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GSM Fundamentals
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GBSS Training Team


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After the completion of this course, the trainees


should understand the following contents:
Basic idea of GSM system
Features of GSM
The structure of the GSM system.
Certain numbers that refer to BSS
Handovers, frequency hopping and location
updates
Propagation Mechanisms
The idea of EDGE and GPRS

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BSS Feature Description


BSS Signaling Analysis Manual
BSC Technical Manual

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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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GSM system overview


The Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is a set of

recommendations and specifications for a digital cellular telephone


network (known as a Public Land Mobile Network, or PLMN).
These recommendations ensure the compatibility of

equipment from
different GSM manufacturers, and interconnectivity between different
administrations, including operation across international boundaries.

GSM networks are digital and can cater for high system capacities.
They are consistent with the world-wide digitization of the telephone

network, and are an extension of the Integrated Services Digital


Network (ISDN), using a digital radio interface between the cellular
network and the mobile subscriber equipment.

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GSM system overview


The GSM system is a frequency- and time-division cellular system,

each physical channel is characterized by a carrier frequency and a


time slot number
Cellular systems are designed to operate with groups of low-power

radios spread out over the geographical service area. Each group of
radios serve MSs presently located near them. The area served by
each group of radios is called a CELL
Uplink and downlink signals for one user are assigned different

frequencies, this kind of technique is called Frequency Division


Duplex (FDD)
Data for different users is conveyed in time intervals called slots ,

several slots make up a frame. This kind of technique is called Time


Division Multiple Access (TDMA)

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GSM system overview


CELLULAR TELEPHONY
A cellular telephone system links mobile subscribers into the public telephone system or to

another cellular subscriber.


Information between the mobile unit and the cellular network uses radio communication.

Hence the subscriber is able to move around and become fully mobile.
The service area in which mobile communication is to be provided is divided into regions

called cells.
Each cell has the equipment to transmit and receive calls from any subscriber located within

the borders of its radio coverage area.

Cell

Radio

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Mobile subscriber

Page 7

GSM History and Overview


1989

Standard Protocol for GSM take effect

1991

GSM system began to provide service in Europe(2G)

1992

System was named as Global System for


Mobile Communication

1994

Provide services for the whole world

1996

Micro Cell Technique is used in GSM system

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Cell Definitions
Macro Cell and Micro Cell
A certain radio coverage area formed by a set of transceivers that connected to a set of

antennas is called a CELL.


Macro Cell

In the beginning , High-Power BTSs are adopted to provide services. The BTS covers a
wider area , but its frequency utilization is not efficient. So , it can only provide a few
channels for subscribers.
Micro Cell

Later the Low-Power BTS joins the system for getting a better service area with high
capacity . At the same time it adopts the frequency reuse technique to improve the
efficiency of the frequency utilization and also the whole capacity of the network.

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Multiple Access Technique


Multiple Access Technique allows many subscribers to

use the same communication medium.


There are three kinds of basic Multiple Access

Technique :
1) FDMA
2) TDMA and
3) CDMA.
GSM system adopt FDD-TDMA (FDMA and TDMA

together).

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FDMA

Frequency

FDMA uses different frequency channels

to accomplish communication.
The whole frequency spectrum available is

divided into many individual channels (for


transmitting and receiving) every
channel can support the traffic for one
subscriber or some control information.

Time

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TDMA

Frequency

TDMA

accomplishes
the
communication
in
different
timeslot.

A carrier is divided into channels

based on time. Different signals


occupy different timeslots in
certain sequence , that is , many
signals are transmitted on the same
frequency in different time.

Time

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CDMA
Frequency

CDMA

accomplishes
the
communication in different code
sequences.

Special coding is adopted before

transmission, then different


information will lose nothing
after
being mixed and
transmitted together on the same
frequency and at the same time.

Time

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Frequency Spectrum
GSM 900

GSM systems use radio frequencies between 890-915 MHz for receive and between 935-960 MHz for
transmit.

RF carriers are spaced every 200 kHz, allowing a total of 124 carriers for use.

An RF carrier is a pair of radio frequencies, one used in each direction.

Transmit and receive frequencies are always separated by 45 MHz.

Uplink
890

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Downlink
915

935

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960MHz

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Frequency Spectrum
Extended GSM(EGSM)

EGSM has 10MHz of bandwidth on both transmit and receive.

