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Draft Notes of the 35th Common Connection Standards Working

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					                                                                             CCSWG Doc 0051

Notes of the 44th Meeting of the Common Connection Standards Working Group
(CCS-WG of TSAC)

Date/Venue:            1 Sept 2000 (Fri) 2:30 p.m., OFTA's Conference Room

Present:               Mr K K Law          Smartone (Chairman)
                       Mr Patrick So       New T&T
                       Mr Francis Chan     New T&T
                       Mr S K Lam          HGC
                       Ms Judith Lam       HGC
                       Mr Daniel Wong      HTCL
                       Mr Honcus Luk       NWT
                       Mr C K Lin          NWPCS
                       Mr Shaun Yu         PCCW
                       Mr Sam Wong         PCCW
                       Mr Y C Cheng        PCCW
                       Mr Joey Chiu        Smartone
                       Mr Anthony Chan     Mandarin (Sunday)
                       Mr H C Ho           Peoples
                       Mr Ocean Fung       Peoples
                       Mr Samuel Wong      HK Cable TV
                       Mr T L Or           HK Broadband Network / HK ETS Society
                       Mr Eric Wong        HK Broadband Network
                       Mr Jackson Yuen     HKNET - Teligent
                       Mr W K Li           HKNET – Teligent
                       Mr Elvin Lam        Eastar Technology
                       Mr Kin Wong         HK ETS Assoc. – China (HK) Ltd
                       Mr Michael Chan     HKRPA – Chevalier
                       Mr C S Li           OFTA
                       Mr T S Chew         OFTA
                       Mr C H Chan         OFTA
                       Mr S T Cheuk        OFTA (Secretary)
                       Mr K K Sin          OFTA

Absent with apology:
                       Mr M K Li           Smartone Broadband
                       Mr Terence Ma       PSINet HK
                       Mr Wilfred Kwan     TAHK - Globalone
                       Mr Richard Lau      TAHK - Nortel
                       Mr Michael Ng       HKPF


Agenda Item 1 - Notes of last meeting (43rd CCS-WG Meeting of 6 July 2000)

1.   Mr Y C Cheng of PCCW proposed a slight amendment to paragraph 17 of the notes of last
meeting (CCSWG Doc 0036) which should read as "… Furthermore, he was concerned that mobile
networks might act as transit networks in some cases (eg inter-MSC routing)..". The amendment
was accepted and the notes were confirmed by members.


Agenda Item 2 - Matters Arising

Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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2.     Mr S T Cheuk reported that the working documents of CCS WG were now available for
retrieval by members on OFTA's web site with password control. He reminded members that the
password should only be disclosed to parties within organisations of the members on a strictly
need-to-know basis.


Agenda Item 3 - Proposed Revision to HKTA 2202 Specification on Network-to-Network
Connection

3.1   Delayed Release Message (DRS)

3.    Mr S T Cheuk introduced some comments received from PCCW, NWT, HTCL and NWPCS
(see CCSWG Doc 0037 and Annex 1 of notes) concerning the phasing out of DRS. After some
discussion, members agreed that DRS should be phased out (i.e. DRS should not be sent by
originating switches) in the networks by the end of 2002.

4.    Mr Shuan Yu of PCCW asked whether the release treatment of originating switch in response to
interworking with non-C7 encountered should be standardised (for example by sending REL instead
of DRS). The Chairman suggested that the DRS requirement should be settled first and need of
further standardisation could be discussed later.

