Public Services Telepone Network: The telephone network that the public connect to! e.g. BT, NTL, Cable London. Your analogue or ISDN line connects to such a network. It enables you to connect to anyone in the world! via a telephone connection.
The PSTN was the earliest example of traffic engineering to deliver Quality of Service guarantees. A.K. Erlang (1878-1929) is credited with establishing the mathematical foundations of methods required to determine the amount and configuration of equipment and personnel required to deliver a specific level of service.
In the 1970s the telecommunications industry conceived that digital services would follow much the same pattern as voice services, and conceived a vision of end-to-end circuit switched services, known as the Broadband Integrated Services Digital Network (B-ISDN). The B-ISDN vision has been overtaken by the disruptive technology of the Internet.
Only the very oldest and most backward parts of the telephone network still use analog technology for anything other than the last mile loop to the end user, and in recent years digital services have been increasingly rolled out to end users using services such as DSL, ISDN and Cable Systems.
Many observers believe that the long term future of the PSTN is to be just one application of the Internet - however, the Internet has some way to go before this transition can be made. The Quality of Service guarantee is one aspect that needs to be improved on in the Voice over IP technology.
There are a number of large private telephone networks which are not linked to the PSTN, usually for military purposes. There are also private networks run by large companies which are linked to the PSTN only through limited gateways, like a large private branch exchange system.
Although the network was created using analog voice connections through manual switchboards, automated telephone exchanges replaced most switchboards, and later digital switch technologies were used. Most switches now use digital circuits between exchanges, with analog voice used to connect to many telephones.
The basic digital circuit in the PSTN is a 64-kilobits-per-second channel, originally designed by Bell Labs, called a "DS0" or Digital Signal 0. To carry a typical phone call from a calling party to a called party, the audio sound is digitized at an 8 kHz sample rate using 8-bit pulse code modulation. The call is then transmitted from one end to another via telephone exchanges. The call is switched using a signalling protocol (SS7) between the telephone exchanges under an overall routing strategy.
The DS0s are the basic granularity at which switching takes place in a telephone exchange. DS0s are also known as timeslots because they are multiplexed together in a time-division fashion. Multiple DS0s are multiplexed together on higher capacity circuits, such that 24 DS0s make a DS1 signal, which when carried on copper is the well-known, T-carrier system, T1 (the European equivalent is an E1, containing 32 64 kbit/s channels). In modern networks, this multiplexing is moved as close to the end user as possible, usually into cabinets at the roadside in residential areas, or into large business premises.
The timeslots are conveyed from the initial multiplexer to the exchange over a set of equipment collectively known as the access network. The access network and inter-exchange transport of the PSTN use synchronous optical transmission (SONET and SDH) technology, although some parts still use the older PDH technology.
Within the access network, there are a number of reference points defined. Most of these are of interest mainly to ISDN but one - the V reference point - is of more general interest. This is the reference point between a primary multiplexer and an exchange. The protocols at this reference point were standardised in ETSI areas as the V5 interface.
List of telephony terms:
3gpp - a-law - abbreviated dialing - adsl - ani - answering machine - apn - automatic ring back - b-channel - baud - bell 202 modem - bit rate - bonding - bri - busy signal - cable modem - call-progress tones - call accounting - call capture - call forwarding - call originator - call park - call pick-up - call transfer - call waiting - call waiting deluxe - called party - caller id - caller id spoofing - calling party - carrier wave - cbr - ccitt - cdma - cdma2000 - cellular repeater - celp - channel - clec - clock rate - codec - collect call - conference - conference call - crc - csd - d-channel - data compression - device driver - dial-up - dial - dial tone - direct-inward-dialing - direct distance dialing - distinctive ring - dnis - dsl - dsp - dtmf - dtr - duplex - echo cancellation - edge - extension - fax - fcc - fdma - fidonet - follow-me - g.711 - g.723.1 - g.723 - g.726 - g.lite - gprs - gps - gsm - h.323 - harmonic - headphones - hscsd - hspda - iad - idsn - internet call waiting - isp - ivr - jack plug - local loop - long distance - microcontroller - mobile phone - modem - modulation - mu-law - music-on-hold - night service - off-hook - on-hook - pabx - pager - payphone - pbx - pcm - pots - prank call - precise tone plan - pstn - pulse dialling - push to talk - ring modulation - ring tone - ringback - ringing signal - rj11 - roaming - serial communications - serial port - signal noise - sim - simplex - sit - sms - softmodem - switchboard operator - tapi - tdma - telecommunications - telemarketing - telephone - telephone call - telephone card - telephone company - telephone exchange - telephone line - telephone number - telephone numbering plan - telephone operator - telephone switchboard - telephony - tts - twisted pair - umts - v.32 - v.32bis - v.34 - v.42bis - vbr - vertical service code - voicemail - voip - vox - wap - wav - wi-fi - wimax - wire
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