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1. Define GSM. [MAY/JUN 2007]
GSM (Global System for Mobile communication) is a digital mobile telephony system that is
widely used in Europe and other parts of the world. GSM uses a variation of time division
multiple access (TDMA) and is the most widely used of the three digital wireless telephony
technologies (TDMA, GSM, and CDMA).
GSM digitizes and compresses data, then sends it down a channel with two other streams of
user data, each in its own time slot. It operates at either the 900 MHz or 1800 MHz frequency

2. List the three different categories of services of GSM. [NOV/DEC 2007]

What are the types of services in GSM? [MAY/JUN 2014]
Bearer services
Tele services
Supplementary services

3. What are the two basic classes of handover? [APR/MAY 2011]

There are two basic classes in handover:
Hard handover: Switching between different antennas or different system is performed at a
certain point in time.
Soft handover: This is a new real mechanism in UMTS compare to GSM and this only available
in FDD mode.
4. Distinguish between soft handover and hard handover? [APR/MAY 2010]

A hard handover is one in which the channel in the source cell is released and only then the
channel in the target cell is engaged. Thus the connection to the source is broken before or 'as' the
connection to the target is madefor this reason such handovers are also known as break-beforemake.
A soft handover is one in which the channel in the source cell is retained and used for a while in
parallel with the channel in the target cell. In this case the connection to the target is established
before the connection to the source is broken, hence this handover is called make-before-break.
Hard Hand - Off
Occurs in GSM
Available in FDD / TDD modes
Inter frequency handover, Inter system handover
Soft Hand - Off
Occurs in UMTS
Available only in FDD mode
Macro diversity
5. What are the different control channels used in GSM? [NOV/DEC 2012]
The control channel groups in GSM are:
Broadcast control channel (BCCH)
Common control channel (CCCH)
Dedicated control channel (DCCH)
6. What are the four types of handover available in GSM? [NOV/DEC 2011]
Intra cell Handover
Inter cell Intra BSC Handover
Inter BSC Intra MSC handover
Inter MSC Handover
7. Why are so many different identifiers/address needed in GSM? [MAY/JUNE2012]
Users of the GSM systems work with telephone numbers. That is all users should see. These
phone numbers are completely independent of the current location of the user. The system itself
needs some additional information; however, it must not reveal the identity of users. The
international identification of users is done with the IMSI (=country code + network code +
subscriber ID). During operation within a location area, only a temporary identifier, the TMSI is

needed. This hides the identity of a user. The TMSI is not forwarded to the HLR. But instead
another temporary number reflects the location and any roaming required is the MSRN is used
internally by the system.
8. What are the security services offered by GSM? [NOV/DEC 2012]
The security services offered by GSM are:
Access control and authentication.

9. How is authentication done in GSM networks? [NOV/DEC 2013]

The GSM network authenticates the identity of the subscriber through the use of a challengeresponse mechanism. A 128-bit Random Number (RAND) is sent to the MS. The MS computes
the 32-bit Signed Response (SRES) based on the encryption of the RAND with the authentication
algorithm (A3) using the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki). Upon receiving the SRES
from the subscriber, the GSM network repeats the calculation to verify the identity of the
If the received SRES agrees with the calculated value, the MS has been successfully
authenticated and may continue. If the values do not match, the connection is terminated and an
authentication failure is indicated to the MS.

10. What are the advantages and disadvantages of GSM? [NOV/DEC 2014]
Total mobility
Worldwide connectivity
High capacity
High transmission quality
Security functions

