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GSM Architecture Overview

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

It provides an overview of the GSM network architecture. This
includes a brief explanation of the different network subsystems
and a description of the functionality of the elements within each
of the subsystems. Topics include:
General architecture overview
The Mobile Station (MS) Subsystem and Elements
The Base Station Subsystem (BSS) and Elements
The Network Subsystem (NSS) and Elements
Introduction to network interfaces

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

A GSM network is made up of three subsystems:
The Mobile Station (MS)
The Base Station Sub-system (BSS) comprising a BSC and
several BTSs
The Network and Switching Sub-system (NSS) comprising an
MSC and associated registers

The interfaces defined between each of these sub systems include:
'A' interface between NSS and BSS
'Abis' interface between BSC and BTS (within the BSS)
'Um' air interface between the BSS and the MS

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

MSC Mobile Switching Center
BSS Base Station Sub-system
BSC Base Station Controller
HLR Home Location Register
BTS Base Transceiver Station
VLR Visitor Location Register
TRX Transceiver
AuC Authentication Center
MS Mobile Station
EIR Equipment Identity Register
OMC Operations and Maintenance Center
PSTN Public Switched Telephone Network

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Mobile Station
The Mobile Station (MS) consists of the physical equipment used by a
PLMN subscriber to connect to the network. It comprises the Mobile
Equipment (ME) and the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM). The ME
forms part of the Mobile Termination (MT) which, depending on the
application and services, may also include various types of Terminal
Equipment (TE) and associated Terminal Adapter (TA).

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

The IMSI identifies the subscriber within the GSM network while
the MS ISDN is the actual telephone number a caller (possibly in
another network) uses to reach that person.

Security is provided by the use of an authentication key and by
the transmission of a temporary subscriber identity (TMSI)
across the radio interface where possible to avoid using the
permanent IMSI identity.

The IMEI may be used to block certain types of equipment from
accessing the network if they are unsuitable and also to check
for stolen equipment.

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
MS and SIM
Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

The mobile station consists of :
mobile equipment (ME)
subscriber identity module (SIM)

The SIM stores permanent and temporary data about the mobile,
the subscriber and the network, including :
The International Mobile Subscribers Identity (IMSI)
MS ISDN number of subscriber
Authentication key (Ki) and algorithms for authentication check

The mobile equipment has a unique International Mobile
Equipment Identity (IMEI), which is used by the EIR

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Base Station Subsystem (BSS)
Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

The BSS comprises:
Base Station Controller (BSC)
One or more Base Transceiver Stations (BTSs)

The purpose of the BTS is to:
provide radio access to the mobile stations
manage the radio access aspects of the system

BTS contains:
Radio Transmitter/Receiver (TRX)
Signal processing and control equipment
Antennas and feeder cables

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

The BSC:
allocates a channel for the duration of a call
maintains the call:
monitors quality
controls the power transmitted by the BTS or MS
generates a handover to another cell when required

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Network Switching System (NSS)
The NSS combines the call routing switches (MSCs and GMSC)
with database registers required to keep track of subscribers
movements and use of the system. Call routing between MSCs
is taken via existing PSTN or ISDN networks. Signaling between
the registers uses Signaling System No. 7 protocol.

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview

Functions of the MSC:

Switching calls, controlling calls and logging calls
Interface with PSTN, ISDN, PSPDN
Mobility management over the radio network and other networks
Radio Resource management - handovers between BSCs
Billing Information

Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Q1. Name the interfaces used between
Mobile and BTS
Section 1 GSM Architecture Overview
Access Network

Section 2 Access Network
The Trainee will be able to understand:

Different BTS configuration commonly used in the network
Advantages of the configuration and optimal use of the trunks
Abis mapping

Section 2 Access Network
Access network is a connection between MS and NSS, comprise of
BTSs & BSCs. It is responsible for radio management.

BSC looks towards MSC through single A-interface as being the
entity responsible for communicating with Mobile Stations in a
certain area. The radio equipment of a BSS may support one or
more cells.

A BSS may consist of one or more base stations, where an A-bis-
interface is implemented.

Section 2 Access Network
BSS Configuration
Collocated BTS
Remote BTS
Daisy Chain BTS
Star Configuration
Loop Configuration
Section 2 Access Network

Collocated BTS: BTS is situated along with BSC or the MSC and no
additional E1 link is required.

Section 2 Access Network

Remote BTS : BTS is situated in a stand alone position and additional E1
links are required to connect to BSC.

Section 2 Access Network
Daisy Chain
Section 2 Access Network
Star Configuration
Section 2 Access Network
Loop Configuration
Section 2 Access Network
Comparison of Different Configurations
Daisy Chain: Easy to implement, effective utilization of
transmission links but if one of the link fails, all the BTSs
connected in the chain will went off.
Star Configuration: Easy to implement but poor utilization of
links. Each BTS require one E1 to connect to BSC. But if link
goes down only individual BTS will be affected.
Loop Configuration: Slightly difficult to implement but
effective utilization of E1 links. Even if one link goes off BTS will
continue to communicate with the network from the other side.

Section 2 Access Network
BSS Interfaces
Air Interface: Radio Interface between the BTS and
Mobile the supports frequency hopping and

A Interface: Interface carried by a 2-Mb link between
NSS and BSS. At this interface level,
transcoding takes place.

OMC Interface: X25 Link.
Section 2 Access Network

Section 2 Access Network
Abis Interface (BTS - BSC)
If the BTS and BSC are not combined, A-bis interface will be used.
Otherwise, BS interface will be used. Several frame unit
channels are multiplexed on the same PCM support and BSC
and BTS can be remote from each other. Its main functions are:
Conversion of 260 bit encoded blocks (corresponding to 160x8
bit samples for 20ms)
Encoded block synchronization
Vocal activity detection
Alarm dispatch to BSC via PCM
Test loop back operation
Section 2 Access Network

Section 2 Access Network
Q1. In How many ways BTSs can be connected and which
configuration gives the optimal solution?

Q2. What is a difference between BS interface and Abis interface?

Q3. How many time slots are occupied by 1TRX on a PCM frame?
Section 2 Access Network
NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology
The Trainee will be able to understand:

Terminology used in Network Sub System
Protocols and Interfaces inside NSS
Call routing and circuit groups
Switching modules
Stand alone and integrated HLR
Echo canceller and TRAU location
Authentication, Ciphering, OMC, Billing center
Transit Switch

Section 3 NSS Topology
Network Sub System can be considered as a heart of the GSM
Network. All the major activities like switching of calls, routing,
security functions, call handling, charging, operation &
maintenance, handover decisions, takes place within the entities
of NSS.

Various kinds of interfaces are used to communicate between the
different entities. Different methods are used to optimize and
provide the quality network with the minimum operating cost.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Network Switching System (NSS)
Key elements of the NSS:
Mobile Switching Center (MSC)
Visitor Location Register (VLR)
Home Location Register (HLR)
Authentication Center (AuC)
Equipment Identity Register (EIR)
Gateway MSC (GMSC)

These elements are interconnected by
means of an SS7 network

Section 3 NSS Topology
NSS Identifier
IMEI International Mobile Equipment Identifier.

The IMEI is an internationally-unique serial number allocated to the
MS hardware at the time of manufacture. It is registered by the
network operator and (optionally) stored in the AuC for validation
IMEI = TAC + FAC + SNR +sp
TAC = Type Approval Code by central GSM body
FAC = Final Assembly Code, identifies the manufacturer
SNR = Serial Number, unique six digit number
sp = spare for future use

Section 3 NSS Topology

IMSI International Mobile Subscriber Identifier

When a subscriber registers with a network operator, a unique
subscriber IMSI identifier is issued and stored in the SIM of the
MS as well as in the HLR . An MS can only function fully if it is
operated with a valid SIM inserted into an MS with a valid IMEI.
IMSI consist of three parts:
MCC = Mobile Country Code
MNC = Mobile Network Code
MSIN = Mobile Station Identification Number

Section 3 NSS Topology

TMSI Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity

A TMSI is used to protect the true identity (IMSI) of a subscriber. It
is issued by and stored within a VLR (not in the HLR) when an
IMSI attach takes place or a Location Area (LA) update takes
place. At the MS it is stored in the MSs SIM. The issued TMSI
only has validity within a specific LA.

Since TMSI has local significance, the structure may be chosen by
the administration. It should not be more than four octets.

Section 3 NSS Topology

MSISDN Mobile Station ISDN Number

The MSISDN represents the true or dialled number associated
with the subscriber. It is assigned to the subscriber by the
network operator at registration and is stored in the SIM.

According to the CCITT recommendations, it is composed in the
following way:
CC = Country Code
NDC = National Destination Code
SN = Subscriber Number

Section 3 NSS Topology

MSRN Mobile Station Roaming Number

The MSRN is a temporary, location-dependant ISDN number
issued by the parent VLR to all MSs within its area of
responsibility. It is stored in the VLR and associated HLR but not
in the MS. The MSRN is used by the VLR associated MSC for
call routing within the MSC/VLR service area.

Section 3 NSS Topology

LAI Location Area Identity

Each Location Area within the PLMN has an associated
internationally unique identifier (LAI). The LAI is broadcast
regularly by BTSs on the Broadcast Control channel (BCCH),
thus uniquely identifying each cell with
an associated LA.
MCC = Mobile Country Code, same as in IMSI
MNC = Mobile Network Code, same as in IMSI
LAC = Location Area Code, identifies a location area within a
GSM PLMN network. Maximum length of LAC is 16 bits.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Mobile Switching Center (MSC)
The Mobile services Switching Center (MSC) performs the
telephony switching functions of the system. It also controls calls
to and from other telephony and data systems, such as the
Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and Public Land
Mobile Network (PLMN).

Difference between a MSC and an exchange in a fixed network is -
MSC has to take into account the impact of the allocation of
radio resources and the mobile nature of the subscribers and
has to perform in addition, at least the following procedures:

Section 3 NSS Topology

required for location registration
procedures required for handover

An MSC can be connected to only one VLR. Therefore, all mobile
stations that move around under base stations connected to the
MSC are always managed by the same VLR.

An MSC would communicate typically with one EIR. While it is
possible for an MSC to communicate to multiple EIRs, this is
highly unlikely since the EIR provides a centralized and
geographic independent function.

Section 3 NSS Topology

The MSC consults an HLR to determine how a call should be
routed to a given mobile station:
For incoming calls to a mobile station, the MSC would typically
consult one HLR.
For mobile-to-mobile calls in larger networks, a MSC could
consult HLRs of other systems to help minimize the trunk paths
to the other mobile station.

A given MSC can be interconnected to other MSCs to support inter-
MSC handovers
Section 3 NSS Topology

The following are typical MSC functions in a cellular system:

Provide switched connections with PSTN
Provide switched connections between mobile subscribers
Provide coordination over signaling with mobiles
Coordinate the location and handover process
Provide custom services to mobile users
Collect billing data
Section 3 NSS Topology
MSC/Fixed Network


Section 3 NSS Topology
Switching In MSC
Signaling network is separated from the speech network and
consists of

signaling Links (SL)
signaling Point (SP)
signaling Transfer Part (STP).

Section 3 NSS Topology

Telephony system contains:

Group Switch to switch the calls,
ST to perform signaling in accordance with SS7
Trunk interfaces for interfacing the PCM.

Group switch provides a semi permanent connection between time
slot (PCM) and ST.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Signaling Point (SP)
SP provides the functions of signaling and transmit and receive
messages to and from different nodes. Each SP in the network will
have an identification code termed as signaling Point Code (SPC).
Section 3 NSS Topology
Signaling Transfer Point (STP)
Signaling Transfer Part is signaling point that only transfers messages
from one signaling point (SP) to another.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Signaling Link (SL)
Signaling Link is the 64kbps link interconnecting two signaling Points
and provides the functions of message error control and message
sequencing. Each signaling Link has an SLC (signaling Link Code),
which identifies the signaling Link with in the signaling Link Set.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Service Switching Point (SSP)
The MSC contains:
The Service Switching Point
One or more radio control point

SSP handles the usual switching function and can be connected
via 2Mbps PCM link with:
Other exchanges of fixed PSTN or mobile PLMN,
Points on the SS7 signaling network,
X.25 network


Section 3 NSS Topology

The OA&M network,
The Intelligent network,
PSTN via user data channels and signaling channels using ISUP
and R2 protocols,
Other elements of the GSM

Section 3 NSS Topology

Switching Function of SSP:

Main control,
Switching matrix,
PCM multiplex connection,
Service circuits
Operation and maintenance
Establishing and releasing section of the links from and to
Finding circuits to the BSS; special circuit groups are created.
SSP selects an incoming and outgoing circuit.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Call Routing
If a number received is a national or international number, the address
information is passed to the SSP.

If the number received is an HPLMN (Home PLMN), the RCP asks
the HLR for a roaming number (MSRN). This MSRN is passed to the
SSP for routing.

If the number received is an emergency service number, the
originating geographic area is attached to it and the combined
information passed to the SSP.


Section 3 NSS Topology

In the SSP the number received from RCP follow the standard
translation process:

Preliminary analysis: Selection of a translator (national,
Translation: Determination of a routing depend on the first digits
Routing: Determination of an outing circuit group.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Circuit Groups
Call routes from the MSC through circuit groups. Different circuit
groups are created inside it:

Group for the PSTN (according to the exchange)
Group for the BSCs
Group for the Supplementary services
Group for the IWF

Section 3 NSS Topology
Section 3 NSS Topology
Section 3 NSS Topology
A-Interface (MSC BSC)
The interface between the MSC and its BSS is specified in the 08-series
of GSM Technical Specifications. The BSS-MSC interface is used to
carry information concerning:

BSS management;
call handling;
mobility management.

Section 3 NSS Topology
B-Interface (MSC VLR)
The VLR is the location and management data base for the mobile
subscribers roaming in the area controlled by the associated
MSC(s). Whenever the MSC needs data related to a given mobile
station currently located in its area, it interrogates the VLR. When
a mobile station initiates a location updating procedure with an
MSC, the MSC informs its VLR which stores the relevant
information. This procedure occurs whenever an MS roams to
another location area. Also, when a subscriber activates a
specific supplementary service or modifies some data attached to
a service, the MSC informs (via the VLR) the HLR which stores
these modifications and updates the VLR if required.

Section 3 NSS Topology
C-Interface (HLR - MSC)

The Gateway MSC must interrogate the HLR of the required subscriber
to obtain routing information for a call or a short message directed to
that subscriber.

