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The Gs interface, has a number of subtle but important advantages: During an ongoing GPRS / EDGE data transfer (TBF

established), mobiles can't detect incoming voice calls and SMS messages as they are focused on receiving packets and thus can not observe the paging channel. In NMO-1, the circuit switched part of the network forwards the paging message to the packet switched side of the network which then forwards the paging message between the user data blocks while a data transfer is ongoing. Mobiles can thus receive the paging message despite the ongoing data transfer, interrupt the session and accept the voice call or SMS. Location/Routing area updates when moving to a cell in a different location/routing area are performed much faster as the mobile only communicates with the packet switched part of the network. The packet switched network (the SGSN) then forwards the location update to the circuit switched part of the network (to the MSC) which spares the mobile from doing it itself. This is especially important for ongoing data transfers as these are interrupted for a shorter period of time. Cell reselections from UMTS to GPRS can be executed much faster due to the same effect as described in the previous bullet. Whithout NOM-1 an Inter RAT (Radio Access Technology) cell reselection with Location and Routing Area update requires around 10 to 12 seconds. With NOM-1 the time is reduced to around 5 to 6 seconds. An important difference as this reduces the chance to miss an incoming call during the change of the radio network. Also, ongoing data transfers are interrupted for a shorter time,an additional benefit that should not be underestimated.

Anonymous said... "During an ongoing GPRS / EDGE data transfer (TBF established), mobiles can't detect incoming voice calls and SMS messages as they are focused on receiving packets and thus can not observe the paging channel. In NMO-1, the circuit switched part of the network forwards the paging message to the packet switched side of the network which then forwards the paging message between the user data blocks while a data transfer is ongoing. Mobiles can thus receive the paging message despite the ongoing data transfer, interrupt the session and accept the voice call or SMS." This is not entirely true. Also in NMO2, devices in packet transfer mode can be provided with the CS paging on the PS data channel. This is the case if DTM (Dual Transfer Mode) is supported in the network. As far as I know, DTM is supported e.g. by Vodafone UK and actually the main (but not the only one) reason to upgrade the network to DTM was not simultaneous call and data (which is nice, too) but instead to enable

CS calls to come through during GPRS/EDGE data transfer. This was due to increasing amount and frequency of data usage e.g. for smartphones such as the iPhone.
19 July 2011 10:53

Anonymous said... Look for bssPagingCoordination at system information type 13

Deep Inside the Network: T-Mobile starts using GPRS NOM-1


Quite recently T-Mobile has started to make use of the GPRS Network Mode of Operation (NMO) 1 feature in southern Germany. I haven't seen any other operator using NMO-1 in Germany so far and only few in other countries so this came as quite a surprise. In this network operation mode, the circuit switched part of the network used for voice calls and SMS and the packet switched part of the network used for GPRS and EDGE data transmissions are connected via a signaling interface. This interface, referred to as the Gs interface, has a number of subtle but important advantages:

During an ongoing GPRS / EDGE data transfer (TBF established), mobiles can't detect incoming voice calls and SMS messages as they are focused on receiving packets and thus can not observe the paging channel. In NMO-1 (sometimes also abbreviated as NOM-1), the circuit switched part of the network forwards the paging message to the packet switched side of the network which then forwards the paging message between the user data blocks while a data transfer is ongoing. Mobiles can thus receive the paging message despite the ongoing data transfer, interrupt the session and accept the voice call or SMS. Location/Routing area updates when moving to a cell in a different location/routing area are performed much faster as the mobile only communicates with the packet switched part of the network. The packet switched network (the SGSN) then forwards the location update to the circuit switched part of the network (to the MSC) which spares the mobile from doing it itself. This is especially important for ongoing data transfers as these are interrupted for a shorter period of time. Cell reselections from UMTS to GPRS can be executed much faster due to the same effect as described in the previous bullet. Whithout NOM-1 an Inter RAT (Radio Access Technology) cell reselection with Location and Routing Area update requires around 10 to 12 seconds. With NOM-1 the time is reduced to around 5 to 6 seconds. An important difference as this reduces the chance to miss an incoming call during the change of the radio network. Also, ongoing data transfers are interrupted for a shorter time,an additional benefit that should not be underestimated. Hi Martin,