No end-to-end encryption of user data
Reduced concentration while moving
Electromagnetic radiation
High complexity of system
Several incompatibilities within the GSM standards
11. What are the services provided by supplementary services? [MAY/JUN 2009]
User identification
Call redirection
Call forwarding
Closed user groups
Multiparty Communication
12. Distinguish between mobile terminated call and mobile originated call. [NOV/DEC 2011]
MOC-Mobile Originating Call
MTC-Mobile Terminating Call
The Mobile/MS which initiate a Call is known as MOC, whereas the destination Mobile/MS for
which the call has been initiate is known as MTC.
MOC: MS (A party)->BSC->MSC/VLR
MTC: MSC/VLR->BSC->MS (B party)
MOC starts from A party sending service request to core network
MTC starts when core network receives B number and start analysis for paging, or IAM
13. What is meant by GPRS? [NOV/DEC 2008]
The General Packet Radio Service provides packet mode transfer for applications that exhibit
traffic patterns such as frequent transmission of small volumes.
General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) is a packet-based wireless communication service that
promises data rates from 56 up to 114 Kbps and continuous connection to the Internet for mobile
phone and computer users.
14. What is meant by GGSN and SGSN? [NOV/DEC 2007]
GGSN is Gateway GPRS Support Node. It is the inter-working unit between the GPRS
network and external packet data networks. The GGSN is connected to external networks via the
Gi interface and transfers packets to the SGSN via an IPbased GPRS backbone network.
SGSN is Serving GPRS Support Node. It supports the MS via the G b interface. The GSN is
connected to a BSC via frame relay.

15. What are the new components added to GPRS network? [MAY/JUN 2012]
Two new components, called Gateway GPRS Support Nodes (GSNs) and, Serving GPRS Support
Node (SGSN) are added.
16. Specify the functions provided by radio network subsystem (RNS). [MAY/JUN 2008]
Radio channel ciphering
Handover Control
Radio resource management
17. Mention the advantages and drawbacks of GPRS. [MAY/JUN 2012 - ME]
Allow broadcast, multicast and unicast services
Cheaper packet transfer for internet applications
Needs no connection setup prior to data transfer
Needs additional hardware and software
18. Mention the applications of GPRS [NOV/DEC 2011 - ME]
CommunicationsE-mail; fax; unified messaging; intranet/Internet access
Value-added servicesInformation services; games
E-commerceRetail; ticket purchasing; banking; financial trading
Location-based applicationsNavigation; traffic conditions; airline/rail schedules; location
Vertical applicationsFreight delivery; fleet management; sales-force automation
19. Define UMTS. [MAY/JUN 2010 - ME]
The Universal Mobile Telecommunication System (UMTS) is a third generation (3G) mobile
communications system that provides a range of broadband services to the world of wireless
and mobile communications.
UMTS delivers low-cost, mobile communications at data rates of up to 2 Mbps. It preserves
the global roaming capability of second generation GSM/GPRS networks and provides new
enhanced capabilities.
20. What are the advantages and disadvantages of UMTS? [MAY/JUN 2013 - ME]

Overcrowding is relieved in existing systems with radio spectrum

Bandwidth, security and reliability are more
Provides interoperability among service providers
Availability of fixed and variable rates

Always online devices 3G uses IP connectivity which is packet based

Rich multi-media services are available

Roaming and data/voice work together has not yet been implemented
Needs different handset
The cost of cellular infrastructure , upgrading base stations is very high
Power consumption is high
Requires closer base stations and are expensive

1. Explain the steps involved in the call delivery procedure in GSM network in the following cases:

GSM mobile terminated call


GSM mobile originated call (16) [MAY/JUN 2012]

Definition for MTC and MOC (2 x 2 = 4 marks)
Diagram for MTC and MOC (2 x 2 = 4 marks)
Description of MTC and MOC ( 2 x 4 = 8 marks)

2. Consider the handoff procedure in GSM systems that is based on relative signal strength with











(a) the signal at the current BS is sufficiently weak (less than a predefined threshold) and
(b) the other signal is stronger than the two. What are the drawbacks of this scheme, when the
threshold is too low or too high? (16) [APR/MAY 2008]
GSM handover schemes ( 1 mark)
Intra cell Handover
Inter cell Intra BSC Handover
Inter BSC Intra MSC handover
Inter MSC Handover
Diagram 1 mark
Description of each scheme (4 X 3 = 12 marks)
When the threshold is too high, ping-pong effect may result in which mobile unit is repeatedly passed
back and forth between two base stations. When the threshold is too weak, the mobile unit may move
far into the new cell before handoff, reducing the quality of connections and possible dropping of the
call. (2 marks)

