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CCS#7

Common Channel Signaling system no.7 (CCS-7)


1.0 Introduction
Communication networks generally connect two subscriber terminating equipment units together via several line sections and switches for message exchange (e.g. speech, data, text or images). Control information has to be transferred between the exchanges for call control and for the use of facilities. In analog communication networks, channel-associated signaling systems have so far been used to carry the control information. Fault free operation is guaranteed with the channel-associated signaling systems in analog communication networks, but the systems do not meet requirements in digital, processor-controlled communication network. Such networks offer a considerably larger scope of performance as compared with the analog communication networks due, for instance, to a number of new services and facilities. The amount and variety of the information to be transferred is accordingly larger. The information can no longer be economically transported by the conventional channel-associated signaling systems. For this reason, a new, efficient signaling system is required in digital, processor-controlled communication networks. The CCITT has therefore specified the common channel signaling system no.7 (CCS-7). CCS-7 is optimized for application in digital networks. It is characterized by the following main features: * internationally standardized (national variations possible) * suitable for the national and international intercontinental network level * suitable for various communication services such as telephony, text services, data services and other services * suitable for service-specific communication networks and for the integrated services digital network (ISDN) * high performance and flexibility along with a future-oriented concept which well meet new requirements * high reliability for message transfer * processor-friendly structure of the messages (signal units of multiples of 8 bits) * signaling on separate signaling links; the bit rate of the circuits is therefore exclusively for communication

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* signaling links always available, even during existing calls * use of the signaling links of transferring user data also * used on various transmission media - cable (copper, optical fiber) - radio relay - satellite (up to 2 satellite links) * use of the transfer rate of 64 kbit/s typical in digital networks * used also for lower bit rates and for analog signaling links if necessary * automatic supervision and control of the signaling network.

2.0

Signalling Network In contrast to channel-associated signaling, which has been standard practice until now, in CCS7 the signaling messages are sent via separate signaling links (see Fig. 2.1). One signaling link can convey the signaling messages for many circuits. The CCS7 signaling links connect signaling points (SPs) in a communication network. The signaling points and the signaling links form an independent signaling network, which is overlaid over the circuit network.

Switching network Signalling link terminal

Circuits Switching network Signaling link Signalling link terminal

Control

Control

2.1

Fig.2.1: Signaling Signaling points (SP) via a common channel signaling link A distinction is made between signaling points (SP) and signaling transfers

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The SPs are the sources (originating points) and the sinks (destination points) of signaling traffic. In a communication network these are primarily the exchanges. The STPs switch signaling messages received to another STP or to a SP on the basis of the destination address. No call processing of the signaling messages occurs in a STP. A STP can be integrated in a SP (e.g. in an exchange) or can form a node of its own in the signaling network. One or more levels of STPs are possible in a signaling network, according to the size of the network. All SPs in the signaling network are identified by means of a code within the framework of a corresponding numbering plan can therefore be directly addressed in a signaling message. 2.2 Signaling links A signaling link consists of a signaling data link (two data channels operating together in opposite directions at the same data rate) and its transfer control functions. A channel of an existing transmission link (e.g. a PCM30 link) is used as the signaling data link. Generally, more than one signaling link exists between two SPs in order to provide redundancy. In the case of failure of a signaling link, functions of the CCS7 ensure that the signaling traffic is rerouted to fault-free alternative routes. The routing of the signaling links between two SPs can differ. All the signaling links between two SPs are combined in a signaling link set. 2.3 Signaling modes Two different signaling modes can be used in the signaling networks for CCS7. In the associated mode of signaling, the signaling link is routed together with the circuit group belonging to the link. In other words, the signaling link is directly connected to SPs which are also the terminal points of the circuit group (see Fig. 2.2).This mode of signaling is recommended when the capacity of the traffic relation between the SPs A and B is heavily utilized. Signaling point A Signaling point B

Circuit group Signaling link

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Fig. 2.2 Associated mode of signaling 3/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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In the quasi-associated mode of signaling, the signaling link and the circuit group run along different routes, the circuit group connecting the SP A directly with the SP B. For this mode the signaling for the circuit group is carried out via one or more defined STPs (see Fig. 2.3). This signaling mode is favorable for traffic relations with low capacity utilization, as the same signaling link can be used for several destinations.

