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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Siemens

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Contents
1
1.1
1.2
2
2.1
2.2
2.3
3
3.1
3.2
3.3
4
4.1
4.2

GPRS Objectives and Advantages


GPRS Objectives and Advantages
Standardization
Basic Principles
Management of Radio Resources/ Coding Schemes
GPRS Subscriber Profile
Quality of Service (QoS) Profiles
GPRS-Architecture
GPRS Architecture
GSM Phase 2+, Interfaces
New Network Elements for GPRS
Logical Functions
Logical Functions in the GPRS Network
Allocation of Logical Functions

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS Objectives and Advantages

GPRS

General Packet Radio Services

Objectives & Standardization

Fig. 1

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1.1

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS Objectives and Advantages

The transmission of data is becoming increasingly important in the field of telecommunication. In the fixed network, the transmission of extensive data files and E-mail
and contacts to the Intra- and Internet is by far in excess of language transmission.
The need for mobile data transport is increasing at a similarly impressive rate, yet the
presently available mobile communication systems, even GSM, still present a number of shortcomings.
Disadvantages for the user in GSM Phase 1/2:
In GSM (phase 1/2), the data rate is limited to a peak value of 9.6 kbit/s
Links to the data networks need to be routed via PSTN/ISDN (Additional charging of
the user for using a transit network)
The user is billed for the connection duration instead of being billed for his/her actual
use of the network (data volume)
The set-up of a connection takes more time (ca. 20s if a modem is used)
The length of SMS is limited (160 alphanumerical characters)
Disadvantages for the provider in GMS Phase 1/2:
Inefficient resource management & the number of users is limited.
HSCSD (High Speed Circuit Switched Data)
In principle, transmission rates of up to 115.2 kbit/s can be achieved with HSCSD.
Combining 4 timeslots, the ISDN transmission rate can be matched. One problem of
HSCSD, however, is the circuit switched data transmission. Efficient resource management is impossible. Additional costs arise for the user. For this reason HSCSD is
essentially suited for applications involving high but constant transmission rates
(videotelephony).
GPRS (GENERAL PACKET RADIO SERVICES)
GPRS is, on the one hand, intended to provide the possibility of transmitting large
volumes of data in a very short time. On the other hand it is meant to ensure effective
management of available resources, which will increase the number of users and reduce the costs arising for the individual user (volume-oriented fees).
Another positive consequence of the introduction of GPRS is its direct access to the
Intra- and Internet and the possibility to use point-to-point and point-to-multipoint
services side by side. An important aspect is that GSM networks are prepared for the
introduction of UMTS.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS Objectives
& Advantages
Strong demand for mobile data transmission
GSM Phase1/2: multiple restrictions

d ata rate restricted to max. 9,6 kbit/s


G SM-PDN connectio ns via P STN/IS DN
time d epende nt charging
lo ng d urance for setup s (Modems)
S MS len gth restr icted (160 ch aracter)
u nefficient resour ce management
re stricted number of u ser

SMSC

PDNs
SMS

IP

BSS

SSS

BS-udi

ISDN

Mo dem

HSCSD:
high data rates !
But: circuit switched
resource une fficient
time depe ndent c harging !!

Service provider
access point
Modem

BS3.1 kHz
audio

Internet
Intranet

P SPDN

PSTN

GPRS: high data rates

reducing costs (volume dependent charging)


resource efficient
Point-to-Multipoint services for PMR market
no SMS restrictions
direct IP/X.25 connection
prerequisite for UMTS introduction future proof solution

