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HUAWEI BSC6000 Base Station Subsystem

BSS Feature Description 19 GPRS

19 GPRS

About This Chapter

19.1 Overview
This describes the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), which is a type of end-to-end packet
switched services based on the GSM technology.
19.2 Availability
This lists the NEs and software required for the implementation of GPRS.
19.3 Impact
This describes the impact of GPRS on system performance and on other features.
19.4 Technical Description
This describes two technical aspects of GPRS: RLC modes and network operation modes.
19.5 Capabilities
This describes the number of E1s on the Pb interface and the relations between coding schemes
and data rates.
19.6 Implementation
This describes how to configure and verify AMR.
19.7 Maintenance Information
This lists the alarms and counters related to GPRS.
19.8 References

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19.1 Overview
This describes the General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), which is a type of end-to-end packet
switched services based on the GSM technology.

Definition
GPRS enables a subscriber to send and receive data in end-to-end packet transfer mode and has
the following features:
l GPRS makes full use of the existing GSM network infrastructure.
l GPRS enables efficient use of radio resources.
l GPRS provides a high radio access rate of 171.2 kbit/s. It interacts with the GSM system
a lot.
l GPRS supports standard interfaces.

GPRS provides abundant packet services, for example, mobile Internet access, e-Commerce (e-
Bank and e-Currency), cluster management, remote control/remote measurement, booking
system (hotels, theatres, and airplanes), and group call based services (stock information
publication).

Purposes
GPRS provides MSs with high-speed packet data services. It prolongs the life expectancy of
GSM, enhances the utilization of radio resources, and extends the third generation mobile
communication market. GPRS can smoothly evolve to the 3G network and thus effectively
protect the investment of the operators.

Terms
None

Acronyms
Acronyms Full Spelling

BSSGP Base Station System GPRS Protocol

BVC BSSGP Virtual Connection

CCCH Common Control Channel

GPRS General Packet Radio Service

PACCH Packet Associated Control Channel

PCCCH Packet Common Control Channel

PCIC Packet Circuit Identity Code

QoS Quality of Service

RLC Radio Link Control

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Acronyms Full Spelling

TBF Temporary Block Flow

19.2 Availability
This lists the NEs and software required for the implementation of GPRS.

Network Elements Involved


Table 19-1 describes the NEs involved in GPRS.

Table 19-1 NEs involved in GPRS

MS BTS BSC MSC PCU SGSN GGSN HLR

√ √ √ - √ √ √ √
NOTE
l -: not involved

l √: involved

Software Releases
Table 19-2 describes the versions of GBSS products that support GPRS.

Table 19-2 GBSS products and software versions

Product Version

BSC BSC6000 V900R003C01 and later


releases

BTS BTS30 All releases

BTS312 All releases

BTS3012A All releases

BTS3001C All releases

BTS3002C All releases

BTS3006C All releases

BTS3012 All releases

BTS3012AE All releases

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Miscellaneous
If multiple PCUs are configured on the BSC side, the following requirements should be met:
l These PCUs must use a uniform encoding rule.
The PCICs on the BSC side must correspond to those on the PCU side. In addition, the
PCICs on the BSC side must be uniformly numbered. When the BSC is connected to
multiple PCUs, the PCICs must be uniformly numbered in the BSC. Thus, the PCICs of
these PCUs must be uniformly numbered.
l When configuring the parameters on the A interface, ensure that CS paging messages are
not transmitted through the Gs interface.
At present, flow control is not provided on the Pb interface. If the BSC is connected to
multiple PCUs and the CS paging messages on the A interface are transmitted through the
Gb interface, then the same CS paging message is transmitted from multiple PCUs to the
BSC through the Pb interface. This increases the load of the BSC.
l As the BSC and the PCU cannot automatically check whether the physical connection is
consistent with the data configuration, you should ensure that the physical connection
between the PCU and the BSC is consistent with the data configuration.

19.3 Impact
This describes the impact of GPRS on system performance and on other features.

Impact on System Performance


Adding PS services to the BSC decreases the performance of CS services. The detailed reasons
are as follows:
l PS services use the speech channels on the Um interface, thus decreasing the capability to
bear speech services.
l Compared with CS1 or CS2, CS3 or CS4 requires more timeslots on the Abis interface.
Thus, the number of idle TRXs carried by E1s on the Abis interface is decreased.

Impact on Other Features


EGPRS can be configured only after GPRS is configured.

19.4 Technical Description


This describes two technical aspects of GPRS: RLC modes and network operation modes.

19.4.1 GPRS Networking


This describes GPRS networking. The GPRS network provides GSM-enabled MSs with
application interfaces for data communication. You can construct the GPRS network by adding
GPRS support nodes (GSNs) and packet control units (PCUs) and by upgrading the software of
the GSM network.
19.4.2 RLC Mode
This describes the radio link control (RLC) modes supported by the BSS: RLC acknowledged
mode and RLC unacknowledged mode.
19.4.3 Network Operation Mode

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This describes three network operation modes, which are used by the GPRS network to
coordinate the paging of CS services and PS services.
19.4.4 QoS
This describes the flexible QoS mechanism provided by GPRS for subscribers.
19.4.5 TBF Assignment
This describes TBF assignment. When the network or an MS requests for the establishment of
TBF to transmit data, the GSM/GPRS network assigns channel resources for data transmission
or refuses the request based on the network resources status and the multislot capability of the
MS.
19.4.6 Paging
This describes the packet paging and paging co-ordination in the GPRS/GSM system.
19.4.7 Timing Advance
This describes Timing advance (TA). The TA procedure is used to extract the correct TA value
so that the MS can transmit radio data blocks on the uplink.
19.4.8 Flow Control
This describes the flow control in the GPRS system. The PCU provides data flow control over
the downlink and periodically reports relevant parameters to the SGSN.
19.4.9 Dynamic Conversion Between TCH and PDCH
This describes the dynamic conversion between a TCH and a PDCH. To reduce the impact of
GPRS services on GSM speech services, the Huawei GPRS BSS supports the dynamic
conversion between a TCH and a PDCH.
19.4.10 Packet Access
This describes packet access. The RLC/MAC layer of an MS initiates a packet channel request
if the MS needs to transmit data.
19.4.11 Pb Interface
This describes the Pb interface, which is a non-standard internal interface between the PCU and
the BSC. The implementation of the Pb interface varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

