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Call Setup in a GSM Network:

Setting up a call between two communication devices seems very quick and very simple
operation,but when we look deeper in to this and analyse this then we can understand that a lot of
operations are happening with in a short span of time.
Before going deep in to this first i will give a brief introduction of various elements included in this
1.BTS-BTS stands for Base Transceiver Station.It is nothing but your Tower which radiates the signal
to your mobile.It is the first player in this operation which always have a touch with the mobile.
2.BSC-BSC stands for Base Station Controller.It is a large unit which controls all the BTS(Towers).We
can say that a number of BTS are controlled by a single BSC.There are so many BSCs present in an
area depending on the number of users and all are inter connected.
3.MSC-MSC stands for Mobile Switching Center.It is responsible for switching the call to the called
subscriber.A number of BSCs are connected to the MSC and it controls the BSC.
4.HLR-HLR stands for Home Location Register.It is the server which stores the details of the all the
subscribers permanently.
5.VLR-VLR stands for Visitor Location Register.It is the server which stores the details of the all the
visiting subscribers temporarly.
All the above said units are interconnected and plays a vital role in call connection.
Call Setup:
1.When a subscriber initiates a call by dialling a number in his mobile it directly send a request to the
BTS which he comes under.
2.BTS there by sends the request to the BSC to which it is connected.
3.From the BSC the request is made to the MSC to which it is connected.
4.Then MSC sends a request to the HLR to check the information about the caller like account
balance(if pre paid),live user,area of the caller etc.
5.After checking all the details the HLR sends a acknowlegement message to the MSC that the caller
is O.K. to make a call or not.
6.If that message is O.K. the operation continues or else the MSC sends a NOT O.K. message to the
BSC which has made the request and BSC to the BTS and BTS to the Mobile.At the next instance the
call get disconnected.

7.If the message recieved by the MSC is O.K. then it again sends a request to the HLR to find the
called party(the subscriber to whom call is made).
8.The called party and the caller may comes under the same MSC or different MSC.If both comes
under the same MSC then the HLR finds the subsciber easily and informs the MSC that to which area
the called party belongs.The MSC therefore establishes a air link between the both parties.Thus the
call gets connected.
9.If both parties comes under different MSC then the HLR again search for the MSC to which the
called party belongs and inform the same to the MSC of the caller.Thus the MSC of the caller
establishes a air link between the both parties.Thus the call gets connected.
After the call gets disconnected the Billing is made the Billing Server which is present in the HLR.

Overview of The Universal Mobile Telecommunication System

(DRAFT, July 2002)

Table of Contents
1. 3G Systems
2. UMTS Services
3. UMTS Architecture
4. Core Network
5. Radio Access
6. User Equipment
1. 3G Systems
3G Systems are intended to provide a global mobility with wide range of services including
telephony, paging, messaging, Internet and broadband data. International Telecommunication
Union (ITU) started the process of defining the standard for third generation systems, referred
to as International Mobile Telecommunications 2000 (IMT-2000). In Europe European
Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) was responsible of UMTS standardisation
process. In 1998 Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) was formed to continue the
technical specification work. 3GPP has five main UMTS standardisation areas: Radio Access
Network, Core Network, Terminals, Services and System Aspects and GERAN.
3GPP Radio Access group is responsible of:

Radio Layer 1, 2 and 3 RR specification

Iub, Iur and Iu Interfaces
UTRAN Operation and Maintenance requirements
BTS radio performance specification
Conformance test specification for testing of radio aspects of base stations
Specifications for radio performance aspects from the system point of view

3GPP Core Network group is responsible of:

Mobility management, call connection control signalling between the user equipment and
the core network.
Core network signalling between the core network nodes.
Definition of interworking functions between the core network and external networks.
Packet related issues.
Core network aspects of the lu interface and Operation and Maintenance requirements
3GPP Terminal group is responsible of:

Service capability protocols

Services end-to-end interworking
USIM to Mobile Terminal interface
Model/framework for terminal interfaces and services (application) execution
Conformance test specifications of terminals, including radio aspects

3GPP Services and System Aspects group is responsible of:

Definition of services and feature requirements.
Development of service capabilities and service architecture for cellular, fixed and cordless
Charging and Accounting
Network Management and Security Aspects
Definition, evolution, and maintenance of overall architecture.

Third Generation Partnership Project 2 (3GPP) was formed for technical development of
cdma2000 technology which is a member of IMT-2000 family.
In February 1992 World Radio Conference allocated frequencies for UMTS use. Frequencies
1885 - 2025 and 2110 - 2200 MHz were identified for IMT-2000 use. See the UMTS
Frequency page for more details. All 3G standards are still under constant development. In
1999 ETSI Standardisation finished for UMTS Phase 1 (Release '99, version 3) and next
release is due December 2001. UMTS History page has a list of all major 3G and UMTS
milestones. Most of the European countries and some countries round the world have already
issued UMTS licenses either by beauty contest or auctions.

