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Getting Started with OpenBTS by Michael Iedema

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Glossary

ARFCN (Absolute Radio Frequency Channel Number)

A pair of uplink and downlink frequencies on which the mobile network is operating. The bandwidth on these frequencies is approximately 270 KHz. A single base station can operate on multiple ARFCNs to increase capacity. Typically pronounced “arf-con.”

BCC (Base Station Color Code)

A 3-bit value unique among neighboring base stations from the same operator in a given area. Usually assigned from a color map so each neighboring base station has a unique “color” value and no two adjacent base stations have the same color.

BSIC (Base Station Identity Code)

A 6-bit value composed of two 3-bit pieces: the NCC and BCC. Commonly pronounced as “bee-sick,” it is one of the first things a Mobile Station uses to identify a network and quickly ascertain if it can expect to receive service on it.

BTS (Base Transceiver Station)

The “access point” in a GSM network to which Mobile Stations can attach. Usually referred to as the base station.

CI (Cell Identity)

A 16-bit value unique to every single base station in the network.

GSM (Global System for Mobile)

The standard for mobile network infrastructure used throughout most of the world. Many other standards exist such as CDMA, UMTS, and LTE.

IMEI (International Mobile Equipment Identity)

A 15-digit number that uniquely identifies the handset hardware. It encodes the manufacturer and model and is analogous to a MAC address. The IMEI is usually only used to detect stolen hardware ...

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