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Wireless Interconnection to the Public Switched Telephone Network
Interconnection is defined as the point where any two (carriers') networks are linkedtogether. It can involve a wireless carrier's connection to a local exchange carrier (LFQa landline telco), or an Internet service provider's (ISP's) connection to an LEC, or anLEC's connection into an interexchange carrier (IXC).Approximately 75% of all cellular telephone calls made today are initiated frommobile/portable phones, with the destination being a landline telephone. This number has been slowly but steadily changing to the point where more traffic is beingterminated on wireless carriers' phones. These types of calls are known in the wirelessindustry as mobile-originated, or mobile-to-land (M-L) telephone calls. This largevolume of mobile-land wireless traffic, it is imperative that a wireless carrier developsand maintains a cost-effective series of interconnections to the public switchedtelephone network (PSTN). The public switched telephone network is that which we useevery day to place our telephone calls, whether they are across town, cross-country or across the world. In its most basic form, the PSTN is accessed every time a person picksup a telephone and hears a dial tone.To develop the interconnections, a wireless carrier must first examine where to placeinterconnections and what type of interconnections should be ordered. This decision can be based on several factors.First, a logical location for connection to the public telephone network is to place aninterconnection, also known as a point of presence (POP).Second, cost factors must be taken into account to justify the placement of aninterconnection.Third, the population density of a given geographic region must be examined todetermine whether a local interconnection will suffice or whether a connection thatoffers low cost-per-minute charges over a wider area is more appropriate.
Elements of Interconnection
There are three basic elements to wireless interconnection to the PSTN: transport viatransmission systems (DS1, DS3, OC-n), trunks, and telephone numbers. Each DSOacts as a trunk in this context. In the majority of cases today telephone numbers areassigned to wireless carriers (through the telephone companies) free of charge, througha company called NeuStar, the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA). Some independent telephone companies still charge for the numbers, but thisis becoming more and more rare. Just several years ago, most telcos charged wirelesscarriers when they assigned them ranges of telephone numbers. The highest charges-inthousands of dollars-applied when wireless carriers obtained entire NXX codes.