The Visitor Location Register (VLR) is a database containing information about all MSs that currently are located in the MSC service area. The VLR contains temporary subscriber information needed by the MSC to provide service for visiting subscribers. The VLR can be seen as a distributed HLR. When a
Mobile Station (MS) roams into a new MSC service area, the VLR connected to that MSC requests data about the MS from the HLR and stores it. When the MS makes a call, the VLR already has the information needed for call set-up. In GSM system, the VLR is always integrated with the MSC so that internal signaling can be used. This setup eliminates signaling between the two nodes over the network unnecessary thus decreasing the network signaling load.
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