SS7 (Signaling System Number 7) defined by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU- T) is a globally adopted
protocol for out-of-band signaling systems.
The network elements involved in SS7 networks are SSPs (Signaling Switching Points), STPs (Signaling Transfer Points)
and SCPs (Signaling Control Points). These elements ensure signaling integrity and availability even if one or more signaling links fail.
The SS7 network manages calls by identifying end-to-end addressing and from there controls all the routing
judgments necessary for a seamless operation.
ISUP is a part of the complex signaling system SS7 that are used to set up and release calls through the PSTN.
ISUP end-to-end signaling is transported directly over MTP3 or SCCP levels.
GL's Message Automation & Protocol Simulation (MAPS™) designed for SS7 simulation over TDM (T1E1) can simulate Service Switching Point (SSP). The ISUP signaling specification conforms to ITU-T and ANSI standards. The tester supports testing network elements, error tracking, regression testing, conformance testing, load testing/call generation and generation of high volumes of ISUP traffic. MAPS™ SS7 functionality covers the ITU and ANSI variant of SS7 implementing MTP2, MTP3, and ISUP protocols. It is able to run pre-defined test scenarios against ISUP test objects in a controlled & deterministic manner.
The application is available as
- MAPS™ SS7 Emulator (Item # XX649)
- MAPS™ SS7 Conformance Scripts (Item # XX647)
MAPS™ SS7 Conformance Scripts (XX647) is designed for conformance tests and functional tests, where test objects can be accurately, reliably and comfortably validated for compliance with ITU-T standard Q.761-764 and Q.784. It is suitable for manufacturers, network operators and service providers to address all stages of the development cycle, regression testing through to type approval, acceptance testing.
The application gives the users the unlimited ability to edit SIP messages and control scenarios (message sequences). "Message sequences" are generated
through scripts. "Messages" are created using message templates
With the purchase of additional licenses (xx610, xx620, xxFT0) traffic can be simulated over T1/E1 interfaces. Supported traffic includes transmission and detection of TDM digits, voice files, single tone, dual tone, speech and FAX. Also supports various traffic events simulation during the course of a call, which is listed below:
TDM Traffic Events – digits, tones, files, speech, fax
- Send, and Detect Tones, Digits, File, Test Tone, Silence and verify speech bearer
- Stop Send Digits, File, Tone
- Stop Send - Stops Transmission of Tone
- Detect different tone types - dial tone, special dial tone, stutter dial tone, special information tone, call waiting, call in progress tone, reorder tone, busy tone, congestion tone, confirmation tone, howler tone, and ring-back tone
- Set region for call progress tones (Busy, Call Waiting, Dial, Ring, Congestion, Special Dial, Special Information) detection
- Send /Receive fax image (TIFF format) file from/to the specified location.
User can remotely perform all MAPS™ SS7 functions using MAPS™ client-server functionality (requires additional license), which includes scripting through a Command Line Interface (CLI) such as the Python, and TCL. Signaling and traffic functionalities such as start test bed setup, load scripts and profiles, apply user events such as send digits/file/tones, detect digits/file/tones, dial, originate call, terminate call, start and stop traffic and others can be performed remotely. User can also generate and receive calls through commands. The client application includes a MapsTclIfc.dll file, a packaged library that enables communication with the Server from a TCL environment, which is distributed along with MAPS™ CLI Server application.
GL also provides an independent GUI based SS7 protocol analyzers (optional application –
xx120) for online capture and decode of the signaling in real-time both during tests and as a stand-alone tracer for live
Supported Protocols Standards
||Standard / Specification Used
||ITU - Q.761, Q.762, Q.763 and Q.764
||Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of the People's Republic of China, Technical Specification of ISUP, 1996
||ANSI - T1.113.1 to T1.113.4
|Test & Network Management Messages (ITU, China)
||ITU-T Q.703, Q.704
|Test & Network Management Messages (ANSI)
||ANSI T1.111.4, ANSI T1.111.7
||EN 300 356 -1 V3.2.2(1998-08) Part 1
ISUP Call Simulation
Typical ISUP Signaling Procedure
ISUP Call Messages
ISUP Call Generation and Reception
MAPS™ ISUP is configured as end-terminals in the network simulating the ISUP signaling call and handling TDM traffic – voice, file, digits, VF, FAX, IVR over the established call.
|ISUP Basic Call Generation
ISUP Call Reception
As an example, MAPS™ ISUP Conformance is configured (SP B) with GL’s DCOSS (DUT). The purpose of this conformance test is to verify that on receipt of a Reset Circuit message SP A (DUT) will respond by sending a Release Complete message.
