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Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


Contents 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Introduction to AXE What is AXE? AXE as viewed by the subscriber AXE as viewed by the telecom administration Flexibility - the be-all and end-all AXE system structure Processors in the AXE system-basic principles System structure Internal interworking and hardware in APT The digital group switch The digital subscriber stage APZ 211 and APZ 212-control parts of the AXE system The I/O (Input/Output) system in AXE Addressing principles and the operating system Traffic handling Appendix

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J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 1. Introduction to AXE 1.1 What is AXE?

This question may be answered in many different ways. Some would say, A telephone exchange, while others might be more specific and say, A telephone system capable of serving all types of telecom networks- national as well as international. And many of the answers given would be right. But if the question reads, What do the three letters AXE stand for?, there will usually be no answer. What, then, does AXE mean? - The answer is that it is just a three-letter code denoting an Ericsson product. All products, instruments, tools, etc. made or used by Ericsson are identified by a three-letter code. The three letters are usually also followed by a number to indicate product variants. We will discuss this matter in more detail later on in this book, Section 4.2. Let us now revert to the first question, What is AXE? To be able to give a comprehensive answer we are going to use a comparative example: we will compare an AXE exchange installed today with one of the first AXE exchanges ever installed, that is, the Sodertalje Exchange just south of Stockholm, which was cut over in 1976. If we could place these two exchanges side by side, we would find that they look quite different. And if we take a closer look, the differences will become even more manifest. The older version uses relay-based technique for some of its functions, whereas relays are very rare in the newer one. The modern exchange features a wide range of facilities for clients to choose among, whereas the old one can offer only a limited number.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

Yet both are called AXE. Where is the logic in this?

The answer is as follows: Even though the two versions differ as far as external characteristics are concerned, they are very similar in terms of internal structure because the same system structure has been used. Furthermore, the same type of design aids have been used in designing the two exchanges. Since this internal structure is in no way dependent on the technology used, the AXE system is sometimes referred to as future-proof. Another ten years from now new technology will be available, resulting perhaps in new AXE versions.

1.2 AXE as viewed by the Subscriber

A subscriber will make certain demands on his telephone as well as on the telecom network as a whole. These demands are usually more or less unreasonable: My telephone should function at all times, and it is a must that I should always be connected to the number I have dialled. Of course, such a demand is excessive, but on the other hand reality is not many steps behind. In most countries, the portion of unsuccessful calls due to technical faults and congestion, can be far below 1 per cent. Another demand is that a telephone that is out of service should be quickly repaired. In these situations, subscribers will receive better service if the exchange itself can decide whether the telephone or the line is faulty. These types of demands- together with the demand for quick set-up of connections- have always been made by subscribers. The introduction of computer-controlled telephone exchanges also meant the introduction of a new concept- SUBSCRIBER FACILITIES. An AXE exchange can be provided with a variety of subscriber facilities, which means that subscribers can be offered better service.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

We are now going to take a look at some of the facilities offered and see how they can be used.

Subscriber Facilities in AXE

Wake-up and Reminder Service The subscriber can dial the hour for automatic wake-up on his telephone. Call Transfer (Follow me or Temporary Call Transfer) The subscriber can divert calls intended for his number to any other number within a specified area. Abbreviated Dialling A short code replaces a long number or a number used frequently by the subscriber. The capacity is up to 100 numbers per subscriber. Non-dialled Connection (Hot Line) The subscriber need only lift the handset (receiver) to be connected to a given number, either directly or after, say, 5 seconds. If the subscriber dials a digit during these 5 seconds, he can use his telephone in the usual manner. Alternation on Inquiry The subscriber presses a button to alternate between two calls. Add-on Conference (Three-party Conference) Three subscribers can converse with each other simultaneously. Call Waiting The subscriber hears a weak tone if called by a third party during a conversation in progress. This facility also includes alternation on inquiry. Diversion This facility is available in two variants: diversion on busy and diversion on no reply. A common characteristic of both variants is that diversion takes place to some other number programmed by the subscriber.

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These are some of the subscriber facilities offered by the AXE system today. Future AXE facilities are dealt within section 3.5, ISDN.


Who buys an AXE exchange? In most cases the buyers are national telecom administrations, but some countries have private telephone companies- Finland and the USA, for example. Of course, the buyers also make demands on the telephone systems they are going to purchase. The administration usually makes a so-called CHOICE OF SYSTEM, which means that it decides to buy a large number of exchanges from one and the same supplier. In this way, maintenance, spare parts handling, training, etc. will be easier to organize as compared with a purchase comprising various types of exchanges from different suppliers. Considering the fact that the service life of an exchange is very long, we realize that this kind of decision is a very important one. It is essential that the administration should choose the right system from the beginning. We will now mention some of the factors that an administration must take into account before adopting a new system. As readers, you should have these factors in mind when studying the system structure later on in this book. Does the system include basic functions (coin telephones, private exchange functions, etc.)?

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Can the system handle operator-controlled traffic, for instance, to a local exchange?

What other facilities does the system offer? Note that subscriber facilities can be profitable to an administration. EXAMPLE: The Call Waiting facility results in a larger portion of successful calls, thus increasing the number of charged calls as well as the administrations business earnings.

Will future extensions be costly? (Is spare capacity for future extensions available?)

Does the system include concentrators? (Can the administration offer subscriber facilities to subscribers in rural areas?)

Can the system provide the administration with adequate statistical information? Such information constitutes a useful tool when dimensioning the network, which in turn results in a higher grade of service for the subscribers.

Is the system capable of handling digital transmission? How many alternative routes (number of routes and number of lines per route) can the system handle?

Will the system be able to satisfy present and future demands as regards numbering? (A numbering plan often covers a period of 30-50 years into the future).

