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GSM Traffic Management

GSM Traffic Management


GSM, UMTS & LTE Fundamentals

Nokia Siemens Networks CT81482EN01GLA0

CT81482EN01GLA0 1
GSM Traffic Management

Module Objectives

Explain mobility concept (handover, location update, paging)


Describe a simplified call setup case

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CT81482EN01GLA0 2
GSM Traffic Management

Databases in a GSM Network

GSM network

HLR

VLR
MSC

SIM

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Fig. 1 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 7)

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GSM Traffic Management

GSM Databases (1)

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM)


Information in a SIM card:
Security handling information
Subscriber identity
Temporary network information
Access rights (nat, intl)
Preferred networks
Prohibited networks

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Fig. 2 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 11)

The network keeps track of the subscribers location with the help of
various databases, more precisely the SIM, the VLR, and the HLR.

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GSM Traffic Management

GSM Databases (2)

Home Location register (HLR)


Permanent data HLR
Regular update of subscribers
current VLR

Visitor Location register (VLR)


Temporary data
Kept as long as subscriber is
within its coverage area VLR
Updated from the HLR
Always associated with a Mobile
Services Switching Centre (MSC)
MSC

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Fig. 3 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 11)

The HLR stores the basic data of the subscriber on a permanent basis.
The only variable information in the HLR is the current location of the
subscriber (the VLR address). The VLR address is needed, because
the HLR needs to know from which MSC/VLR to ask for routing
information in case of a mobile terminated call.
When the subscriber moves to another VLR area, its data is erased
from the old VLR and stored in the new VLR. The information about
new VLR is also updated in HLR and now HLR stores new VLR address
for that subscriber.

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GSM Traffic Management

Elements Involved in a Location Update

HLR

Fig. 4 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 13)


VLR VLR
MSC
MSC (new)
(old)
Location
Update

Mobile moves SIM

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In cases where VLR is changed, the network receives the request and
registers the mobile in the new VLR area. Simultaneously, the
subscriber's HLR is informed about the new VLR location and data
concerning the subscriber is cleared from the previous VLR. A simpler
case is when the update only changes one value in a single VLR.

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GSM Traffic Management

Location Update Procedure - First Time

MS BSS MSC VLR HLR


LOCATION UPDATE REQUEST

REQUEST SUBSCRIBER ID

SEND SUBSCRIBER ID

REQUEST AUTHENTICATION INFO

SEND AUTHENTICATION INFO


AUTHENTICATION

AUTHENTICATION RESPONSE
LOCATION UPDATE MESSAGE

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT, SUBSCRIBER INFORMATION


LOCATION UPDATE OK

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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Fig. 5 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 15)

A similar exchange of messages takes place when a subscriber


switches on the MS for the first time when roaming in another GSM
network than the home PLMN (Public Land Mobile Network).

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GSM Traffic Management

Types of Location Updates

Power On
Also known as IMSI Attach and
Location Registration.
Done every time a Mobile Station M SC VL R

is switched on.
LA 2
Generic LA 1
Done every time a Mobile Station
changes a location area.
Periodic
Performed after a preset timer
expires, since the last transaction
with the network.
Timer value is dependent on the
network operator.
The Mobile Station starts the
procedure.

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Fig. 6 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 19)

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GSM Traffic Management

Generic Location Update Procedure

MS BSS MSC VLRnew VLRold HLR


1. Channel assignment

2. Location update request

3. Request subscriber identity

4. send subscriber identity and security information


5. Security procedures

6. Update HLR

7. Acknowledgement, subscriber information

8. Cancel old location

9. Location cancelling accepted

10. Location update acknowledgement, new TMSI

11. TMSI acknowledgement

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Fig. 7 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 21)

Every time the mobile receives data through the control channels, it
reads the LAI and compares it with the LAI stored in its SIM card. A
generic location update is performed if they are different. The mobile
starts a location update process by accessing the MSC/VLR that sent
the location data.

