PSTN and its Role in the Field of Communications

PSTN in communication

PSTN, also known as Public Switched Telephone Network is a popular system that facilitates communication via telephone lines. PSTN in communication field has brought a huge change in the way communication used to take place and data is being transferred both personally and in businesses. Let’s know more about PSTN and what role it plays in the field of communication. 

What is PSTN and how does it work?

PSTN is simply a group of interconnected networks of telephone lines owned by both governments as well as commercial organizations. PSTN phones are widely used and are still accepted as a standard form of communication. However, with the emergence of various new technologies, PSTN has seen a steady decline over the last decade.

 Some of the key properties of PSTN can be described as:

  • PSTN is closely related to POTS (Plain Old Telephone Service). The only difference between the two is that the PSTN can use other materials like fiber whereas, POTS is the traditional plain telephone network for voice calls. 
  • Other than Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS), the PSTN is also known by several names, such as phones, landlines, or fixed-line telephones.
  • PSTN has evolved from the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell.
  • The individual PSTN networks can be owned and managed by the national government, regional government, or private telephone operators.
  • The key objective of PSTN is to transmit human voices in a recognizable form. 
  • PSTN is a bunch of circuit-switched networks of the world.
  • Initially, PSTN was completely an analog network equipped with copper cables and switches.
  • Currently, several parts of the PSTN networks are digitized, encompassing a huge variety of communicating devices.
  • The operation of PSTN networks follows the ITU-T standards.

At present, PSTNs are comprised of:

  • Copper telephone lines
  • Fiber optic cables
  • Communication satellites
  • Microwave transmission links
  • Undersea telephone lines. 

It is also linked to cellular networks. The interconnection between the different parts of the telephone system is performed by switching centers. This allows various telephone and cellular networks to communicate with each other easily and effectively.

Now, let’s know how the PSTN line works. To work effectively, PSTN requires several things like: 

  • Switching centers
  • Satellite and fiber optic cables
  • Cables systems
  • Cellular networks
  • Telephone lines

When a call is placed and picked up, the voice data is transferred as digital signals through cable wires via the network to the recipient’s destination. 

Advantages of PSTN

Though several advanced forms of telecommunication are available today, PSTN is still a good idea for businesses. Here are some of the key reasons to choose PSTN:

  • Exclusively built for Telephony: PSTN is designed and built exclusively for making telephone calls and managing voice traffic only. Unlike various advanced systems available these days, PSTN can only be used to make telephone calls and therefore it does it very well without any issues. Since its inception, PSTN has evolved greatly and has become much better. Since competition has become fierce in the market, most telecom service providers these days offer high levels of voice clarity. 
  • Improved reliability and security: Reliability is the most important reason why businesses still use PSTN as compared to other options available on the market. It does not depend on the Internet connection, thus allowing users to continue answering and making calls. For instance, PSTN functions well even if there is a power failure, which means it assures business continuity. It is a long-used technology that has been developed worldwide and has become a reliable source in the field of communication. Security is another key area where PSTN is preferred over digital telecom solutions. The enormously analog nature of PSTN makes it less vulnerable to hacks. It comprises dedicated underground copper wires, which makes it almost impossible to hack into. This way, we can say that PSTN in communication is the most reliable and secure technology for businesses as well as individuals. 
  • Easy usability and setup: PSTN system is a very easy-to-use system. People who are not familiar with the latest technologies found PSTN the best and most reliable technology to make and receive calls. Users can enjoy all the basic features such as call forwarding, call muting, voicemail, call on hold, etc. All these options are quite easy to use. As far as the setup is concerned, the infrastructure setup is managed by the telecom service providers. If there is any issue, the service provider will be responsible to resolve the issue. This makes PSTN easy to use and set up. 
  • An excellent backup telecom system: PSTN is undoubtedly the best primary telecom system, the nature of this telephony system also makes it a great backup system for any business. For instance, if you are using a VoIP phone system and suddenly there is an issue with this setup, you can temporarily make a switch to PSTN until the issue is resolved. It acts as a perfect backup system due to its durability and functionality even when it is used occasionally. Besides, PSTN doesn’t require regular upgrades and maintenance. 


Many businesses still prefer using PSTN as their business phone system. Many that are using the latest technologies, use it as a backup system due to its durability, reliability, and quality of calls.  If you are searching for the best telecom system for your business, it is advisable to do proper research about the pros and cons of every telecom system. Choose the one that best fits your business requirements.

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