CAMEL: An Introduction

Zahid Ghadialy Date: 25/07/2004 Introduction Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic also known as CAMEL was developed as a standard for mobile intelligence across different vendor equipments for GSM network. What this means is that the end user should be able to roam between different networks (maybe in different countries) and be reachable at the same number and should receive only one bill from the original service provider (Home Operator). Before CAMEL, the GSM networks used INAP (Intelligent Network Application Part) for injecting intelligence in GSM networks. The limitations of INAP was that it did not support mobility management. CAMEL solved the mobility management problem and provided with much more functionality. With the evolution of 3G standards, CAMEL has evolved to provide new functionalities that will be discussed later. CAMEL has been divided into Phases. The last section in this primer lists the functionality of each phases. The latest Phase is Phase 4. If an IPLMN (Interrogating PLMN) or VPLMN (Visiting PLMN) supports CAMEL Phase 4, it shall also provide the functionality of all previous CAMEL phases. The first commercial implementation of CAMEL (phase 1) was in August 2000 by France Telecom Mobiles (France), Mobistar (Belgium) and Dutchtone (The Netherlands). NOTE: CAMEL feature is a network feature and not a supplementary service. It is a tool to help the network operator Applicability of CAMEL procedures

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The CAMEL feature is applicable to Mobile Originated and Mobile Terminated Call Related Activities. CAMEL procedures are applicable to all circuit switched basic services without distinction (except Emergency calls). The CAMEL feature is applicable to Supplementary Services Invocation CAMEL procedures are applicable to GPRS sessions and PDP contexts CAMEL procedures are applicable to Mobile Originating/Terminating short message service through both circuit switched and packet switched serving network entities CAMEL procedures are applicable to IP multimedia services (except Emergency calls) to support legacy services CAMEL shall support IPMM sessions which are based on the same charging paradigm as CS/PS calls. This applies most probably to VoIP and Video over IP. CAMEL procedures are applicable to IP multimedia sessions addressed by either E.164 numbers or SIP URLs.

Example of CAMEL procedure Before we proceed further and use more technical terms, it would be wise to understand CAMEL procedure with the help of some examples.

With phase 2 thanks to support for SRF. A very good example of this process in action is short code dialling over a VPN (Virtual Private Network) where the user calls a colleague’s internal extension telephone number but is. Service Control Function (SCF): SCF contains the actual independent service logic to apply to the call. a process which is transparent to the customer. Basic Call State Model (BCSM): BSCM represents an abstract view of call processing. They provide a view of a state or event in which call processing logic may initiate an action. The call is then connected in the most appropriate manner. They are discussed in this section. The MSC then sends a message that 'queries' the SCP's database. when an account balance reaches zero for a pre-paid customer under phase 1. The BCSM consists of two sets of call processing logic. such as suspension of call processing while a database is queried. this request is received by the network's Mobile Switching Centre (MSC). in fact. CAMEL Subscription Information (CSI): Identifies that CAMEL support is required for the subscriber and the identities of the CSEs to be used for that support. the customer will simply be cut off. Naturally this leads to greater customer satisfaction. routed to that person’s mobile phone which is roaming abroad. This unit effectively hosts a database which holds the instructions needed for an intelligent application. Triggers: A trigger is the term used to define specific call-processing logic associated with a given point in call. Triggers are nothing more than software logic that is loaded in a network . When a subscriber starts to make a call. Note that the essential element of any CAMEL solution is a Service Control Point (SCP). The SCP processes that query.         Interrogating PLMN (IPLMN): The PLMN that interrogates the Home PLMN (HPLMN) for information to handle mobile terminating call. seen from the perspective of service feature control performed by the SCF. Detection Points (DP): DP represent transitional events that occur between some PICs. For example.Take a simple scenario of a voice call being made. CAMEL Service Environment (CSE): A CSE is a logical entity which processes activities related to Operator Specific Services (OSS). the customer will hear automatically generated messages from the Voice Response Unit warning that the balance is dangerously low before a call and even during the call. Originating BCSM (O-BCSM) and Terminating BCSM (TBCSM). Technical Terms For any further discussions we would need to use some technical terms. The main addition in CAMEL phase 2 which phase 1 omitted is support for a Specialised Resource Function (SRF) a component most often found in Voice Response Units (VRUs). comes up with an appropriate response and then sends a message back to the MSC telling what action it should take with the subscriber’s request for a specific service. Points in Call (PIC): PIC are defined by standards to represent those points in which action might be taken.

