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Nokia Siemens Networks DX MSC / MSS / DX HLR, Rel. M14.

3, Feature Documentation, v4

Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

The information in this document is subject to change without notice and describes only the product defined in the introduction of this documentation. This documentation is intended for the use of Nokia Siemens Networks customers only for the purposes of the agreement under which the document is submitted, and no part of it may be used, reproduced, modified or transmitted in any form or means without the prior written permission of Nokia Siemens Networks. The documentation has been prepared to be used by professional and properly trained personnel, and the customer assumes full responsibility when using it. Nokia Siemens Networks welcomes customer comments as part of the process of continuous development and improvement of the documentation. The information or statements given in this documentation concerning the suitability, capacity, or performance of the mentioned hardware or software products are given as is and all liability arising in connection with such hardware or software products shall be defined conclusively and finally in a separate agreement between Nokia Siemens Networks and the customer. However, Nokia Siemens Networks has made all reasonable efforts to ensure that the instructions contained in the document are adequate and free of material errors and omissions. Nokia Siemens Networks will, if deemed necessary by Nokia Siemens Networks, explain issues which may not be covered by the document. Nokia Siemens Networks will correct errors in this documentation as soon as possible. IN NO EVENT WILL NOKIA SIEMENS NETWORKS BE LIABLE FOR ERRORS IN THIS DOCUMENTATION OR FOR ANY DAMAGES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO SPECIAL, DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL OR CONSEQUENTIAL OR ANY LOSSES, SUCH AS BUT NOT LIMITED TO LOSS OF PROFIT, REVENUE, BUSINESS INTERRUPTION, BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY OR DATA, THAT MAY ARISE FROM THE USE OF THIS DOCUMENT OR THE INFORMATION IN IT. This documentation and the product it describes are considered protected by copyrights and other intellectual property rights according to the applicable laws. The wave logo is a trademark of Nokia Siemens Networks Oy. Nokia is a registered trademark of Nokia Corporation. Siemens is a registered trademark of Siemens AG. Other product names mentioned in this document may be trademarks of their respective owners, and they are mentioned for identification purposes only. Copyright Nokia Siemens Networks 2009. All rights reserved.

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Contents

Contents
Contents 3 List of tables 4 List of figures 5 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.3.1 1.3.2 1.3.3 1.4 1.4.1 1.4.2 1.4.3 1.4.4 1.4.5 1.4.6 1.4.7 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 1.9.1 1.9.2 1.10 1.11 1.11.1 2 2.1 2.1.1 Feature description 7 Introduction 7 Benefits for the operator 8 Requirements for using the feature 9 Software 9 Hardware 9 Products 9 Functionality 9 General 9 Control of normal and subsequent Inter-PLMN handover Feature usage requirements and limitations 16 Files 17 Parameters 17 Statistics 17 Charging 18 Capacity 19 Restrictions 19 Related and interworking features 19 Compliance 20 Operator interfaces 20 MMLs 20 Alarms 23 Subscriber interfaces 23 External interfaces 24 Network elements 24

Main changes in Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support 25 Changes in the feature 25 Changes in the document 25

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

List of tables

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List of figures

List of figures Figure 1. Figure 2. Figure 3. Figure 4. Figure 5. Figure 6. Figure 7. Multiple PLMN architecture. 8 11 13

Subsequent Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover to MSC-C Inter-PLMN handover agreement between three PLMNs Inter-PLMN handover restrictions for subscribers 14

Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in Nokia Siemens Networks's DX MSCs. 16 Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in MSC vs BSC CGI format support. 16 Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in Nokia Siemens Networks's DX MSCs vs other vendor's MSCs. 17

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

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Feature description

1
1.1

Feature description
Introduction
Inter-PLMN handover support enables handovers between networks (PLMNs). Multiple PLMN support in one MSC makes it possible to have several PLMNs under one MSC area of coverage. This functionality differs from the normal handover procedure due to the fact that the Mobile Network Codes (MNC) and possible Mobile Country Codes (MCC) of the target and source cell are different. The following figure shows a typical environment:

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

PLMN 11 PLMN LAC LAC11

Primary PLMN (MCC1, MNC1)


MSC 1

PLMN 11 PLMN LAC 22 LAC

PLMN 22 PLMN LAC LAC33

MSC 2 2 PLMN 22 PLMN LAC 44 LAC

Figure 1.

