Advance Communications Systems Gsm Information Technology Essay

In Telecommunications Applications, cellular is the fastest and very demanding Technology. Today, It is representing a continuous increasing percentage of all telephone subscriptions around the globe. GSM is the most popular standard for mobile telephony systems. It is estimated that around 80% of worldwide mobile market uses this standard. Currently there are about 4 Billion cellular subscribers around the world. GSM differs from its previous technologies in that both signalling and speech channels are digital. Thus GSM is considered as 2nd Generation (2G).


Global system for mobile communication (GSM) is a globally accepted standard for digital cellular communication. GSM is the name of a standardization group established in 1982 to create a common European mobile telephone standard that would formulate specifications for a pan-European mobile cellular radio system operating at 900 MHz. It is estimated that many countries outside of Europe will join the GSM partnership.

The GSM family of technologies has provided the world with mobile communications since 1991. In over twenty years of development, GSM has been continually enhanced to provide platforms that deliver an increasingly broad range of mobile services as demand grows. Where the industry started with plain voice calls, it now has a powerful platform capable of supporting mobile broadband and multimedia services. GSM is now used in 219 countries and territories serving more than three billion people and providing travellers with access to mobile services wherever they go.


An open, digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services


An open, digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services


An open, digital cellular technology used for transmitting mobile voice and data services


A very widely deployed wireless data service, available now with most GSM networks


The air interface for one of the International Telecommunications Union’s family of third-generation mobile communications systems


Designed to be backwards-compatible with GSM and HSPA, Long Term Evolution incorporates MIMO in combination with OFDMA

GSM Roaming

The ability for a customer to make and receive calls, send and receive data, or access other services when travelling outside the coverage area of their home network


A technology, defined as a part of the 3GPP Rel. 8 standard, which enables spectrally-efficient delivery of Broadcast services using TDD radio techniques.

2. GSM Network

The GSM technical specifications define the different entities that form the GSM network by defining their functions and interface requirements.

The GSM network can be divided into four main parts:

The Mobile Station (MS).

The Base Station Subsystem (BSS).

The Network and Switching Subsystem (NSS).

The Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS).

The architecture of the GSM network is presented in figure 1.



3. GSM Network Operations

GSM network architecture:

There are four main areas of GSM Network:

Mobile station (MS)

Network and Switching Subsystem (NSS)

Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS)

Base-station subsystem (BSS)

Simplified GSM Network Architecture

Mobile station

Mobile stations (MS) are also widely known as mobile equipment (ME), cell or mobile phones. This is the part of a GSM cellular network which is used and operated by user. The size of mobile phone In recent years is becoming more and more smaller whereas the level of functionality has greatly increased. The two basic element of mobile phone are the hardware and the SIM.

The main element of the mobile phone is hardware which includes the display, case, battery.Another important element of the Mobile are the electronics which are used to generate the signal, and process the data receiver and to be transmitted. International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) is installed in the phone at manufacture and “cannot” be changed. The network can check whether the mobile has been reported as stolen with its IMEI while the registration of the phone.

The network determines the identity of the user with The SIM or Subscriber Identity Module. The SIM includes variety of information including a number known as the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI)

Network Switching Subsystem (NSS)

The GSM network subsystem contains a variety of different elements. This is the element of GSM which provides the main control and interfacing for the whole mobile network. NSS is also known as the core network and includes the following elements:

Authentication Centre

Home Location Register

SMS Gateway

Visitor Location Register

Equipment Identity Register

Gateway Mobile Switching Centre

Mobile Switching services Centre

Base Station Subsystem (BSS)

The system used to communicate with other mobiles on a network is called Base Station Subsystem (BSS) section . It consists of two elements:

Base Station Controller

Base Transceiver Station

Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS)

Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS) is used to control and monitor the overall GSM network and is connected to components of the NSS and the BSC.It is also used to control the traffic load of the BSS. As the subscriber population increases with the resulted number of BS, some of the maintenance tasks are transferred to the BTS, thus it allows savings in the cost of ownership of the system. Each interface between the different elements of the GSM network is defined in the GSM structure. This facilitates the information interchanges can take place and also that network elements from different manufacturers can be used.

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Development of GSM Air Interface is the key elements of the development of the GSM, Global System for Mobile Communications. Elements including the modulation, GSM slot structure, burst structure and the like were all devised to provide the optimum performance.

Modulation format is an important development of the GSM standard , the way in which the system is time division multiplexed, which provides a considerable impact on the performance of the system as a whole. For example, the modulation format for the GSM air interface and battery life are directly associated and the time division format adopted enabled the cellphone handset costs to be considerably reduced as detailed later.


4. GSM Advantages & Disadvantages

GSM Advantages

GSM is grown-up means this development means a more constant network with healthy features.

Fewer signal fall inside buildings.

Ability to use repeaters.

Talk-time is generally advanced in GSM phones due to the pulse nature of transmission.

The availability of Subscriber Identity Modules allows users to switch networks and handsets.

GSM covers almost all parts of the world so international roaming is not a problem.

