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Mobile Network Infrastructure and Supporting Systems

For any cellular network, the procedures can be split into different requirements. The basic requirements include categories for: Establishing the radio connection to the network. Managing the location of the individual users. Establishing a full call connection. There are also extra procedures required for: Establishing a packet data session (e.g., for accessing the Internet) Sending text messages Handling supplementary services

Overall GSM System Architecture

Handset functional blocks

Types: 1. Basic phone. 2. Smart phone or VAS phone. 3. Connected computing devices.

4. PDA and Pocket PC.

Overall GSM System Architecture

Radio access: The radio access part of the network consists of a set of base transceiver stations (BTS) that provides the radio communication with the mobile handset.

Core network: The radio access network connects to the core network at an element known as the mobile switching center (MSC).

GPRS Network Elements

Additional elements are required to provide the General Packet Radio Services (GPRS), including core network GPRS support nodes (GSNs), comprising the Serving GSN (SGSN), and Gateway GSN (GGSN). The packet control unit (PCU) is a key element of BSS for GPRS and is located in the BSC. Note that the packet control unit (PCU) is a key element of BSS for GPRS and is located in the BSCC.

The GSM Radio Network Elements (BSS)

The GSM base station subsystem.

Enhanced Data Rates for Global Evolution (EDGE ) (2.5 G)

EDGE is a technology at the air interface to GSM that provides an improved modulation scheme and improved spectrum efficiency. EDGE uses 8 Phase Shift Keying rather than standard GSM Gaussian Minimum Shift Keying. This has the effect of increasing data rates, with rates as

high as 473 kbps in a 200-kHz GSM carrier.

The main architecture requirement for EDGE is usually just a card change or software upgrade for the BTS as long as the BTS was purchased after the late 1990s. Edge involves no core network changes.

The UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN)

Connecting the Radio Access Network Elements Together

Circuit-Switched Core Networks

The MSC provides the interface between

the radio system and the fixed network,

performing all necessary functions to handle CS services to and from mobile terminals. For incoming calls, the GMSC provides routing to the appropriate MSC where the destination mobile terminal is located. The visitor location register (VLR) is used by an MSC to retrieve information for mobile terminals currently in its area.


The home location register (HLR) contains subscriber information such as: 1. The IMSI (International Mobile Subscriber ID) 2. (MSISDN) Mobile Station ISDN numbers (telephone numbers) 3. Packet Data Protocol addresses for GPRS 4. Location indicators for location services 5. Information on service access and restrictions. Authentication Center (AuC): The AuC stores data for each subscriber to allow the subscriber (IMSI) to be authenticated and to allow ciphering of communication over the radio path. In short, it allows the mobile to use the network. Equipment ID Register (EIR). The EIR is responsible for storing the International Mobile Equipment IDs (IMEIs) in the GSM system. These classify equipment as white-, gray-, or blacklisted, and thus enable service to be prevented to stolen or uncertified terminals.

The packet-switched domain

GSM or GPRS core network connections

GSM Procedures and Mobility Management States

GSM Idle Mode

The Mobile in Dedicated Mode

In dedicated mode, the mobile is usually engaged in a call (alternatively, it may be involved in other transactions such as text messaging (SMS) or performing a location update).

Dedicated mode implies that there is a two-way dedicated channel assigned to the mobile.

In this situation, moving to a new cell is referred to as a handover (as opposed to idle mode cell reselection) and it involves more complex processes. It is the network that makes the decision and will, at the appropriate time, command the mobile to change to a new cell to continue with the call. This decision is based on several factors associated with: 1. Uplink radio signal conditions (assessed by BSC) 2. Downlink radio signal conditions (assessed by mobile) 3. How the mobile is receiving other neighboring cells (downlink)

1- mobile monitors serving and neighbor cell signals; 2- measurement report sent to BSC every 1/2 second; 3- on reaching A, neighbor cell is assessed as the better cell to use; 4- BSC instigates handover; 5- new connection made via the neighbor cell (new serving cell) and BSC; 6- the old connection is dropped).

Location and Routing Area Updates

Location update (new MSC/VLR area)

Calls from Mobile Networks

Calls from Mobile User

Handover Types

Messaging Platforms

Short message service center

Message Types

Short Message Service SMS 1. Mobile Terminated Point-to-Point 2. Mobile Originated Point-to-Point 3. Enhanced Messaging Service (EMS) 4. SMS Cell Broadcast

5. The Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS)

Operational and Business Support

Support systems are required for: 1. 2. 3. Network management: Operations and maintenance Network fault handling Infrastructure management Customer service: Customer handling Orders handling Billing Business management: Sales and marketing Finance Personnel Logistics

Services billed in fixed and mobile networks