ALERT

[LAST CHANCE] Data Layer: Modern Business, Defined

Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

Definition - What does Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) mean?

The public switched telephone network (PSTN) refers to the international telephone system that uses copper wires to carry analog voice data. It consists of a collection of individual telephones that are hardwired to a public exchange.

The public switched telephone network was formerly known simply as the public telephone network.

Techopedia explains Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN)

The public switched telephone network is a global system that has developed over several decades. From the early research of Alexander Graham Bell, telecommunications companies evolved the PSTN architecture that provided for yesterday's landline voice communications.

One important distinction with the public switched telephone network is that it stands in contrast to private exchange networks. Private branch exchanges and other technologies allowed companies and other parties to create more individual telephone lines that were not represented in the PSTN and public landline architecture. One way to explain this is that individual lines were built into private endpoint systems, so that an individual recipient could have many different individual phone lines using the same public switched telephone network trajectory.

Today, as smartphones and mobile devices continue to proliferate, wireless telecom networks are taking up market share and PSTN landline technology is diminishing. In some places, less industrialized communities have skipped directly from an underserved or insufficient public switched telephone network architecture directly to the use of cell phones and mobile devices.

PSTN has also been known to stand for "pretty standard telephone network," a tongue-in-check expression referring to its slow speed.

Techopedia Deals

Connect with us

Techopedia on Linkedin
Techopedia on Linkedin
Tweat cdn.techopedia.com
"Techopedia" on Twitter


'@Techopedia'
Sign up for Techopedia's Free Newsletter!

Email Newsletter

Join thousands of others with our weekly newsletter

Resources
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems
The 4th Era of IT Infrastructure: Superconverged Systems:
Learn the benefits and limitations of the 3 generations of IT infrastructure – siloed, converged and hyperconverged – and discover how the 4th...
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization
Approaches and Benefits of Network Virtualization:
Businesses today aspire to achieve a software-defined datacenter (SDDC) to enhance business agility and reduce operational complexity. However, the...
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide
Free E-Book: Public Cloud Guide:
This white paper is for leaders of Operations, Engineering, or Infrastructure teams who are creating or executing an IT roadmap.
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor
Free Tool: Virtual Health Monitor:
Virtual Health Monitor is a free virtualization monitoring and reporting tool for VMware, Hyper-V, RHEV, and XenServer environments.
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic
Free 30 Day Trial – Turbonomic:
Turbonomic delivers an autonomic platform where virtual and cloud environments self-manage in real-time to assure application performance.