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CDMA Internetworking: Deploying the Open A-Interface

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CDMA Internetworking: Deploying the Open A-Interface


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  • Copyright 2000
  • Dimensions: 7 X 9-1/4
  • Pages: 652
  • Edition: 1st
  • Book
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-088922-9
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-088922-5

The authoritative guide to deploying A-Interface-compliant CDMA systems

The experiences of Low and Schneider and their clear exposition should be of great benefit.

— from the Foreword by Irwin Mark Jacobs, Chairman and CEO, QUALCOMM

The new CDMA A-Interface enables wireless service providers to build scalable, expandable wireless networks with the best equipment from multiple vendors, adding value and reducing risk. In CDMA Internetworking, two leaders of advanced CDMA projects bring clarity to the complex standards documents, showing technical professionals and managers exactly how to build and deploy A-Interface compliant systems. The first authoritative, in-depth A-Interface implementer's guide, this book fully reflects the CDMA Development Group's CDG-IOS detailed open interface standards—providing comprehensive detail for building fully interoperable systems. Coverage includes:

  • Call Processing and Mobility Management
  • Supplementary Services and Short Message Services (SMS)
  • Wireless Data Services
  • Over-the-Air Service Provisioning (OTASP) and Authentication
  • Radio Resource Management and Terrestrial Circuit Management
  • Interoperability with SS7, IS-95 CDMA air interfaces, and IS-41 systems
  • Practical troubleshooting guidance and detailed information on failure conditions

CDMA Internetworking contains dozens practical examples and illustrations, drawn from the authors' real-world experience with the CDMA Open A-Interface and CDG-IOS standards. With this book, wireless professionals can spend less time resolving technical ambiguities—and more time building reliable, interoperable systems that get to market fast!

Sample Content

Downloadable Sample Chapter

Click here for a sample chapter for this book: 0130889229.pdf

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.

CDMA Wireless Network Functions. Overview of the MSC-BSC Interface. Open A-Interface Network Architecture. A-Interface Protocol Architecture. Ater-Interface Protocol Architecture. BSAP Message & Parameter Structure. A-Interface Standard Evolution. A-Interface Standard Specification Structure.

2. SS7 Basics.

The SS7 Network. SS7 Protocol Layers. SS7 Message Structure. MTP2 Layer. MTP3 Layer. SCCP Layer. Bringing up An SS7 Link.

3. Call Processing.

Mobile Origination. Mobile Termination. Mobile-Initiated Call Clearing. BSC-Initiated Call Clearing. MSC Initiated Call Clearing. BSC-Initiated Abnormal SCCP Release. MSC Initiated Abnormal SCCP Release. Call Failure Scenarios.

4. Mobility Management.

Mobility Management Overview. Location Update.

5. Supplementary Services.

Short Message Services. Message Waiting Indication. Cellular Call Features. Over the Air Service Provisioning (OTASP). Circuit-Mode Data Services. SMS Protocol Overview.

6. Authentication.

Authentication Overview. Global Challenge Location Update. Global Challenge Mobile Origination. Global Challenge Mobile Termination. Unique Challenge. Shared Secret Data Update. Signaling Message Encryption and Voice Privacy.

7. Radio Resource Management.

CDMA Overhead Radio Channel Management. IS-95 CDMA Intra-BSC Soft handoff. IS-95 to IS-95 Inter-BSC Hard Handoff. IS-95 to IS-95 Direct BSC-BSC Soft handoff.

8. Terrestrial Circuit Management.

Terrestrial Circuit Management Overview. Blocks and Unblocks. Reset Circuits. Global System Reset. A7-Interface Global Reset.

9. A-Interface Integration.

MSC-BSC Integration Process. MSC/BSC Emulation using MGTS. MSC-BSC Integration Configuration. Protocol Analyzer Tools.

10. A-Interface for 3G.

3G Packet Data Architecture. 3G Radio Support. Enhanced Services. Forward & Backward Compatibility.

Appendix A: A-Interface Messages.

Appendix B: A3/A7-Interface Messages.

Appendix C: A-Interface Parameters.

Appendix D: A3/A7-Interface Parameters.

Appendix E: A-Interface Timers.

Appendix F: A3/A7 Timers.





Wireless communications have been growing at a rate that has surpassed even the most optimistic industry observers. To take advantage of the tremendous growth opportunities in the wireless industry, network service providers have been fiercely competing to increase market share and build a customer base. This intense competition has resulted in reduced air time charges, expanded coverage, and more available supplementary services, all of which have further accelerated growth. Some industry professionals have predicted that the wireless phone will replace the standard landline phone within the next 5 years.

The expansion and popularity of the Internet, along with the addition of wireless data functionality to wireless networks, has also contributed greatly to the growth of the wireless industry. In fact, the anticipated consumer demand for high-bandwidth wireless data is commonly seen as the driving force behind current network upgrades and expansions. The number and types of companies aggressively investing in wireless communication illustrate the importance of wireless data. Nontraditional telecommunications companies, such as Cisco Systems, Intel, Microsoft, and 3Com, are investing heavily in wireless product development, and many have formed partnerships with wireless infrastructure manufacturers to help deliver wireless data services seamlessly to consumers.

Within the expanding wireless sector, the fastest growing wireless technology is Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA). This spread spectrum technique, developed by QUALCOMM during the 1980's, provides increased network capacity and superior voice quality. The inherent advantages of CDMA have led to it being chosen worldwide as the third-generation technology for future wireless networks, which will provide consumers with advanced communication services and high-bandwidth data connections.