3.2   Incoming Operator-Assisted Calls

5.     Mr S T Cheuk introduced some comments received from PCCW, NWT, HTCL and NWPCS on
CCS WG Paper No. 7/2000 (see CCSWG Doc 0037 and Annex 1). In response to the suggestion of
PCCW to consider the use of language digit for non-C7 signalling to identify operator calls in
accordance with ITU-T Recommendation Q.107, Mr S T Cheuk indicated that the concerned
provision in Q.107 applied to signalling systems No. 4, No. 5, R1 and R2 which were not used for
interconnection between FTNS and ETS in HongKong. In response to the comments of NWT that
ETS operators using non-C7 should arrange with succeeding operators to set the proper CPC, the
Chairman pointed out that the external traffic carried over non-C7 routes should account for very
small portion of the overall external traffic (less than 1 %) and that incoming operator-assisted calls
would account for an even smaller portion. He suggested that the CPC setting for operator-assisted
calls carried over C7 routes should be standardised first while CPC setting for non-C7 routes should
be left to commercial agreement between ETS operators and other network operators. In any case,
the impact of not having CPC for operator-assisted calls delivered over non-C7 routes should be
tolerable.

6.   In response to the comments of HTCL and NWPCS that external facilites / services operators
should separate collect calls from other operator-assisted calls before delivery to the local terminating
networks, the Chairman understood that any such arrangment should be based on bilateral
agreements same as existing practice for delivery of operator-assisted calls by PCCW.

7.     As for the technical solution to differentiate collect calls from other operator-assisted calls,
OFTA provided some information about a "collect call request" indicator which was defined in the
latest ITU-T Recommendations for ISUP (see CCSWG Doc 0045). Mr Y C Cheng pointed out that
the implementation of this indicator was not common in international practice. Since most
operator-assisted calls were routed from overseas, the usefulness of this indicator would depend on
the status of implementation by other international network operators. Nevertheless, considering that
the signalling protocol solution was better than dedicated trunk routes in terms of network efficiency,

Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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the Chairman suggested that the local network operators might consider the support of the "collect
request indicator" as one technical option for identifying collect operator calls in the long term.

3.3   Setting of Call Forwarding Parameters and Numbers

8.    Subsequent to the last meeting, some comments were received from CWHKTC, HTCL and
NWPCS concerning the setting of CF parameters (see CCSWG Doc 0037 and Annex 1). After
considering the members' inputs and noting also some recent discussion in the Telecommunications
Numbering Advisory Committee (TNAC) concerning the feasibility of inserting "redirecting
number" in C7, a CCS WG Paper No. 9/2000 was prepared in which the long term requirements of
the three CF number information parameters Original Called Number (OCN), Redirecting Number
(RGN) and Redirection Number (RNN) were proposed.

9.     Mr Y C Cheng pointed out that even if the concerned parameters were supported, there was
technical constraint in exchanging the parameters with PCCW's fixed network which used Telephone
User Part (TUP). Also, he did not see signficant incentive for existing networks which could not
support the concerned parameters to make the upgrades. For example, the application of OCN
parameter in terminating customer features like voice mail was only valid in special scenarios. For
the application of the RGN parameter, as he did not fully understand the operation of CF to
international services like the '307' level (e.g. whether one 307x xxxx number was allocated for one
customer or one overseas destination of a customer), he was not convinced that this could lead to
reduction of number resource utilisation. For the application of RNN in call re-routing, it was only
valid if C7 drop-back procedure was supported across networks. Unless there were concrete service
requirements, he did not see the justification to mandate the support of the parameters. Mr Shuan Yu
supported the view that there was no imminent requirement for mandating the support of the
parameters.

10. Mr Kin Wong of HK ETS Association supported the availability of the concerned parameters to
service providers on the basis that they could give flexibility for development of innovative services
which were important for the survival of small players in the telecommunications market. Mr T L Or
of HK ETS Society considered that availability of the parameters would stimulate new service
developments, and standards setting need not be pre-empted by concrete service requirements.

11. Mr S K Lam of HGC believed that the potential reduction of number resource for '307' type
PNETS application should be the most important consideration. He recalled that one concern
discussed in the TNAC was the need to advance 8 digits to 9 digits migration of the Numbering Plan
if the number consumption was great. Some members pointed out that the quantity of '307' type
PNETS numbers could not be reduced for those ETS operators using non-C7 even if RGN was
supported.