Signaling point A

Circuit group with Quasi-associated signaling A-C-B Signaling links

Signaling point B

Circuit group with Associated signaling

Circuit group with Associated signaling

Signaling Point C / Signaling Transfer Point 2.4 Signaling routesFig. 2.3 Quasi-associated mode of signaling The route defined for the signaling between an originating point and a destination point is called the signaling route. The signaling traffic between two SPs can be distributed over several different signaling routes. All signaling routes between two SPs are combined in a signaling route set. 2.5 Network structure

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The signaling network can be designed in different ways because of the two signaling modes. It can be constructed either with uniform mode of signaling (associated or quasi-associated) or with a mixed mode (associated and quasiassociated). The worldwide signaling network is divided into two levels that are functionally independent of each other; an international level with an international network and a national level with many national networks. Each network has its own numbering plans for the SPs. 2.6 Planning aspects Economic, operational and organizational aspects must be considered in the planning of the signaling network for CCS7. An administration should also have discussions with the other administrations at an early stage before CCS7 is introduced in order to make decisions, for example, on the following points. (a) signaling network -mode of signaling -selection of the STPs -signaling type (en bloc or overlap) -assignment of the addresses to SPs (b) signaling data links e.g. 64 kbit/s digital or 4.8 kbit/s analog (c) safety requirements - load sharing between signaling links - diverting the signaling traffic to alternative routes in the event of faults - error correction (d) adjacent traffic relations.

Structure of CCS7
The signaling functions in CCS7 are distributed among the following parts: - message transfer part (MTP, see Section 3.1) - function-specific user parts (UP, see Section 3.2). The MTP represents a user-neutral means of transport for messages between the users. The term user is applied here for all functional units which use the

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Each user part encompasses the functions, protocols and coding for the signaling via CCS7 for a specific user type (e.g. telephone service, data service, ISDN). In this way, the user parts control the set-up and release of circuit connections, the processing of facilities as well as administration and maintenance functions for the circuits. The functions of the MTP and the UP of CCS7 are divided into 4 levels. Levels 1 to 3 are allotted to the MTP while the UPs form level 4 (see Figure 3.1).

ISDN-UP, level 4

SCCP, level 4

TUP, level 4

Examples of user parts

Signaling network functions, level 3

3.1

Message Transfer Part (CCITT Bluelevel 2 Recommendations Messageto Q.707) Q.701 Signaling link functions, Book.
transfer part

The message transfer part (MTP) is used in CCS7 by all user parts (UPs) as a transport system for message exchange. Messages to be transferred from one UP to another are given to the MTP (see Fig. 3.2). The MTP ensures that the messages reach the addresseddatain the correct order without information loss, duplication or Signaling UP link functions, level 1 sequence alteration and without any bit errors.

Fig.3.1 : Functional Levels of CCS7


Functional levels ALTTC / SW-II 6/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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Level 1 (signaling data link) defines the physical, electrical and functional characteristics of a signaling data link and the access units. Level 1 represents the bearer for a signaling link. In a digital network, 64-kbit/s channels are generally used as signaling data links. In addition, analog channels (preferably with a bit rate of 4.8 kbit/s) can also be used via modems as a signaling data link.

Level 2 (signaling link) defines the functions and procedures for a correct exchange of user messages via a signaling link. The following functions must be carried out level 2: - delimitation of the signal units by flags - elimination of superfluous flags - error detection using check bits - error correction by re-transmitting signal units - error rate monitoring on the signaling data link Signalling point A fault-free operation, for example, after Signalling point B - restoration of disruption of the User part (e.g. ISDN-UP) User part (e.g. ISDN-UP)

Circuits

User message
Signaling data link

User message

Message transfer part

Signal unit

Message transfer part

MTP component

User information

Address

MTP component

User message

Fig. 3.2. : Message exchange between two signalling points with CCS7 ALTTC / SW-II 7/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

EWSD signaling data link.

