SS7 Protocol Suite

This page describes the following SS7 protocols: BICC BISUP DUP ISUP MAP MTP-2 MTP-3 Q2140 SCCP TCAP TUP Bearer Independent Call Control protoco B-ISDN User Part Data User Part ISDN User Part Mobile Application Part Message Transfer Part Level 2 Message Transfer Part Level 3 Recommendation Q.2140 Signalling Connection Control Part Transaction Capabilities Application Part Telephone User Part

For information on SS7 and other telecom protocol testing View this file in pdf format. CCITT developed the Signalling System 7 (SS7) specification. SS7 is a common channel signalling system. This means that one channel is used only for sending the signalling information, whether the system has one bearer channel or multiple bearer channels. The hardware and software functions of the SS7 protocol are divided into layers which loosely correspond to the OSI 7 layer model. See the Performance Technologies SS7 Tutorial for more information on the SS7 standard.

The SS7 protocol suite is illustrated here in relation to the OSI model: Click the protocols on the map to see more details.

BICC ITU-T Q.1901 Bearer Independent Call Control protocol is a call control protocol used between serving nodes. This protocol is based on the ISUP protocol, and was adapted to support the ISDN services independent of the bearer technology and signalling message transport technology used. The format of the BICC packet is shown in the following illustration: 8 7 6 5 CIC CIC CIC MSB CIC Message Type BICC packet structure 4 3 2 1 LSB Octet 1 2 3 4 5

Routing Label The label contained in a signalling message, and used by the relevant user part to identify particulars to which the message refers. It is also used by the Message Transfer Part to route the message towards its destination point. Call Instance Code (CIC) The allocation of call instance codes to individual circuits is determined by bilateral agreement and/or in accordance with applicable predetermined rules. Message Type Code The message type code consists of a one octet field and is mandatory for all messages. The message type code uniquely defines the function and format of each ISDN User Part message. Each message consists of a number of parameters. Message types may be: 6 9 44 24 26 23 41 25 27 7 5 47 32 33 31 8 1 12 16 18 14 2 13 45 Address complete. Answer. Call progress. Circuit group blocking. Circuit group blocking acknowledgement. Circuit group reset. Circuit group reset acknowledgement. Circuit group unblocking. Circuit group unblocking acknowledgement. Connect. Continuity. Confusion Facility accepted. Facility reject. Facility request. Forward transfer. Initial address. Release. Release complete. Reset circuit. Resume. Subsequent address. Suspend. User-to-user information.

Parameters Each parameter has a name which is coded as a single octet. The length of a parameter may be fixed or variable, and a length indicator for each parameter may be included.

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BISUP Recommendation Q.2763 (02/95). http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/. The B-ISDN User Part (B-ISUP) is applicable to international B-ISDN networks. In addition, the B-ISDN User Part is suitable for national applications. Most messages and parameters specified for international use are also required in typical national applications. Moreover, coding space has been reserved in order to allow national administrations and recognized operating agencies to introduce network specific signalling messages and parameters within the internationally standardized protocol structure. B-ISDN user part messages are carried on the ATM signalling link by means of S-AAL service data units, the format of which is described in 6.2/Q.2110. As a national option B-ISDN user part messages can be carried on the STM signalling link by means of signal units, the format of which is described in 2.2/Q.703. The format of, and the codes used in the service information octet are described in 14.2/Q.704. The service indicator for the B-ISDN user part is coded 1001. The signalling information field of each message signal unit containing an B-ISDN user part message consists of an integral number of octets and encompasses the following parts: a) b) c) d) e) routing label; message type code; message length; message compatibility information; message content.

The structure of the B-ISUP protocol is as follows: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Octets 1 2 3

Message Type Length Indicator Ext. Broadband/narrow- Pass on Discard Send Release Transit band interworking not message notification at ind possible ind call ind intermed ind ind exch. ind Message Type The different message types. The following message types are available: 0x01 0x02 0x05 0x06 0x08 0x09 0x0A 0x0B 0x0C 0x0D 0x0E 0x0F 0x10 0x11 0x12 0x13 0x14 0x15 0x16 0x17 0x18 0x2C 0x2D 0x2F 0x32 0x34 0x35 0x38 INITIAL ADDRESS SUBSEQUENT ADDRESS CONSISTENCY CHECK REQUEST ADDRESS COMPLETE FORWARD TRANSFER ANSWER IAM ACKNOWLEDGE IAM REJECT RELEASE SUSPEND RESUME RESET ACKNOWLEDGE RELEASE COMPLETE CONSISTENCY CHECK REQ ACK RESET BLOCKING UNBLOCKING BLOCKING ACKNOWLEDGE UNBLOCKING ACKNOWLEDGE CONSISTENCY CHECK END CONSISTENCY CHECK END ACK CALL PROGRESS USER-TO-USER INFORMATION CONFUSION NET RESOURCE MANAGMENT USER PART TEST USER PART AVAILABLE SEGMENTATION

4

Message Length The message length in octets.