Reset of circuits Conformance
|The answer call conformance script is set against the Reset Circuit message in Incoming Call Handler Configuration, which is triggered when MAPS™ ISUP receives a release message with a given cause and the correct indication is given to the calling party. The call will be immediately released by the outgoing signaling point verifying the Unsuccessful call setup. The suggested causes are: unallocated number, no circuit available, switching equipment, and congestion.
Unsuccessful Call Setup Conformance
General MAPS™ Features
- Call Simulation & Control
- Multi-protocol, Multi-interface Simulation
- Script based and protocol independent software architecture
- Auto generate and respond to signaling messages
- Traffic Handling Capabilities (requires additional license)
- Fault Insertion, and Erroneous Call Flows Testing
- Pre-processing tools
- Easy script builder for quick testing to advance testing
- Customization of test configuration profiles
- Unlimited ability to customize the protocol fields and call control scenarios
- Centralized Control and Remote Access
- Command Line Interface (requires additional license)
- Option to send reports to database accessible via web interface
- Centralized control of multiple MAPS™ applications remotely from single client application
- Reports and Statistics
- Call Status, Link Status, and Message Statistics
- Capture Events, and Error Events
Call Simulation and Control
The signaling and traffic simulation in a call is completely implemented using scripts. Commands in the scripts are executed in controlled way to simulate protocol and traffic behavior. Most of the commands used in the scripts are generic and independent of specific protocol.
MAPS™ application acts as either the Caller or resides at the network terminal acting as Callee. The Call Generation feature simulates an outgoing call by sending call control messages to the DUT using scripts and profiles. The profiles allow necessary parameters of call control messages to be changed during runtime. Call generated from other entity can be automatically detected in call reception window by pre-setting the required answer scripts in the Incoming Call Handler.
The call control scripts can also automatically handle the traffic over the established call. MAPS™ supports transmission and detection of various traffic types over IP (RTP, GTP), ATM, & TDM - such as, digits, voice file, single tone, dual tones, fax, sms, email, http, ftp, and video. MAPS™ also includes support for wide range of codec rates – visit www.gl.com/traffic-simulation.html and www.gl.com/voice-codecs.html webpage for more details.
Message Sequence - Each call scenario provides the trace with full decoding of the messages exchanged between the MAPS™ and the DUT, and graphical ladder diagrams of the call flow with time stamp. Impairments can be applied to messages to simulate error conditions that occur in real-time networks.
Event-Driven Control - Scripts execution, being event-based, allows redirection of script execution on-the-go with user-defined events. The custom parameters in the events can also be changed during script execution using event profiles.
Script Contents & Script Flow - The script flow and the contents window displays the Script Name, Sub-script Name, Script line number, and script statements to be successfully executed, which help the users in troubleshooting a particular call scenario.
Bulk Call Simulation and Load Testing
MAPS™ supports automated stress/load testing capabilities through Load Generation and Bulk Call Simulation features. Bulk Call Simulation allows quick configurations to easily create multiple test entries with different scripts and profiles. Multiple tests can be run simultaneously or sequentially (queue up tasks in succession). Load generation feature further allows specifying the patterns with which the bulk calls can be generated. Load generation can be customized with different statistical distribution patterns such as Uniform, Ramp, Sawtooth, Fixed, Normal, Step, and Step-Sawtooth distribution. Call duration also can be randomized using similar statistical distribution. This feature also helps users configure Stress/Load Testing parameters such as Call per second (CPS), Max Active Call, Minimum and Maximum Call Rates, Start Call Rates, and other parameters.
Scheduler can be used to schedule the simulation of bulk calls or manual calls at a specific start time. The pre-saved master configuration files for test setup and call simulation are automatically loaded to automate the test procedure.
Customization of Test Setup Parameters
The test setup profiles (.xml files) allow users to configure the necessary parameters in order to establish communication between MAPS™ and the DUT. It includes configuring parameters of the network nodes, the network properties, and transport related configurations such as T1/E1 timeslots, IP Address and port numbers for both MAPS™ and the DUT.
Once the transport layer is configured properly, protocol specific signaling messages and traffic can be transmitted and received successfully. All parameters setup in test setup are global and are accessible to all scripts. These parameters initialize protocol engines and the transport modules specific to the protocol.