Receive bandwidth is from 880 MHz to 890 MHz.

Transmit bandwidth is from 925 MHz to 935 MHz.

Total RF carriers in EGSM is 50.


UPLINK FREQUENCIES

880

890

DOWNLINK FREQUENCIES

915

925

935

UPLINK AND DOWNLINK FREQUENCY SEPARATED BY 45MHZ


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960

Frequency Spectrum
DCS 1800

DCS1800 systems use radio frequencies between 1710-1785 MHz for receive and
between 1805-1880 MHz for transmit.

RF carriers are spaced every 200 kHz, allowing a total of 373 carriers.

Transmit and receive frequencies are always separated by 95 MHz.

Base Station Receive

1710
1880MHz
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Base Station Transmit

1785 1805
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Frequency Spectrum

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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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Features of GSM
INCREASED CAPACITY

The GSM system provides a greater subscriber capacity than analogue systems.

GSM allows 25 kHz per user, that is, eight conversations per 200 kHz channel pair (a
pair comprising one transmit channel and one receive channel).

Digital channel coding and the modulation used makes the signal resistant to
interference from cells where the same frequencies are re-used (co-channel
interference).

This allows increased geographic reuse by permitting a reduction in the number of


cells in the reuse pattern.

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Features of GSM
AUDIO QUALITY

Digital transmission of speech and high performance digital signal processors provide good
quality speech transmission.

Since GSM is a digital technology, the signals passed over a digital air interface can be protected
against errors by using better error detection and correction techniques.

In regions of interference or noise-limited operation the speech quality is noticeably better than
analogue.

USE OF STANDARDISED OPEN INTERFACES

Standard interfaces such as C7 and X25 are used throughout the system. Hence different
manufacturers can be selected for different parts of the PLMN.

There is a high flexibility in where the Network components are situated.

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Features of GSM
IMPROVED SECURITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY

GSM offers high speech and data confidentiality.

Subscriber authentication can be performed by the system to check if a


subscriber is a valid subscriber or not.

The GSM system provides for high degree of confidentiality for the
subscriber. Calls are encoded and ciphered when sent over air.

The mobile equipment can be identified independently from the mobile


subscriber. The mobile has a identity number hard coded into it when it is
manufactured. This number is stored in a standard database and whenever
a call is made the equipment can be checked to see if it has been reported
stolen.

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Features of GSM
CLEANER HANDOVERS

GSM uses Mobile assisted handover technique.

The mobile itself carries out the signal strength and quality measurement of its
server and signal strength measurement of its neighbors.

This data is passed on the Network which then uses sophisticated algorithms to
determine the need of handover.

SUBSCRIBER IDENTIFICATION

In a GSM system the mobile station and the subscriber are identified separately.

The subscriber is identified by means of a smart card known as a SIM.

This enables the subscriber to use different mobile equipment while retaining
the same subscriber number.

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Features of GSM
ENHANCED RANGE OF SERVICES

Speech services for normal telephony.

Short Message Service for point ot point transmission of text


message.

Cell broadcast for transmission of text message from the cell to all
MS in its coverage area. Message like traffic information or
advertising can be transmitted.

Fax and data services are provided. Data rates available are 2.4 Kb/s,
4.8 Kb/s and 9.6 Kb/s.

Supplementary services like number identification , call barring, call


forwarding, charging display etc can be provided.

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Features of GSM
FREQUENCY REUSE

There are total 124 carriers in GSM900 (additional 50 carriers are available in EGSM band).

Each carrier has 8 timeslots and if 7 can be used for traffic then a maximum of 868 ( 124 X 7 )
calls can be made. This is not enough and hence frequencies have to be reused.

The same RF carrier can be used for many conversations in several different cells at the same
time.

The radio carriers available are allocated according to a regular pattern


which repeats over the whole coverage area.

The pattern to be used depends on traffic requirement and spectrum


availability.
Some typical repeat patterns are 4*3,4*12, 7*21etc.

The different Subscribers can use the same frequency in different places.

The quality of communication must be ensured.