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Level 3 (signaling network) defines the interworking of the individual signaling Links. A distinction is made between the two following functional areas: - message handling, i.e. directing the messages to the desired signaling line, or to the correct UP - signaling network management, i.e. control of the message traffic, for example, by means of changeover of signaling links if a fault is detected and change back to normal operation after the fault is corrected. The various functions of level 3 operate with one another, with functions of other levels and with corresponding functions of other signaling of other SPs. 3.1.1 Signal Units (SU) The MTP transports messages in the form of SUs of varying length. A SU is formed by the functions of level 2. In addition to the message it also contains control information for the message exchange. There are three different types of SUs: - Message Signal Units (MSU) - Link Status Signal Units (LSSU) - Fill-In Signal Units (FISU). Using MSUs the MTP transfers user messages, that i.e. messages from UPs (level 4) and messages from the signaling network management (level 3). The structure of the three types of message units is shown in figure 6. The LSSUs contain information for the operation of the signaling link (e.g. of the alignment). The FISUs are used to maintain the acknowledgment cycle when no user messages are to be sent in one of the two directions of the signaling link.

Protocol Information Bits :


Flag (F) : (8 bits) The SUs are of varying length. In order to clearly separate them from one another, each SU begins and ends with a flag. The closing flag of one SUs is usually also the opening flag of the next SU. However, in the event of overloading of the signaling link, several consecutive flags can be sent. The flag is also used for the purpose of alignment. The bit pattern of a flag is 01111110.

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CCS#7 Backward sequence number (BSN) : (7 bits) The BSN is used as an acknowledgment carrier within the context of error control. It contains the forward sequence number (FSN) of a SU in the opposite direction whose reception is being acknowledged. A series of SUs can also be acknowledged with one BSN. Backward Indicator Bit (BIB) : (1 bit) The BIB is needed during general error correction (see Section 3.1.3, subheading "Correction of transmission errors"). With this bit, faulty SUs are requested to be retransmitted for error correction. Forward sequence number (FSN) : (7 bits) A FSN is assigned consecutively to each SU to be transmitted. On the receive side it is used for supervision of the correct order for the SUs and for safeguarding against transmission errors. The numbers 0 to 127 are available for the FSN. Forward indicator bit (FIB) : (1 bit) The FIB is needed during general error correction (see Section 3.1.3, subheading "Correction of transmission errors"). It indicates whether a SU is being sent for the first time or whether it is being retransmitted. Length indicator (LI) : (6 bits) The LI is used to differentiate between the three SUs. It gives the number of octets between the check-bit (CK) field and the LI field. The LI field contains different values according to the type of SU; it is 0 for FISU, 1 or 2 for LISU and is greater then 2 for MSU. The maximum value in the length indicator fields is 63 even if the signaling information field (SIF) contains more than 63 octets.

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F B I FSN I B B

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CK

SIF

SIO*

LI

BSN

Message Signal Unit

CK

SF

LI

F B I FSN I B B

BSN

Link Status Signal Unit


Direction of transfer

CK

LI

F B I FSN I B B

BSN

Fill - In Signal Unit

Double assignm ent of abbreviation (see Section 4)

Fig. 3.3. : Format of the various Signal Units

Check bits (CK) : (16 bits) The CKs are formed on the transmission side from the contents of the SU and are added to the SUs as redundancy. On the receive side, the MTP can determine with the CKs whether the SU was transferred without any errors. The SUs acknowledged as either positive or faulty on the basis of the check.

Fields specific to MSUs :


Service information octet (SIO) : (8 bits) It contains the Service Indicator (SI, 4 bits) and the Sub-service field (SSF, 4 bits) whose last 2 bits are Network Indicator (NI).

A SI is assigned to each user of the MTP. It informs the MTP which UP has sent the message and which UP is to receive it. Four SI bits can define 16 UPs (3-

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CCS#7 SCCP, 4-TUP, 5-ISUP, 6-DATAUP, 8- MTP test, etc.). The NI indicates whether the traffic is international (00,01) or national (10,11). In CCS7 a SP can belong to both national and international network at the same time. So SSF field indicate where the SP belongs. The MTP evaluates both items of information. Signaling information fields (SIF) : (2 to 272 octets) It contains the actual user message. The user message also includes the address (routing label, 40 bits ) of the destination to which the message is to be transferred. The maximum length of the user message is 62 octets for national and 272 octets for international networks. (one octet = 8 bits). The format and coding of the user message are separately defined for each UP.