Section 3 NSS Topology
D-Interface (HLR - VLR)
This interface is used to exchange the data related to the location of the
mobile station and to the management of the subscriber. The main
service provided to the mobile subscriber is the capability to set up or
to receive calls within the whole service area. To support this, the
location registers have to exchange data. The VLR informs the HLR of
the location of a mobile station managed by the latter and provides it
(either at location updating or at call set-up) with the roaming number
of that station.

The HLR sends to the VLR all the data needed to support the service to
the mobile subscriber. The HLR then instructs the previous VLR to
cancel the location registration of this subscriber. Exchanges of data
may occur when the mobile subscriber requires a particular service,
when he wants to change some data attached to his subscription or
when some parameters of the subscription are modified by
administrative means

Section 3 NSS Topology
E-Interface (MSC - MSC)
When a mobile station moves from one MSC area to another
during a call, a handover procedure has to be performed in order
to continue the communication. For that purpose the MSCs have
to exchange data to initiate and then to realize the operation.
After the handover operation has been completed, the MSCs will
exchange information to transfer A-interface signaling as
necessary. When a short message is to be transferred between
a Mobile Station and Short Message Service Centre (SC), in
either direction, this interface is used to transfer the message
between the MSC serving the Mobile Station and the MSC which
acts as the interface to the SC.

Section 3 NSS Topology
F-Interface (MSC - EIR)
This interface is used between MSC and EIR to exchange data, in order
that the EIR can verify the status of the IMEI retrieved from the Mobile

Section 3 NSS Topology
G-Interface (VLR - VLR)
When a mobile subscriber moves from a VLR area to another Location
Registration procedure will happen. This procedure may include the
retrieval of the IMSI and authentication parameters from the old VLR.

Section 3 NSS Topology
H-Interface (HLR - AUC)
When an HLR receives a request for authentication and ciphering data
for a Mobile Subscriber and it does not hold the requested data, the
HLR requests the data from the AuC. The protocol used to transfer the
data over this interface is not standardized.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Switch Modules
Switch has three major types of equipment modules:
Switching module (SM)
Communication module (CM)
Administrative module (AM)

Section 3 NSS Topology

Switching Module (SM):
All external lines, trunks, and special services circuits are
terminated at the switching module. The analog and digital
signals are converted to the digital format used inside the switch.
The SM performs almost 95% of the call processing and
maintenance functions including:

Line and trunk scanning
Tone generation
Call progress supervision
Routine maintenance and self-maintenance.

Section 3 NSS Topology

The SM also provides subscriber calling features including:
call waiting
abbreviated dialing
call diversion
conference calls.

SM further has two components:

1. Control units - Control all activities within the SM, such as call
processing and maintenance functions.
2. Peripheral units - Perform testing functions and provide
customers and other exchanges access to the switch.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Communication Module (CM):
The CM serves as the hub (focal point) for all inter module
communication in a switch. The CM has four main functions:

1. Call switching - The CM interconnects the paths between
modules to complete telephone calls and to relay data.

2. Message switching - The CM provides paths to send
information between processors to process calls, maintain
records, and perform system tasks.


Section 3 NSS Topology

3. Network timing - The CM provides accurate timing and
synchronization for the switch.

4. Fast pump - The CM provides resources to quickly download (pump)
an SMs software if needed.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Administrative Module (AM):
The AM controls the CM and communicates with all the SMs
(through the CM). The AM monitors itself and the CM for
malfunctions. If there are any problems, they are reported to
maintenance personnel.

The AM performs resource allocation and processing functions that
are done more efficiently on a centralized basis such as:
Call routing for inter module and intra module calls
Administrative data processing/billing data


Section 3 NSS Topology

Traffic measurement reports/system performance reports
Memory management
System maintenance
Maintaining file records of changes to the system Software Release.
Personnel interface/system monitoring
Allocating trunks for call processing.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology
Home Location Register
HLR is a database that stores subscription and set of functions
needed to manage subscriber data in one PLMN area. Any
administrative action by the service provider or changes made by
subscriber is first carried out on the HLR and then update the
VLR. Following are the subscriber data which frequently
- Identification number MSISDN & IMSI
- Service restriction
- Teleservices
- Bearer services
- Supplementary services

Section 3 NSS Topology

Beside the permanent data it also include dynamic data of home
subscriber including VLR address, call forward number and call
barring numbers.

Triplets are also stored in the HLR for the authentication purpose.

The HLR communicates with other nodes: VLR, AUC, GMSC & SMS SC
via MAP (Mobile Access Protocol). To support this communication
HLR needs MTP and SCCP

Section 3 NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology
MAP (Mobile Application Protocol)
The only way via which HLR communicates with other GSM nodes is
Mobile Access Protocol. Number of functional blocks exist to
support different MAP operations eg HLCAP is used for location
cancellation or HLUAP is required for location updating. Other
functions defined on the MAP are:
- Inter MSC Handover and subsequent handover
- Update HLR and VLR
- Fault Recovery
- Management and handling of supplementary services.


Section 3 NSS Topology

- Support of Short Message Services.
- Call establishment / delivery
- Security related data.
- Retrieval of subscriber data during call setup.

HLR also needs to communicate with GMSC, VLR, AUC and SMS-SC, for
which MTP and SCCP is essential.

Section 3 NSS Topology
SCCP (Signaling Connection Control Point)
All MAP messaging use SCCP to analyze the GT (Global Title) of
incoming information. If GT belongs to anther node, then SCCP
will use the services of MTP (Message Transfer Part) to reroute
the message.

SCCP must have the GT analysis to terminate and route MAP
messages from all nodes it communicates with.

To find out the DPC, SCCP looks in a routing case translation
table. The information about the DPC is then sent to MTP which
sends the message to the appropriate SP.

Section 3 NSS Topology
MTP (Message Transfer Part)
MTP must be defined to allow the nodes to communicate with each

The MTP provides the means for reliable transport and delivery of
UP (User Part) information across the No. 7 network eg ISDN
User part (ISUP), the Telephone User Part (TUP), Signaling
Connection Control Part (SCCP), Interworking function User Part
(IWUP) and Data User Part (DUP)

Section 3 NSS Topology

MTP has the ability to react to system and network failure that
affect the user information.

MTP further has three functional levels:
1. MTP Level 1 Signaling data link
2. MTP Level 2 Signaling link
3. MTP Level 3 Signaling network
Section 3 NSS Topology

HLR connects with MSC via C interface, VLR via D interface
Section 3 NSS Topology

HLR can be configured in two ways:
1. Integrated with MSC

Section 3 NSS Topology

1. Hs
2. Stand Alone HLR (External Database)

Section 3 NSS Topology
Integrated Vs Stand Alone HLR
The Integrated HLR is accessed by other MSCs/ VLRs via MAP, and
the switch can use MAP to query other off switch HLRs. The main
advantages with an integrated HLR solution at this early stage are:
Efficient use of HW and lower HW investments
Fewer physical connections required due to fewer physical nodes
Less capacity required in No. 7 network as major part of HLR
signaling is internal within MSC/VLR/HLR

Section 3 NSS Topology

A single fault will affect a smaller number of subscribers than if
standalone HLR is used

Major drawbacks are:
Less processing capacity available for MSC/VLR.
Additional Switching capacity will be required earlier
Migration to standalone HLR (which is to be preferred in a mature
larger network) will induce major changes in the network
Administration of subscriptions
Operation and maintenance for HLR geographically distributed

Section 3 NSS Topology

In Stand Alone HLR, call processing activities are not performed by the
switch. Only HLR queries are handled via the GSM standard MAP
messages coming over signaling links from other Mobile Switching
Centers (MSCs) in the wireless network.

Section 3 NSS Topology


All HLR data is centralized, thus simplifying its ongoing
maintenance and operation
High HLR Capacity
High processing capacity
On going enhancement

There are some drawbacks with standalone HLR
A fault in a HLR will affect many subscribers
A fault in a HLR will increase the signaling substantially in
the whole signaling network

Section 3 NSS Topology
HLR is responsible for:
Connection of mobile subscribers and definition of
corresponding subscriber data.
Subscription to basic services.
Registration/deletion of supplementary services.
Activation/deactivation of supplementary services.
Interrogation of supplementary services status.


Section 3 NSS Topology

Functions for analysis of mobile subscriber numbers
(MSISDN, IMSI, additional MSISDN) and other types of
Statistical functions for collecting data regarding the
performance of the system.
Functions for communication with GMSC and VLR using
the No. 7 signaling system and MAP
Handling of authentication and ciphering data for mobile
subscribers including communication with an authentication


Section 3 NSS Topology

Get Password/Register Password
Alert Service Center
Provide Roaming Number
Send Routing Information for SMS
Send Routing Information for GMSC
Set Message Waiting Data
Section 3 NSS Topology
Visitor Location Register
It is a subscriber database containing the information about all the MS
currently located in the MSC service area. VLR can be considered as
a distributed HLR in the case of a roaming subscriber. If MS moves
into a new service area (MSC), VLR requests the HLR to provide the
relevant data and store it, for making the calls for that MS.

VLR is always integrated with MSC to avoid the signaling load on the

It can also be viewed as a subset of a HLR.
Section 3 NSS Topology

VLR connects with MSC via B interface, HLR via D interface and with
another VLR via G interface.
Section 3 NSS Topology
VLR is responsible for
Setting up and controlling calls along with supplementary
Continuity of speech (Handover)
Location updating and registration
Updating the mobile subscriber data.
Maintain the security of the subscriber by allocating TMSI
Section 3 NSS Topology

Receiving and delivering short messages

Handling signaling to and from
- BSC and MSs using BSSMAP
- other networks eg PSTN, ISDN using TUP
IMEI check

Retrieve data from HLR like authentication data, IMSI,
ciphering key


Section 3 NSS Topology

Retrieve information for incoming calls.

Retrieve information for outgoing calls.

Attach/Detach IMSI

Search for mobile subscriber, paging and complete the call.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Security Feature
Both the users and the network operator must be protected against
undesirable intrusion of third party. As a consequence, a
security feature is implemented in the telecommunication
services. The following parts of the system have been
reinforced and provide the various security features:
1. Access to the network authentication
2. Radio part ciphering
3. Mobile equipment equipment identification
4. IMSI temporary identity
Section 3 NSS Topology
Authentication Center (AUC)
AUC is always integrated with HLR for the purpose of the
authentication. At subscription time, the Subscriber
Authentication Key (Ki) is allocated to the subscriber, together
with the IMSI. The Ki is stored in the AUC and used to provide
the triplets, same Ki is also stored in the SIM.

AUC stores the following information for each subscriber
1. The IMSI number,
2. The individual authentication key Ki,
3. A version of A3 and A8 algorithm.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Authentication is required at each registration, at each call setup
attempt (mobile originated or terminated), at the time of location
updating, before supplementary service activation, de-activation ,

HLR uses the IMSI to communicate with AUC, triplets are
requested in sets of five.


Section 3 NSS Topology

In AUC following steps are used to produce one triplet:

1. A non- predictable random number, RAND, is produced
2. RAND & Ki are used to calculate the Signed Response
(SRES) and the Ciphering Key (Kc)
3. RAND, SRES and Kc are delivered together to HLR as one

HLR delivers these triplets to MSC/VLR on request in such a way
that VLR always has at least one triplet.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Authentication Procedure:

The MSC/VLR transmits the RAND (128 bits) to the mobile. The MS
computes the SRES (32 bits) using RAND, subscriber authentication
key Ki (128 bits) and algorithm A3. MS sends back this SERS to AUC
and is tested for validity.
Section 3 NSS Topology
A3 A8
SIM Card
Section 3 NSS Topology

The user data and signaling data passes over the radio interface are ciphered to
prevent intrusion. The ciphered key (Kc) previously computed by the AUC is
sent from the VLR to the BSS after the mobile has been authenticated. The
Kc is also computed in the MS and in the way both ends of the radio link (MS
and BSS) possess the same key.

Section 3 NSS Topology


For the authentication procedure, when SRES is being calculated, the
Ciphering Key (Kc), is calculating too, using the algorithm A8.

The Kc is used by the MS and the BTS in order to cipher and decipher the
bit stream that is sent on the radio path.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Speech, data,sig
Choice of random no
RAND (128 bits)
Speech, data,sig
Kc (64
Ciphering Command
Ciphered Data
Section 3 NSS Topology
Subscriber Confidentiality
The subscriber identity (IMSI), since is considered sensitive
information, is not normally transmitted on the radio channel. A
local, temporary identity is used for all interchanges. The identity
(TMSI) is assigned after each change of authenticated location.
For other cases:
Call set-up
Use of supplementary services
Use of SMS


Section 3 NSS Topology

A TMSI is allocated when the one supplied by the MS is considered out of
date or when the MS does not provide the TMSI.

Transmission of the TMSI over the traffic channel is ciphered.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Equipment Identification Register (EIR)

Purpose of this feature is to make sure that no stolen or unauthorized
mobile equipment is used in the network.

EIR is a database that stores a unique International Mobile Equipment
Identity (IMEI) number for each item of mobile equipment.

Section 3 NSS Topology

The MSC/VLR requests the IMEI from the MS and sends it to a
On request of IMEI, the EIR makes use of three possible defined
- A white list: containing all number of all equipment identities
that have been allocated in the different participating countries.
- A black list: containing all equipment identities that are
considered to be barred.
- A grey list: containing (operators decision) faulty or non-
approved mobile equipment.
Result is sent to MSC/VLR and influences the decision about
access to the system.
Section 3 NSS Topology
Storage of all number
series mobile equipment
that have been allocated
in the different GSM -
Storage of all grey/black
listed mobile equipment
Storage of the
equipment identity
Call Setup
IMEI Request
Sends IMEI
Check IMEI
Access/ barring info
call setup
Section 3 NSS Topology
Echo Canceller
In order to eliminate echo effects (noticeable by the mobile
subscribers while in conversation with PSTN subscribers)
caused by the time delay due to coding and decoding of signal
processing, group of echo cancellers are installed even for local

This is rarely a problem when communicating between two MSs.
However, when connecting to a PSTN telephone, the signal
must pass through a 4-wire to 2-wire hybrid transformer.


Section 3 NSS Topology

The function of this transformer is - some of the energy at the 4-
wire receive side from the mobile is coupled back to the 4-wire
transmit side and thus speech is retransmitted back to the

As a result, all calls on to the PSTN must pass through an echo
canceller to remove what would otherwise be a noticeable and
annoying echo.