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network PSTN Originated Call (1)

The dialled number is Mobile Subscriber


International ISDN Number (MSISDN)
PSTN
MSISDN = CC + NDC + SN
CC : Country Code
NDC : National Destination Code
SN : Subscriber Number
MSISDN

358505527268
358 = Country Code (Finland)
50 = National Destination code
(Radiolinja)
5527268 = Subscriber Number

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Fig. 8 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 25)

The dialled number is called an MSISDN


The PSTN exchange analyses the dialled number. The result of the
analysis is the routing information required for finding the mobile
network (Public Land Mobile Network, PLMN) in which the called
subscriber has made his subscription. The PSTN identifies the mobile
network with the NDC, after which it accesses the mobile network via
the nearest Gateway Mobile services Switching Centre (GMSC)
The GMSC analyses the MSISDN in the same way as the PSTN
exchange did. As a result of the analysis, it obtains the HLR address to
the HLR where the subscriber is permanently registered.
The HLR analyses the message. It identifies the called subscriber on
the basis of the MSISDN and then checks its database to determine the
subscriber's location. As you remember, the HLR is informed every time
the subscriber moves from one VLR area to another, that is, the HLR
always knows in which VLR area the subscriber is currently registered.
GMSC then connects to the corresponding VLR and routes the call
towards that MSC/VLR.

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network (2)

The PSTN routes the call to a


GSM network.
HLR The MSC connected to the PSTN
is known as the Gateway MSC
(GMSC).
GMSC
The GMSC analyses the received
MSISDN.
PSTN MSISDN VLR The only database that knows
where a GSM subscriber is at any
given moment is the HLR.
GSM The GMSC requests the HLR for
Network some routing information to
know where to route the call.
This procedure is known as HLR
Enquiry.

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Fig. 9 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 27)

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network (3)

The HLR looks up its IMSI = MCC + MNC + MSIN


database. IMSI: International Mobile
Subscriber Identity
HLR database contents: MCC: Mobile Country Code (3 digits)
MSISDN: 358 50 5527268 MNC: Mobile Network Code (2 digits)
IMSI: 244052200002345 MSIN: Mobile Subscriber Identity
VLR address: xyz Number (max 10 digits)
Subscriber data: Services....
244052200002345
244 : MCC of Finland
05 : MNC of Radiolinja
2200002345: MSIN

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Fig. 10 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 29)

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network (4)

HLR

Gateway MSC
Target MSC

PSTN VLR
VLR

GSM
Network

Elements involved in a call set-up inside the GSM network

Nokia Siemens Networks CT81482En01GLA0


Fig. 11 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 31)

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network (5)


The HLR takes the VLR address of
the subscriber from its database.
The HLR sends a routing
HLR information request message to the
target MSC/VLR.
Routing The target MSC/VLR allocates a
information Mobile Subscriber Roaming
request Number (MSRN) for this call.
message
Gateway MSC MSRN = CC + NDC + SN
The format of the MSRN is the
same as the MSISDN. The term SN
VLR in the MSISDN points to a database
location in the HLR; in case of
VLR MSRN it points a database location
in the VLR.
The MSRN also has sufficient
information to enable the GMSC to
Target MSC
route the call to the target MSC.

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Fig. 12 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 33)

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GSM Traffic Management

Call Set-up in a GSM Network (6)

The target MSC forwards the


HLR MSRN to the HLR.
The HLR forwards this to the
originating MSC.
358 50 456456 MSRN No. The originating MSC analyses the
to HLR
MSRN.
Gateway MSC
The telephone number type of
format enables the call to be routed
VLR to the destination MSC, wherever in
the world it may be.
VLR

Target MSC

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Fig. 13 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 35)

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GSM Traffic Management

Paging Process

Location Area 1
Paging Paging

BTS BTS

Mobile responds
to paging Paging

BTS

No Paging
BTS No Paging BTS

Location Area 2

Nokia Siemens Networks CT81482En01GLA0


Fig. 14 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 37)

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GSM Traffic Management

Simplified Steps of a Call Set-up in a GSM


Network
A- GMSC HLR MSC/VLR
PSTN
Subscriber

CALL SETUP (MSISDN)


ANALYSE NUMBER
CALL SETUP (MSISDN)

MSISDN

IMSI

MSRN
MSRN

CALL SETUP (MSRN)