The subscriber can enjoy the broadest international coverage. It is possible with the GSM roaming service.

Good coverage indoors on 850/900 MHz. Repeaters possible.

Very good due to simple protocol, good coverage and mature, power-efficient chipsets.

Some More Advantages most popular


Mobile, wireless communication, support for voice and data services.

Total mobility

International access, chip-card enables use of access points of different providers.

Worldwide connectivity

One number, the network handles every location.

High capacity

Better frequency efficiency, smaller cells, and more customers per cell.

High transmission quality

High audio quality and reliability for wireless.

Disadvantages of GSM

Pulse nature of TDMA transmission used in 2G interferes with some electronics, especially confident audio amplifiers. 3G uses W-CDMA now.

Intellectual property is concentrated among a few industry participants, creating barriers to entry for new entrants and limiting competition among phone manufacturers.

GSM has a permanent maximum cell site range of 35 km, which is imposed by technical limitations.

GSM has some disadvantages when compared to some of the newer mobile network technologies.

GSM is known as a second-generation system. Third-generation systems feature higher data transfer rates. Higher transfer rates allow better call quality and additional services such as high-quality streaming video and high-speed Internet capabilities.

Evolution from 2G to 3G

2G networks were built mainly for voice data and slow transmission. Due to fast

changes in user expectation, they do not gather today’s wireless needs.

Cellular mobile telecommunications networks are being upgraded to use 3G

technologies from 1999 to 2010. Japan was the first country to introduce 3G


How is 3G different from 2G and 4G

While 2G stands for second-generation wireless telephone technology, 1G

networks used are analog, 2G networks are digital and 3G (third-generation)

technology is used to enhance mobile phone standards.

3G helps to simultaneously transfer both voice data (a telephone call) and

non-voice data (such as downloading information, exchanging e-mail, and

instant messaging. The highlight of 3G is video telephony. 4G technology

stands to be the future standard of wireless devices.

5. GSM Applications:

1. GSM-R: (Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway)

GSM-R is the latest technology for railway communications based on International wireless communications standards. The GSM-R system is based on GSM and EIRENE-MORANE specifications and it guarantee at 350 mph without any data loss in communication.

GSM-R is one part of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) which is composed of:


ETCS (European Train Control System).

Frequency band

GSM-R uses a specific frequency band in Europe, which is as follows:

876 MHz – 880 MHz: used for data transmission (uplink)

921 MHz – 925 MHz: used for data reception (downlink)

Channel spacing is 200 kHz.

GSM-R occupied a lower extension of GSM 900 MHz frequencies (890 MHz – 915 MHz range for transmission and 935 MHz – 960 MHz range for reception), as per 3GPP TS 05.05 V8.20.0 (2005-11). In China GSM-R occupied a 4 MHz wide range of the E-GSM band (900 MHz-GSM).

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GSM-R uses

GSM-R allows the services and applications for mobile communications in many domains:

Transmission of Long Line Public Address (LLPA) announcements to remote stations down the line

Control and protection (Automatic Train Control/ETCS) and ERTMS)

Communication between train driver and regulation centre,

Communication of on-board working people

Information sending for ETCS

Communication between train stations, classification yard and rail tracks

2. GSM for Disaster Management:

GSM Technology is being used for prevention in disasters. Many cellular companies offer charity disaster relief services to the effected areas. The response program is an initiative to make sure that the communications are going on during disasters. The response team is made up of volunteers and telecom engineers who bring their equipments and the whole Mini-GSM system. Basically this is an entire Portable Mobile Network so that the effected people can have contact with the other people around the world. As we have seen in Haiti Earthquake disaster.

3. Remote monitoring applications using GSM Telemetry

Remote Tank Level Monitoring

Wireless Remote Monitoring for Pumps

Leakage detection in Tanks

Automated Condition Monitoring

Remote communications to PLC using GSM Telemetry

GSM Odometer (Mileage Management System)

GSM odometer is such a device used to facilitate fleet administration of vehicles. This will report all necessary information about the vehicle through E-mail or mobile SMS. This device is based on GSM modem with embedded software. This is concept is called Mileage management System. This is a very useful technology for those organizations which need vehicle administration on daily basis. This system is fully compatible with your vehicle and central control room. GSM odometer also reports the following information:

The total number of working hours of the vehicles

Speed profiles of the vehicles

Tracking using GSM location service

Benefits of Mileage Management System:

It provides very accurate mileage information of the vehicle.

Easy vehicle service recall.

Better customer services.

Less process time

70 to 80% reduction in cost for daily fleet administration.

Correct invoicing, information about the mileage may easily be integrated into the fleet owners’ billing and administration

Enhanced Security

Mobile Application Security:

The mobile users around the globe are steadily increasing and hopefully will continue to grow more rapid in future. Openess offers benefits to the customers, device management and operators. But on the other habd oppenness also chanllenges the security risks and malicious applications. Therefore security is the key concern for the mobile and communications industry.

