All IP Task Group

The NICC All-IP Task Group is responsible for identifying solutions to issues found during the telecommunications migration to All-IP voice services (for PSTN voice services) creating standards to minimise disruption caused by the change of the underlying technology.

Focusing initially on three industry sectors (Telecare, Alarm & Security and Payment Card services) that provide telecare alarm pendants, fire and security alarms, bank card readers (i.e. payment machines) at retail outlets etc. the Group developed ND1132 – Guidance for the transport of data in an All-IP Telephony world.

Inherently, IP networks introduce delays. In some circumstances these delays can cause service disruption or failure.

A recently published Guidance Document (ND1431 – Guidance on CPE Compatibility for All-IP Telephony Networks) provides guidance to CPE Manufacturers, Service Providers, Network Designers and Network Operators.

A useful document, ND1445 – All-IP Telephony Industry Guidance and Lessons Learnt, which provides CPs with key scenarios to test when implementing voice over IP networks; and is a repository for industry lessons learnt with particular attention to the migration from traditional Circuit Switched based voice services to Voice provided over an IP bearer.

The Group is also developing new architecture standards to support telephony over IP networks.

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SIP Task Group

This Task Group is responsible for developing NICC standards for any matter concerning the use and interworking of SIP signalling protocols over the UK telecommunication networks.

The scope of the Task Group covers the user to network interface and the network-to-network interface.

The Task Group is developing a SIP Implementers’ guide, ND1442, (addressing implementation issues experienced in SIP networks) and updating existing specifications to align with the latest overload control document, ND1657.

The TG is also updating ND1037 (NICC Standards Limited SIP – ISUP Interworking), ND1034 (UK SIPconnect Endorsement) and has recently republished ND1035 (SIP
Network to Network Interface Signalling).

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Emergency Location Task Group

The EmLoc Task Group is reviewing and updating TSG023, which is the NICC Reference Document that provides guidance to NICC members on the routeing of SIP based emergency traffic in the UK.

The NICC All-IP Task Group is also working on ND1654, which defines the architecture for telephony in an All-IP environment.

In addition, the NICC EmLoc TG is developing ND1656, based on the content of ND1654 and TSG023, that will provide specific guidance to CPs as well as Emergency Authorities concerning the support of emergency calling within an IP environment.

The TG is looking to enhance location information that is provided to both stage 1 and 2 PSAPs through the use of additional SIP signalling. As such, we are looking at standardising accurate location information that can be transported over SIP networks.

Following on from the above, the TG will move to investigate how the implementation of Next Generation eCall could be supported in the UK.

This work area will significantly impact on the way emergency calls are dealt with and managed in the UK by all Communications Providers.

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Nuisance Call and CLI Task Group

This NICC Task Group is the UK Technical Forum to discuss the reduction of nuisance and scam calls in the UK.

The Task Group also provides the technical standards for the implementation of the Ofcom CLI Guidelines, in ND1016 – Requirements on Communications Providers in relation to Customer Line Identification display services and other related services.

This Task Group has already worked closely with Ofcom to publish guidance to block some nuisance and scam calls from abroad, specifically those with a UK Network Number (the number the call comes from) as the CLI. This guidance is contained in ND1447 – Guidance on blocking of inbound international calls with UK Network Number as CLI.

The next step is to update ND1447 with guidance on blocking inbound international calls with a UK Presentation Number (the number displayed to call recipients) as the CLI.

The Task Group is working with Ofcom to improve the existing process to trace calls back to the origin to enable rapid identification of the source of calls.

This Task Group is also looking at the impacts of the various aspects of the implementation of STIR in the UK, should STIR become a UK requirement. The standards for any such implementation will be contained in ND1655 (UK STIR Implementation : Service Description and Architecture (Start-up and Interim Stages)), which is currently in draft form and is not yet published.

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Security Task Group

The NICC Security Task Group is responsible for providing documentation that helps to ensure the security of the UK telecommunications network. The Task Group represents the UK telecoms industry from a security perspective and presents the views of the industry to the Regulator and Government security bodies where appropriate.

The Task Group is currently working to help support Communication Providers and vendors (fixed, mobile and cloud) in making their own assessment of whether their products or services fall within scope of the regulations and code of practice supporting the TSA. To provide that support, the Task Group is working to develop a UK NICC Document ND1448 (Guidance to Providers on interpretation of the terms PECN and PECS in relation to the Telecommunications [Security] Act 2021).

A second iteration of ND1448 will include information on Associated Facilities and for Privilege Access Workstations.

The Task Group has also developed Security Guidelines in ND1443 (Guidelines for the Security of All-IP Telephony (All-IPT) Service in the UK Telecommunications Network) to mitigate the risks to networks introduced by the migration to IP technology across communication networks; and has also provided general security guidance for telecommunication networks in ND1446 (General Security for Public Electronic Communication Network and Service Providers).

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Common Database (CDB) - for numbering, portability and routeing

The CDB TG has developed a NICC Document (ND1214 – Requirements for a UK Common Telephone Numbering Database) that provides the basis for a NICC specification, CDB definition, and use-case guidance of a CDB to be used for the UK.

This NICC specification is expected to form the information that will be included in an industry consultation resulting in an RFI delivered to CDB vendors.

The Task Group has recognised that there may be conflicts between Number Portability data held on CPs networks. These conflicts need to be reconciled before a CDB is implemented in the UK network. The TG is currently looking to develop an agreed UK process to ensure the data held by CPs is consistent.

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Task Groups in abeyance or closed

SIP Overload Control

This TG is in abeyance after publishing ND1657, which specifies how networks will use existing SIP protocols to mitigate the impacts of network overload/failure events.

Access Technology

This TG is currently in abeyance having been unable to gain sufficient support for a number of topics initially identified.

IP Routeing Task Group

This TG is currently in abeyance having produced ND1524, a report proposing a method for a more efficient routeing of IP calls between UK Network operators.

Blockchain Task Group

The TG was run by Ofcom, looking at the Proof of Concept of using Distributed Ledger Technology for Number Portability in the UK. This TG is now closed and has concluded that Blockchain is unsuitable for use with NP.

DSL Task Group

The TG is currently in abeyance having updated the UK Access Network Frequency Plan.

Get in touch

For more information, contact the secretary: