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Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP)

The Signaling Connection Control Part (SCCP) layer of the SS7 stack provides provides connectionless and connection-oriented network services and global title translation (GTT) capabilities above MTP Level 3. SCCP is used as the transport layer for TCAP-based services.  It offers both Class 0 (Basic) and Class 1 (Sequenced) connectionless services. SCCP also provides Class 2 (connection oriented) services, which are typically used by Base Station System Application Part, Location Services Extension (BSSAP-LE). In addition, SCCP provides Global Title Translation (GTT) functionality.

The signaling connection control part (SCCP) provides two major functions that are lacking in the MTP. The first of these is the capability to address applications within a signaling point. The MTP can only receive and deliver messages from a node as a whole; it does not deal with software applications within a node.

While MTP network-management messages and basic call-setup messages are addressed to a node as a whole, other messages are used by separate applications (referred to as subsystems) within a node. Examples of subsystems are 800 call processing, calling-card processing, advanced intelligent network (AIN), and custom local-area signaling services (CLASS) services (e.g., repeat dialing and call return). The SCCP allows these subsystems to be addressed explicitly.

The signaling connection control part (SCCP) provides two major functions that are lacking in the MTP. The first of these is the capability to address applications within a signaling point. The MTP can only receive and deliver messages from a node as a whole; it does not deal with software applications within a node.

While MTP network-management messages and basic call-setup messages are addressed to a node as a whole, other messages are used by separate applications (referred to as subsystems) within a node. Examples of subsystems are 800 call processing, calling-card processing, advanced intelligent network (AIN), and custom local-area signaling services (CLASS) services (e.g., repeat dialing and call return). The SCCP allows these subsystems to be addressed explicitly.

The second function provided by the SCCP is Global Title translation, the ability to perform incremental routing using a capability called global title translation (GTT). GTT frees originating signaling points from the burden of having to know every potential destination to which they might have to route a message. A switch can originate a query, for example, and address it to an STP along with a request for GTT. The receiving STP can then examine a portion of the message, make a determination as to where the message should be routed, and then route it.

For example, calling-card queries (used to verify that a call can be properly billed to a calling card) must be routed to an SCP designated by the company that issued the calling card. Rather than maintaining a nationwide database of where such queries should be routed (based on the calling-card number), switches generate queries addressed to their local STPs, which, using GTT, select the correct destination to which the message should be routed. Note that there is no magic here; STPs must maintain a database that enables them to determine where a query should be routed. GTT effectively centralizes the problem and places it in a node (the STP) that has been designed to perform this function.

In performing GTT, an STP does not need to know the exact final destination of a message. It can, instead, perform intermediate GTT, in which it uses its tables to find another STP further along the route to the destination. That STP, in turn, can perform final GTT, routing the message to its actual destination.

Intermediate GTT minimizes the need for STPs to maintain extensive information about nodes that are far removed from them. GTT also is used at the STP to share load among mated SCPs in both normal and failure scenarios. In these instances, when messages arrive at an STP for final GTT and routing to a database, the STP can select from among available redundant SCPs. It can select an SCP on either a priority basis (referred to as primary backup) or so as to equalize the load across all available SCPs (referred to as load sharing).

 

NEXT (TCAP)

 

Links

SS7 Forum

protocols.com SCCP tutorial

www.iec.org SCCP Information

www.pt.com SCCP Tutorial