19.4.1 GPRS Networking


This describes GPRS networking. The GPRS network provides GSM-enabled MSs with
application interfaces for data communication. You can construct the GPRS network by adding
GPRS support nodes (GSNs) and packet control units (PCUs) and by upgrading the software of
the GSM network.

The components of the GPRS network are as follows:

l Serving GPRS support node (SGSN)


l Gateway GPRS support node (GGSN)
l SGSN OM center (OMC-G)
l Border gateway
l Charging gateway
l HLR/AUC
l PCU
l BSC

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l BTS
l DNS
l Firewall

GPRS features flexible networking modes. It can be deployed according to actual requirements.
l When the GRPS traffic volume of each BSC is low, multiple BSCs can be connected to
one PCU.
l When the GPRS traffic volume of a BSC is high and one PCU cannot meet service
requirements, multiple PCUs can be connected to the BSC.
Figure 19-1 shows the GPRS networking.

Figure 19-1 GPRS networking

PSTN

MSC HLR

Abis
BTS A
BSC
A Gs Gr Gc
Pb

Gb Gn
Abis Pb
Pb
PCU SGSN GGSN

Gb
BTS
BSC Pb
PDN

PCU

19.4.2 RLC Mode


This describes the radio link control (RLC) modes supported by the BSS: RLC acknowledged
mode and RLC unacknowledged mode.

RLC Acknowledged Mode


In RLC acknowledged mode, the retransmission mechanism is used to transmit RLC data blocks.
The sender numbers RLC data blocks with block serial numbers (BSNs), which are used for
retransmission and reconstruction. The receiver sends Packet ACK/NACK messages to request
retransmission of RLC data blocks.

RLC Unacknowledged Mode


In RLC unacknowledged mode, RLC data blocks are not retransmitted. During the release of
UL TBF, the last UL data block may be retransmitted. The sender numbers an RLC data block
with the BSN in the header of the RLC data block to facilitate data reconstruction. The receiver
sends a Packet ACK/NACK message to request retransmission of other necessary control
signals.

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19.4.3 Network Operation Mode


This describes three network operation modes, which are used by the GPRS network to
coordinate the paging of CS services and PS services.

Network Operation Mode I


In network operation mode I, the network performs paging coordination and the Gs interface is
configured. For a GPRS-attached MS, the network sends PS paging messages and CS paging
messages on one channel. Thus, the MS needs to monitor only one paging channel. If a PDCH
is assigned to the MS, the network can send the MS CS paging messages on the PDCH.

Network Operation Mode II


In network operation mode II, the network does not perform paging coordination. All paging
messages are transmitted on PCHs. MSs need to monitor only PCHs. Even if an MS is assigned
with a PDCH, the MS monitors PCHs for CS paging messages.

Network Operation Mode III


In network operation mode III, the network does not perform paging coordination. All CS paging
messages are transmitted on PCHs. If a cell is configured with PCCCHs, PS paging messages
are transmitted on PPCHs, and MSs need to monitor both PCHs and PPCHs.
Table 19-3 lists the channels over which CS paging messages and PS paging messages are sent
in these network operation modes.

Table 19-3 Network operation modes

Network CS Paging Message GPRS Paging Message Combined Paging


Operation
Mode

Ⅰ PPCH PPCH Yes

PCH PCH

PACCH No

Ⅱ PCH PCH No

Ⅲ PCH PPCH No

PCH PCH

19.4.4 QoS
This describes the flexible QoS mechanism provided by GPRS for subscribers.
Each packet data protocol (PDP) context has a unique corresponding network QoS script. QoS
has five basic attributes:
l Precedence level

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l Delay class
l Reliability class
l Peak throughput class
l Mean throughput class
NOTE

Portfolios of different values for the attributes form various QoS scripts. One GPRS network may support
only a subset of the QoS portfolios.

When a user is registered with the GPRS network, the user reserves the default QoS script. In
the PDP context activation procedure, the MS negotiates the QoS script with the network. The
MS may request for and reserve a QoS that is different from the default QoS. During the
negotiation of a QoS profile, an MS can apply a value for each QoS attribute, including the
default value stored in the HLR and used for registration. The network also needs to negotiate
a level for each attribute so that the level of an attribute is consistent with the available GPRS
resources. The network always provides appropriate resources to support the negotiated QoS
profiles.

Precedence Class
The GPRS network defines precedence levels 1, 2, and 3. For uplink transmission, precedence
levels 1, 2, and 3 map to radio priorities 2, 3, and 4 respectively. The precedence level of radio
interface signaling is 1.

Delay Class
The delay class has four levels: 1, 2, 3, and 4. The network should support at least delay level
4, that is, best effort.

Reliability Class
As listed in Table 19-4, the reliability class is determined by GTP, LLC and RLC transmission
mode.

