

3.6.2 Internal Structure of Pb Interface

The Pb interface, as an internal protocol, has three layers.


z Layer 1 (physical layer) adopts sub-TS of the E1 line. In fact, the Pb interface
and the G-Abis interface share the same physical link. One E1 is divided into 128
sub TSs of 16kbit/s where 4 sub-TSs serve for synchronization. Some of these
sub-TSs are used for the physical link of the G-Abis interface, some for the
physical link of the Pb interface and the rest might serve as idle sub-TSs or be
multiplexed.
z Layer 2 (link layer) is based on the LAPD protocol, which is a general data link
layer protocol. It receives the data transfer service from the physical layer and
delivers the connection-oriented or connectionless service to L3. LAPD aims to
implement peer-to-peer reliable message transfer between L3 entities.
z Layer 3 protocol consists of a series of self-defined signaling messages. It is the
core of the Pb interface. It mainly manages of the messages regarding

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GPRS-related resources between PCU and BSC, supports conversion of


dynamic channels between the packet service, speech service, and provides
functions of MS access to CCCH and speech paging message transmission.
As the bottom layer is based on the standard LAPD protocol, the Pb interface protocol
also refers specifically to its L3 signaling procedure.

3.6.3 Pb Interface Management

The Pb interface management includes: management of the trunk circuits between


the BSC and PCU, management of packet radio resources, packet service access
support, transmission management, PbSL link management, etc.

I. Management of the trunk circuits on the Pb interface

Management of the trunk circuits on the Pb interface helps to monitor the trunk
circuits between BSC and PCU for smooth system running, so that the PCU can be
assigned with an idle circuit when requesting the PDCH or dynamically modifying
channel coding to ensure the data services.

The procedures of Pb interface circuit resources management include Circuit


Block/Unblock, Unequipped Circuit, and Reset Circuit. The causes that initiate the
procedures include the OMC maintenance or change of the Pb interface equipment
state.

To simplify the design, the following rules are employed for Pb interface circuit
management:
z A BSC only records the maintenance state of the circuit, not the usage of the
circuit.
z Circuit management messages are activated by the BSC.
z The PCU can block/unblock and reset circuits at the local end, without affecting
the circuit state at the BSC side.
z The BSC can not change the state of the circuit determined by the maintenance
console at the PCU side, i.e. BSC has no authority to unblock a circuit that is
blocked at the maintenance console (PCU side).
The procedures of Circuit Block/Unblock, Unequipped Circuit, and Reset Circuit are
almost the same as those on the A-interface. The only difference is that MSC is
changed to the PCU and the trunk CIC (Circuit Identification Code) at the A-interface
is changed to the trunk circuit PCIC at the Pb interface. For example, the Circuit
Block procedure at the Pb interface is shown in Figure 3-37.

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BSC PCU

Block circuit

Block circuit acknowledgement

Figure 3-36 Process of group blocking the circuit

II. Packet radio resource management

Radio resource management on the Pb interface refers to the management of radio


resources related to the packet service. It has the following characteristics:
1) All the radio resource information is configured at the data configuration console.
The radio resource information of PCU is obtained from the BSC.
Pb interface cell initialization process corresponds to this principle. It includes the
cell resetting at both BSC and PCU sides, notification by BSC to PCU of the
packet radio resource configuration of the cell, and start of packet system
information broadcast.
2) Circuit service and packet service shares the radio resources, which are
allocated on demand. The circuit-based service will have the priority to be
allocated.
Dynamic allocation of resources on demand requires that the BSC allocate the
radio resources in real-time to the circuit-based service or packet-based service
according to the current application. This means a dynamic conversion between
the TCH and PDCH. There are three channel conversion processes at Pb
interface:
z When there is more data traffic demand for more channel resources, PCU
requests BSC to convert TCH into the PDCH. BSC decides the conversion
according to the available resources. If there are many TCHs idle, then BSC will
allow to converting TCHs into PDCHs and send the related information to the
BTS.
z When the BSC discovers TCHs are insufficient, it requires the PCU to hand over
some PDCHs, which will be converted into TCHs. This requirement is mandatory
according to the rule of circuit-based service having the priority.
z When the PCU discovers there are too many PDCHs idle, it will automatically
hand back some PDCHs, which will be converted into TCHs again. This is the
rule of circuit-based service having the priority.

