Switching Centre (MSC) - The Mobile Switching Centre is the interface between
the base station system and the switching subsystem of the mobile phone network.
Furthermore, the MSC is also the interface between the cellular network and
the PSTN. The MSC generates all billing records and ensures that all usage is
directed to the appropriate account.
The MSC has a relatively complex task, as unlike a conventional telephone exchange, when GSM subscribers make calls they could be anywhere within the network. The MSC must ensure that calls are routed through to those subscribers, wherever they are and wherever they move to throughout the duration of each cell. This situation becomes even more complex when two mobile subscribers wish to contact each other from two distant locations.
In order to simplify the subscriber management function, a specific service area is allocated to each MSC. The MSC has to control the switching of tariff to and from the subscribers within it's service area which involves the co-ordination of all radio resources and the inter cell hand-off activities.
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