Section 3 NSS Topology

The process of canceling echo involves two steps:

First, as the call is set up, the echo canceller employs a digital
adaptive filter to set up a model or characterization of the voice
signal and echo passing through the echo canceller. As a voice
path passes back through the cancellation system, the echo
canceller compares the signal and the model to dynamically
cancel existing echo. It removes more than 80 to 90 percent of
the echo across the network.
The second process utilizes a non-linear processor (NLP) to
eliminate the remaining residual echo by attenuating the signal
below the noise floor.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Transcoder and Rate Adaptor Unit (TRAU)
The primary function of the TRAU is to convert 16kps (inc
signaling) GSM speech channels to 64kbps PCM channels in the
uplink direction and the reverse in the downlink direction. The
reason this process is necessary is because MSCs only switch
at the 64kbps channel level.

Section 3 NSS Topology
TRAU Locations
TRAU can be physically located in the BTS, BSC or MSC and hence leads
to a variety of installation configurations.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Advantages of Different Configurations
Case 1, TRAU at BTS: If the TRAU is installed at the BTS, each
16kbps GSM channel would need to be mapped to its own
64kbps PCM channel. This results in 75% of the transmission
bandwidth being wasted across both the Abis (BTS-BSC) and A
(BSC-MSC) interface.

Case 2, TRAU at BSC: If the TRAU is installed at the BSC, 16kbps
GSM channel mapped to 64kbps at the A (BSC-MSC) interface,
which increases the requirement of the Transmission trunks.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Case 3, TRAU at MSC: If the TRAU is placed at the MSC, as is generally
the case in current networks, a multiplexer can be placed at the BTS
which enables 4 x 16kbps GSM channels to be multiplexed onto one
64kbps PCM channel, using 4 x 16kbps ISDN D-channels. In this
configuration, only at arrival at the MSC is the 16-64kbps channel
conversion necessary, thereby maximizing the efficient usage of the
transmission medium by increasing the GSM channel throughput per
PCM 2048 bearer from 30 to 120 channels.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Operation And Maintenance Center (OMC)
The OMC centralizes all operations and maintenance activities for the MSCs and
BSSs using remote software control. It provides remote testing, operations,
and maintenance capabilities for the entire system from one central location.
Each BSS, MSC, HLR, VLR, EIR, and AUC can be monitored and controlled
from the OMC.

Section 3 NSS Topology
OMC Functional Architecture
Event/ Alarm
Section 3 NSS Topology

The OMC supports the following network management functions:

Event Management - General functions of the OMC include
operator input and output messages, application input
commands, and application output reports.

Fault Management - The OMC provides fault management such
as diagnostics and alarms for the MSC and BSS. It provides the
means to isolate and minimize the effects of faults in the network
thereby enabling the network to operate in efficient manner.


Section 3 NSS Topology

Security Management It provides an extensive range of features to
ensure that access to the OMC functions is restricted to relevant
The security features are as follows:
Password Authentication of OMC operator
Logging of OMC access attempt
Configurable user access restrictions
Automatic logoff

Section 3 NSS Topology

Configuration Management - Configuration management for the
BSS consists of generic download, non-volatile memory
download, database administration, and translations download.
For the MSC, software release updates, database administration
(route analysis, IMSI analysis table), and subscriber
administration (connect/disconnect) are supported.

Performance Management - Performance management supports
data collection (such as traffic data, handovers, statistics, plant
measurements, and volume data) and basic reporting.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Billing Center
Charging analysis is the process of analysing the Charging Case and then
ultimately generating the TT (Toll Ticketing) record so that an itemised bill can
be produced and then sent on to the customer.

The tariff structure consists of two parts:
The network access component
The network utilization component

Section 3 NSS Topology

The network utilization component is registered on a per call basis.
Charging starts at the moment the subscriber answers, or on connection
to an answering machine internally in the network.

The main elements are:
Use of GSM PLMNs
Use of national / international PSTNs
Use of connection between different networks
Use of the signaling system no.7

Section 3 NSS Topology

Depending on the type of call, one or more call tickets can be generated:

Outgoing call to fixed network: a call tickets is generated by the
originating MSC.
Incoming call from the fixed network: two call tickets are created: one in
the GMSC and another in the destination MSC. If a call forwarding
supplementary service is in operation, other call tickets are generated in
the MSC and the GMSC.


Section 3 NSS Topology

Outgoing call from a mobile subscriber to another mobile
subscriber belonging to same PLMN: three call tickets are
created: one in the originating MSC, one in the GMSC (which
is in this case is the originating MSC) and another in the
destination MSC.

Call tickets mainly register the following information:
2. Identity (MSISDN) and type (MSC or GMSC)
3. Mobile subscriber location identity
Section 3 NSS Topology

4. Other partys identity
5. Call type (incoming, outgoing, forwarded etc)
6. Call status
7. Teleservices and bearer service
8. Date and time
9. Call duration
Section 3 NSS Topology
Call Detail Record (CDRs)
Each call within the PLMN creates one or more call records
These records is generated by the MSC/GMSC originating the
The records are known as a Call Detail Records (CDRs)
CDRs contain the following information:
- Subscriber Identity
- Number called
- Call Length
- Route of call
Often referred to as Toll Tickets

Section 3 NSS Topology
Call Charge Procedure

Network supplies originating MS with CAI details
MS calculates AOC record using CAI details
This record acts as a toll ticket which tracks the call on its route
through various networks
Each call component can generate a separate CDR
The record passes along the backbone to the home network
Billing computer generates bills based on cumulative CDRs
HPLMN collects the charges
HPLM reimburses VPLMN using TAPs in accordance with
roaming agreement

Section 3 NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology

The Transferred Account Procedure (TAP) is the mechanism by which
operators exchange roaming billing information. This is how roaming
partners are able to bill each other for the use of networks and services
through a standard process.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Gateway MSC (GMSC)
Gateway MSC (GMSC) connects the PLMN with other networks and the
entry point for the mobile subscriber calls having the interrogation
facility. It has the function to obtain the information from the HLR
about the subscribers current location and reroute the calls

In case of the network having only on MSC, the same MSC work as the
GMSC, while in the case having more than one MSC, one dedicated
MSC works as GMSC.
Section 3 NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology
Roaming Number
A MSRN is used during the call setup phase for mobile terminating calls. Each
mobile terminating call enters the GMSC in the PLMN. The call is then re-
routed by the GMSC, to the MSC where the called mobile subscriber is
located. For this purpose, a unique number (MSRN) is allocated by the MSC
and provided to the GMSC.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Call Setup
Section 3 NSS Topology

1. GMSC receives a signaling message "Initial Address
Message" for the incoming call (MSISDN).
2. GMSC sends a signaling message to the HLR where the
subscriber data is stored (MSISDN).
3. The VLR address that corresponds to the subscriber location
and the IMSI are retrieved. HLR sends a signaling message
using the VLR address as the destination (IMSI).
4. VLR having received the message, requests MSC to seize an
idle MSRN and to associate it with the IMSI received. VLR
sends back the result to the HLR (MSRN).

Section 3 NSS Topology

5. HLR sends back the result to the GMSC (MSRN).
6. GMSC uses MSRN to re-route the call to the MSC. MSC performs
digit analysis on the received MSRN and find the association with
IMSI. The MSRN is released and the IMSI is used for the final
establishment of the call.

Section 3 NSS Topology
Transit Switch
When planning the trunk network architecture, it is important to take
into consideration the future expansion of the network.
Some factors that influence the trunk network configuration are:
Number of MSCs
Transmission costs
Traffic distribution
Traffic volume
PSTN tariffs

Section 3 NSS Topology

In case of a medium networks (having 5 - 10 MSCs), some of the
MSCs are used as transits for the others and the number of
direct links between the MSCs are restricted.

In case of large networks (having more than 10 MSCs), separate
transit exchanges are used. These are connected to all MSCs
and are working with load sharing.

Transit functionality is used for passing on calls to another node.
This provides a hierarchical structured network.
Section 3 NSS Topology

High Usage trunk
Section 3 NSS Topology

Traffic between MSCs and from MSCs to other networks is routed over two
MSCs in a similar way as is used for the small network. The TGMSCs
are used as interconnecting exchanges, since they have trunks to all
MSCs in the operators PLMN.

MSCs located in the same city area or in close cities are likely to be
interconnected by high usage routes, while traffic between distant MSCs
is likely more economically routed over the TMSCs.

Section 3 NSS Topology

The use of transit exchanges implies a more stable network structure and some
of the most important benefits are:
increased flexibility
enhanced reliability
easily expandable network
platform for functional development
lower handling costs
improved signaling network

Section 3 NSS Topology
Value Added Services
Value Added Services includes the following:
Point-to-Point Short Message Services
Cell Broadcast Short Message Service
The products associated with each of these services as Voice/Fax Mail
Pre-Paid SIM

well as the required interfaces into the core network elements are defined as:

Section 3 NSS Topology

Section 3 NSS Topology
Short Message Services (SMS)
The Point-to-Point and Cell Broadcast Short Message Services are implemented
using the Short Message Service Center (SMSC) and Cell Broadcast Center

SMSC is built around proven Open Systems Platforms from the UNIX based
computer platform to the MSC/HLR/VLR interfaces utilizing SS7.

Section 3 NSS Topology

Following are the services and functions for which SMSC is
capable of:
Alerting services to indicate call or message waiting
Paging interfaces providing full industry standard TAP
Information services - subscription to financial, weather, traffic,
etc. services
DTMF message entry via interactive voice prompts
Network administration including bill reminders, statements on
demand, network
service information and handset reprogramming.

Section 3 NSS Topology

The CBC product is based on the same Open Systems Platforms with an
X.25 interface to BSC components. It offers a wide range of
applications, which include advertising, general and specialist
information distribution services along with other non-mobile terminal
applications. The services and functionality that the CBC can provide
Customer care information
Weather and traffic reports
Free advertising
Variable re-transmission rates
Distributed network interface units to handle varying network loads
Local and remote message submission facility.

Section 3 NSS Topology
SMS Network Components
Section 3 NSS Topology

Callers which cannot reach the MS are given the option (by the VMS) to
leave either a short message or a voice mail message. Message
waiting notification will be delivered to the MS when the MS is
reachable. The VMS (voice mail system) communicates with the SMS
SC via TCP/IP or X.25.

The VMS has a trunk and signaling interface to the PSTN (e.g., R2, ISUP
signaling). The VMS has a trunk and signaling interface to the MSC for
mobile subscriber to access his/her voice mail.

Section 3 NSS Topology
SMS Applications
SMS up to 160 alphanumeric characters.
Alert services (MT-SMS)
Voice Message Alert
FAX/Telex Message Alert
E-mail System Alert
Paging Bureau Emulation Services.
Information Services
Financial Services (stock market queries and alerts)
Weather or traffic information (e.g., from TV/radio station data

Section 3 NSS Topology

Network Administration
Bill reminders (MT-SMS), bill payment
Statements on demand (MO and MT-SMS)
Handset re-programming and much more.

Section 3 NSS Topology
It supports a wide range of innovative applications including:
Call answering
Voice and fax bulletin boards
Information on demand
One number services
Voice and fax messaging
Interactive voice response
Prepaid calling cards
Voice activated dialing

Section 3 NSS Topology
Pre Paid SIM
The functionality of the Pre-Paid SIM feature includes:
Provision of pre-defined limits based on air time or talk time
Service provisioning including various provisioning options (point
of sale, service providers, etc.) and definitions of pre-paid
categories (throw away, top up, etc.)
Service execution for air and talk time credit usage
GSM MAP services, teleservice, bearer services and
supplementary services will all be available to the Pre-Paid SIM
subscriber, with possible limitations, as required by the network

Section 3 NSS Topology
Supplementary Services
Wide range available in GSM standard and Operators can also define their own

In GSM it is possible for the subscribers to check and modify
the parameters and status of their Supplementary Services

Section 3 NSS Topology

Some of the Supplementary Services are:

Calling Line Identification/Restriction
Connected Line Identification/Restriction
Call Forwarding
Call Waiting
Call Hold
Conference Calling
Conference Calling
Advice of charge
Call barring

Section 3 NSS Topology
Q1. Write a full form of following : IMEI, TMSI, MSRN, LAI, ST,

Q2. How many circuit groups are required for 3 BSCs and 10

Q3. List down the three functions of each HLR & VLR.

Q4. Fill in the following:
E interface is used between ------
H interface is used between-------

Section 3 NSS Topology

Algorithm A8 is used for ----------
Algorithm A3 is used for ----------
Transit exchanges are used to reduce the ---------

Q5. List down the different locations of TRAU and explain the best

Q6. What information is contained in the CDRs?

Q7. 2 advantages of transit switch.

Q8. Name some of supplementary services.

Section 3 NSS Topology
GSM Signaling

Section 4 GSM Signaling
The Trainee will be able to understand:

signaling between MSC/VLR and BSS
Concept of DTAP
Concept of BSSMAP
signaling between BSC and BTS
Functions of LAPDm
Functions of LAPD
Frame structure of LAPDm And LAPD

Section 4 GSM Signaling
There are two different types of communication channels:
Traffic channel at 64 Kbps, carrying speech or data for radio
signaling channels at 64Kbps, carrying signaling information.

In PCM one time slot is reserved for signaling and remaining are
used for transmitting speech or data. As the entire siganlling is
done on 64Kbps , there should be special function converting the
information to 64Kbps format and back at the receiving end.
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Protocols in GSM Networks
Switching System
Section 4 GSM Signaling
GSM Signaling Matrix
MTP2 &3
MTP2 & 3
Section 4 GSM Signaling

MSC uses ISUP/TUP protocols for PSTN signaling.
MAP siganlling for database applications like HLR, VLR, EIR,
GSM specific protocol as BSSAP, which comprises of DTAP and
The BSC on layer 2 uses LAPD protocol, which is an ISDN.
BTS has LAPDm as layer 2 protocol.
Mobile has DTAP for MSC and RR for Radio Resource

Section 4 GSM Signaling
MAP (Mobile Application Part)
MAP is a protocol specially designed for GSM requirement. It is installed
in MSC, VLR, HLR, EIR and communicates in case of:

Location registration
Location cancellation
Handling/management/ retrieval of subscriber data.
Transfer of security/ authentication data.

Section 4 GSM Signaling
BSS Application Part (BSSAP)
BSSAP is used for signaling between MSC/VLR and BSS. Three groups of
signals belong to BSSAP

3. Initial MS messages
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Initial MS Message
Transparent to BSS
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Direct Transfer Application Part (DTAP)
DTAP is a messages between the MSC and MS, passes through the BSS
transparently. These are call control and mobility management
messages directed towards a specific mobile.
3 main type of DTAP messages are:
Messages for mobility management like location update, authentication,
identity request
Messages for circuit mode connections call control
Messages for supplementary services
Section 4 GSM Signaling
BSS management messages (BSSMAP) between MSC and BSS (BSC/ BTS),
which are necessary for resource management, handover control, paging
order etc. The BSSMAP messages can either be connection less or
connection oriented.
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Initial MS Messages
These messages are passed unchanged through BSS, but BSS
analyses part of the messages and is not transparent like DTAP
Between BSS and MSC, the initial MS message is transferred in the
layer 3 information in the BSSMAP.

