New EU Regulations on Inbound Roaming - Are you Compliant?
A recent EU regulation has required mobile operators in the whole of Europe to be compliant to the new rules on inbound roaming. This has posed several challenges to the network of these telecom operators.
EECC Directive 2018/1972/EC
The European Electronic Communications Code (Directive 2018/1972/EC) makes it mandatory for all the Member States of the European Union to make use of handset-derived locations to locate people calling emergency services starting from December 2020. When referring to this Directive 2018/1972/EC/article290, a combination of network-based location information and handset-derived location information should be made available to emergency services, once the call is set up. Emergency services will thus need to know and use the location of a subscriber. In detail, the location for inbound roamers will be required and it should be based on IMSI and or IMEI information.
In today’s judgment, the Court notes that it is apparent from the wording of the Universal Service Directive, that ‘all calls to the single European emergency call number’ are covered by the obligation to make caller location information available. With all calls, they mean from both national subscribers as inbound roamers.
This is also supported by yearly assessments that are done to analyse the efficiency and effectiveness of the European emergency number of 112. In specific, the assessment focuses on the volume of emergency calls made to 112, the answering time, equivalent access for disabled users, as well as the availability and accuracy of the caller’s location. The findings are used to further optimise access to emergency support services. (source https://ec.europa.eu/digital-single-market/en/news/2019-report-implementation-european-emergency-number-112). In the assessment done in 2019, the accuracy of the caller location (or Advanced Mobile Location, in short AML) was mentioned as a necessary improvement in this reporting period for several EU Member States. This Advanced Mobile Location (AML) requires a handset-based caller location solution that relies on GNSS and Wi-Fi signals.
What are the challenges?
Returning back to the EECC Directive. There are two main challenges that can pop up when searching for a solution that is compliant with the regulation to determine the location of an inbound roamer:
The Home HLR/HSS does not allow it to be queried to find the related MME or MSC where the inbound roamer is connected with, as a simple ATI/SLH is blocked.
There is no known relationship between the MSISDN and IMSI
Discover an MSC/MME Hunting Method
Solution MSC/MME Hunting Method = method to find out and query all MSCs and MMEs in your network. The request of location information from MSISDN -> send and provide subscriber information towards STP and MSC1. Logical flows can be built-in, if there is an unknown user, the query will go back and hunt down information from MSC 2 for example. Mimic what a GMLC does currently. The configuration of the software solution can be adapted towards your requirements, in this case as an intelligent and flexible GMLC. In a logical service flow, actions will be made to retrieve the necessary information. There is no impact on the network, by means of existing protocols that are used.
Biggest advantage: Since the deadline for this EU regulation is coming up rapidly, a quick installation can be assured in a few days, configured and live.