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3) The BSC is responsible for assigning TCH, and the PCU is responsible for
assigning PDCH.
After PCU has been assigned with a PDCH, the allocation and release of this PDCH
is decided by PCU. Similar to GSM network, BSC is responsible for the allocation and
release of TCH.
4) The states of the radio resources at the BSC and PCU sides must be kept
consistent.
To achieve the consistency between the states at both sides, the BSC need to notify
the PCU of the impact of the change on the BTS and OMC operations on the radio
resources. For example when the OMC blocks a certain packet channel, the BSC
needs to notify the PCU to update the channel state.

III. Packet service access

To support GPRS, it is necessary to broadcast system information type 13 on the


BCCH, and at the same time modify system information type 3, system information
type 7, etc, so that they include GPRS messages as GPRS Indicator. Based on these
messages, MS decides whether it should access the current serving cell for data
services or not.

When no PCCCH is configured in the local cell, the MS will access the packet service
through the CCCH. This mainly involves three procedures: packet call access initiated
by the MS, packet call access terminated by the MS, packet service suspension and
recovery for the Class-B MS.

IV. Other management procedures on the Pb interface

1) Transmission management
In the TCH-to-PDCH conversion, the BSC needs to connect the trunk circuit on the
Abis interface and that on the Pb interface. During the process of packet data
transmission, the BSC needs to forward packet data among BTS-BSC-PCU. In the
PDCH to TCH conversion, the BSC needs to release the original connection.

In general, each PDCH corresponds to a 16kbit/s data channel. But if the


transmission quality proves to be satisfactory by PCU, it can activate a more efficient
channel coding method, like CS-3 or CS-4. At this time, the BSC needs to
dynamically allocate one more 16kbit/s timeslot to the PDCH, that is, the 32kbit/s data
channel corresponds to the PDCH.
2) PbSL management
The Pb interface signaling link (PbSL) is a LAPD link. And PbSL management
involves the transmission and reception of Pb interface message packets, link load
sharing, link mutual-assistance function, etc.

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If there is no PCCCH in a certain cell, the disconnection of all the PbSLs will lead to
the release of the resources of the cell at both sides of the Pb interface.
3) Error handling
There may be errors during the process of transmission, so the Pb interface has the
error handling function. By this function, error messages will be omitted and some
"confusion" messages will be transmitted selectively.

3.6.4 Characteristics of Huawei Pb Interface

I. Supporting dynamic conversion between packet traffic and the speech


traffic channels

In practice, the channels are classicified into three types according to their properties:
fixed packet traffic channel, voice traffic channel and dynamic channel. The fixed
packet channel is dedicated for packet service, such as PDTCH, PBCCH and
PCCCH. Voice traffic channel is dedicated for voice service, such as TCH, BCCH and
SDCCH. The dynamic channel is the voice TCH at the initialization stage. It can be
converted between the former two types of channels.

When there is more packet traffic and the speech channels are relatively idle, PCU
will request the BSC to convert the dynamic channel into the dynamic packet traffic
channel. Whereas when BSC determines the speech channels are busy, it can also
request PCU to return the converted dynamic channel and use it again as speech
channel. In this process, the speech service is given the priority over the packet
service to guarantee the original speech services.

II. Supporting MS channel access request for CCCH

As BTS cannot identify the access request message sent by an MS on the CCCH, it
can make out that it is a packet access request only after the BSC analyzes the MS
request and then transfers it to PCU. Accordingly, the immediate assignment
message of PCU needs to be processed by BSC before it is sent to BTS. It can be
seen from here that when a MS accesses the CCCH and the PCCCH, it is processed
differently in the BSS.

The MSs that support access to the CCCH are not complex, so they are also low in
costs. Whereas the design of Huawei-developed Pb interface can enable PCU to
support two kinds of access concurrently, thus enhancing tremendously the
adaptability of the system.

III. Maintaining the consistency of resource data between BSC and PCU.

PCU and BSC are located in two places, so the message data of all the shared
resources (such as cells, channels, PCIC trunks and system information parameters)

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should be consistent. This is also the major function of the Pb interface. The functions
of the Pb interface involve the management & maintenance of some resources, such
as cell parameter configuration, cell restarting, channel blocking/unblocking, PCIC
blocking/unblocking, PCIC restarting, packet system information parameter
configuration and regular check of all the resources data.

IV. Sending speech paging messages.

When the network operation mode is Mode 1, and there is no PCCCH. MSC sends
the voice paging message via Gs interface (MSC-SGSN) and Gb interface
(SGSN-PCU), and PCU transfers the message via Pb interface to BSC, which will
transmit the message on CCCH. For details of network operation mode, refer to other
relative chapters.

