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Integrated Services Digital Network

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) is a set of communications standards (set of protocols) for simultaneous digital transmission of voice, video, data, and other network services over the traditional circuits of the public switched telephone network. ISDN is a circuit-switched telephone network system, which also provides access to packet switched networks, designed to allow digital transmission of voice and data over ordinary telephone copper wires, resulting in potentially better voice quality than an analog phone can provide. To allow flexibility, digital pipes between customers and the ISDN office are organized into multiple channels of different sizes. The ISDN standard defines three channel types, each with a different transmission rate. 1. 2. 3. Bearer Channels Data Channels Hybrid Channels

B Channels A bearer channel (B channel) is defined at a rate of 64 Kbps. It is the basic user channel and can carry any type of digital information in full-duplex mode as long as the required transmission rate does not exceed 64 Kbps.

D Channels A data channel (D channel) can be either 16 of 64 Kbps, depending on the needs of the user. Although the name says data, the primary function of a D channel is to carry control signaling for the B channel. Up to this point, the transmission protocols we have examined all use in-channel (in-band) signaling. Control information (such as call establishment, ringing, call interrupt, or synchronization) is carried by the same channel that carries the message data. The ISDN separates control signals onto a channel of their own, the D channel. A D channel carries the control signaling for all of the channels in a given path, using a method called common channel (out-of-band) signaling.

H Channels Hybrid channels (H channels) are available with data rates of 384 Kbps (H0), 1536 Kbps (H11) or 1920 Kbps (H12). These rates suit H channels for high data-rate applications such as video, teleconferencing, and so on.

The Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) prescribes two levels of service, the Basic Rate Interface (BRI), intended for the homes and small enterprises, and the Primary Rate Interface (PRI), for larger applications. Both rates include a number of B-channels and a D-channel

User Interfaces Digital subscriber loops are of two types : Basic Rate Interface (BRI) Primary Rate Interface (PRI)


The basic rate interface (BRI) specifies a digital pipe consisting of two B channels and one 16 kbps D channel.

1. 2. 3. 4.

Two B channels of 64 Kbps each, plus one D channels of 16 Kbps, equals 144 Kbps. In addition, the BRI services itself requires 48 Kbps of operating overhead. Therefore it requires a digital pipe of 192 Kbps. The BRI is designed to meet the needs of residential and small-office customers.


1. 2. 3.

PRI is the standard for providing telecommunication services to offices. It is based on the T-carrier (T1) line in the US and Canada, and the E-carrier (E1) line in Europe. The T1 line consists of 24 channels.

The usual primary rate interface (PRI) specifies a digital pipe with 23 B channels and one 64 Kbps D channel.

By Prof Chandan