Table 19-4 Requirements of the reliability class for protocol layers

LLC
Reliabi LLC Protecti
lity GTP Frame on RLC
Class Mode Mode Mode Mode Type of Service

1 Ackno Ackno Protected Acknowl Non-real-time services, sensitive to


wledg wledge mode edged error, data loss not allowed
ed d mode mode
mode

2 Unack Ackno Protected Acknowl Non-real-time services, sensitive to


nowle wledge mode edged error, occasional data loss allowed
dged d mode mode
mode

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LLC
Reliabi LLC Protecti
lity GTP Frame on RLC
Class Mode Mode Mode Mode Type of Service

3 Unack Unackn Protected Acknowl Non-real-time services, sensitive to


nowle owledg mode edged error, data loss being processed
dged ed mode
mode mode

4 Unack Unackn Protected Unackno Real-time services, sensitive to


nowle owledg mode wledged error, data loss being processed
dged ed mode
mode mode

5 Unack Unackn Unprotec Unackno Real-time services, insensitive to


nowle owledg ted mode wledged error, data loss being processed
dged ed mode
mode mode

NOTE

For real-time services, the QoS configuration has requirements for delay class and throughput class. The
format of an LLC data frame is Header + Information + FCS. Protected mode refers to the case that FCS
protects H0eader and Information. Unprotected mode refers to the case that FCS protects Header and the
data contained in the first byte of Information.

Peak Throughput Class


Peak throughput refers to the number of bytes per second at reference points R and Gi. The peak
throughput class defines the maximum data rate in each PDP context. The duration of the peak
throughput, however, is determined by the data capability of the MS and the conditions of
available radio resources. Peak throughput has no correlation with delay class. The delay class
defines the transmission delay of each packet in the GPRS network. Peak throughput has nine
levels, as listed in Table 19-5.

Table 19-5 Peak throughput class

Peak Throughput Level Peak Throughput (Unit: Bytes/Second)

1 ≤ 1000 (8 kbit/s)

2 ≤ 2000 (16 kbit/s)

3 ≤ 4000 (32 kbit/s)

4 ≤ 8000 (64 kbit/s)

5 ≤ 16000 (128 kbit/s)

6 ≤ 32000 (256 kbit/s)

7 ≤ 64000 (512 kbit/s)

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Peak Throughput Level Peak Throughput (Unit: Bytes/Second)

8 ≤ 128000 (1024 kbit/s)

9 ≤ 256000 (2048 kbit/s)

Mean Throughput Class


Mean throughput refers to the number of bytes per hour at reference points R and Gi. The
measurement period include the idle time when burst applications do not transmit data. Mean
throughput defines the expected mean rate of the data transmitted through the GPRS network
during the period of the PDP context activation. For convenience, even if the network can provide
higher throughput, it limits the mean throughput of a subscriber to a certain level. The throughput
level Best Effort is negotiated according to the requirement of an MS and according to available
radio resources. Mean throughput has nineteen levels, as listed in Table 19-6.

Table 19-6 Mean throughput class


Mean Throughput Class Mean Throughput (Bytes/Hour)

1 100 (about 0.22 bit/s)

2 200 (about 0.44 bit/s)

3 500 (about 1.11 bit/s)

4 1000 (about 2.2 bit/s)

5 2000 (about 4.4 bit/s)

6 5000 (about 11.1 bit/s)

7 10000 (about 22 bit/s)

8 20000 (about 44 bit/s)

9 50000 (about 111 bit/s)

10 100000 (about 0.22 kbit/s)

11 200000 (about 0.44 kbit/s)

12 500000 (about 1.11 kbit/s)

13 1000000 (about 2.2 kbit/s)

14 2000000 (about 4.4 kbit/s)

15 5000000 (about 11.1 kbit/s)

16 10000000 (about 22 kbit/s)

17 20000000 (about 44 kbit/s)

18 50000000 (about 111 kbit/s)

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Mean Throughput Class Mean Throughput (Bytes/Hour)

31 Best effort

19.4.5 TBF Assignment


This describes TBF assignment. When the network or an MS requests for the establishment of
TBF to transmit data, the GSM/GPRS network assigns channel resources for data transmission
or refuses the request based on the network resources status and the multislot capability of the
MS.

l The network can assign TBF resources through the CCCH, PACCH, or PCCCH. TBF
assignment is classified into uplink TBF assignment and downlink TBF assignment. When
channel resources are insufficient or for other reasons, the network can reject a request for
TBF establishment.
– When an MS requests TBF establishment to transmit data, the network sends an
Immediate Assignment message over the CCCH or a Packet Uplink Assignment
message over the PCCCH to assign radio resources to the MS.
– When an MS requests establishment of an uplink TBF during its TBF data transmission
over the downlink, the network assigns a packet uplink channel to the MS through the
PACCH. The MS transmits data on the assigned channel.
– When the network needs to establish a TBF for downlink data transmission, the network
sends an Immediate Assignment message over the CCCH or a Packet Uplink
Assignment message over the PCCCH to assign radio resources to the MS.
– When the MS transmits uplink TBF data, the network can assign a packet downlink
channel to the MS through the PACCH if the network requests establishment of a TBF
for downlink data transmission The MS transmits data on the assigned channel.
l The network assigns resources on different channels based on the CCCH or PCCCH
configuration. In addition, the network can perform different assignments such as single
block assignment and packet resource assignment based on different access requests, such
as Two Phase Access, One Phase Access, and Single Block Without TBF Establishment.
The BSS supports the following assignment modes:
– Packet uplink resource assignment over a PACCH
– Packet downlink resource assignment over a PACCH
– Uplink immediate assignment for TBF establishment over a CCCH
– Downlink immediate assignment for TBF establishment over a CCCH

19.4.6 Paging
This describes the packet paging and paging co-ordination in the GPRS/GSM system.

Packet Paging
In the GPRS/GSM system, the packet paging procedure is as follows:

1. When the network needs to transmit downlink data to an MS, the SGSN initiates packet
paging to locate the MS.

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2. The SGSN sends a paging request message to the PCU through the Gb interface. The PCU
converts the paging request message into a Packet Paging Request message and sends it
over the Um interface.
l If a PCCCH is configured in the BSS, the Packet Paging Request message is sent over
the PPCH.
l If no PCCCH is configured in the BSS, then the PCU forwards the Packet Paging
Request message to the BSC through the Pb interface. Then the BSC sends the message
over a PCH.
3. After receiving the Packet Paging Request message, the MS initiates an uplink TBF
establishment procedure. Then the MS sends a paging response packet in the format of data
to the PCU through the Um interface.
4. The PCU forwards the paging response packet to the SGSN. After receiving the paging
response packet, the SGSN processes it and starts to transmit downlink data.

