Saturday, April 7, 2012

S1 – Control/User Plane

On the S1 reference point the physical layer L1 will in most cases be realized by Gigabit Ethernet cables. L2 in this case will be Ethernet. On top of Ethernet we find IP, but used as a transport protocol between two network nodes: eNB and MME. This lower layer IP does not represent the user plane frames.
Instead, the user plane IP frames (higher layer IP) are carried by the GTP Tunneling Packet Data Unit (T-PDU). The GTP is responsible for the transport of payload frames through the IP tunnels on S1-U. The transport layer for GTP-U is the User Datagram Protocol (UDP). As IP this protocol may be found twice in the user plane stack: lower UDP for transport between the eNB and MME and higher UDP (not shown in Figure 1) that is transparently routed through the mobile network as the transport protocol for real-time application data. The higher layer IP on top of GTP-U as well as all application data on top of this higher layer IP are identical with the user plane information.

Figure 1: Protocol stack S1 control/user plane
On the control plane side, the Streaming Control Transport Protocol (SCTP) provides reliable transport functionality for the very important signaling messages. S1AP is the communication expression between MME and S-GW while NAS

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