Fig. 2 Limitations of the network architecture

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1.2

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Standardization

The introduction of GPRS into the GSM Recommendations is carried out in two
phases.
Phase 1 of GPRS introduction was completed by ETSI in the Annual Release 1997
(03/98) and includes all central GPRS functions.
Phase 1 supports:
Point-to-point transfer of user data
TCP/IP and X.25 bearer services
GPRS identities
GPRS safety (a new ciphering algorithm specially designed for packet data)
Support of volume-oriented billing
In Phase 2, further extensions are planned for all requirements to be met by GPRS:
Support of point-to multipoint (PTM) services
Support of special point-to-point and point-to-multipoint services for applications such
as traffic telematics and GSM-R (PTM-Group Call: PTM-Multicast)
Support of further additional services
Support of additional interworking functions (e.g. ISDN)
Phase 2 will be completed in 1998 or 1999.
GPRS Phase 1 includes the introduction of a number of new recommendations;
some of the existing recommendations have been modified to cover other GPRS
functions, too.
The following recommendations are of central importance:

Rec. 02.60 General GPRS Overview

Rec. 03.60 GPRS System and architecture description

Rec. 03.64 Radio architecture description

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS-Standardisation
GPRS Standardisation in 2 Phases

Phase 1:
(Rel.`97)

P tP Dat a transmission
TCP/IP & X.25 Bearer Se rvices
G PRS Identities
G PRS S ecurity (Ciphe ring)
S MS via GPRS
v olum e depende nt charging

Phase 2:

(Rel.`98/99)

ETSI
Very important:

PtM data transmission


Broadcast & Group Call
traffic telematic, GSM-R
further interworking
functiona lity
further servi ces

Rec. 02.60
Ge neral G PRS O verview

Rec. 03.60
GPRS system &
architec ture de scription

Rec. 03.64
Radio archite cture description

Fig. 3 Standardization of GPRS in phases

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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Basic Principles

GPRS

General Packet Radio Services

Basics

Fig. 4

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2.1

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Management of Radio Resources/ Coding


Schemes

In a GPRS-supported cell , one or several physical channels can be allocated to


GPRS transmission. These physical channels (Packet Data Channels PDCHs) are
shared by GPRS mobile stations and are taken from the common/shared pool of all
available physical channels of the cell.
Distribution of the physical channels for various logical packet data channels is based
on blocks of 4 normal bursts each. Uplink (UL) and downlink (DL) for GPRS packet
data are assigned separately (consideration of asymmetrical traffic peaks). Allocation
of circuit switched services and GPRS is achieved dynamically, depending on what
capacities are required (capacity on demand). PDCHs need not be allocated permanently; however, it is possible for the operator to permanently or temporarily reserve a number of physical channels for GPRS traffic.
New GPRS coding schemes (CS) - CS1 - CS4 - have been defined for the transmission of packet data traffic channel PDTCH (Rec. 03.64). Coding schemes can be assigned as a function of the quality of the radio interface. Normally, groups of 4 burst
blocks each are coded together.
CS-1 makes use of the same coding scheme as has been specified for SDCCH in
GSM Rec. 05.03. It consists of a half rate convolutional code for forward error correction FEC. CS-1 corresponds to a data rate of 9.05 kbit/s.
CS-4 has no redundancy in transmission (no FEC) and corresponds to a data rate of
21.4 kbit/s.
CS-2 and CS-3 represent punctured versions of the same half rate convolutional
code as CS-1.
CS-2 corresponds to a rate of 13.4 kbit/s, while CS-3 corresponds to a data rate of
15.6 kbit/s.
In principle, 1 to 8 time slots TS of a TDMA frame can be combined dynamically for a
user for the transmission of GPRS packet data. Theoretically it is thus possible to
achieve peak performances of up to 171.2 kbit/s (8x21.4 kbit/s) with GPRS.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Radio Resource Management / Coding Schemes


Physical channel of one cell
CS & PS (GPRS):
capacity on demand

CS-1
CS-2
CS-3

GPRS-MSs:
sharing physical channel

GPRS-MSs:
asymmetric UL / DL

9,05 kbit/s

13,4 kbit/s

15,6 kbit/s

CS-4
Coding
Schemes

GPRS-MSs:
combining 1-8 TS

1-8
channel

Up to
171,2 kbit/s
(theoretically)