GSM Association Mobile Application Security Initiative

identified the need of security applications across mobile operating systems to reduce the malware while facilitating the users. The challenge for mobbile applications are many. Some are included which are:

Proactively protect mobile users from fraud and malicious applications

Assure quality and accountability of mobile applications

Maintain trust in mobile platforms (and avoid similar problems in the Internet world)

Secure existing and future business

Protect operators against costs originating from malicious applications

Facilitate certification processes to reduce barriers for developers

Ensure consistency across different OS platforms and operators.

6. GSM Security and Encryption

Description of GSM Security Features

Security in GSM consists of the following aspects: subscriber identity authentication, subscriber identity confidentiality, signaling data confidentiality, and user data confidentiality. The subscriber is uniquely identified by the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI). This information, along with the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki), constitutes sensitive identification credentials analogous to the Electronic Serial Number (ESN) in analog systems such as AMPS and TACS. The design of the GSM authentication and encryption schemes is such that this sensitive information is never transmitted over the radio channel. Rather, a challenge-response mechanism is used to perform authentication. The actual conversations are encrypted using a temporary, randomly generated ciphering key (Kc). The MS identifies itself by means of the Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI), which is issued by the network and may be changed periodically (i.e. during hand-offs) for additional security.

Signal and Data Confidentiality

The SIM contains the ciphering key generating algorithm (A8) which is used to produce the 64-bit ciphering key (Kc). The ciphering key is computed by applying the same random number (RAND) used in the authentication process to the ciphering key generating algorithm (A8) with the individual subscriber authentication key (Ki). As will be shown in later sections, the ciphering key (Kc) is used to encrypt and decrypt the data between the MS and BS. An additional level of security is provided by having the means to change the ciphering key, making the system more resistant to eavesdropping. The ciphering key may be changed at regular intervals as required by network design and security considerations. Figure 6 below shows the calculation of the ciphering key (Kc).

Subscriber Identity Confidentiality

To ensure subscriber identity confidentiality, the Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI) is used. The TMSI is sent to the mobile station after the authentication and encryption procedures have taken place. The mobile station responds by confirming reception of the TMSI. The TMSI is valid in the location area in which it was issued. For communications outside the location area, the Location Area Identification (LAI) is necessary in addition to the TMSI. The TMSI allocation/reallocation process is shown in Figure 8 below.



IMS has been an major discovery by the 3GPP LTE concepts being introduced in the GSM mobile phones as its architecture is constantly being developed and more number of mobile service providers are implementing it to deliver services such as MMS and INTERNET. Because of this rapid advancement in the IMS technology is soon going to replace the traditional technologies used few years. Applying an IMS technology to an wireless mobile network is not an complex procedure as it only requires the mobile operators to possess the IMS core, Application servers and customer service to take care of the needs of the users. The IMS can be modified upon the 2G and 3G mobiles as well because the mobile operators want to globalise this technology by migrating it from AMERICA to different places across the globe and making it fully commercial by 2008. Mobile networks have become an major trend in carrying out all the IP operations as this will enable a mobile device to have both Mobile and fixed broadband services and hence increasing the efficiency of the services.


VOIP has been an major interest and an advancement in the mobile industry as it is currently being implemented in almost 85% of the mobile across the globe and hence it is an globally accepted standard for the GSM mobiles as it is going to match the standards of the IMS multimedia Telephony in the 3GPP technology and it will give rise to many services such as Internet and MMS servicesd on the handset. The growth of the VOIP has been a huge success because it is constantly trying to eliminate the concept of voice over the wi-fi and many operators are trying to develope the VOIP in an better way to decerase the operational costs and to launch few new services such as Push to Talk and intergrated ‘mashups’ for the 3g mobiles.

3. GSM operation onboard aircraft:

GSM technology allows the air passengers to use their mobile phones to talk during the flight and the passengers are permitted to have incoming and outgoing calls and send and receive the text messages via SMS by the means of GPRS technology and the mobile phones are fitted with network access which have an on board network to allow the passengers to call but will be charged with an roaming cost of making calls. The frequency what we are assigning here is in the 1800hz bandwidth and it is generally lower than 900 mhz to avoid the ground interference.


The LTE 3GPP concept is been used in the GSM onboard system , since the connectivity of the mobile phones in the plane is normally through the GSM standards which is being developed by the 3GPP networks.


Hence the technical advancements in the GSM Technology is going to be more feasible because the GSM service onboard is perhaps the best mode of advancement in the GSM technology because it is capable of delivering swervices over the flight where it effectively manages the On board system on the plane and the aviation industry is really benifited by bthis move of Mobile technology which can benifit the aviation industry also.

To ensure subscriber identity confidentiality, the Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI) is used. The TMSI is sent to the mobile station after the authentication and encryption procedures have taken place. The mobile station responds by confirming reception of the TMSI. The TMSI is valid in the location area in which it was issued. For communications outside the location area, the Location Area Identification (LAI) is necessary in addition to the TMSI. The TMSI allocation/reallocation process is shown in Figure 8 below.

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