Will it be easy to change the numbering of subscriber lines? (A subscriber who moves to a new address within the same exchange area usually wants to keep his old number).

Is the system capable of handling present and future call metering methods?

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Does the system incorporate facilities for time-differentiated call metering? (Lower rates in the evening than during office hours).

Can the system handle call metering for coin telephones and special facilities? Is the system compatible with all existing and planned signalling systems? (For instance, CCITTs Signalling System No. 7).

Will the system be easy to operate and maintain? Operation and maintenance activities are performed by personnel who (1) cost money and (2) need training. Reduction in the number of personnel and/or training time will, of course, reduce costs.

Will centralized operation and maintenance be possible? (Unattended local exchanges are supervised from a central point. This means less personnel and lower total cost of operation and maintenance).

Is automatic testing of system equipment provided? (Such testing will facilitate fault tracing, thus reducing repair time).

Is the system easy to communicate with? (Shorter personnel training time). As we can see, a great many factors influence the purchase of telephone

exchanges. Since todays systems are beginning to reach a very high degree of complexity - a fact which makes them difficult to evaluate - some administrations find it convenient to buy one exchange from each of a number of suppliers. This gives the administration time to evaluate the different systems and to compare them with one another before deciding on one or, perhaps, two systems. Can we then say that AXE satisfies these requirements? YES, INDEED. Its designers took them into account even at the drawing board stage. Since the development of the system was controlled at all times by the demands made on its performance, the solutions to the problems resulting from

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

these demands form an integral part of the system. Or in other words: there are no temporary solutions in AXE.

FLEXIBILITY- The Be-all and End-all

Does a telephone system have to be flexible? Yes, a telephone system must be flexible from two different points of view. First, flexibility is a prerequisite when producing and selling the system. It must be possible to use one and the same system in different parts of the world and to satisfy different requirements with regard to system operation. Second, the system must be flexible for telecom administrations to operate. In this context, it is of particular importance to remember that an exchange cannot just be shut down for extension or repair. All modifications, repairs or changes must be made while the exchange is in service, and without disturbing the traffic handling. These factors, too, have been taken into consideration when designing the AXE system. Only very extensive changes in the exchange will interfere with the traffic, though still to a very small degree.

The AXE system is referred to as an SPC system. Here, SPC stands for Stored Program Control, which means that programs stored in a computer control the operation of the exchange. (Note that exchange is used generally to denote either the plant as a whole - i.e. including the means of control employed - or that part of the plant which performs the telephony or switching functions). All operations to be performed by the exchange are stored in the computer memory. To modify a function we must consequently modify the computer memory.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

Figure. 2.1.1 An SPC Exchange The memory contains a large number of instructions which tell the computer what to do in different situations. To illustrate this, we may compare an AXE exchange with an old manual exchange. A manual exchange is controlled by an operator. During the decades immediately before and after the turn of the century this was the most common type of exchange, but even today manual exchanges are used (small company PBXs, hotel PBXs, etc.; PBX = Private Branch Exchange). Figure 2.1.2 shows a manual exchange used in Vasa (Finland) in 1890.

Figure 2.1.2 Manual Exchange in 1890

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Putting it somewhat simply, we might say that in AXE the operators have been replaced by a powerful computer. The computer memory contains all the information and skills previously possessed by operators. In those days, reprogramming the operator meant telling her how to change her procedures. Thus, to change something in AXE we must reprogram the computer, i.e. modify the list of instructions. There are many other similarities between manual exchanges and AXE. For instance, what would happen in the manual exchange if the operator was taken ill? It would, of course, stop. To improve the reliability of a manual exchange we may have two operators, one of whom is standby. And this is also a principle used in AXE: the switching equipment is controlled by two computers, one of which is standby. We will revert to this duplication concept later on.


As has been said, AXE consists of two main parts: switching equipment for switching telephone calls, and a computer for controlling the switching equipment. These two parts have been given designations resembling the AXE letter code. The switching equipment is called APT, and the computer is called APZ. But not just what we can see and touch in the exchange is called APT. APT also has programs, which are stored in the computer (APZ) but which belong to the exchange (switching) part (APT). To illustrate this correlation we are going to design a simple system for traffic signals to be used at an intersection, and these signals will be controlled by a computer. Let us assume that we buy a computer consisting of a central processing unit containing the processor and the memory, and that we supplement this computer with a DISPLAY UNIT, a KEYBOARD and a FLOPPY-DISK UNIT. These last three units are known under the collective term of INPUT/OUTPUT DEVICES.

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Figure 2.1.3 Personal Computer We assemble our computer equipment, connect it, and switch on the power. What will happen? A beep is heard, and something is printed out on the display. Obviously, the computer already contains some kind of program. And this is called the operating program because it handles the work performed in the computer. What we now have in front of us on the desk corresponds to the APZ part of AXE. Thus, APZ consists of hardware (the computer, the memory, the input/output devices, etc.) and software for handling memories and input/output devices, and for administering the work done by the computer. We are now going to take a look at the functions to be controlled by our computer. The traffic signal system will be of modern type, with dug-in sensors for detecting motor-cars. In addition, the traffic signal posts will have buttons to be pressed by pedestrians before crossing the street.

Figure 2.1.4 Traffic Signals Controlled by a Computer

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To control these traffic signals we must write a program which tells the computer how to act in different situations. And the program that we write must have certain data to work with. The data in our program will be, for instance, what the signals indicate at any given moment. The computer must remember what the signals indicate to enable the program to work satisfactorily. We provide the computer with two kinds of material: a program and data. The program will not change when the system is started up, but the data will. We will now compare our traffic signal system with the AXE system and define some common concepts. The program we have written is intended for a specific application. Hence, as opposed to general programs, this type of program is called Application Program. Our application program consists of program and data, or Software. The traffic signals, the sensors, the lines and the program that we have written to control these correspond to APT in AXE. Consequently, APT in AXE consists of the exchange (printed board assemblies, lines, etc.) and of software stored in the computer (APZ).