Broadband/narrow-band Iinterworking Ind: 0 Pass on 1 Discard message 2 Release call 3 Reserved Pass on not Possible Indicator The following indicators are available 0 Release call 1 Discard information Discard Message Indicator The following indicators are available 0 Do not discard message 1 Discard message Send Notification Indicator The following indicators are available 0 Do not send notification 1 Send notification Release call indicator The following indicators are available 0 Do not release call 1 Release call Transit at intermed exch. Indicator The following indicators are available 0 Transit interpretation 1 End node interpretation

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DUP
ITU-T recommendation X.61 (Q.741) http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q741.html

The Data User Part (DUP) defines the necessary call control, and facility registration and cancellation related elements for international common channel signalling by use of Signalling System No. 7 for circuit-switched data transmission services. The data signalling messages are divided into two categories:
• •

Call and circuit related messages: used to set up and clear a call or control and supervise the circuit state. Facility registration and cancellation related messages: used to exchange information between originating and destination exchanges to register and cancel information related to user facilities.

The general format of the header of call and circuit related messages is shown as follows:
15 87 0

OPC BIC TCS Message specific parameters

DPS OPC BIC Heading Code

The general format of the header of facility registration and cancellation messages is shown as follows: 15 OPC Spare bits Message specific parameters 87 DPS OPC Heading code 0

Routing Label The label contained in a signalling message and used by the relevant user part to identify particulars to which the message refers. This is also use by the message transfer part to route the message towards its destination point. It contains the DPS, OPC, BIC and TSC fields. DPS The destination point code (14 bits) is the code applicable to the data switching exchange to which the message is to be delivered.

OPC The originating point code (14 bits) is the code applicable to the data switching exchange from which the message is sent. BIC Bearer identification code (12 bits). For bearers which form part of a 2.048 Mbit/s PCM system according to Recommendation G.734, the bearer identification code contains in the 5 least significant bits a binary representation of the actual number of the time slot which is assigned to the bearer. The remaining bits of the bearer identification code are used where necessary, to identify one among several systems, interconnecting the originating point and destination point. For bearers which form part of a 8.448 Mbit/s PCM system the bearer identification code is coded in accordance with the scheme specified for the circuit identification code for the corresponding case in Recommendation Q.723. TSC Time slot code (8 bits). If the data circuit is derived from the data multiplex carried by the bearer, identified by the bearer identification code: Bits 1-4 contain, in pure binary representation, the channel number of the circuit within the 12.8 kbit/s or 12 kbit/s phase; the channel number being in the range: 0-15 for 600 bit/s circuits 0- 3 for 2400 bit/s circuits 0- 1 for 4800 bit/s circuits 0 for 9600 bit/s circuits Bits 5-7 contain, in pure binary representation, the number of the 12.8 kbit/s or 12 kbit/s phase, the phase number being in the range 0-4; Bit 8 is coded 0. In the case where the data circuit uses the full 64 kbit/s bearer rate, the time slot code will be 01110000. Heading code The heading code (4 bits) contains the message type code which is mandatory for all messages. It uniquely defines the function and format of each DAP message. Message specific parameters Contains specific fields for each message. Spare bits Not used, should be set to "0000". Interested in more details about testing this protocol?

ISUP
Q.763 http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q763_23976.html