21,4 kbit/s
different
redundancy (FEC)
Um transmission quality

Fig. 5 Management of radio resources: coding schemes, FEC, and redundancy

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2.2

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS Subscriber Profile

The GPRS Subscriber Profile is the description of the services a subscriber is allowed to use. Essentially, it contains the description of the packet data protocol used.
A subscriber may also use different packet data protocols (PDPs), or one PDP with
different addresses. The following parameters are available for each PDP:
The packet network address is necessary to identify the subscriber in the public
data net. Either dynamically assigned (temporary) addresses or (in the future) static
addresses are used in case of IP. The problem of the dynamic addresses will be
overcome with the change from Ipv4 to IPv6. In GPRS is two layer 2 protocols are
allowed, X.25 or IP.
The quality of service QoS: QoS describes various parameters. The subscriber
profile defines the highest values of the QoS parameters that can be used by the
subscriber.
The screening profile: This profile depends on the PDP used and on the capacity of
the GPRS nodes. It serves to restrict acceptance during transmission/reception of
packet data. For example, a subscriber can be restricted with respect to his possible
location, or with respect to certain specific applications.
The GGSN address: The GGSN address indicates which GGSN is used by the subscriber. In this way the point of access to external packet data networks PDN is defined. The internal routing of the data is done by IP protocol, the GSNs will have IP
addresses. A DNS function is needed to find the destination of the data packets (address translating: e.g. www.gsn-xxx.com 129.64.39.123)

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS Subscriber Profile


Subscription profile
used Packet Data Protocols PDP
possible: 1 Subscriber - different PDPs / 1 PDP with different addresses

QoS
Quality of Service

Packet
network address

highest QoSparameter values in


Subscriber Profile

static/dynamic
IP address

PDP
Parameter

GGSN address
Access to external PDN

Screening
Profile
limits receiving / emission
of data packets

Fig. 6 Part of the GPRS subscriber profile are the PDPs and their parameters

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2.3

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Quality of Service (QoS) Profiles

The different applications that will make use of packet-oriented data transmission via
GPRS require different qualities of transmission. GPRS can meet these different requirements because it can vary the quality of service (QoS) over a wide range of attributes. The quality of service profile (Rec. 02.60, 03.60) permits selection of the following attributes:
l

Precedence class

Delay class

Reliability class

Peak throughput class

Mean throughput class.

By combining the variation possibilities of the individual attributes a large number of


QoS profiles can be achieved. Only a limited proportion of the possible QoS profiles
need PLMN-specific support.
Precedence Class
Three different classes have been defined to allow assessment of the importance of
the data packets, in case of limited resources or overload:
1: High precedence
2: Normal precedence
3: Low precedence
Delay Class
GSM Rec.02.60 defines 4 delay classes (1 to 4). However, a PLMN only needs to realize part of these. The minimum requirement is the support of the so-called best
effort delay class (Class 4). Delay requirements (maximum delay) concern the delay
of transported data through the entire GPRS network (the first two columns refer to
data packets 128 bytes in length, while the last two columns apply to packets 1024
bytes in length).

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Delay Class

mean transfer
delay (sec)

95% delay
(sec)

mean transfer
delay (sec)

95% delay
(sec)

< 0,5

< 1,5

<2

<7

<5

< 25

< 15

< 75

< 50

< 250

< 75

< 375

4 (Best Effort)

unspecified

unspecified

unspecified

unspecified

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Quality of Service QoS - Profile


Different requirements for different applications
multiple GPRS QoS profiles

Peak
throughput
class
precedence class

reliability class

mean throughput
class
delay class
PLMN must support only
limited QoS service profile