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4

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6

2
1

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Frequency Reuse

7
11

6
10

8
12

4 site X 3 cells reuse

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Cell Types

Omni

Omni-directional Cell

1
1
120
degree

120 Degree Cell

3
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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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GSM-GPRS Network Component


MSC/VLR

PSTN
ISDN

GMSC

GSM /GPRS BSS


MS

BSC
HLR/AUC

BTS
PCU

SS7

BSC

MS

SMS system

BTS
Internet,
Intranet

GPRS Backbone

SGSN
OMC

CG

GGSN
BG
Other PLMN

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Interface Between Different Entities


MSC/VLR

PSTN
ISDN

GMSC

GSM /GPRS BSS


MS

Abis

BSC

BTS
PCU

SS7
Gb

BSC

MS Um

HLR/AUC

C/D/Gs

Gr/Gs/Gd/Ge

BTS

SMS system
Gc

GPRS backbone

SGSN
Ga
OMC

CG

Gi

GGSN
BG
Gp

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Internet,
Intranet

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Other PLMN

Mobile StationMS
An MS is used by a mobile subscriber to communicate with the mobile

network. Several types of MSs exist, each allowing the subscriber to make and
receive calls.
The range or coverage area of an MS depends on the output power of the MS.

Different types of MSs have different output power capabilities and


consequently different ranges.
GSM MSs consist of

A mobile terminal
A Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)
In GSM the subscriber is separated from the mobile terminal. Each

subscribers information is stored as a smart card SIM. The SIM can be


plugged into any GSM mobile terminal. This brings the advantages of security
and portability of subscribers.

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Mobile StationMS
Mobiles

are classified into


according to their power rating.

five

classes

SIM

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Base Station Subsystem-BSS


MSC
The Base Station Controller

BSC

BSS

The Base Transceiver Station

BTS
The Trans-coder TC and Sub

multiplexer (SM)

TC/SM
TC/SM
BSC
BSC
BTS
BTS

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Base Station Subsystem-BSS

The BSS is the fixed end of the radio interface that provides control and radio coverage
functions for one or more cells and their associated MSs.

It is the interface between the MS and the MSC.

The BSS comprises one or more Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs), each containing the radio
components that communicate with MSs in a given area, and a Base Site Controller (BSC)
which supports call processing functions and the interfaces to the MSC.

Digital radio techniques are used for the radio communications link, known as the Air Interface,
between the BSS and the MS.

The BSS consists of three basic Network Elements (NEs).

Transcoder (XCDR) or Remote transcoder (RXCDR) .

Base Station Controller (BSC).

Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs) assigned to the BSC.

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Transcoder

The speech transcoder is the interface between the 64 kbit/s PCM channel in the land network and
the 13 kbit/s channel used on the Air Interface.

This reduces the amount of information carried on the Air Interface and hence, its bandwidth.

If the 64 kbits/s PCM is transmitted on the air interface without occupation, it would occupy an
excessive amount of radio bandwidth. This would use the available radio spectrum inefficiently.

The required bandwidth is therefore reduced by processing the 64 kbits/s PCM data so that the
amount of information required to transmit digitized voice falls to 13kb/s.

The XCDR can multiplex 4 traffic channels into a single 64 kbit/s timeslot. Thus a E1/T1 serial
link can carry 4 times as many channels.

This can reduce the number of E1/T1 leased lines required to connect remotely located equipment.

When the transcoder is between the MSC and the BSC it is called a remote transcoder (RXCDR).

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Transcoder
30 Timeslots
1 traffic channel / TS
64 Kbps / TS
4 E1 lines = 30 X 4
=120 Timeslots

MSC

Each Timeslot =16 X 4


= 64 Kb/s
30 timeslots = 30 x 4
=120 traffic channels

XCDR

BSC

Transcoded information from four calls

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Base Station Controller-BSC

The BSC network element provides the control for the BSS.

It controls and manages the associated BTSs, and interfaces with the Operations and
Maintenance Centre (OMC).

The purpose of the BSC is to perform a variety of functions. The following comprise the
functions provided by the BSC:

Controls the BTS components.-

Performs Call Processing.

Performs Operations and Maintenance (O & M).

Provides the O & M link (OML) between the BSS and the OMC.

Provides the A Interface between the BSS and the MSC.

Manages the radio channels.

Transfers signaling information to and from MSs.

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Base Tran receiver Station-BTS

The BTS network element consists of the hardware


components, such as radios, interface modules and antenna
systems that provide the Air Interface between the BSS and the
MSs.

The BTS provides radio channels (RF carriers) for a specific


RF coverage area.

The radio channel is the communication link between the MSs


within an RF coverage area and the BSS.