Paging Co-ordination
In the GSM network, when a circuit paging reaches an MSC, the MSC determines the registered
location area of the MS. Then the MSC sends the circuit paging message to all the BSCs within
the location area.

l If the Gs interface between the SGSN and the MSC is available, the GPRS/GSM network
operates in network operation mode I. The CS paging messages of GSM services can be
transmitted over GPRS packet channels. If an MS is attached to the GPRS, the CS paging
messages are transmitted through the Gs interface, Gb interface, MSC, and SGSN to the
PCU. Then the PCU determines the channel to send the paging message. The principle for
determining the channel is as follows:
– If the MS is assigned with a packet dedicated channel, paging messages are sent over a
PACCH.
– If the MS is not assigned with a packet dedicated channel but a PCCCH is configured,
paging messages are sent over a PPCH.
– If no PDCH is assigned to the MS and no PCCCH is configured in the system, the PCU
forwards the paging message to the BSC through the Pb interface. Then the BSC sends
the CS paging message over the PCH.
l If the Gs interface between the SGSN and the MSC is unavailable, the GPRS/GSM system
can operate only in network operation mode II or III. In this case, the system sends CS
paging messages over the CCCH.
After receiving the circuit paging message, the MS accesses the network through the RACH
to establish a circuit connection. The MS initiates the GPRS Suspend process to suspend
the ongoing GPRS service. When the circuit connection is released, the MS resumes the
GPRS service.

The Huawei BSS supports the two paging modes described above.

19.4.7 Timing Advance


This describes Timing advance (TA). The TA procedure is used to extract the correct TA value
so that the MS can transmit radio data blocks on the uplink.

The TA of the GPRS system is classified into two types:

l Initial TA estimation

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l Continuous TA update

Initial TA Estimation
An initial TA value is estimated based on a single access burst requesting a packet channel.
Then, the network sends the TA to an MS through a Packet Uplink Assignment or a Packet
Downlink Assignment message. Before receiving a new TA value, the MS uses this initial TA
value for uplink data transmission.

Continuous TA Update
An MS in packet transfer mode should update TA continuously. The TA is transmitted over the
PTCCH that is assigned to the MS.
l For uplink packet transmission, the network sends the MS a Packet Uplink Assignment
message to assign the timing advance index (TAI) and PTCCH.
l For downlink packet transmission, the network sends the MS a Packet Downlink
Assignment message to assign the TAI and PTCCH.
TAI specifies the PTCCH to be used by the MS. On the uplink, the MS sends access bursts on
the assigned PTCCH. The network receives the access bursts to extract the TA value.
The network analyzes the TA value and determines a new TA value for each MS that performs
continuous TA update over the PDCH. The new TA value is sent to the MS through a downlink
signaling message on the PTCCH/D. The network can also send the new TA value to the MS
through a Packet Power Control/Timing Advance or a Packet Uplink ACK/NACK message over
the PACCH.

19.4.8 Flow Control


This describes the flow control in the GPRS system. The PCU provides data flow control over
the downlink and periodically reports relevant parameters to the SGSN.
Because the physical media and transmission protocols on the Gb interface are different from
those on the Um interface, the two interfaces have different data transmission rates. The data
rate on the Gb interface is greater than that on the Um interface. In addition, the downlink data
transmission rate on the Um interface is subject to various factors, such as the multislot capability
of the MS, radio receive quality, and available radio channels in the cell. Therefore, the data
transmission rate is unstable and the flow control of downlink data is required.
When a cell is in the stable state, the PCU initiates the flow control procedure. Based on the
conditions of the radio packet channels in the cell, the PCU periodically reports the Bucket size
and Bucket rate of the cell to the SGSN. In addition, the PCU reports the Bucket size and Bucket
rate of the MS based on the radio resource utilization of the MS. Based on the reported
parameters, the SGSN adjusts the downlink data rates of the cell and of each MS to achieve flow
control.
NOTE

l The Bucket of a cell refers to the maximum volume of packet data that can be stored in the cell. The
volume varies with the number of packet channels in the cell.
l The Bucket of an MS refers to the maximum volume of packet data that can be stored in the MS. The
volume varies with the number of packet channels assigned to the MS.
l Bucket rate refers to the data transmission rate.

The Huawei PCU can perform data flow control on the downlink. It periodically reports the
Bucket size and Bucket rate of the current cell and of an MS to the SGSN and adjusts the reported

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parameters based on the changes of cell packet resources and of the resource occupation of the
MS.

The GPRS system supports the downlink flow control of the BVC and MS.

19.4.9 Dynamic Conversion Between TCH and PDCH


This describes the dynamic conversion between a TCH and a PDCH. To reduce the impact of
GPRS services on GSM speech services, the Huawei GPRS BSS supports the dynamic
conversion between a TCH and a PDCH.

