Tuesday, February 21, 2012

No T1 Lines in Europe - The E-Carrier Hierarchy

Today I'll continue with a post on what I've been calling the legacy Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN). In my last legacy post we covered T-4 and T-5 lines, today let's take a look at the European or “E” carrier system.

The European or “E” digital transmission format is slightly different than the North American T-carrier system format. With the E-Carrier system we are still taking individual voice call analog signals and converting to a digital signal by sampling the analog signal 8000 times per second and, after matching the instantaneous voltage sample level to one of 256 discrete levels, generating an 8 bit code for each sample. We are still dealing with the fundamental DS-0 building block of 64Kbps of digital bandwidth per single analog voice channel we used for the T-Carrier system. The differences between E-Carrier and T-Carrier deals with the number of channels and how these channels are used. Let’s start by looking at a European E-1 system and how it compares to a North American T-1 system.

The E-Carrier system starts by multiplexing 32 DS-0 channels together to form an E-1 circuit while the North American T-Carrier system multiplexes 24 DS-0 channels to form a T-1 circuit. 

The 32 DS-0 channels of an E-1 circuit combine from Channel 0 up to Channel 31. Channel 0 is used for framing (synchronization), channels 1-15 and 17-31 are used for individual DS-0 channels and Channel 16 is reserved and not used.
This system is also referred to as the “30 plus 2 system” because an E-1 signal consists of 30 DS-0 signals used for voice plus Channel 0, which is used for overhead and Channel 16 which is not used at all. In the European system, all synchronization (framing) is handled by Channel 0 so framing bits are not required on individual DS-0 channels.

We can calculate the signal rate for an E-1 circuit as follows:
E-2 through E-5 are carriers in increasing multiples of the E-1 format. We can look at a table showing DS data rates and how they correspond to the European E Carrier system.

In my next legacy PSTN post I'll cover the Synchronous Digital Hierarchy (SDH) system.

1 comment:

JFM from the PHL. said...

After your coverage of SDH, it would be of great help if we can get an overview of today's complex telecom network and how this various seemingly incompatible systems interwork.

Great work as usual!

Thank you!

JFM from the PHL.