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What is MTSO | Mobile Telephone Switching Office

This page explains MTSO i.e. Mobile Telephone Switching Office.It mentions MTSO basics with respect to GSM system.

In GSM system, mobile handsets used are referred as mobile stations. The cellular switching center was known as MTSO in earlier analog telephone systems such as AMPS.

Currently MTSO is referred by name "MSC" or Mobile Services Switching Center in GSM.


There are various types of handoffs or handovers. Most of them are controlled by MSC or MTSO. The figure-1 above depicts the interfaces of MTSO or MSC in mobile cellular system such as GSM.

Following are the functions performed by MTSO:

• It serves handoff initiated by mobile or BTS based on channel conditions as well as movement of the mobile.

• It provides mobile to PSTN subscriber connectivity.

• One MTSO can serve more than one base stations (i.e. BTS/BSC). As a result handoff is very smooth for larger coverage.

• MTSO is responsible to provide connections of all mobile phone users with the telephone central office. This makes long distance communication possible.

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