Multiple PLMN architecture.

1.2

Benefits for the operator


In essence, this feature provides a larger coverage area, faster network rollout and potentially also improves profitability.

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Feature description

1.3
1.3.1

Requirements for using the feature


Software
This feature has no special requirements for software.

1.3.2

Hardware
This feature has no special requirements for hardware.

1.3.3

Products
This feature functions in the DX MSC and Compact DX MSC products.

1.4
1.4.1

Functionality
General
At the beginning of the handover, the MSC receives information from the BSC about the target cell identity for the handover. This identity is included in the HANDOVER_REQUIRED message. The target cell identity can be included in two formats: 1. 2. MCC, MNC, LAC, CI (that is, CGI) LAC, CI

The MSC also uses this information in order to control and continue the handover procedure towards the target MSC. Therefore, it is important that the MSC can handle the cell ID in both formats.

1.4.2

Control of normal and subsequent Inter-PLMN handover


Handovers can take place from one PLMN to another if certain basic requirements are fulfilled, such as neighbour cell definitions in each PLMNs' radio access network. The MSCs should also know the addresses and target location area identities of the neighbour MSCs. Providing that

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

these basic requirements are effective in the PLMNs, the operators have an Inter-PLMN handover agreement. This feature provides a way of controlling to which PLMNs the Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover is allowed for a particular group of subscribers. A group of subscribers is identified by the MCC-MNC and, optionally, by a part of the MSIN of the subscriber's IMSI. Typically, all the subscribers of a particular PLMN are considered as one group of subscribers, thus the analysis of only MCCMNC is enough in most cases. The Inter-PLMN handover is controlled by all the MSCs participating in the Inter-PLMN handover. Each MSC taking part in the Inter-PLMN handover plays one of the following roles: relay MSC, new relay MSC, or anchor MSC. The Nokia Siemens Networks DX MSC supports Inter-PLMN handover control while the Nokia Siemens Networks DX MSC plays any of the roles mentioned to guarantee that the Inter-PLMN handover can also be controlled in case some of the MSCs do not support the Inter-PLMN handover control (multivendor case). The figure below illustrates an example handover scenario in which the role of each MSC is shown.

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Feature description

PSTN

After handover

MSC-A (anchor) PLMN1


E-interface

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Before handover

E-

int

er fa

ce

E-interface

MSC-B (relay) Handover signalling BSC/RNC PLMN2

MSC-C (new relay)

BSC/RNC PLMN3

Route of control and user plane traffic before handover Route of control and user plane traffic after handover

moves IMSI1 IMSI1

Handover Signalling

Figure 2.

Subsequent Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover to MSC-C

The call is established in the MSC1 (Anchor). At the call setup phase, the MSC1 receives the handover agreement list from the VLR for the subscriber with IMSI1. When the Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover is attempted to MSC2 (relay MSC), the MSC2 asks the VLR for the handover agreement list of that subscriber. The same happens for the subsequent handover to MSC-C (new relay MSC).

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Note that the handover control is performed by each MSC in the same way, irrespective of the PLMN in which the MSC is located. Note also that all the MSCs are not necessarily in different PLMNs, but two or all of them can be in the same PLMN. The Inter-PLMN handover control uses a list of allowed PLMNs which the operator(s) creates in the MSC. The list is called a handover agreement list and it is created separately for each subscriber group in the VLR database. The VLR of each MSC involved in the handover finds out to which subscriber group (for example, to which PLMN) a particular user for whom the handover is attempted - belongs to, by analysing the MCCMNC part (and optionally a part of MSIN) of the subscriber's IMSI. As a result of the analysis, the VLR provides the MSC with the list. If an operator wants to prevent the Inter-PLMN handover for any group of subscribers, the Handover Agreement list can be left empty. The following example (see the figure below) illustrates a scenario in which there are Handover agreement list definitions in three PLMNs which have Inter-PLMN handover agreement between each other. The Inter-PLMN handover has been explicitly allowed to the other two PLMNs in each PLMN for all subscribers.

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Feature description

OPERATOR 1

OPERATOR 2

OPERATOR 3

MSC1

MSC2

MSC3

PLMN 1

PLMN 2

PLMN 3

HO_agree list for IMSI1: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI3: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3

HO_agree list for IMSI1: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI3: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3

HO_agree list for IMSI1: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI3: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3

Figure 3.

