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Thread: What does network busy REALLY mean?

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    What does network busy REALLY mean?

    For GSM gurus: Yeah, I know that the dreaded "network busy" means the local tower is busy, but does this usually mean that EVERY frequency/slot is full, or does it mean the phone couldn't get a word in on the control frequency because it's jammed with text messages, other call attempts, etc? The two situations are *very* different, as Cingular might have a TON of spectrum in a given town, but all it takes is living next to a high school with lots of texting going on, and much of the usable spectrum could sit idle due to the limited control freqs being congested (not the main freqs being congested).

    Any thoughts? And does Cingular do anything to prevent texting from hanging the whole network?

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    A "fast busy" or "network busy" tone should typically indicate adequate spectral capacity at the site but inadequate backhaul capacity at the site or inadequate landline capacity at the MSC for the current usage level. After all, the BTS has to vocode the "fast busy" OTA back to the handset. Although, some handsets do vocode the "fast busy" locally when the CCCHs are spectrally overloaded.

    AJ

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    Probably not enough spectrum deployed at the cell site or the site needs more T1 circuits installed to backhaul the adiditional traffic to the main switch.
    Hartford, CT Area

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    Quote Originally Posted by WiWavelength
    A "fast busy" or "network busy" tone should typically indicate adequate spectral capacity at the site but inadequate backhaul capacity at the site or inadequate landline capacity at the MSC for the current usage level. After all, the BTS has to vocode the "fast busy" OTA back to the handset. Although, some handsets do vocode the "fast busy" locally when the CCCHs are spectrally overloaded.

    AJ
    LOL! I think we were looking for an explanation in English....
    I DON'T HAVE A SIGNATURE....SORRY

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    in regards to your original question...text messages don't use up much bandwidth and are short burst..during the hurricane's that's all a lot of people had to communicate with each other. Voice and data are separate issues...if you are getting a network busy response...more than likely it's just that...busy...too many voice calls going on for that particular tower.

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    I was with him until the "After all, the BTS has to vocode the "fast busy" OTA back to the handset. Although, some handsets do vocode the "fast busy" locally when the CCCHs are spectrally overloaded."m thing. The first part is what drc72 said, but the second with all the {sic} acronyms just ain't English.

    When someone asks a question like that using things like BTS, vocode, CCCHs just plain isn't getting the tech challenged anywhere.
    Today a group of leading venture capitalists published an open letter to the FCC calling on them to prevent what they say would be the end of net neutrality and a crippling blow to young startups.
    No Google, say it ain't (or wouldn't of been ) so! ATT and Verizon would have killed their own cash cow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d1webmaster
    text messages don't use up much bandwidth
    Yeah, I understand that, but I was under the impression that texts happen to use the tower's control channels, which are ALSO vying for time to send ring/call requests to and from phones. It would seem to me that a tower with totally adequate spectrum could notheless report "network busy" simply due to its lower-bandwidth *control channels* being jammed up with stuff.

    Is this, in the real world, an issue?

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    If you make an emergency (911) call when the network is "busy", does the tower throw someone else off a call in order to allow the emergency call to go through?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonix
    I was with him until the "After all, the BTS has to vocode the "fast busy" OTA back to the handset. Although, some handsets do vocode the "fast busy" locally when the CCCHs are spectrally overloaded."m thing. The first part is what drc72 said, but the second with all the {sic} acronyms just ain't English.

    When someone asks a question like that using things like BTS, vocode, CCCHs just plain isn't getting the tech challenged anywhere.
    He kind of caught me off guard as well with those high tech words.

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    I was wondering the same thing. I tried calling a number from cell phone and got the Network busy sound. But then I tried from a landline and got the busy signal also. I always thought that the network busy signal had to do with congestion on the network. But now I think it can be either the wireless network or landline. More info please - lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tman3501
    I was wondering the same thing. I tried calling a number from cell phone and got the Network busy sound. But then I tried from a landline and got the busy signal also. I always thought that the network busy signal had to do with congestion on the network. But now I think it can be either the wireless network or landline. More info please - lol
    Perhaps the network of the person you were calling was busy? However, network busy messages are valid for both wireless and landline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tekelberry
    If you make an emergency (911) call when the network is "busy", does the tower throw someone else off a call in order to allow the emergency call to go through?
    This is the way it works on CDMA; I would assume the same is true of other technologies.

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    MSC = Mobile Switching Center, i.e "switch" that connects a Cingular network to the landline voice network or the Internet

    BTS = Base Transceiver Station, i.e. cell site

    OTA = over-the-airwaves

    CCCH = Common Control CHannels, i.e. GSM signalling channels

    AJ

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    A fast busy simply means the system can't provide a complete path for your call. The blockage could be anywhere from the air interface to the other network that is delivering your call. That might be a landline network or another mobile network or the same network you are using.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Arezzo
    It would seem to me that a tower with totally adequate spectrum could notheless report "network busy" simply due to its lower-bandwidth *control channels* being jammed up with stuff.

    Is this, in the real world, an issue?

    No, for two reasons.

    1. If the control channel is jammed up, you'll never get far enough in the call process to get a fast busy. You'll get an "intercept tone" instead.
    2. It takes a LOT to overload a control channel. More than you are likely to see in anything other than a disaster situation.

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