The Huawei GPRS BSS classifies channels into three types: fixed packet service channels,
speech service channels, and dynamic channels.

l Fixed packet service channel


The fixed packet service channels consist of PBCCHs, PCCCHs, and PDCHs. They are
dedicated for packet services.
l Speech service channel
The speech service channels consist of TCHs, BCCHs, and SDCCHs. They are dedicated
for speech services.
l Dynamic channel
The dynamic channel is initialized as a TCH and can be dynamically converted into a
PDCH.

When the packet traffic volume is high and the speech traffic volume is low, the PCU requests
the BSC to convert dynamic channels into dynamic packet service channels. When the speech
traffic volume is high, the BSC requests the PCU to hand over dynamic channels and converts
them into TCHs. In this process, speech services take priority over packet services to guarantee
the QoS of speech services.

19.4.10 Packet Access


This describes packet access. The RLC/MAC layer of an MS initiates a packet channel request
if the MS needs to transmit data.

The access types of packet channel requests include Short Access, One Phase Access, Two Phase
Access, Single Block Without TBF Establishment, Page Response, Cell Update, and Mobility
Management.

l If less than eight RLC blocks are transmitted, the MS should request Short Access. The
number of blocks should be calculated based on CS-1.
l If more than eight RLC blocks are transmitted and the requested RLC mode is the
acknowledged mode, the MS should request either One Phase Access or Two Phase Access.
l If the data to be sent is a measurement report, then MS should request Single Block Without
TBF Establishment.

In addition, if the purpose of a packet access procedure is to send a Page Response, Cell Update,
or Mobility Management, the MS can request One Phase Access or Two Phase Access.

l For Short Access and One Phase Access, radio resources (such as the TFI, USF, and radio
block position list) are assigned to an MS at a time.
l For a Two Phase Access channel request, only a radio block is assigned to the MS in the
first phase. Then the MS sends a Packet Resource Request message through the radio block.

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In the second phase, radio resources (such as the TFI, USF, and radio block position list)
are assigned to the MS. Then the MS starts to send data on the assigned radio resources.
A Packet Channel Request message is an 8-bit or 11-bit access burst, which carries a small
amount of information. A Packet Resource Request message, a RLC/MAC signaling packet with
CS-1, can carry relatively more information (including the TLLI and multislot capability of the
MS, and radio priority). This helps to assign appropriate resources for the MS.
Huawei PCU supports all these access types. For access types such as Page Response, Cell
Update, and Mobility Management, Huawei PCU processes them by regarding them as a Two
Phase Access.

19.4.11 Pb Interface
This describes the Pb interface, which is a non-standard internal interface between the PCU and
the BSC. The implementation of the Pb interface varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.

19.4.11.1 Description of Pb Interface


This describes the functions and protocol stack on the Pb interface.
19.4.11.2 Management of Pb Interface
This describes the Pb interface management, which consists of trunk circuit management, packet
radio resource management, packet service access support, transmission management, and PBSL
management.
19.4.11.3 Features of Pb Interface
This describes the features of the Pb interface. The Pb interface supports dynamic channel
conversion between packet services and speech services. It also enables the MS to request access
channels over a CCCH.

Description of Pb Interface
This describes the functions and protocol stack on the Pb interface.

Functions of the Pb Interface


Various shared resources such as cells, packet channels, E1 trunks, and system information are
managed on the Pb interface. The Pb interface also supports dynamic channel conversion. In
addition, it also supports the access of an MS on the CCCH.
The BTS is connected to the PCU through the BSC. The links between the PCU and the BSC
consist of signaling links and traffic links.

Protocol Stack on the Pb Interface


Figure 19-2 shows the protocol stack on the Pb interface.

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Figure 19-2 Protocol stack on the Pb interface


BSC PCU

RR
APP
PbIP

LAPD LAPD

Layer1 Layer1

Pb

l Layer 1 -- physical layer complies with the G.703 standard. It is realized by sub-timeslots
over E1 cables. The bandwidth of an E1 is divided into 128 sub-timeslots of 16 kbit/s, of
which four sub-timeslots are used for synchronization.
l Layer 2 -- link layer uses the LAPD protocol, which is a general data link layer protocol.
It uses the data transmission service from the physical layer and provides connection-
oriented or connectionless services to layer 3. In short, the purpose of LAPD is to connect
layer 3 to layer 1. It uses the transmission function of layer 1 to provide reliable end-to-end
information transmission for layer 3 entities.
l Layer 3 protocol is the key part of the Pb interface. It consists of a series of self-defined
signaling messages. Layer 3 manages various GPRS resources between the PCU and the
BSC and supports dynamic channel conversion between speech services and packet
services. In addition, layer 3 enables the MS to initiate access procedures and enables the
network to send speech paging messages on CCCHs.
NOTE

Since the standard LAPD protocol is used for layer 2, the Pb interface protocol often refers to signaling
flow on Layer 3 of the Pb interface.

Management of Pb Interface
This describes the Pb interface management, which consists of trunk circuit management, packet
radio resource management, packet service access support, transmission management, and PBSL
management.

Trunk Circuit Management


The purpose of trunk circuit management is to ensure the consistency between the status of trunk
circuits on the BSC side and that on the PCU side. Thus, when requesting a PDCH or dynamic
channel conversion, the PCU can be assigned with an idle circuit to ensure data services.

The procedures related to the circuit resource management on the Pb interface are as follows:

l Circuit Block procedure


l Circuit Unblock procedure
l Uninstall Circuit procedure

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l Reset Circuit procedure

The causes that initiate these procedures consist of device (over the Pb interface) status change
and OMC maintenance.

