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Difference between ss7 and SIGTRAN

Sigtran vs OSI vs SS7

SIGTRAN and SS7 are widely used communication protocols used in a typical telecom setup. Entities such as MSC, VLR, HLR, SCP and SMSCs use these protocols to get things done. The following diagram shows a good relation keeping OSI in between as a reference model.

Sigtran vs OSI vs SS7

Difference between SS7 and SIGTRAN

One of the most basic difference is the lowest level and which is mostly the point of concern for any solution. For SS7 communication you require E1/T1 cards and cables which carry SS7 traffic. Special telephony cards manufactured by companies such as DigiumSangoma and Dialogic. To me this is the biggest difference between picking up SS7 or SIGTRAN as a communication medium. SIGTRAN is purely IP based, there is no need for a special card. The ordinary ethernet cable which connects your laptop to a switch can be used to connect your server to a telco's switch usually called a STP.

This makes a significant difference in cost involved and SIGTRAN has clearly a huge edge over SS7.

In my opinion configuring a SIGTRAN stack is significantly easier as well, depending on the protocol stack used. Mobicents provides a brilliant open sourced stack called JSS7 which is based on java and makes developing SIGTRAN applications a breeze and extremely cost effective. Sigtran Gateway has a really neat implementation of the stack and really simplifies application development for telcos.

If you have anymore queries regarding the protocols. Feel free to leave a comment. This is an ongoing piece of work and Ill update as time permits.