The BTS also has a limited amount of control functionality


which reduces the amount of traffic between the BTS and BSC.

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BTS Connectivity
Open ended Daisy Chain

MSC

BSC

BTS12

BTS13

BTS14

Star

BTS5

BTS11
BTS1
Daisy Chain with
a fork. Fork has a
return loop back
to the chain

BTS4
BTS2

BTS11

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BTS6

BTS7

BTS3

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BTS8

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Daisy Chain with


a fork. Fork has a
return loop back
to the chain

BTS9

Packet Control Unit - PCU


MSC
Packet data switching
Bridge between SGSN

and BSC
Provide Pb and Gb

interface

BSS
TC/SM
TC/SM
BSC
BSC

GPRS
Backbone

PCU
PCU

BTS
BTS
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SGSN
SGSN

Network Switching System


NSS
OMC

AUC
AUC
HLR
HLR
EIR
EIR

EC
EC

MSC/VLR
MSC/VLR

Mobile-service Switching Center


Home Location Register
Visitor Location Register
Equipment Identity Register
Authentication Center
Echo Cancellor
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MSC
HLR
VLR
EIR
AUC
EC
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BSS
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PSTN

Mobile-service Switching Center - MSC

The Mobile services Switching Centre (MSC) co-ordinates the setting up of calls to and
from GSM users.

It is the telephone switching office for MS originated or terminated traffic and provides the
appropriate bearer services, teleservices and supplementary services.

It controls a number of Base Station Sites (BSSs) within a specified geographical coverage
area and gives the radio subsystem access to the subscriber and equipment databases.

The MSC carries out several different functions depending on its position in the network.

When the MSC provides the interface between PSTN and the BSS in the GSM network it
is called the Gateway MSC.

Some important functions carried out by MSC are Call processing including control of
data/voice call setup, inter BSS & inter MSC handovers, control of mobility management,
Operation & maintenance support including database management, traffic metering and
man machine interface & managing the interface between GSM & PSTN N/W.

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Home Location Register - HLR

The HLR contains the master database of all subscribers in the PLMN.

This data is remotely accessed by the MSCs and VLRs in the network. The data can also be
accessed by an MSC or a VLR in a different PLMN to allow inter-system and inter-country
roaming.

A PLMN may contain more than one HLR, in which case each HLR contains a portion of the
total subscriber database. There is only one database record per subscriber.

The subscribers data may be accessed by the IMSI or the MSISDN.

The parameters stored in HLR are

Subscribers ID (IMSI and MSISDN )

Current subscriber VLR.

Supplementary services subscribed to.

Supplementary services information (eg. Current forwarding address ).

Authentication key and AUC functionality.

TMSI and MSRN

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Visitor Location Register -VLR

The Visited Location Register (VLR) is a local subscriber database, holding


details on those subscribers who enter the area of the network that it covers.

The details are held in the VLR until the subscriber moves into the area
serviced by another VLR.

The data includes most of the information stored at the HLR, as well as more
precise location and status information.

The additional data stored in VLR are

Mobile status ( Busy / Free / No answer etc. )

Location Area Identity ( LAI )

Temporary Mobile Subscribers Identity ( TMSI )

Mobile Station Roaming Number ( MSRN )

The VLR provides the system elements local to the subscriber, with basic
information on that subscriber, thus removing the need to access the HLR every
time subscriber information is required.

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Authentication Centre - AUC

The AUC is a processor system that


perform authentication function.

It is normally co-located with the HLR.

The authentication process usually takes


place each time the subscriber initializes
on the system.

Each subscriber is assigned an


authentication key (Ki) which is stored in
the SIM and at the AUC.

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Equipment Identity Register - EIR


White List: All Valid

assigned IDs
Black List: Service

IMEI is Checked In White List

allowed but noted


Grey List: Service

denied

EIR focus on the


equipment , not the
subscriber!!

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If NOT found

IMEI is Checked in Black/Grey List

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Operation and maintenance Centre for Radio OMC-R

The OMC controls and monitors the Network elements within a region.

The OMC also monitors the quality of service being provided by the Network.

The following are the main functions performed by the OMC-R

The OMC allows network devices to be manually removed for or restored to


service. The status of network devices can be checked from the OMC and tests
and diagnostics invoked.

The alarms generated by the Network elements are reported and logged at the
OMC. The OMC-R Engineer can monitor and analyse these alarms and take
appropriate action like informing the maintenance personal.

