SS7 (Signaling System No. 7) is a protocol used in traditional telecommunication networks for call setup, routing, and other signaling functions. With the advent of IP (Internet Protocol) networks, there has been a trend towards carrying SS7 traffic over IP networks, which is commonly known as SS7 over IP.
The primary benefit of carrying SS7 traffic over IP networks is cost savings, as it allows service providers to use their existing IP infrastructure to carry SS7 traffic instead of maintaining a separate SS7 network. Additionally, it enables more efficient use of network resources and provides greater flexibility for the network.
To transport SS7 over IP, a protocol called SIGTRAN (Signaling Transport) is used. SIGTRAN defines a set of protocols for transporting SS7 messages over IP networks, including M2PA (MTP2 User Peer-to-Peer Adaptation Layer), M3UA (MTP3 User Adaptation Layer), and SCTP (Stream Control Transmission Protocol).
SS7 over IP has become increasingly popular as service providers seek to modernize their networks and keep pace with changing consumer demands. By leveraging IP networks to carry SS7 traffic, service providers can reduce costs associated with maintaining separate SS7 networks, while also providing greater flexibility and efficiency in network operations.
One key advantage of SS7 over IP is that it enables more efficient use of network resources. With traditional SS7 networks, dedicated circuits are often used to carry signaling traffic, which can be costly and inefficient. By contrast, IP networks can carry both signaling and data traffic, allowing for more efficient use of network resources.
Another benefit of SS7 over IP is that it enables service providers to take advantage of advanced network capabilities, such as virtualization and cloud computing. By virtualizing SS7 functions and running them in the cloud, service providers can reduce hardware costs and improve scalability, while also providing greater flexibility in network operations.
To transport SS7 over IP, SIGTRAN protocols are used. These protocols define the rules for transporting SS7 messages over IP networks, including the format of the messages, the protocol stack used, and the methods for handling errors and congestion.
The SIGTRAN protocol suite includes several layers, each with its own functions and protocols. The bottom layer is the Stream Control Transmission Protocol (SCTP), which provides a reliable transport layer for SS7 messages over IP networks. The next layer is the MTP3 User Adaptation Layer (M3UA), which defines the mapping between SS7 messages and SCTP streams. The top layer is the MTP2 User Peer-to-Peer Adaptation Layer (M2PA), which provides a peer-to-peer interface between SS7 nodes.
SS7 over IP is a popular approach for modernizing legacy telecommunications networks, providing cost savings, and enabling greater flexibility and efficiency in network operations.
In summary, SS7 over IP is a cost-effective and flexible approach to modernizing legacy telecommunications networks. By leveraging IP networks and SIGTRAN protocols, service providers can reduce costs, improve network efficiency, and take advantage of advanced network capabilities.