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C H A P T E R

ISUP and TCAP


This chapter reviews the ISUP and TCAP protocols and their functions within the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).

Basic ISUP Signaling


ISDN User Part (ISUP) defines the protocol and procedures used to set up, manage and release trunk circuits that carry voice and data calls over the PSTN. ISUP is used for both ISDN and non-ISDN calls. Calls that terminate within the same switch do not use ISUP signaling. (See Figure 5-1.) In some parts of the world, such as China, the Telephone User Part (TUP) protocol supports basic call processing. TUP handles analog circuits only; digital circuits and data transmission capabilities are supported by the Data User Part protocol.

ISUP Message Format


ISUP information is carried in the service information field (SIF) of an MSU. The SIF contains the routing label followed by a 14-bit (ANSI) or 12-bit (ITU) circuit identification code (CIC). The CIC indicates the trunk circuit reserved by the originating switch to carry the call. The CIC is followed by the message type field IAM, ACM, ANM, REL, RLC which defines the contents of the remainder of the message. Each ISUP message contains a mandatory part that includes fixed-length parameters. Sometimes the mandatory fixed part is comprised only of the message type field. The mandatory fixed part may be followed by a mandatory variable part and/or an optional part. The optional part contains parameters which are identified by a one-octet parameter code followed by a length indicator (octets to follow) field. (See Figure 5-2.)

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Chapter 5 Basic ISUP Signaling

ISUP and TCAP

Figure 5-1

Basic ISUP Signaling

STP

STP

SS7 Links

SSP

Voice Circuit

SSP

Figure 5-2

ISUP Message Format

ANSI ISUP Message


O f f s e t

44923

ITU-TISUP Message
0 O f 1 f DPC Low-Order Octet s OPC Low-Order DPC High-Order 6-bits 2 e 2 bits t 3 OPC Middle-Order Octet Subservice Field Service Indicator
4-bit SLS/SLC OPC High-Order 4-bits 4

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 | n

Subservice Field

Service Indicator

DPC Member DPC Cluster DPC Network OPC Member OPC Cluster OPC Network
3-bits spare 2-bits spare

Routing Label

CIC Low-Order Octet 4-bit SLS/SLC CIC High-Order 4-bits Message Type
Interpretation varies according to Message Type variable

5 6 7 8 | n
44924

Signaling Link Selection CIC Low-Order Octet CIC High-Order 6-bits Message Type
Interpretation varies according to Message Type variable

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ISUP Message Types


IAM
An initial address message (IAM) is sent in the forward direction by each switch in the circuit between the calling party and the destination switch of the called party. An IAM contains the called party number in the mandatory variable part and may contain the calling party name and number in the optional part. (See Figure 5-3.)
Figure 5-3 ANSI and ITU-T Initial Address Message (IAM) Format

ANSI Initial Address Message (IAM)


O f f s e t

ITU-T Initial Address Message (IAM)


1
O f f s e t

1 | 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
2-bits spare

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet CIC High-Order 6-bits Message Type Nature of Connection Indicators Forward Call Indicators bits H...A Forward Call Indicators bits P...I Calling Party Category
Offset of 1st Mandatory Var. Parameter value = 3 value = 0 if no optional part value = 2 value = 0 if no optional part Mandatory Variable Part value = 1 Mandatory Fixed Part Mandatory Fixed Part value = 1

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet


4-bits spare

| 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

CIC High-Order 4-bits Message Type

Nature of Connection Indicators Forward Call Indicators bits H...A Forward Call Indicators bits P...I Calling Party Category Transmission Medium
Offset of Mandatory Var. Parameter Offset to Start of Optional Part Length Indicator of Called Party No.

16 Offset of 2nd Mandatory Var. Parameter 17 18


Offset to Start of Optional Part Length Indicator of User Service Info

User Service Information


No. of Octets = Length Indicator value Length Indicator of Called Party No.

Mandatory Variable Part

Called Party Number


No. of Octets = Length Indicator value

Optional Parameter Code


Sequence may repeat Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Called Party Number


No. of Octets = Length Indicator value

Optional Parameter
End of Optional Parameters Indicator
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Optional Parameter Code


Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Sequence may repeat Optional Part

Optional Part

No. of Octets = Length Indicator value

Optional Parameter
No. of Octets = Length Indicator value End of Optional Parameters Indicator

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ACM
An address complete message (ACM) is sent in the backward direction to indicate that the remote end of a trunk circuit has been reserved. The originating switch responds to an ACM message by connecting the calling partys line to the trunk to complete the voice circuit from the calling party to the called party. The calling party hears ringing on the voice trunk. (See Figure 5-4.)
Figure 5-4 ANSI and ITU-T Address Complete Message (ACM) Format

ANSI Address Complete Message (ACM)


O f f s e t

ITU-T Address Complete Message (ACM)


