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GSM: Global System for Mobile: An era of cellular network technology



GSM is a connection between two individuals – the individual called and the caller- is the essential service of all cellphone systems. To implement this service, the system must be able to maintain and set calls, which include a few tasks: Celler is identified, location is determined, the call is then routed, and guarantee that the conversation keeps on going until the call is disconnected. After the exchange, the connection gets discontinued.

In a fixed phone system, managing and providing connections is a simple procedure, since the phone network is linked with the wires and their area is permanent from the perspective of the network. Though, in the mobile network, the connection of calls is a highly complex task, since there is no wire and fixed location. It allows customers to move by means of remote (radio) connection.

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What is GSM or Global System for Mobile?

When we talk about cellular voice and data, GSM which is also known as Global System for mobile, which is an open network, makes it possible. GSm is a mobile telephony system which is digital and it’s a widely used mobile technology on the earth. If we talk about shares, GSM occupies the 70% of subscribers for a digital cellular network in the whole world.

Narrowband technology is used in GSM which is known as TDMA (Time Division Multiple Access) for transmission of signals. Digital Technology was used to develop GSM and it was able to carry the bandwidth of 64 KB/S to 120 MB/S. The frequency band required for GSM is either 900 MHZ or 1800 MHZ.

How do mobile work?

When a cell is switched on, it used to search the GSM mobile network from the nearby mobile tower. GSM carriers used to interact with other GSM carriers and are roaming contact, and has the benefit of using SIM which is also known as (Subscriber Identity Module).

Today, more than 690 networks offer the service of GSM in more than 213 nations and GSM accounts to 82.4% of all worldwide mobile connections. As indicated by GSM World, presently there are more than 2 billion GSM cell phone customers around the world.

GSM World represents China as “the biggest single GSM consumer-based market”, with more than of 370 million customers, which is followed by Russia with 145 million, 83 million Indians and the USA with 78 million customers.

Architecture of GSM

There are three important systems in GSM:

  1. Base Station System
  2. Operation and Support System
  3. Switching System

The above picture represents the architecture of GSM.

  1. Base Station System:

In the BSS, the function related to the radio is performed, which consist of BST (base transceiver stations) and BSC (base station controllers).

BTS (base transceiver stations): Radio interface is handled by BTS to the mobile station. Radio equipment (BTS), consists of antenna and transceivers which are needed by every cell to service within the network.

BSC (base station controllers): BSC used to provide all the physical links and control functions between BTS and MSC. This is a high-capacity switch that gives functions, cell configuration data and radio frequency (RF) power levels in base transceiver stations, such as controls.

Mobile Station (MS): The SIM card contains a list of available networks and user identification numbers. The mobile phone is known as Mobile Equipment (ME) and the data of subscriber is stored in the Subscriber Identification Module or SIM. MS= ME+SIM

Concept of Roaming

Roaming enables a mobile subscriber in making voice calls, send and get information, or access different services while going outside the geographic coverage region of ​​his home network.

Roaming is technically maintained by authentication, mobility management, and billing processes. Depends on the establishment of roaming between commercial terms – and network operators – are contained in authorized roaming agreements.

In a case that the visited network is in the same nation as the home network, it is known as national roaming. In a case that the visited network is outside the nation of origin, at that point it is known as international roaming.

In a case that the visited network works on another technical standard in comparison to the home network, at that point it is known as the inter-standard roaming.

GSM roaming, which incorporates roaming between GSM networks, enables mobile subscribers of having the capacity to utilize one bill, single number, and one telephone. The comfort of GSM roaming is an essential driver behind the success of the Global Subscriber Module Platform in the whole world.

GRAN (GSM Radio Access Network)

GSM Radio Access Network: This Consist of a BSC (Base Station Controllers) and BTS (Base Transceiver Stations) with a goal to maintain the radio link between the telecommunication core network and mobile phones. This network used to provide access to PS (Packet Switched) and CS (Circuit Switched) core networks.