an event is simply a call occurrence such as no answer. the Visited Service Switching Function (VSSF) sends an InitialDetectionPoint message to the gsmSCF and the VMSC suspends the call processing. Arming of detection points: Detection points have two classifications: Trigger Detection Points (TDP) and Event Detection Point (EDP).     element to carry out instructions to initiate an intelligent network process based on analysis of conditions at a detection point. busy signal or call termination. Events: Unlike a trigger. location number. It interfaces with the gsmSCF and with the MSC. Mobile Terminating Calls: . GSM Specialised Resource Function (gsmSRF): functional entity which provides various specialized resources. the GMLC and the HLR. but uses different triggering mechanisms because of the nature of the mobile network. see figure above. calling party’s category. GSM Service Control Function (gsmSCF): functional entity that contains the CAMEL service logic to implement OSS. A detection point is armed if control logic is established to initiate service control based on a trigger or event. The concept of the gsmSSF is derived from the IN SSF. bearer capability. event type Basic Call State Model (BCSM). location information and the International Mobile Station Identity (IMSI). Examples of Signalling procedures [13] gives example of Signalling procedures using CAMEL for originating and terminating calls and has been described below. which depends on some form of input criteria. After the service logic processing CAMEL specific handling is initiated from the gsmSCF. The InitialDetectionPoint shall always contain the service key. Mobile Originating Calls: If an active originating CAMEL Subscription Information (CSI) is found in the VLR during the call set up of a MS. the gsmSRF. It interfaces with the gsmSSF. GSM Service Switching Function (gsmSSF): functional entity that interfaces the MSC or GMSC to the gsmSCF. called and calling party number.

  .In the case of mobile terminating call. Then the GMSC sends a RoutingInformation-Request to the HLR. An InitialDP message. the Gateway MSC (GMSC) in the interrogating PLMN identifies the HLR of the called party with the help of the MSISDN.       Call screening Simple VPN Call Forwarding Call Redirection Call Rerouting Homing of pre-paid calls to HPLMN      No IN announcements supported No charging operations Limited set of detection points. e. Not possible to activate Call Forwardings with VPN short codes. see figure above. which shall always contain the service key. Contents of each CAMEL Phase CAMEL phase 1: 1. MT calls trigger in the GMSC only. event type BCSM and the IMSI is sent to the CSE and the service logic execution is started.g. If the terminating CSI is active the trigger criteria of a Detection Point (DP) is fulfilled and the call processing is suspended. CS only  Any Time Interrogation The CSE may request HLR to provide subscriber status and/or location information at any time. Now. the GMSC acts according to CSI. MT and forwarded calls. the hunting services are not possible. The exact location may not be upto-date unless the mobile has an active call ongoing. called party number. The HLR checks the CSI of the called party and sends the information stored in the subscriber record back to the GMSC. Thereafter CAMEL specific handling is initiated.1 CAMEL phase 1 functionality: Functionality Purpose / supports Restrictions Triggering on MO.

                Call screening VPN for calls Call Forwarding Call Redirection Call Rerouting Follow-on calls In-band user interaction (DTMF) Tones and announcements Pre-paid (MO. To reduce CSE & SSP load  MT calls trigger in the GMSC only. CF) Free-phone Premium rate Personal Discount Location Dependent discount Reverse Charging MO AoC Cleaner termination of relationship.CAMEL phase 2: 2. ECT. Charging operations - CSE provided e-parameters New detection points (Abandon. MT. MT and forwarded calls. No call supervision  USSD communication between MS and CSE  USSD call-back for pre-paid roaming Control & enquiry of IN services Enhances pre-paid CSE based carrier selection Selecting correct long distance network for user interaction Control of north American carrier information    Notification of supplementary service (CCBS. Better pre-paid service. Busy. RouteSelectFailure cases) Triggering criteria -    -   Any Time Interrogation The CSE may request HLR to provide subscriber status and/or location information at any time. NoAnswer. CD and MPTY) invocation to CSE 3 CAMEL phase 3:  Fraud control .1 CAMEL phase 2 functionality: Functionality Purpose / supports Restrictions Triggering on MO. Hunting type of services.  The exact location may not be up-to-date unless the mobile has an active call ongoing. NotReachable.

