Cisco IP Transfer Point

High-Density SS7 Aggregation Data Sheet

Data Sheet

Cisco SS7 Port Adapter for the

Cisco 7500 Versatile Interface Processor and

7200 VXR Routers Provide High-Density SS7 Aggregation


Today's mobile operators are experiencing increasing data traffic in Signaling System 7 (SS7) networks that are designed to carry signaling traffic for call setup and teardown. This data traffic increase is due to network capacity demand from mobile number portability, audience interaction services (televoting via Short Message Service [SMS]), downloading ringtones to mobile handsets, and more activities by subscribers.

The Cisco IP Transfer Point (ITP) solution allows mobile operators to use a more manageable and cost-efficient IP network as transport for SS7 traffic. The Cisco ITP solution will complement or eventually replace existing SS7 networks built of signaling transfer points (STPs).

The Cisco SS7 Port Adapter (product part number PA-MCX-8TE1-M) is a fundamental part of the Cisco ITP solution, providing high-density, high-throughput connectivity to traditional SS7 devices. This port adapter is a specialized T1/E1 hardware device that can only be used for SS7 Message Transfer Part Layer 2 (MTP2) connectivity. It is only supported in the rsp-itpv-mz Cisco IOS® Software Release 12.2 MB images. Table 1 highlights the general applicability of the Cisco SS7 Port Adapter.

Table 1   Features at a Glance

Feature Description


Singlewide port adapter with (8) T1 or E1 RJ-48c ports

Platform support

Cisco 7500 Versatile Interface Processor (VIP4-80 or VIP6-80)

Cisco 7204 VXR and 7206 VXR routers

Clock sources

Building Independent Timing Supply (BITS), line, or internally generated

BITS support

Physical connector: The two-wire interface is connected to the RX tip and ring inputs on the RJ-48 connector. Framing must be DS1 D4 super frame (SF) BITS source when operating in T1 mode, or No-CRC4 BITS source in E1 mode. BITS input via Composite Clock is not supported. Multiple BITS input sources may be received on the port adapter, and each assigned a priority for use.

Note: Minimum Cisco IOS Software is Release 12.2(4)MB6 for BITS support.

SS7 line clocking

Port adapter can receive the clock source from one or more SS7, T1, or E1 ports. Lines can each be assigned a priority for use.

Clock distribution

Clock distribution: Independent of the clock source, the PA can distribute the current primary clock source to all ports and links on the port adapter.

Holdover mode: While the external reference clock source is available, the port adapter's master clock generator will store timing data relevant to the reference signal. When all external clock sources are unavailable, the port adapter enters holdover mode to maintain timing integrity with stratum three-clock accuracy for up to 24 hours.

General feature support

  • Integrated channel service units/data service units (CSUs/DSUs)
  • Software configurable for E1/T1 mode
  • Software configurable for 56 or 64 kbps timeslots
  • Message Transfer Part Layer 2 (MTP2) Fill-In Signaling Unit (FISU)/Link Status Signal Unit (LSSU) generation and filtering
  • Drop and insert for non-SS7 timeslots
  • American National Standards Institute (ANSI), International Telecommunications Union (ITU), and China SS7 variant support

Minimum Cisco IOS Software release support

  • Release 12.2(4)MB3 for Versatile Interface Processor
  • Release 12.2(4)MB9 for Cisco 7200 VXR

Product Description

The Cisco SS7 Port Adapter is a singlewide port adapter designed to provide a full 8-port SS7 solution for the Cisco 7500 Versatile Interface Processor (VIP) and the Cisco 7204 VXR and 7206 VXR routers. The port adapter supports a maximum of 126 signaling links that can be distributed in any combination over the available eight physical T1/E1 ports.

The MTP2 of the SS7 protocol requires constant repetition Fill-In Signaling Units (FISUs) while no data is being transmitted. The port adapter complements the software implementation of MTP2 by repeating and filtering identical FISUs in hardware, freeing CPU resources and enhancing performance and throughput.

