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phone users. It is stored as a 64 bit field in the SIM inside the phone and is sent by the phone to the network. It is also used for acquiring other details of the mobile in the Home Location Register (HLR) or as locally copied in the Visitor Location Register. To prevent eavesdroppers identifying and tracking the subscriber on the radio interface, the IMSI is sent as rarely as possible and a randomly-generated TMSI is sent instead. The IMSI is used in any mobile network that interconnects with other networks. This number is provisioned in the phone directly or in the R-UIM card (a CDMA analogue equivalent to a SIM card in GSM). An IMSI is usually presented as a 15 digit long number, but can be shorter. For example MTN South Africa's old IMSIs that are still being used in the market are shown as 14 digits. The first 3 digits are the Mobile Country Code (MCC), and is followed by the Mobile Network Code (MNC), either 2 digits (European standard) or 3 digits (North American standard). The length of the MNC depends on the value of the MCC. The remaining digits are the Mobile Subscription Identification Number (MSIN) within the network's customer base. The IMSI conforms to the ITU E.212 numbering standard.
• • • •
1 Examples of IMSI numeric presentation 2 IMSI analysis o 2.1 Example of outside World Area 1 o 2.2 Example inside World Area 1 (North America) 3 Home Network Identity 4 See also 5 References 6 External links
 Examples of IMSI numeric presentation
IMSI: 429011234567890 MCC 429 Nepal MNC 01 Nepal Telecom MSIN 1234567890 IMSI: 310150123456789 MCC 310 USA
SCCP is used to send the message to its final destination.164 number (more or less a telephone number). If the subscriber is not from the provider's network. first determine the MCC and convert to E. This can be routed directly on American SS7 networks.214 provides a method to convert the IMSI into a number that can be used for routing to international SS7 switches. E. the IMSI is directly converted to an E. After this conversion. which is similar to but different from E. which can then be used for accessing the subscriber's data in the remote HLR.212 number with no modification of its value. standard E. the IMSI must be converted to a Global Title. and whether subscribers from that network may use a given network (if they are not local subscribers.  Example of outside World Area 1 This example shows the actual practice which is not clearly described in the standards.MNC 150 AT&T Mobility MSIN 123456789 IMSI: 460001234567890 MCC 460 CHINA MNC 00 CMCC MSIN 1234567890 IMSI analysis IMSI analysis is the process of examining a subscriber's IMSI to identify the network the IMSI belongs to. Outside North America the IMSI is converted to the Mobile Global Title (MGT) format. In North America. But this process is not used in practise and the GSM numbering authority has clearly stated that a one stage process is used .164 country code + a Bulgarian local prefix reaching MobilTel's network) . E. Translation rule: • • • • match numbers starting 28401 (Bulgaria mobile country code + MobilTel MNC) identify this as belonging to MobilTel-Bulgaria network remove first five digits (length of MCC+MNC) add 35988 (Bulgaria E.214 can be interpreted as implying that there are two separate stages of conversion. For details. this requires a roaming agreement).164 country calling code then determine MNC and convert to national network code for the carrier's network. see Global Title Translation.214. This is mainly important for international mobile roaming.
212 numbering plan. The result is an E. route message on Global Title across SCCP network so we get 284011234567890 becomes 359881234567890 numbering plan E.• • mark the number as having E. The reason to make this distinction is that in a country with multiple country codes (e. (Numbering Plan Indicator is set to 7 in the SCCP message). Translation rule: • • • • • match numbers starting 310150 (America first MCC + Cingular MNC) remove first six digits (length of MCC+MNC) add 14054 (North America E. .212. Home Network Identity The Home Network Identity (HNI) is the combination of the MCC and the MNC. This is the number which fully identifies a subscriber's home network. USA has codes 310 to 316) there may be two different networks. route message on Global Title across SCCP network so we get 310150123456789 becomes 14054123456789 numbering plan E. This number has to be converted on the ANSI to ITU boundary.214 compliant Global Title.g.214 numbering plan. by onmobile  Example inside World Area 1 (North America) Translation rule: • • • • • match numbers starting 28401 (Bulgaria MCC + MobilTel MNC) identify this as belonging to MobilTel-Bulgaria network do not alter the digits of the number mark the number as having E. route message on Global Title across SCCP network so we get 284011234567890 becomes 284011234567890 numbering plan E. Because of the unlikeness in the Global Title Translation. it is extremely hard to pin point the exact location of the American international mobile prefix number. For more details please see Global Title Translation.164 country code + Network Code for Cingular) mark the number as having E. with the same Mobile Network Code.214 numbering plan. but only one of which is the home network.214. This number can now be sent to Global Title Analysis.214. To know which network a mobile belongs to requires analyzing the entire HNI at once.