The OMC keeps on collecting and accumulating traffic statistics from the
network elements for analysis.

Software loads can be downloaded to network elements or uploaded to the


OMC.

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OMC Functional Architecture

Security
Management

Event/Alarm
Management

MMI
OS

DB

Fault
Management

Configuration
Management
Performance
Management

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Different
Interfaces
in
GSM

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Terrestrial Interface

The terrestrial interfaces comprises all the connections between the GSM system
entities ,apart from the Um or air interface.

The terrestrial interfaces transport the traffic across the system and allows the
passage of thousands of data messages to make the system function.

The standard interfaces used are

2 Mb/s

Signaling System (C7 or SS7)

Packet Switched Data

Abis using the LAPD protocol (Link Access Procedure D )

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Interface Names
Each interface specified in GSM has a name associated with it.

NAME

INTERFACE

Um

MS ----- BTS

Abis

BTS ----- BSC

Ater

BSC ----- TRC

MSC ------ BSC

MSC ------ VLR

MSC ------ HLR

VLR ----- HLR

MSC ------ MSC

MSC ------ EIR

VLR ------ VLR

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HLR ------ AUC

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2 Mbits/s Trunk 30-Channel PCM


This interface carries the traffic from the PSTN to the MSC, between MSCs, from

the MSC to the BSCs and from the BSCs to the BTSs.
It represents the physical layer in the OSI model.
Each 2 Mb/s link provides 30 traffic channels available to carry speech ,data or

control information.
Typical Configuration

TS 0

TS 1-15

TS 16

TS 17 - 31

TS 0 - Frame allignment/ Error checking/ Signalling/ Alarms


TS 1-15 , 17-31 - Traffic
TS 16 - Siganlling

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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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Service Area
Service Area
PLMN
PLMN service
service area
area
MSC service area...

PLMN service area


MSC service area...

Location area...

Location area...

cell

cell

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......

LAI
MCC

MNC

LAC

Location Area Identification

The LAI is the international code for a location area.


MCC: Mobile Country Code It consists of 3 digits .
For example: The MCC of China is "460"
MNC: Mobile Network Code It consists of 2 digits .
For example: The MNC of China Mobile is "00"
LAC: Location Area Code It is a two bytes hex code.
The value 0000 and FFFF is invalid.
For example: 460-00-0011
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CGI
CGI: Cell Global Identification

The CGI is a unique international identification for a cell


The format is LAI+CI
LAI: Location Area Identification
CI: Cell Identity. This code uses two bytes hex code to
the cells within an LAI.
For example : 460-00-0011-0001

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identify

BSIC
BSIC Base Station Identification Color Code)

NCC

BCC
BSIC

NCC: PLMN network color code. It comprises 3 bit. It


allows various neighboring PLMNs to be
distinguished.
BCC: BTS color code. It comprises 3 bit, used to
distinguish different cells assigned the same
frequency!
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MSISDN
CC

NDC

SN

National (significant)
Mobile number
Mobile station international
ISDN number

CC: Country Code. For example: The CC of China is "86".


NDC: National Destination Code. For example: The NDC of China
Telecom is 139, 138, 137, 136, 135.
SN: Subscriber Number. Format:H0 H1 H2 H3 ABCD
Example: 86-139-0666-1234

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IMSI
Not more than 15 digits
3 digits

2 digits

MCC

MNC

MSIN
NMSI

IMSI
MCC: Mobile Country Code It consists of 3 digits .
For example: The MCC of China is "460"
MNC: Mobile Network Code It consists of 2 digits .
For example: The MNC of China Telecom is "00"
MSIN: Mobile Subscriber Identification Number. H1H2H3 S ABCDEF
For example: 666-9777001
NMSI: National Mobile Subscriber Identification MNC and MSIN
form it together.
For Example of IMSI : 460-00-666-9777001
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TMSI
TMSI: Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identification)
The TMSI is assigned only after successful subscriber

authentication.
The VLR controls the allocation of new TMSI numbers and

notifies them to the HLR.


TMSI is used to ensure that the identity of the mobile subscriber

on the air interface is kept secret.


The TMSI consists of 4 bytes( 8 HEX numbers) and determined by

the operator.

