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PS Call Setup

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An MS shall perform a GPRS Attach to the SGSN in order to obtain access to the GPRS
services. If the MS is connected via a UMTS radio access network, it shall perform a
UMTS GPRS Attach procedure. In the attach procedure, the MS shall provide its identity
and an indication of which type of attach that is to be executed. The identity provided to
the network shall be the MS's Packet TMSI (P-TMSI) or IMSI. P-TMSI and the RAI
associated with the P-TMSI shall be provided if the MS has a valid P-TMSI. If the MS
does not have a valid P-TMSI, the MS shall provide its IMSI.

A GPRS-attached MS makes an IMSI attach via the SGSN with the combined RA / LA
update procedure if the network operates in mode I (Gs interface is present.). If the
network operates in mode II ( Gs interface is not present.), or if the MS is not GPRS-
attached, the MS makes a normal IMSI attach. An IMSI-attached MS engaged in a CS
connection shall use the (non-combined) GPRS Attach procedure when it performs a
GPRS attach.

After having executed the GPRS attach, the MS is in the PMM-CONNECTED state and
MM contexts are established in the MS and the SGSN. The MS may then activate PDP

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The overall call setup for packet switched is similar to circuit switched case. In the figure,
the service request in CS is analogous to attach and PDP context activation step in PS.
There are some key differences. A user may place the UE in an always on PS
connection. Thus there could be long period of data inactivity. RRC connection and RAB
can be released and re-established throughout the course of PS connection. If the
network wish to establish RRC and RAB due to pending downlink data transfer, paging is

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In the CS mode of operation, we use the Location Updating Request both for the initial
registration and for location updates. This is different in the PS mode of operation. A
GPRS Attach is used instead to establish a GMM context between the UE and the 3G-
SGSN. It can be used for:
Normal GPRS attach, which is an IMSI attach for PS services
Combined GPRS attach for a combined CS and PS IMSI attach. This is only possible
with NMO I.

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Session management is only possible after the establishment of the GMM context
between the UE and the network. The session management is then responsible to handle
PDP contexts. This incorporates PDP context activation, PDP context modification, and
PDP context deactivation procedures. The peer entities are the UE and the SGSN.

The UE send the session management message ACTIVATE PDP CONTEXT REQUEST
to the SGSN to activate a PDP context. In parallel, it starts the timer T3380 (30 =
seconds). The SGSN is analysing the message. The APN is analysed to determine a
suitable GGSN. The QoS requested by the UE may be modified. The SGSN may even
reject the subscribers request. If the SGSN accepts the UEs request, it has to establish a
GTP tunnel to the selected GGSN by sending the message CREATE PDP CONTEXT
REQUEST. The GGSN analyses the message in order to establish a connection to the
external PDN. It returns the message CREATE PDP CONTEXT RESPONSE to the
SGSN. This message holds among others the Negotiated QoS and the GPRS Charging
Identifier. Based on the Negotiated QoS, the SGSN determines the a radio priority level
for the UE.

The RAB establishment is then initiated by the SGSN at the reception of the CREATE
PDP CONTEXT RESPONSE. The QoS attributes may be downgraded during the RAB
establishment process. If so, the GGSN may be informed about it by the sending the

The SGSN returns the message ACTIVATE PDP CONTEXT ACCEPT. Upon its
reception, the UE stops the timer T3380. If the QoS requested derivates from the
Negotiated QoS, the UE either accepts it, or initiates the PDP context deactivation
procedure. Upon expiry of T3380, the UE transmits the ACTIVATE PDP CONTEXT
REQUEST message again. Retransmission is possible up to four times.

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The PDP Context Activation Request contains:

Network Serv. Access Point Id.
The purpose of the Network Service Access Point Identifier information element is to
identify the service access point that is used for the GPRS data transfer at layer 3. An
NSAPI is assigned when the MS initiates the PDP Context Activation function.
LLC Service Access point Id
The purpose of the LLC Service Access Point Identifier information element is to identify
the service access point that is used for the GPRS data transfer at LLC layer.
SAPI identifies a point at which LLC services are provided by an Logical Link Entity (LLE)
to a layer-3 entity. Consequently, SAPI identifies an LLE that should process an LLC
frame and also a layer-3 entity that is to receive information carried by the LLC frame.
SAPI is a four bit field. Possible values are:
SAPI Related Service
1 GPRS Mobility Management
3 User data 1
5 User data 2
9 User data 3
11 User data 4
Other values are reserved

