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GSM-R Network Overview

A GSM-R mobile communication network is composed of several function entities. The function collection of each entity can provide basic services and supplementary services to GSM-R network users. GSM-R communication network architecture is based on GSM structure, which is mainly formed by three major systems, including Network Switching System (NSS), Base Station System (BSS) and Operation and Support System (OSS).
BSS is mainly formed by Base Station Controller (BSC) and Base Transceiver Station (BTS).  BSS provides the connection between NSS and ME, which is in charge of the transmission and reception. BTS, an important part for direct feelings of customer, handles the radio interface to the mobile station. BSC controls a group of BTSs and manages their radio resources. BSC is in charge of handoffs, frequency hopping, exchange functions and power control over each managed BTSs.
NSS is generally formed by six function entities, Mobile Services Switching Center (MSC), Home Location Register (HLR), Visitor Location Register (VLR), Authentication Center (AUC), Equipment Identity Register (EIR) and Group Call Register (GCR). NSS plays a key role on managing the communications between the mobile users. It also can realize some other functions, such as user data management, mobility management and fixed network connection. MSC is the core of NSS, which sets up and releases the end-to-end connection, handles mobility and hand-over requirements during the call.
VLR is connected with MSC, which is the database to store temporary information about roaming subscribers. HLR stores the data of Individual Subscriber Authentication Key for each SIM. AUC stores the data about the International Mobile Subscriber Identity (IMSI) the Subscriber Authentication key, and the defined algorithms for encryption. EIR, which maintains a list of all valid terminals as identified by their IMEI, stores the information about security-sensitive of the mobile equipments. As the specific part of GSM-R system, GCR stores various information such as the group ID, the group call area ID, the group call referenced information whether the call is active or not, etc.


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