Fig. 7 Quality of service parameters

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Reliability Class
Transmission reliability is defined with respect to the probability of data loss, data delivery beyond/outside the sequence, twofold data delivery, and data falsification
(probabilities 10-2 to 10-9):. 5 reliability classes (1 to 5) have been defined, 1 guaranteeing the highest and 5 the lowest degree of reliability. Highest reliability (Class 1) is
required for error-sensitive, non-real-time applications which have no possibility of
compensating for data loss; lowest reliability (Class 5) is needed for real-time applications which can get over data loss.
Peak Throughput Class
The peak throughput class defines the maximum data rate to be expected (in
bytes/s). However, there is no guarantee that this data rate/throughput can be
achieved over a certain period of time. This depends on the capacity of the MS and
the availability of radio resources. 9 throughput classes have been defined, ranging
from Class 1 with 1000 bytes/s (8 kbit/s) to 256,000 bytes (2048 kbit/s). The maximum data rate doubles from one class to the next.
Mean Throughput Class
The mean throughput class represents the mean data rate /throughput to be expected for data transport via the GPRS network during an activated link. A total of 19
classes have been defined. Class 1 is best effort and means that the data rate for
the MS is made available on the basis of demand and availability of resources.
Class 2 stands for 100 bytes/h (0.22 bit/s), class 3 for 200 bytes/h, class 4 for 500
bytes/h and class 5 for 1000 bytes/h, etc. till Class 19 which stands for 50000000
bytes/h (111 kbit/s).

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Quality of Service QoS - Profile


Precedence Class
1: high priority
2: normal priority
3: low priority

Delay Class
Delay Class

mean transfer
delay (sec)
< 0,5
<5
< 50
unspecified

1
2
3
4 (Best Effort)
minimum
requirements

95% delay
(sec)
< 1,5
< 25
< 250
unspecified

mean transfer
delay (sec)
<2
< 15
< 75
unspecified

SDU size: 128 Byte

95% delay
(sec)
<7
< 75
< 375
unspecified

1024 Byte

Reliability Class

1 - 5 (lowest):
data loss proba bility
out of sequ ence pr obability
dup licate proba bility
corrupt da ta prob ability
p robabilities 10-9 - 1 0-2

peak throughput Class


1 - 9: > 8 kbit /s - >2048 kbit/s
maximu m data rate
no gu arantee for this data rate s
over a longer peri od o f time

mean throughput Class


me dium, guara ntee d da ta rate; Class 1 - 19 :
1: b est effort
100 Byte/h (0,2 2 bit/s) / 200 / 50 0 / 1000 / ... /
50 Mio. Byte /h (111 kbit/s)

Fig. 8 QoS is an assumption of several parameters which are defined in the recommendations

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS-Architecture

GPRS

General Packet Radio Services

Architecture

Fig. 9

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3.1

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS Architecture

For introducing GPRS, the logical GSM architecture is extended by two functional
units:
The Serving GPRS Support Node SGSN is on the same hierarchic level as MSC
and has functions comparable to those of a Visited MSC (VMSC).
The Gateway GPRS Support Node GGSN has functions comparable with those of a
Gateway MSC (GMSC) and offers interworking functions for establishing contact
between the GSM/GPRS-PLMN and external packet data networks PDN
A GPRS Support Node GSN includes the central functions required to support the
GPRS. One PLMN can contain one or more GSNs.
In addition to GSN, extensions of functions in other GSM functional units are necessary:
In the BSS a Packet Control Unit PCU ensures the reception/adaptation of packet
data from SGSN into BSS and vice versa.
GPRS subscriber data are added to the HLR. On the following pages of this script
this extension will be termed GPRS Register GR.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GPRS - Architecture
Channel Codec Unit CCU
in BTS
for channel coding

GPRS subscription data


(GPRS Register GR)

HLR

BSS

Mobile
DTE

PCU

Packet Control Unit PCU


for
protocol conversion &
radio resource
management

VMSC /
VLR

GMSC

PSTN
ISDN

SGSN

GGSN

Serving GPRS
Support Node

Gateway GPRS
Support Node

Internet
Intranet
X.25

New network entities:


SGSN
(access to BSS)
GGSN
(access to PDN)