APT = Telephony part of AXE APZ = Control part of AXE Figure 2.1.5 The Two Parts of an AXE Exchange

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

Let us now take a closer look at the computer that controls the exchange.



As you will understand, we cannot use a personal computer like the one used in our traffic signal system. The work to be performed in a telephone exchange can be said to fall into two main groups: 1. Routine scanning of equipment to detect changes. An example is the checking performed to see if a subscriber has lifted his handset. This is done several times every second. 2. Complex analyses and diagnostics requiring high computing capacity and large volumes of data. Examples are the selection of outgoing routes or traffic measurements. These two chief tasks have one thing in common: the importance of the TIME factor. Here, TIME refers to the moment at which something is done or happens. (When a subscriber lifts his handset he expects to receive dial tone directly - not after, say, 10 seconds). A computer designed to cope with such time requirements is usually called a real time processor or just processor. The solution is to have two different types of processor to control the system: one Central Processor (CP) and a number of Regional Processors (RP). The RPs assist the CP in performing routine tasks and report important events occurring in the exchange to the CP. All decisions are made by the central processor.

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Figure 2.1.6 The Architecture of the Control-system

Figure 2.1.7 RP Handles Simple but Frequent Tasks, whereas CP Handles Complex Tasks This type of configuration permits simple modification of the system capacity by just increasing or decreasing the number of regional processors. This rule applies up to the capacity limit of the central processor.


As we have already seen, the AXE system consists of two main parts: APT,

which is the telephony part, and APZ, which is the control part. Both APT and APZ use hardware (printer board assemblies) and software (programs and data). We will now take a closer look at the telephony part, APT, and see what it includes. Later on in this book we will also discuss the control part, APZ.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 APT


To facilitate the handling of a system the size of AXE, APT has also been divided into a number of Subsystems. The division into subsystems is function-related, and below we will briefly discuss some of the many reasons why such a division is necessary. DESIGN: The responsibility for the design of a subsystem rests with a department or section at Ericsson. DOCUMENTATION: The fact that the division into sub-systems is functionrelated facilitates the locating of the documents involved. SYSTEM DESCRIPTION: Some subsystems are needed only in certain applications. The names of the subsystems included in a particular exchange give a condensed description of the tasks to be performed by the exchange concerned. The name of a given subsystem reflects the function of that subsystem. Some subsystems contain only software whereas others contain both software and hardware. We will now briefly discuss all the subsystems presently used in APT (the telephony part). Some of them will be studied in more detail later on.

TCS, TRAFFIC CONTROL SUBSYSTEM: Only software. TCS is a central part of APT and can be said to replace the operator of a manual system. Examples of the subsystems functions are: Set-up, supervision and clearing of calls. Selection of outgoing routes. Analysis of incoming digits.

Storage of subscriber categories.

TSS TRUNK and SIGNALLING SUBSYSTEM: Software and hardware. The subsystem handles the signalling over and the supervision of connections to other exchanges.

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sets up, supervises and clears connections through the group switch. Selection of a path through the switch takes place in the software. OMS OPERATION and MAINTENANCE SUBSYTEMS: Software and hardware. The subsystem contains various functions related to statistics and supervision. OMS is one of the largest subsystems in APT. SSS SUBSCRIBER SWITCHING SUBSYSTEM: Software and hardware. The subsystem handles traffic to and from subscribers connected to the exchange. CHS CHARGING SUBSYSTEM: Only software. The subsystem handles call metering (call charging) functions. Two call metering methods are available: pulse metering and toll ticketing. SUS SUBSCRIBER SERVICES SUBSYSTEM: Only software. Subscriber facilities (services), such as abbreviated dialling, are implemented in SUS. OPS OPERATOR SUBSYSTEM: Only software. The subsystem handles the connection and disconnection of operators. OPS cooperates with OTS (Operator Terminal System), which includes the operator positions. CCS COMMON CHANNEL SIGNALLING SUBSYSTEM: Software and hardware. Two variants exist: one for CCITT No. 6 and one for CCITT No. 7. CCS contains functions for signalling, routing, supervision and correction of messages sent in accordance with CCITT No. 6 or No. 7. MTS MOBILE TELEPHONY SUBSYSTEM: Software and hardware. The subsystem handles traffic to and from mobile subscribers. MNS NETWORK MANAGEMENT SUBSYSTEM: Only software. The subsystem contains functions for supervising the traffic flow through the exchange, and for introducing temporary changes in that flow.

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= = = = = = = = = = = =

Telephony Part of AXE Common Channel Signalling Subsystem Charging Subsystem Group Switching Subsystem Mobile Telephony Subsystem Network Management Subsystem Operation and Maintenance Subsystem Operator Subsystem Subscriber Switching Subsystem Subscriber Services Subsystem Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subsystem Figure 2.2.1 Subsystems in APT

As has been said, the control part consists of one central processor and a number of regional processors. The task of the software allocated to a subsystem is to control the hardware of that subsystem. Since the hardware (the telephony devices) is controlled by the regional processors, these must, of course, also contain programs belonging to the subsystem concerned. Consequently, the software for a subsystem can be divided into one central part (programs + data which are stored in the central processor) and one regional part (programs + data which are stored in the regional processors). Naturally, this applies only to subsystems containing hardware.