Customization of Test Parameters, Call Flow, and Protocol Messages Using Pre-Processing Tools
- Message Editor - The Message Templates (GL’s proprietary *.HDL files) comprises of protocol encoding parameters with preset values. It is required to create a message template for every message in a protocol. The message templates are called within the scripts to perform scenario based testing.
- Profile Editor – Profiles (*.xml files) are used to change the values of the fields in the messages (i.e. Message Template in MAPS™) during the course of a call. The multiple profiles with varying parameter values that allow users to configure call instances in call generation and to receive calls.
- Script Editor - The script editor allows the user to create / edit scripts and to define variables for the fields in the messages. The script uses pre-defined message templates to build call flow and perform send and receive actions. Script editor provides options to run the test for multiple iterations in sequential or random flow. Commands allow retransmission of messages with specific interval.
Command Line Interface
Supports scripting through a Command Line Interface (CLI) such as the Python, and TCL, using MAPS™ client-server functionality (requires additional license)
MAPS™ can be configured as server-side application, to enable remote controlling of the application through multiple command-line based clients. Supported clients include C++, TCL, Python and others. TCL provides a simple scripting language, with programming facilities such as looping, procedures, and variables. The TCL Client application includes a MapsTclIfc.dll file, a packaged library that enables communication with the Server from a TCL environment.
User can remotely perform all functions such as start test bed setup, load scripts and profiles, apply user events such as send digits/file/tones, detect digits/file/tones, dial, originate call, terminate call, start and stop traffic and so on. User can also generate and receive calls through commands. This client application is distributed along with MAPS™ Server application. Multiple MAPS™ CLI servers can be controlled remotely from single client application (such as TCL, Python, etc).
Call Statistics, Events, Link Status
Call Status & Message Statistics - By default, all call handling scripts (irrespective of the type of the functions) are assessed by MAPS™ to provide statistical information about Total Calls, Active Calls, Completed Calls, Passed Calls, Failed Calls, and Calls/Sec. It is also possible to categorize the statistical information as per the call handling scripts. In addition, Call Generation and Call Reception windows provide useful call status & script execution results.
In addition, Message Stats option for any specific protocol, logs number of times the messages are being transmitted (Tx Count) and received (Rx Count), thus allowing user to monitor the occurring events.
Events Reporting – MAPS™ provides Event Log, Error Events, and Captured Errors windows that log the captured events and errors encountered during the progress of the call.
Link Status - Link Status window indicates transport related information of the protocol, for example, if SCTP is used as transport, it indicates if the association is Up or Down in the Link Status window. MAPS™ IuCS ATM uses SSCOP transport and the associated link status is indicated as Up or Down in the Link Status window.
|ISUP Testbed Setup Configuration
||Load Generation Parameters
||Script Contents and Script Flow
Please Note: The XX in the Item No. refers to the hardware platform, listed at the bottom of the Buyer's Guide, which the software will be running on. Therefore, XX can either be ETA or EEA (Octal/Quad Boards), PTA or PEA (tProbe Units), UTA or UEA (USB Units), HUT or HUE (Universal Cards), and HDT or HDE (HD cards) depending upon the hardware.
A Typical MAPS™ SS7 Test System
A typical MAPS™ SS7 consists of:
- A TCL interface communicating over TCP/IP to a Rack PC with T1/E1 Analyzer Software
- The Rack PC consists of MAPS™ Client IFC, MAPS™ CLI Server, T1/E1 Analyzer Software (including Windows Client Server software) and a Dual T1/E1 Card
- A patch panel for RJ-11 connections to the outside world (DUT)
- TCL Client – Acts as User Interface, which executes TCL Scripts.
- MAPS TCL Interface (MAPS Client IFC) – acts as an interface between MAPS™ CLI Server and its client TCL. It interprets the TCL Commands and forms the appropriate command as understood by MAPS CLI Server and vice versa.
- MAPS™ CLI Server is an executable that inherits all features of MAPS™ without GUI. It listens to a TCP message socket to receive and execute commands from client and sends the responses back to client.
T1/E1 Windows Client Server - Windows Client/Server software performs all SS7 emulation primitives including signaling, tone detection, call progress signals, file transfer, and many more functions.
TCL application consists of three functional modules: Tool Command Language (Tcl) Client and Script, MAPS™ Tcl Interface, and MAPS™ Server
In CLI, MAPS™ Server constitutes two server modules, namely MAPS™ CLI server and GL WCS server.