Fig. 10 Outline of the GPRS architecture

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3.2

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GSM Phase 2+, Interfaces

Integration of functions GGSN and SGSN (which are necessary for GPRS) into a
GSM-PLMN makes it necessary to provide names for a series of new interfaces in
addition to interfaces A-G already defined in the GSM-PLMN:
Gb - between an SGSN and a BSS; Gb allows the exchange of signaling and user
data: Unlike the A-interface, in which a user is assigned a certain physical resource
for the entire/full duration of a connection, on Gb a resource is only assigned in case
of activity (i. e. when data are being transmitted/received). A large number of subscribers use the same physical resources. The same holds for interfaces Gi, Gn and
Gp.
Gc - between a GGSN and an HLR
Gd - between an SMS-GMSC / SMS-IWMSC and an SGSN
Gf - between an SGSN and an EIR
Gi - between GPRS and an external packet data network PDN
Gn - between two GPRS support nodes GSN within the same PLMN
Gp - between two GSN located in different PLMNs. The Gp interface allows the supporting of GPRS services over an area of cooperating GPRS PLMNs.
Gr - between an SGSN and an HLR
Gs - between an SGSN and an MSC/VLR; serves to support an MS using both
GPRS and circuit switched services (e.g. update of location information).

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

GSM Phase 2+ Architecture:


Interfaces, Network Elements
A sub
MS

BTS

(SIM)

Um

Abis

BTS

B
S
C

T
R
A
U

VLR

E
A

IWF/
TC

MSC

Gb

Uu
UE

(USIM)

CSE

GSM BSS
UMTS
Terrestrial
Radio
A ccess
Network

Gs

Iu(CS)
Iu(PS)
E

Gf

SGSN

GMSC

ISDN

EIR HLR/AC

Gr

Gc

GGSN G
Gn
i

Gd SLR

SMS-GMSC
SMS-IWMSC

PSTN

IP
X.25

GSM Phase 2+
Core Network

IWF/TC: Interworking Function / Transcoder

Fig. 11 Common GSM/GPRS/UMTS core network, coexistence of two radio access networks (GSM BSS/UTRAN)

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3.3
3.3.1

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

New Network Elements for GPRS


Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) Functions

SGSN realizes a large number of functions for performing GPRS services.


SGSN is on the same hierarchic level as an MSC and handles many functions comparable to a Visited MSC (VMSC).
SGSN
l

is the node serving GPRS mobile stations in a region assigned to it;

traces the location of the respective GPRS MSs (Mobility Management functions);

is responsible for the paging of MS;

performs security functions and access control (authentication/cipher setting procedures,...) Procedures are based on the same algorithm, ciphers and criteria as
in the former GSM. Ciphering algorithms have been optimized for the transmission
of packet data;

has routing/traffic-management functions;

collects data connected with fees/charges;

realizes the interfaces to GGSN (Gn), PCU (Gb), other PLMNs (Gp), HLR (Gr),
VLR (Gs), SMS-GMSC (Gd), EIR (Gf).

3.3.2

Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) Functions

GGSN realizes functions comparable to those of a gateway MSC.


GGSN

24

is the node allowing contact/interworking between a GSM PLMN and a packet


data network PDN (realization Gi-interface);

contains the routing information for GPRS subscribers available in the PLMN.
Routing information serves to contact the respective SGSN in the providing area of
which an MS is momentarily located;

has a screening function;

can inquire about location informations from the HLR via the optional Gc interface

transfers data/signaling to SGSN via Gn interface.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

SGSN & GGSN


Serving GPRS Support Node SGSN

SGSN

serves MSs in SGSN area


Mobility Management functions, e.g
Update Location, Attach, Paging,..
Security and access control:
Authentication, Cipher setting, IMEI Check...
New cipher algorithm
Routing / Traffic-Management
collecting charging data
realises Interfaces: Gn, Gb, Gd, Gp, Gr, Gs, Gf
controls subscribers in its service area (SLR)

Gateway GPRS Support Node SGSN


Gi-,Gn-Interface: Interworking PLMN PDN
Routing Information for attached GPRS user
Screening / Filtering
collecting charging data
optional Gc interface

GGSN

Fig. 12 Tasks of GGSN and SGSN

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3.3.3

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Physical Realization SGSN/GGSN

SGSN and GGSN functions, respectively, can be located within the same physical
unit or at different locations in different physical units. SGSN and GGSN include the
internet protocol (IP) routing function and can be linked together/Interconnected with
IP routers (IP-based GPRS backbone network for Gn). The same holds for the Gp
interface (SGSN and GGSN in different PLMNs); in addition there are safety functions for inter-PLMN communication.

