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OsmoBSCNAT » History » Version 9

zecke2, 02/19/2016 10:48 PM
Add features of the NAT

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== BSC NAT/MUX ==
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=== Introduction ===
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The OpenBSC NAT is masquerading multiple BSCs behind one. It listens for incoming BSCs on
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port 5000 and connects to a specified MSC. It will forward Paging Requests and MGCP messgaes
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to the right BSC (if it is connected). Each incoming SCCP connection gets patched with a different
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Source Reference to avoid any collision between the different BSCs.
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To the network the NAT looks like a real BSC, to the BSC the NAT looks like almost a real MSC. One
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difference is that MGCP messages are not send via UDP but inside the IPA protocol to avoid
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any issues with firewalls and such.
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{{{
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#!graphviz
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digraph G {
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  rankdir=LR;
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  nanobts1->OpenBSC1 [ label="Abis/IP" ];
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  nanobts2->OpenBSC1 [ label="Abis/IP" ];
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  nanobts3->OpenBSC2 [ label="Abis/IP" ];
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  nanobts4->OpenBSC2 [ label="Abis/IP" ];
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  BSC1->cellmgr_ng1 [label="A/MTP" ];
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  OpenBSC1->bsc_nat [ label="A/IP" ];
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  OpenBSC2->bsc_nat [ label="A/IP" ];
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  cellmgr_ng1->bsc_nat [ label = "A/IP" ];
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  bsc_nat->MSC      [ label="A/IP" ];
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  nanobts2 [ label = "BTS 1" ];
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  nanobts1 [ label = "BTS 2" ];
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  nanobts3 [ label = "BTS 3" ];
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  nanobts4 [ label = "BTS 4" ];
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  BSC1 [ label = "Traditional BTS/BSC" ];
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  OpenBSC1 [ label = "OpenBSC 1" ];
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  OpenBSC2 [ label = "OpenBSC 2" ];
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  cellmgr_ng1 [ label = "Cellmgr 1" ];
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}
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}}}
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=== Concept ===
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The bsc_nat is useful when the BSCs of a GSM network are not in the same IP network. The BSC
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might be behind a firewall, or the IP is changing, also the ports might be masqueraded. The bsc_nat
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is tunneling the MGCP protocol through the A/IP link to penetrate firewalls and UDP port discovery
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for RTP based audio. Being the central part to the GSM network it provides detailed statistics and
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other features.
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=== Features ===
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==== IMSI based access control ====
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The bsc_nat provides a per MSC and per BSC IMSI filter. The filter works during the Location Updating
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Procedure, the CM Service Request and other places. It allows to exclude IMSIs from certain locations.
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==== Number rewriting ====
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The bsc_nat provides a way to rewrite destination numbers based on MNC and MCC of the subscriber.
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==== USSD bypass ====
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The bsc_nat provides a way to forward USSD requests for certain number ranges for subscribers based
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on the MNC and MCC to an external process.
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==== Detailed statistics ====
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The bsc_nat provides detailed statistics about the traffic of each BSC, the reason for opening the
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connection,  the number of active connections.
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==== NAT traversal ===
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The bsc_nat tunnels MGCP through the A/IP link, the BSC will send a beacon from the source RTP port
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to make the external port visible to the NAT.
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=== Design ===
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==== USSD Bypass ====
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We want to implement certain USSD messages ourselves, the MSC does not provide an extension
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API so it must be done inside the NAT. On ther other hand we do not want to have complicated code
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inside the NAT, the development of new features should not require a restart of the NAT. This means
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we will have a simple bypass that detects USSD messages that we want to handle and then forwards
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them to an external process. To begin with we will have a static decision making, which will be turned
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into more dynamic pattern matching.
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===== Implementation in the NAT =====
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The difficulty is the management of the SCCP Connection. In case of a USSD operation as part of a
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SMS or as a voice call, we should hope that sending the response arrives before the MSC is sending
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the connection release. If the Connection is created with the intention of USSD we will have to take
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over the connection and close it on the MSC side. It might show that this approach is tricky and we
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might need better handling on the connection close.
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 * ~~Keep track of the IMSI of every SCCP Connection. The increase in storage size is acceptable right now. We have not started to tune anything in the NAT anyway.~~ (done)
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 * ~~Keep track of the Connection Type, identify SS requests in the CM Service Request.~~ (done)
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 * Listen on a port for incoming USSD Bypass connections. We will use the IPA protocol, with one extra stream identifier for control messages.
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 * Identify USSD request to be forwarded to the MSC, send the IMSI and SCCP references to the bridge so it can start doing its job.
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