12. The Chairman observed that more study was required to justify the upgrades needed in existing
switches to support the CF number information parameters. OFTA pointed out that the proposal in
the discussion paper was for long term requirements and there should be no difficulty for new C7
switch / equipment. As for upgrade of existing C7 switch / equipment, OFTA would like to have
feedback from operators on the feasibility. All members were requested to give comments on CCS
WG Paper No. 9/2000 by 22 September 2000. [Action: All members]

3.4   Review of "Under Study" Items

13. Subsequent to the last meeting, five operators PCCW, NWT, NWPCS, Smartone and HTCL
provided inputs (see CCSWG Doc 0041 – 0044, 0047-48) concerning the current treatment of their

Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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networks for those "under study" items in HKTA 2202. In order to have a more detailed look into the
concerned inputs and to propose any amendment required in HKTA 2202 for these "under study'
items (see also paragraph 15), Mr Honcus Luk of NWT agreed to hold a sub-group meeting to have
further discussion on the issue. [Action: Mr Honcus Luk]


3.5   "Compliance Status" in HKTA 2202

14. Mr S T Cheuk introduced a proposal for the interpretation of the different "compliance status"
(complied, complied with notes, partially complied, not supported, under study, descriptive text) used
in the compliance tables for ITU-T Recommendations in Section II of HKTA 2202 (CCSWG Doc
0038). The proposed interpretation was intended to be incorporated in the draft Issue 3 of HKTA
2202.

15. Members agreed that the proposed interpretation was pragmatic and had the following
additional inputs:

      (a)   The "complied", "complied with notes" and "partially complied" status should mean that
            the concerned requirements should be implemented by all network operators using C7;

      (b)   The "not support" status should mean that most operators should not implement the
            requirements of ITU Recommendations; and some operators which might implement the
            requirements should have obligation to solve any interworking problem with other
            operators;

      (c)   The "under study" status should be renamed as "optional", and it should mean that some
            operators in Hong Kong might implement the concerned requirements of ITU
            Recommendations while the obligation for solving any potential interworking problem
            would be considered on case-by-case basis.


Agenda Item 4 – Review of HKTA 3202 Classification of HKTA 2xxx Series Specifications

16. After considering the comments from members on the Draft Issue 2 of HKTA 3202 in the last
meeting, Mr S T Cheuk presented a new proposal concerning the classification of HKTA
specifications for public telecommunications services (CCSWG Doc 0039). In short, it was proposed
that the HKTA specifications would be classified as two categories Mandatory Technical Standard
(MTS) and Voluntary Technical Standard (VTS), while other interface standards used by network
operators for special applications should be notified to the TA as Operator-specific Technical
Standard (OTS) which would not be issued as HKTA specification.

17. Mr Y C Cheng was concerned with the administration burden for notification of OTS for all
existing and new services provided by the operators. OFTA clarified that the notification was
required only for interface standards for user-to-network and network-to-network connection, and the
notification procedure could be further discussed to minimise administration burden. Mr Shuan Yu
considered that OTS should not be available for public access by default since there might be
commercial secrets involved. OFTA noted the concern and requested all members to give any other
comments by 22 September 2000. [Action: All members]


Agenda Item 5 – Transmission Parameters for Voice Services

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18. OFTA had recently noted some potential developments of Voice over IP (VoIP) services in the
local market. As such, there might be a need to define the basic performance of PSTN voice services
in end-to-end manner. For members' reference, a document prepared by the UK's Network
Interoperability Consultative Committee (NICC) on "Recommended Standard for the National
Transmission Plan for Public Networks" was distributed (CCSWG Doc 0040). The document
defined certain minimum performance standards for transmission parameters like transmission
levels, delay and echo, error performance, quantising distortion etc., which might also be considered
for standards setting in Hong Kong.