Do you know in which areas T-Mobile has upgraded the networks to NOM I? I'd believe that the upgrade wasn't cheap... wouldn't make a lot of sense if they already have UMTS coverage in these areas... Also, do you know if T-Mobile is the only operator that is interested in DTM? I think they offer the DTM in their US market too Posted by: RED | March 19, 2007 at 03:04 PM

Hello Red, no, I don't know, I've just observed it where I live. I don't think that it has cost a lot since NOM I means installing a signaling connection in the core network between the MSCs and the SGSNs and to activate the functionality in the core and access networks. The functionality itself has been available in the software for some time so I don't think it has been a huge step. I think it is useful to have GPRS NOM I in areas with UMTS coverage as UMTS to GSM cell reselection speed benefits. Not sure if you are mixing up NOM I with DTM. DTM = Dual Transfer Mode, i.e. phone calls + GPRS simultaneously. DTM and NOM-I have nothing to do with each other. I haven't heard of any operator that has introduced DTM yet. Also, there aren't a lot of mobiles supporting DTM yet. Noteworthy exceptions seem to be the latest Nokia Nseries mobiles such as the N73, N93i, N95, etc. Cheers, Martin Posted by: Martin | March 19, 2007 at 09:51 PM

Hello Martin, Suppose i ve a mobile which support either PS or CS at a time(not DTM), i.e, if PS call is initiated and receive a CS call later, then PS gets paused and gives priority to CS. To send paging for CS call network should operate in NMO-1, am i correct? Will there be any difference if i use Vodafone (NM0-2) or T-mobile (NMO-1)in this particular scenario? Posted by: Srinu | May 06, 2007 at 09:10 PM

Hello Srinu, In NMO-I, CS paging is performed via the SGSN and PCU for GPRS attached mobiles. In NMO-II, CS paging is done via the BSC. If a mobile is not GPRS attached, CS paging is done via the BSC in both operation modes. Cheers, Martin Posted by: Martin | May 09, 2007 at 09:54 PM

Hello Srinu, In NMO-I, CS paging is performed via the SGSN and PCU for GPRS attached mobiles. In NMO-II, CS paging is done via the BSC. If a mobile is not GPRS attached, CS paging is done via the BSC in both operation modes. Cheers, Martin Posted by: Martin | May 09, 2007 at 09:55 PM

Hi Martin, Regarding paging for CS service( Voice) as you said it will be done via BSC in NMO-II if mobile is GPRS attached. Can you please explain how will it page mobile for voice call in NMO-II, case 1: mobile is idle case 2: PDP is active but , but no data transer case 2: mobile is busy doing packet transfer Will apprecite your help in clarifying my doubts. -Mrin Posted by: mrinmoy | August 02, 2007 at 05:50 PM

Hi Mrinmoy, As per my understanding, i answer u. NMO - 2 (SGSN and MSC are not interconnected, so SGSN have no idea of incoming call info from MSC) Case 1: Mobile is Idle ---It gets Paged for Incoming call Case 2: PDP active, but idle Case 3: Active Data transfer For Case 2 n 3, Mobile is attached to PS services, so it wont get paged for incoming calls. Please let me know i am not right -Srinu Posted by: Srinu | September 12, 2007 at 03:12 PM

Hi, In case 1 and 2 the mobile will see the paging and accepts the voice call. Only case 3 is critical since the paging is done but not noticed by the mobile. Hence the call is missed.

