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Get up to speed and establish a solid understanding of traditional telecom with this proven course. Bust the buzzwords, demystify the jargon and understand how it all fits together, in plain English.
CTNS Course L2101 POTS and The PSTN: Introduction
Loops and Trunks • Circuit-Switching • LECs and IXCs • Analog • Voiceband • DTMF • SS7
Welcome to Teracom's Online Course "POTS and the PSTN". This free online telecom training course lesson is the introduction to the course.
This is the first course in the CTNS Certification Package, a set of six courses plus Certified Telecommunications Network Specialist (CTNS) certification from the Telecommunications Certification Organization (TCO).
In this course, we'll understand the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN), and Plain Ordinary Telephone Service (POTS). Understanding the fundamentals of this technology and network architecture is the starting point for understanding everything else.
If you want to jump right to learning about IP packet networks, Ethernet and MPLS services, that begins with the OSI model and its layers. In fact, The OSI Layers and Protocol Stacks is the first course of the four-course package that includes Certified IP Telecom Network Specialist (CIPTS) certification.
CTNS is the more complete training, six courses that begin with this one, plus wireless then the four CIPTS courses.
The overall goal of this course is to understand:
- How the physical telephone network is organized
- The characteristics of basic telephone service
- How calls are established end-to-end, and to
- Demystify common telephony jargon and buzzwords.
Upon completion of this course, you will be able to explain:
- Why telecom networks are divided into local access wiring and long-distance transmission
- The founding, breakup and re-emergence of AT&T in the US; TELUS and Bell in Canada
- A basic model for the PSTN and its main components
- Loops, why they are called loops and why there is a maximum loop length
- The outside plant
- Central Office and Customer Premise
- How and why remotes are used; fiber to the neighborhood
- Plain Ordinary Telephone Service
- What analog is, and how it relates to copper wires, electricity, circuits and sound
- How microphones and speakers work
- The human hearing range
- Whether trees falling in the forest if no-one is there to hear them cause a sound
- The voiceband
- Why and how the telephone system can limit frequencies to the voiceband
- Why two wires are used
- Why they are twisted together (twisted pair)
- Tip and ring, -48 volts
- Supervision, dial tone, ringing, lightning protection
- Touch-tone and DTMF
- Basics of SS7, and
- Examples of sophisticated call routing using SS7
List of Lessons
Lesson 1 is the Introduction to the Course.
Lesson 2 is a brief history lesson, beginning with the invention of the telephone. This will establish the concept of local telephone companies, access circuits and inter-city transmission.
Next, we will understand the fundamentals of the PSTN: customer premise and Central Office, loops, trunks, circuit switching and understand how a telephone call is connected end-to-end.
Then we will understand how information is represented on the local loop using analog techniques in traditional telephony, and just what exactly we mean by analog.
Next is the question of fidelity: how faithfully the voice is reproduced at the far end, which is determined by the frequency bandwidth provided on the access, known as the voiceband. The lesson on the voiceband is available free.
The voiceband, loops, trunks and circuit-switching are all aspects of Plain Ordinary Telephone Service. We'll round out the discussion by understanding some of the other key aspects of POTS and related jargon and buzzwords like "twisted pair".
We will then look at an improvement on the address signalling mechanism for POTS that was called "touch tone", or more technically, DTMF.
Finally, we will understand in broad brushstrokes the control system for the telephone network, called SS7 in North America, and basic principles of call routing.