The following rules are used to manage trunk circuits over the Pb interface to simplify the design:

l The BSC records only the maintenance status of the circuits.


l All circuit management messages are sent by the BSC.
l Circuits can be blocked, unblocked, and reset on the PCU side. The status of the circuits
on the BSC side is not affected.
l If circuit maintenance is set to unavailable on the PCU side, then the setting cannot be
modified on the BSC side. That is, the BSC has no rights to unblock the circuit that is
blocked through the PCU LocalWS.
NOTE

The procedures of Circuit Block/Unblock, Uninstall Circuit, and Reset Circuit are almost the same as those
on the A interface. The only difference is that the MSC is changed to the PCU and the trunk CIC on the A
interface is changed to the trunk circuit code PCIC on the Pb interface.

Radio Resource Management


Radio resource management on the Pb interface only refers to the management of the radio
resources related to packet services.

l All the information on radio resources is configured on the BSC6000 Local Maintenance
Terminal. Radio resource information on the PCU is obtained from the BSC. The whole
procedure consists of three parts:
– The cells on the BSC side and those on the PCU side are reset.
– The BSC notifies the PCU of the packet radio configuration.
– Packet system information starts to broadcast.
l Circuit services and packet services share radio resources, which are allocated on demand.
Circuit services take priority over packet services in the allocation.
Allocation on demand enables the BSC to assign radio resources between circuit services
and packet services in real time based on actual requirements. This means a dynamic
conversion between TCHs and PDCHs. The channel conversion procedures on the Pb
interface are classified into the following types:
– If the packet channels are insufficient for packet services, the PCU requests the BSC to
convert TCHs into PDCHs. The BSC accepts or rejects the request based on the number
of available TCHs. If there are many idle TCHs, the BSC accepts the request, performs
channel conversion, and notifies the BTS to modify the channel attributes.
– When the BSC finds TCHs insufficient for circuit services, it requests the PCU to hand
over some PDCHs and converts them into TCHs. This requirement is mandatory to
ensure the QoS of circuit services.
– When the PCU finds that there are too many PDCHs idle, it automatically hands over
some PDCHs, which are converted into TCHs again. This ensures the QoS of circuit
services.
l The BSC is responsible for assigning TCHs, and the PCU is responsible for assigning
PDCHs.

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After a PDCH is assigned to the PCU, the allocation and release of the PDCH is determined
by the PCU. Similar to that the GSM network, the BSC is responsible for the allocation
and release of TCHs.
l The status of radio resources on the BSC side should be consistent with that on the PCU
side.
To ensure the consistency, the BSC needs to notify the PCU of such information as the
change of the BTS and the impact of OMC operation on radio resource status. For example,
if a certain packet channel is blocked through the OMC, the BSC should notify the PCU
to update the status of the channel.

Packet Service Access Support


System Information 13 should be broadcast on the BCCH to support GPRS. In addition, System
Information 3 and 7 should be modified to contain relevant GPRS information such as GPRS
Indicator. Based on various system information, an MS decides whether and how to access the
serving cell to request packet services.
If no PCCCH is configured in the serving cell, the MS requests packet services through a CCCH.
The MS can request packet services through one or more of three procedures:
l MS originated packet access
l MS terminated packet access
l Packet service suspension and restoration of an MS in class-B mode

Transmission Management
When converting a TCH into a PDCH, the BSC connects the trunk circuits on the Abis interface
with those on the Pb interface. During transmission of packet data, the BSC forwards packets
between the BTS and the PCU. When converting a PDCH into a TCH, the BSC needs to
disconnect the trunk circuits.
In general, each PDCH corresponds to a 16 kbit/s data channel. During data transmission, if the
PCU finds the transmission quality satisfactory, it can use a more efficient coding scheme, such
as CS-3 or CS-4. Meanwhile, the BSC needs to dynamically assign another 16 kbit/s data channel
to the PDCH. Therefore, the PDCH corresponds to a 32 kbit/s data channel.

PbSL Management
The Pb interface signaling links (PbSLs) are LAPD links. PbSL management includes the link
load sharing and the transmission and reception of messages on the Pb interface.
If no PCCCH is configured in a cell, both the disconnection of all PbSLs and the recovery of
any disconnected PbSL lead to the release of the resources of the cell on both sides of the Pb
interface.
Code error may occur during transmission. Thus, the Pb interface has error handling function.
Messages that have error codes are omitted and confusion messages are transmitted selectively.

Features of Pb Interface
This describes the features of the Pb interface. The Pb interface supports dynamic channel
conversion between packet services and speech services. It also enables the MS to request access
channels over a CCCH.

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1. Supporting dynamic channel conversion between packet services and speech services
Huawei GPRS BSS classifies channel attributes into three types: fixed packet service
channels, speech service channels, and dynamic channels.
l Fixed packet service channel
The fixed packet service channels include PBCCHs and PCCCHs. They are dedicated
for packet services.
l Speech service channel
The speech service channels consist of TCHs, BCCHs, and SDCCHs. They are
dedicated for speech services.
l Dynamic channel
Dynamic channels are initialized as TCHs. TCHs can be dynamically converted into
PDCHs.
When the packet traffic volume is high and the speech traffic volume is low, the PCU
requests the BSC to convert dynamic channels into dynamic packet service channels. When
the speech traffic volume is high, the BSC requests the PCU to hand over dynamic channels
and converts them into TCHs. In this process, speech services take priority over packet
service to ensure the QoS of speech services.
2. Supporting the MS to request access channels on a CCCH
As the BTS cannot identify an access request message sent by the MS on a CCCH, the BSC
needs to analyze the request message from the MS. If the message is a packet access request,
the BSC forwards it to the PCU. Similarly, the BSC needs to process the immediate
assignment message from the PCU before sending the message to the BTS. Therefore, the
procedure for processing the access request of an MS over the CCCH is different from that
over a PCCCH.
The technique of an MS that supports the access on a CCCH is relatively simple. Thus the
cost of the MS is low. These MSs are commonly used during the initial deployment stage
of GPRS services. The Pb interface enables the PCU to support two different MS access
modes. Thus, the adaptability of the system to various MSs is greatly improved.
3. Maintaining the consistency of various resources and data between the BSC and the PCU
Because the PCU and the BSC are located at two places, the data of various shared resources
(such as cells, channels, PCIC trunks, and system information parameters) should be
consistent. This is another major function of the Pb interface. The functions of the Pb
interface involve the maintenance and management of some resources, such as the cell
parameter configuration, cell restart, channel block/unblock, PCIC block/unblock, PCIC
restart, packet system information parameter configuration, and regular check on all the
resource data.
4. Sending speech paging messages
When the network operates in network operation mode I and no PCCCH is configured, the
MSC sends a speech paging message through the Gs interface and Gb interface. After
receiving the speech paging message, the PCU sends it to the BSC through the Pb interface.
Then the BSC sends the speech paging message on a CCCH.
5. Supporting GPRS suspension and recovery messages sent by B-Class MSs
An MS in class-B mode cannot simultaneously perform CS services and PS services.
Therefore, after conversion from a PS service to a CS service, the MS sends a GPRS
suspension request to the BSC. Then the BSC sends the request to the PCU through the Pb
interface for processing. After the CS service is complete, the BSC sends a GPRS service