The RJ-48c ports are software configurable to support T1 or E1 (120-ohm) interfaces. A simple cable adapter for conversion to a 75-ohm coaxial cable interface is available. In T1 mode, each port can support up to 24 SS7 links for an aggregate data rate of 1.536 Mbps per port. In E1 mode, each port can support up to 31 SS7 links per port for an aggregate data rate of 1.984 Mbps per port.

Product Applications

The Cisco SS7 Port Adapter is ideal for telecommunications operators that want to cost-effectively aggregate traditional SS7 devices using Cisco ITPs. Table 2 highlights important features and benefits of the Cisco SS7 Port Adapter.

Table 2   Features and Benefits

Feature Benefit

High-density SS7 connectivity

Cost-effective per port for SS7 deployment

8 independent T1 or E1 ports

Flexible worldwide deployment with high port density

Integrated CSU/DSU

Eliminates the need for any external CSUs/DSUs or multiplexers

RJ-48c physical connectors

Optional E1 75-ohm configuration via the 120-75 cable adapter

Flexible timing options

BITS, line, or internal clock available. Capable of receiving redundant input sources and distributing the active timing source to all SS7 ports on the port adapter.

Mechanically keyed

Prevents incorrect slot installation

Product ID


System Requirements

  • Cisco 7513 or 7507 routers
  • Cisco 7500 VIP (VIP4-80 or VIP6-80)
  • Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(4)MB3 or later


  • Cisco 7204 VXR or 7206 VXR routers
  • Cisco IOS Software Release 12.2(4)MB9 or later


  • Electrical interfaces
    • Software-configurable DSX-1 line interface (T1) or E1 ITU G.703 on per-port adapter basis
  • Physical interface connectors
    • Eight (8) RJ-48c
  • Channel density
    • T1: 24 per physical port, 126 per port adapter
    • E1: 31 per physical port, 126 per port adapter
  • Line codes and framing supported
    • T1: AMI or B8ZS and SF or ESF
    • E1: AMI or HDB3 and CRC4 or Non-CRC4
  • SS7 link density
    • 126 signaling links per port adapter
  • Indicator LEDs
    • 10 LEDs per port adapter
  • Local alarms: Asserted when local receive-signal indicates an error
  • Remote alarms: Asserted when remote source indicates an error
  • Clock interface
    • Common network clock for all ports with backup clock
    • Common internal clock

Regulatory Compliance

Products bear CE Marking, indicating compliance with the 1999/EEC directives, which include the following safety and EMC standards:

  • Safety
    • UL 1950
    • CAN/CSA-C22.2 No. 60950-00
    • EN 60950
    • IEC 60950
    • TS 001
    • AS/NZS 3260
  • EMC
    • FCC Part 15 (CFR 47) Class A
    • ICES-003 Class A
    • EN55022 Class B with FTP
    • CISPR22 Class B with FTP
    • AS/NZS 3548 Class B with FTP
    • VCCI Class B with FTP
    • EN55024
    • ETS300 386-2
    • EN50082-1
    • EN 50082-1
    • EN 50022 class A with UTP
    • EISPR 22 class A with UTP
    • AS/N2 3548 class A with UTP
    • VCCI class A with FTP
  • Telecom (E1)
    • ITU G.703, G.704
    • CTR 12/13
    • ACA TS016
  • Telecom (T1)
    • FCC Part 68
    • Canada CS-03
    • JATE Green Book

Industry EMC, Safety, and Environmental Standards

  • GR-63-Core NEBS Level 3
  • GR-1089-Core NEBS Level 3
  • ETSI 300 019 Storage Class 1.1
  • ETSI 300 019 Transportation Class 2.3
  • ETSI 300 019 Stationary Use Class 3.1

Environmental Specifications

  • Operating temperature: 32 to 104° F (0 to 40° C)
  • Storage temperature: -4 to 149° F (-20 to 65° C)
  • Relative humidity: 10 to 90 percent, non-condensing