- Radio Network Controller
The Radio Network Controller (or RNC) is the governing element in the
UMTSradio access network ( UTRAN) responsible for control of the Node Bs, that is to say the base stations which are connected to the controller. The RNC carries out radio resource management, some of the mobility managementfunctions and is the point where encryption is done before user data is sent to and from the mobile. The RNC connects to the Circuit Switched Core Network through Media Gateway (MGW) and to the SGSN(Serving GPRS Support Node) in the Packet Switched Core Network.
The main functions of the RNC are management of radio channels (on the Uu-, or air-, interface) and the terrestrial channels (towards the
MGWand SGSN). Radio Resource Management functionality includes the following:
*Outer Loop Power Control (see also
open loop power controland inner loop power control)
*Macrodiversity combining (see also
The logical connections between the network elements are known as interfaces. The interface between the RNC and the Circuit Switched Core Network (CS-CN) is called Iu-CS and between the RNC and the Packet Switched Core Network is called Iu-PS. Other interfaces include Iub (between the RNC and the Node B) and Iur (between RNCs in the same network). Iu interfaces carry user traffic (such as voice or data) as well as control information (see Protocols), and Iur interface is mainly needed for soft handovers.
All the interfaces in the
UTRANare implemented using ATM, except the Uu interface which uses WCDMAtechnology. Physically, these interfaces can be carried over SDHover optical fiber, E1 (sometimes referred to as PDH) - over a copper wire or microwave radio. Several E1s can be bundled to form an IMA Group. Since the interfaces are "logical", many interfaces can be multiplexed onto the same transmission line. The actual implementation depends on the network topology; examples are chain, distant star and loop configurations.
Iub, Iu and Iur protocols all carry both user data and signalling (that is, control plane).
* Signalling protocol responsible for the control of the Node B by the RNC is called NBAP (Node-B Application Part). Sometimes
NBAPis subdivided into Common and Dedicated NBAP (C-NBAP and D-NBAP), where Common NBAP controls overall Node B functionality and Dedicated NBAP controls separate cells or sectors of the Node B. NBAP is carried over Iub.
* Control plane protocol for the
transport layeris called ALCAP(Access Link Control Application Protocol). Basic functionality of ALCAP is multiplexing of different users onto one AAL2 transmission path using channel IDs (CIDs). ALCAP is carried over Iub.
* Signalling protocol responsible for communication between RNC and the core network is called
RANAP(Radio Access Network Application Part), and is carried over Iu interface.
* Signalling protocol responsible for communications between RNCs is called
RNSAP(Radio Network Subsystem Application Part) and is carried on the Iur interface.
In a relationship to a UE (especially in a
soft handoversituation) an RNC can play different roles. These are
*C-RNC: Controlling RNC
*D-RNC: Drift RNC
*S-RNC: Serving RNC
* [http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/25433.htm NBAP Specifications]
* [http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/25413.htm RANAP Specifications]
* [http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/25423.htm RNSAP Specifications]
* [http://www.3gpp.org/ftp/Specs/html-info/25331.htm RRC Specifications]
* [http://www.nokiasiemensnetworks.com/NR/rdonlyres/1B675605-25AA-4818-B44F-DAB2FD198B6D/0/level2_WCDMAHSPA_10.pdf Nokia Siemens Networks RNC]
* [http://www.ericsson.com/solutions/page.asp?ArticleId=42FCC110-E3F7-497D-9B35-84B9DD9B9033 Ericsson WCDMA Radio Access Network Products]
* [http://www.huawei.com/products/umts/umts_radio_network_controller.do?card=0 Huawei E2E WCDMA Solution]
* [http://www.motorola.com/content/0,,2230-4454-4793,00.html Motorola RNC5000]
* [http://www.nec-mobilesolutions.com/infrastructures/products/wcdma.html NEC W-CDMA RNC]
* [http://www1.alcatel-lucent.com/products/productsummary.jsp?category=Mobile&productNumber=tcm%3A228-1304231635&subCategory=UMTS+Access Alcatel-Lucent WCDMA RNC]
* [http://www.samsung.com/Products/WCDMA/RadioAccessNetwork/WCDMA_RadioAccessNetwork_RNC.htm Samsung WCDMA RNC]
*Nortel Networks, CDMA2000 - 1xEVDO, RNC8500, HC-RNC8600
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