HLR (GPRS Register GR)


HLR includes the GPRS subscriber information (GPRS Register GR) and routing information. Access to HLR is possible from SGSN via Gr and from GGSN via Gc interface.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

SGSN & GGSN:


physical location

MSC/VLR
HLR (GR)
Gs

BSS

PCU

Gb

BSS

PCU

Gb

GPRS-MS
SGSN & GGSN
in same
physical entity

Gr
Gi

GGSN
SGSN

BSS PCU
GPRS-MS

SGSN

other
PLMN GGSN

GPRS subscriber data


(GPRS Register GR)
Routing information

External
IP Network

SGSN & GGSN


in different
physical entities /
location

BSS PCU
SGSN

HLR:

Gn
IP-based
Backbone
Network

Gp

GGSN

GGSN

External
IP Network

External
X.25 Network

Security fu nctions
for Inte r-PLMN
co mmunication

Fig. 13 Different physical locations of SGSN and GGSN

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3.3.4

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Packet Control Unit PCU

In the BSS, the PCU serves


l

for the management of GPRS radio channels (Radio Channel Management functions), e.g. power control, congestion control, broadcast control information

for the temporal organization of the packet data transfer for uplink and downlink

it has channel access control functions, e.g. access request and grants

it serves for converting protocols from the Gb interface to the radio interface Um.

Three options for positioning the PCU are provided in Rec. 03.60:
l

Option A: In the BTS

Option B: in the BSC

Option C: In spatial connection with the SGSN

The different positions may be used due to the different solutions of the vendors and
with regard to the traffic which has to be handled by the PCU/BSS.

3.3.5

Channel Codec Unit CCU

The CCU contains the following functions:


Channel coding, including forward error correction FEC and interleaving
Radio channel measurements, including received quality and signal level, timing advance measurements

3.3.6

GPRS Mobile Stations MS

A GPRS MS can work in three different operational modes. The operational mode
depends on the service an MS is attached to (GPRS or GPRS and other GSM services) and on the mobile stations capacity of simultaneously handling GPRS and
other GSM services.
Class A operational mode: The MS is attached to GPRS and other GMS services
and the MS supports the simultaneous handling of GPRS and other GSM services.
Class B operational mode: The MS is attached to GPRS and other GMS services,
but the MS cannot handle them simultaneously.
Class C operational mode: The MS is attached exclusively to GPRS services.
Note: Various GSM specifications use the terms GPRS Class-A MS, GPRS Class-B
MS, GPRS Class-C MS.

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

PCU, CCU, GPRS - MS


CCU

MS

CCU

CCU

MS

BTS

BSC site

MS

BTS

BSC site

BTS

BSC site

B
GSN site

PCU
Abis

GPRS-MS:

Channel Codec Unit CCU


(operational mode)
Channel Coding (FEC, Interleaving,..)
Class-A: MS atta che d to
Radio Channel Measurement funcions
GPRS & non-GPRS
(received quality & sig nal level, TA,..)
simultaneous handling
Class-B: as A, no t si multaneous
Class-C: GP RS only

GSN site

PCU

CCU
Um

GSN site

PCU

CCU

CCU

optional:
PCU-location

Gb

Gb
Packet Control Unit PCU
Channel Acce ss Con trol functions
Radio Channel Management functions
(Power Control, Congestion Contro l,...)
scheduling data transmission (UL/DL)
protocol conversion (Gb Um)

Fig. 14 Positioning of the new network elements in the GSM BSS

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

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Logical Functions

GPRS

General Packet Radio Services

Logical Functions

Fig. 15

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4.1

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Logical Functions in the GPRS Network

The tasks required for the handling of processes in the GSM-/GPRS network are
structured into logical functions. These functions may contain a large number of individual functions. Logical functions are:
l

Network access control functions

Packet routing and transfer functions

Mobility management functions

Logical link management functions

Network management functions.