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IMEI
IMEI: International Mobile Station Equipment Identification

TAC

FAC

SNR

SP

IMEI
TAC:
TAC: Type
Type approval
approval code,
code, 66 bit,
bit, determined
determined by
by the
the type
type approval
approval center
center
FAC:
FAC: Final
Final assembly
assembly code,
code, 22 bit,
bit, ItIt isis determined
determined by
by the
the manufacturer.
manufacturer.
SNR:
SNR: Serial
Serial number,
number,66 bits,
bits, ItIt isis issued
issued by
by the
the manufacturer
manufacturer of
of the
the MS.
MS.
SP:
SP: 11 bit
bit ,, Not
Not used.
used.

Check
Check the
the IMEI
IMEI in
in your
your MS
MS :: *#06#
*#06#

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Page 60

Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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Handover

The GSM handover process uses a mobile assisted technique for accurate and fast
handovers, in order to:

Maintain the user connection link quality.

Manage traffic distribution

The overall handover process is implemented in the MS,BSS & MSC.

Measurement of radio subsystem downlink performance and signal strengths received


from surrounding cells, is made in the MS.

These measurements are sent to the BSS for assessment.

The BSS measures the uplink performance for the MS being served and also assesses the
signal strength of interference on its idle traffic channels.

Initial assessment of the measurements in conjunction with defined thresholds and


handover strategy may be performed in the BSS. Assessment requiring measurement
results from other BSS or other information resident in the MSC, may be perform. in the
MSC.

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Handover

The MS assists the handover decision process by performing


certain measurements.

When the MS is engaged in a speech conversation, a portion


of the TDMA frame is idle while the rest of the frame is used
for uplink (BTS receive) and downlink (BTS transmit)
timeslots.

During the idle time period of the frame, the MS changes


radio channel frequency and monitors and measures the
signal level of the six best neighbor cells.

Measurements which feed the handover decision algorithm


are made at both ends of the radio link.

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Handover
MS END

At the MS end, measurements are continuously signalled, via the


associated control channel, to the BSS where the decision for handover
is ultimately made.

MS measurements include:
Serving cell downlink quality (bit error rate (BER) estimate.
Serving cell downlink received signal level, and six best neighbor
cells downlink received signal level.

The MS also decodes the Base Station ID Code (BSIC) from the six
best neighbor cells, and reports the BSICs and the measurement
information to the BSS.

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Handover
BTS END

The BTS measures the uplink link quality, received signal level, and MS
to BTS site distance.

The MS RF transmit output power budget is also considered in the


handover decision.

If the MS can be served by a neighbor cell at a lower power, the


handover is recommended.

From a system perspective, handover may be considered due to loading


or congestion conditions. In this case, the MSC or BSC tries to balance
channel usage among cells.

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Handover Types
Intra-Cell Handover

BSC

BTS

Call is handed
from timeslot 3 to timeslot 5

Handover takes place in the same cell from one timeslot to another timeslot of the same carrier
or different carriers( but the same cell).

Intra-cell handover is triggered only if the cause is interference.

Intra-cell handover can be enabled or disabled in a cell.

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Intra-BSC Handover

BSC1
0

BTS1

Handover takes place between different cell which are controlled by the same BSC.

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Call is handed from timeslot 3


of cell1 to timeslot 1 of cell2 .
Both the cells are controlled
by the same BSC.

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Inter-BSC Handover

BSC1
0

BTS1

BTS2

Handover takes place between different cell which are controlled by the different BSC.

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Call is handed from timeslot


of cell1 to timeslot 1 of cell2
Both the cells are controlled
by the different BSC.

MSC

BSC2

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Inter-MSC Handover

MSC1

BSS1
BTS1

Call is handed from timeslot 3


of cell1 to timeslot 1 of cell2 .
Both the cells are controlled
by the different BSC, each BSC
being controlled by different MSC

MSC2

BSS2
BTS2

Handover takes place between different cell which are controlled by the different BSC and each BSC is
controlled by different MSC.

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Frequency Hopping
f1
f4
Modulated
RF signal

f3
f2

Voice

M
OT
O
R
OL
A

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Information is
transmitted
by different frequencies
at
different timeslot
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f1

63250/ 0/0/
1

Introduction to Frequency Hopping

Can be used to improve the quality of the network

Also can be used to increase the capacity of the Network


thereby reducing the number of sites required for
CAPACITY.

The way it works:

Each burst is transmitted on a different frequency

Both mobile and base station follow the same hopping


sequence

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Types of Hopping
Base Band Hopping (BBH)

The radio units transmit always the same frequency.

