A cost-effective 3G solution. 3G is still widely deployed across many countries and will continue to coexist with LTE and other technologies for many years to come. 3G provides both voice and data services, and encompasses various versions that can provide transfer rates ranging from 200 KBPS to several MBPS. Aricent’s 3G software includes GSN software stacks, 3GPP Iu Interface, NodeB Software Framework and a dual mode small cell framework that can simultaneously support both 3G and LTE. 

GSN Lite 

Aricent’s GSN-Lite software framework is a compact, high-performance GPRS support node (GSN) that can be deployed as SGSN, GGSN or both. GSN-Lite is a standardized software framework that allows service providers to offer high-speed Internet services to General Packet Radio Service (GPRS) subscribers. As a software framework that can run on any Linux-based PC, GSN-Lite is cost-effective and highly scalable, and is suitable for all GPRS operators and MVNEs who need to offer high-speed wireless data services at competitive prices.


The all-IP architecture in the core network of GSN-Lite enables service providers to substantially reduce capital expenditures by using commercially available routers and network elements. GSN-Lite combines the functionality of a Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) as well as a Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) in the same physical node. It is deployable in GPRS or EDGE networks to perform the functionality of either SGSN or GGSN on different physical nodes. GSN-Lite interfaces with legacy systems, especially radio networks using Frame Relay/E1/T1 interfaces, and with other network elements such as HLR and MSC/VLR using MTP2/E1/T1.

GSN-Lite combines the functionality of a Serving GPRS Support Node (SGSN) as well as a Gateway GPRS Support Node (GGSN) in the same physical node. It is deployable in GPRS or EDGE networks to perform the functionality of either SGSN or GGSN on different physical nodes.

The following chart shows the deployment of GSN-Lite in GPRS/EDGE architecture:


GSN-Lite offers valuable features that add flexibility and performance in the following deployment scenarios:

GSN-Lite as an SGSN

When deployed as an SGSN, GSN-Lite handles inbound and outbound packet data traffic that is addressed to and from the mobile stations of users in a geographical area. In addition, it also handles interactions with the GSM circuit-switched and short messaging infrastructures. As an SGSN, Aricent’s GSN-Lite provides the following functionalities:

  • Mobility management
  • HLR addressing
  • Session management
  • Short messaging services
  • Charging functions—authentication and identity check 
  • Security—compression
  • Routing

GSN-Lite as GGSN

As a GGSN, Aricent’s GSN-Lite provides the following functionalities:

  • Subscriber session/data management
  • Charging function
  • Routing
  • RADIUS accounting 

Combined GSN Functionality

As a combined entity, GSN-Lite supports the functionality of both SGSN and GGSN. 

Standards Compliance

For deployment in GPRS networks, GSN-Lite is compliant to ETSI specifications and ready for deployment in GPRS networks. For deployment in EDGE networks, GSN-Lite supports a phased introduction to EDGE.

Support for IMS services and Interfacing with IMS domain

Full support for IMS services through functional elements such as Go interface, Policy Enforcement Point (PEP) and the IP BS Manager. 

Deployment in 3G Networks

GSN-Lite can be enhanced for deployment in 3G networks with the following enhancements:

  • Interfaces towards the RNC (Iu-PS) for Radio Access Network access
  • ATM and IP connectivity to RNCs

GSN-Lite Interfaces

As an SGSN, GSN-Lite supports interfaces with the following elements in a GPRS network:

  • Base Station Subsystem (Gb): HLR (Gr), EIR (Gf), SMS-IWMSC (Gd), MSC/VLR (Gs)
  • Charging Gateway (Ga): Other GSN

As a GGSN, GSN-Lite supports interfaces to the following elements:

  • External IP networks (Gi) and other GSN (Gn)
  • HLR (Gc)
  • Charging Gateway (Ga)

Configuration and Manageability

The Operation and Maintenance (O&M) functionality for the GSN supports Configuration Management, Fault Monitoring, Status Monitoring and Statistics Collection.

SNMP-Based Management

A Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) manager, through an SNMP Agent, can perform all features supported by the local manger. The SNMP Agent, along with a comprehensive SMI v1-compliant MIB, is provided with GSN-Lite.

3GPP Iu Interface

The UMTS Iu interface enables interconnection of Radio Network Controllers (RNCs) with Core Network nodes. We introduced the communications industry’s first distributed and highly scalable Iu interface software (both IuPS and IuCS) and have ensured that it remains compliant with the latest 3GPP standards. This software enables communications equipment manufacturers to build high-capacity 3G nodes faster.

Our Aricent Iu interface software is available in two separate packages: IuPS and IuCS for Packet Switched and Circuit Switched domains respectively. The IuCS interface interconnects the MSC/VLR and the RNC network nodes, while the IuPS interface provides interconnection between the SGSN and the RNC network nodes in UMTS/3G networks.


  • Fully integrated standards-compliant stack components
  • Distributed architecture support
  • Well-defined APIs for third-party application development
  • Flexible API invocation mechanisms
  • Integrated Stack Manager
  • Extensive layer management features for initialization, provisioning, statistics collection, error reporting and tracing
  • Modular and easy to customize
  • Reference implementation available on Vx Works-based CPCI platform
  • Portable to a wide range of operating environments

NodeB and dual mode small cells

Aricent also provides NodeB software frameworks and dual mode small cells for deployment in residential and enterprises.