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UMTS Network Planning Basics!
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Core Network Planning

Planning the UMTS core network consist of GSN (GPRS Service Node) system design, MSC and registers dimensioning, OMC dimensioning, Core network interface dimensioning.

The Core Network has several interfaces, which need to be configured and dimensioned. This dimensioning is out of the scope of this page, but these are the interfaces that need to be configured:

  • Gn: Interface between SGSN and GGSN
  • Gi: Interface between GGSN and external packet data network

    Other interfaces are between MSCs, to PSTN, HLR, AUC, EIR, SMS, Billing Centre, Voice Mail, OMC, WAP & Multi Media Servers and other network elements.

    The main inputs to dimensioning of GSN system are similar to what is required in air interface design. Hardware configuration is vendor specific, but here is a general list of things that need to be considered when configuring GSN System:

  • Number of Subscribers
  • Number of PDP Contexts
  • Service Activation Rate
  • Peak Traffic amount and overheads (bits/s or packets/s)
  • Number of required links
  • Number of RNC in served area

    The Core Network hardware configuration is also vendor specific. Network vendors have very extensive documentation how to design all aspects of core network starting from the room environmental requirements up to the post integration system quality audit. Here is a general list of things that need to be considered when dimensioning MSCs:

  • Number of Subscribers
  • Average call lengths
  • Call mix
  • Total CS traffic (Erlangs)
  • System features
  • Interconnection to other equipment
  • MSC software features
  • Required redundancies (e.g. 2N, N+1)
  • Total traffic and signaling loads
  • Iu-cs and other interface dimensioning
  • Type of transmission interfaces
  • Expansion possibilities
  • MSC capacity and configuration options
  • Most cost effective deployment method
  • Number of RNC in served area

    All other network equipment will be designed in a similar way. Once the main components are designed, the rest is easy!

    Other core network plans:

  • Numbering plan
  • Traffic and interconnectivity routing plan
  • Signalling network plan
  • Synchronisation plan
  • Expansion plan
  • Logical and physical node dimentioning
  • PS and CS network plan
  • Network security plan
  • Redundancy and QoS plan

    Next: Transmission Design.

    3G Network Planning Basics
         1. Planning  5. Radio Access Network Design
         2. Coverage Planning  6. Core Network Design
         3. Capacity Planning  7. Transmission Design
         4. General Guidelines  8. The Summary

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