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= = = = = = = = = = = =

Telephony Part of AXE Common Channel Signalling Subsystem Charging Subsystem Group Switching Subsystem Mobile Telephony Subsystem Network Management Subsystem Operation and Maintenance Subsystem Operator Subsystem Subscriber Switching Subsystem Subscriber Services Subsystem Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subsystem

Figure 2.2.2 The Structure of Subsystems in APT

Structuring of Subsystems
Each subsystem is in turn divided into a number of parts called FUNCTION BLOCKS. At this level, too, the division is function-related. To illustrate this we are going to study the Trunk and Signalling Subsystem (TSS). TSS contains a function block called BT (Both-way Trunk). The function of the BT function block is to handle both-way digital links between exchanges. (A both-way trunk is a trunk that can carry traffic in both directions). Of course, there is hardware to which the digital link is connected. In this case, the hardware consists of a printed board assembly containing circuits and logic for clocking the digital signals. A regional processor contains software to control and supervise the hardware. The software belongs to the BT function block. If a change occurs in the

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hardware, this will be detected by the regional software, which scans the hardware at regular intervals. The regional software (BTR) will then inform the central software (BTU) in the BT function block. After that, the central software can interwork with other function blocks in the central processor. The interworking between function blocks always takes place at the central level, i.e. in the central processor. See Figure 2.2.3.


= = =

Bothway trunk Regional software of block BT Central software of block BT Figure 2.2.3 Examples of Function Blocks

As shown in the figure, function block Y has neither hardware nor regional software, and this is just as frequent a solution as any other combination, taking into account that entire subsystems may consist exclusively of central software. The data belonging to a function block can only be addressed by the blocks own programs. If a block needs data from some other block, it must make a request.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 WHY FUNCTION BLOCKS?

The basic idea of function blocks can be explained as follows: Well-defined processes with data of their own.


Borders between function blocks where the exchange of information is least frequent.

A function block need not know what other blocks do. Standardized signals between the function blocks.

To summarize this section we are going to study Figure 2.2.4, which shows the structure of the AXE system. Remember: The division into different units at different levels is always functionrelated.


= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Telephony Part of AXE Control Part of AXE Bothway Trunk Regional software of block BT Central software of block BT Central Processor Subsystem Code Sender File Management Subsystem Hardware Man-machine Communication Subsystem Operation and Maintenance Subsystem Outgoing Trunk Subscriber Services Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subsystem

Figure 2.2.4 The Structure of the AXE System

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 2.3 INTERNAL INTERWORKING and HARDWARE in APT


We are now going to have a closer look at some central system parts. To describe the operation of an AXE exchange we will study how TCS (Traffic Control Subsystem) interworks with the other subsystems. As has been said TCS is the central part from the traffic-handling point of view. TCS in AXE corresponds to the operators in a manual system. Remember that TCS consists only of central software.

TCS = Traffic Control Subsystem Figure 2.3.1 A Comparison The TCS subsystem consists of 9 important function blocks; see Figure 2.3.2.


= = = = = = = = = =

Call supervision Coordination of Flash services Digit Analysis Route Analysis Register functions Subscriber Categories Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk Offering Data Trunk Offering Management Semi-permanent Connections

Figure 2.3.2 Some of the TCS Function Blocks

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 RE REGISTER FUNCTION

This block stores the incoming digits and handles the set-up of calls.


This block supervises calls in progress and clears them.

This block contains tables for digit analysis. Such analysis is ordered by RE.

This block contains tables for selecting outgoing routes (including alternative routes). Such selection is ordered by RE.

This block stores subscriber categories for all subscribers connected to the exchange.


This block takes over the functions of RE or CL when a busy subscriber is to be supervised by an operator.


Like TOM, this block takes over the functions of RE or CL when a busy subscriber is to be supervised by an operator.


This block takes over the functions of CL when more than two subscribers are to take part in one and the same speech connection. (This applies to certain subscriber facilities).

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 SECA SEMI-PERMANENT CONNECTIONS


This block permits the setting-up of semi-permanent connections through the group switch. As we can see, the TCS subsystem occupies a central position in the AXE system. As its name indicates (Traffic Control Subsystem), TCSs tasks include controlling the set-up and clearing phases. Figure 2.3.3 shows where in the system TCS is positioned.


= = = = = =

Common Channel Signalling Subsystem Group Switching Subsystem Mobile Telephony Subsystem Subscriber Services Subsystem Traffic Control Subsystem Traffic and Signalling Subsystem

Figure 2.3.3 A Central Part of APT (The figure does not include all subsystems)

To set up a call to another exchange, the operator of an old-type manual system exchanged verbal information (signals) with other operators. When automatic exchanges were introduced, these, too, needed to exchange signals. Different electrical signals were given different meanings. Signalling can be divided into two main groups: line signalling and register signalling. Line signals control the set-up and clearing of a speech connection. Register signals contain information such as the number to which a call is to be connected. Register signals are only used in the set-up phase. Let us compare automatic signalling with the operators way of communicating.

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To set-up a call to another exchange the operator sends a current through the line by turning the handle of a generator. The current causes an indicator to react at the receiving operators desk, thus indicating that a call is coming. This is a line signal. The receiving operator connects her headset to the line and says, Hello. The other operator hears this and says, Please connect me to number 1234. These are examples of register signals. This was one of the first procedures for interexchange signalling. During the hundred years of telephony history, a great many signalling systems have been developed. These systems have naturally been dependent on the technology available, and consequently the history of signalling covers a wide range of means from uncomplicated currents and tones to todays high-capacity digital signalling systems. This development process has resulted in a mixture of new and old technology in telecom networks. An exchange must often be capable of handling many different signalling systems simultaneously. In the AXE system, this problem has been solved by letting the TSS subsystem (Trunk and Signalling Subsystem) adapt different signalling systems to TCS. In other words, TCS can be said to be unchanging.