1 O f | f s 5 e CIC Low-Order Octet t 4-bits spare CIC High-Order 4-bits 6 SIO and Routing Label

1 | 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15
2-bits spare

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet CIC High-Order 6-bits Message Type Backward Call Indicators bits H...A Backward Call Indicators bits P...I
Offset toStart of Optional Part*
Mandatory Variable Part Mandatory Variable Part

value = 6 Mandatory Fixed Part

value = 6 Mandatory Fixed Part

Message Type Backward Call Indicators bits H...A Backward Call Indicators bits P...I
Offset toStart of Optional Part*

7 8 9 10 11 12

Optional Parameter Code


Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Sequence may repeat

Sequence may repeat

Optional Parameter Code


Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Optional Parameter
No. of Octets = Length Indicator value End of Optional Parameters Indicator *value = 0 if no optional part

Optional Part value = 0

Optional Part value = 0

Optional Parameter
No. of Octets = Length Indicator value End of Optional Parameters Indicator *value = 0 if no optional part
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REL
A release message (REL) is sent in either direction indicating that the circuit is being released due to a specified cause indicator. An REL is sent when either calling or called party hangs up the call (cause = 16). An REL is also sent back to the calling party if the called party is busy (cause = 17). (See Figure 5-5.)
Figure 5-5 ANSI and ITU-T Release (REL) Message Format

ANSI Release Message (REL)


O f f s e t

ITU-T Release Message (REL)


1
O f f s e t

1 | 8 9 10 11 12 13
2-bits spare

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet CIC High-Order 6-bits Message Type = 12
Offset of 1st Mandatory Var. Parameter Offset to Start of Optional Part Length Indicator of Cause Indicators
Mandatory Fixed Part Mandatory Fixed Part

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet


4-bits spare

| 5

CIC High-Order 4-bits 6 7 8 9 10

Message Type = 12
Offset of 1st Mandatory Var. Parameter Offset to Start of Optional Part Length Indicator of Cause Indicators

value = 2 value = 0 if no optional part Mandatory Variable Part Sequence may repeat Optional Part value = 0

value = 2

Release Cause Indicator Parameter


No. of Octets = Length Indicator value

Mandatory Variable Part Sequence may repeat Optional Part value = 0

Release Cause Indicator Parameter


No. of Octets = Length Indicator value

Optional Parameter Code


Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Optional Parameter Code


Optional Parameter Length Indicator

Optional Parameter
No. of Octets = Length Indicator value End of Optional Parameters Indicator

Optional Parameter
No. of Octets = Length Indicator value End of Optional Parameters Indicator
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RLC
A release complete message (RLC) is sent in the opposite direction of an REL to acknowledge the release of the remote end of a trunk circuit and to end the billing cycle, if appropriate. (See Figure 5-6.)
Figure 5-6 ANSI and ITU-T Release Complete (RLC) Message Format

ANSI Release Complete (RLC) Message


O f f s e t

ITU-T Release Complete (RLC) Message


1
O f f s e t
44928

1 | 8 9 10
2-bits spare

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet CIC High-Order 6-bits Message Type = 16
Mandatory Fixed Part Mandatory Fixed Part

SIO and Routing Label CIC Low-Order Octet


4-bits spare

| 5

CIC High-Order 4-bits 6 7

Message Type = 16

ISUP Call Sequence


Call Initiated
See Figure 5-7 and Figure 5-8 as you review the following messaging sequence: 1. 1a. 1b. 2. 2.a 2b. Calling party goes off hook on an originating switch (SSP) and dials the directory number of the called party. Originating SSP transmits ISUP IAM to reserve an idle trunk circuit. The IAM includes OPC, DPC, CIC, dialed digits, CPID, and calling party name (Caller ID option). IAM is routed via home STP of originating SSP. Destination switch (SSP) checks the dialed number against its routing table and confirms that the called partys line is available for ringing. Destination SSP transmits ACM to the originating SSP via its home STP to confirm that the remote end of the trunk circuit has been reserved. The STP routes the ACM to the originating SSP which connects the calling partys line to the trunk to complete the voice circuit. The calling party hears ringback tone.

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Figure 5-7

ISUP Call Initiation (1)

STP

STP
2a. ACM SS7 Links

1a. IAM 2b. ACM 1b. IAM

SSP
1.

Voice Circuit Identification Code (CIC) = 5

SSP
2.
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Calling Party

Called Party

Figure 5-8

ISUP Call Initiation (2)


Exchange 1 Exchange 2 Subscriber B
SSP
STP

Subscriber A
SSP

Off-Hook Dial Tone Digits IAM IAM Setup

Alerting ACM Ringback ACM Off-Hook ANM Connect Conn Ack


44930

ANM

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ISUP Call Answered


See Figure 5-9 as you review the following messaging sequence: 3a. 3b. Called party goes off-hook. Destination switch terminates ringing tone and transmits an ISUP answer message (ANM) to the originating switch via its home STP. STP routes ANM to originating switch which verifies that the calling party is connected to the reserved trunk. Billing is initiated.
ISUP Call Answered

Figure 5-9

STP

STP

3a. ANM SS7 Links 3b. ANM

SSP
1.