RAN which is also known as Aradio, is a part of MTS known as mobile telecommunication system. Ideally, it stays between devices like a computer, a mobile phone, or a remote-controlled machine, and gives links with its CN also known as core network (CN).

On the basis of standard, mobile and other wireless devices that are connected are known differently as UE or user equipment, MS or mobile station, terminal equipment, etc. RAN functionality is usually provided by a silicon chip that also resides in both core networks as a user device. When it comes to online assignment help we will guide you and make it sure you get good marks.

NMS (Network Management Subsystem)

This is the 3rs subsystem of the global subscriber module. In addition to the GSM Network is BSS (Base Station Subsystem) and NSS (Network Switching Subsystem). The goal of the Network Switching Subsystem is to observe the various elements and functions of the network.

The Communication Server and the Database Servers are connected with the operator’s network via Local Area Network (LAN). Network’s management information is stored in the database server stores.  The data communication between the equipment in the GSM network and Network Management Subsystem is taken care by communication servers.

NMS used to work in three categories:

  1. Configuration management
  2. Fault management
  3. Performance management

All of the elements of the GSM network like HLRs, MSCs, and BTSs are covered under these functions.


The goal of fault management is to find the problems of different types and then fixing them as quick as possible. Valuable information about the status of alarm events is provided to the network operator by the fault management and database of the history of alarms is maintained.

NMS database is used to store the alarm and the stored data can be searched as per the criteria defined by the network operator.

Configuration Management

The goal of configuration management is to manage updated information about the configuration and operation status of the elements of the network.

Particular configuration functions include management of software and hardware, the radio network management, security operations, and time synchronization.

Performance Management

In performance management, individual network elements are collected by NMS and stores it in the database. In view of this information, the network operator can think about the real performance of the system with an organized performance and identify both bad and good performance areas inside the network.

What are the requirements to set up a GSM network?

Software and Hardware

A particular GSM base station can do nothing without a suite of tools that keep up the database, call-switching capacities and thereafter. This infrastructure is costly (more often around $ 250,000) and is mixed to design, and it should be stored in a cooled room.

Clearly, that is made coincidentally for the areas of OpenBTS. Accordingly, the framework replaces the physical infrastructure of the central network with VoIP programming – for this situation, an open-source program called asterisk, which can be installed on any off-the-rack PC.

IP Connection

On the network of OpenBTS, users of mobile can communicate with other people, regardless of whether the system isn’t connected with the web, yet a web connection is required to contact somebody outside the area.

Five-gigahertz IP Radio was used by the group to interface BTS unit to the telecommunications connection system’s 4-km away from the wired Internet framework. Burgess says that if the web connection isn’t much great, the response time might be somewhat sluggish, however, there isn’t much data transfer capacity to make the framework functional.

Power Supply

A power of around 60 watts is drawn by the system employed at Niue, which is provided by three marine batteries, which numerous regional people use on their boat. Since the power requirements of the structure are exceptionally low, Burgess says a base station can be kept running on wind or solar power.


A GSM set is much required and as the technology was re-created by OpenBTS which is now the most widely used network technology in the world.


An antenna is required by OpenBTS system to facilitate signals and this is similar to all the cellular networks. Various types of antennas are there which can be used according to the range and operators needs.

History of GSM (Generation Wise).

1G (First Generation of a cellular network technology)

Analog transmission is required by first generation cellular network for the speech services. Roaming and handover capabilities, but was not able to interfere between countries. And this was the loss for first generation mobile.

2G (Second Generation of a cellular network technology)

Digital transmission was used by the second generation mobile handset. It was able to roam and handover. It uses TDMA, CDMA, and FDMA.

3G (Third Generation of a cellular network technology)

Third-Generation technology has quick information exchange rates. It empowers to include administrations, for example, portable TV, GPS and video conferencing. The administrations incorporate a wide zone remote voice communication, video call and broadband remote information, which are in every portable condition.

4G (Fourth Generation of a cellular network technology)

5G (Fifth Generation of cellular technology)

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