Name the main elements of GSM system architecture and describe their functions. What are
the advantages of specifying not only the radio interface but also the internal of the GSM
System? Explain the inter BSC, intra MSC handover process in the GSM system using

typical signals and a message sequence chart. Explain the decision points and the resource
allocation steps, if they exist. (16) [APR/MAY 2008]
Subsystems ( 1 mark)
Radio subsystem (RSS)
Network and switching subsystem (NSS)
Operation subsystem (OSS).
Description of each subsystem ( 3 X 3 = 9 marks)
Specifying all (or at least many) internal interfaces allows for a larger variety of vendors.
As long as vendors stay with the standardized interfaces equipment of different vendors can be
combined and network operators are not completely dependent from one manufacturer. However,
reality often looks different and network operators often use only equipment from one or two
vendor(s). ( 2 marks)
inter BSC, intra MSC handover process in the GSM system ( 2 marks)
Threshold diagram ( 2 marks)
4. Explain the GSM handover schemes and state the reasons for their occurrence .Which
resources need to be allocated during handover for data transmission using GPRS by satisfying
Qos?(16) [NOV/DEC 2008]
GSM handover schemes ( 1 mark)
Intra cell Handover
Inter cell Intra BSC Handover
Inter BSC Intra MSC handover
Inter MSC Handover
Diagram 1 mark
Description of each scheme (4 X 3 = 12 marks)
The typical reason for a handover is a weaker signal from the current base station compared with a
neighbouring base station. Another reason could be the current load situation: the network could
decide to offload some users from a crowded cell. For HSCSD to succeed the same resources are
needed in the new cell as were available in the old one. i.e., there must be enough time-slots available
to handle the same number of simultaneous connections. Otherwise the available bandwidth will
decrease. Sure the probability of having several channels available is much lower than having a single
channel. For GPRS data rates fluctuate anyway depending on the current load. The same happens
during and after handover. Without pre-reservation neither HSCSD nor GPRS can give any QoS

guarantees. There is not even a QoS guarantee for a voice call if the next cell is already completely
booked the connection will break upon entering this cell. (2 marks)
5. How is synchronization achieved in GSM and why it is important? How system security is
maintained in GSM?(16) [NOV/DEC 2008]
The BSS has to create a frame structure. Terminals listen into the medium, receive signals over
broadcast channels and synchronise to the frame structure. Within each time-slot during transmission
a mid ample further improves synchronisation. The terminal itself is responsible for precise
synchronisation within the cell. This is very important in TDM systems as otherwise neighbouring
data may be destroyed.( 3 marks)
Frame structure ( 1 mark)
Security mechanisms ( 1 mark)
Access control and authentication.
Description of each mechanism ( 3 X 3 = 9 marks)
Diagram ( 1 mark + 1 mark)

1. What are the differences between AODV and the standard distance vector algorithm? Why are
extensions needed? [APR/MAY 2008]
AODV is capable of both unicast and multicast routing. It is a reactive routing protocol, meaning that
it establishes a route to a destination only on demand Routers use distance vector based routing
protocols to periodically advertise the routes in their routing tables. Routing information exchanged
between typical distance vector based routers is unsynchronized and unacknowledged.
AODV is a reactive protocol. Route calculation is only performed if necessary. This improves
scalability under light load, but causes a higher initial latency.
2. What are the drawbacks of wired networks? [APR/MAY 2010]
Running the wires from each room within the home can be a difficult task.
Network cables can look disorganized.
Network cables can disconnect or become faulty consequently causing the connection to fail.
Adding more computers to a wired network may result in unexpected expense if you run out of
connections on your network and could slow down the network.

