In this section several aspects in the design of signaling networks are treated. These networks may be national or international. The national and international networks are considered to be structurally independent and, although a particular signaling point (SP) may belong to both networks, SPs are allocated signaling point codes according to the rules of each network.

Signaling links are basic components in a signaling network connecting signaling points. The signaling links encompass layer 2 functions that provide for message error control. In addition, provision for maintaining the correct message sequence is provided.

Signaling links connect signaling points at which signaling network functions such as message routing are provided at layer 3 and at which the user functions may be provided at layer 4 if it is also an originating or destination point. An SP that only transfers messages from one signaling link to another at level 3 serves as a signaling transfer point (STP). The signaling links, STPs, and signaling (originating or destination) points may be combined in many different ways to form a signaling network.

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