= = = =

Group Switching Subsystem Regional Processor Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subystem

Figure 2.3.4 Adaptation to Different Signalling Systems is made in TSS

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To see how TCS works we will study a small portion of an incoming call to an AXE exchange.

The register signalling system used in our example is MFC (Multi Frequency Code). MFC sends register signals by combining two tones. A special piece of equipment is required to handle these tones. This equipment is called the CR (Code Receiver) and is connected via the group switch.


= = = = = = = =

Code Receiver Digit Analysis Group Switching Subsystem Incoming Trunk Register Function Regional Processor Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subsystem

Figure 2.3.5 Hardware and Software for an Incoming Call The sequence of events is as follows: (i) (ii) (iii) The other exchange wants to setup a call to our exchange, and selects a free line to interconnect the two exchanges. The other exchange sends a line signal to our exchange simultaneously with the sending of the first digit by means of MFC signals. The line signal is detected by the regional processor scanning the incoming line (IT, Incoming Trunk). The regional processor sends a

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message to the central software of the IT block, telling it that a call attempt is in progress. (iv) As ITs central software (ITU) receives the message, it consults its data and finds that the line concerned uses MFC signalling. ITU now requests a CR from the central software (CRU) of the CR block. CRU selects a free CR device and orders GSS (Group Switching Subsystem) to connect the CR device to the IT device. ITU informs the RE block in TCS that a call is coming. RE reserves a data area in the memory to be used exclusively for this call. (At this point, all arrangements have been made for the reception of digits from the other exchange). (vii) The first digit is received by the CR device. The regional processor scans the CR device and sends the digit to CRU. CRU sends the digit on to ITU, which forwards it to the register, RE. (viii) RE sends the digit to the DA block for analysis. The DA block contains a number of tables for digit analysis. The result of the analysis is stored in RE. Depending on the result of the analysis, the register can now take different kinds of action.

(v) (vi)


= = = = = = = =

Code Receiver Digit Analysis Group Switching Subsystem Incoming Trunk Register Function Regional Processor Traffic Control Subsystem Trunk and Signalling Subsystem

Figure 2.3.6 The Digit is Transferred from the CR Device to the Register

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As has been said, it is the register that controls the set-up phase. This control is based on the result obtained in the digit analysis. The following data may come from the DA block on completion of the digit analysis (one digit at a time is analysed - not the whole B-number in one go). Send the next digit. Routing case (the analysis in the Route Analysis Block, RA, indicates an outgoing route). Charging case. Number length. Terminating Call. Modification of B-number. End of analysis.

We have now studied the processing of a call in AXE, and we will revert to this subject later on in this book.


We will now study some of the TSS and CCS hardware in APT. It is important to remember that all hardware is controlled by its own software both in the central processor and in the regional processors.



= = = = = = =

Exchange Terminal Circuit Group Switching Subsystem Incoming Trunk Outgoing Trunk Pulse Code Modulation Device Analog Signal Digital Signal

Figure 2.3.7 Hardware for Incoming and Outgoing Trunks

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ETC (Exchange Terminal Circuit) is the hardware of the BT blocks. An ETC consists of a printed board assembly housed in a magazine. For examples of magazines, see Section 2.10, Construction Practice. The printed board assembly is illustrated in Figure 2.3.8.

Figure 2.3.8 Exchange Terminal Circuit (ETC) Each channel in the digital connection is regarded as a BT device. If a 32channel system is used, only 30 of the channels can be utilized for speech. Channel 0 is always used for synchronization and alarm information while channel 16 is used for signalling (Channel 16 is primarily used for line signalling, but some signalling systems can also use it for register signals). The USA and South Korea are examples of countries using 24-channel systems. In these systems, all 24 channels can be used for speech (Line signals are sent by stealing one bit from every six samples). OT (Outgoing Trunk) is the block used to handle outgoing analog connections. The hardware consists of a magazine containing 32 devices, and an analogto-digital converter. The converter, which is called PCD (Pulse-Code Modulation Device), has no software and no signalling function.

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IT (Incoming Trunk) is the block used to handle incoming analog connections. The hardware is almost identical with that of OT. To distinguish between different variants, the trunk blocks are given numbers: BT1, BT2 . Here the term variant refers to different signalling systems. Exchanges installed today are almost exclusively equipped with ETCs. In applications with analog transmission, the digital signals sent by ETCs are converted into analog signals. The equipment used to do the conversion is called a Multiplexer (MUX). A multiplexer thus converts signals from digital to analog form, but it can also multiplex several analog signals on one and the same line (FDM, Frequency Division Multiplex). Note that the MUX does not belong to the AXE system; it is transmission equipment. ETC GSS MUX = = = = = Exchange Terminal Circuit Group Switching Subsystem Multiplexer Analog signal Digital signal

Figure 2.3.9 A Multiplexer (MUX)

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 CODE SENDERS and CODE RECEIVERS (TSS)



= = = = = = = =

Code Receiver Code Sender Code Sender/Receiver Exchange Terminal Circuit Group Switching Subsystem Multiplexer Analog Signal Digital Signal

Figure 2.3.10 Analog and Digital Code Senders/Receivers Code Senders (CS) and Code Receivers (CR) are used for sending MFC register signals. CR/CS are connected by means of the group switch when a device (IT, OT or BT) needs to send register signals by MFC. AXE has two types of CR/CS: (i) Analog Devices: 4 CR or 4 CS in each magazine. Analog-to-digital conversion takes place in the PCD (Pulse Code Modulation Device). (ii) Digital Devices: 16 devices in a magazine, CSR, that can be used on both CR and CS.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 ANNOUNCING MACHINE (TSS)



