Guest post written by Ilia Abramov, Product Director @ Xura
Signaling networks, enabling the exchange of information that sets up, controls and terminates calls, have been through multiple stages of evolution since the early days of telephony.
Signaling System No. 7, or SS7, was developed to exchange information over digital signaling networks specific to mobile operators, and requires specialised equipment to fulfil even simple connectivity.
The complexity of its protocols, and the fact that it is used only by a closed circle of mobile operators, means that SS7 offers very controlled access to the networks themselves. That said, it’s worth bearing in mind that an SS7 network contains crucial information regarding a mobile network such as subscriber data, and mobility and authorisation information.
SS7 networks have since evolved to become IP-based, making them more accessible to a wider community outside of traditional mobile operators. But, with the emergence of cheaper, and better performing IP solutions, the level of trust has dropped significantly.