4 Main concepts

03.693GPPStage 2TSVoice Broadcast Service (VBS)

4.1 Group definition

Service subscribers can become group members on a PLMN wide basis to one or more groups pre-defined in the network by a corresponding group identification (group ID). The membership enables them to receive voice broadcast calls associated with that group ID. In addition, certain group members are entitled by their subscription to initiate voice broadcast calls. Certain dispatchers connected to external networks also require the capability to initiate or receive voice broadcast calls.

In addition to subscriber details in the HLR, it is necessary for the mobile station to be aware of its group membership by storing details on the SIM. This is required because it shall respond to notification messages which include only the group ID (i.e. no IMSI or TMSI details).

Having become a group member, each service subscriber can set to active state or deactive state the group ID or any one out of his several group IDs on the SIM. In active state the subscriber can initiate voice broadcast calls to that group ID. When in deactive state the subscriber can not make voice broadcast calls to the group and the mobile station ignores any notification for that group ID.

4.2 Broadcast process

4.2.1 Broadcast call initiation

4.2.1.1 Normal operation with successful outcome

A group call area can be restricted to a single MSC area or can exceed one MSC area (implementation option).

A voice broadcast call shall be initiated by a calling service subscriber by a related input function, e.g. via MMI, specifying the selected serviceand the group ID dialled or by a calling dispatcher by the MSISDN address (see subclause 9.2).

The MSC in which the voice broadcast call is initiated obtains (by requesting the Group Call Register (GCR, see clause 5) the group call attributes.

This GCR interrogation after call initiation also determines whether the MSC shall act as anchor- or as relay MSC. If the MSC is not the anchor-MSC then the call will be "forwarded" from the relay to the respective anchor-MSC (information also delivered by GCR) and further "call-establishment" is done by the anchor-MSC as described in the following.

When a calling service subscriber or calling dispatcher initiates a voice broadcast call, one voice broadcast channel shall be established in each cell of the group call area and notifications for that call shall be sent in each of these cells. As an alternative, voice broadcast channels may only be established in cells in reaction to responses received from mobile stations on the notifications. At the same time standard connections to dispatchers in the mobile network or in an external network shall be established.

The calling service subscriber shall have a dedicated standard uplink/downlink. All mobile stations of the listening service subscribers in one cell shall only listen to the same common downlink (voice broadcast channel).

Only one voice broadcast channel shall be established in each cell for any given voice broadcast call, although there may be a number of simultaneous voice broadcast calls within the same cell.

Service subscribers shall be notified on the voice broadcast call in each cell. These voice broadcast call notification messages shall be broadcast on the notification channel (NCH).

The notification messages use the group ID rather than individual TMSIs/IMSIs. Additionally, a group call area identity (group call area ID) shall be included in order to enable a resolution in the case of overlapping group call areas. A service subscriber’s mobile station needs to be able to recognize notification messages for those group IDs subscribed to and presently activated.

The network may also send messages on appropriate voice broadcast channel FACCHs, in order to notify voice broadcast call members who may participate in other voice broadcast calls. In addition , also paging information messages for standard calls may be sent in order to inform voice broadcast call members on actually paged point-to-point calls.

Further the network may provide notification on the voice group call to service subscribers who have subscribed to the paged group ID and which are in dedicated mode.

The process of broadcasting messages on NCHs is to be carried out throughout the call in order to provide the "late entry" facility whereby group members entering the area can join the call.

On receiving notification of a voice broadcast call a voice broadcast call member’s mobile station shall adjust to the nominated channel to receive the broadcast call if this channel was received in the notification message and receive the information on the downlink. Whilst receiving, the mobile station shall not transmit on the uplink SACCH. This group receive mode is different to the normal idle mode or dedicated mode. If no channel description was provided in the notification message, the mobile station shall establish a dedicated connection in order to respond to the notification. The network may then provide the mobile station with a channel description for the voice broadcast call.

As a further mobile station option, the mobile station may read its paging subchannel in the current cell while in group receive mode or in group transmit mode in order to receive paging messages for mobile terminated calls.

4.2.1.2 Exceptional procedures

Completion of links into congested cells where pre-emption did not occur is required.

If the cell in which the calling service subscriber is located is reset, the voice broadcast call shall be released.

On receiving details of a voice broadcast call the user may choose to move to the notified call or the mobile station may automatically move to the notified call if the new call is of higher priority than the existing call and automatic acceptance applies for this priority level.

4.2.2 On-going broadcast calls

4.2.2.1 Normal operation with successful outcome

Within each voice broadcast call only the voice of the calling service subscriber or calling dispatcher shall be transmitted on the voice broadcast downlink channel.

Mobile stations in group receive mode use the group receive mode procedure (see 3GPP TS 03.22) to "camp-on" in a new cell to be able to listen to the voice broadcast channel. The mobile station may find the voice broadcast channel details of a new cell on the related NCH.

A network may decide not to establish voice broadcast channels in all cells. Instead, notifications containing no channel description may be provided. If a mobile station moves to such a cell, it must respond to the notification in order to receive the voice broadcast call. The network may then establish a voice broadcast channel and inform the mobile station on the channel position.

NOTE: Concerning security aspects, whilst authentication and membership checking of mobile call originators can be carried out, it is not possible to authenticate service subscribers in group receive mode if they have not before established a dedicated connection to responded to a notification. No equivalent of a group "TMSI" is provided to protect the "identity" of established voice broadcast calls.

4.2.2.2 Exceptional procedures

If a mobile station in group receive mode indicates a failure due to radio link time-out, the mobile station shall behave as specified in 3GPP TS 05.08 and go back to idle mode, possibly in another cell, as determined by the cell re-selection algorithm. If a notification is received for the same cell, the mobile station shall try to reconnect.

4.2.3 Leaving of a broadcast call without termination

A destination subscriber being service subscriber can leave the voice broadcast call at any point by "deselecting" it via an MMI function. Having deselected the call the mobile station returns to idle mode and "ignores" any further notification messages related to that call.

NOTE: If a service subscriber does not wish to participate in calls to a particular group ID for long periods of time, the group ID shall be switched to deactive state by the subscriber.

The service subscriber shall have the capability to reselect the voice broadcast call. The mobile station shall not ignore notification messages to that call any more.

The destination dispatcher shall be able to leave a voice broadcast call without terminating it.

4.2.4 Broadcast call termination

A voice broadcast call can be terminated by the calling service subscriber or the calling dispatcher or an entitled dispatcher who is allowed to terminate a VBS call.

The call shall be terminated if the calling service subscriber leaves the group call area (e.g. if he moves into an MSC area where a group call area is no part of) or when calling dispatcher releases his call leg.

An entitled dispatcher can terminate the call at any time by using a network defined user operation (e.g. via DTMF).

4.2.5 Acknowledgements

The acknowledgement is an application option.

For voice broadcast calls which are identified by an acknowledgement flag mobile stations which have acknowledgement facilities have to return an acknowledgement message with a predefined content in a predefined manner.

The acknowledgement shall be sent using an appropriate data service, to a predefined address or with a predefined short code stored on the SIM card. The network may apply geographical routing to a predefined acknowledgement service centre.

4.2.6 Transactions between the mobile station and the network

Mobile stations which are in broadcast receive mode shall not perform any transactions with the network while adjusted to the voice broadcast channel. They shall leave the group receive mode and act in a standard way to perform any transaction if necessary and return to the voice broadcast call afterwards.