= = = = =

Auxilliary Service Device Digital Announcing Machine Group Switching Subsystem Pulse Code Modulation Device Recorder Device

Figure 2.3.11 Analog and Digital Announcing Machines (DAM) The announcing machine is a subscriber facility which uses recorded messages to inform calling subscribers why they cannot reach dialled numbers. Announcing machines are also necessary in combination with certain subscriber facilities where the subscriber can control the facility by dialling predetermined codes (The announcing machines inform subscribers whether they have used the right or wrong procedure). Two different types of announcing machine can be connected to AXE: a digital machine of recent design, or a conventional analog machine. As its name indicates, the Digital Announcing Machine (DAM) is fully digital. Recorded verbal messages and tones are stored in digital form on two types of storage boards: one with PROMs and one with RAMs. The messages stored in PROMs are seldom changed and special external recording equipment is required to make changes in them. But no external equipment is needed to change messages stored in RAMs. In fact, uses can change them by dialling procedures on an ordinary

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


telephone. Consequently, these messages are best suited for the Weather Line, sports results, news, etc. The maximum message length is 32 seconds for permanent messages and 64 seconds for information that is frequently changed. Verbal messages from an external analog announcing machine can be connected to DAM, and external messages can be combined with messages stored in DAM. An example of how this type of message is used is the subscriber facility automatic wake-up service. When woken up by the ringing signal, the called subscriber hears a message, for example: You have ordered automatic wake-up. The time is . (Here a speaking clock can be activated to give the hour). Verbal messages can also be combined with various types of tones. As appears from Figure 2.3.11, the analog machine requires a great deal of peripheral equipment. Announcing machine messages are recorded on magnetic disks, which repeat the message as the disk rotates. To prevent subscribers from being connected up in the middle of a message, the announcing machines send synchronizing pulses when a message starts. These pulses are sent to a magazine called RD (Recording Device). RD sees to it that ASD (Auxiliary Service Device) connects the subscriber at the right moment. The ASD magazine also operates as a mini-switch, as each input from the group switch must be connectable to any of the recorded messages.


Signalling terminals (ST) for signalling according to CCITT No. 7 are connected to the group switch via a PCD-D. Since the signalling terminals are digital devices, the PCD-D equipment includes no conversion function but merely serves as an adaptation device towards the group switch. The signalling information from a signalling terminal is sent through the group switch to a certain channel in an ETC.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


This channel is then used exclusively for signalling. The advantage of connecting the signalling terminals via the group switch is that some devices can be kept in reserve and automatically replace inoperative devices.


= = = =

Exchange Terminal Circuit Group Switching Subsystem Pulse Code Device - Digital Signalling Terminal for CCITT No. 7

Figure 2.3.12 Signalling Terminals for CCITT No. 7

Figure 2.3.13 Signalling Terminal for CCITT No. 7 CCITT No. 6 is a signalling system used for international connections. The basic principle is the same as for CCITT No. 7, but the system design is adapted to suit analog signalling links. This means that the transmission rate is somewhat lower (2400 bit/s), that is in comparison to 56 or 64 kbit/s when CCITT No.7 is used.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

Figure 2.3.14 shows the hardware used for CCITT No. 6.


GSS = PCD = ST-6 =

Group Switching Subsystem Pulse Code Modulation Device Signalling Terminal for CCITT No. 6

Figure 2.3.14 Signalling Terminals for CCITT No. 6


The Digital Group Switch

Before studying the structure of the digital group switch in AXE we will touch

upon some of the basic principles of digital switching. The introduction of digital switching gave birth to a new concept:

Let us first see what a time switch is made up of and how it operates.

A/D ~

= = =

Analog/Digital converter Analog signal Digital signal

Figure 2.4.1 A Simplified Time Switch

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

A time switch is made up of:


a Speech Store for temporary storage of the speech

samples. Each channel in the time switch has a position of its own in the Speech Store. Speech Store. This means that we can change the sequence of speech samples in a time switch. Assume that we are going to read out samples from the speech store in the following order: 3, 2, 1, 4 (the read-in order is 1, 2, 3, 4). The control store would then have the following contents (see Figure 2.4.2). a Control Store which controls the read-out from the

A/D D/A ~

= = = =

Analog/Digital Converter Digital/Analog Converter Analog Signal Digital Signal

Figure 2.4.2 Control Information in the Control Store This small-size time switch has only 4 inputs. How, then, do we go about designing a digital group switch with tens of thousands of inputs? In theory we could use a single time switch having the required number of inputs. But then the following question arises: How often would we have to empty a given position in the speech store? The answer is 8,000 times every second for

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


each position (the sampling frequency is 8,000 Hz). Consequently, for a 20,000 input switch the read-in/read-out rate would be 20,000 x 8,000 Hz = 160 MHz. Todays market does not offer any circuits that can cope with these speeds. The solution to the problem is to divide the time switch into suitable sub-units. To setup connections from one time switch to another we use a SPACE SWITCH. The capacity of each time switch in AXE is 512 inputs. A maximum of 32 time switches can be connected to one space switch. Terminology : Time Switch Module (TSM) Space Switch Module (SPM)


= = =

Pulse Code Modulation Space Switch Module Time Switch Module

Figure 2.4.3 The Fundamental Parts of the Digital Group Switch A connection will pass through a TSM - via SPM - to the same or another TSM. All calls are set-up via SPM, including those which return to the original TSM. We say that the switch has a T-S-T (Time-Space-Time) structure.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10 TIME SWITCH MODULE (TSM)


Since a TSM handles samples in both directions, we need two speech stores: one for samples entering the TSM [Speech Store A (SSA)] and another for samples leaving the TSM [Speech Store B (SSB)]. Each speech store has a separate control store: CSA and CSB, respectively (in this case, CS stands for Control Store). TSM also has a control store for SPM called CSC.