ISUP is the ISDN User Part of SS7. ISUP defines the protocol and procedures used to setup, manage and release trunk circuits that carry voice and data calls over the public switched telephone network. ISUP is used for both ISDN and non-ISDN calls. Calls that originate and terminate at the same switch do not use ISUP signalling. ISDN User Part messages are carried on the signalling link by means of signal units. The signalling information field of each message signal unit contains an ISDN User Part message consisting of an integral number of octets. The format of the ISUP packet is shown in the following illustration: Routing label Circuit identification code Message type code Mandatory fixed part - (Parameters) Mandatory variable part - (Parameters) Optional part - (Parameters) ISUP packet structure Routing label The label contained in a signalling message, and used by the relevant user part to identify particulars to which the message refers. It is also used by the Message Transfer Part to route the message towards its destination point. Circuit identification code The allocation of circuit identification codes to individual circuits is determined by bilateral agreement and/or in accordance with applicable predetermined rules. Message type code The message type code consists of a one octet field and is mandatory for all messages. The message type code uniquely defines the function and format of each ISDN User Part message. Each message consists of a number of parameters. Message types may be: Address complete Answer Blocking Blocking acknowledgement Call progress Circuit group blocking Circuit group blocking acknowledgement Circuit group query @ Circuit group query response @ Circuit group reset Circuit group reset acknowledgement Circuit group unblocking Circuit group unblocking acknowledgement Charge information @ Confusion Connect

Continuity Continuity check request Facility @ Facility accepted Facility reject Forward transfer Identification request Identification response Information @ Information request @ Initial address Loop back acknowledgement Network resource management Overload @ Pass-along @ Release Release complete Reset circuit Resume Segmentation Subsequent address Suspend Unblocking Unblocking acknowledgement Unequipped CIC @ User Part available User Part test User-to-user information Parameters Each parameter has a name which is coded as a single octet. The length of a parameter may be fixed or variable, and a length indicator for each parameter may be included.

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MAP
EIA/TIA-41 http://www.tiaonline.org.com

Mobile Application Part (MAP) messages sent between mobile switches and databases to support user authentication, equipment identification, and roaming are carried by TCAP In mobile networks (IS-41 and GSM) when a mobile subscriber roams into a new mobile switching center (MSC) area, the integrated visitor location register requests service profile information from the subscriber's home location register (HLR) using MAP (mobile application part) information carried within TCAP messages. The packet consists of a header followed by up to four information elements. The general format of the header is shown here: The format of the header is shown in the following illustration: 1 byte Operation specifier MAP Parameters ... MAP header structure Operation specifier The type of packet. The following operations are defined: 1 byte Length

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

AuthenticationDirective AuthenticationDirectiveForward AuthenticationFailureReport AuthenticationRequest AuthenticationStatusReport BaseStationChallenge Blocking BulkDeregistration CountRequest FacilitiesDirective FacilitiesDirective2 FacilitiesRelease FeatureRequest FlashRequest HandoffBack HandoffBack2 HandoffMeasurementRequest HandoffMeasurementRequest2 HandoffToThird HandoffToThird2 InformationDirective InformationForward InterSystemAnswer InterSystemPage InterSystemPage2 InterSystemSetup LocationRequest MobileOnChannel MSInactive OriginationRequest QualificationDirective QualificationRequest RandomVariableRequest RedirectionDirective RedirectionRequest RegistrationCancellation RegistrationNotification RemoteUserInteractionDirective ResetCircuit RoutingRequest SMSDeliveryBackward SMSDeliveryForward SMSDeliveryPointToPoint SMSNotification SMSRequest TransferToNumberRequest TrunkTest TrunkTestDisconnect Unblocking

• •

UnreliableRoamerDataDirective UnsolicitedResponse

Length The length of the packet. MAP parameters Various parameters dependent on the operation. Interested in more details about testing this protocol?

MTP-2
Q.703 http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q703_24110.html

Message Transfer Part - Level 2 (MTP-2) is a signalling link which together with MTP-3 provides reliable transfer of signalling messages between two directly connected signalling points. (Compliant with ITU Q.703 1994 and ANSI T1.111 199.) The format of the header is shown in the following illustration: 7 Flag BSN (7 bits) FSN (7 bits) LI (6 + 2 bits) SIO SIF Checksum (16 bits) Flag MTP-2 header structure BSN Backward sequence number. Used to acknowledge message signal units which have been received from the remote end of the signalling link. BIB Backward indicator bit. The forward and backward indicator bit together with forward and backward sequence number are used in the basic error control method to perform the signal unit sequence control and acknowledgment functions. BIB FIB 8 bits

FSN Forward sequence number. FIB Forward indicator bit. LI Length indicator. This indicates the number of octets following the length indicator octet. SIO Service information octet. SIF Signalling information field. Checksum Every signal unit has 16 check bits for error detection. Interested in more details about testing this protocol?