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recovery request to the PCU through the Pb interface. The process of messages of this kind
improves the system capability to support Class-B MSs.
6. Supporting two transmission modes
In addition to terrestrial transmission, the Pb interface supports satellite transmission.
By using these two transmission modes, you can install the BSC and the PCU in different
equipment rooms. This solves the problem of long distance transmission where one PCU
is cascaded with multiple BSCs.

19.5 Capabilities
This describes the number of E1s on the Pb interface and the relations between coding schemes
and data rates.

The capabilities of GPRS are as follows:

l GPRS uses the GMSK modulation mode. Table 19-7 lists the relations between coding
schemes and data rates.

Table 19-7 GPRS coding schemes and data rates

Coding Scheme Rate (kbit/s)

CS-1 8.0

CS-2 12.2

CS-3 14.4

CS-4 20.2

l The number of E1s on the Pb interface supported by the BSC, by each GMPS/GEPS, and
by each GEIUP is 256, 64, and 32 respectively.

19.6 Implementation
This describes how to configure and verify AMR.

19.6.1 Configuring GPRS


This describes how to configure GPRS on the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal.
19.6.2 Verifying GPRS
This describes how to verify GPRS on the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal.

19.6.1 Configuring GPRS


This describes how to configure GPRS on the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal.

Procedure
Step 1 Configure the PCU.

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NOTE

l A BSC can be configured with up to 32 PCUs.


l Each PCU has a unique name and ID number in one BSC.
1. On the Management Tree tab page of theBSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal, right-
click BSC6000 and choose Configure PCU from the shortcut menu. A dialog box is
displayed, as shown in Figure 19-3.

Figure 19-3 Configuring a PCU

2. Click Add. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-4.

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Figure 19-4 Adding a PCU

3. Set PCU No. and PCU Name. Then click OK to return to the dialog box shown in Figure
19-3.
4. Click Finish. A confirm dialog box is displayed.
5. Click Yes to end the configuration.
Step 2 Configure a Pb interface board.
1. On the LMT, click the BSC Device Panel tab. Right-click a slot and then choose Add
Board on the shortcut menu. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-5.

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Figure 19-5 Add Board dialog box

2. Select a Pb interface board (GEIUP/GOIUP).


3. Click Finish to end the configuration.
Step 3 Configure Pb Interface E1 dialog box
1. Right-click a GEIUP in the GMPS, and then choose Configure Pb Interface E1 from the
shortcut menu. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-6.

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Figure 19-6 Configure Pb Interface E1 dialog box

2. Click Add. The Pb Interface E1 Attributes tab page is displayed, as shown in Figure
19-7.

Set Subrack No., Slot No., Port No., Transmission Mode, Start PCIC, PCU No., and
PCU Name.

Figure 19-7 Add Pb Interface E1 dialog box

3. Click OK. to return to the dialog box shown in Figure 19-6.

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4. Click Finish. A confirm dialog box is displayed.


5. Click OK. The configuration of an E1/T1 on the Pb interface is complete.
Step 4 Configure Pb Signaling Link dialog box
1. Right-click a GEIUP in the GMPS and then choose Configure Pb Signaling Link. A dialog
box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-8.

Figure 19-8 Configure Pb Signaling Link dialog box

2. Click Add. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-9.


Set Subrack No., Slot No., Port No., Timeslot No., TEI, Transmission Mode,
Congestion Start Threshold, and Congestion End Threshold.

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Figure 19-9 Add Pb Signaling Link dialog box

3. Click OK. to return to the dialog box shown in Figure 19-6.


4. Click Finish. A confirm dialog box is displayed.
5. Click OK. The configuration of a Pb signaling link is complete.
Step 5 Configure a cell to support GPRS.
1. On the Management Tree tab page of the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal, right-
click the target cell, and then choose Configure Cell Attributes on the shortcut menu. A
dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-10.

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Figure 19-10 Selecting a cell

2. Double-click the target cell in the Cell view list box to add it to the Selected cells list box.
3. Click Next. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-11.

Figure 19-11 Configuring cell attributes

4. In the Cells to be set area, select the target cell, and then click Set Cell Properties. A dialog
box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-12.