1 CAMEL phase 3 functionality: Functionality Purpose / supports               Restrictions Triggering on MO. Call screening Full VPN Call Forwarding Call Redirection Call Rerouting Follow-on calls In-band user interaction (DTMF) Tones and announcements Pre-paid (MO. ECT. RouteSelectFailure cases) CAMEL3 new trigger detection points. MT call triggering in VMSC-B  . e. Triggering criteria Any Time Interrogation. CD. Not for SMS or GPRS. ECT. and ATI for GMLC. Hunting type of services. To reduce CSE & SSP load The CSE may request HLR to provide subscriber status and/or location information at any time. MT.g. NotReachable. CF) Free-phone Premium rate Personal Discount Location Dependent discount Reverse Charging Charging operations CSE provided e-parameters CAMEL2 new detection points (Abandon. hold. Busy. CF. CD and MPTY) invocation to CSE Call Gapping   To control CSE overload situations within HPLMN To control MT supplementary services (CW.3. Better pre-paid service. Enhanced with CAMEL3 current location retrieval. For CS calls only. NoAnswer.        Cleaner termination of relationship. To trigger on demand only. MT and forwarded calls.  CS only USSD communication between MS and CSE     USSD call-back for pre-paid roaming Control & enquiry of IN services Enhances pre-paid CSE based carrier selection Selecting correct long distance network for user interaction Fraud control  Control of north American carrier information Notification of supplementary service (CCBS. for hunting services.

g. ECT. Multiple subscriber profile phase 2   CS Mobility management notifications  Service Interaction Indicators  . MPTY) Pre-paid for MT air-time charge (1st minute free. barring supplementary services. Not content based Not content based  VPLMN specific service numbers   MO SMS control (CS+PS)   Enhances pre-paid. e. CF. hold. in USA) Improves charging Makes the CSE service logic easier Charging control of optimally routed calls Multiple Subscriber Profile phase 2 CSE can control CF. CD. Enhances VPN  Inter-working with GPRS  GPRS pre-paid CSE can monitor location / reachability CSE can control inter-working with supplementary services (CW. Off-line subscription control based on VPLMN / time-of-day Virtual operators HPLMN specific service numbers  Abandon as an EDP-R Enhanced FreeFormatCharging data (40 octets -> 160 octets) Reporting of MSRN/FTN to CSE      CSE-HLR interface: ATM/ATSI/NSDC   Subscribed dialled services (D-CSI) Serving Network Dialled services (NCSI)  No call supervision No call supervision No MT SMS control. MPTY).

CAMEL phase 4: 4. ATI for GMLC USSD call-back for pre-paid roaming Control & enquiry of IN services Enhances pre-paid· CSE based carrier selection Selecting correct long distance network for user interaction · Fraud control · To control CSE overload situations within HPLMN · To control MT supplementary services (CW.g. · To trigger on demand only. · To reduce CSE & SSP load The CSE may request HLR to provide subscriber status and/or location information at any time. Charging operations CSE provided e-parameters CAMEL2 new detection points (Abandon. CAMEL4 enhances this to PS domain. and ATI for GMLC.1 CAMEL phase 4 functionality in Release 5: Functionality Purpose / supports                    Restrictions Triggering on MO. Not for SMS or GPRS. CD and MPTY) invocation to CSE Call Gapping MT call triggering in VMSC-B    . Enhanced with CAMEL3 current location retrieval. Call screening Full VPN Call Forwarding Call Redirection Call Rerouting Follow-on calls In-band user interaction (DTMF) Tones and announcements Pre-paid (MO. USSD communication between MS and CSE         Control of north American carrier information Notification of supplementary service (CCBS. MT and forwarded calls. e. · Hunting type of services. ECT. Triggering criteria Any Time Interrogation. NoAnswer. RouteSelectFailure cases) CAMEL3 new trigger detection points. CF) Free-phone Premium rate Personal Discount Location Dependent discount Reverse Charging MO & MT AoC · Cleaner termination of relationship. · Better pre-paid service. MT. NotReachable. For CS calls only. for hunting services. Busy.