Inter-PLMN handover agreement between three PLMNs

Below is an example of a case in which one of the operators (Operator 2) wants to set some handover restrictions to particular subscriber groups.

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

Operator 2 has a roaming agreement with PLMN X. However, Operator 2 wants to prevent the Inter-PLMN handover for PLMN X subscribers to Operator 1 PLMN and allow Inter-PLMN handover to Operator 3 PLMN. This is achieved by Operator 2 by specifying the PLMN 2 and PLMN 3 into the Handover Agreement list used for the PLMN X subscribers. In the following example, a Handover Agreement exists between Operator 1 and Operator 2, and between Operator 2 and Operator 3. There is no Handover Agreement between Operator 1 and Operator 3. However, since an Inter-PLMN handover is technically possible from PLMN 2 to both PLMN 1 and PLMN 3, and, if roaming is allowed, without explicit restrictions the Inter-PLMN handover for subscriber's of Operator 1 to PLMN 3 is possible from the PLMN 2. The figure below illustrates how these handovers can be prevented, and the type of Inter-PLMN handovers allowed for PLMN 1, 2, 3 subscribers with the necessary definitions in Handover Agreement lists.
OPERATOR 1 OPERATOR 2 OPERATOR 3

MSC1

MSC2

MSC3

PLMN 1
IMSI 1, IMSI 2 IMSI 1, IMSI 2

PLMN 2
IMSI 2, IMSI 3 IMSI 2, IMSI 3

PLMN 3

NOT allowed

HO_agree list for IMSI1: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2 HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2

HO_agree list for IMSI1: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2 HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC1-MNC1, MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI3: MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3

HO_agree list for IMSI2: MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3 HO_agree list for IMSI3: MCC2-MNC2, MCC3-MNC3

Figure 4.

Inter-PLMN handover restrictions for subscribers

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Feature description

Note
Inter-PLMN handover and subsequent handovers within the target PLMN can be controlled even on the level of individual location areas, if the user is a national roaming subscriber. For further information, see Feature 124, National roaming. By means of equivalent PLMNs, the operator is able to upload a list of PLMNs to users' mobile stations which the mobile stations will use to prioritise the PLMNs in the PLMN selection process. The operator can specify the list for each subscriber group individually. For further information, see Feature 1260, Inter-system handover and UMTS changes.

MSC support for Inter-PLMN handover


.

When the target cell information is received from the BSC in CGI format

The MNC and MCC of the target cell are included in the message HANDOVER_REQUIRED from BSC. In this case, it is possible to have same LAC definitions in different PLMNs under different MSCs.
.

When the target cell information is received from BSC in LAC+CI format

The MNC and MCC of the target cell are NOT included in the message HANDOVER_REQUIRED from the BSC. Therefore, the LAC in the neighbour cells of the involved PLMNs must be unique (that is, they must have different values). In the handover procedure, the LA information is checked in the location area data files. If both operators have the same LAC, this can lead to an error situation. This feature provides the operator with the means to add the MNC and MCC values into the location area data files in the neighbour MSCs of the PLMN. In this case, the source MSC can read these values from the file and send them towards the target MSC in a MAP_PREPARE_HANDOVER message.

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Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

Tariff change support for Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover The PLMN operator can change the tariff when an Inter-PLMN handover occurs.

1.4.3

Feature usage requirements and limitations


Inter-PLMN Handover indication to MS Inter-PLMN Handover indication to MS is not supported. Usability of Inter-PLMN handover

NSN MSC A (Anchor) a b 1168 YES 1168 YES

NSN MSC B (Target) 1168 YES 1168 NO

Inter-PLMN handover A > B (LACs NOT unique) Y Y

Inter-PLMN handover A < B (LACs NOT unique) Y MAP ph2 used -> Y MAP ph1 used -> N N

Inter-PLMN handover A > B (LACs unique) Y Y

Inter-PLMN handover A < B (LACs unique) Y Y

1168 NO

1168 NO

Figure 5.

Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in Nokia Siemens Networks's DX MSCs.

NSN MSC A (Anchor) 1168 YES 1168 YES 1168 NO 1168

BSC A

Inter-PLMN handover A > B Y Y As in b, c in the table above As in b, c in the table above

CGI format (*) YES CGI format (*) NO CGI format (*) YES CGI format (*)

Figure 6.

Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in MSC vs BSC CGI format support.

