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PSTN Interconnection Types
There are many types of interconnection options available to connect public telephone systems to other public telephone networks or private telephone networks. The type of connection selected depends on the type of private system, telecommunications regulations, and the needs of the company that uses the private telephone system (e.g., advanced calling features). In addition to standard telephone system connection types, there are also private-line connections that may be used to link private branch exchange PBX systems together.
There are two types of connections that are used between switching systems: line side and trunk side. Line side connections are an interconnection line between the customerís equipment and the last switch EO in the telephone network. The line side connection isolates the customerís equipment from network signaling requirements. Line side connections are usually low capacity (one channel) lines. Trunk side connections are used to interconnect telephone network switching systems to each other. Trunk side connections are usually high capacity lines. Primary rate interfaces use out-of-band signaling in a dedicated signaling channel.
POTS dial lines are 2-wire, basic line-side connections from an EO with limited signaling capability. Because dial lines are line-side connections, call setup time may be longer than those connections that employ trunk-side supervision.
Direct inward dialing (DID) connections are trunk-side (network side) EO connections. The network signaling on these 2-wire circuits is primarily limited to one-way, incoming service. DID connections employ different supervision and address pulsing signals than dial lines. Typically, DID connections use a form of loop supervision called reverse battery, which is common for one-way, trunk-side connections. Until recently, most DID trunks were equipped with either dial pulse (DP) or dual tone multifrequency (DTMF) address pulsing. While many wireless carriers would have preferred to use multifrequency (MF) address pulsing, a number of LEC's prohibited the use of MF on DID trunks.
Foreign Exchange Office (FXO)
Foreign exchange office (FXO) is an interface or channel unit that allows an analog connection (foreign exchange circuit) to be directed at the PSTN's central office or to a station interface on a PBX. The FXO sits on the switch end of the connection. It plugs directly into the line side of the switch so the switch thinks the FXO interface is a telephone. (See also: foreign exchange station.)
Foreign Exchange Station (FXS)
Foreign exchange station is a type of channel unit used at the subscriber station end of a foreign exchange circuit. A foreign exchange station (FXS) interface connects directly to a standard telephone, fax machine, or similar device and supplies ring, voltage, and dial tone. (See also: foreign exchange office.)
Type 1 connections are trunk-side connections to an EO. The EO uses a trunk-side signaling protocol in conjunction with a feature known as Trunk With Line Treatment (TWLT). This connection was originally described in technical advisory 76 published by AT&T in 1981. This interconnection was developed because dial line and DID connections did not provide enough signaling information to allow the connection of public telephone networks to other types of networks (such as wireless and PBX networks). The switch must be equipped to provide TWLT, or its equivalent to offer Type 1 service. As a result, type 1 is not universally available. The TWLT feature allows the EO to combine some line-side and trunk-side features. For example, while trunk-side signaling protocols are used, the calls are recorded for billing purposes as if they were made by a line-side connection.
Type 1 connections are usually used as 2-way trunks. Two-way trunks are 4-wire circuits, meaning they have separate transmit and receive paths, and almost always use MF address pulsing and supervision. The address pulsing normally uses wink-start control. One-way Type 1 connections can be provided on a 2-wire basis using E&M supervision or reverse battery like the DID connection. T1 connections in a digital context are also provided and these are labeled as T1 services. These T1 services include in-band signaling as well as out-of-band signaling in the later described services of primary interface.
ISDN-BRI connection provides two bearer channels, each using a 64 kbps digital channel, as well as a 16 kbps data link for signaling messages. This 144 kbps combination is referred to as 2B+D, which signifies two bearer channels and one data channel. The bearer channels provide the voice portion while the data channel is used to transfer SS7 signaling messages. EO switches must have an ISDN-BRI interface and software installed to supply this connection.
Another variation of Type 1 is the Integrated Services Digital Network - Primary Rate Interface (ISDN-PRI). It has capabilities similar to the ISDN-BRI but employs 23 bearer channels and one signaling channel, or a 23B+D configuration. The ISDN-PRI interconnection is provided using a standard DS1-level interface that would normally provide the equivalent of 24 voice channels. It offers the same calling capabilities as noted for the Type 1 and ISDN-BRI connections. Primary rate interfaces use out-of-band signaling in a dedicated signaling channel.
Type 2A connections are true trunk-side connections that employ trunk-side signaling protocols. Typically, they are two-way connections that are 4-wire circuits using E&M supervision with multifrequency (MF) address pulsing. The address pulsing is almost always under wink-start control. Type 2A connections allow the other public or private telephone network switching systems to connect to the PSTN and operate like any other EO.
Type 2A connections may restrict calls to specific NXX (exchange) codes and access to operator services (phone number directories, emergency calls, freephone/toll free) may not be permitted. For some interconnections, additional connections (such as a type 1) may be used to supplement the type 2A connection to allow access to other operator or network services.
Type 2B connections are high usage trunk groups that are used between EOs within the same system. The type 2B connection can be used in conjunction with the Type 2A. When a type 2B is used, the first choice of routing is through a Type 2B with overflow through the type 2A. Because the type 2B connection is used for high usage connections, it can access only valid NXX codes of the EO providing that it is connected to. Type 2B connections are almost always 4-wire, two-way connections that use E&M supervision and multifrequency (MF) address pulsing.
Type 2C connections were developed to allow direct connection to public safety centers (E911) via a tandem or local tandem switch. This interconnection type must provide additional information such as the return phone number (complicated on mobile telephone systems) and the location of the caller. This information is passed on to a public safety answering point (PSAP). In recent times primary rate interface has been a more popular connection for the purposes of enhanced 911 services and the appropriate public safety answering points. Because of the outer band signaling and the dedicated channel for signaling and the PRI connection has become more flexible and versatile to meet the needs of an enhanced 911 service offering.
Type 2D interconnection lines allow direct connection from an operator services system (OSS) switch. The OSS switch is a special tandem that contains additional call processing capabilities that enables operator services special directory assistance services. The type 2D connection also forwards the automatic number identification information to allow proper billing records to be created. Type 2D connection will normally use trunks employing E&M signaling with wink start, and multifrequency (MF) address pulsing.
Type S connections transfer signaling messages that are associated with other interconnection types (out-of-band signaling). The type S is a data link (e.g., 56 kbps) that is used to connect the signaling interfaces between switches. Type S connections permit additional features to be supported by the network such as finding and using call forwarding telephone numbers. Because type S connections cost money, some smaller public telephone networks do not offer or use type S connections.
This figure illustrates some of the different types of private to public telephone system interconnection. This diagram shows some groups of phone lines (e.g., dial line, Type 1) that provide limited signaling information (line-side) that primarily interconnect the PSTN with private telephone systems. Another group of lines (Type 2 series) are used to interconnect switching systems or to connect to advanced services (such as operator services or public safety services). The interconnection lines (trunk-side) provide more signaling information. Also shown is the type S connection that is used exclusively for sending control signaling messages between switching system and the signaling system 7 (SS7) telephone control network.
Private to Public Telephone System Interconnection Type Diagram
Public Switched Telephone Network - PSTN Books
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