The Need and Opportunity for Interworking between SS7 and SIP

By Jim Machi

Even though mobile networks are transitioning to LTE, there are still plenty of 3G networks in active operation. In fact, according to the GSM Association’s report “The Mobile Economy 2018”, the global adoption of 3G is still growing in 2019. By 2025, 3G, when combined with 2G, is expected to still be the source of one third of all mobile connections! It’s not going away anytime soon. And that means an opportunity for interworking between SS7 and SIP protocols.

SS7-SIP Interworking

Global Mobile Adoption by Technology. Source: “The Mobile Economy 2018”, The GSM Association.

Interworking Necessary for Interoperability

This interworking allows the interoperability that is necessary when a call transfers between service providers (for instance, in an international call) or when a call is connected over multiple technologies even within the same service provider (for instance, a wireless call to a VoIP desktop phone in a call center).  

Different solutions may also utilize different versions of the underlying signaling protocols, which happens frequently with SIP. For instance, there is conversion required for interworking between SIP-I (SIP encapsulated with ISUP, a part of SS7) and SIP-T (a standard similar to SIP-I from another standards body).  

Consistent Service on Mixed Networks

There are also many different kinds of value-added solutions in the mobile networks, ranging from Caller Ringback Tones (CRBT) to Network IVR to voice texting. Interworking between the SS7 network and the IP networks will likely be required to ensure consistent experience across networks and systems.  

In addition, the creation and growth of many different IP-based networks will continue, and these different IP-based networks and the solutions running on them will need interworking to facilitate their services. They don’t operate in a vacuum. A call from a 3G network will undoubtedly come to an LTE, 5G, WiFi or landline IP-based network at some point. And they will need interworking to make this possible.  

Hopefully, you see my point. Mobile services operating on 3G networks will be around for quite some time. And they need to interoperate with all kinds of existing and new networks. To help you navigate this, Sangoma offers the Dialogic IMG 2020, an integrated media gateway that secures smooth connections between IP-based systems and mixed networks. Check it out here!

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About the Author

Jim Machi

Jim Machi is the Vice President of Marketing for Sangoma. He is responsible for developing and executing the global marketing plan, including digital strategy, partner marketing, content generation, lead generation activities, and launch planning.  Prior to Sangoma, Jim spent time at Dialogic and Intel in various roles, including business unit general manager and SVP of product management and marketing. Jim has a BSEE from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in finance from NYU.

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