Cheers, Martin Posted by: Martin | September 16, 2007 at 12:01 PM

Similar to GSM, the data transferred over the GPRS network can be both user data and signaling data. Signaling data is exchanged for example during the following procedures: The network pages the mobile station to inform it of incoming packets. The network pages the mobile station to inform it of incoming packets. The mobile station accesses the network to request resources (PDTCHs) to send packets. The mobile station accesses the network to request resources (PDTCHs) to send packets. Modification of resources assigned to a subscriber. Modification of resources assigned to a subscriber. Acknowledgment of correct reception of user data packets. This can be done in a number of ways: In GPRS, network operation mode I (NOM I) signaling for packet- and circuit-switched data is done either via the GSM paging channel (PCH) or the GPRS packet paging channel (PPCH) if it is available. To make sure incoming voice calls are not missed by class B mobile stations during an active data transfer, an interface between the circuit-switched part (MSC) and the packet-switched part (serving GPRS support node SGSN) of the network is used. This interface is called the Gs interface. Paging for incoming circuit-switched calls will be forwarded to the packet-switched part and then sent to the mobile as shown in Figure 2.10. If a packet data transfer is in progress when a paging needs to be sent, the mobile will be informed via the packet associated control channel (PACCH) to which the circuit-switched GSM part of the network does not have access. Otherwise, the paging is done via the PCH or the PPCH. The Gs interface can also be used for combined GSM/GPRS attach procedures and location updates. NOM I is the only mode in which the Gs interface is available and

thus the only mode in which the mobile is capable of receiving the paging during an ongoing data transfer. As the Gs interface is optional, it is not widely used in networks today. However, most network vendors have implemented this interface and a number of operators have begun using it to enhance their networks behavior for subscribers during GPRS sessions. The GPRS NOM II is the simplest of the three network modes and therefore commonly used today. There is no signaling connection between the circuit-switched and packetswitched part of the network and therefore the PPCH is not present. For more on this see the next section. This has the disadvantage that the mobile will not see incoming circuit-switched calls during packet-switched data transmission as described before. And finally there is NOM III. In this mode the Gs interface is not available and thus the circuit-switched paging has to be done over the PCH. In this mode, the GPRS common control channel with its subchannels PPCH, PRACH, and PAGCH is available and the packet-switched side performs its signaling via its own channels. This mode might be preferable to NOM II in some situations as it reduces the traffic load on the PCH, which is used heavily in operational networks for paging messages, random access requests and assignment requests for circuit-switched services. To inform users which of these GPRS network modes is used, GPRS uses the GSM broadcast common control channel (BCCH). Acknowledgment of correct reception of user data packets. This can be done in a number of ways: In GPRS, network operation mode I (NOM I) signaling for packet- and circuit-switched data is done either via the GSM paging channel (PCH) or the GPRS packet paging channel (PPCH) if it is available. To make sure incoming voice calls are not missed by class B mobile stations during an active data transfer, an interface between the circuit-switched part (MSC)

and the packet-switched part (serving GPRS support node SGSN) of the network is used. This interface is called the Gs interface. Paging for incoming circuit-switched calls will be forwarded to the packet-switched part and then sent to the mobile as shown in Figure 2.10. If a packet data transfer is in progress when a paging needs to be sent, the mobile will be informed via the packet associated control channel (PACCH) to which the circuit-switched GSM part of the network does not have access. Otherwise, the paging is done via the PCH or the PPCH. The Gs interface can also be used for combined GSM/GPRS attach procedures and location updates. NOM I is the only mode in which the Gs interface is available and thus the only mode in which the mobile is capable of receiving the paging during an ongoing data transfer. As the Gs interface is optional, it is not widely used in networks today. However, most network vendors have implemented this interface and a number of operators have begun using it to enhance their networks behavior for subscribers during GPRS sessions. The GPRS NOM II is the simplest of the three network modes and therefore commonly used today. There is no signaling connection between the circuit-switched and packetswitched part of the network and therefore the PPCH is not present. For more on this see the next section. This has the disadvantage that the mobile will not see incoming circuit-switched calls during packet-switched data transmission as described before. And finally there is NOM III. In this mode the Gs interface is not available and thus the circuit-switched paging has to be done over the PCH. In this mode, the GPRS common control channel with its subchannels PPCH, PRACH, and PAGCH is available and the packet-switched side performs its signaling via its own channels. This mode might be preferable to NOM II in some situations as it reduces the traffic load on the PCH, which is used heavily in operational networks for paging messages, random access requests and assignment requests for circuit-switched services.

To inform users which of these GPRS network modes is used, GPRS uses the GSM broadcast common control channel (BCCH).