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Call Detail Record

Telecommunications companies created initial call detail records as a billing tool. These records were eventually used for many other purposes. For example, businesses use them to predict sales, track and minimize nonbusiness call activity and determine and optimize network usage. They even help identify security threats.

What is a Call Detail Record?

A call detail record, also known as a call record or call data record, is a record that contains call information or metadata about a specific number or user. These records include the cdr data such as the date and time of the call, cost, duration, originating and destination numbers, whether the call has been answered or not, and whether it was outbound, inbound, or toll-free. These records also include the location of cell towers that connect to calls. Operators can use this data to calculate the approximate location of the parties to a particular call.

Call detail records can also contain metadata for text messages or cloud phone calls. These records do not record the content of calls and messages. This is for operational and legal reasons. Call detail records do not include metadata for free services such as intra-Session Initiation Protocol calls offered by many Voice over Internet Protocol providers VoIP. These records can be found in your internet calling service’s recent callsâ€TM or ‘call history’ sections.

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Call Detail Record Reports

Call detail records to organize information by phone number, or user, depending upon what is needed. Reports for one user can show particular metrics such as call volume or cost and be pretty detailed. Accounts for entire departments provide a general overview of call activity.

How do you obtain a call detail report? You can probably generate a message if you use a VoIP service. If you have call detail tracking software installed, you can also use it. Carriers may provide reports for specific purposes, such as research. Although they can request cell phone call details records reports from law enforcement officers, many countries require a warrant. 

Individual BTS group of a location (LA), with a unique identifier, called a locator area code (LAC) for easy management. The LAC helps track mobile phones’ place and lets the network know where to route calls. In addition, the BSC will seamlessly transfer you from one BTS to another when you are moving.

The Mechanics of Call Detail Records

Call detail records are part of various databases and registries that network management systems (or NMSs) manage cellular networks. These operations include monitoring network performance, fixing faults, and keeping the network components current. In addition,  several steps are involved in creating metadata for calls and other communications to allow your phone company to determine how much you should be charged. First, your phone, also called ‘user equipment in the telecommunications industry, transmits a radio signal from your phone to nearby cell towers.

BSCs link BTSs to mobile switching centers (MSCs), which route calls, set up and release calls, route text messages, and conference calls, connect to the public switched phone network or PSTN, and handle inter-MSC and inter-BSC handovers. These switching centers use all mobile phone calls to landlines and other phones. These MSCs are an essential building block of the network management systems (NMSs), which we have already discussed.

Call Detail Record

Nonbusiness Use Cases

This isn’t just a business-oriented use of call details records. Researchers in Cote d’Ivoire used a call dataset from Orange, a subsidiary of French telecommunications giant Orange, to develop a method of reducing congestion and travel times in Abidjan. Researchers were able to calculate poverty levels in 11 different country regions with the same dataset. This feat took a lot more time, effort, also money if it did the traditional way. 

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