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Overview of Interfaces in telecom network

There are many interfaces between each component in telecom network. Each interface has been given a specific name in telecom network. Telecom engineer should remember name of interfaces to work effectively. Below are most of the interfaces used in telecom network:

Interface between MSC and MSC is G CP (G control part) interface.

A mobile user enters into new MSC area then new MSC use this interface to get information from OLD MSC.

Interface between MSC and HLR is D interface.

Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD)

USSD service is mostly like SMS service. Read below to understand more:

  1. SMS deliver messages using store and forward technique:

A message is always first sent to short message service center (SMSC) before message get deliver to the recipient. The sender receives a deliver confirmation once message was  successfully received by SMSC. Message is not guaranteed to reach the destination user instantly.

Mobile and its status in telecom

Mobile Station

Mobile station consist of two parts i.e. handset and a Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).

SIM stores integrated circuit card identifier (ICCID), International mobile subscriber identity (IMSI) and Authentication key (Ki -128bit) which is used to identify and authenticate subscriber in network. Refer further details on SIM card here.

The range and coverage area of a mobile station depend on the output power of mobile.

What is frequency?

How frequent you do facebook? What is your frequency of taking bath?

In general sense, Frequency is any task done with respect to time. In case of telecom, frequency is number of cycles per second and is measured in ‘f’.

Cycle is a complete sine wave.

T is denoted as time taken to complete one cycle.

Wavelength (? deplicted as lamda) is distance traveled over a cycle.

A is amplitude or strength.

F (frequency) = 1/T (number of cycles per second)

Overview of Radio Access Network in 2G, 3G and 4G

RAN controls the radio interface to the mobile station. Basic components in RAN are:

  • Base Transceiver Station.
  • Base Station controller.

Basic interfaces defined between each of these sub systems include:

Telecom Service Area


It’s area of radio coverage by a mobile tower. Each cell is assigned a unique number called Cell Global Identity (CGI).


Mobile network identify location of a mobile station using location area identity. It is defined as a group of cells. Location area of a mobile station is always stored in VLR. This is used in routing of mobile call.



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