The Initial MS messages are:
CM Request
Location update request
Paging response
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Link Access Procedures on the Dm channel (LAPDm) is the layer 2
protocol used to convey signaling information between layer 3
entities across the radio interface. Dm channel refers to the
control channels, independent of the type including broadcast,
common or dedicated control channels.

LAPDm is based on the ISDN protocol LAPD, used on the Abis
interface. Due to the radio environment, the LAPD protocol can
not be used in its original form. Therefore, LAPDm segments the
message into a number of shorter messages.

Section 4 GSM Signaling

Data exchanged between the data link layer and the physical layer
is 23 octets for BCCH, CCCH, SDCCH and FACCH. For SACCH
only, 21octets are sent from layer 2 to layer 1.

LAPDm functions include:
LAPDm provides one or more data link connections on a
Dm channel. Data Link Connection Identifier (DLCI) is used for
discriminating between data link connections.
It allows layer 3 message units be delivered transparently
between layer 3 entities.
It provides sequence control to maintain the sequential order of
frames across the data link connections.

Section 4 GSM Signaling
LAPDm Frame Structure
info length command address
N(R) P/F N(S) 0
0 0 1 SAPI CR 1
Section 4 GSM Signaling

Sequence Number: N(S) send sequence number of the
transmitted frame. N(R) is receive sequence number.

P/F : All frames contain the Poll/Final bit. In command frames, the
P/F bit is referred to as the P bit. In response frames, the P/F bit
is referred to as the F bit.

Service Access Point Identifier: Service Access Points (SAPs) of a
layer are defined as gates through which services are offered to
an adjacent higher layer.SAP is identified with the Service
Access Point Identifier (SAPI).
SAPI = 0 for normal signaling of DTAP & RR
SAPI = 3 for short message services

Section 4 GSM Signaling

LAPDm has no error detection and correction. It is used in two modes:
Acknowledge &

and having a different structure for both.
Section 4 GSM Signaling
All signaling messages on the Abis interface use the Link Access
Procedures on the D-channel. (LAPD protocol). LAPD provides two
kinds of signaling:
unacknowledged information
acknowledged information

LAPD link handling is a basic function to provide data links on the 64 kbps
physical connections between BSC and BTS.

Section 4 GSM Signaling

Links are provided for operation and maintenance (O&M) of the
links, for O&M of the BTS equipment and for transmission of
layer 3 Abis messages.

Each physical connection can support a number of data links
(logical connections). On each physical connection each data
link is identified by a unique TEI/SAPI

Section 4 GSM Signaling

LAPD has three sub signaling channels

1. RSL (Radio signaling Link), deals with traffic management,
TRX signaling.
2. OML (Operation & Maintenance Link), serves for maintenance
related info and transmission of traffic statistics.
3. L2M (Layer 2 Management), used for management of the
different signaling on the same time slot.
Section 4 GSM Signaling
LAPD Frame Structure
Flag FCS info length command address Flag
N(R ) P/F N(S) 0 TEI 1 SAPI CR 0
Section 4 GSM Signaling

LAPD Frame structure is made up of:
Flag: Indicates the beginning and end of each frame unit. Flag has
a pattern of 01111110.

FCS: Frame Check Sequence, provides the error checking for the
frame. If error is found frame will be retransmitted.

Command: It has two types of structure, in acknowledge mode it
has N(S) and N(R ). N(S) is a sequence number of frame sent
and N(R ) is the sequence number of the frame expected to
receive next.

Section 4 GSM Signaling

C/R: This bit indicates whether it is command or response.

P/F: In command frames, the P/F bit is referred to as the P bit and
the other end transmits the response by setting this bit to F.

TEI: Terminal Endpoint Identifier, is a unique identification of each
physical entity on either side like each TRX within a BTS have a
unique TEI.

Section 4 GSM Signaling

SAPI: Service Access Point Identifier, used to identify the type of link.

SAPI = 0 for RSL
SAPI = 62 for OML
SAPI = 63 for L2ML

Each LAPD link is identify by SAPI/TEI pair.
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Q1. Name the protocol which is transparent to BSS and what information is
used to transfer on this protocol?

Q2. Name the protocols used between
Mobile and BTS
Section 4 GSM Signaling
Call Handling

Section 5 Call Handling
The Trainee will be able to understand:

Basic call concepts
Location Area concepts
Call setup in different scenarios
SMS routing
Intra and Inter MSC handovers

Section 5 Call Handling
Call setup is required to establish communication between a Mobile
Station and Network Subsystem (NSS). The NSS is responsible for
establishing a connection with the corresponded. Different types of calls
require different teleservices.

For the optimum utilization of the network, different location areas will be
defined to reduce the paging load on the system.

Section 5 Call Handling
Basic Types of Calls
There are three basic types of call:

1. Mobility Management calls: Such as Location update. These
are used to collect information about the MS and only
signaling channels are used.
2. Service calls: Such as SMS. These calls passes very small
information, therefore signaling channels are used.
3. User traffic calls: Such as speech or data. Large amount of
data is exchanged hence traffic channels are used.
Section 5 Call Handling
Basic Call Setup
Section 5 Call Handling

Subscriber on switch A places a call to a Subscriber on switch B:

1. Switch A analyzes the dialed digits and determines that it needs
to send the call to switch B.
2. Switch A selects an idle trunk between itself and switch B
and formulate IAM
3. STP W receives a message, inspects its routing label, and
determines that it is to be routed to switch B.
4. Switch B receives the message. On analyzing the message, it
determines that it serves the called number and that the called
number is idle.
5. Switch B formulates an address complete message (ACM),
which indicates that the IAM has reached its proper destination.

Section 5 Call Handling

6. Switch B picks one of its links and transmits the ACM over the
link for routing to switch A.
7. STP X receives the message, inspects its routing label, and
determines that it is to be routed to switch A.
8. On receiving the ACM, switch A connects the calling
9. When and/or if the called subscriber picks up the phone,
switch B formulates an answer message (ANM),
10. Switch B selects the same link it used to transmit the ACM
11. STP X recognizes that the ANM is addressed to switch A and
forwards it over link

Section 5 Call Handling

12. Switch A ensures that the calling subscriber is connected and
conversation can take place.
13. If the calling subscriber hangs up first switch A will generate a
release message (REL) addressed to switch B.
14. STP W receives the REL
15. Switch B receives the REL, disconnects the trunk from the
subscriber line, returns the trunk to idle status.
16. STP X receives the RLC, determines that it is addressed to
switch A.
17. On receiving the RLC, switch A idles the identified trunk.

Section 5 Call Handling
Location Registration
When the mobile is turned on first time in the network, it has no indications
in its data about an old Location Area Identity. MS immediately inform
the network and request for the Location Update to the MSC/ VLR.
After registration MSC/ VLR will consider the MS as active and marked
the MS as attached.

Section 5 Call Handling
Location Update
When the MS moves from one LA to another, it has to register. This
registration is performed when the MS detects another LAI than the
one stored. This is called location updating. This function provides
mobile subscribers with uninterrupted service throughout the GSM
coverage area so that they can:
Be called on a permanent directory number irrespective of their
location at the time of call.
Access the network whatever their position

Section 5 Call Handling

There are four different types of location updating:

IMSI detach
IMSI attach
Periodic registration

Section 5 Call Handling
Normal Update
The Base Transceiver Station (BTS) of every cell continually
transmits the Location Area Identity (LAI) on BCCH.
If MS detects LAI is different from the one stored in the SIM-card,
it is forced to do a location update.
If the mobile subscriber is unknown in the MSC/VLR (new
subscriber) then the new MSC/VLR must be updated, from the
HLR, with subscriber information.
It also consider the case of the location update timer runs out.

Section 5 Call Handling

Section 5 Call Handling

1. The MS requests a location update to be carried out in the new
MSC/VLR. The IMSI is used to identify the MS.
2. In the new MSC/VLR, an analysis of the IMSI number is carried out.
The result of this analysis is a modification of the IMSI to a Mobile
Global Title (MGT)
3. The new MSC/VLR requests the subscriber information for the MS
from the HLR.
4. The HLR stores the address of the new MSC/VLR and sends the
subscriber data to the new MSC/VLR.

Section 5 Call Handling

5. The HLR also orders the old serving MSC/VLR to cancel all
information about the subscriber since the MS is now served by
another MSC/VLR.
6. When the new MSC/VLR receives the information from the HLR, it
will send a location updating confirmation message to the MS.

Section 5 Call Handling
IMSI Detach
The MS must inform the network when it is entering an
inactive state (detach).
1. At power off or when the SIM card is taken out, the MS asks
for a signaling channel
2. The MS uses this signaling channel to send the IMSI detach
message to the MSC/VLR.
3. In the VLR, an IMSI detach flag is set for the subscriber which
is used to reject incoming calls to the MS.

The detach will not be acknowledged.

Section 5 Call Handling
Only the VLR is updated with the detached information.
Section 5 Call Handling
IMSI Attach
The attach procedure is performed only when the MS is turned on
and is in the same LA as it was when it sent the detach
message. If the MS changes location area while being
switched off, it is forced to do a normal location update. The
procedure is as follows

1. The MS requesting a signaling channel.
2. The MSC/VLR receives the IMSI attach message from the
3. The MSC/VLR sets the IMSI attach in the VLR, that is, the
mobile is ready for normal call handling.
4. The VLR returns an acknowledgment to the MS.

Section 5 Call Handling

Section 5 Call Handling
Periodic Location Update
To avoid unnecessary paging of the MS in case the MSC never got
the IMSI detach message, there is another type of location
updating called periodic registration.

The procedure is controlled by timers both in the MS and in the

If the MS does not register within the determined interval plus a
guard time, then the scanning function in the MSC detects this
and the MS will be marked detached.

Section 5 Call Handling
A call to MS is routed to the MSC/ VLR and send a paging message to
the MS. This message is broadcast all over the Location Area (LA),
which means that all BTSs with in the LA will send a paging message
to the mobile. The MS, moving in the LA and listening to the CCCH
information, will hear the paging message and answer it immediately.

Section 5 Call Handling
Paging Capacity
Paging capacity is the number of
mobiles that can be paged per
This depends on:
CCCH configuration
AGCH blocks reservation
Type of paging message used
Paging message takes 4 bursts
(1 CCCH block)
This can page up to 4 mobiles
depending on the message type

Section 5 Call Handling
Paging Message Types
Type 1: can address up to two mobiles using either IMSI or TMSI

Type 2: can address up to 3 mobiles, one by IMSI and other 2
by TMSI.

Type 3: can address up to 4 mobiles using the TMSI only.

If the network does not use TMSI then only type 1 is used in the network.
Section 5 Call Handling
Calculation Of Paging Capacity

X = number of mobiles paged per paging message (1 to 4)
Y = number of possible paging messages per multiframe
Duration of channel multiframe = 0.235 seconds (235 ms)
X depends on paging message type
Y depends on CCCH configuration in the multiframe (e.g.
3 or 9) and the number of AGCH blocks reserved
Section 5 Call Handling
PCH Dimensioning
Paging channel requirement in blocks per multiframe is given by:

Calls = Number of calls predicted for the location area during
busy hour
MT = Fraction of calls which are mobile terminated
PF = Paging Factor = number of pages required per call
M = safety margin
PMF = Paging Message Factor = number of pages per
Number of control channel multiframes per second = 4.25
Section 5 Call Handling
A particular location area contains 50 000 subscribers. It is predicted that
30% of these will receive a call during the busy hour. On average 2
pages are needed per call and only type 3 paging messages (TMSI) are

This gives the following data:
Calls = 50 000
MT = 0.3
PF = 2
PMF = 4
Section 5 Call Handling

A typical safety margin for peak variations in number of calls is 1.2
1 PCH block per multiframe will be adequate
Section 5 Call Handling
Paging Control
The MSC has to initiate the paging procedure, as it holds the information
on the last MS location update.

MSC sends a paging message to BSC and sets a timer for response from
the MS, which is send as a part of service request message. The paging
message from the MSC contains a cell list identifier, identifying the cells
in which paging message is to be transmitted.

Section 5 Call Handling
Call From MS (Mobile to PSTN)
Section 5 Call Handling
Call From MS Overview
Mobile is active and idle, wants to set up a call
User dial the number and press send, at first moment it sends on
MSC/VLR assigns a dedicated channel
If the calling MS is allowed to make a call MSC/VLR
acknowledges the access request
Depending on whether a fixed or a mobile subscriber is called,
number is analyzed directly in the MSC/VLR.
Call setup message is acknowledged as soon as the link is
MS is also assigned to move to a dedicated traffic channel TCH.

Section 5 Call Handling
Signaling Interfaces
Section 5 Call Handling
Point Of Interconnect (POI) Location
In case of long distance mobile to PSTN call, circuits define to route a call in the
switch should be such that, call can travel maximum distance on the airtime
and minimum on the land line to enhance the revenue.

Call should handover to the POI as near as possible to the subscriber location.

Section 5 Call Handling
Call to MS (PSTN to Mobile)
Link is setup from local
exchange to the GMSC
Section 5 Call Handling

signaling No.7: Interrogation
function used by GMSC
MSRN request
Section 5 Call Handling

signaling No7: Request
for MSRN to VLR
Section 5 Call Handling

signaling No 7: MSRN
send to GMSC
MSRN request + IMSI MSRN
Section 5 Call Handling

Link is setup from GMSC to
Section 5 Call Handling

signaling No7: Paging
message is sent to the BSS
Section 5 Call Handling

Air path signaling:
Paging message is
sent over the air
path to MS. The MS
Section 5 Call Handling

The link is setup from
the MSC/VLR to the
MS, completing the
connection from
subscriber to
Section 5 Call Handling
Signaling Interfaces
Section 5 Call Handling
Mobile to Mobile (Mobile Originated)
Channel Request
rn Channel Request
SDDCH Allocation
Channel Activation
SCCP Connection Req
Immediate assign (AGCH)
Immediate assign commd
Switch to
rn+fn+TA+ SDCCH
Channel Activation Ack
Establish Indication
SCCP Connection Confirm
Service Request
Service Request
Cm+Service Request
Section 5 Call Handling
Setup (SDCCH)
Tele/bearer service
called party no.
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Call proceeding
Assignment request
Channel type+cm
TCH allocation
Physical context request
Physical context confirm
Channel activation
TA+power updates
Channel activation ack
Assignment command (SDCCH)
Section 5 Call Handling
Establish indication
Assignment complete (FACCH)
Set switching
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Connect ack
Initiate SDCCH release
Section 5 Call Handling
Mobile to Mobile (Mobile Terminated)
TMSI/IMSI+cell list
Paging command
TMSI/IMSI paging
group+ channel no
Paging request (PCH)
Paging request (RACH)
Channel required
Radio and Link Establishment Procedure
Section 5 Call Handling
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Tele/bearer service
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Call confirmed (SDCCH)
bearer service
Normal Assignment Procedure for TCH
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Layer 3CC
Connect acknowledge
Ring tone
User answer
Section 5 Call Handling
SMS Point to Point
The Short Message Service, SMS, provides means of sending text
messages, to and from GSM mobile station. SMS makes use of service
centre, which acts a store and forward center for short messages.