V. Supporting GPRS suspension and resume messages sent by Class-B MSs.

Class-B MS cannot implement CS service and PS service simultaneously. Therefore,


when the MS in packet transmission mode is engaged in traffic service, it will send
the GPRS suspension request to BSC. BSC will transfer this message to PCU via Pb
interface. When the circuit service of an MS is over, BSC will send a GPRS service
recovery request to PCU again via the Pb interface. The capability of supporting the
Class-B MSs by the system is enhanced while the Pb interface processes this kind of
messages.

3.7 Operation & Maintenance Interface

3.7.1 Overview

The operation & maintenance interface is an interface between the BSS and the
Operation & Maintenance System. A subscriber can perform the maintenance and
management over the BSS system through OMC console or the Telnet terminal, as
shown in Figure 3-37.

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Telnet

MSC O Interface

DCN
R

BSC
OMC Server

PCU

...
OMC Workstation OMC Workstation
SGSN

Figure 3-37 GPRS/GSM operation & maintenance interface

Of the GSM equipment such as MSC, BSC, HLR, there is a BAM designed
specifically as a bridge between the equipment and the OMC. It collects the
equipment information and communicates with the OMC to implement the functions
of the O interface. In the GPRS equipment such as PCU, SGSN, etc., no BAM exists
due to variations in hardware implementation, so OAM module (OMC Agent Module)
in the POMU serves as a bridge between the system equipment and the OMC. For
different equipment, the OMC WSs are similar in interface, but are different in such
implementation as message interpretation.

3.7.2 Feature

Unlike the network bottom layer interfaces like Gb and Pb, the operation &
maintenance interface is an application layer interface in nature, thus relatively simple
in message structure and protocol layer. The lower layer of the operation &
maintenance interface is based on the TCP/IP protocol, which enables the OMC
system to acquire a very strong remote networking capability. As regards the system
composition, the software system sturcture of the O&M interface is arranged as
shown in Figure 3-38.

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OMA BAM

PCU ... BSC

TCP/IP LAN/WAN

OMC SHELL
Communication Server
Traffic Statistic
...
Alarm
Database Server
Tracing
...

WorkStation OMC Sercer/DB

Figure 3-38 Structural diagram of the O interface software system

The O&M interface programs include OAM/BAM program, OMC Server/DB, OMC
Shell and OMC application console. Below is the brief introduction to the function and
feature:
z OAM and BAM differ in hardware and software implementation. Although
different equipment manages different messages and information, they are the
same in basic functions.
The functionality of the OAM is mainly two-fold: first, it serves as a
communication bridge between the OMC system and the network equipment,
forwards the maintenance & operation command from the OMC to the FAM
board and orients the response from the AM to the OMC terminals accordingly.
On the other hand, it acts as a server in Client/Server models. Apart from the
management of the database as well as the test task and traffic statistic task, the
OAM also stores and forwards the charging messages, alarm messages and
traffic statistic data. It stores all the vital data on the hard disk and dumps them to
the CDs or OMC server if necessary.
z OMC server is for running various service processes, such as communication
server and database server, etc. Communication server is the core of the whole
system, it connects other parts through application agents. The communication
server assigns an ID to each application part that connects directly to it. In the
process of message transmission, the communication server receives the
messages from all parts, determines the destination for these messages and
forwards the messages to the destination or makes proper processing. On the
other hand, all the database servers interact with the database management
system (DBMS) and manage all the data by answering the requests from the

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OAM/BAM or SPOS. Moreover, there are also some other application servers
and management modules on the OMC server.
z OMC Shell is a user interface that manages, operates and maintains the GSM
objects as well as a communication interface with all the SPOS programs. OMC
Shell is used for visual management of NEs of the entire Huawei GSM system
through WS.
OMC Shell program consists of user interface module and communication
module. User interface module provides visual operating interfaces such as
tree-like list and map windows. On the interface, a user can view the state of the
GSM objects or performs directly the operation, maintenance and management
over the GSM objects. The communication module is mainly responsible for
communication management.
z OMC application console is a classified set of some service functions. For
different equipment, the functions implemented in their application consoles will
also change. The OMC application console of PCU mainly includes traffic
statistics management console, alarm console and message tracing console.
Since the overall system design is modularized by functions, it is possible to
adjust the function of the application console according to the carrier's
requirement.

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