All wired networks differ from each other. The most familiar type of wired network is an Ethernet
3. Distinguish between infrastructure and ad hoc networks. [NOV/DEC 2012]
Infrastructure networks not only provide access to other networks, but also include forwarding
functions, medium access control etc. In these infrastructure based wireless networks, communication
typically takes place only between the wireless nodes and the access point, but not directly between
the wireless nodes. Ad-hoc wireless networks, however ,do not need any infrastructure to work .Each
node can communicate directly with other nodes, so no access point controlling medium access is
4. Differentiate wired networks routing from ad-hoc wireless networks routing. [NOV/DEC 2011]

Wired Networks
Nodes do not participate in packet routing
Topology is static
Simple IP-based addressing scheme is

Adhoc Networks
Each node acts as a router
Topology is dynamic
Simple IP-based addressing





5. Mention certain situation where Ad hoc networks are the only choice. [NOV/DEC 2012]
Instant requirements
Natural disasters
Remote areas
6. Write any two factors that affect the performance of Adhoc networking. [NOV/DEC 2013]
Average routing overhead
Power consumption
7. Discuss some of the routing metrics to be considered in a mobile network layer? [NOV/DEC

HOP counting
Destination sequence distance vector
Dynamic source routing
Least interference routing

8. Why is routing in multi-hop adhoc networks complicated? [MAY/JUN 2007]

Routing is complicated because of frequent topology changes, different capabilities of the nodes, varying
propagation characteristics. Further, no control instance can support routing.
9. What are the differences between wired networks and adhoc wireless networks related to
routing? [MAY/JUNE2012]



Wired Network

Wireless Network


Routing algorithm asymmetric

Routing algorithm symmetric

Redundant links

Less number of redundant links

More number of redundant link


Links exist only where a wire



transmission characteristics.






10. What are adhoc networks? [MAY/JUN 2009]

A wireless ad-hoc network is a decentralized type of wireless network. The network is ad hoc because
it does not rely on a preexisting infrastructure, such as routers in wired networks or access points in
managed (infrastructure) wireless networks. Instead, each node participates in routing by forwarding
data for other nodes, and so the determination of which nodes forward data is made dynamically
based on the network connectivity. In addition to the classic routing, ad hoc networks can use
flooding for forwarding the data.
1. Why is conventional routing in wired networks not suitable for wireless networks? Substantiate your
answers with suitable examples. (16) [NOV/DEC 2011]
Routing fundamentals (2 marks)
Steps in Routing (2 marks)
MANET vs Traditional Routing (2 marks)
Types of MANET Routing (2 marks)
Explanation of each routing (4 x 2 = 8 marks)

2. Name the main differences between multi-hop ad-hoc networks and other networks. What
advantages do these ad-hoc networks offer? [MAY/JUN 2007]
Ad-hoc networks in general do not require an infrastructure to operate (they can be connected to an

infrastructure). Multi-hop ad-hoc networks additionally do not require that all nodes can receive each
other. Nodes may forward transmissions for other nodes. Advantages are the lower required
transmission power (its just like whispering into the neighbours ear instead of shouting out loud)
and the increased robustness (failure of single nodes can be tolerated).

The topology of ad-hoc networks is dynamic in nature and changes in their topology are possible.
But to attain a reliable outptut quality frequent changes can be avoided.
Due to wireless transmission their physical security is limited.
The capacity of these networks is lower when compared with wired networks.
They experience higher loss rates, higher delays and also the jitter than the fixed type of
They use either exhaustible power supplies or batteries for getting energy. In network design it is
very important to consider power saving.
In a perfect ad-hoc network it has all the seven layers from physical layer to application layer.
In designing an ad-hoc network their exists high complexity with physical layer setups but in case
of mobile networks it will be taken care by their base stations.
The information related to network density, link failures, node distribution has to be clearly
defined for adhoc networks.
To obtain a better network structure it is important that the MAC layer and network layer should
collaborate with each other.
The ad-hoc network is independent of any central control or infrastructure.

3. Given the network topology below, use the dynamic source routing algorithm to compute the shortest
path from A to all other nodes. Make sure to show the results of the computation at each step.

(16) [APR/MAY 2008]

4. With a suitable example compare the behaviour of DSDV and DSR algorithms with their routing
table or cache contents?(16). [NOV/DEC 2008]