that engineers working on CAMEL want to ensure the industry gets the most outof GSM as a whole."For carriers, CAMEL enables carriers to take inbound roaming subscribers intotheir networks."Any time operators can increase traffic on their networks, as well as thethroughput and usage on those networks, it is an attractive proposition," saysNoldus, noting that once carriers get roaming partners, subscribers can camp onMSCs (mobile switching centers) in their respective territories, and open uproaming to prepay customers. Noldus adds that European operators deployingCAMEL for inbound roaming subscribers are reporting increases in networkusage.
With CAMEL - Phase III - real-time charging moves from circuit switched towireless with IN capabilities based on GPRS and UMTS. For operator that haveimplemented prepaid GPRS services, CAMEL phase III provides a standardinterface between SMC and SCP within packet-based networks. Now, CAMELenables the mobile station to request data from the SGSN (a serving GPRSsupport node) and GGSN (Gateway GPRS Support Node) so that the IN isinvolved during the data context creation. The SGSN triggers the SCP, whichchecks the user's account as in the circuit switched case. The SGSN updates theSCP in regular intervals with status information (time, volume, position) about thePDP context. The SCP performs hot-rating, decrements the account, andrequests the SGSN to continue processing or to release the PDP context.Depending on the number, the duration and the traffic of the GPRS sessions, thiscan impose important performance requirements on the SGSN and SCP.CAMEL Phase IV (also known as "release 5" ) is slated for early 2005, is nowbeing finalized. It is based on IMT-2000, the ITU's framework for global wirelessaccess that links terrestrial and/or satellite networks.
The Practical Side
Like any standard, carriers and operators cannot look through rose-tintedglasses: For CAMEL III to really "work," there have to be many operators whoimplement it, as the whole point is to allow roaming in other places, says SteveMenear, associate VP within the IN division of Comverse.Because it is relatively expensive to upgrade switches, many carriers are "sittingon their hands" waiting for others to do it first. "It will be the operators who needsupport for charging for short messages and GPRS services that will be the firsttoo implement CAMEL III," says Menear. "It was the same with CAMEL II; thoughit seemed obvious everyone should want it, it was a matter of the biggest