GSM Technology Architecture, Security and Future Challenges

GSM Technology

GSM is generally referred to as the Global System for Mobile Communication. It is a special type of digital network that establishes a possible communication between two or more mobile devices. It is widely used all over the world. There are three digital wireless telephony technologies; TDMA, GSM, and CDMA. But GSM is the most commonly used technology. In GSM, the data is compressed and transferred to a transmission media. It operates on the frequency range of 900 MHz or 1800 MHz. GSM technology is the fastest high-speed circuit-switched data as compare to other technologies.

GSM Network Architecture

Many elements of GSM architecture help in the effective communication of mobile devices. There are specialized components that create a general framework operation to be kept up. The major elements of GSM architecture are:

· Network and Switching Subsystem (NSS).

· Base Station Subsystem (BSS).

· Mobile Station (MS).

· Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS).

Network and Switching Subsystem (NSS)

The network and switching subsystem is a GSM core network that is responsible for the call out and mobility management functions for the mobile phone roaming. This switching system includes the following elements:

· Home Location Register (HLR)

· Mobile Services Switching Centre (MSC)

· Visitor Location Register (VLR)

· Authentication Centre (AUC)

· Equipment Identify Centre (EIR)

Base Station Subsystem (BSS)

As compare to NSS, the base station subsystem is the traditional system that handles the traffic between two devices. There are two components of the Base Station Subsystem:

· Base Transceiver Station (BTS)

· Base Station Controller (BST)

Mobile Station (MS)

This consist of all the user equipment and software needed for communication with a mobile network. This means communication devices are connected to a broadband adapter for an effective transfer of data. The MS consist of four main components:

· Mobile Termination (MT)

· Terminal Equipment (TE)

· Terminal Adaptor (TA)

· Subscriber Identify Module (SIM)

Operation and Support Subsystem (OSS)

This is the main component of a GSM network because it is connected with all the components of a GSM architecture to control and monitor the traffic and overall operations of a GSM network.

Security and Future Challenges

GSM was expected to be a safe remote framework. It has seen the client validation utilizing a pre-shared key and test reaction, and over-the-air encryption. Be that as it may, GSM is helpless against various kinds of assault, each of them led to an alternate section of the organization.

The advancement of UMTS presents a discretionary Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM), that uses a more extended confirmation key to give more noteworthy security, and in addition commonly validating the system and the client, while GSM just verifies the client to the system (and not the other way round). The security show in this way offers secrecy and verification, however, constrained approval capacities and no non-debunking. GSM uses a few cryptographic calculations for security.

The A5/1, A5/2, and A5/3stream figures are used for guaranteeing over-the-air voice security. A5/1 was created first and is a more grounded calculation utilized in Europe and the United States; A5/2 is weaker and used as a part of different lands.

Genuine shortcomings have been set up in both calculations: it is conceivable to break A5/2 continuously with a figure content just assault, and in January 2007, The Hacker’s Choice begun the A5/1 splitting venture with arrangements to utilize FPGAs that permit A5/1 to be worn with a rainbow table assault. The framework bolsters numerous calculations and then administrators may supplant that figure with a more established one. New assaults have been watching that exploit poor security usage, engineering, and improvement for Smartphone applications. Some wiretapping and spying methods capture the sound information and yield giving a chance to an outsider to tune in into the conversation.

GSM utilizes General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) for information transmissions like perusing the web. The most generally sent GPRS figures were freely softened up 2011. The specialists uncovered imperfections in the ordinarily utilized GEA/1 and GEA/2 figures and distributed the open-source “GPRS interpret” programming for sniffing GPRS systems. They likewise noticed that a few transporters don’t scramble the information (i.e., utilizing GEA/0) to recognize the utilization of movement or conventions they don’t care for (e.g., Skype), leaving clients unprotected. GEA/3 appears to remain generally difficult to break and is said to be being used on some more advanced systems.

In the event that utilized with USIM to forestall associations with fake base stations and downsize assaults, clients will be ensured in the medium term, the however movement to 128-piece GEA/4 is still prescribed.




Computer Scientist, Content Creator, Video Producer. I create content that erects a positive hope with some taste of entertainment.

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Muzamil Shahbaz

Muzamil Shahbaz

Computer Scientist, Content Creator, Video Producer. I create content that erects a positive hope with some taste of entertainment.

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