System Operator Codes for ANSI/TIA/EIA-136

What is an SOC?

The 12-bit System Operator Code (SOC) is used to identify a Service Provider (SP) and is used along with the System Identity (SID) by a mobile station to acquire or reject services offered by specific SPs.

The SOCs fall into two ranges (along with two reserved values), which identify the extent (domain) of the SOC. The following table indicates the domains of the SOC:

Value (hex) Function
000 Reserved / Unknown
001 - 7FF National SOC Note 1
800 Reserved / Unknown
801 - FFF International SOC

Note 1 : The use of these National SOC Assignments may result in undesirable mobile station operation if the SOC is used to identify a service provider using Intelligent Roaming (see TIA/EIA-136-123). This is because in Intelligent Roaming the mobile station only attempts to match the broadcast SOC to any stored SOCs without consideration of Mobile Country Code. Because of this issue the use of new National SOCs is being reconsidered.

Who is eligible for a System Operator Code?

Any company (or division of a company) shall be eligible for a SOC if it is engaged in the business of providing wireless service using TIA/EIA-136 technology.

Why is national SOC no longer assigned?

Prior to September 1998, a TIA/EIA-136 system operator may have been assigned both a national SOC and an international SOC, where the national SOC must be associated with a country of operation denoted by the Mobile Country Code (MCC). Currently, no new national SOCs are being assigned due to the potential operational problem given in Note 1 above. However, the assigned international SOC can be used under all circumstances with no operational problems.

What is the difference between an SID and an SOC?

Whereas the SID identifies a specific system area, the SOC identifies the operator providing service within that system area. Where multiple service providers are operating in a given area, the SOCs are used in the Intelligent Roaming procedures to select the service provider on a priority basis determined by the Intelligent Roaming Database (IRDB).

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