Voice Circuit Identification Code (CIC) = 5

SSP
2.

Calling Party

Called Party

ISUP Call Released


See Figure 5-10 and Figure 5-11 as you review the following messaging sequence: 4a./b.If the calling party hangs up first, the originating switch sends an ISUP release message (REL) to release the trunk between the two switches. If the called party releases first, the destination switch sends an REL message to the originating switch to release the circuit. 5a. When the destination switch receives the REL, it disconnects and idles the trunk, and transmits an ISUP release complete message (RLC) to the originating switch to acknowledge the release of the remote end of the circuit. When the originating switch receives or sends an RLC, the billing cycle ends and the trunk state is returned to idle.

5b.

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ISUP and TCAP Basic ISUP Signaling

Figure 5-10 ISUP Call Release (1)

STP

STP

4b. REL 4a. REL 5b. RLC SS7 Links

5a. RLC

SSP
1.

Voice Circuit Identification Code (CIC) = 5

SSP
2.

Calling Party

Called Party

Figure 5-11 ISUP Call Release (2)


Exchange 1 Subscriber A
SSP
STP

Exchange 2 Subscriber B
SSP

Disconnect REL REL Disconnect

Release RLC RLC Release

Release Ack

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Chapter 5 TCAP Functions

ISUP and TCAP

TCAP Functions
Transactional Capabilities Application Part (TCAP) enables deployment of advanced intelligent network (AIN) services by supporting information exchange between signaling points using SCCP. TCAP messages are contained within the SCCP portion of a Message Signal Unit (MSU). TCAP messages consist of a transaction portion and a component portion. An SSP uses TCAP to query an SCP to find out the routing number for an 800, 888 or 900 number. Calling cards are validated using TCAP query and response messages. Mobile subscribers roaming into a new mobile switching center (MSC) area cause the integrated Visitor Location Register (VLR) to request a service profile from the subscribers Home Location Register (HLR) using the Mobile Application Part (MAP) information carried in TCAP messages.

TCAP Transaction Portion


The transaction portion contains the package type identifier. There are several package types:

UnidirectionalTransfers component(s) in one direction only (no reply expected). Query with PermissionInitiates a TCAP transaction. The destination node may not end the transaction. ResponseEnds the TCAP transaction. A response to a 1-800 query with permission may contain the routing number(s) associated with the 800 number. Conversation with PermissionContinues a TCAP transaction. The destination node may not end the transaction. AbortTerminates the transaction due to an abnormal situation.

The transaction portion also contains the Originating Transaction ID and Responding Transaction ID which associate the TCAP transaction with a specific application at the originating and destination signaling points.

TCAP Component Portion


The TCAP component portion contains several possible kinds of components:

Invoke (Last)Invokes an operation. For example, a Query with Permission transaction may include an Invoke (Last) component to request SCP translation of a dialed 800 number. The component is the last component in the query. Invoke (Not Last)Similar to the Invoke (Last) component except that the component is followed by one or more components. Return Result (Last)Returns the result of an invoked operation. The component is the last component in the response. Return Result (Not Last)Similar to the Return Result (Last) component except that the component is followed by one or more components. Return ErrorReports the unsuccessful completion of an invoked operation. RejectIndicates that an incorrect package type or component was received.

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ISUP and TCAP TCAP Functions

Note

Components include parameters which contain application-specific data carried unexamined by TCAP.

Sample TCAP Database Query


This sample query describes how a dialed 800 number is processed using TCAP. See Figure 5-12 as you review the messaging sequence described below.
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

A subscriber goes off-hook and dials an 800 number. The end office switch (SSP) parses the digit string and sends an 800 query message to either of its STPs over its A-link. The STP recognizes the 800 query and routes it to an appropriate database via an SCP. The SCP receives the query, extracts the passed information and retrieves a real telephone number to which the call should be routed. The SCP sends a response message with the information necessary to process the call to the originating SSP via an STP and an A-link. The STP receives the response and routes it to the SSP. The SSP receives the response and uses the information to route the call. It generates an IAM message and proceeds with ISUP call setup.

Figure 5-12 Sample TCAP 800 Number Query

800 Query

STP
Ro ut in

In

fo

SCP

800

Qu

ery

A-links
In fo

STP

SSP

Ro

g tin

Calling Party

44934

SCP

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Chapter 5 Review: ISUP and TCAP

ISUP and TCAP

Review: ISUP and TCAP


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

What is the principal function of ISUP? Which field in an MSU carries ISUP information? Define CIC. What is the function of an IAM? What does the receipt of an ACM indicate? Which ISUP message initiates call billing? What is the function of an REL message? What is the response to an REL message? What information is included in an IAM?

10. What happens when a called party goes off-hook? 11. What is the principal function of TCAP? 12. Where in an MSU are TCAP messages located? 13. Briefly describe the two portions of a TCAP message.

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