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In UMTS, both the network and the MS shall store the LLC SAPI and the radio priority in
the PDP context. If a UMTS to GSM system change is performed, the new SGSN shall
initiate establishment of the logical link using the negotiated QoS profile, the negotiated
LLC SAPI, and selected radio priority level stored in the PDP context as in a GSM to GSM
Routing Area Update.
An MS, which is capable of operating in both GSM and UMTS, shall use a valid LLC
SAPI, while an MS which is capable of operating only in UMTS shall indicate the LLC
SAPI value as "LLC SAPI not assigned" in order to avoid unnecessary value range
checking and any other possible confusion in the network. When the MS uses a valid LLC
SAPI, the network shall return a valid LLC SAPI. However, in this version of the protocol,
if the network does not support handover to GSM, it may return the "LLC SAPI not
assigned" value.
NOTE: The radio priority level and the LLC SAPI parameters, though not used in
UMTS, shall be included in the messages, in order to support handover between UMTS
and GSM networks.
Quality of Service
The purpose of the quality of service information element is to specify the QoS
parameters for a PDP context. . The trace shows subfields of which possible values are
as follows:
The quality of service is a type 4 information element with a length of 13 octets. The QoS
requested by the MS shall be encoded both in the QoS attributes specified in octets 3-5
and in the QoS attributes specified in octets 6-13.
A QoS IE received without octets 6-13 shall be accepted by a receiving entity.
NOTE: This behavior is required for interworking with entities supporting an earlier
version of the protocol.

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Non-real-time services (NRT) only involve packet switched data calls. For non-real time
services, the radio access bearer is created without immediately reserving radio
resources. The resources are allocated on demand by using the signaling link between
the UE and the RNC. The above figure compares the process of establishing a circuit
switched and packet switched calls.

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The above figure shows the comparison of RAB ASSIGNMENT REQUEST messages
between circuit switched call and packet switched call. Only the first part of the messages
are shown. The latter parts are in the following slides. Many differences in the information
elements can be found. Key differences are highlighted in the slides.

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The IP address given in the RAB ASSIGNMENT REQUEST message is the SGSN tunnel
IP address. If direct tunnel feature which establish tunnel directly between RNC and
SGSN is used, the SGSN IP address is replaced with GGSN IP address. The RAB
ASSIGNMENT RESPONSE message also contains IP address. This is the IP address at
the RNC side of the tunnel.

The IP address together with tunnel endpoint identifier (TEI) uniquely identify a RAB in the
Iu-PS interface.

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In IDLE mode the is requested to create a RRC connection before any possible action
requested by the RNC or by itself.

UE is in Cell DCH every time it needs to have a RT connection through the Uu interface.
In this status the RNC allocates a DPDCH channel only for that user and the same
channel can be used either for only RRC messages or for speech as well.

In case of PS connection the RNC activates the inactivity timer parameter. It means that
if after a certain time the connection is not utilized the DPDCH channel for that user is
released in order to save resources, so the UE is forced to move the connection over the
SCCPCH with the FACH inside. That channel allow the UE to maintain the RRC
connection open and transfer small traffic packages. Note that the SCCPH is a common
channel available for all the UE located in the same cell.

A second inactivity timer is activated by the RNC in case no traffic is sent over the FACH,
so in this case the UE is forced by the RNC to move the RRC connection over the PCH.
Actually in this status the user and the RNC can exchange only few messages in order to
inform one to each other about the necessity to re-establish strong connection with a
different channel.

To reduce the number of cell update issued by UE in Cell PCH state, UE may be moved
to URA PCH. The RNC records the number of cell updates received from the UE and
move to URA PCH if the number exceed a configurable limit within a predefined time

With Fast Dormancy in RU20 On Top and Fast Dormancy Profiling in RU40, it is possible
to change the state of UE from Cell_DCH directly to Cell_PCH, bypassing Cell_FACH
state. In RU50, Data Session Profiling allows UE to be immediately moved from
Cell_PCH or URA_PCH to Cell_DCH for smartphones.

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BTS initialization takes place when the BTS is restarted. The sequence of messages are
depicted in the figures. The support of various functionalities including HSDPA, HSUPA
modes can be found during this stage. Some example of messages are given in the
section. Examples for HSDPA and HSUPA messages are provided later in their relevant

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