UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network

UTRAN, short for Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network, is a collective term for the Node B's and Radio Network Controllers (RNCs) which make up the UMTS radio access network. This communications network, commonly referred to as 3G (for 3rd Generation Wireless Mobile Communication Technology), can carry many traffic types from real-time Circuit Switched to IP based Packet Switched. The UTRAN allows connectivity between the UE (user equipment) and the core network.

The UTRAN contains the base stations, which are called Node Bs, and Radio Network Controllers (RNC). The RNC provides control functionalities for one or more Node Bs. A Node B and an RNC can be the same device, although typical implementations have a separate RNC located in a central office serving multiple Node Bs. Despite the fact that they do not have to be physically separated, there is a logical interface between them known as the Iub. The RNC and its corresponding Node Bs are called the Radio Network Subsystem (RNS). There can be more than one RNS present in a UTRAN.

There are four interfaces connecting the UTRAN internally or externally to other functional entities: Iu, Uu, Iub and Iur. The Iu interface is an external interface that connects the RNC to the Core Network (CN). The Uu is also external, connecting the Node B with the User Equipment (UE). The Iub is an internal interface connecting the RNC with the Node B. And at last there is the Iur interface which is an internal interface most of the time, but can, exceptionally be an external interface too for some network architectures. The Iur connects two RNCs with each other.

Famous quotes containing the words network, access and/or radio:

    Of what use, however, is a general certainty that an insect will not walk with his head hindmost, when what you need to know is the play of inward stimulus that sends him hither and thither in a network of possible paths?
    George Eliot [Mary Ann (or Marian)

    Knowledge in the form of an informational commodity indispensable to productive power is already, and will continue to be, a major—perhaps the major—stake in the worldwide competition for power. It is conceivable that the nation-states will one day fight for control of information, just as they battled in the past for control over territory, and afterwards for control over access to and exploitation of raw materials and cheap labor.
    Jean François Lyotard (b. 1924)

    We spend all day broadcasting on the radio and TV telling people back home what’s happening here. And we learn what’s happening here by spending all day monitoring the radio and TV broadcasts from back home.
    —P.J. (Patrick Jake)