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Feature description

* neighbour cell definition and HANDOVER_REQUIRED from BSC in CGI format.


NSN MSC A (Anchor) 1168 YES 1168 NO OTHER MSC B (Target) X X Inter-PLMN handover A > B (LACs NOT unique) Y N Inter-PLMN handover A < B (LACs NOT unique) Y N Inter-PLMN handover A > B (LACs unique) Y Y Inter-PLMN handover A < B (LACs unique) Y Y

Figure 7.

Usability of Inter-PLMN handover in Nokia Siemens Networks's DX MSCs vs other vendor's MSCs.

1.4.4

Files
The radio network configuration files in the MSC have been updated to support different PLMN codes.

1.4.5

Parameters
The operator can activate or deactivate the feature using an activation parameter. The operator can set the values of the parameter with the WOA command of the Parameter Handling MML.

1.4.6

Statistics
The operator can use the following reports which support CGI format:
.

MSC Observation report MSC Traffic Category Measurement report Handover report Handover observation report Threshold Alarms

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1.4.7

Charging
The tariff of the call can be changed due to an Inter-PLMN Inter-MSC handover. The Mobile Country Code (MCC) and Mobile Network Code (MNC) information are available in mobile originating (MOC), mobile terminating (MTC), forwarding (FORW), supplementary services (SUPS) and unsuccessful call attempt (UCA) CDRs. CDR generation in Inter-MSC handover The Incoming Call Control Parameters File and Outgoing Call Control Parameters File contain, among others, the HOCDR (Handover Ticket Generation) MML parameter, which must be set if the POC and PTC CDRs should be generated when an Inter-MSC handover occurs. The operator can change and/or interrogate the HOCDR MML parameter by means of the Call Control Parameters Handling MML. HOCDR must be set if the POC and PTC CDRs should be generated when Inter-MSC handover occurs in the source MSC. The All-ticketing Parameter File (CHPARA) contains three parameters which indicate what tickets should be generated in a handover case. These parameters should also be set to the correct values, and they are: HO_PTC_CDR : PTC ticket generation in MSC-A HO_POC_CDR : POC ticket generation in MSC-B HO_MTC_CDR : MTC ticket generation in MSC-B.

Note
These parameters are not subscriber-specific.

Source MSC's information available in MSC B As a new information for CDRs, the MSISDN number of the Source MSC can be included in MTC CDR in the target MSC. A parameter in the source MSC defines the number that will be sent as the calling number to the target MSC. The calling number can be either the MSISDN number of the source MSC or the MSISDN number of the subscriber. The operator can use this parameter in order to define which number should be used.

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Feature description

Note
Source MSC information is in the national format and it should be set if the operator of the target MSC wants to keep a record of the subscriber roaming in the network.

1.5

Capacity
This feature has no significant effect on capacity.

1.6

Restrictions
Location dependant services It is not possible to support Location dependant services, because the Anchor MSC does not have the necessary cell dependent information for the use of location dependant services (this is true also for the normal Inter-MSC handover). Control of normal and subsequent Inter-PLMN handover The list of the PLMNs to and from which the handover is allowed has a maximum of twenty entries.

1.7

Related and interworking features


.

Feature 124, National roaming: Inter-PLMN handover can be controlled and subsequent handovers within the target PLMN can be controlled even on the level of individual location areas, if the user is a nationally roaming subscriber.

Feature 1260, Inter-system handover and UMTS changes This feature provides the Equivalent PLMN functionality which enables the network to send instructions to mobile stations to whose PLMNs the MS should give a higher priority in the PLMN selection.

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AoC and Prepaid When the new e-parameters are provided by Charging modification analysis, the AoC and prepaid based on the AoC are supported.

1.8

Compliance
.

This feature is Nokia Siemens Networks-specific. This feature is supported in 3G.

