Telephony Signaling


The human voice generates sound waves, and the telephone converts the sound waves into electrical signals, analogous to sound. Analog signaling is not robust, either because of line noise or inefficient techniques used to reduce line noise. Analog transmissions are boosted by amplifiers because the signal diminishes the farther it travels from the CO. As the signal is boosted, the noise is also boosted, which often causes an unusable connection.

In digital networks, signals are transmitted over great distances and coded, regenerated, and decoded without degradation of quality. Repeaters amplify the signal and clean it to its original condition. Repeaters then determine the original sequence of the signal levels and send the clean signal to the next network destination.

Voice ports on routers and access servers physically connect the router or access server to telephony devices such as telephones, fax machines, PBXs, and PSTN central office (CO) switches. These devices may use any of several types of signaling interfaces to generate information about on-hook status, ringing, and line seizure.