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ISDN,Integrated Services
Digital Network.
What is ISDN?
ISD N (Integrated Services D igital N etw ork) is the all-digital equivalent
of the conventional telephone netw ork PSTN (Public Sw itched
Telephone N etw ork), or PO TS (Plain O ld Telephone System ).
ISD N technology is standardized according to recom m endations of
the International Telecom m unications U nion (ITU ),
Signalling
Instead of the phone com pany sending a ring voltage signal to ring the
bell in your phone (In-Band signal), it sends a digital packet on a sep-
arate channel (O ut-of-Band signal).The O ut-of-Band signal does not
disturb established connections, and call setup tim e is very fast. The sig-
nalling also indicates w ho is calling, w hat type of call it is (data/voice),
and w hat num ber w as dialed. Available ISD N equipm ent is then capable of m ak-
ing intelligent decisions on how to direct the call.
Services
Logically, ISD N consists of tw o types of com m unications channels: bearer service B-
channels, w hich carry data and services at 64 kbit/s; and a single D -channel, w hich
usually carries signalling and adm inistrative inform ation w hich is used to setup and
tear dow n calls. The transm ission speed of the D -channel depends on the type of
ISD N service subscribed to.ISD N services available today can be divided into tw o
categories: Basic Rate Interface (BRI) service, w hich gives the subscriber access to tw o
B-channels and a 16 kbit/s D -channel; and Prim ary Rate Interface (PRI) service, w hich
provides a 64 kbit/s D -channel and 30 B-channels in Europe and m ost of Asia, in
N orth Am erica and Japan the PRI service gives 23 B-channels.
W hen m ore than one device is connected through a single ISD N BRI connec-
tion, individual devices are distinguished from one another through the use of
m ultiple subscriber num bers, (M SN ) w hereby a different ISD N num ber is
assigned to each device served by the ISD N subscription.
U p to eight ISD N devices can be connected on single bus, as signals on the D -
channel autom atically take care of contention issues, and route calls and services
to the appropriate ISD N device. Alternatively, a separate sub-address (SU B) value
can be used to differentiate betw een devices.
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Speed
The m odem w as a big breakthrough in com puter
com m unications. It allow ed com puters to com m u-
nicate by converting their digital inform ation into an
analogue signal to travel through the public phone
netw ork. There is an upper lim it to the am ount of
inform ation that an analogue telephone line can
hold. C urrently, it is about 56 kbit/s. C om m only
available m odem s have a m axim um speed of 56
kbit/s., but are lim ited by the quality of the analogue connection and practically
4550 kbit/s is reached.
The high throughput offered by ISD N 2 x 64 kbit/s, rapid call setup, less than 2 s
and the high level of accuracy inherent to digital transm ission, are the m ain attractions
to ISD N technology.
The tw o channels can be bundled to give a virtual 128 kbit channel or used as
tw o separate channels enabling sim ultaneous data and voice calls.
ISDN Components/Interfaces
ISD N com ponents include term inals,Term inal A dapters (TA ),N etw ork-
Term ination devices (N T),line-term ination equipm ent (LT), and exchange-term i-
nation equipm ent (ET).ISD N defines term inals of tw o types. Specialized ISD N ter-
m inals are referred to as terminal equipment type 1 (TE1). N on-ISD N term inals,
such as DTE are referred to as terminal equipment type 2 (TE2). TE1s connect to
the ISD N netw ork through a 4-w ire, tw isted-pair digital link. TE2s connect to the
ISD N netw ork through a TA. The TE2 connects to the TA via a standard physical-
layer interface such as RS-232/V.24 or RS485/V11.