= = = = = = =

Control Store A Control Store B Control Store C Space Switch Module Speech Store A Speech Store B Time Switch Module

Figure 2.4.4 Speech Stores and Control Stores in TSM


The SPM structure is very simple and can be drawn as an ordinary matrix with cross points. Of course, in reality, the cross points represent logic gates that open and close very rapidly.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10



= = =

Control Store C Space Switch Module Time Switch Module

Figure 2.4.5 Space Switch Module (SPM) As appears from Figure 2.4.5, the CSC of each TSM controls a row of cross points. Thus, CSC in TSM-0 controls all cross points leading to TSM-0. When a call is to be set-up in the switch, it is the central software of the GS block (Group Switch) that selects the path through the switch. In this case, path selection refers to the moment when a sample is to be transferred. This is called selection of an internal time slot. After the central software (GSU) of the GS block has selected a path, the regional software (GSR) is ordered to write information to this effect in the control stores of the TSMs concerned. From now on, GSU will not pay any attention to the connection until the call is to be cleared.


As we know, 32 TSMs can be connected to each SPM, providing a total capacity of 32 x 512 = 16,384 inputs (This type of group switch is often called 16K).

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

What can we do, then, to build a larger switch?


We can interconnect several SPMs to form a large matrix as illustrated in Figure 2.4.6.


= = =

Pulse Code Modulation Space Switch Module Time Switch Module

Figure 2.4.6 A Fully Equipped Group Switch This gives a total switch capacity of 128 x 512 = 65,536 inputs (This type is often called 64K).

All types of digital equipment require some form of clocking. The clock rate determines the rate at which samples are read from or written into the speech stores. The accuracy of this clock is of great importance in networks containing several interconnected digital exchanges. The whole network must be synchronized. It is also important that the clock does not stop, as this would stop the whole group switch.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


To prevent this happening, the group switch has three clocks, or Clock Modules (CLM).


= = = = =

Clock Module Exchange Terminal Circuit Space Switch Module Time Switch Module Digital Signal

Figure 2.4.7 Clock Modules to Synchronize the Group Switch The operation of the group switch will be trouble-free even if only one clock is used, i.e. in emergency situations. As has been said, the whole network must be synchronized if it contains several digital exchanges. There are various ways of doing this. The simplest method is perhaps the MASTER-SLAVE configuration, which means that one of the exchanges has a control (master) function, while the others (the slave exchanges) try to follow the operating pattern of the master.

Figure 2.4.8 The Master-slave Principle

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


The master exchange has a number (usually 3) of more sophisticated and accurate clocks called Reference Clock Modules (RCM). Figure 2.4.9 shows the hardware included in the master and slave exchanges.


= = = = = =

Clock Module Exchange Terminal Circuit Reference Clock Module Space Switch Module Time Switch Module Digital Signal

Figure 2.4.9 Hardware in Master and Slave Exchanges The photograph in Figure 2.4.10 shows an RCM magazine (left) and a CLM magazine. The CLM magazine has hardware for operating a switch containing 8 TSMs (4,000 inputs, often written as 4K). For larger switches, a larger version of the CLM magazine is available.


= =

Clock Module Reference Clock Module

Figure 2.4.10 RCM and CLM for 4K Switch

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10

There is also another way of synchronizing a network,


Synchronization. This method is to be preferred in national transit networks. The basic principle of mutual synchronization is that one of the exchanges operates according to a mean value based on all incoming frequencies. Consequently, the network has no master. In order to prevent the whole network from drifting as a result of frequency displacement, one of the exchanges is locked to a fixed frequency value. This reference exchange is called a SINK and has three highly stable clocks called CCMs (Cesium Clock Modules) which are connected in the same way as RCM in Figure 2.4.9. It is thus common practice to use two types of synchronization in a network. A fully built-up digital network may use the configuration shown in Figure 2.4.11.

Figure 2.4.11 Network Synchronization


Since the digital group switch is only capable of interconnecting two inputs, external equipment must be used to set up a three-party call (for example operator intervention or Add-on conference). This equipment is called Multi-Junctor Circuit (MJC). An MJC magazine can handle 10 simultaneous three-party calls.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


MJC, which also has regional and central software, forms part of the GSS subsystem.

MJC = Multi-Junctor Circuit SPM = Space Switch Module TSM = Time Switch Module

Figure 2.4.12 A Multi-Junctor Circuit (MJC)

Since the group switch forms a vital part of an AXE exchange, exacting demands are, of course, made on its functional reliability. What would happen if, for instance, an SPM broke down? Well, as many as 16,000 calls would collapse. And, of course, this must not happen. To solve this problem, AXE is equipped with two complete group switches: one called the A-plane and the other the B-plane. A speech sample is always sent through both planes but it is only fetched from one of them, usually the A-plane. To supervise the hardware, a number of parity check functions are provided for checking the speech samples sent through the switch. A hardware fault will immediately be detected by these functions. The faulty equipment is blocked, and

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


corresponding equipment in the other plane takes over the traffic handling. All these measures are taken without disturbing calls in progress.



As mentioned before, there is a subsystem for handling the traffic between

subscribers: the Subscriber Switching Subsystem (SSS). The subscriber stage in AXE is digital, which means that the analog signal from the subscriber line is converted into digital form. This is done in the subscribers Line Interface Circuit (LIC) and all switching is digital. To be able to understand the structure of the subscriber stage we will first discuss its tasks.