MTP-3
Q.704 http://www.itu.ch/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q704_27792.html

Message Transfer Part - Level 3 (MTP-3) connects Q.SAAL to the users. It transfers messages between the nodes of the signalling network. MTP-3 ensures reliable transfer of the signalling messages, even in the case of the failure of the signalling links and signalling transfer points. The protocol therefore includes the appropriate functions and procedures necessary both to inform the remote parts of the signalling network of the consequences of a fault, and appropriately reconfigure the routing of messages through the signalling network. The structure of the MTP-3 header is shown in the following illustration: Service indicator 4 bits MTP-3 header structure Service indicator Used to perform message distribution and in some cases to perform message routing. The service indicator codes are used in international signalling networks for the following purposes:
• • • •

Subservice field 4 bits

Signalling network management messages Signalling network testing and maintenance messages SCCP Telephone user part

• • •

ISDN user part Data user part Reserved for MTP testing user part.

Sub-service field The sub-service field contains the network indicator and two spare bits to discriminate between national and international messages. Interested in more details about testing this protocol?

Q2140 Recommendation Q.2140. http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/ The SSCF for NNI Signaling standard consists of the Service Specific Coordination Function (SSCF) in conjunction with the Service Specific Connection Oriented Protocol (SSCOP) which defines the Service Specific Convergence Sublayer (SSCS). The purpose of the Service Specific Coordination Function is to enhance the services of SSCOP to meet the needs of the requirements of the NNI level 3 protocol. In addition the SSCF at the NNI provides communication with Layer Management for proper operation of signalling links. The SSCF at the NNI is the uppermost sub-layer in the protocol stack for the SAAL at the NNI. By construction, it utilizes the services of the underlying SAAL sub-layers, in combination with its own functions, to provide an overall SAAL service to the SAAL user, as described below. The SAAL at the NNI provides signalling link functions for the transfer of signalling messages over one individual signalling data link. The SAAL functions provide a signalling link for reliable transfer of signalling messages between two signalling points. A signalling message delivered by the higher levels is transferred over the signalling link in variable length Protocol Data Units (PDUs). For proper operation of the signalling link, the PDU comprises transfer control information in addition to the information content of the signalling message. The protocol header structure is as follows: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Octets 1 2 3 SSCF Status SSCF Type The SSCF status: 4

Reserved

1 2 3 4 5 7 8 9 10

Out of Service Processor Outage In Service Normal Emergency Alignment Not Successful Management Initiated Protocol Error Proving Not Successful

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SCCP
Q.713 http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q713_23786.html

The Signalling Connection Control Part (SCCP) offers enhancements to MTP level 3 to provide connectionless and connection-oriented network services, as well as to address translation capabilities. The SCCP enhancements to MTP provide a network service which is equivalent to the OSI Network layer 3. (Compliant with the ITU specification Q.713, ITU-T: Signalling System No. 7 SCCP Formats And Codes 03-93 SS7 Basics/ Toni Beninger/ S038 1991 ANSI T1.112.) The format of the header is shown in the following illustration: Routing label Message type code

Mandatory fixed part Mandatory variable part Optional part SCCP header structure Routing label A standard routing label. Message type code A one octet code which is mandatory for all messages. The message type code uniquely defines the function and format of each SCCP message. Existing Message Type Codes are: CR CC CREF RLSD RLC DT1 DT2 AK UDT UDTS ED EA RSR RSC ERR IT XUDT XUDTS Connection Request. Connection Confirm. Connection Refused. Released. Release Complete. Data Form 1. Data Form 2. Data Acknowledgment. Unidata. Unidata Service. Expedited Data. Expedited Data Acknowledgment. Reset Request. Reset Confirm. Protocol Data Unit Error. Inactivity Test. Extended Unidata. Extended Unidata Service.

Mandatory fixed part The parts that are mandatory and of fixed length for a particular message type will be contained in the mandatory fixed part. Mandatory variable part Mandatory parameters of variable length will be included in the mandatory variable part. The name of each parameter and the order in which the pointers are sent is implicit in the message type. Optional part The optional part consists of parameters that may or may not occur in any particular message type. Both fixed length and variable length parameters may be included. Optional parameters may be transmitted in any order. Each optional parameter will include the parameter name (one octet) and the length indicator (one octet) followed by the parameter contents. Interested in more details about testing this protocol?