PAGING

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Fig. 15 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 39)

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GSM Traffic Management

Release 4 PSTN Originated Call Set-up (Simplified)

HLR
PAGING IMSI
MSISDN
MSRN MSRN
VLR
MSS B BICC
BSC VMSS target MSISDN MSS A
BNC-ID,
MGW A address
Action: bearer
GSM establishment
transport type
Bearer confirmation
codecs
H.248 H.248 MSISDN
sp

MGW selection
ee

BNC-ID MGW selection


Context ID
ch

Codecs
BNC-ID
Context ID
PSTN/ISDN
Bearer confirmation Bearer confirmation
pa

Etc. th
RNC pa
th

ch
ee
MGW sp
User plane setup signaling
MSISDN
ATM MSISDN
WCDMA
MGW speech path MGW
B A

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Fig. 17 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 43)

Fixed slide used in course documentation

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GSM Traffic Management

Intra Cell - Intra BSC Handover

Air A

BSC TC
BTS

Old Channel

New Channel

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Fig. 18 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 47)

The smallest of the handovers is the intra-cell handover where the


subscriber is handed over to another traffic channel (generally in
another frequency) within the same cell. In this case, the BSC
controlling the cell makes the decision to perform handover.

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GSM Traffic Management

Inter Cell - Intra BSC Handover

Air A

BTS BSC TC

BTS

Old Cell / BTS New Cell / BTS

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Fig. 19 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 49)

In this case, the handover process is controlled by the BSC. The traffic
connection with cell 1 is released when the connection with cell 2 is set
up successfully.

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GSM Traffic Management

Inter Cell - Inter BSC Handover

New Cell / BTS


Air A

BSC TC
BTS

MSC VLR

BSC TC
BTS

Old Cell / BTS

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Fig. 20 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 51)

In this case, the handover process is carried out by the MSC, but the
decision to make the handover is still done by the first BSC. The
connection with the first BSC (and BTS) is released when the
connection with the new BSC (and BTS) is set up successfully.

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GSM Traffic Management

Inter MSC Handover

New Cell / BTS


Air A

BSC TC
BTS
MSC VLR

BSC TC
BTS MSC VLR

Old Cell / BTS

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Fig. 21 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 53)

The anchor MSC/VLR receives the handover information from the BSS.
It recognises that the destination is within the domain of another MSC
and sends a Handover Request to the target MSC via the signalling
network. The target MSC answers by generating a HON and sends it to
the anchor MSC/VLR, which performs a digit analysis in order to obtain
the necessary routing information. This information allows the serving
MSC/VLR to connect the target MSC/VLR. When the two MSCs are
connected, the call is transferred to a new route.
In practice, the handover number is similar to the roaming number. The
subscriber number identifies the serving MSC and it is only in temporary
use during the handover. Moreover, the roaming number and the
handover number have a similar purpose, that is, connecting two
MSCs.

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GSM Traffic Management

Intersystem Handover

GSM900/1800

BSC

Inter-System
Handover
MSC

RNC

WCDMA FDD

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Fig. 23 (TM5108-02AEN01GLA01 GSM Traffic Management, 55)

GSM/UMTS networks support handovers between the systems. This is


important for coverage reasons since UMTS networks are expected to
increase coverage gradually. The inter-system handover is sometimes
performed based on the subscribers service activation and might thus
be dependent on the application used. This type of function further
allows operators to enhance customer experience of the mobile
network.
There are two types of Inters-system handover in GSM/UMTS
networks. It is possible to perform a handover from GSM BSS to
UTRAN or from UTRAN to GSM BSS. Compared to other types of
handovers this introduces new challenges since the handover is
performed between two substantially different network technologies.
The basic concept is still the same. If a MS/UE needs to perform a
handover from UTRAN to BSS, it must receive neighbouring cell
information. The information is necessary to measure candidate GSM
cells. Based on measurement reports, the UTRAN Radio Network
Controller (RNC) makes a handover decision. Resources are reserved
in the BSS and messages sent to the UE containing the hand over
commands. The UE now switches to using GSM functionality.

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