Beyond the TE1 and TE2 devices, the next connection point in the ISD N net-
w ork is the network termination type 1 (N T1) or network termination type 2 (N T2)
device. These are netw ork-term ination devices that connect the 4-w ire subscriber
w iring to the conventional 2-w ire local loop. In N orth Am erica, the N T1 is a cus-
tomer premises equipment (C PE) device. In m ost other parts of the w orld, the N T1
is part of the netw ork provided by the carrier. The N T2 is a m ore com plicated
device that typically is found in digital private branch exchanges (PBXs) and that
perform s Layer 2 and 3 protocol functions and concentration services. An N T1/2
device also exists as a single device that com bines the functions of a N T1 and a
N T2.
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Layer 1 Physical layer
The signalling betw een the telecom sw itch and the user is according to the U -inter-
face and the signalling in the user building is norm ally according to the S-interface.
The U -interface uses fram es of 240 bit length.At a rate of 160 kbit/s, each fram e is
therefore 1.5 m s long.Each fram e consists of:
Frame structure
U -Fram e w hen 2B1Q coding
ISD N specifies a num ber of reference points that define logical interfaces betw een
functional groupings, such as TAs and N T1s. ISD N reference points include the
follow ing:
R---The reference point betw een non-ISD N equipm ent and a TA.
S---The reference point betw een user term inals and the N T2.
T---The reference point betw een N T1 and N T2 devices.
U ---The reference point betw een N T1 devices and line-term ination equipm ent
in the carrier netw ork. The U reference point is relevant only in N orth Am erica,
w here the N T1 function is not provided by the carrier netw ork.
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TE1
TA
S/T U V
NT-1
TE1
TE2
R
N etw ork Term ination.
U sed to convert U to S/T interface
Supplied in Europe by Telco
ISD N equipm ent
that can connect directly
to ISD N line
S/T interface
Term ination point in Europe
ISD N equipm ent that
can connect N O T
directly to ISD N line
Equipm ent at phone com pany sw itch
U sed to connect TE2
devices to ISD N line
Standard PSTN equipm ent
has an R interface
Sw itch
O /M W 1 2 W 1 1 W 1 W 2 S S
D B 1 B 2
8 bits 8 bits 2 bits
240 bits, 1.5 m s
12 w ords, 216 bits
S = Synchronitation pattern 18 bits
O /M = O peration and M aintance 6 bits
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Frame Format S interface
ISD N physical-layer (Layer 1) S fram e form ats differ depending on w hether the
fram e is outbound (from term inal to netw ork) or inbound (from netw ork to ter-
m inal). Both physical-layer interfaces are show n below.
The fram es are 48 bits long, of w hich 36 bits represent data. The bits of an
ISD N physical-layer fram e are used as follow s:
Layer 2 Data Link Layer
The ISD N D ata Link Layer is specified by the ITU Q .920 through Q .923. All of
the signalling on the D channel is defined in the Q .921 spec.
Link Access Protocol D channel (LAP-D ) is the Layer 2 protocol used. This is
alm ost identical to the X.25 LAP-B protocol.
H ere is the structure of a LAP-D fram e:
Flag (1 octet)
This is alw ays 7E16 (0111 11102)
Address (2 octets)
SAPI (Service access point identifier), 6-bits (see next side)
C /R (C om m and/Response) bit indicates if the fram e is a com m and or a
response
EA0 (Address Extension) bit indicates w hether this is the final octet of the
address or not
TEI (Term inal Endpoint Identifier) 7-bit device identifier (see next side)
EA1 (Address Extension) bit, sam e as EA0
A = Activation bit
B1 = B1 channel
(2 x 8 bits / fram e)
B2 = B2 channel
(2 x 8 bits / fram e)
D = D channel (4 x 1 bit / fram e)
E = Echo of previous D bit
F = Fram ing bit
L = D C balancing
S = S-channel
N = Inverted F from N T to TE
M = M ultifram ing bit
B 1 B 2 B 1 B 2 L E
1 1 8 1 1 1 1 1 8 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 8 1 1 1
D A D M D S D E E E L

F
B 1 B 2 B 1 B 2 D L F L L D L L F L D L L D L L D L
F N
48 bits 250s
N T to TE
TE to N T
Flag Address C ontrol Inform ation C RC Flag
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
SAPI (6 bits) C /R EA0
TEI (7 bits) EA1
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The figure above gives a
view of usage of the SAPI
field,where SAPI = 0 is
used for switch control and
SAPI = 16 is used for pack-
age routing when X.31,
X.25 over D-channel is used
Control (2 octets)
The fram e level control field indicates the fram e type (Inform ation, Supervisory, or
U nnum bered) and sequence num bers (N [r] and N [s]) as required.
