5 General architecture

03.683GPPStage 2TSVoice Group Call Service (VGCS)

5.1 Group Call Register (GCR)

The general architecture of GSM is maintained. In addition, a network function is required which is used for registration of the group call attributes, the Group Call Register (GCR).

The GCR function is mainly a database function, holding information about voice group calls.

NOTE 1: The GCR implementation is not specified. It may be realized e.g. as a new network node, in a PABX directly attached to an MSC, inside an MSC or as an HLR. The interface between the GCR function and other functions is not specified in the GSM technical specifications. As a consequence, the functional split between MSC and GCR as developed in the present document is only indicative, and other functional splits can be implemented.

The GCR data for a specific voice group call is set at the creation of the group call attributes, and can be subsequently modified. No support for these functions is specified in the GSM technical specifications.

Figure 1: Functional architecture with a Group Call Register

The signalling between the entities shown in figure 1, for the two cases of service subscriber and dispatcher originated calls, shall be as defined in the following.

Service subscriber originated: The MSC containing the cell within which this voice group call is initiated shall perform subscription checking against VLR records. It shall then consult its GCR to determine the group call attributes related to its MSC area and whether it is the group call anchor MSC for that voice group call. If it is not, the GCR shall provide with the group call attributes the routing information identifying the group call anchor MSC to the originating MSC. The originating MSC shall then route the voice group call to the anchor MSC. If the originating MSC is the group call anchor MSC, along with the group call attributes, the GCR shall provide information on all group call relay MSCs to be involved.

The group call anchor MSC shall set up links to all group call relay MSCs. Each MSC involved in a voice group call obtains its proper group call attributes from the GCR related to the MSC.

The IMSI of the calling service subscriber must be provided to and stored in the anchor MSC and each relay MSC in order to allow the calling service subscriber to clear the group call later on.

Dispatcher originated: In the case of dispatchers calling from an external network, the call request, in the form of an ISDN number, shall be received at a GMSC. The number shall be analysed and the call shall be directly routed to the group call anchor MSC by the GMSC based on the called identity without requesting an HLR. The group call anchor MSC shall interrogate the GCR and obtain the group call attributes. If an identical voice group call is currently in progress, the dispatcher shall be connected to this call and no new call shall be initiated. When interrogating the GCR, the identity of the calling dispatcher is compared with the list of dispatchers which are allowed to initiate the call. If the dispatcher is not in the list, or an identity is not provided, the network shall reject the call.

NOTE 2: Optionally dispatchers may also be user of the GSM network in which the VGCS service is provided or may directly be connected to a PABX containing the GCR. Dispatcher which are registered for a certain voice group call and which have also a subscription for VGCS with the same group ID as the voice group call for which they are dispatcher shall deactivate this group ID when they are located in the corresponding group call area in order to avoid conflicts between paging for the dispatcher and notifications for the group ID.

5.2 Voice group call responsibility

The MSC responsible for the voice group call is the one nominated within the GCR or the one to which the call is routed from the GMSC in the case of a dispatcher originated call. This MSC is termed the group call anchor MSC.

If the group call area extends beyond one MSC area then any MSCs controlling cells in the area outside of the group call anchor MSC are referred to as group call relay MSCs.