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Figure 19-12 Set Cell Attributes dialog box

5. Select GPRS Support. Select the corresponding PCU number from the PCU drop-down
list. Then click OK to return to the dialog box shown in Figure 19-11.
6. Click Finish to end the configuration.
Step 6 Configure a PDCH and a dynamic PDCH for the cell that supports GPRS.
1. On the Management Tree tab page of the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal, right-
click the target TRX to configure a PDCH and then choose Configure Channel
Attributes on the shortcut menu. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-13.

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Figure 19-13 Configuring Channel Attributes dialog box

2. Click Channel Property. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-14.

Figure 19-14 Configure TRX Attributes dialog box

3. Select a Channel No.. Select PDTCH or Dynamic PDCH from the Channel Type drop-
down list.

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4. Click OK. to return to the dialog box shown in Figure 19-13.


5. Click Finish to end the configuration.

----End

19.6.2 Verifying GPRS


This describes how to verify GPRS on the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal.

Procedure
Step 1 Check the configuration of the PCU.
1. On the BSC6000 Local Maintenance Terminal, click the BSC Attribute tab. A tab page
is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-15.

Figure 19-15 BSC Attributes tab page

2. Click PCU. A dialog box is displayed, as shown in Figure 19-16.

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Figure 19-16 View PCU dialog box

3. Check PCU No. and PCU Name.


l If they are the same as those you configured previously, you can infer that the PCU
configuration is successful.
l If they are not the same as those you configured, you can infer that the PCU configuration
fails.
4. Click Quit. The previous window is displayed.
Step 2 Check the E1 on the Pb interface.
1. On the tab page shown in Figure 19-15, click Timeslot of E1 Interface. On the displayed
dialog box, click the Pb Interface E1 tab. A tag page is displayed, as shown in Figure
19-17.

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Figure 19-17 Pb Interface E1 tab page

2. Check whether the information on E1 over the Pb interface is correct.


3. Click Quit. The previous window is displayed.
Step 3 Check the PBSL.
1. On the tab page shown in Figure 19-15, click Pb Signaling Link. A dialog box is displayed,
as shown in Figure 19-18.

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Figure 19-18 View Pb Signaling Link dialog box

2. Check whether the information on the PBSL is correct.


3. Click Quit. The previous window is displayed.

----End

19.7 Maintenance Information


This lists the alarms and counters related to GPRS.

Alarms
Alarm ID Alarm Name

104 All PBSLs in the PCU Are Faulty

128 No Circuit Configured in the PCU

Counters
Table 19-8 lists the counters related to GPRS.

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Table 19-8 Counters related to GPRS


Counter Meaning

AL8351 Mean Number of Faulty Circuits on the Pb


Interface

AL8353 Mean Number of Blocked Circuits on the Pb


Interface

AL8354 Mean Number of Idle Circuits on the Pb


Interface

AL8355 Mean Number of Busy Circuits on the Pb


Interface

AL8352 Mean Number of Circuits in Maintenance State


on the Pb Interface

L0387 Total Number of Messages Received from PCU

L8387 Messages Received from a PCU

R3140 Requests for TCH from the PCU

R3141 Successful Requests for TCH from the PCU

AR3011A Mean Number of Dynamically Configured


Channels (PDCH) (900/850 Cell)

AR3011B Mean Number of Dynamically Configured


Channels (PDCH) (1800/1900 Cell)

CR3011 Mean Number of Dynamically Configured


Channels (PDCH)

AR3021A Mean Number of Available Channels (PDCH)


(900/850 Cell)

AR3021B Mean Number of Available Channels (PDCH)


(1800/1900 Cell)

A031 SGSN-Initiated Paging Requests for PS Service

R3001A Number of Initially Configured Channels (Static


PDCH) (900/850 Cell)

R3001B Number of Initially Configured Channels (Static


PDCH) (1800/1900 Cell)

R3002A Number of Initially Configured Channels


(Dynamic PDCH) (900/850 Cell)

R3002B Number of Initially Configured Channels


(Dynamic PDCH) (1800/1900 Cell)

CR3001 Number of Initially Configured Channels (Static


PDCH)

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Counter Meaning

CR3002 Number of Initially Configured Channels


(Dynamic PDCH)

ZTA331 Paging Requests on the Abis Interface per BSC


(PS Service)

ZTA301H Immediate Assignment Commands per BSC (PS


Service)

ZTL3188D PCH Overloads due to PS Service Counted


through the Indications from the Abis Interface
per BSC

A331 Delivered Paging Messages for PS Service

L3188D PACKET CCCH LOAD IND Messages Sent on


Abis Interface

19.8 References

l 3GPP TS41.061, “General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); GPRS ciphering algorithm
requirements”
l 3GPP TS43.064, “General Packet Radio Service (GPRS); Overall description of the GPRS
radio interface; Stage 2”
l 3GPP TS44.060, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS); Mobile Station(MS)-Base Station
System(BSS)interface; Radio Link Control/Medium Access Control(RLC/MAC)
protocol”
l 3GPP TS44.064, “Mobile Station - Serving GPRS Support Node (MS-SGSN);Logical Link
Control (LLC) Layer Specification”
l 3GPP TS44.160, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS); Mobile Station (MS)-Base
Station System(BSS)interface; Radio Link Control/Medium Access Control(RLC/MAC)
protocol for Iu mode”
l 3GPP TS 48.014, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS);Base Station System(BSS)-
Serving GPRS Support Node(SGSN) interface; Gb interface Layer 1”
l 3GPP TS 48.016, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS);Base Station System(BSS)-
Serving GPRS Support Node(SGSN) interface;Network service”
l 3GPP TS 48.018, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS);Base Station System (BSS)-
Serving GPRS Support Node(SGSN);BSS GPRS protocol (BSSGP)”
l 3GPP TS 49.995, “General Packet Radio Service(GPRS); Interworking between modified
Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN)supporting GPRS and legacy GPRS mobiles”

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