several other identifiers have been defined. Canada. In practice. Unfortunately this is untrue in NANPA member nations. The IMEI is allocated by the equipment manufacturer and registered by the network operator and registered by the network operator who stores it in the EIR. =============================================================== =============================================================== GSM distinguishes explicitly between user and equipment and deals with them separately. In the case of NANPA. and doubly untrue in the US.212 mobile country code. It is a kind of serial number.214 recommends that the country part of the translation be done first. More of the number then has to be used to determine the carrier network (in some cases up to 4 digits). which performs a lookup based on the entire CC+NC. it presumes that a given E. to better determine the correct country. or any Caribbean nation. This has led to a temporary practice of distributing IMSIs in the US with only MCCs of 310. Final Assembly Code (FAC): 6 decimal places. The most important addresses and identifiers are presented in the following: International Mobile Station Equipment Identity (IMEI): The international mobile station equipment identity (IMEI) uniquely identifies a mobile station internationally.E. which can uniquely identify a country. There are following parts of an IMEI: • • Type Approval Code (TAC): 6 decimal places.214's recommendation for Global Title Translation does not take into account countries with more than one mobile country code (MCC) (for example the US. home carriers use a deeper translation process. The problem lies in de-translation of the global title back into a mobile network E. . or Canada. stolen or nonfunctional equipment. in an attempt to minimise the ambiguity. which applies to the US. this is 1+area code. Since E. they are needed for the management of subscriber mobility and for addressing of all the remaining network elements. which has 7 MCCs). but there are hundreds of area codes.164 country code only relates to a single E. centrally assigned. assigned by the manufacturer. By means of IMEI one recognizes obsolete. or the +1 country code. and all the countries in the Caribbean). So. Besides phone numbers and subscriber and equipment identifiers.212 IMSI. or shared numbering plans (for example North American Numbering Plan. however. a global title with CC of 1 can indicate any of 7 US MCCs.
• • • Country Code (CC) : of the visited network. respectively). identification number of the subscriber in the home mobile network. • • • Country Code (CC) : Up to 3 decimal places. National Destination Code (NDC): Typically 2-3 decimal places. It is stored in the subscriber identity module (SIM) A mobile station can only be operated if a SIM with a valid IMSI is inserted into equipment with a valid IMEI. for unique identification of mobile network within the country. The MSISDN categories follow the international ISDN number plan and therefore have the following structure. Subscriber Number (SN): Maximum 10 decimal places. It uniquely characterizes a mobile station and gives clues about the manufacturer and the date of manufacturing. Mobile Subscriber Identification Number (MSIN): Maximum 10 decimal places. It is assigned to the subscriber (his or her SIM.• • Serial Number (SNR): 6 decimal places. There are following parts of an IMSI: • • • Mobile Country Code (MCC): 3 decimal places. National Destination Code (NDC): of the visited network. It is assigned by the locally responsible VLR to each mobile station in its area. Mobile Subscriber ISDN Number ( MSISDN): The real telephone number of a mobile station is the mobile subscriber ISDN number (MSISDN). Thus. internationally standardized. Subscriber Number (SN): in the current mobile network. The MSRN has same structure as the MSISDN. Mobile Network Code (MNC): 2 decimal places. IMEI = TAC + FAC + SNR + SP. International Mobile Subscriber Identity ( IMSI): Each registered user is uniquely identified by its international mobile subscriber identity (IMSI). . Calls are also routed to the MS by using the MSRN. Mobile Station Roaming Number ( MSRN): The Mobile Station Roaming Number ( MSRN) is a temporary location dependent ISDN number. Spare (SP): 1 decimal place. such that a mobile station set can have several MSISDNs depending on the SIM. assigned by the manufacturer.
Location Area Identity (LAI): Each LA of an PLMN has its own identifier. the individual cells are uniquely identified with a cell identifier (CI). . Local Mobile Subscriber Identity (LMSI): The VLR can assign an additional searching key to each mobile station within its area to accelerate database access. TMSI allows a subscriber to be identified uniquely and it can consist of upto 4x8 bits. Together with the global cell identity (LAI + CI) calls are thus also internationally defined in a unique way. Temporary Mobile Subscriber Identity (TMSI): The VLR. Cell Identifier (CI): Within an LA. maximum twice 8 bits coded in hexadecimal (LAC < FFFF). The Location Area Identifier (LAI) is also structured hierarchically and internationally unique as follows: • • • Country Code (CC) : 3 decimal places. It is stored on the network side only in the VLR and is not passed to the HLR. Location Area Code (LAC): maximum 5 decimal places or. An LIMSI consists of four octets ( 4 x 8 bits). Mobile Network Code (MNC): 2 decimal places. which is responsible for the current location of a subscriber. This unique key is called the Local Mobile Subscriber Identity (LMSI). Together with the current location area. maximum 2 x 8 bits. The LMSI is assigned when the mobile station registers with the VLR and is also sent to the HLR. can assign a temporary mobile subscriber identity (TMSI) which has only local significance in the area handled by the VLR.
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