Cell Broadcast » History » Version 1

laforge, 05/29/2017 05:36 PM

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h1. Cell Broadcast
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Normally, all user plane data in GSM/GPRS networks are sent in point-to-point channels from the network to the user. Those are called "dedicated" radio channels whcih exist between the network and one given phone/subscriber at a time.
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Cell Broadcast is an exception to that rule.  It permits user data (so-called SMS-CB data) to be broadcast by the network in a way that can be received by all phones in the coverage area of the given [[BTS]] simultaneously.
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More high-level information can be found at and the related specification is found at "3GPP TS 23.041 Technical realization of Cell Broadcast Service (CBS)":
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h2. Osmocom Cell Broadcast support
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* [[OsmoBTS:]] implements the "SMS BROADCAST COMMAND" Message in RSL according to Section 8.5.8 of 3GPP TS 08.58
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* [[OsmoNITB:]] and [[OsmoBSC:]] implement a VTY command @bts <0-255> smscb-command <1-4> HEXSTRING@ to send a given hex-formatted cell broadcast message to a specified BTS
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This is sufficient for manual transmission of cell-broadcast messages in a lab environment or in small networks.  The functionality has been developed and "used at the 31st annual CCC congress (31C3) to deliver spoofed "Presidential Level Alert" messages":
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h3. What's missing (for production operation in larger networks)
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* mechanism to broadcast one (set of) cell broadcast messages from the BSC to multiple/all BTSs, rather than one BTS individually
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* BTS reporting of current CBCH load
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* BSC scheduler scheduling multiple alternating sets of CBCH messages based on the current CBCH load reported by BTS
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* external interface from BSC to a Cell Broadcast Center (CBC), e.g. according to 3GPP TS 48.049
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* an Osmocom implementation of the Cell Broadcast Center (OsmoCBC) which can manage and dsitribute messages to multiple BSCs and which has an external interface by which cell-broadcast can be entered into the network
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