Fields specific to LSSUs :


Status field (SF) : (1 to 2 octets) It contains status indications for the alignment of the transmit and receive directions. It has 1 or 2 octets, out of which only 3 bits of first octet are defined by CCITT, indicating out (000), normal (001), Emergency (010) alignments, out-of-service (011), Local processor outage (100) status, etc,. 3.1.2 Addressing of the SUs (in SIF) A code is assigned to each SP in the signaling network according to a numbering plan. The MTP uses the code for message routing. The destination of a SU is specified in a routing label. The routing label is a component of every user message and is transported in the SIF. The routing label in a MSU consists of the following (see Fig.3.4). User information SLS OPC DPC

Signalling information field (SIF)

Fig. 3.4: Routing Label of a Message Signal Unit ALTTC / SW-II 11/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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TUP UP Lev el 1

IS D N -U P O ther U P s

M es sage D is tribution Leve l 3


M ess age M essag e dis crim ination routing S ignalin g netw ork m an agem e nt

S ignalin g S ig naling link S ignaling route m anage m ent traffic m anage m ent m anagem ent

S ign aling netw ork m anagem ent

S ignalin g link s tatus control E rror rate m o nitoring M TP


T rans m is s ion c ontrol, tran sm iss ion buffer, re trans m is sion buffer C o ntrol fo r

O ther signaling links

Lev el 2

R ec eive c ontrol

the initial alignm en t


F lag, alig nm en t and error detec tio n

C hec k bit and flag gen erator

Lev el 1

S ignaling d ata link

F ig . 3 .5 : D is trib u tio n of fu n c tio n s in th e m e s s a ge tra n s fe r p art

- Destination Point Code (DPC) : (14 bits) identifies the SP to which this message is to be transferred

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CCS#7 -Originating Point Code (OPC): (14 bits) specifies the SP from which the massage originates. The coding of OPC and DPC is pure binary and using 14 bits linear encoding, it is possible to identify 16,384 exchanges. The number of exchanges in DOT network having CCS7 capability is expected to be within this limit. - Signaling Link Selection (SLS) field : (4 bits) : The contents of the SLS field determine the signaling route ( identifying a particular signalling link within s link set or link sets) along which the message is to be transmitted. In this way, the SLS field is used for load sharing on the signaling links between two SPs. The SIO contains additional address information. Using the SI, the destination MTP identifies the UP for which the message is intended. The NI, for example, enables a message to be identifies as being for national or international traffic . LSSUs and FISUs require no routing label as they are only exchanged between level 2 of adjacent MTPs. The message sent from a user to the MTP for transmission contains: the user information, the routing label, the SI, the NI and a LI. The processing of a user message to be transmitted in the MTP begins in level 3 (see Fig. 3.5). The MTP is responsible for (a) transmitting and (b) receiving SUs (c) for correcting transmission errors, (d) for the signaling network management and (e) for the alignment. its functions are spread over the functional levels 1, 2 and 3. The message routing (level 3) determines the signaling link on which the user message is to be transmitted. To do this, it analyzes the DPC and the SLS field in the routing label of the user message, and then transfers the message to the appropriate signaling link (level 2).

