AKNN
Technische und betriebliche Fragen der Nummerierung
und Netzzusammenschaltung
The AKNN introduces itself

1.1 Purpose, tasks and working practices of the AKNN

The AKNN is a self-organising working group of the telecommunications operators and manufacturers in Germany. The AKNN has neither a coordinating office nor a central contact for organisational questions.

1.1.1 Purpose of the working group

The purpose of the working group is to establish technical interfaces, develop operational and organisational processes in the multi-carrier environment and find solutions for general numbering and network interconnection issues in consideration of the underlying fair trade rules.

It aims at maintaining the high quality standard on the national telecommunications market, minimising costs and boosting innovations in compliance with European and worldwide standards.

1.1.2 The working group has the following tasks in particular:

to define concrete questions and work out joint recommendations, particularly in the form of specifications aimed at the best possible solutions,
to foster the cooperation and exchange of experience between its members.

The recommendations should serve among others as a basis for agreements between the carriers. They can also be addressed to public and private institutions that shape the telecommunications service market.

1.1.3 Organs and working practices

The regular plenary session (AKNN session) to which all members of the working group are invited is the sole decision-making body of the working group.

The working group can establish sub-working groups (UAK) to deal with individual topics.

The functional executives and their representatives who are elected by the working group in the final session of each calendar year assume responsibility for the organisational functions detailed in annex 1 of the rules of procedure for the period of the following year of sessions (corresponds to the calendar year). The working group maintains a homepage with a public area and a protected member area.

Communication between the members is mainly realised in an electronic form via the distribution system which was established for the working group and its sub-working groups in the member area of the AKNN homepage.

The working group keeps itself informed about national and international developments that are crucial for its work.

The working group can contact the regulatory telecommunications and post authority to clarify regulatory issues.

General information about the AKNN is published in the public area of the AKNN homepage. On the other hand, minutes, safety-relevant specifications, draft specifications, invitations, member lists and other work results are only made available in the protected member area of the AKNN homepage.

1.2 Sub-working groups (UAKs) and their fields of activity

The results of the AKNN are usually specifications which are prepared by the sub-working groups (UAK) that are made available to the AKNN members and in some case the public following approval by the plenary session.

1.2.1 Current sub-working groups

1.2.1.1 Billing (UAK B)

The billing sub-working group deals with inter-carrier and final customer billing issues to ensure billing whilst taking existing procedures into account. The technical and necessary process interfaces of potentially feasible procedures are developed. The scope can be determined by an AKNN mandate. The AKNN has to be kept informed about the current work status on a regular basis. The final procedure has to be submitted to the AKNN for a decision.

The UAK-B prepared a description of the billing processes between network operators and final customers. Some items of the billing processes still require harmonisation which is the reason why this document has only a descriptive character.

1.2.1.2 Carrier Selection (UAK CS)

The UAK-CS was established as a technical working group on 18.6.1996 during the third meeting of the discussion group "Technical numbering issues" between network operators and manufacturers. Since then it has been dealing with the implementation of the technical solutions and operative processes related to carrier selection which are necessary in a multi-carrier environment. The UAK implemented among others the carrier selection obligation in the local network in 2003.

1.2.1.3 Service number portability (UAK DR)

The UAK prepares the specifications which describe the technical, operational and administrative elements required between carriers to be able to fulfil the TKG's requirements with regard to carrier portability for value-added services. A central port data exchange procedure is presently being developed in cooperation with the regulatory authority via a database of this authority.

1.2.1.4 Electronic carrier interface (UAK eCaSS)

The UAK develops and describes an electronic interface for the exchange of carrier data, particularly electronic ordering.

1.2.1.5 Mass calls to special destinations (UAK MABEZ)

The UAK deals with questions related to the installation of a number range (currently 0137) for "Mass calls to special destinations". Number sub-ranges were defined with different call rate limits for mass call actions (telephone surveys, quizzes and similar media actions). The networks must be protected against overloading through an upper call rate limit if the call rates are very high in a very short time.

1.2.1.6 Signalling (UAK-S)

The UAK specifies the signalling interfaces. The standards issued for the signalling system no. 7 are adapted to German conditions through national regulations as required on the basis of the international ITU and ETSI standards.

1.2.1.7 Change of the subscriber network operator and/or long-distance carrier (UAK TNB/VNB change)

The UAK prepares the specifications which describe the technical, operational and administrative processes required between network operators to be able to fulfil the TKG's requirements with regard to carrier portability for geographic numbers and/or operator default settings in a consumer-friendly way.

1.2.1.8 Central glossary (UAK-ZG)

The UAK prepared a central document on the basis of the glossaries from all AKNN specifications in which all terms are checked and as far as possible uniformly defined. The terms have to be used as defined if new specifications are prepared. New terms that are introduced are accepted and updated by the UAK.

1.2.1.9 Access to the subscriber line (UAK TAL)

The job of this UAK is to describe the administrative and operational processes which have to be observed by the affected network operators if access to the subscriber line is granted and to prepare technical descriptions and take these into account within the processes to be described. There are usually many points of contact between the work of this UAK and the UAK TNB/VNB change.

1.2.1.10 The AKNN's future (UAK Zukunft)

The UAK received its mandate on 14.11.2000. The AKNN's new rules of procedure prepared by the UAK and as revised on 10.09.2002 were adopted at the 76th AKNN meeting. The UAK gathers the experience that is gained with these new rules of procedure. It will review them after the enactment of the new telecommunications law that is presently in the decision-making process to ensure that the AKNN's work is as efficient as possible within the applicable regulatory framework.

1.2.1.11 National subscriber numbers (UAK NTR)

The UAK was set up in summer 2004 to identify open questions as regards the assignment and utilisation of "National subscriber numbers" (number range (0)32). The UAK's work led to a clearer formulation of the assignment rules for national subscriber numbers by the BNetzA and the closure of loopholes in the regulations.