TCAP
Q.773 http://www.itu.int/itudoc/itu-t/rec/q/q500-999/q773_24880.html

TCAP (Transaction Capabilities Application Part) enables the deployment of advanced intelligent network services by supporting non-circuit related information exchange between signalling points using the SCCP connectionless service. TCAP messages are contained within the SCCP portion of an MSU. A TCAP message is comprised of a transaction portion and a component portion. (Compliant with ITU recommendation q.773.) A TCAP message is structured as a single constructor information element consisting of the following: Transaction Portion, which contains information elements used by the Transaction sub-layer; a Component Portion, which contains information elements used by the Component sub-layer related to components; and, optionally, the Dialogue Portion, which contains the Application Context and user information, which are not components. Each Component is a constructor information element. Tag Length Contents

TCAP packet structure Information Element An information element is first interpreted according to its position within the syntax of the message. Each information element within a TCAP message has the same structure. An information element consists of three fields, which always appear in the following order. Tag The Tag distinguishes one information element from another and governs the interpretation of the Contents. It may be one or more octets in length. The Tag is composed of Class, Form and Tag codes. Length Specifies the length of the Contents. Contents Contains the substance of the element, containing the primary information the element is intended to convey. TCAP Packet Types TCAP packet types are as follows:

• • • • • • •

Unidirectional Query with permission Query without permission Response Conversation with permission Conversation without permission Abort

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TUP ITU-T Recommendation Q.723. http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/. Signalling System No.7 - Telephone User Part. The Telephone User Part (TUP) carries the telephone user messages on the signalling data link by means of signal units. The signalling information of each message constitutes the signalling information field of the corresponding signal unit and consists of an integral number of octets. It basically contains the label, the heading code and one or more signals and/or indications. The service information octet comprises the service indicator and the subservice field. The service indicator is used to associate signalling information with a particular User Part and is only used with message signal units (see Recommendation Q.704, § 12.2). The information in the subservice field permits a distinction to be made between national and international signalling messages. In national applications when this discrimination is not required possibly for certain national User Parts only, the subservice field can be used independently for different User Parts. The TUP header structure is as follows: 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Octets 1

Message Type Code

Message Type Code The message type code. The following message type codes are available: 0x11 0x21 0x31 0x41 0x12 0x32 0x42 0x13 0x14 0x24 Initial Address Initial Address With Additional Information Subsequent Address Subsequent Address With One Signal General Forward Setup Information Continuity Signal Continuity Failure Signal General Request Address Complete Charging

0x15 0x25 0x35 0x45 0x55 0x65 0x75 0x85 0x95 0xA5 0xB5 0xC5 0xF5 0x06 0x16 0x26 0x36 0x46 0x56 0x66 0x76 0x17 0x27 0x37 0x47 0x57 0x67 0x77 0x18 0x28 0x38 0x48 0x58 0x68 0x78 0x88 0x98 0xA8 0xB8 0xC8 0xD8 0xE8 0x1A 0x2C 0x1D 0x1E 0x2E 0x1F

Switching Equipment Congestion Signal Circuit Group Congestion Signal National Network Congestion Signal Address Incomplete signal Call Failure Signal Subscriber Busy Signal (electrical) Unallocated Number Signal Line Out Of Service Signal Send Special Information Tone Signal Access Barred Signal Digital Path Not Provided Signal Misdialled Trunk Prefix Extended Unsuccessful Backward Setup Information Answer Signal, Unqualified Answer Signal, Charge Answer Signal, No Charge Clear Back Signal Clear Forward Signal Reanswer Signal Forward Transfer Signal Calling Party Clear Signal Release Guard Signal Blocking Signal Blocking Acknowledgement Signal Unblocking Signal Unblocking Acknowledgement Signal Continuity Check Request Signal Reset Circuit Signal Maintenance Oriented Group Blocking Maintenance Oriented Group Blocking Acknowledgement Maintenance Oriented Group Unblocking Maintenance Oriented Group Unblocking Acknowledgement Hardware Failure Oriented Group Blocking Hardware Failure Oriented Group Blocking Acknowledgement Hardware Failure Oriented Group Unblocking Hardware Failure Oriented Group Unblocking Acknowledgement Circuit Group Reset Circuit Group Reset Acknowledgement Software Generated Group Blocking Software Generated Group Blocking Acknowledgement Software Generated Group Unblocking Software Generated Group Unblocking Acknowledgement Automatic Congestion Control Information Metering Pulse Message Operator Signal Subscriber Local - Busy Signal Subscriber Toll - Busy Signal Malicious Call Tracing Signal

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SS7 Family Protocol Information BICC | BISUP | DUP | ISUP | MAP | MTP-2 | MTP-3 | Q2140 | SCCP | TCAP | TUP