19.    Mr Samuel Wong of HKCTV opined that VoIP services were relatively new and operators
should be allowed to offer different grades of service without the need to set minimum performance
standards. Mr Y C Cheng pointed out that it would be difficult for radio access networks to provide
some guaranteed grade of service. Mr Joey Chiu of Smartone supported that there should be some
standards to govern basic voice quality in order to reduce customer complaints due to poor
performance of other networks. Members agreed to further study the need of setting standards for the
concerned transmission parameters and provide preliminary feedback to OFTA by 22 September
2000. [Action: All members]


Agenda Item 6 – Annual Review of HKTA 3208 Schedules A and B on Free Access Codes in
Private Payphone

20.   OFTA reminded the FTNS operators that the deadline for submitting any request for
amending the Schedules A and B of HKTA 3208 on free access codes in private payphone was 1
October 2000 for any amendment to be made in the year 2001.


Agenda Item 7 - Any other business

21. Mr Patrick So of New T&T introduced a short discussion paper on network annou ncement
(CCSWG Doc 0046) in which New T&T proposed the insertion of a "network identifier" in network
announcements to improve tracing of faults across networks which might be of intermittent or
transient nature.

22. Mr Y C Cheng was concerned with the lengthening of announcements and prolonged holding
of circuits if network identifier was included in all network announcements. Besides, the real
difficulty of fault tracing was not when network announcement was encountered but when network
tones were encountered. Mr Shuan Yu was concerned with the cost and frequency of
re-programming the announcements whenever there was a change in the name of the network
operator. Mr C K Lin of NWPCS was concerned with the resources required for longer
announcements and efforts of re-programming a large amount of network announcements including
those used for value added services. Mr Joey Chiu opined that while fault tracing could be improved,
there might be confusion caused to users and privacy concern in case the announcement heard by the
calling party was not provided by the network of originally called party as a result of call forwarding
and transiting.

23. The Chairman summarised that the benefits of inserting a network identifier in network
announcements were not perceived to justify the additional costs and efforts required. Mr Patrick So
noted the comments of members and would not pursue the matter further at this moment.


Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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                                                                              CCSWG Doc 0051


Agenda Item 8 - Date of next meeting

24. The next CCS WG meeting was tentatively scheduled on 12 Oct 2000 (Thur) 2:30pm in
OFTA's Conference Room. [Post meeting notes: the next meeting was re-scheduled to be held on 31
Oct 2000 (Tue) 2:30pm in the same venue]


                                       -   END of Notes –




Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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                                                                                         CCSWG Doc 0051

                                                              Annex 1 to Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting


Comments of NWPCS per action points of 43 rd CCS WG Meeting


1. Delayed Release Message (DRS)

According to vendor's reply, our switch is supported the DRS message but it should not send out the
DRS upon receiving ACM with interworking bit = 1.

We agree the nature phase out of supporting DRS and the phase out target date should be before end
of 2002.


2. Incoming Operator Assisted Calls

(Reference to CCS WG Paper No. 7/2000)

Para 11 - we agreed to use the CPC parameter = 02 to indicate the incoming operator call and shall be
specified clear in HKTA 2202.

Para 15 - We opt (a) as stipulated in CCS WG paper no. 7/2000, i.e. the external facilities /services
operator shall have ability to separate the collect calls from other types of operator assisted call by any
possible solution before passing the separated collect calls to the terminating switch. Spare CPC
setting ( =/= 02 ) to differentiate the collect call is agreed. Then the terminating switch and external
facilities /services operator should have their own right to discuss the treatment for conveying the
collect call and normal operator assisted call under mutual commercial agreement.

Para 16 - The differentiating of the collect call from other types of operator assisted call is not feasibl e
in terminating switch expect there is a key to identify the operator incoming collect call from normal
operator assisted incoming call conveyed from the external facilities /services operator.


3. Call Forwarding Parameters and Numbers

After consideration there is NO urgent requirement to use the Original Called Number, Redirecting
Number and Redirection Number during invocation of CF service except the use of the OCN / RDN
for the CND based charging. Besides NWPCS switch is not supported the Redirection number right
now, we need to have software upgrade to support it. If there is NO actual requirement, NWPCS does
not want to have any change.




Notes of 44th CCS WG Meeting
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