1.2.1.12 Next Generation Network (UAK NGN)

In its 94th session on June 14, 2005 the AKNN instructed the UAK NGN to generate a concept for future scenarios of IP interconnection, including the following issues:

-Billing

-Routing

-Quality of Service

-Security / Network Integrity

-Phone Service Features

-Results from the Standardisation Boards (ETSI, ITU, IETF)

-Architecture, Migration

-Signalling

Primary part of the topic architecture is the development of interconnection scenarios which allow an efficient routing between the participating networks. The concept will provide the basis for preparation or adjustment of specifications by other working groups.

1.2.1.13 WITA (UAK WITA)

In the course of the implementation of a new interface called WITA (Wholesale IT Architecture) by Deutsche Telekom the UAK WITA was set up in January 2009. The UAK will take a detailed look at the implementation and identifies open issues and differences between WITA and present processes.

1.2.2 Inactive UAKs

1.2.2.1 AoC 99

The UAK specified the charge indication across network boundaries. The extension of the agreed signalling functionality that is necessary for this purpose was adopted as a European standard.

1.2.2.1 Charge information

Merged into the UAK Billing.

1.2.2.2 End-to-end quality

The UAK had the job of helping the individual network operators plan their networks. The aim was to maintain the transmission and switching quality standard even after the complete liberalisation of the telecommunications market. The UAK's recommendations with regard to the planning agreements between the carriers were resolved by the AKNN's plenary session on 5.2.1999.

1.2.2.3 Fraud

Merged into the German fraud forum.

1.2.2.4 Portability

Merged into UAK TNB.

Today its duties are discharged by the UAKs TNB/VNB change and service number portability. At the beginning of the liberalisation of the telecommunications market this UAK published the first specification which contained the organisational and procedural elements required between carriers to be able to meet the requirements of the then applicable TKG for carrier portability.

1.2.2.5 TNB

Merged into UAK TNB/VNB change.

1.2.2.6 VNB

Merged into UAK TNB/VNB change.

1.2.2.7 Year 2000

At the beginning of 1999 this UAK began the verification of the "Year 2000 compatibility" of the telecommunications networks and billing processes. System integration tests were carried out in this connection and expert groups for interconnection and billing formed. The UAK submitted its final report on the successfully completed tests to the AKNN on 9.11.1999. The smooth turn of the years was proof for the UAK's successful work.

1.2.2.8 § 5 TKV

The correctness of the connection price calculation has to be proven to the regulatory authority (BNetzA) according to section 5 of the Telecommunications Ordinance (TKV) once a year. The UAK § 5 TKV was commissioned to analyse the stipulations contained in section 5 of the TKV and the orders already issued by the BNetzA in this respect with regard to the concrete requirements resulting therefrom and then to show the options for technical implementations and operative processes and to record a common result that is both technically and economically as efficient as possible in a recommendation for the carriers and service providers.

1.2.2.9 § 32 TKV

The quality parameters UAK was commissioned to analyse the quality parameters listed in section 32 of the TKV, the regulations of section 33 of the TKV and the orders already issued by the BNetzA in this respect with regard to the concrete requirements resulting therefrom and then to show the options for technical implementations and operative processes and to record a common result that is both technically and economically as efficient as possible in a recommendation for the carriers and service providers.

1.3 Outstanding results

1997 Ensure the directory number portability
1997 Ensure the carrier selection, call by call, preselection
1998 Definition of a common signalling interface between the networks (ZZN7)
2000 Implementation of the charge indication across network boundaries (AOC 99); new trunk group splitting regulations
2003 Implementation of the carrier selection in the local network

1.4 History

Representatives of Deutsche Telekom and corporate network carriers RWE (RWE Telliance), VIAG (VIAG Interkom), Mannesmann (Mannesmann Eurokom), Thyssen (Thyssen Telecom), Veba (Vebacom) and Deutsche Bahn (DBKom) met for the first time on 20.05.1996. The former Federal Ministry for Post and Telecommunications (BMPT) and the manufacturers of call processing equipment were also present. The corporate network operators intended becoming active as of 1.1.1998 on the then liberalized telecommunications market. The meeting had been convened because those concerned had recognised that the technical prerequisites for a successful market launch could only be created by multilateral agreements.

The BMPT had already established a body of experts for numbering issues (EfN), also known as the "Witte commission", the preceding year. The final report of this body was published in December 1995. In this final report the EfN recommended, amongst others, the introduction of directory number portability in the local networks (network operator portability) and the free selection of the interconnection network carriers as of 1.1.1998. It was necessary to establish the technical prerequisites for the implementation of these recommendations.

The assembly of the corporate network operators and the Deutsche Telekom called itself "Steering committee for technical numbering issues". The two working groups "Carrier selection" and "Portability" were set up on the third meeting of the steering committee on 18.06.1996. These working groups were commissioned to specify interfaces between the networks and formats of directory numbers to be assigned for their specific topics. The working groups drafted the specifications "Long distance carrier selection" and "Number portability" in accordance with their mandate, which have become the basis for the network-technical implementation.

The steering committee adopted rules of procedure in its 11th meeting on 14 February 1997 by which it renamed itself: "Working group for technical and operational numbering and network interconnection issues" (AKNN). These rules of procedure became effective on 15 February 1997. Since then the working groups have been designated as "Sub-working groups of AKNN". A revision of the rules of procedure became necessary due to the greatly increased number of members. The new rules of procedure were adopted as version 1.0.0 in the 76th meeting of the AKNN on 10.09.2002. Version 4.0.0 which was adopted in the 113th meeting on 12.08.2008 is currently valid.