1.9
1.9.1

Operator interfaces
MMLs
Network Location Area Address Handling MML With this MML, the operator can update location area specific data in a neighbour MSC of the PLMN in LAI format. The commands affected are: EIA EIR EIM EIO ADD LOCATION AREA TO NETWORK REMOVE LOCATION AREA FROM NETWORK MODIFY LOCATION AREA PARAMETERS OUTPUT NETWORK LOCATION AREA DATA

For more information, see Network Location Area Address Handling, EI Command Group. Charging Modification Handling MML With this MML, it is possible to create, modify, delete and interrogate the charging modification and the result of the charging modification. In addition, the type of the charging modification can be changed and the attribute value based information can be added. The commands affected are:

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Feature description

CMC CMD CMA CMM CMI

CREATE CHARGING MODIFICATION DELETE CHARGING MODIFICATION ADD ATTRIBUTE VALUE BASED INFORMATION MODIFY CHARGING MODIFICATION INTERROGATE CHARGING MODIFICATION

For more information, see Charging Modification Handling, CM Command Group. VLR and PLMN Parameter Handling MML With this MML the operator can create, interrogate and delete a list of PLMNs to which the Inter-PLMN handover is allowed for the subscriber. The list can contain a maximum of twenty different PLMNs. The command affected is: MXN MODIFY PLMN PARAMETERS

For more information, see VLR and PLMN Parameter Handling, MX Command Group.

Note
Every time the MXN is used, the previous list is overwritten.

Traffic Category Object List Handling MML New categories which affect the following commands: TRC TRD TRI ADD OBJECTS TO OBJECT LIST REMOVE OBJECTS FROM OBJECT LIST INTERROGATE OBJECTS FROM OBJECT LIST

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For more information, see Traffic Category Object List Handling, TR Command Group. Supervision of Disturbances MML The command affected is: TCQ Interrogate Three Threshold Measurement

When the measurement type is HOTOT, the execution printout includes two new lines for the new handover types. For more information, see Supervision of Disturbances, TC Command Group. Parameters Handling MML With the parameter ho_allowed_for_nat_roam., the operator can determine whether the handovers of national roaming subscribers are allowed outside the national roaming area or not. The operator can set the values of this parameter with the command WOC of Parameters Handling MML. The possible values are: TRUE FALSE Handovers are allowed Handovers are not allowed

Location Area Handling MML With this MML, the operator can update location area specific data in the MSC of a PLMN in LAI format. The commands are: ZELC CREATE LOCATION AREA

The MCC and/or MNC values cannot be changed. The default value should be 000 for both parameters, therefore these values cannot be entered by the operator (i.e. the MML does not accept 000 as valid values for MCC and MNC). ZELO OUTPUT LOCATION AREA

Base Transceiver Station Handling MML With this MML, the operator can update cell-specific data in the MSC of a PLMN in CGI format. The commands are:

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Feature description

ZEPC

CREATE BTS

The MCC/MNC values are checked when creating the cells. ZEPB DEFINE BSC-BTS-LAC RELATIONS

This command MCC/MNC includes an updating mechanism to the Cell Data File. Base Station Controller Handling in MSC MML When the MCC and MNC values are added to the NLAFIL file, there can be several LAC values with different MCC and/or MNC. The default value should be 000 for both parameters, therefore these values cannot be entered by the operator (for example, the MML does not accept 000 as valid values for MCC and MNC). The commands are: ZEDB OUTPUT INFORMATION ON BSSAP VERSION

This command shows BSSAP data and BSSAP relations to BSC and LAC in NLAFIL. The MCC and MNC information is provided into every printed LA.

1.9.2

Alarms
The relevant alarms will support the CGI format.

1.10

Subscriber interfaces
This feature has no subscriber interfaces.

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1.11
1.11.1

External interfaces
Network elements
Mobile Services Switching Centre (MSC) After this feature has been implemented, the MSC supports Inter-PLMN handover and tariff change when the PLMN changes due to this type of handover. Billing Centre (BC) This feature affects the Billing Centre because of the new fields in mobile originating (MOC), mobile terminating (MTC), forwarding (FORW), supplementary services (SUPS) and unsuccessful call attempt (UCA) CDRs. The mobile country code (MCC) and mobile network code (MNC) are included in the subscriber's location information in MOC, MTC, FORW, SUPS and UCA CDRs. The last exchange's ID type of number (TON) is added to MOC, MTC and FORW CDRs.

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Main changes in Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support

2
2.1

Main changes in Feature 1168: Multiple PLMN and Inter-PLMN Handover Support
Changes in the feature
This feature is implemented in M11.

2.1.1

Changes in the document


Changes made between issues 2-1 and 2-0 The title of the document has been corrected according to the approved feature name. Changes made between issues 2-0 and 1-4 The company and product names have been changed according to the official Nokia Siemens Networks portfolio naming.

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