Mobile phones connect to cellular networks through base stations equipped with antennas that form radio networks covering specific regions. Mobile networks, on the other hand, provide wireless communication systems used by cellular phones and other devices, including various technologies like GPRS, EDGE, 3G and 4G – but how do they work?
Core networks use various networking technologies and dynamic protocols to enhance connectivity and routing, such as Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS), Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) and Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN).
Dependent upon the network type, a cellular core network can either be circuit- or packet-switched. 2G GSM networks historically used circuit-switching for voice and SMS services while packet-switching was introduced with GPRS as an efficient data delivery mechanism.
This change complicated the mobile core network further and required additional infrastructure to facilitate packet switching, including adding SGSN (Serving GPRS Support Node) and GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) nodes into its core.
Subsequently, 3G UMTS networks and 4G LTE networks implemented more advanced core networks called Evolved Packet Core or EPC to support both circuit-switching and packet-switching for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G radio networks.
Cellular core networks are responsible for switching all services provided by a mobile network, including voice calls, text messages and mobile data transfer. It manages various features that ensure a seamless customer service experience.
There are various kinds of core networks, each offering specific advantages and disadvantages. A serial core network, for instance, is easy to set up and manage but may prove challenging when scaling. By contrast, distributed core networks comprise multiple layers with distinct hierarchies allowing more layered access control options and easier scaling capabilities.
Future cellular core networks will require significant transformation to remain relevant, for instance a cloud-native core network can support IoT services that require ultra-low latency.
Cellular operators will likely look to modernize their core network architectures in response to these significant shifts, which is one reason 5G promises faster service provision and agile methodologies for new functions and services.
Radio Access Network
A radio access network (RAN) consists of various elements, such as antennas, radios and baseband units. Each element serves an integral purpose within the RAN while being interconnected as part of its whole.
These visible components of a RAN serve to convert electrical signals to radio waves for transmission to other devices, while also helping detect errors, secure signals, and ensure efficient use of wireless resources.
They convert digital information to signals and wirelessly transmit them while keeping within appropriate frequency bands and power levels. Radios offer other functions which facilitate wireless communication.
BBUs (Base Station Base Units)
These serve as control units of base stations and manage links to mobile users within its coverage area. As such, they play an important part of any RAN and offer many additional functions.
A radio unit (RU) is another key element of any RAN, as it serves as the point where signals are received, amplified and then digitized before being distributed throughout its network. RUs may be located either physically at or remote from their base station – typically they will also connect with DUs that are nearby.
The RU must be capable of handling various signals that are used across different cellular phone generations; otherwise it will serve no useful purpose. It must have enough capacity to process large volumes of data being transmitted over it.
A distributed unit is the second component of any RAN, and is responsible for transmitting, receiving, storing and processing data. Depending on its placement it can either be located within a base station or remotely and typically connected via fiber backhaul to its counterpart the Control Unit (CU).
Your mobile phone is just one piece of an intricate web of servers connecting you with other people, devices and services around the globe – these series of international systems serve 7.2 billion people globally, and are only growing.
Cellular networks consist of radio transmitters, antennas, switching systems and computer equipment that manages all its moving parts. Their primary function is controlling signal transmissions by switching them on or off as necessary in order to create channels used for communicating between base stations and mobile users.
Multiplexing and paging are among the many means by which computers communicate with one another; both methods have existed for decades, though many consider paging to be the superior means for sending information via radio waves.
This type of transmission provides an efficient means of rapidly disseminating data over large areas such as cities or rural communities, while at the same time using less energy for transmitters thereby conserving power for other uses.
Phones are one of the key elements of cellular networks. Each phone contains subscriber contact details as well as GPS maps or other useful data, while also housing a SIM card which stores personal data about its owner. SIM cards not only store and transmit information; their silicon-based chip can also rapidly send and receive signals due to its great electrical conductivity and speed.
All mobile networks require several pieces of equipment to function smoothly, but none is more impressive or useful than the SIM card. Other equipment includes cell towers, switches and routers which connect cellular phones and other devices to the entire interweb – these all play an important part in providing the highest level of reliable communications possible.
Mobile networks offer services to subscribers of wireless devices, such as cell phones and tablets, including data access through mobile data networks as well as connectivity for making calls using these devices.
Mobile phone users typically connect to the internet through a 3G service area covering most of the country, or via USB port on certain phones equipped with one allowing direct access through its own mobile data network.
Mobile data networks must keep pace with an ever-increasing demand for mobile services, and to deliver these efficiently they require both more bandwidth and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to optimize use of the network.
A mobile Internet optimization platform, or MIOP, provides these services. Go to mobilabonnement.com/mobilnett-i-norge to learn how to process goes in Norway. The other three parts of this core network are MIOP@Core 230, MIOP@NodeB 210, and MIOP@RNC 220.
Mobile networks frequently provide a variety of services, including analytics, edge-based application serving, RAN-aware and subscriber-aware services, as well as data optimizations. These services may be implemented either within their existing infrastructure. For instance, it can be accomplished by a core network – or by renting their infrastructure from another carrier – such as an MVNO.
Close to base station 130, MIOP@NodeB 210 is a mobile data node that intercepts radio access network traffic and offers a range of services on such connections, such as data adjustments, RAN-aware services, subscriber-aware solutions, edge applications, and analytics.
Establishing these services should be completed in such a way as to be transparent to most existing equipment in the mobile data network, including tower 120, NodeB 130 and radio network controller 140. Inclusion of these services typically provides additional features or capabilities which help improve service delivery or reduce backhaul costs.
These services can be provided by the three components of the MIOP system as well as by an external Network Management System (NMS). In general, an NMS monitors and controls each component’s functions to ensure they’re performing optimally within a mobile data network environment.