Section 5 Call Handling
Mobile Terminated SMS
Section 5 Call Handling

SMS C has the capability to transfer the short messages and also
provides the information about the delivery.

1. A user sends a message to an SMS C
2. SMS C sends the message to the SMS GMSC
3. SMS GMSC interrogates the HLR for routing information
4. HLR interrogates MSC/VLR for a roaming number
5. MSC/VLR returns a MSRN to the SMS GMSC via HLR
6. SMS GMSC reroutes the message to MSC/VLR

Section 5 Call Handling

7. MS is paged and a connection is setup between MS and the
8. If authentication was successful the MSC/VLR delivers the
message to the MS. It is transmitted on the allocated SDCCH
9. If the delivery was successful a delivery report is sent from
MSC/VLR to the SMS C.

In the case of an unsuccessful delivery the service messages
waiting will provide the HLR and VLR with the information that
there is a message in the originating SMS C waiting to be
delivered to the MS.

Section 5 Call Handling
Mobile Originated SMS
Section 5 Call Handling

1. MS establishes a connection to the network, as in the case of normal
call setup. (This step is not performed if the MS is in busy mode,
since there already exists a connection)
2. If the authentication was successful MS sends the short message to
the SMS C via MSC/VLR. The SMS C in turn forward the short
message to its destination. This could be MS or a terminal in the
fixed network.

Section 5 Call Handling
Changing to a new traffic channel during call setup or busy state is called
Handover. The network makes the decision about the change. After
receiving the information about the signal strength and quality the BSC
ranks the neighboring BTSs using the information.

After a evaluation of the situation and the decision to start the handover
procedure, the network is responsible for the setup of a link to the new
Section 5 Call Handling
Intra MSC Handover
New link
Old link
Section 5 Call Handling

Intra MSC handover: Handover within the same MSC/VLR service
area but different BSCs.

The BSC request for a handover from MSC/VLR
New link (MSC/VLR to new BSC to new BTS) is setup and if a
free TCH is available, it must be reserved.
MS receives the order to change to the new frequency and the
new TCH.
If the BTS change has also change of location area, the MS
sends a request for location update after the call.
Section 5 Call Handling
H.O. Request
H.O. Required
H.O. Request Ack
H.O. Command
H.O. Command
Measurement Report
H.O. Completed
H.O. Completed
Clear Command
Clear Completed
Section 5 Call Handling
Inter MSC Handover
New link
Old link
Section 5 Call Handling

Inter MSC handover: handover between the two BSCs controlled by two
different MScs. Lot of signals exchanges are required before the
handover can take place.

The serving exchange sends a handover request to the target exchange
Target exchange will take over the responsibility for preparing the
connection to the new BTS.
After the setup of a link between the two exchanges, the serving
exchange will send a handover command to the MS.

Section 5 Call Handling
Perform H.O.
Allocate H.O.Number
Send H.O. Report
H.O. Request
H.O. Request
H.O. Command
H.O. Command
H.O. Complete
Send End
Clear Command
Clear Complete
Section 5 Call Handling
Q1. Name the types of the location updates exists in the
mobile network?

Q2. Describe the different kinds of paging messages?

Q3. Calculate the paging capacity (mobiles paged per second) for
the following operator setting:
paging message type = 3
blocks reserved for CCCH and AGCH = 3

Section 5 Call Handling

Q4. Calculate the PCH requirement for following:
Number of subscriber = 75,000
Busy hour calls = 40%
Assume on average 2 pages required per call
Safety margin for peak variation in number of calls =1.2
Paging message of type 2

Q5. Which part of the network allocates the MSRN to the call?

Section 5 Call Handling

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Modes
CCS 7 Link Types
CCS 7 Signaling Network
Signaling Network Components
CCS 7 Architecture
CCS 7 Functional Blocks
Signaling Data link (Level 1)
Signaling Link Functions (Level 2)
Signaling Network Functions (Level 3)
MTP User Functions (Level 4)

Section 6 SS7

Functions of Signaling Link (Level 2)
Organization of signaling Information
Signal Units
Signal Unit Delimitation/ Flag Imitation Prevention
Error Detection
Error Correction
Basic Method
Positive Ack
Negative Ack
Preventive Cyclic Re-Transmission
Error Rate Monitoring
Signal Unit Error Rate Monitor
Alignment Error Rate Monitor

Section 6 SS7

Signaling Network Functions (level 3)
Service Information Octet
Routing Label
Signaling Message Handling
Message Discrimination
Message Distribution
Message Routing
Signaling link Management
Link activation
Link restoration
Flow Control

Section 6 SS7
Common Channel Signaling System No. 7 (i.e., SS7 or C7 ) is
a global standard for telecommunications defined by the
International Telecommunication Union (ITU)Telecommunication
Standardization Sector (ITU-T). The standard defines the
procedures and protocol by which network elements in the public
switched telephone network (PSTN) exchange information over
a digital signaling network to effect wireless (cellular) and wire
line call setup, routing and control.

Section 6 SS7

The SS7 network and protocol are used for:

basic call setup, management, and tear down
wireless services such as personal communications services
(PCS), wireless roaming, and mobile subscriber authentication
local number portability (LNP)
toll-free (800/888) and toll (900) wireline services
enhanced call features such as call forwarding, calling party
name/number display, and three-way calling
efficient and secure worldwide telecommunications

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Types
There are two types of Signaling :

1.Channel Associated Signaling (CAS)
2.Common Channel Signaling (CCS7)

Channel Associated Signaling: signaling is always sent on the same
connection as that of speech.The Signaling is associated with speech.

Section 6 SS7

Common Channel Signaling: signaling network is separated from the
speech network.Every signaling information will have a label which
indicates to which speech connection this signaling information belongs
to.The signaling channel has no specific position (timeslot).The same
signaling channel carries information for all speech circuits as and when
required basis.

Section 6 SS7

Advantage Of CCS7 Over CAS

A dedicated signaling link required for each speech channel in
CAS e.g. 3 channels in 3 PCMs : CCS 7 uses only 1 channel for
a number of PCMs
CAS is slow, so longer call setup times : CCS 7 - 64kbps fast &
In CAS, no possibility of signaling during the talking phase :
CCS 7 signaling is independent of speech.
CAS supports limited set of signals : CCS 7 supports signal units
of variable length max. 279 octets - so much more signaling info
can be exchanged than is possible with CAS.

Section 6 SS7

Usage of messages instead of pre-defined bit patterns enables to
transfer call related signaling info (call establishment) as well as non call
related call info ( location update , handover , short messages etc.)
CCS 7 - modular ; easy introduction of new & advanced services.

Section 6 SS7
SS7 Signaling Link Types
Section 6 SS7
Section 6 SS7
C7 Signaling Network


1 2 3 4 5 1
SP: Signaling Point
SPC: Signaling Point Code
STP: Signaling Transfer
SL: Signaling Link
SLC: Signaling Link Code
SLS: Signaling Link Set
CIC: Circuit Identity code
Section 6 SS7
signaling Network Components
Signaling Points
logically separate entities from a signaling network point of

Origination Point Code
A signaling point at which a message is generated, i.e. the
location of the source User Part function, is the originating
point of that message.
Section 6 SS7

Destination Point Code
A signaling point to which a message is destined, i.e. the
location of the receiving User Part function, is the destination
point of that message.

Signal Transfer Point
A signaling point at which a message is received on one
signaling link and is transferred to another link, i.e. neither the
location of the source nor the receiving User Part function, is
a Signal Transfer Point (STP).

For a particular signaling relation, the two signaling points thus function as
originating and destination points for the messages exchanged in the
two directions between them.

Section 6 SS7

Signaling Links
The common channel carrying signaling information is called
Signaling link.
Link Set
A number of signaling links that directly interconnect two
signaling points constitute a signaling link-set.
Signaling Routes
The pre-determined path, consisting of a succession of
SPs/STPs and the interconnecting signaling links, that a
message takes through the signaling network between the
origination point and the destination point is the signaling
route for that signaling relation
Section 6 SS7

Signaling Modes
The term signaling mode refers to the association between the
path taken by a signaling message and the signaling relation to
which the message refers.

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Network
Signaling link
Signaling data link
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4 : User Parts
Layer 3
Layer 1
Layer 2
Layers 4 to 7
CCS 7 Architecture
Section 6 SS7
Message Transfer Part (MTP)
to provide a reliable transfer and delivery of signaling
information across the signaling network and to have the
ability to react and take necessary actions in response to
system and network failures to ensure that reliable transfer is
Includes the functions of layers 1 to 3 of the OSI reference
User functions in CCS 7 MTP terms are:
the ISDN User Part (ISUP)
the Telephone User Part (TUP)

Section 6 SS7

the signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP)
the Data User Part (DUP)

The SCCP also has Users. These are:
the ISDN User Part (ISUP)
Transaction Capabilities (TC)
Operations Maintenance and Administration Part (OMAP)

Section 6 SS7
Functions of MTP
signaling link
signaling data
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Section 6 SS7
Signaling Data Link (MTP Level 1 )
Defines the physical, electrical and functional characteristics and the
physical interface towards the transmission medium (PCM30)
signaling Data Link is a bi-directional transmission path for signaling
consisting of two data channels operating together in opposite
directions at the same data rate.
Digital : 64 kbps channels. For PCM30 HDB3 coding is used

- Minimum allowed bit rate for telephone call control application :
Section 6 SS7
Signaling Link Functions (MTP Level 2)
Together with signaling data link, the signaling link functions provide a
signaling link for the reliable transfer of signaling messages between
two adjacent signaling points.

Messages are transferred over signaling link in variable length
messages called signal Units which contain additional information to
guarantee a secure transmission.

Section 6 SS7


Delimitation of signaling units by means of Flags.
Flag limitation prevention by bit stuffing.
Error detection by means of Check bits included in each
signaling unit.
Error control by re-transmission and signaling unit sequence
control by means of sequence numbers and continuous
Signaling link failure detection by signaling unit error rate
monitoring and signaling link recovery by special procedures.

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Network Functions (MTP Level 3)
Level 3 in principle defines those transport functions and
procedures that are common to and independent of the
operation of individual signaling links.
These functions fall into two major categories:

Signaling message handling functions These transfer the
message to the proper signaling link or User Part.The main
functions are:-
Message discrimination function
Message distribution function
Message routing function

Section 6 SS7

signaling network management functions These control the current
message routing and configuration of the signaling network facilities
and in the case of signaling network failures, control the
reconfigurations and other actions to preserve or restore the normal
message transfer capability. Contains signaling link management,
traffic management and route management.The main functions are:-

Signaling link management
Signaling traffic management
Signaling route management

Section 6 SS7
MTP User functions (Level 4)
User Parts defines the functions and procedures of the signaling
system that are particular to a certain type of user of the system.
The following entities are defined as User Parts in CCS 7.
Telephone User Part (TUP)
The TUP Recommendations define the international
telephone call control signaling functions for use over CCS 7.

Data User Part (DUP)
The Data User Part defines the protocol to control
interexchange circuits used on data calls, and data call
facility registration and cancellation.
Section 6 SS7

ISDN User Part (ISUP)
The ISUP encompasses signaling functions required to
provide switched services and user facilities for voice and
non-voice applications in the ISDN.

Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP)
The SCCP provides additional functions to the Message
Transfer Part to provide connectionless and connection-
oriented network services to transfer circuit-related, and non-
circuit-related signaling information.

Key Enhancements by SCCP

Section 6 SS7
Enhanced Addressing Capability
upto 255 users can be addressed by the use of Subsystem
Numbers (SSN)
SCCP provides a routing function which allows signaling
messages to be routed to a signaling point based on, for
example, dialled digits. This capability involves a translation
function which translates the global title (e.g. dialled digits)
into a signaling point code and a sub-system number.
Connectionless and Connection-Oriented Services
Class 0 : basic connectionless service
Class 1 : sequenced connectionless service
Class 2 : basic connection-oriented service
Class 3 : flow control connection-oriented service

Section 6 SS7
TCAP provides services for non-circuit related services.TCAP
receives messages from SCCP and routes it to the user.TCAP
makes it possible to have several transactions running

TCAP consists of component sub-layer and the transaction sub-
layer.The component layer provides information exchange
between two layers by the means of dialogues. A dialogue will
contain several components like action , response etc.The
transaction identifier gives each transaction a unique identity
which is also known as transaction identifier.

Section 6 SS7

TCAP acts as a secretary to a manager who has several engineers
reporting to it. The secretary handles all the transactions from the
manager and sends it across the appropriate engineer and also keeps
track of each transactions by having identified files for each engineers

Section 6 SS7
Global Title
Global title is the address of the Signaling Point which does not clearly
mention the destination address for routing. It is translated by SCCP to
get the destination address.e.g. the dialled digits.On an incoming
call,GMSC uses the Global title to determine the destination.

A MAP message entering or originating from an exchange must either be a
terminating message or a message to be routed to another exchange.

Section 6 SS7

By analyzing the global title(GT) of the called address,the SCCP will either
route the message to another node with the help of global title routing
case (GTRC) or terminate the message in the node.

In the terminating node the message will be distributed to the correct user
with the help of the subsystem number (SSN).

Section 6 SS7
Organization of Signaling Information
Signal Unit : - A group of bits forming a separately transferable entity
used to convey information on a signaling link.

Are of variable length; maximum length : 280 bytes (including 272
signaling information bytes)

Three types of signal units, differentiated by the length indicator field
contained in each.