Number of frequencies for hopping = Number of carriers

The radio units are always transmitting a fixed frequency and


frequency hopping is performed by moving the information for
every call among the available radio units in a cell on a per
burst basis.

In reception the call is always processed by the same radio unit


(the one where the call started).

The number of frequencies to hop over is limited by the


number of radio units equipped in the cell.

The BCCH carrier can hop in timeslots 1 to 7.

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Types of Hopping
Synthesiser Frequency Hopping (SFH)

The radio units change (retune) the frequency every


burst.

The call always stays in the same radio unit.

Number of frequencies for hopping > Number of


carriers.

The radio units can hop over a range of different


frequencies.

Hybrid combiners are required in the base station


(Cavity Combiners can not be used with SFH).

The BCCH carrier can never hop.

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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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Location Update

MSC should always know the location of the MS so that it can contact it by sending pages whenever
required.

The mobile keeps on informing the MSC about its current location area or whenever it changes from one
LA to another.

This process of informing the MSC is known as location updating.

The new LA is updated in the VLR.

LAI = MCC + MNC + LAC

3 digits

1-2 digits

Max 16 bits

MCC

MNC

LAC

MCC = Mobile country code.


MNC = Mobile Network Code.
LAC = Location area code. Identifies a location area within a GSM PLMN network. The

maximum length of LAC is 16 bits. Thus 65536 different LA can be defined in one GSM
PLMN.
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Location Update Types

Normal location update

Periodic location update

IMSI attach

Normal Location Update


Mobile powers on and is idle.
Reads the LAI broadcast on the BCCH.
Compares with the last stored LAI and if it is different does a location
update.

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IMSI Attach

Saves the network from paging a MS which is not active in the system.

When MS is turned off or SIM is removed the MS sends a detach signal to the
Network. It is marked as detached.

When the MS is powered again it reads the current LAI and if it is same does a
location update type IMSI attach.

Attach/detach flag is broadcast on the BCCH sys info.

Periodic Location Update

Many times the MS enters non-coverage zone.

The MS will keep on paging the MS thus wasting precious resources.

To avoid this the MS has to inform the MSC about its current LAI in a set period
of time.

This time ranges from 0 to 255 deci-hours.

Periodic location timer value is broadcast on BCCH sys info messages.

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Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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Page 78

Propagation Mechanisms
Reflection

Occurs when a wave impinges upon a smooth surface.

Dimensions of the surface are large relative to .

Reflections occur from the surface of the earth and from buildings and walls.

Diffraction (Shadowing)

Occurs when the path is blocked by an object with large dimensions relative to
and sharp irregularities (edges).

Secondary wavelets propagate into the shadowed region.

Diffraction gives rise to bending of waves around the obstacle.

Scattering

Occurs when a wave impinges upon an object with dimensions on the order of
or less, causing the reflected energy to spread out orscatter in many directions.

Small objects such as street lights, signs, & leaves cause scattering.

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Multipath
Multiple Waves Create Multipath
Due to propagation mechanisms, multiple waves arrive at the receiver
Sometimes this includes a direct Line-of-Sight (LOS) signal

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Multipath
Multipath Propagation

Multipath propagation causes large and rapid fluctuations in a signal

These fluctuations are not the same as the propagation path loss.

Multipath causes three major things

Rapid changes in signal strength over a short distance or time.

Random frequency modulation due to Doppler Shifts on different


multipath signals.

Time dispersion caused by multipath delays

These are called fading effects

Multipath propagation results in small-scale fading.

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What is Fading?
The communication between the base station and mobile station in mobile systems is mostly
non-LOS.

The LOS path between the transmitter and the receiver is affected by terrain and obstructed by
buildings and other objects.

The mobile station is also moving in different directions at different speeds.

The RF signal from the transmitter is scattered by reflection and diffraction and reaches the
receiver through many non-LOS paths.

This non-LOS path causes long-term and short term fluctuations in the form of log-normal
fading and Raleigh and Rican fading, which degrades the performance of the RF channel.

Signal Power (dBm)

Large scale fading component

Small scale fading


component

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Rayleigh fading
This phenomenon is due to multipath propagation of the signal.
The Raleigh fading is applicable to obstructed propagation paths.
All the signals are NLOS signals and there is no dominant direct path.
Signals from all paths have comparable signal strengths.
The instantaneous received power seen by a moving antenna becomes a random variable

depending on the location of the antenna.