barring supplementary services. Automatic call collect IMS pre-paid Convergence to CS and GPRS services Enhancements of pre-paid warning tones Various informative tones · No call supervision · No call supervision · Not content based · Not content based Abandon as an EDP-R Enhanced FreeFormatCharging data (40 octets -> 160 octets) Reporting of MSRN/FTN to CSE      CSE-HLR interface: ATM/ATSI/NSDC          Subscribed dialled services (D-CSI) Serving Network Dialled services (N-CSI) SMS control (CS+PS) Inter-working with GPRS CS Mobility management notifications Service Interaction Indicators              Interactions with Optimal Routing Call Party Handling Mid call procedure for MO and MT calls CAMEL for IMS Inclusion of flexible tone injection . ECT. CD. MPTY).g. · Enhances VPN · GPRS pre-paid · CSE can monitor location / reachability · CSE can control inter-working with supplementary services (CW. MPTY) · Pre-paid for MT air-time charge (1st minute free. ECT. CF. hold. Off-line subscription control based on VPLMN / time-of-day Virtual operators · HPLMN specific service numbers · VPLMN specific service numbers · Enhances pre-paid. CF. hold. · Multiple subscriber profile phase 2 · CSE can control usage of OR Wake-up calls Conference calling Parallel hunting Click-to dial IN based CCBS Control CPH configuration during call. in USA) · Improves charging · Makes the CSE service logic easier · Charging control of optimally routed calls Multiple Subscriber Profile phase 2 CSE can control CF. e. CD.

it may support the complete CAMEL phase3 functionality and a partial implementation of CAMEL phase4.  Provision of location information of called subscriber (Alerting phase) Notification of GPRS mobility management to CSE Inclusion of ODB data in the CSEHLR interface Location information during an ongoing call (Handover DP) Transfer of the IMEI (with software version) and MS class mark to the CSE Any Time Interrogation from CSE to MNP-SRF The location of B-subscriber at the beginning of the call provided to service logic CSE can monitor location / reachability in PS side Enhancement of MSP ph 2 Charging based on current location. Stage 2 [3] 3GPP TS 29. CAMEL Application Part (CAP) specification .       Partial implementation of CAMEL phase 4 4. Interested user can have a look at [7] for details. as a network option. References [1] 3GPP TS 22. Stage 1 [2] 3GPP TS 23.078: CAMEL Service Description. Change of position procedure armed with · Technical enhancement to reduce the signalling load criteria Concluding Remarks We have covered some basic details of CAMEL in this tutorial. [1] provides the basics of CAMEL procedures and the way they are applied during call processing. [7] gives ideas on how to implement VoIP in 3G networks based on CAMEL. As mentioned in the beginning.078: CAMEL Phase 4.078: CAMEL Phase 4. for interPLMN and/or inter-system handovers allow the gsmSCF to determine information about the capabilities of the ME Number portability query for prepay calls A functional entity (VMSC. [3] gives details about CAMEL Application Part (CAP). GMSC or SGSN) may support the complete CAMEL phase4 functionality or.2 CAMEL phase 4 additions in Release 6 Enhancements of Dialled Services Full CAMEL4 prepay support for SCUDIF ·Full control of Dialled Services ·The capability to report basic service code changes during ongoing call. [2] provides in-depth implementation related stuff for CAMEL. Below is the list of references that an interested reader can use to expand their knowledge of the topic. this is just an introductory tutorial.

Cookson and D. Snehamoy Banarjee and Dr. No. Vol 19.Communications Week International.978: Feasibility Technical Report .D. IM CN Interworking [6] 3GPP TS 29.[4] 3GPP: Contents of each CAMEL phase [5] 3GPP TS 23.278: CAMEL Phase 4 .WAP Insight [12] Is the CAMEL standard stranded in the desert? .Stage 2. Christensen. 2001 [13] Open Service provisioning in GSM . Jan 2001 [10] IP Support in 3G systems. May 7.Smith . M.278: CAMEL Application Part (CAP) Specification for IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS) [7] 3GPP TR 21. 1.Indian Institute of Technology. Jens Hartmann .BT Technological Journal.CAMEL Control of VoIP Services [8] Wireless Intelligent Networking by G. P. Dheeraj Sanghi . Kanpur [11] What is CAMEL? . Duncan [9] 3G service control.G.Eckhard Geulen. Florack and R.

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