Section 6 SS7

{length limitation is imposed to control the delays one message can
cause to others due to their emission time}

Fill-in signal unit (FISU) ; LI = 0
Link status signal unit (LSSU) ; LI = 1or 2
Message signal unit (MSU) ; LI = 3 to 63

Section 6 SS7
Signal Units
convey the signaling information between the user parts
(level 4) of the adjacent signaling points. E.g. IAM , ACM ,
a signal unit which contains status information about the
signaling link.
a signal unit containing only error control and delimitation
information which is transmitted when there are no MSUs or
LSSUs to be transmitted.

This is done to allow for a consistent error monitoring so
that faulty links can be quickly detected and removed
from service even when traffic is low.

Section 6 SS7
Signal Units
8 or 16
Section 6 SS7
SU Delimitation / Flag imitation Prevention
Signal Unit Delimitation :
A unique pattern on the signaling data link is used to delimit a signal
unit :- 0111 1110.

01111110 01111110 Main part of Message
Flag imitation Prevention :
>> to ensure that no false flags are produced in the
signal units, only five consecutive ones are allowed inside
the signal unit. If more than five ones occur consecutively,
a zero is inserted after the fifth one and is removed again in
the receiving signal terminal. This is called bit stuffing.

Section 6 SS7
Error Detection
Error Detection :
-each signal unit has standard CCITT 16 bit cyclic redundancy
check (CRC) checksum to enable the receiving terminal to
check that all bits have been received correctly.
CK generated by transmitting SP on all fields except the Flag.
Receiving SP calculates CK and compares with CK in the
signal unit.
Mismatch interpreted as error in received signal unit & error
correction procedures are invoked.

Section 6 SS7
Error Correction
Two forms of error correction methods are used :
Basic method
Preventive cyclic re-transmission (PCR)

Basic Method:
re-transmission occurs only when transmitting SP is informed by
receiving SP about the signal units received in error
is a positive / negative ACK re-transmission error correction system
Section 6 SS7

For sequence control, each signaling unit is assigned forward &
backward sequence numbers and forward & backward indicator bits.
Sequence Numbering is performed independently at the two SPs
interconnecting the link.

The sequence numbers are 7 bits long, meaning that at most 127
messages can be transmitted without receiving a positive ACK.

Section 6 SS7
Positive Acknowledgment
MSU saved in RTB
MSU saved in RTB
Both MSU deleted fm RTB
Correctly received
MSU with positive ack,FSN=34
MSU,BSN remains 126
Correctly received
Section 6 SS7
Negative Acknowledgment
Errored MSU is discarded and not delivered to level 3 of MTP
SP sends a negative ack in the next SU
BSN retains the FSN of last correctly received MSU
BIB is inverted

All messages with FSN > received BSN sent one by one by
fetching from RTB
FIB value inverted in all retransmitted messages

Until all messages in the RTB are retransmitted, no fresh MSUs
are sent.

Section 6 SS7
Preventive Cyclic Re-transmission
Preventive Cyclic Retransmission:
Retransmission takes place for signal units whose correct reception
is not confirmed by the receiving SP
is a positive ACK cyclic re-transmission forward error correction
A copy of the transmitted MSU is retained at the transmitting
terminal unit until a positive ACK for that MSU is received.

Section 6 SS7

Re transmission Rules :
when there are no new MSUs to be sent, all MSUs not
positively acknowledged are retransmitted cyclically.
If new signal units are available, the retransmission cycle (if
any) is interrupted and the signal units transmitted with first
Under normal conditions, with no MSUs to be transmitted or
cyclically re-transmitted, FISUs are sent continuously.

Section 6 SS7
Basic Versus PCR
In both methods, only errored MSUs and LSSUs are corrected.
Errors in FISUs are detected but not corrected

Both methods are designed to avoid out of sequence and duplicated
messages when error correction takes place.

PCR method is used when the propagation delay is large (satellite

Section 6 SS7

With large propagation delays, the basic method becomes
inappropriate because NACK system causes message delays to be
too long for the erroneous MSUs
CCITT recommendations : PCR should be used when one
way propagation delay exceeds 15ms.

Drawback of PCR : inefficient bandwidth utilization
I.e. the maximum load level a link can be engineered for is
much less with PCR.

Section 6 SS7
Error Rate Monitoring
Level 2 functions detect a failure in the following circumstances:
High error rate on the signaling units.
Excessive re-alignment period.
Excessive ACK delay.
Signaling terminal failure.
Reception of continuous FISUs.
Two types of signaling error rate monitor is provided
signaling Unit Error Rate Monitor (SUERM).
Alignment Error Rate Monitor(AERM).

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Unit Error Rate Monitor

Is used while a signaling link is In Service. It provides the criteria for taking a
signaling link OOS due to excessive error rate.

Is based on a signaling unit error count (including FISUs) , incremented &
decremented using the leaky bucket algorithm.

Section 6 SS7

For each errored signaling unit , the count is incremented by
one and for each 256 signaling units received (whether
errored or not), a positive count is decremented by one (a
zero count is left at zero). When the count reaches 64, an
excessive error rate indication is sent to Level 3 and the
signaling link is put OOS.

The error rate on signaling units should not exceed
64 consecutive erroneous signaling units or
1 erroneous signaling unit out of every 256 on an

Section 6 SS7
Alignment Error Rate Monitor
Is used while a signaling link is in the proving state of the initial
alignment procedure.

Provides a criteria for rejecting a signaling link for service during the
initial alignment due to an excessive error rate.

Section 6 SS7
The Alignment error rate monitor is a linear counter which is started
at zero at the start of the proving period and the count is
incremented by one for each LSSU unit received in error. A proving
period is aborted if the threshold for the alignment error rate monitor
count is exceeded before the proving period timer expires.

Parameter Value
Tin 5
Tie 1
M 5
Section 6 SS7
Message Label types (SIF)
Circuit ID code
ID code
point code
point code
point code
point code
point code
point code
point code
point code
Management information
Signalling information
Signalling information
Signalling information
MTP management messages: Label type A
TUP messages: Label type B
ISUP messages: Label type C
SCCP messages: Label type D
Routing label
FIGURE 7/Q.700
SS No. 7 message label types
Section 6 SS7
Message Label
identity of the physical circuit that carries the call for which
the signaling information is meant.
signaling link selection is used for load sharing between
signaling links.
signaling link code identifies the signaling link connecting the
origination and destination SPs
For implementation of level 3 functions, the required fields are :
Service Information Octet (SIO)
Routing Label

Section 6 SS7
Service Information Octet
Includes :-
service indicator (SI- 4-bits)
sub service indicator or network indicator (NI- 2-bits)

The SI will determine the User, e.g. TUP, SCCP, ISUP and the NI will determine which network is
concerned, e.g. international or national.

Subservice Field Codes (NI)

D C B A Spare
0 0 International network
0 1 Spare (for international use only)
1 0 National network
1 1 Reserved for national use

Section 6 SS7
Service Indicator Codes
0 0 0 0 Signaling network management messages
0 0 0 1 Signaling network testing and maintenance messages
0 0 1 0 Spare
0 0 1 1 SCCP
0 1 0 0 Telephone User Part
0 1 0 1 ISDN User Part
0 1 1 0 Data User Part (call and circuit-related messages)
0 1 1 1 Data User Part(facility registration & cancellation messages)
1 0 0 0 Reserved for MTP Testing User Part
1 0 0 1 Broadband ISDN User Part
1 0 1 0 Satellite ISDN User Part
1 0 1 1 )
1 1 1 1 ) Spare

Section 6 SS7
Routing Label

32 bits , consists of :
Origination Point Code - 14 bits
Destination Point Code - 14 bits
Signaling link selection - 4 bits

The NI, together with 14-bit point code, allows for four
signaling networks each with up to 16,384 point codes.

SLS Originating Point Code Destination Point Code
Section 6 SS7
Signaling Message Handling
Discrimination :
discrimination function compares the DPC in the routing label with
the point code of own SP
If DPC = own SP ; message meant for this SP
If DPC <> own SP ; further processing performed by routing

Distribution :
distribution function examines Service Indicator to deliver the
message to the desired user part

Section 6 SS7

Routing :
routing function determines the signaling link on which the message
is to be sent
concerned with OG signaling messages
routing table is examined along with DPC in the message to
determine the OG SLS available to route the message.

Section 6 SS7
Signaling Link Management
Controls the links connected to the SP to maintain certain minimum
capability of carrying signaling traffic under normal operation & in the
event of failures
Link activation
process of making a signaling link ready to carry signaling
Link restoration
procedure to bring a previously failed link back into service

Section 6 SS7
Flow Control
CCS 7, in common with other transport mechanisms, needs to
limit the input of data when congestion onset is detected. The
nature of CCS 7 will lead to SP/STP overload congestion being
spread through the signaling network if no action is taken. This
will result in impaired signaling performance and message loss.
In addition to signaling network congestion within a node,
congestion will also require action to prevent signaling
performance from deteriorating. There is thus a need for flow
control within the signaling system to maintain the required
signaling performance.

Section 6 SS7
Q1. Name the two different kind of signaling types and compare the two.

Q2. Name the users of the TCAP.

Q3. How many types of connections occur in SCCP?

Q4. Out of following, which is used for monitoring the status of link MSU,
Section 6 SS7

Q5. How many consecutive 1s are allowed in signaling units and why?
Section 6 SS7

Section 7 Dimensioning
The Trainee will be able to understand:

Mapping on the air interface
Microwave planning concepts
signaling link dimensioning and load sharing
Routing strategies
Erlang B, Erlang C
Numbering plan used in mobile networks
GPRS concepts

Section 7 Dimensioning
In a traditional telephony - signaling means the passing of
information from one point to another for setting up and
supervision of telephone calls.
subscriber exchange signaling (signaling between subscriber
and the local exchange)
inter-exchange signaling (signaling between exchanges).

With the development of the CCITT Signaling System No. 7 the
capabilities have been enhanced to be able to handle non-call
related data. End user data can be transferred, as with the Short
Message Service.

Section 7 Dimensioning
Abis Mapping
Besides the traffic channels, the Abis interface also carries the required
signaling information in 64 Kbit/s channels. One signaling channel is
normally provided for each transceiver within a BTS for controlling upto
8 subscribers per carrier frequency.
Section 7 Dimensioning

Sig TRX 2

Sig TRX 1
TS 0
1 2 3
4 5 6 7
1 2 3
4 5 6 7
Section 7 Dimensioning

TS Arrangement on PCM Link :

1 Sector occupies 2TS for TCH (64 Kbps)
1TS for signaling

Total number of Time slot in one PCM 32
Out of which 1 is used as FAS and other for internal signaling.

TS available for carrying the information 30

Therefore total number of TRXs that can be cater on one PCM
= 30/3 = 10

Section 7 Dimensioning

Assuming that network has BTSs of 2 TRX in each sector, then max
number of BTSs that can share the 1PCm link is:

1 Sector occupy 5TS
Therefore, one BTS occupy 15TS

Hence, totoal number of BTSs are = 30/15
= 2

Section 7 Dimensioning
Section 7 Dimensioning
0 PCM Management Information
1 TRX 1
2 TRX 1
3 TRX1
4 TRX1
5 TRX 2
6 TRX 2
7 TRX 2
8 TRX 2
9 TRX 3
10 TRX 3
11 TRX 3
12 TRX 3
13 TRX 4
14 TRX 4
15 TRX 4
16 TRX 4
17 TRX 5
18 TRX 5
19 TRX 5
20 TRX 5
21 TRX 6
22 TRX 6
23 TRX 6
24 TRX 6
25 Signalling BTS1, Sector1
26 Signalling BTS1, Sector2
27 Signalling BTS1, Sector3
28 Signalling BTS2, Sector1
29 Signalling BTS2, Sector2
30 Signalling BTS2, Sector3
31 Control Ring

Microwave Links
A Telecom Network has two main constituent

1. Access Network and
2. Connectivity which is the backbone connectivity.

Optical fiber is most popular for highcapacity routes in Network
however microwave radio used in lower capacity routes, in
difficult terrain, in private and military communication where
the advantage of flexibility, security and speed of installation
offered by radio are particularly valuable.
Section 7 Dimensioning
Cellular Network Application
Section 7 Dimensioning

Microwave Hop: It is a bi-directional transmission system
containing 2 DMR one at each end of connecting elements.

The information could be on 2MB or higher interface. The
microwave frequency bands and the radio channel spacing in
these bands have been all standardized by CCIR.

Some typical frequency bands are 2, 4, 6,7,8, 11 & 14 GHz. Above
11GHz rain attenuation becomes a greater problem and hence
restrict to short haul (shorter hop length). Each band is further
divided into several blocks of channels which is a pair of
frequencies, f & f for transmission and reception.
Section 7 Dimensioning
Microwave beam passes through the part of the atmosphere, which
is in close proximity of surface of the earth. Radio waves, like
light waves are also electromagnetic waves, though of lesser
frequency, also have the properties of light waves like
attenuation, refraction, diffraction, scattering and polarization.
While designing the system and engineering link, the effect of all
these are to be taken into consideration.

The loss between the transmitting and receiving antenna with
Section 7 Dimensioning

transmission medium as vacuum is termed as Free Space Loss.

Lfs = 92.4 + 20 log d + 20 log f

d = distance in Kms
f = frequency in Ghz
Section 7 Dimensioning
Refraction K-factor
It is the scaling factor that helps to quantify the curvature of the
radio beam

K = effective earth radius / true earth radius
True earth radius = 6370 km

The angle of curvature by refraction is denoted by the k-factor,
defined as the ratio of the effective earth radius (radius of earth
which allow the beam to draw as a straight line) to the true earth

Section 7 Dimensioning
Path Clearance Process
Microwave Link is based on LOS
Microwave Path curvature is based on Refraction (K)
Microwave Path should also have Fresnel Zone clearance to
avoid diffraction

Fresnel Zone: The area around the line of sight path which results
into a reflection of 180 (half wave length) at the receiver is
termed as First Fresnel Zone. The area which results in 2 and 3
half wave lengths are Second Fresnel Zone.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Fn = 17.3 Sqrt ( nd1d2/f D)
Fn = Radius of Fresnel Zone (center point at path)
d1 = distance from one end of path to reflection point (km)
d2 = distance from other end of path to reflection point (km)
D = d1 + d2
f = frequency (GHz)
n = number of Fresnel Zone

Section 7 Dimensioning
Path Profile
Linear Method
Microwave beam is drawn as a straight line
The effective earth curvature height (h) is calculated for a
desired k-factor
h= (d1d2) / 12.75 k
Fresnel Zone clearance is then calculated for the same k value

Earth Bulge = Effective earth curvature height + Fresnel Zone
Section 7 Dimensioning
Flat Fading:
Link Overbuilding (Antenna gains, improved receiver
performance, power)
Shorten distance between sites
Path diversity
Selective Fading:
Space diversity
Frequency diversity
Equipment Reliability:
Hot- Standby arrangement

Section 7 Dimensioning
Space Diversity
Section 7 Dimensioning
Frequency Diversity
Tx 1
Tx 2
Rx 1
Rx 2
Section 7 Dimensioning
Over Reach Interference
Section 7 Dimensioning
Signaling Planning Objective
The main planning objectives are:
Reliability - disturbances in the signaling should be avoided.
Robustness - a fault in one part of the network should not affect other
Simple Network Architecture - the structure of the network should be
easy to understand.
Short Delay Times - to cater for high quality of service.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Purpose: to dimension the correct amount of hardware to meet
the requirements.
Over dimension > inefficiency
Under dimension > congestion
Input data: - subscriber data
- network data
- GoS
- equipment limitations

Signaling Link Dimensioning
Section 7 Dimensioning

Simplicity is achieved by introducing hierarchical levels. Hierarchical
networks are flexible and allow fast expansion of the PLMN.
Hierarchical networks are also easy to operate and manage.