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Ricean fading
This phenomenon is due to multipath propagation of the signal.
In this case there is a partially scattered field.
One dominant signal.
Others are weaker.

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Diversity
Receive diversity provides an effective technique for both overcoming the impact of

fading across the radio channel and increasing the received signal to interference ratio.

The former is achieved by ensuring uncorrelated (i.e. low enough correlated) fading

between antenna branches i.e. not all antennas experience fades at the same time.

Building

Building
Building

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Need of Diversity

In a typical cellular radio environment, the communication


between the cell site and mobile is not by a direct radio path
but via many paths.

The direct path between the transmitter and the receiver is


obstructed by buildings and other objects.

Hence the signal that arrives at the receiver is either by


reflection from the flat sides of buildings or by diffraction
around man made or natural obstructions.

When various incoming radio waves arrive at the receiver


antenna, they combine constructively or destructively, which
leads to a rapid variation in signal strength.

The signal fluctuations are known as multi-path fading.

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Kind of Diversity
t

Time diversity

Coding, interleaving
Frequency diversity
f

Frequency hopping
Space diversity

Multiple antennas
Polarization diversity

Dual-polarized antennas
Multi-path diversity

Equalizer

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Interference

Interference is the sum of all signal contributions that are neither noise not the wanted signal.

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Effects of Interference

Interference is a major limiting factor in the performance of cellular systems.

It causes degradation of signal quality.

It introduces bit errors in the received signal.

Bit errors are partly recoverable by means of channel coding and error correction
mechanisms.

The interference situation is not reciprocal in the uplink and downlink direction.

Mobile stations and base stations are exposed to different interference situation.

Source of Interference

Another mobile in the same cell.

A call in progress in the neighboring cell.

Other base stations operating on the same frequency.

Any non-cellular system which leaks energy into the cellular frequency
band.

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TYPES OF INTERFERENCE

There are two types of system generated interference

Co-channel interference

Adjacent channel interference

Co-Channel Interference

This type of interference is the due to frequency reuse , i.e. several cells use the same set of
frequency.

These cells are called co-channel cells.

Co-channel interference cannot be combated by increasing the power of the transmitter. This is
because an increase in carrier transmit power increases the interference to neighboring co-channel
cells.

To reduce co-channel interference, co-channel cells must be physically separated by a minimum


distance to provide sufficient isolation due to propagation or reduce the footprint of the cell.

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Adjacent-Channel Interference

Interference resulting from signals which are adjacent in


frequency to the desired signal is called adjacent channel
interference.

Adjacent channel interference results from imperfect


receiver filters which allow nearby frequencies to leak into
the passband.

Adjacent channel interference can be minimized through


careful filtering and channel assignments.

By keeping the frequency separation between each channel


in a given cell as large as possible , the adjacent
interference may be reduced considerably.

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Page 91

Chapter 1 GSM System Overview


Chapter 2 Features of GSM
Chapter 3 GSM Network Structure
Chapter 4 Service Area and Number Planning
Chapter 5 Handover and Frequency hopping
Chapter 6 Location Update
Chapter 7 Propagation Mechanisms
Chapter 8 GPRS & EDGE Introduction

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General packet radio service-GPRS


The first phase of GSM network architecture enhancements

that allow mobiles to connect to IP or X.25 networks.


Characteristics of GPRS:

Packet-switched
Data rate: 9Kbps ~ 150Kbps
New functionalities: point-to-point data transferring,
routing, logical link management, radio resource
management
Modulation: GMSK

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Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution


Characteristics
Uses 200kHz carrier/multi-slot operation, time slot
structure
Modulation: 8PSK(8-phase Shift Keying)
modulation(3bits per modulated symbol) <->
apposed to the 1-bit per symbol GMSK in
GSM/GPRS
Data rates: 384Kbps

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GSM Development Evolution


3G
2.5G
2G

115 kbps
57.6 kbps

9.6 kbps

2Mbps
384kbps

IMT-2000

EDGE

GPRS

HSCSD

GSM

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The basic idea of GSM


The features of GSM
The structure of GSM
Certain service area and numbers
Handover, Frequency hopping and

Location Updates.
Propagation Mechanisms
Evolution of GSM

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Thank You
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