The Base Station System (BSS)

All radio-related functions are performed in the BSS, which consists of base station controllers (BSCs) and the base transceiver stations (BTSs).

• BSC - The BSC provides all the control functions and physical links between the MSC and BTS. It is a high-capacity switch that provides functions such as handover, cell configuration data, and control of radio frequency (RF) power levels in base transceiver stations. A number of BSCs are served by an MSC.

• BTS - The BTS handles the radio interface to the mobile station. The BTS is the radio equipment (transceivers and antennas) needed to service each cell in the network. A group of BTSs are controlled by a BSC.

The Operation and Support System

The operations and maintenance center (OMC) is connected to all equipment in the switching system and to the BSC. The implementation of OMC is called the operation and support system (OSS). The OSS is the functional entity from which the network operator monitors and controls the system. The purpose of OSS is to offer the customer cost-effective support for centralized, regional, and local operational and maintenance activities that are required for a GSM network. An important function of OSS is to provide a network overview and support the maintenance activities of different operation and maintenance organizations.

Additional Functional Elements

Other functional elements are as follows:

• Message center (MXE) - The MXE is a node that provides integrated voice, fax, and data messaging. Specifically, the MXE handles short message service, cell broadcast, voice mail, fax mail, email, and notification.

• Mobile service node (MSN) - The MSN is the node that handles the mobile intelligent network (IN) services.

• Gateway mobile service s switching center (GMSC) - A gateway is a node used to interconnect two networks. The gateway is often implemented in an MSC. The MSC is then referred to as the GMSC.

• GSM interworking unit (GIWU) - The GIWU consists of both hardware and software that provides an interface to various networks for data communications. Through the GIWU, users can alternate between speech and data during the same call. The GIWU hardware equipment is physically located at the MSC/ VLR.


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