Major part of signaling network delay is induced in intermediate nodes and
not so much on the links (in a properly dimensioned network).
Hierarchical network structures are therefore also to be preferred from
his point of view.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Definition of Traffic

A =
Where: A is the traffic expressed in Erlang (E)
BHCA = Busy Hour Call Attempts
MHT is the average holding time (s)
3600 is the number of seconds per hour
Section 7 Dimensioning

When designing the network, redundancy is of major importance. There
are cases though when separation of the connections on different
routes is not plausible. One should then at least consider hardware

Section 7 Dimensioning
Traffic Link Redundancy
80% of the traffic saved if one link goes down

2 separated routes 3 separated routes

The redundancy factor becomes 1.6 and 1.2 respectively
eg 10E per link then:
Section 7 Dimensioning
C7 Signaling Concept in the GSM Network

Maximum signaling load per signaling link
30 % under normal conditions
60 % under overload conditions
64 kbit/s = 8000 octets/s (1 octet = 8 bits)
Normal load = 0.3 x 64 = 19.2 kbit/s or
0.3 x 8000 = 2400 octets/s
Overload = 0.6 x 64 = 38.4 kbit/s or
0.6 x 8000 = 4800 octets/s

Section 7 Dimensioning
A widely used dimension rule, based on No. 7 signaling link
dimensioning for plain PSTN with TUP, is to allow 30% load on
links in normal operation and 60% in failure situations.

In GSM networks 20% load in normal operation is often used. With
MAP MSUs instead of TUP the same signaling volume is
generated by fewer and longer MSUs that implies a more bursty
load requiring more margin to achieve the same quality.

Section 7 Dimensioning
Signaling Volumes
Signaling is required not only for setting up of call connections, but also for
finding and upgrading the present location of the subscriber. Enhanced
security including both authentication and equipment identity control require
No. 7 signaling.

Estimates of the signaling generated by different events in the network can be
used to calculate the approximate signaling load.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Signaling Calculation Model:

The main input parameters are:
Traffic per subscriber
Mean Call holding Time
Percentage MT traffic
Location Updates per subscriber and hour
Inter MSC handovers per call
IMSI attach per subscriber and hour
Number of authentication triplets fetched at a time
short messages per subscriber and hour

Section 7 Dimensioning
signaling Volume Example
Model 1 Model 2
Traffic per sub 0.030E 0.025E
Mean holding time 100s 120s
MT Percentage 33% 25%
Location Updates new VLR / 1.1 0.45
Inter MSC Ho/call 0.10 0.05
SM / sub&hour 0.5 0.1
MSC - HLR kb/s per ksub 1.55 0.65
MSC - MSC kb/s per ksub 0.35 0.15
MSC -EIR kb/s per ksub 0.20 0.10
Section 7 Dimensioning

There is a different possibilities for the operator to influence the signaling
volumes per subscriber:

Placing of MSC borders as well as LA borders impact the mobility
experienced in the network. (it reduces the Location Area update
Parameter settings in the AUC for use of selective authentication
Parameter settings in the EIR for IMEI check

Section 7 Dimensioning
Section 7 Dimensioning
C7 Routing Strategies
In order to meet the need for extended services, i.e. communication
with databases without speech connections, the SCCP is used.
SCCP maintains connection oriented (CO), connectionless (CL)
network services, circuit related and non-circuit related signaling.

Connection-oriented signaling: used when many messages to
transfer between two signaling points (SP) and when messages
are so long that segmenting is needed.

Section 7 Dimensioning
Connectionless signaling is used for MAP. In connectionless
signaling all message signaling units contain all information
required to route each message unit to the correct destination.
Circuit related signaling is signaling related to a specific speech
or data connection
Non circuit related signaling is signaling not connected to any
speech or data connection, i.e. roaming signaling in mobile

SCCP make possible routing of the message on a higher level
(Global Title Translation (GTT), SCCP rerouting), i.e. handle the
logical signaling connection, and MTP is responsible for
transporting the message through the network in a reliable

Section 7 Dimensioning
SCCP Routing
Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning

The SSN indicates the subsystem so the message is distributed to the
right software in the terminating node. SSN points out MAP HLR, MAP

Section 7 Dimensioning
MTP Routing
The routing procedure as well as the load sharing between link sets and
within link sets is done using:
Network Indicator (NI),
Destination Point Code,
an Originating Point Code (OPC) and
a four bit signaling Link Selection code (SLS).

NI identifies a No.7 Network. DPC and OPC are the signaling Point
Code (SPC) that uniquely defines a signaling Point (SP) in the No.7
signaling network.

Section 7 Dimensioning

MTP signaling route could either be one signaling link set or load sharing
over signaling link sets.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Signaling route alternatives with different priorities can be defined
and the routing alternative with lower priority will not be set into
action until the alternative with the higher priority is totally

Signaling routing in the GSM can be understand by the example of
the network having three HLRs in three different zones along
with STPs.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning

Routing principles for No. 7 signaling:

Western MSC load-share signaling to HLRs over Western STP
to East HLR and East STP to East HLR. Second choice, if both
link sets are out of order, signaling is routed over Central STP to
East HLR.
Similar is the case for other two HLRs.
HLRs are connected to all three STP. Routing of signaling
depends on destined MSC group:
signaling towards western MSCs is routed in load-share over W
E and E E. Second choice, if both link sets are out of order,
signaling is routed over C E.

Section 7 Dimensioning

signaling towards central MSCs routed in load-share over W E and C E.
Second choice, if both link sets are out of order, signaling is routed over
E Tr.
signaling towards eastern MSCs routed in load-share over C E and E E.
Second choice, if both link sets are out of order, signaling is routed over
C E.

Section 7 Dimensioning
Signaling Load Sharing
For load sharing both between link-sets and between the links on
the link-sets the signaling Link Selection code is used. This is a
four-bit code that is set by the MTP user. Which bit to be used as
the load sharing bit for load sharing between the link sets is set
by the LSHB-parameter (Load sharing Bit) in the exchange data.

If all links get the same number of SLS codes they will all carry the
same load, i.e. the load is evenly distributed. If all the links do not
get the same number of SLS codes then the load will not be
evenly distributed.

Section 7 Dimensioning

The maximum load on the link set is limited by the signaling links carrying
most of the signaling load

Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning

C is the maximum load in normal operation for one link. For example, if we
allow 30% maximum load on each 64kb/s link and we have 8 signaling
links in a link-set. Then, assuming that we do not load share with
another link-set (i.e. four bit load share within the link-set) the capacity
of link set is 8*30%*64kb/s=153.6 Kbps.

Section 7 Dimensioning
MTP Changeover in case of link failure
Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning
Traffic Models
Two commonly used models are Erlang B and Erlang C:

Section 7 Dimensioning
Erlang B
This is a loss model, in that blocked calls are simply lost rather than
being held in some form of queuing system.

It assumes that call arrivals follow a Poisson process, that the
number of users is much greater than the number of channels.

From the Erlang-B table, 7 channels and a GoS of 0.02 (2%)
corresponds to A= 2.9354 Erl of offered traffic.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Therefore, carried traffic = A (1- GoS)
= 2.9354 (1- 0.02)
= 2.87669Erl

Channel Utilization: This is the ratio of carried traffic to
number of channels

Channel Utilization = 2.87669/7
= 0.41 or 41%

Section 7 Dimensioning
Calls that cannot be handled are put in a queue until a channel becomes
available. The queuing delay is a function of the offered packet traffic,
the maximum number of links available and the mean holding time of
each call. The Erlang C formulas are used to determine the probability
of a delay occurring, the probability of such a delay being larger than a
certain time and also the mean delay.

Erlang C
Section 7 Dimensioning

Example: As compared with circuit switched traffic with a blocking
probability of 2% 17.5 Erlangs corresponds to 22 Erlang in C

This suggests that there is a gain in trunking efficiency offered by
tolerating a 10 ms delay in transmission.

Mean delay depends on the mean holding time, which in turn is
proportional to the packet size. Packet size can be reduce in
order to reduce the holding time but it increase the signaling
Section 7 Dimensioning
Processor Load
Section 7 Dimensioning
The processor load is the proportion of time that the processor executes
instructions having real time requirements. It is normally expressed in
percentage of its full capacity.

It has following components:
Idle load: This component depends on the functionality and to some
extent on the size of the exchange. The idle load is not dependent on
the traffic or other external activities but varies from processor to


Section 7 Dimensioning

Usage load: This component is caused by operation and
maintenance activities such as data dumps, commands, traffic
measurements and printout of statistics.

Traffic load: This component is used for traffic handling.

Loadability: The loadability is the upper limit for the allowed
processor load. It depends on the processor but also on the job
lengths and delay requirements.


Section 7 Dimensioning

Load per call: This is the amount of execution time that the
processor has to spend in setting up and disconnecting a call.
Load per call is normally expressed in milliseconds (ms), but is
sometimes expressed as the number of ASA (assembler)
instructions necessary to fulfill the task.

Traffic peak margin: Is sometimes referred to as Safety margin.
The traffic peak margin is normally 20-35% of the available traffic
load. This is needed to allow for unpredictable traffic peaks.

Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning
Traffic capacity, (e g 2,500 Erlang), tells how many simultaneous
calls a unit can handle. One Erlang corresponds to one busy
line. If a subscriber calls 25 mErlang during busy hour, he is in
average calling 25/1000 of the hour (=25*60*60/1000 = 90

Erlang can be limited by for example the group switch, available
speech trunks, transcoders etc. But this does not give any idea
about the processor loading as well as nor about non call


Section 7 Dimensioning

Call capacity, (e g 100,000 BHCA), tells how many call attempts a
unit can handle during busy hour. This figure is a better measure
of processor capacity but still, this measure does not take into
account non-call related activities.

Subscriber capacity, (e g 60,000 subscribers), tells how many
subscribers that can be served by a unit. This figure is strongly
depending on subscriber behavior.


Section 7 Dimensioning

Addressing capacity, (e g 1020 TRXs), tells how many HW or SW
devices that can be connected / defined. This is also known as system
limits. Here, no considerations to real-time processing needs or amount
of traffic are made.

Section 7 Dimensioning
Traffic Load Distribution
Section 7 Dimensioning

In the default traffic load distribution for a GMSC/MSC/HLR the call part
takes about 70% of the capacity of the traffic load, the location updating
part about 25%, the SMS part 3% and supplementary services
approximately 2%.

If one look into the traffic part (70% of traffic load) the actual basic load
part is 53% of the usage load, a gate way load part is 7.5%, a charging
part 5%, a handover part 3% and a part used for authentication about

Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 7 Dimensioning
Numbering Plan
The MSISDN is a number which uniquely identifies a mobile telephone
subscription in the public switched telephone network numbering plan. These
are the digits dialed when calling a mobile subscriber.

In GSM 900/GSM 1800, the MSISDN consists of the following:

Section 7 Dimensioning

CC = Country Code
NDC = National Destination Code
SN = Subscriber Number

Section 7 Dimensioning
Destination Code
0091 98 113 23448
The digits 113 identify the GSM 900/GSM 1800 PLMN area
The digits 23448 define the five digits, which identify the
mobile subscriber.
Section 7 Dimensioning

A NDC is allocated to each PLMN. In some countries, more than
one NDC may be required for each PLMN.

The international MSISDN number may be of variable length.The
maximum length is 15 digits, prefixes not included.

Example: Singapore PSTN subscriber is calling to an Indian
GSM PLMN subscriber


Section 7 Dimensioning
International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)
The IMSI is the information which uniquely identifies a sub in a GSM
PLMN. It is used in all the signaling in the PLMN.

It will be stored in the in the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM), as well as in
the HLR and in the serving VLR.

It consists of three different parts

Section 7 Dimensioning


MCC = Mobile Country Code (3 digits)
MNC = Mobile Network Code (2 digits)
MSIN= Mobile Station Identification Number

All network related subscriber information is connected to the IMSI.
Section 7 Dimensioning

In GSM 1900, the MSISDN consists of the following:
CC = Country Code
NPA = Number Planning Area
SN = Subscriber Number

Section 7 Dimensioning

The NPA is allocated to each GSM 1900 PLMN. The length of MSISDN
depends on the structure and operating plan of each operator. The
maximum length is 15 digits, prefixes not included.