To meet the increasing demands of wireless consumers, network service providers are aggressively investing in wireless infrastructure equipment. Until recently, most infrastructure equipment used proprietary interfaces, and wireless service providers were often required to purchase complete networks from a single vendor. Specifically, both the Base Station Controller (BSC) and the Mobile Switching Center (MSC) were normally purchased from the same vendor or were developed jointly for a specific customer. This approach differed greatly from the land network models being used by large telecommunications companies, which emphasize standardized interfaces and network compatibility. Wireless service providers, such as Sprint PCS, soon began participating in the standardization of an "open" MSC-BSC interface that would provide them the flexibility to purchase compatible wireless equipment from various equipment vendors.

Purpose of this Book

It is our experience that engineers and software developers working on the development and testing of the open MSC-BSC interface are often overwhelmed by the enormous details associated with A-Interface messaging and procedures. Furthermore, the information required to understand the operation of the A-Interface fully is distributed over several published wireless standards, which can sometimes be difficult to read. Our goal in writing this book is to provide industry professionals with a single, comprehensive, and easy-to-read text that fully describes the operation of the open A-Interface. By focusing on core concepts, our intent is to provide a resource of invaluable information to CDMA wireless infrastructure engineers such as System Designers, Systems Engineers, Software Developers, Hardware Developers, Systems Integrators, and Systems Testers, who are directly working with the development and integration of the BSC with the MSC. We anticipate that Network Planners, Project Engineers, Program Managers, and Marketing Managers will also find the book a useful resource for understanding the details of MSC-BSC internetworking.


If we were simply to reword existing A-Interface and wireless standards, the book would be of little value to industry professionals. Therefore, we have included our own practical insights, based on our laboratory and field experiences, to help illustrate the important aspects of the open interface and to make the underlying concepts more tangible. We have also included an abundance of practical examples and illustrations to enhance the reader's understanding of the operation of the A-Interface. Based on our experiences in training other telecommunications engineers, we have found that providing practical examples is both an effective and an efficient teaching technique, and we have tried to utilize this approach throughout the book. Not only do we explain how the protocol is used, we explain how the A-Interface fits in an overall wireless network by integrating air-interface (IS-95) and network (IS-41) messaging into the A-Interface call flows.

How to Use This Book

The contents of this book can be divided into four areas:

  • Introductory Material: Chapter 1
  • Core Topics: Chapters 2-3
  • Advanced Topics : Chapters 4-9
  • Forward-Looking Topics: Chapter 10

An introductory chapter presents the evolution of the A-Interface standardization process and describes how the A-Interface fits into the "big picture" of a CDMA wireless telecommunication network.

Chapter 2 provides an overview of Signaling System 7 (SS7), which is used as the transport layer for A-Interface messaging. This chapter describes the fundamentals of SS7, including message structure, link alignment, and message routing. Because some readers may not be interested in this level of detail or may already have experience with SS7, this chapter may be skipped without loss of continuity.

Chapter 3 describes the basic Call Processing steps required of both the BSC and MSC to set up and tear down CDMA wireless calls. This important chapter covers Mobile Origination and Mobile Termination call setup, as well as call clearing scenarios initiated by the mobile station, the BSC, and the MSC. Call failure scenarios, such as timer expiration and unsuccessful resource allocation, are also covered. After completing this chapter, the reader will have the fundementals required to proceed to any of the advanced topics chapters.

Chapter 4 covers Mobility Management, which is the function in the BSC and MSC that manages the registration and mobile access status of subscriber mobiles. This includes management of mobile parameters, such as mobile location, mobile identity, and authentication status. Various mobile registration scenarios and interactions with the network are presented in this chapter.

Chapter 5 describes Supplementary Services, which consists of Short Message Service (SMS), Message Waiting Indication (MWI), Wireless Data, Over-the-Air Service Provisioning (OTASP), and call features such as Call Forwarding, Call Waiting and Three-Way Calling. This chapter covers the mechanism by which the supplementary service is delivered to the subscriber, together with illustrations on how the network entity, such as the SMS center and Voice Mail System (VMS), are used to support the feature.

Chapter 6 discusses Authentication, which is a technique used to ensure the security and privacy of wireless mobile subscribers in a network. This chapter contains scenarios illustrating how mobile subscribers are authenticated and includes detailed explanations on how the mobile station interacts with the Authentication Center (AC) through the BSC and MSC.

Chapter 7 describes Radio Resource Management, which consists of the radio resource channel allocation for voice and data traffic. In this chapter the management of handoffs within the BSC, between BSCs, and across MSCs is described.

Chapter 8 covers Terrestrial Circuit Management (TCM). This chapter describes the function contained in both the BSC and MSC that manages the terrestrial voice and data circuit resources.

Chapter 9 discusses the issues faced in integrating a BSC and an MSC. This chapter is included to provide engineers with insights into real-world implementation and testing considerations.

Chapter 10 gives an insight into the future development of the A-Interface standard, including an overview of third-generation systems.

An important part of understanding the overall A-Interface is being familiar with individual message-associated parameters. Therefore, both the call flow and associated message structures are presented for each function area described. This presentation method is consistent throughout the book and includes references to the CDGIOS A-Interface standard specification.


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