CIBER X2 Migration - CDMA Development Group

CIBER 2.5 Migration
1.1 Purpose
This document describes the history of the CIBER X0 to X2 migration and discusses
operator issues in relation to production and processing of the record types.
1.2 Referenced Documents
CIBER Protocol
1.3 Acronyms and Abbreviations
Cellular Intercarrier Billing Exchange Roamer protocol, used to send
roaming billing data from the serving operator to the home operator
CIBER version, released in 1992. Also known as the X0 format.
CIBER version, released in 1999, updated version 2.0 of CIBER. Also
known as the X2 format.
Transferred Account Procedure. Roaming billing record format developed
for GSM Operators.
Wireless Number Portability
Generic term for original CIBER 2.0 records (Type 10, 11, 20, 30, 40,
and 50). Derived from the last digit of the records, which ends in 0
(Type 11 excepted).
Generic term for CIBER 2.5 records, introduced in 1999 (Type 22, 32,
42, and 52). Derived from the last digit of the records, which always
ends in 2. X2 records are typically either native (created from the billing
system as X2 records or converted (created as some other format and
converted into X2).
1.4 Contributors
TELUS Mobility
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X2 Record Development
2.1 Industry Migration Plan
Cibernet introduced the X2 record types in 1999 in response to the United States’
Wireless Number Portability initiative. The new records were based on the X0
record types and included additional fields allowing more-detailed information for
ported numbers, including the ability to separate the Mobile Subscriber
Identification (MSID) from the Mobile Dialable Number (MDN), both of which were
combined into a single MIN (Mobile Identification Number) in X0 records.
The X2 records also provided additional improvements, such as fields identifying
the serving country and the called country, allowing more-detailed pricing for
international roaming and dialing.
Due to delays in adoption of WNP in the US, as well as the limited urgency for nonUS operators to modify their billing systems, Cibernet agreed to support both X0
and X2 records until the entire CIBER user community had time to implement the
X2 upgrades and produce CIBER X2 records. However, all CIBER operators were
required to be able to accept X2 records after June, 1999.
In March, 2005, at the request of the user community, Cibernet announced that X0
records would no longer be supported in the CIBER protocol as of March, 2006.
After this time, all new CIBER operators would only receive documentation for X2
records, and all changes to CIBER would only include updates to X2 records.
Cibernet also stated that X0 records will no longer be valid for CIBER exchange
after this time.
2.2 Impact of Continued Use of X0 Records
While the majority of CIBER users have migrated to production of X2 records,
many have continued producing X0 records, allowing a third party to convert the
records into X2 when required. In addition, some operators have adopted nonCIBER billing systems, such as those using TAP, and have allowed third parties to
convert these records into X2.
While third-party conversion can produce CIBER X2 records that are technically
valid, information is always lost when converting from a less-detailed format into a
more-detailed format. This process can cause difficulty for the home carrier, as X2
records coming in often lack necessary detail necessary for billing the subscriber.
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2.2.1 Country of Origin/Termination
X2 records include fields for the serving operator to designate the country where
the subscriber was served. In addition, the record includes fields allowing
identification of the country where the call was dialled (for mobile originated) or
originated (for mobile terminated calls). This allows the home operator to easily
determine whether the roaming call was domestic or international. Because the
fields are in the call record, this can be determined without maintenance of a
database or other external analysis by the home operator.
2.2.2 Number Portability
Because the dialable number (MDN) and the subscriber ID are separated in WNP
environments, X2 records allow separation of the Subscriber ID and the dialable
number. In X0 records, this separation is not possible, and some validation rules
provide unreadable results. For example, in an X0 mobile terminated call, the
dailed number is the subscriber’s phone number, and this is—in the X0 records
only—a MIN. The subscriber’s phone number must appear in the MIN field, but
this number is often not the subscriber’s identification. The sending party thus has
the choice of
Sending the correct ID but having the record rejected because the
dialable number isn’t present, or
Sending the correct phone number in the MIN field, preventing the
home operator from being able to bill the correct subscriber because the
subscriber ID is not present
Use of X2 records prevents such difficulties, because the two data elements
(subscriber ID and dialable number) have their own fields and are not both forced
into the same field.
2.2.3 Home Network Pricing
Use of non-X2 record formats sometimes also creates an inability to correctly price
the subscriber’s call using the information in the record.
For example, if the home network has a policy of pricing calls from its subscribers
to its subscribers differently, even when one or both parties is roaming, then the
home network must know both of the parties’ phone numbers. X2 records have
appropriate fields to allow this analysis, but X0 records do not. Therefore,
submission of X0 records can prevent the home operator from pricing calls as
advertised or force the home operator to change its pricing method.
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2.3 Solutions
To date, the CIBER community has identified three solutions for the X2 migration
2.3.1 Conversion
The data clearinghouse or other third party converts the non-X2 records into the
proper X2 format. This results in records that pass CIBER validations at the home
operators’s DCH, but the X2 records do not have the full set of information
provided for in the X2 format.
Tightening of CIBER X2 Edits
During the initial implementations of the X2 records, many of the non-X2 operators
requested loosening of the validation rules so that their records could pass edits
when converted from other formats. Now that X0 records are no longer valid for
exchange, these loosened rules may not longer be necessary. Because non-native
X2 records frequently pass edits but lack some of the allowed information, Cibernet
will work with the operators and data clearinghouses to tighten the X2 edit rules so
that records lacking information will be rejected more often.
2.3.2 Roaming Agreement Modification
Operators requiring the complete X2 data set can require roaming partners to
create “native” CIBER 2.5 records rather than converting from another format.
While most operators have modified their billing systems to produce CIBER 2.5
records and all operators have modified their billing systems to accept CIBER 2.5,
some operators continue to produce records that do not conform to the latest
version. The CDG Voice & SMS Working Group has identified a need to encourage
the remaining operators to migrate their systems to native CIBER 2.5 instead of
conversion from other formats into the latest X2 formats. One of the objectives of
the VSWG is to explore additional solutions to supplement those identified in this
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