Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Testing

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) Testing

As telecommunications evolves, older technologies find themselves becoming obsolete. Rarely does a person use a dial-up modem. Phone banks at airports have disappeared because everyone has a mobile device. And while faxing is still popular with lawyers and banks, scanning a document and emailing it serves the same purpose.

Some believe that Voice over IP (VoIP) will eventually replace public switched telephone networks (PSTN). It is common knowledge to professionals in telecommunications that PSTN aggregates the world's telephone networks across complex topographies of gateways and switches with the core purpose of voice communication. This structure has been around almost since the first phone call, with switchboard operators originally acting as the switches. This link by link, analog structure is still in use today.

Even as many businesses and individuals move toward a VoIP network, in many cases the last point of connection is still the POTS lines. For example, a home phone/router combination from a local cable provider includes ports for POTS line connection to handle landline phones. Technologies such as GPON still have PSTN links that must be tested.

Or consider an office that had traditionally used a PBX connected to a T1 line. With T1 lines going away, making a complete change to a VoIP system is costly. Companies exist that provide devices to convert the PBX signal into VoIP without a significant change to the PBX setup in the premises.

It's clear that even with the advent of new technologies, PSTN is not going away and network operators and providers will still need methods and technologies to support the testing of PSTN components such as POTS, ISDN PRI, and SIP, while also testing newer technologies such as 4G, 5G and IoT.

In a core network, there still exist gateways that convert traditional T1 voice communications to IP via SIGTRAN. Even mobile networks have PSTN links.

Companies providing the above mentioned devices such as the cable router PBX signal converter, and SIGTRAN gateways are excellent examples of the continued need for fixed network testing.

Expecting a significant decrease in the need for PSTN testing, many testing technologies have begun to sunset their products, leaving providers and networks without a reliable testing solution.

At Valid8 we understand that PSTN will be a fixture in communications for the foreseeable future, and include PSTN testing as part of our platform. Valid8 also offers a product with the ability to test Fixed and Mobile networks across a single platform, simplifying training and use of the technologies.

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