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Core Network Server (MSC/GMSC Server)

The MSC performs all necessary functions in order to handle the circuit switched services to and from the UE. It controls calls to and from other telephony and data systems. The MSC Server handles call control for circuit-based services including bearer services, tele-services, supplementary services, charging and security, besides controlling resources related to circuit-based services. It can control user plane resources related to circuit-based services in an external Media Gateway via the GCP protocol. The MSC Server provides mobility-management and connection management. It has the capabilities to support mobile multimedia. MSC Server can control several different Transport Networks: TDM, ATM or IP.

The hardware and software of MSC Server can be adjusted according to the operators needs and dimensioning mechanisms. MSC Server supports a wide range of standardized protocols including RANAP, BSSAP, N-ISUP, BICC, MAP, CAP, INAP, and GCP.
The main function of the MSC Server is to handle call control for circuit-based services. The MSC Server can control user plane resources related to circuit-based services in an external Media Gateway via the GCP protocol. See below

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Core Network Server (MSC/GMSC Server)..continued


The functionality of the MSC Server is determined by the used configuration. The Gateway MSC Server (GMSC Server) and the Transit Switching Centre Server (TSC Server ) functionality are always included. If server configuration that supports TDM signalling is chosen, then also STP functionality is included. It is also possible to integrate the following applications (logical nodes) with the MSC Server: Home Location Register (HLR) and with it optionally Authentication Centre (AUC) and Flexible Numbering Register (FNR) IN Service Switching Point Server (SSP Server) and with it optionally IN Service Control Point (SCP) The MSC Server supports signalling towards external nodes with various transport technologies as well as with combinations of them: ATM (for ETSI and TTC standard) IP (for ETSI and ANSI standard) TDM

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Functionality
The MSC Server supports a wide range of services and functionality for both WCDMA and GSM. Most of the functionality provided by MSC Server is applicable to ETSI (also China WCDMA), ANSI and TTC standards. However, one should refer to the respective feature description for a specific functionality to see which standards or markets it is applicable for and for a detailed explanation of it. General Call Handling and Mobility Management: MSC Server handles general call handling, mobility management and connection management functions like traffic control, roaming, call routing and handover. Also support for number portability is provided. MSC Server provides circuit-based connection management. A/Iu control signalling is performed between the MSC Server and BSC/RNC, while the user plane is set up via Media Gateways without passing the MSC Server. In the event that tones, announcements, connection of transcoder, etc., are required, the MSC Server orders the devices to be connected. Media Gateway (MGW) selection is done by using the Bearer Independent Call Control (BICC) mechanisms. Hence, during the call setup chain, when needed, MSC Server selects the MGW. MSC Server supports WCDMA to GSM and GSM to WCDMA intra- and inter-MSC handover. MSC Server supports Global Equal Access, which enables subscriber and operator to choose inter-exchange carrier for long distance and international destinations. Optimal Routing at Late Call Forwarding (LCF), also introduced in this release, enables routing the call back to serving GMSC in case of LCF is detected in the terminating MSC. Support for multicountry networks and for shared networks has also been enhanced. MSC Server supports teleservices like telephony, emergency calls, and short message services (SMS). SMS functionality is enhanced with SMS MAPv3. Datacom Service: MSC Server provides circuit switched datacom functionality with bearer, modem and multimedia services capabilities. In order to support circuit-switched data services within GSM and WCDMA networks, an Interworking Function (IWF) is needed. IWF is implemented in the Media Gateway. MSC Server supports multimedia capabilities according to the 3G.324M variant of H.324 for 3G mobile networks. Supported user rates for WCDMA and GSM differ from each other. The MSC Server uses the resources in the Media Gateway to provide the bearer services. With a bearer service, the network provides a transmission path for speech and data between user interfaces. Via IWF, MSC Server supports modem functionality in accordance with relevant ITU-T specifications.

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Charging: The MSC Server provides a very flexible charging mechanism for both post- and prepaid charging. The MSC supports Toll Ticketing (TT) as a charging method. Toll Ticketing allows all calls made and services performed in a PLMN to be recorded in the Call Data Records (CDR). The CDRs are transferred to an external billing system, where the calls and services are priced and charged to the relevant subscribers.

CDRs are output after the call is completed or because of long call duration. However, there is optionally the possibility to generate additional CDRs for selected subscribers already at the time when B-party answers the call or at all supplementary service invocations.
Charging of Voice/Data Services is based on time measurement. In the charging analysis, information about the requested bearer service and tele-service is analyzed to point out a tariff that may be output in the CDR. CDRs can be created for the following traffic cases; Originating Call, Roaming Call Forwarding, Call Forwarding, Terminating Call, SMS, Supplementary Service Procedure, Transit Call and IN/CAMEL Call. Also necessary functionality for supporting accounting between network operators is provided. In this case the accounting is performed in an interconnect charging system, using the information in the CDRs. Charging Support for Number Portability, introduced in this release, includes portability information in the CDR in order to apply the correct tariff for a call to a ported number. Charging Audit Function, also included in this release, allows early detection of charging configuration errors thereby reducing loss of revenue. Also other charging related enhancements are introduced, which contribute to even more robust charging with no loss of charging data. Intelligent Networks and CAMEL Services The Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic (CAMEL) feature is a GSM Phase 2+ and WCDMA network feature providing the mechanisms to support operator-specific services that are not covered by standardized GSM or WCDMA services, even while roaming outside the Home PLMN (HPLMN).

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Intelligent Networks and CAMEL Services..continued The Customised Applications for Mobile network Enhanced Logic (CAMEL) feature is a GSM Phase 2+ and WCDMA network feature providing the mechanisms to support operator-specific services that are not covered by standardized GSM or WCDMA services, even while roaming outside the Home PLMN (HPLMN). The operator-specific services are implemented using Intelligent Network (IN) principles, whereby the CAMEL network feature provides the mechanisms necessary for integrating IN functional entities (SRF, SSF and SCF) into the GSM/WCDMA network, including support for roaming. This feature implements the gsmSSF and gsmSRF functions and necessary mobile IN access functions into the MSC and GMSC nodes as shown below.

CAMEL is an integral part of ETSI and 3G PP standards and plays an important role as part of the Virtual Home Environment concept. CAMEL is also an integral part of the evolution of the Core Network (GSM WCDMA), CAMEL standards are equally valid between GSM and WCDMA and Services will continue to work without modification. -5-

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Network Quality and Efficient Infrastructure MSC Server is one the key nodes in the Circuit Switched Core Networks that enable the introduction of the Layered Network Architecture. The main driver for this introduction Is the benefits related to network quality and efficient infrastructure. The fact that the control layer, where the MSC Server is located, is independent on the connectivity layer, where the MGw is located, enables business-wise optimal timing of the investments in each of the layers. Smooth MSC Server . MGw inter-working is provided by flexible MGw selection and load control mechanisms. Another benefit is related to the possibility to centralize the control and decentralize the switching, as shown in the diagram below.

Another benefit is related to the possibility to centralize the control and decentralize the switching, as shown in the diagram below. Using this concept enables easier network deployment and management. Additionally the number of server sites in the network can be reduced and they can be located outside the expensive city areas. -6-

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Core Network interfaces In the following table the main interfaces and the corresponding protocols are listed.

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