Section 7 Dimensioning

xyz = operator code
abcde = Subscriber number
STD code = PSTN area code (11 for delhi)

Call from PSTN to PLMN
Local Call 98 xyz abcde
Outside area call 0 98 xyz abcde

Call from PLMN to PSTN
Local Call 0+STD code+SN
Outside area call 0+STD code+SN

Section 7 Dimensioning
GPRS Core Network Planning

Section 7 Dimensioning
Circuit Vs Packet Data
Circuit Switched Service:
2G system (primarily voice and data on circuit switched air interface)
Call charging based on channel holding time.
Maximum number of users per TDMA channel is 8
Suitable for constant bit rate applications
Resource allocation is done such that UL and DL are paired.
Section 7 Dimensioning

Packet Switched Service:

Several users can share the same channel.
Charges based on channel usage (actual usage of byte
Well suited for bursty traffic.
Resource allocation done independently on UL and DL (good for
applications with asymmetrical bit rate)
Dynamic allocation of resources
Can multiplex traffic (voice, data, video).
Section 7 Dimensioning
Offered GPRS Traffic
Circuit Switched Traffic
Speech traffic leaves some capacity for
packet data
Section 7 Dimensioning
GPRS System feature
Variable quality of service.
Independent packet routing.
Protocol transparent (encapsulation & tunneling)
Slotted ALOHA for random access procedure
Provides IP connectivity to mobile subscriber.
Build on existing GSM infrastructure with added nodes for supporting
Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN)
Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN)

Section 7 Dimensioning
Conceptual View on GPRS
Shared GSM and GPRS
Corporate Intranet
GSM Voice
GPRS Infrastructure IP World
Section 7 Dimensioning
Air Interface - Mobile Terminal

Type C GPRS only
(or manually switched between GPRS and speech modes)
Type B GPRS and Speech (not at same time)
(Automatically switches between GPRS and speech modes)
Type A GPRS and Speech at the same time
Section 7 Dimensioning
GPRS Attach / Detach
Performed when the MS indicates its presence to PLMN for the purpose
of using GPRS service
Carried out between MS and SGSN
MS identifies itself with its GSM identity
GPRS subscription necessary for successful attach
Performed when the MS indicates to the PLMN that it no longer be
using GPRS services
MS identifies itself with its GSM identity
Section 7 Dimensioning
Section 7 Dimensioning
System Architecture
Gb Gn
Section 7 Dimensioning
Responsible for delivery of packets to mobile subscribers in its
service area.
Mobility Management
Logical link management, authentication
GPRS user- related data needed by SGSN to perform routing
and transfer functionality stored in GPRS Register eg current
cell, current VLR, user profile including IMSI and its address in
Interface point between core and Radio networks

Section 7 Dimensioning
Acts as an interface between GPRS network and external PDNs
Mainly responsible for packet routing, transfer and mobility
Converts packets from SGSN into appropriate PDP format and
sends them out to corresponding PDN
PDP addresses of incoming data packets from PDN are
converted to IMSI of the destination user and sent to the
responsible SGSN.
Section 7 Dimensioning
Circuit Switched traffic has priority
In each cell Circuit Switched & Packet Switched territories are defined
Territories consist of consecutive timeslots
Territory border moves
Dynamically based on Circuit
Switched traffic load
GPRS and GSM Resource sharing
Section 7 Dimensioning
Capacity Management
Dedicated GPRS Capacity
TCHs reserved exclusively for GPRS use.

Default GPRS Capacity
TCHs always allocated to the GPRS when circuit switched load
Keeps GPRS timeslots consecutive (important for multislot

Section 7 Dimensioning
PDP Context Activation - 1
Accessing the HLR
IP Network
Access Point Name = Reference to an
external packet data network the user
wants to connect to

(1) MS sends "Activate PDP
Context Request" to SGSN
Access Point Name
PDP Type (IP)
PDP Address (empty ==
QoS & other options

(2) SGSN checks against HLR
Access Point Name
Dynamic / static IP address

Section 7 Dimensioning
PDP Context Activation - 2
Finding the GGSN
IP Network
DNS = Domain Name System = mechanism to
map logical names to IP addresses

(1) SGSN gets the GGSN IP address
from DNS
APN maps to the GGSN IP
(2) SGSN sends "Create PDP Context
Request" to GGSN
PDP Type (IP)
PDP Address (if empty=> dynamic
Access Point Name
Section 7 Dimensioning
PDP Context Activation - 3
Access Point Selection
IP Network
Access Point Name refers to the
external network the subscriber
wants to use
Physical/logical interface in
Access Point configuration in
GGSN defines where to connect
the user
If dynamic address, allocated by
Section 7 Dimensioning
PDP Context Activation - 4
Context Activated
IP Network
(1) GGSN sends "Create PDP
Context Response" back to SGSN
(2) SGSN sends "Activate PDP
Context Accept" to the MS
SGSN now ready to route user
traffic between MS and GGSN
Section 7 Dimensioning
Q1. How many PCMs are required for one BTS with 2,1,2 and
other with 3,2,1 configuration?

Q2. Calculate the free space loss for 20Km distance at 15GHz

Q3. Calculate the 2
Fresnel Zone for total distance of 20Km at a
distance of 10Km from one end. Frequency used is 15GHz.

Q4. What precaution has to be taken to avoid the over reach
problem in the microwave links?

Section 7 Dimensioning

Section 8 Optimisation
The Trainee will be able to understand:

signaling delay in the network
Effect on the network while introducing the new releases
Impacts of subscriber behavior
TCP/IP concepts

Section 8 Optimisation
The goal of optimization is to ensure the network is operating at
optimum efficiency and within the defined quality of service
constraints. This is achieved by implementing corrective action
and procedures to rectify network problems identified though
analysis of performance management monitoring parameters.

Vendors are continually seeking ways of maximizing revenue
generation with minimum additional investment. One way of
achieving this is to identify areas where the network is not
operating at peek efficiency and making adjustments for

Section 8 Optimisation
Optimization is a Cyclic Process
Section 8 Optimisation
Signaling Delay
The signaling network delay depends on a variety of parameters,
among others: bit error rate, signaling link propagation and
processing time, average link load, mean MSU length on link,
mean MSU length of transmitted signal, number of signaling links
in signaling path, number of STPs in signaling link path, buffering
and queuing times in STP etc.
Key parameters that are varied are mean MSU-length, mean
signaling link load, and number of STPs and signaling links in

Section 8 Optimisation

Typical values used for calculating the delay:

Bit Error Rate on link 8.3x10-4
Mean MSU lengths a) 23 oct
b) 74 oct
STP delay 20ms

Signaling link propagation 10ms
and processing
Section 8 Optimisation

For a constant bit error rate of 8.3x10-4 and basic error correction, the
waiting times (Tw) on the outgoing side are shown in table below for
mean MSU length 23 octets and for mean MSU lengths of 74 octets.

Section 8 Optimisation

STP Delay (TSTP): In CCITT Blue Book, a cross STP delay of 20ms is
estimated for 0.2 link load.

Propagation and Processing Time (TL): This includes transmission
time on link and processing time of message. The overall main part of TL
is the transmission time. For ground-installed links for which basic error
correction is used, TL should be less than 15ms.

Section 8 Optimisation

Signaling Network Delay Example: Consider two cases

1. the signal passes one intermediate STP before reaching its

2. the signal passes two intermediate STPs before reaching its

Section 8 Optimisation

Signaling Network Delay with one intermediate STP.

The signaling link delay, SLD is derived from:
SLD = 2x(TW + TL) + TSTP

Signaling Network Delay with two intermediate STPs.

The signaling link delay, SLD is derived from:
SLD = 3x(TW + TL) + 2xTSTP
Section 8 Optimisation

It is to be mentioned that dependence between the MSU lengths and the
delay times is not necessarily linear.

Section 8 Optimisation
Impacts On Capacity
When introducing a new release
New releases typically mean a drop of 10-15% of system
capacity. The BSC decrease is often less than for MSC. The
reason is that new BSC releases often contain more O&M
improvements than traffical ones.
Subscriber Behavior
The call type affects the capacity required per call, e.g., the load
per call is different depending on type of call. Load per call is
defined as the execution time of a call. This is the time
necessary to execute the program code for a call in the CP
(Central Processor). By a call is meant a call setup, call release
and information sent in connection with the call.

Section 8 Optimisation

Call attempts have the highest impact on capacity. One call setup
plus clear consumes about 25 ms execution time. SMS point-to-
point takes about 2/3 of call execution in the BSC (2/3 of 25 ms).
Most SMS/ptp are mobile terminated, and need paging as well.

Registrations take roughly 1/3 of call execution in the BSC. Due to
the big number of them, the total CP load from registrations is
often higher than for calls.

Section 8 Optimisation

Network Configuration
The number of BSCs per MSC can have a major impact on the
system capacity due to the shift of intra-BSC handovers to the
inter-BSC handovers, which will increase in case of a higher
number of BSCs. An increase of the number of inter-BSC
handovers with a factor of 10 will take 7% more of the capacity.

A MSC configuration with stand alone HLR will increase the
capacity of the MSC with 15% compared to a MSC with
integrated HLR (worth mention that this 15% figure has been
derived from comparing the total MSC/HLR capacity with the
maximum capacity of a MSC without HLR).

Section 8 Optimisation

The BSC covering areas should generally be chosen so that the
boundaries as far as possible are located in areas with low
handover intensity. The reason is that high handover frequency
decreases MSC and BSC capacity. Consequently, boundaries
through city kernels and areas close to highways should, if
possible, be avoided.

The value that the periodic location update is set to affects the
capacity. The period can be set between 6 and 1530 minutes in
steps of 6 minutes. The minimum period sustainable by the
system depends on the number of subscribers and their traffic

Section 8 Optimisation

The number of periodic location updates has a significant impact on
the MSC capacity, therefore it is advisable to set the periodic
location update timer very carefully. Most operators choose a
short period for the forced registration, caused by the fear of
loosing track of the subscribers. In case of system recovery after
a large restart the periodic location update rate will impact the
recovery time severely. Therefore the recommendation is to use
120 minutes for the timer value. It is worth mention that the
positive effect on the MSC may impact the BSC performance
negatively due to a higher number of pagings.

Section 8 Optimisation

Number of Location Areas (LAs) has impact on BSC load. If there are
many cells per area, the local page attempts will be quite heavy. If
increasing the number of LAs, the paging load will go down. On the
other hand: If high movability for mobiles, the load from location updates
will increase. When finding the optimal point, also load in MSC must be
looked into.

Section 8 Optimisation

Adding New Applications
The following table presents the CP capacity impacts on an
average node

AUC (Authentication Center) -0.4%
FNR (Flexible Numbering) -2.5%
SCF (Service Control Function) -2.0%
(Based on 10% IN calls)
SSF (Service Switching Function) -10%
(Based on 10% IN calls)
PRA (Primary Rate Access 30B + D) -19%
(Based on 10k BHCA PRA traffic)

Section 8 Optimisation
Capacity Gains
IMEI Check on Location Update
It is possible to switch off the IMEI check function for location
update, which increases the capacity with 2%.

Usage of Toll Ticket
Output only those call data records that are needed, where
possible accounting should be used instead. For instance
switching off the Land to Land call data record increases the
capacity with 3.2%.

Section 8 Optimisation

TMSI Reallocation
Switching off the TMSI reallocation at location update, change of LAI, intra-
MSC function will result in 2% more capacity.

Authentication at Location Update
Switching off authentication at location update, change of LAI, intra-MSC
will result in an increase of the capacity with 1%.

Section 8 Optimisation

Selective IMEI Check
It is advisable to use the selective IMEI check for all access types,
which results in a gain of capacity of 4%. To be able to decrease
the system recovery time it is recommended to switch off IMEI
checking for the access type location update.

Selective Authentication
The usage of selective authentication for all access types is
strongly recommended from a capacity point of view. In case of
the activation of selective authentication instead of authentication
for each access, the increase of capacity is equal to 6.2%.

Section 8 Optimisation
A better network and cell planning will result in some cases in more
capacity, when less location updates and handovers are needed.
Moreover the number of small nodes in a network may decrease
the overall network capacity, since they may introduce more
inter-MSC handovers, more new registrations and a higher
amount of transit traffic compared to a network with several big
nodes. Furthermore the split of GMSC and MSC allows a better
maintainable network and more capacity in the separate entities,
also the usage of different processors for each entity will be
possible. Stand-alone HLR will also increase the total capacity in
the network.

Section 8 Optimisation
GPRS TCP/IP Strategies
Datagram: It is a technical term for a packet of data and composed of
many components. The most basic is:

Section 8 Optimisation
IP Datagram Components
Options (and padding)


Destination Address
Source Address
Time to Live Header Checksum Protocol
Identification Flags Fragmentation Offset
Version IHL Type of Service Total Length
Section 8 Optimisation
Whats in a Datagram
Version: Version of IP (example: IPv4, IPv6)
IP Header Length: The datagrams header size in 32 bit words.
Type of Service: Indicates priority of the packet. This is determined
by the type of data in the packet. (QoS - Quality of Service)
Total length: Size of the IP packet (in bytes).
Identification: An integer number identifying the datagram.

Section 8 Optimisation

Flags: A 3-bit field of which the low-order 2 bits control
fragmentation. One bit specifies whether the packet can be
fragmented; the second bit specifies whether the packet is the
last fragment in a series of fragmented packets.
Fragmentation Offset: A sequence number for the bytes in
this packet when reassembling.
Time-to-live: A counter that discards the datagram when it
reaches a limited. This prevents the packet from looping
endlessly on the network.
Protocol: Indicates which upper-layer protocol receives
incoming packets after IP processing is complete.

Section 8 Optimisation

Header Checksum: Helps ensure IP header integrity.
Source Address: Specifies the sending node.
Destination Address: Specifies the receiving node.
Options: Allows IP to support various options, such as security.
Data: Information payload.

Section 8 Optimisation

TCP/IP is the Packet Data
technology used by the Internet.
GPRS will also be using the
TCP/IP standard.
Section 8 Optimisation






Fiber cable, Microwave link
Network Interface Card
WWW, e-mail, data services
Section 8 Optimisation
TCP Characteristics

Concerned only with the origin
and destination on the network.

Adapts to congestion

Provides virtual connection
Section 8 Optimisation
IP Addressing
For example: (Octets 0-255)
In binary form, it looks like:
IP number is like an address
Section 8 Optimisation

An IP address consists of two parts
Identifies the network
Identifies the node or host
These two parts specifies the class where the node belongs..

Section 8 Optimisation
Address Classes

There are 5 different address classes.
The first byte of the first octet determines the class of the address.
Class A addresses start with 0.
Class B addresses start with 10.
Class C addresses start with 110.
Class D addresses start with 1110.
Class E addresses start with 1111
Section 8 Optimisation
5 Classes of IP Address
Quantity of
in each
Class A: 1-126
Class B: 128-191
Class C: 192-223
127: Reserved (loopback)
Section 8 Optimisation
Finding an IPs Network Address
When a node receives a packet, it needs to determine the Network
Address of the network where the destination node belongs.
This is done by using the network subnet mask.
Subtracting the subnet mask to an IP address results in the
identification of the network and node sections of an the IP address

- 11111111.11111111.00000000.00000000
Section 8 Optimisation
Transmission Methods
Transmission is the supporting layer under TCP/IP.

Types of transmission
Frame Relay
ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode)

Section 8 Optimisation
Asynchronous Transfer Mode - A high speed, low delay, multiplexing and
switching technology that can support any type of traffic including voice,
data, and video applications. ATM is ideally suited to applications that
cannot tolerate time delay, as well as for transporting frame relay and IP
traffic that are characterized as bursty.

Section 8 Optimisation
Other Packet-Based Networks

X.25 --- A popular standard for packet-switching networks.

CLNP --- (Connection-Less Network Protocol) derived from IP.

Section 8 Optimisation