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Outline

 Overview of SS7
 What it replaces
 In Band versus out of band signaling
 Benefits
 Packet switching versus circuit switching
 Protocol Stack
 Signaling
Exchange of network related information
between 2 switching nodes.
Types
1)CAS(Channel associated signaling)
2)CCS(Common channel signaling)
Overview of SS7

 Signaling System #7:


A set of protocols which are used to setup,
monitor, and tear down telephone calls very
quickly.
Runs over a separate network than the actual
voice traffic.
○ Packet switched
○ Out of Band
Also adds other features:
○ Database access, caller id, load balancing, fault detection
and correction, tariffs, 911 tracking, calling card features
Overview of SS7

 Replaces SS6 and SS5 in the United States.


SS6 was introduced in the mid 1960s.
It was the first widely used, high speed (2400 bps),
digital, packet switched network.
Many people consider this to be the first packet
switched network.
 Called CCS7 in the rest of the world.
Common Channel Interoffice Signaling System
Number Seven
SS7 Overview

 Not every telephone network uses SS7.


◦ Some telephone networks have not been updated
since the mid 1960s.
 SS7 requires new hardware along the network,
and this isn’t always cost effective.
 New telephone installations almost always use
SS7 as the management layer, however.
SS7 Definition

 Set of telephony protocols and devices that are


used to manage phone calls quickly.
Tells the network when to start and stop a call, who to bill,
who dialed, etc…
Travels on a separate network than the actual voice traffic.
The network is a digital packet switched network as
opposed to the circuit switched voice.
The packets have a definite format, but they can be
variable length.
Pre SS7
 Phreaking
 http://www.webcrunchers.com/crunch/FAQ.html
 http://www.telephonetribute.com/signal_and_circuit_condition
s.htm
 http://www.dsptutor.freeuk.com/dtmf/ToneGenerator.html
 Control signals were passed in band.
 The tones were used at the beginning and end of a
conversation. These included:
○ The numbers dialed, ringing, busy tone, no such number, etc…
 These tones could be heard, and they passed with the actual
voice conversation to each device on the network.
Pre SS7

 Phreaking wasn’t the primary reason telephone


companies went to out of band signaling.
 How long does it take you to dial a number ?
◦ Or, what can dial faster, you or a machine?
◦ Since it is traveling with the voice, what you dial must
be passed to every device on down the line.
 Theprimary reason SS7 is used is to make call
setup/teardown much quicker.
Pre SS7
 WithoutSS7, call setup/teardown would take
around 12 – 24 seconds.
 With SS7, call setup/teardown takes 1 – 4
seconds.
◦ SS7 is used for both the landline and wireless
network.
 What is the savings to the phone company in a
year, ignoring the costs of the SS7 network?
◦ Assume that there are 1 billion people in the world
that use phones, making 50 phone calls a month.
The use of a phone line costs the telephone company
around ¼ of a cent per minute.
Pre SS7
 In band signaling passes all control tones with the
actual voice traffic.
◦ Equipment must continually check for the control tones
because it doesn’t know when they will appear on the line.
 Each device must do this.
 Before SS7, the switches are the intelligent devices.
They don’t use or connect to databases.
 Out of band signaling allows:
◦ Faster transport of the signaling data.
◦ Signaling at any time during the entire duration of the call.
◦ Allows signaling to other network elements, such as
databases.
SS7 Architecture

A call must make many “hops” traveling


across the network.
Each switch must know where the call is
coming from and where it is going to in order to
maintain service.
This takes a lot of coordination.
 Thisis what the SS7 architecture
addresses.
SS7 Architecture
 3 important devices:
 1. Signal Switching point: SS7 capable telephone switches.
They originate, terminate, or switch calls.
○ SSP
 2. Signal Transfer point: SS7 data packet switches. They
receive and route incoming signaling messages to the proper
location.
○ STP
 3. Signal Control point: Databases distributed along the
network. They allow advanced call processing capabilities.
○ SCP
 The intelligence in the network is now distributed
among 3 types of equipment.
SS7 Architecture
 The signal transfer (packet switch) and control
points (databases) always come in pairs to
provide redundancy.
They are exact copies of each other.
This redundancy was put in place so that the
telephone network could have a high level quality of
service (QOS).
 Since the devices come in pairs, they actually
have 4 lines among them.
 There aren’t necessarily connections to the
SCP (database) at every switch.
They aren’t needed at every switch.
SS7 Signaling Links

 We are talking about the packet switched


network, NOT the voice network.
The voice network is still the digital T1 type
interface.
 The links among the packet switches (STP)
are actually fairly slow by our standards:
56 Kbps, full duplex.
However, this system has been in place since the
mid 1990’s, and it suits current needs.
SS7 Signaling Links

3 types:
Associated
Non associated
Quasi-associated
 Allhave to deal with how many packet
switches and voice switches that are used.
SS7 Signaling Links

 Associated:
There is a static 1 to 1 correspondence to the
voice lines and the signaling packet line.
This occurs when 23 lines of a T1 are used to
carry voice and the 24th is used to carry the SS7
signaling.
The most wasteful method by far as the packet
channel can often sit empty.
SS7 Signaling Links

 Non associated:
The voice path is completely separate from the
signaling path.
Many nodes (STPs) must be passed through
before the call routing signal is passed to the
correct place.
Very often used.
SS7 Signaling Links

 Quasi-associated:
Reduces the number of STPs that the signaling
information must be transported through.
Requires much more cabling, but it can be much
faster.
The signal is only allowed to pass through 1
STP between the voice switches.
SS7 Signal Links

 Each type of link is given a different name in


the architecture depending on what it does.
The names are labeled A through F.
For example, a C link is the link that occurs
between a mated pair of STPs.
 These designations just help us to manage
what type of links we are looking at on the
network.
SS7 Signal Links

 The SCP (databases) often have many


links going to them. Why?
 The SSP (voice switches) often have much
less connections. Why?
SS7 Addresses

 Similar to an IP address
 Every object has a unique address
 Uses 3, 8 bit numbers
Exp: 200.12.148
First byte is the network identifier
Second byte is the cluster number
Third byte is the member number
SS7 Protocol Stack

 Much like the OSI Model


 Uses only 4 layers:
Physical: UTP, DS0 channel
Data Link: Error checking/Flow Control
Network: Addressing, routing, congestion
control.
 These 3 layers make up the message
transfer part.
SS7 Protocol Stack

 Signal Connection Control Part


The top layer of the SS7 protocol stack.
This layer provides the actual functionality that
the messages contain. There are several parts:
SCCP Parts

 GTT – Global Title Translation


Allow specific calls to be routed to certain
databases.
Enables credit card processing over the
phoneline.
This is typically what businesses use when
they scan your card at a restaurant.
SCCP Parts

 ISUP – ISDN User Part:


Allows for the establishment and tear down of
calls.
Works for both ISDN and non ISDN networks.
SCCP Parts

 TCAP - Transaction Capabilities Application


Part
Allows calling card/ 1-800 functionality to access
databases.
SCCP Parts

 OMAP - Operations, Maintenance, and


Administration Part
Allows for maintenance of routing tables
Allows for dynamic, flow controlled routing
across intelligent links.
SS7 Packet

 Can be variable length:


Contains:
○ Sender/Receiver phone numbers
○ What links are used.
○ What devices are used.
○ Other routing information
○ A pointer to the actual voice data.
SS7 Applications
 911 enhancements
 Calling card fraud prevention
 Credit card approval
 Virtual networks.
 Call tracing
 Call blocking

 Much quicker call setup/teardown.