AIN Advanced Intelligent Network

SS7 (Signaling System 7)


 Advanced intelligent networks have become a buzz word in telecommunications today. Each carrier has its own version and interpretation of these smart networks, but virtually all use SS7 to implement their AIN. While each version may differ, the concept of AIN is the same. Before calls are sent to their final destination, the network queries a database asking, "what should I do with this phone call?" The response determines how the call is handled.  This is a tremendous saving of resources, since the call does not have to be attempted if the remote end is busy.  In addition, if offers all kinds of advanced features, such as distinctive ring, caller ID, 900 number blocking, enhanced Toll-Free features, etc.

Advanced intelligent networks operate over SS7 (Signaling System 7). SS7 is an industry standard for transmitting signaling information in a switched network. It is designed to efficiently transfer information between network Signaling Points and interconnected networks.

SS7 utilizes out-of-band signaling to improve call processing setup times. Signaling information is sent ahead of a call, over a separate channel, to establish and control network connections. This set-up information includes supervisory signals (answer, non-answer), billing information (who called whom and for how long) and network management signals such as maintenance test signals and routing information.

Advanced intelligent networks generally include three basic elements:

Signaling Points (SPs)

SPs are digital telephone switches that query the SCP for customer-specific instructions on how to handle a call. They reside inside the DMS switch and convert the call to be SS7 compatible.

Signal Transfer Points (STPs)

STPs are high-speed packet switches that shuttle queries/responses between SPs and SCPs.

Service Control Points (SCPs)

SCPs are computers holding databases of customer-specific information. It is accessed by the network for call routing information. These are high-speed supercomputers, such as the Cray II.