Information
Layer 3 protocol inform ation and U ser data
C RC (2 octets)
Cyclic Redundancy C heck is a low -level test for bit errors on the user data.
Flag (1 octet)
C losing flag, alw ays 7E16 (0111 11102)
SAPI
The Service Access Point Identifier (SAPI) is a 6-bit field that identifies the point
w here Layer 2 provides a service to Layer 3.
TEIs
Term inal Endpoint Identifiers (TEIs) are unique ID s given to each device (TE) on
an ISD N S/T bus. This identifier can be dynam ic; the value m ay be assigned stat-
ically w hen the TE is installed, or dynam ically w hen activated.
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SAPI value Related layer 3 or m anagem ent entity
0 C all control procedures
111 Reserved for future standardization
12 Teleaction com m unication
1315 Reserved for future standardization
16 Packet com m unication conform ing to X.25 level 3 procedures
1731 Reserved for future standardization
63 Layer 2 m anagem ent procedures
All others N ot available for Q .921 procedures
TEI Value U ser Type
063 N on-autom atic TEI assignm ent user equipm ent
64126 Autom atic TEI assignm ent user equipm ent
127 Broadcast to all devices
Package data via
D -channel
SAPI-16
Package data via
B-channel
TE ET PH TE
Sw itch control
SAPI-0
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These are the fields in a Q .931 header:
Protocol Discriminator (1 octet)
Identifies the Layer 3 protocol. For a Q .931 header, this value is 0816.
Length (1 octet)
Indicates the length of the next field, the C RV.
Call Reference Value (CRV) (1 or 2 octets)
U sed to uniquely identify each call on the user-netw ork interface. This value is
assigned at the beginning of a call, and this value becom es available for another
call w hen the call is cleared.
Message Type (1 octet)
Identifies the m essage type (i.e., SETU P, C O N N EC T, etc.). This determ ines w hat
additional inform ation is required and allow ed.
Mandatory and Optional Information Elements (variable length)
Are options that are set depending on the M essage Type.
CAPI
COMMON-ISDN-API (CAPI) is an application program m ing interface standard
used to access ISD N equipm ent connected to basic rate interfaces (BRI) and pri-
m ary rate interfaces (PRI). By adhering to the standard, applications can m ake use
of w ell defined m echanism for com m unications over ISD N lines, w ithout being
forced to adjust to the hardw are vendor im plem entations.
To reflect on the actual situation it can be stated that the international protocol
specification is finished and alm ost every telecom m unication provider offers BRI /
PRI w ith protocols based on Q .931 / ETSI 300 102. C API Version 2.0 w as devel-
oped to support all Q .931 based protocols.
C API is designed to be the base of a w hole range of new protocol-stacks for net-
w orking, telephony and file-transfer and is em bodied in European standard ETS
300 838 Integrated Service D igital N etw ork (ISD N ); H arm onized Program m able
C om m unication Interface (H PC I) for ISD N .
Layer 3 Network Layer
The ISD N N etw ork Layer is specified by the ITU Q .930 through Q .939. Layer 3
is used for the establishm ent, m aintenance, and term ination of logical netw ork
connections betw een tw o devices.
Information Field Structure
The Inform ation Field is a variable length field that contains the Q .931 protocol
data.
Inform ation Field
8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
Protocol D iscrim inator
0 0 0 0 Length of C RV
C all Reference Value (1 or 2 octets)
0 M essage Type
M andatory & O ptional Inform ation Elem ents (variable)
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