The transmission control (level 2) assigns the next FSN and the FIB to the user message. In addition, it includes the BSN and the BIB as an acknowledgment for the last received MSU. The transmission control simultaneously enters the part of the MSU formed so far in the transmission and retransmission buffers. All MSUs to be transmitted are stored in the retransmission buffer until their fault-free reception is acknowledged by the receive side. Only then are they deleted. ALTTC / SW-II 13/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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The check bit and flag generator (level 2) generates CKs for safeguarding against transmission errors for the MSU and sets the flag for separating the SUs. In order that any section of code identical to the flag (01111110) occurring by chance is not mistaken for the flag, the user messages are monitored before the flag is added to see if five consecutive ones (1) appear in the message. A zero (0) is automatically inserted after five consecutive 1s. On the receive side the zero following the five 1s is then automatically removed and the user message thereby regains its original coding. The check-bit and flag generator transfers a complete MSU to level 1. in level 1, the MSU is sent on the signaling data link. The bit stream along a signaling data link is received in level 1 and transferred to level 2. Flag detection (level 2) examines the received bit stream for flags. The bit sequence between two flags corresponds to one SU. The alignment detection (level 2) monitors the synchronism of the transmit and receive sides with the bit pattern of the flags. Using the CKs also transmitted, error detection (level 2) checks whether the SU was correctly received. A fault-free SU is transferred to the receive control, while a faulty SU is discarded. The reception of a faulty SU is reported to error rate monitoring, in order to keep a continuous check on the error rate on the receive side of the signaling link. If a specified error rate is exceeded, this is reported to the signaling link status control by error rate monitoring. The signaling link status control then takes the signaling link out of service and sends a report to level 3. The receive control (level 2) checks whether the transferred SU contains the expected FSN and the expected FIB. If this is the case and if it is a MSU, the receive control transfers the user message to level 3 and causes the reception of the MSU to be positively acknowledged. If the FSN of the transferred MSU does not agree with that expected, the receive control detects a transmission error and causes this and all subsequent MSU to be retransmitted (see subheading "Correction of transmission errors"). The message discrimination (level 3) accepts the correctly received user message. It first determines whether the user message is to be delivered to one of the immediately connected UPs or to be transferred to the another signaling link (quasiassociated message). This pre-selection is achieved in the message discrimination by evaluation of the DPC. A user message which only passes through a SP (STP) is transferred by the message discrimination to the message routing, where it is treated as a user message to be transmitted.

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If a received user message is intended for one of the connected UPs (SP), it is transferred to the message distribution (level 3). The message distribution evaluates the SIO, thereby determining the UP concerned, and delivers the user message there. 3.1.3 Signaling network management The signaling network management is a function of level 3. It controls the operation and the inter-working of the individual signaling links in the signaling network. To this end, the signaling network management exchanges messages and control instructions with the signaling links of level 2, sends message to the UPs and works together with the signaling network management in adjacent SPs. For the inter-working with other SPs the signaling network management uses the transport function of the MTP. Management messages are transferred in MSUs like user messages. For discrimination, the management messages have their own SI. The signaling network management contains 3 functions blocks: a) The signaling link management controls and monitors the individual signaling links. It receives the messages concerning the alignment and status of the individual signaling links, or concerning operating irregularities and effects any changes in status which may be necessary. In addition, the signaling link management controls the putting into service of signaling links, including initial alignment and automatic realignment of signaling links after failures or alignment losses due to persistent faults. if necessary, the signaling link management transfers messages to the signaling traffic management or receives instructions from there. b) The signaling route management controls and monitors the operability of signaling routes. It exchanges messages with the signaling route management in the adjacent STPs for this purpose. The signaling route management receives, for example, messages concerning the failure or re- availability of signaling routes or the overloading of STPs. In cooperation with the signaling traffic management, it initiates the appropriate actions in order to maintain the signaling operation to the signaling destinations involved. c) The signaling traffic management controls the diversion of the signaling traffic from faulty signaling links or routes to fault-free signaling links or routes. It also controls the load distribution on the signaling links and routes. To achieve this it can initiate the following actions; - changeover; on failure of a signaling link the signaling traffic management switches the signaling traffic from the failed signaling link to a fault-free signaling link - change back ; when signaling link becomes available again after a fault has been corrected, the signaling traffic management reverses the effect of the ALTTC / SW-II 15/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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- rerouting ; when SP can no longer be reached on a normal route, the signaling traffic management diverts the signaling traffic to a predefined alternative route. When overloading occurs, the signaling traffic management sends messages to the users in its own SP in order that they reduce the load. The management also informs the adjacent SPs of the overloading in its own SP and requests them to also reduce the load. The signaling traffic management accomplishes its functions by - receiving messages from the signaling link and signaling route managements - sending control instructions to the signaling link and signaling route managements - directly accessing the signaling links, e.g., during emergency alignment - modifying the message routing on failure of signaling routes - exchanging management messages with the signaling traffic management in adjacent SPs 3.2 User Parts (UP) As discussed in Sec.3, level 4 functions, which include formatting of messages based on the applications, are allotted to UPs. Each UP provides the functions for using the MTP for a particular user type. The following UPs are currently specified by the CCITT; - telephone user part (TUP) - integrated services digital network user part (ISDN-UP) These UPs interface directly with MTP. Further users of the MTP specified by the CCITT are: - the signaling connection control part (SCCP) - the transaction capabilities application part (TCAP) For Intelligent Network (IN) application, Intelligent Application Part (INAP) and TCAP are used. SCCP forms the interface between these UPs and MTP. In the following sections the ISDN-UP (see Section 3.2.1), SCCP (see Section 3.2.2) and TCAP (see Section 3.2.3) are described in more detail as examples. ALTTC / SW-II 16/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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Fig. 3.8 shows the users of the MTP as well as their relationship to one another and to the MTP. CCS7 can be adapted to all requirements due to the modular structures. Expansion for future application is also possible. Each CCS7 user can specify its own UP, for example, the mobile user part (MUP) is Siemen's own specification for the mobile telephone network C450.
CCS7 Users

