This paper describes the adaptation of an experimental software radio system, based on UMTS-TDD and providing direct interconnection with an IPv6 Core Network, developed in the context of several research projects. It focuses on the convergence of a 3GPP-based system towards "pure-IP" architecture. The platform presented is designed using open architectures at both the hardware and software level and is primarily PC-based, running under Linux and RTLinux.
In the target architecture, IPv6 functionalities for Mobility, Quality of Service and Paging replace UMTS mobility management and Core Network functions. The traditional Base Station becomes a Radio Gateway with IP routing capabilities, and controlling its own IPv6 subnet. The adaptation of the platform is achieved by introducing a new component, the Generic Radio Access Adaptation Layer (GRAAL) and modifying the 3GPP standard-based Radio Resource Control (RRC). The GRAAL provides the middleware for interfacing IPv6-based mechanisms with 3GPP-specific mechanisms for the access network. It is developed as en extension of a standard IPv6 network device driver. The RRC is reduced to the procedures identified as necessary to comply with this new requirement, enhanced to support the IPv6 functions described above, while at the same time, maintaining the control of the other 3GPP-compliant lower layers of the Radio Interface Protocols.
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