The Modulo Blog

Replacing a Mobile Switching Center (MSC) or Billing Server without Worrying About Compatibility Issues

Most Mobile Network Operators, even those who have 4G deployed in their network, handle their billing and Intelligent Network (IN) services on their legacy (2G/3G) infrastructures.

Many operators face the need to upgrade their MSC (Mobile Switching Center) or their billing server at some point. In many cases, the MSC and billing server will operate using different protocols (CAP/WIN vs. Diameter). Since there are no standards for CAMEL to Diameter conversion (or WIN to Diameter), replacing only one of these network elements can cause communication problems in the network.

There could be a case in which for the purpose of voice call billing handling, a 3G MSC needs to connect to a new 4G OCS. The problem is, 3G MSCs signal using the SS7 protocol, and 4G billing systems usually use the Diameter protocol. A protocol conversion mechanism is necessary, to allow these network elements to communicate. Another use case – cellular data handling: If a 4G P-GW needs to connect to a legacy (3G) billing system. If the P-GW is diameter based, and the 3G billing system is CAP (CAMEL Application Part) based, they won’t be able to exchange signaling.

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These types of protocol mismatches can be solved by using Modulo’s CAMEL Gateway. Our Intelligent Network Gateway software converts CAMEL/WIN signaling to Diameter signaling (and the other way around, CAMEL-Diameter-CAMEL), allowing MNOs to upgrade their MSC or billing server without worrying about the difference in communication protocols.

Modulo has partnered with BroadForward to offer a comprehensive protocol conversion and routing solution for Mobile Operators who are looking to replace their OCS or MSC and expect compatibility issues. Our solution can allow networks based on different mobile network technologies (for example, a UMTS network and a CDMA network which are both owned and operated by the same operator) to share billing servers. Modulo’s CAMEL Gateway provides the necessary CAP to Diameter Interworking Function that allows Diameter-based billing servers to operate seamlessly with SS7 based Switching Centers, while BroadForward’s BFX provides Diameter Routing, Mediation and additional interworking if necessary. This combination allows our solution to connect billing services and Intelligent Network Services between different billing servers (if there is more than one) and MSCs, or even between different networks, whether it is 4G LTE and 3G GSM/UMTS, or WIN CDMA.

More About the Modulo IN Gateway

The Modulo IN Gateway is a smart interworking function (IWF) that converts CAMEL or WIN signals into Diameter or HTTP. Our solution enables even small-scale mobile operators to offer their customers Intelligent Network (IN) services in a simple, cost effective way with a REST HTTP API.

Modulo and BroadForwards’ unique solution provides flexibility in choosing billing services for the mobile network, by allowing seamless billing processes with any billing server, while avoiding compatibility issues that can create problems in the mobile network.

If a Mobile Operator doesn’t have Intelligent Network (IN) Services deployed in their network, or wants to create new services easily and cost-effectively, our gateway also allows them to create these services themselves with an easy-to-use HTTP REST API.

The IN-GW allows for a wide variety of Intelligent services. Here are some examples for IN services that our product enables:

  • Number translation (*123)
  • Prepaid real-time billing
  • Call Interception – for security forces
  • Screening (code for family when going overseas) (Enter a code to pass a call through to a number)
  • Internal dialing for groups (short numbers within organizations)
  • Reverse charging (such as collect calls)
  • And more…

For more information about our Intelligent Network Gateway solution, please visit our CAMEL Gateway product page or contact us directly at sales@modulo.co.il or https://www.modulo.co.il/contact.