2. UMTS Services

UMTS offers teleservices (like speech or SMS) and bearer services, which provide the
capability for information transfer between access points. It is possible to negotiate and
renegotiate the characteristics of a bearer service at session or connection establishment and
during ongoing session or connection. Both connection oriented and connectionless services
are offered for Point-to-Point and Point-to-Multipoint communication.
Bearer services have different QoS parameters for maximum transfer delay, delay variation
and bit error rate. Offered data rate targets are:
144 kbits/s satellite and rural outdoor
384 kbits/s urban outdoor
2048 kbits/s indoor and low range outdoor
UMTS network services have different QoS classes for four types of traffic:

Conversational class (voice, video telephony, video gaming)

Streaming class (multimedia, video on demand, webcast)
Interactive class (web browsing, network gaming, database access)
Background class (email, SMS, downloading)

UMTS will also have a Virtual Home Environment (VHE). It is a concept for personal
service environment portability across network boundaries and between terminals. Personal
service environment means that users are consistently presented with the same personalised
features, User Interface customisation and services in whatever network or terminal,
wherever the user may be located. UMTS also has improved network security and location
based services.

3. UMTS Architecture
A UMTS network consist of three interacting domains; Core Network (CN), UMTS
Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN) and User Equipment (UE). The main function
of the core network is to provide switching, routing and transit for user traffic. Core network
also contains the databases and network management functions.
The basic Core Network architecture for UMTS is based on GSM network with GPRS. All
equipment has to be modified for UMTS operation and services. The UTRAN provides the
air interface access method for User Equipment. Base Station is referred as Node-B and
control equipment for Node-B's is called Radio Network Controller (RNC). UMTS system
page has an example, how UMTS network could be build.
It is necessary for a network to know the approximate location in order to be able to page user
equipment. Here is the list of system areas from largest to smallest.

UMTS systems (including satellite)

Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN)
Location Area
Routing Area (PS domain)

UTRAN Registration Area (PS domain)

Sub cell

4. Core Network
The Core Network is divided in circuit switched and packet switched domains. Some of the
circuit switched elements are Mobile services Switching Centre (MSC), Visitor location
register (VLR) and Gateway MSC. Packet switched elements are Serving GPRS Support
Node (SGSN) and Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN). Some network elements, like EIR,
HLR, VLR and AUC are shared by both domains.
The Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is defined for UMTS core transmission. ATM
Adaptation Layer type 2 (AAL2) handles circuit switched connection and packet connection
protocol AAL5 is designed for data delivery.
The architecture of the Core Network may change when new services and features are
introduced. Number Portability DataBase (NPDB) will be used to enable user to change the
network while keeping their old phone number. Gateway Location Register (GLR) may be
used to optimise the subscriber handling between network boundaries. MSC, VLR and SGSN
can merge to become a UMTS MSC.

5. Radio Access
Wide band CDMA technology was selected to for UTRAN air interface. UMTS WCDMA is
a Direct Sequence CDMA system where user data is multiplied with quasi-random bits
derived from WCDMA Spreading codes. In UMTS, in addition to channelisation, Codes are
used for synchronisation and scrambling. WCDMA has two basic modes of operation:
Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) and Time Division Duplex (TDD). UTRAN interfaces are
shown on UMTS Network page.
The functions of Node-B are:

Air interface Transmission / Reception

Modulation / Demodulation
CDMA Physical Channel coding
Micro Diversity
Error Handing
Closed loop power control

The functions of RNC are:

Radio Resource Control

Admission Control
Channel Allocation
Power Control Settings
Handover Control

Macro Diversity
Segmentation / Reassembly
Broadcast Signalling
Open Loop Power Control

6. User Equipment
The UMTS standard does not restrict the functionality of the User Equipment in any way.
Terminals work as an air interface counter part for Node-B and have many different types of
identities. Most of these UMTS identity types are taken directly from GSM specifications.

International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)

Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI)
Packet Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (P-TMSI)
Temporary Logical Link Identity (TLLI)
Mobile station ISDN (MSISDN)
International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI)
International Mobile Station Equipment Identity and Software Number (IMEISV)

UMTS mobile station can operate in one of three modes of operation:

PS/CS mode of operation: The MS is attached to both the PS domain and CS domain, and
the MS is capable of simultaneously operating PS services and CS services.
PS mode of operation: The MS is attached to the PS domain only and may only operate
services of the PS domain. However, this does not prevent CS-like services to be offered over
the PS domain (like VoIP).
CS mode of operation: The MS is attached to the CS domain only and may only operate
services of the CS domain.
UMTS IC card has same physical characteristics as GSM SIM card. It has several functions:
Support of one User Service Identity Module (USIM) application (optionally more that
Support of one or more user profile on the USIM
Update USIM specific information over the air
Security functions
User authentication
Optional inclusion of payment methods
Optional secure downloading of new applications