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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Introduction to mcRNC

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Table of Contents:
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2
3
4
5

Introduction........................................................................................................ 4
Scaling According to Capacity Needs ................................................................ 5
Role of RNC within 3G Network ......................................................................... 6
RNC Interfaces ................................................................................................ 11
Exercise .......................................................................................................... 12

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Introduction

The huge growth of traffic over recent years has brought new challenges to the
design of radio network equipment. To satisfy current and future needs, Nokia
Siemens Networks has developed a novel, compact and highly scalable multipurpose technology platform for various network element applications. The purpose
of this course is to describe one such multicontroller network element, namely the
multicontroller radio network controller (mcRNC). Other multicontroller network
elements, such as the multicontroller base station controller (mcBSC) and
multicontroller transcoder (mcTC) are not covered by this course.
The ultra-high packing density of the multicontroller hardware results in various
benefits, such as:

unrivaled footprint

minimized site costs

minimized overall operational expenditure (OPEX).

In addition to the high scalability, high reliability and high performance, the
multicontroller design offers high flexibility, that is, the controller role can be changed
by loading different software. In this way, for instance, a multicontroller BSC (or parts
of the BSC) can be converted into a multicontroller RNC - ensuring a future-proof
evolution path for existing radio network equipment.

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Scaling According to Capacity Needs

The multicontroller RNC provides highly scalable connectivity for voice and data
applications.
Because of the small size and easy installation the mcRNC can be located in a
remote location near one or more base stations, at a separate RNC site, or at a core
network site.
The network element consists of between two and eight hardware modules,
measuring only 444 mm x 450 mm x 176 mm each. The hardware modules can be
installed as such or in any standard 19 ETSI rack. This makes it possible to optimize
RNC configurations for different areas and use cases.

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Role of RNC within 3G Network

Let us next examine the role of the radio network controller within a third generation
(3G) mobile network.
The radio network controller controls a number of base stations - also called base
transceiver stations (BTSs).
The radio access network (RAN) is connected to the circuit-switched core network
via the Media Gateway (MGW). In the user plane, the circuit-switched user data (for
instance, speech) is carried between the RNC and the MGW, which performs
switching, transcoding and various other media processing tasks. In the control
plane, the call control signaling messages are carried between the RNC and MSC
Server (MSS).
The RNC is connected to the packet-switched core network via the Serving GPRS
Support Node (SGSN).
Move your mouse pointer over the network elements in the figure to find out more
details.

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

RNC Interfaces

Multicontroller RNC network elements connect to the outside world principally via
four types of interfaces:

Iub interface between the RNC and base transceiver stations

Iur interface between the RNC and another RNC, to be used during interRNC handovers

Iu-CS interface between the RNC and the MGW in the user plane, or between
the RNC and MSC Server in the control plane

Iu-PS interface between the RNC and Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN)

There are some additional interfaces that are not shown in the figure, such as the
O&M interface towards NetAct, the Iupc interface towards the Standalone Assisted
Global Positioning System Serving Mobile Location Center (SAS), and the Iu-BC
interface towards the Cell Broadcast Center (CBC).
All interfaces are based on IP over Ethernet transmission.

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mcRNC Architecture and Functionality

Exercise

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