4.1.1

Network Access Control Functions

Network access means the way or manner in which a subscriber gains access to a
telecommunication network to make use of the services this network provides. An
access protocol consists of a defined set of procedures which makes access to the
network possible. Network access can be obtained both from the MS and from the
fixed network part of the GPRS network. Depending on the provider, the interface to
external data networks can support various access protocols, e.g. IP or X.25. The
following functions have been defined for access to the GPRS network:
Registration function: Registration stands for linking the identity of the mobile radio
subscriber to his packet data protocol (or protocols), the PLMN-internal addresses
and the point of access of the user to external data Protocol (PDP) networks. This
link can be static (HLR entry), or it can be effected on demand.
Authentication and authorization function: This function stands for the identification of the subscriber and for access legitimacy when a service is demanded. In addition, the legitimacy of the use of this particular service is controlled. The authentication function is carried out in conjunction with the mobility management functions.
Admission control function: Admission control is intended for determining the network resources required for performing the desired service (QoS). It also decides
whether these resources are available, and lastly it is used for reserving resources.
Admission control is effected in conjunction with the radio resource management
functions to enable assessment of radio resources requirements in each individual
cell.
Message screening function: A "screening" function is combined with the filtering of
unauthorized or undesirable information/messages. In the introduction stage of
GPRS a network-controlled screening function is supported. Subscription-controlled
and user-controlled screening may be additionally provided at a later stage.
Packet terminal adaptation function: This function adapts data packets received/transmitted from/to the terminal equipment TE to a form suited for transport
through the GPRS network.

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Charging data collection function: This function is used for collecting data required
for billing

Logical functions
in GPRS networks
Network Access
Control
Functions

Mobility
Management
Functions

Radio Resource
Management
Functions

Packet Routeing
& Transfer
Functions

Logical Link
Management
Functions

Network
Management
Functions

Fig. 16 Logical functions of the GPRS network

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4.1.2

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Packet Routing and Transfer Functions

A route consists of an orderly list of nodes used for the transfer of messages within
and between the PLMNs. Each route consists of the node of origin, no node, one or
several relay nodes, and the node of destination. Routing is the process of determining and using the route for the transmission of a message within or between
PLMNs.
Relay function: Transferring data received by a node from another node to the next
node of the route.
*Routing function: Determining the transmission path for the next hop on the route
towards the GPRS support node (GSN) the message is intended for. Data transmission between GSNs can be effected via external data networks possessing their own
routing functions, e. g. X.25, Frame Relay or ATM networks.
Address translation and mapping function: Address translation means transforming
one address into another, different address. It can be used to transform addresses of
external network protocols into internal network addresses (for routing purposes).
Address mapping is used to copy a network address into another network address of
the same type (e.g. for the routing and transmitting of messages from one network
node to the next).
Encapsulation function: Encapsulation means supplementing address- and control
information into one data unit for the routing of packets within or between PLMNs.
The opposite process is called decapsulation. Encapsulation and decapsulation is
effected between the GSN of the GPRS-PLMN as well as between the SGSN and
the MS.
Tunneling Function: Tunneling means the transfer of encapsulated data units in the
PLMN. A tunnel is a two-way point-to-point path, only the endpoints of which are
identified.
Compression function: for the optimal use of radio link capacity.
Ciphering function: preventing eavesdropping
Domain name server function: Decoding logical GSN names in GSN addresses. This
function is a standard function of the internet.

4.1.3

Mobility Management Functions

Mobility management functions are used to enable tracing the actual location of a
mobile station in either the home-PLMN or a Visited-PLMN.