TCAP users ISDN-UP TCAP

TUP

Other MTP users e.g. MUP

SCCP

Message transfer part (MTP) Fig. 3.8 : Message transfer part users

3.2.1

Telephone User Part (TUP) Use of CCS7 for telephone call control signaling requires (I) application of TUP functions, in combination with (ii) application of an appropriate set of MTP functions. The TUP is one of level 4 users in CCS7. It is specified with the aim of providing the same features for telephone signaling as other telephone signaling systems. It exchanges signaling messages through MTP. Signaling messages contain information relating to call set up and condition of speech path. The TUP message consists of SIF and a SIO. The signaling information are generated by the TUP of the originating exchange. The label is 40 bits long, comprises DPC, OPC and CIC. CIC indicates one of the speech circuit connecting the destination and originating points. Level 3 identifies the user to which a message belongs by SIO, which comprises a SI and SSF. For TUP SI value is 4. The SSF distinguishes the signaling

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EWSD message is for national or international network. 3.2.2 Integrated Services Digital Network User Part (CCITT Blue Book, recommendations Q.761 to Q.766)

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The ISDN-UP covers the signaling functions for the control of calls, for the processing of services and facilities and for the administration of circuits in ISDN. The ISDN-UP has interface to the MTP and the SCCP for the transport of MSUs. The ISDN-UP can use SCCP functions for end-to-end signaling.

Message Signal Unit Signaling information field (SIF)

Optional part

variable mandatory part

fixed mandatory part

circuit Message type identification code (CIC)

routing label

Direction of transmission

Fig. 3.9 : ISDN-UP message Structure of an ISDN-UP message Fig.3.9 shows the general structure of a ISDN-UP message for link-by-link transmission. An end-to-end message of the ISDN-UP begins at the message type and is conveyed in the optional part of an SCCP message (see Section 3.2.2). The routing label comprises the DPC, the OPC and the SLS field. The circuit identification code (CIC) assigns the message to a specific circuit. A CIC is permanently assigned to each circuit. The message type defines the function and the format of an ISDN-UP message. The fixed mandatory part of the ISDN-UP message contains parameters which must be present for a certain message type and which have a fixed length. ALTTC / SW-II 18/20 Intro_1.7-CCS#7 /01.02.2006

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The variable mandatory part of the ISDN-UP message contains parameters of variable length. If a message has an optional part, the parameters that can be transmitted in the optional part are specified for the message. These may be parameters of fixed or variable length. 3.2.2 Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP) (CCITT Blue Book. Recommendation Q.711 to Q.716) The SCCP is used as a supplement to the MTP. It provides additional functions for the transfer of messages between exchanges and between exchanges and other SPs. Such as data banks. From the point of view of the MTP the SCCP is a user with its own SI. The combination of the SCCP and the MTP is called the network service part (NSP). 3.2.3 Transaction Capabilities application Part (TCAP) (CCITT Blue Book, recommendations Q.771 to Q.775) The TCAP supports the exchange of messages between users in different CCS7 network nodes (e.g. in exchanges or in a data base) via signaling links without having to create circuit connections is this context. The following are examples of application for the TCAP:

- reporting the location of a mobile telephone subscriber to the home exchange in the mobile telephone network. - validity checking and transactions in the credit card service - the exchange of non-circuit-related signaling information in closed user groups (CUG) - the interrogation of operating state or the initiation of actions in remote network nodes for operation and maintenance. The TCAP is an SCCP user and uses connectionless message transfer.

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