4 General

09.603GPPGeneral Packet Radio Service (GPRS)GPRS Tunnelling Protocol GPT) across the Gn and Gp InterfaceRelease 1998TS

This document defines the GPRS Tunnelling Protocol (GTP), i.e. the protocol between GSN nodes in the GPRS backbone network. It includes both the GTP signalling and data transfer procedures. It also lists the messages and information elements used by the GTP based charging protocol GTP’, which is described in GSM 12.15.

GTP is defined both for the Gn interface, i.e. the interface between GSNs within a PLMN, and the Gp interface between GSNs in different PLMNs. GTP’ is defined for the interface between CDR generating functional network elements and Charging Gateway(s) within a PLMN. Charging Gateway(s) and GTP’ protocol are optional, as the Charging Gateway Functionalities may either be located in separate network elements (Charging Gateways), or alternatively be embedded into the CDR generating network elements (GSNs) when the GSN-CGF interface is not necessarily visible outside the network element. These interfaces relevant to GTP are between the grey boxes shown in the figure below.

Figure 1: GPRS Logical Architecture with interface name denotations

GTP allows multiprotocol packets to be tunnelled through the GPRS Backbone between GPRS Support Nodes (GSNs).

In the signalling plane, GTP specifies a tunnel control and management protocol which allows the SGSN to provide GPRS network access for a MS. Signalling is used to create, modify and delete tunnels.

In the transmission plane, GTP uses a tunnelling mechanism to provide a service for carrying user data packets. The choice of path is dependent on whether the user data to be tunnelled requires a reliable link or not.

The GTP protocol is implemented only by SGSNs and GGSNs. No other systems need to be aware of GTP. GPRS MSs are connected to a SGSN without being aware of GTP.

It is assumed that there will be a many-to-many relationship between SGSNs and GGSNs. A SGSN may provide service to many GGSNs. A single GGSN may associate with many SGSNs to deliver traffic to a large number of geographically diverse mobile stations.