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Siemens

Network Access Control Functions


Registration: associates users Mobile Id with users PDP(s)
& address(es) within the PLMN & with users access point(s)
to external networks (static or dynamic association)
Authentication & Authorisation: check identity & demanded services
Admission Control: calculation of resources for demanded service
availability & reservation
Message Screening: filtering un-authorised messages
Packet Terminal Adaption: adapts data packets from / to TE
Charging Data Collection: collects data for charging

Relay: forwarding data received from one


node to the next node in the route
Routeing: determining the route for transmission (next hop )
Address Translation / Mapping: conversion of one address to another
address of different type (extern intern / intern for next hop)
En- / Decapsulation: addition of address & control information to a
data unit for routeing & relaying of messages (GSN-GSN; SGSN MS)
Tunneling: transfer of encapsulated data
Compressing: optimises radio path capacity
Ciphering: preserves user data confidentiality
Domain Name Server: resolves logical GSN names
to GSN addresses

Packet Routeing & Transfer Functions


Fig. 17 Packet Routing and Transfer Functions in the GPRS network

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4.1.4

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Logical Link Management Functions

Logical link management functions concern maintenance of a communication channel between an MS and the PLMN via the radio interface Um. These functions include the coordination of link state information between the MS and the PLMN and
the monitoring of data transfer activities via the logical link.
Logical link establishment function: Building up a logical link by during GPRS attach.
Logical link maintenance function: Monitoring of the state of the logical link and
state modification control.
Logical link release function: De-allocation of resources associated with the logical
link.

4.1.5

Radio Resource Management Functions

Radio resource management functions include allocation and maintenance of communication channels via the radio interface. The GSM radio resources must be divided /distributed between circuit switched services and GPRS.
Um management function: Managing available physical channels of cells and determining the share of radio resources allocated for use in the GPRS. This share may
vary from cell to cell.
Cell selection function: Allows the MS to select the optimal cell for a communication
path. This includes measurement and evaluation of the signal quality of neighboring
cells and detection and avoidance of overload in the eligible cells.
Um-tranx function: Offers capacity for packet data transfer via Um. The function includes a. o. procedures for multiplexing packets via shared physical channels, for
retaining packets in the MS, for error detection and correction, and for flow control.
Path management function: Management of packet data communication between
BSS and serving GSN node. Establishing and canceling these paths can be effected
either dynamically ( (amount of traffic data) or statically (maximum load to be expected for each cell).

4.1.6

Network Management Functions

Network management functions provide mechanisms for the support of GPRSrelated operation & maintenance functions.

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Mobility Management Functions


Keep track of current MS-location

Logical Link
Management Functions

Maintenance of communication channel,


co-ordination Link state information & supervision of
data transfer activity over the logical link MS - SGSN
Logical Link Establishment
Logical Link Maintenance
Logical Link Release

Radio Resource
Management Functions
Allocation & maintenance of radio communication path
Um Management: manage resources GPRS / non GPRS
Cell Selection: select optimal cell (by MS)
Um-tranx: MAC via Um, user multiplexing, packet discrimination
within MS, error detection & correction, flow control procedures
Path Management:
manages packet data communication
Network Management
BSSSGSN
(dynamic data traffic or static)
Functions
mechanism to support O&M
functions related to GPRS

Fig. 18 Mobility Management, Logical Link, Radio Resource and Network Management Functions

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4.2

GPRS - General Packet Radio Services

Allocation of Logical Functions

The tasks described in the logical functions can be allocated to various functional
units of the GSM-/GPRS network. The mobile station MS, the base station subsystem BSS (with the packet control unit PCU and channel codec unit CCU), the serving
GPRS support node SGSN and the gateway GPRS support node GGSN participate
in handling the following functions:

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Function

MS

BSS

SGSN

GGSN

HLR

Network Access Control:


Registration

Authentication & Authorization

Admission Control

X
X

Message Screening
Packet Terminal Adaptation

X
X

Charging Data Collection

Packet Routing & Transfer:


Relay

Routing

Address Translation & Mapping

Encapsulation

Tunneling
Compression

Ciphering

Domain Name Server


Mobility Management

X
X

Logical Link Establishment

Logical Link Maintenance

Logical Link Release

Logical Link Management:

Radio Resource Management:


Um Management

Cell Selection

Um-Tranx

Path Management

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