A subscriber stage includes the following functions: Feed current to the subscriber line. Concentrate the traffic towards the group switch. Receive digits from dial telephones (pulses). Receive digits from keyset telephones (tones). Send ring signals to the subscriber. Send different tones to the subscriber. Carry out measurements on the subscriber line.

Some of the above mentioned functions are common to many subscribers, others are individual. All individual functions are concentrated in the subscribers line interface circuit. These functions are: current feed, polarity reversal, reception of dial pulses, relay for connecting ring signals, relay for connecting test equipment, and analog-todigital conversion. Each printed board assembly has 8 line interface circuits; see Figure 2.5.1.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


Figure 2.5.1 Board with 8 Line Interface Circuits (LIC) The board is equipped with components of special Ericsson design called SLIC and SLAC (Subscriber Line Interface Circuit and Subscriber Line Audio processing Circuit, respectively). The flexibility of the circuits makes it easy to adapt them to varying requirements in different countries. This goes in particular for power supply, speech levels and balance. As we have seen, the line interface circuit has no equipment for the reception of digits from keyset telephones (tones). The equipment, for this receiving function is common to several subscribers and is called Keyset code Reception Circuit (KRC). This device is digital, and each printed board assembly can accommodate 8 KRCs. To connect the KRCs to calling subscribers we need a switch- the Extension Module Time Switch (EMTS). All three equipment units dealt with above (LIC, KRC and EMTS) have both regional and central software; see Figure 2.5.2.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10



= = = = = = = = =

Extension Module Time Switch Keyset Code Reception Circuit Regional software of block KR Central software of block KR Line Interface Circuit Regional software of block LI Central software of block LI Regional software of block TS Central software of block TS

Figure 2.5.2 The Basic Part of the Subscriber Switch Additional equipment is required to connect subscribers to the group switch. This equipment, which handles the 32 digital channels to the group switch, is called the Exchange Terminal Board (ETB). ETB is the hardware of a function block called the Remote Terminal (RT). It is the central software of the RT block which reserves channels to the exchange.


A function block called Combined Junctor (CJ) is provided to co-ordinate all functions in the SSS subsystem. In addition to co-ordinating the set-up and clearing phases, CJ serves as an interface with TCS and, in particular, with the RE block. See Figure 2.5.3.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10



= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

Central software of block CJ Extension Module Time Switch Exchange Terminal Board Keyset Code Reception Circuit Regional software of block KR Central software of block KR Line Interface Circuit Regional software of block LI Central software of block LI Regional software of block RT Central software of block RT Traffic Control Subsystem Regional software of block TS Central software of block TS

Figure 2.5.3 CJ - The Central Block of SSS How many subscribers can be connected to an EMTS? The answer is 128 subscribers, 8 KRCs and one 32-channel ETB. All this is referred to as an Extension Module (EM) or an LSM (Line and Switch Module).

The regional software for the subscriber stage is stored and executed in a processor incorporated in the magazine: the Extension Module Regional Processor (EMRP). The routine scanning of the hardware is done by small, simple microprocessors located in different parts of the hardware. These are called Device Processors (DP) and are in their turn scanned by an EMRP.

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


The program in DP has no decision-making functions; it just reports hardware changes to EMRP.


= = = = = = =

Device Processor Extension Module Extension Module Regional Processor Group Switching Subsystem Keyset Code Reception Circuit Line Interface Circuit Line Switch Module

Figure 2.5.4 EMRP - DP Interwork LSM is illustrated in Figure 2.5.5.


= = = = = = =

Extension Module Regional Processor Extension Module Time Switch Exchange Terminal Board Keyset Code Reception Circuit Line Interface Circuit Ringing Generator Subscriber Line Circuit Tester

Figure 2.5.5 An LSM Magazine

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


The primary advantage of using a digital subscriber stage is that it can be detached from the exchange and installed closer to the subscribers. This will imply less cost and less maintenance.


But before this can be done, two problems must be solved: (i) The 128-subscriber capacity is too small. It must be possible to combine several LSMs to obtain the required size. (ii) How can EMRP communicate with the central processor over distances of tens of kilometres? Let us see how a subscriber stage for 512 subscribers is designed.


= = = = = = = =

Extension Module Regional Processor Extension Module Time Switch Exchange Terminal Board Group Switching Subsystem Keyset Code Reception Circuit Line Interface Circuit Time Switch Bus, plane A Time Switch Bus, plane B

Figure 2.5.6 Remote Subscriber Stage for 512 Subscribers

J.T.O. Phase II (Switching Specialisation) : AXE-10


As appears from the figure, the topmost LSM has no direct contact with the parent exchange, and calls coming from this LSM must therefore use the bus which interconnects all the LSMs. This bus is called Time Switch Bus (TSB) and is thus used for speech data. The bus is duplicated for reliability reasons. At first sight, TSB may seem unnecessary, but a closer study will reveal three very important advantages: (a) The number of PCM links to the parent exchange can be adapted to the traffic volume. Thus, all LSMs do not need a separate PCM link. (b) If the own PCM link has no free channels, another PCM link can be used instead. This makes the subscriber stage immune to situations with unbalanced traffic load (full availability). (c) If the contact with the parent exchange is broken, this will not affect the internal traffic within the subscriber stage. How many simultaneous calls can be handled by a detached subscriber stage? Let us study the example in Figure 2.5.6. Obviously, the traffic is handled by 3 PCM links, and channel 16 of the first two links is used for signalling. For reasons of reliability, we normally have two signalling channels, which means that channels 0 and 16 cannot be used for speech transmission over these two links. In the third link, on the other hand, channel 16 is available for speech. Consequently, a maximum of 91 simultaneous calls are possible in this example. Up to 16 LSMs can be interconnected. In this way, the number of subscribers served by a detached unit can be varied between 128 and 2048. The second task to solve is the communication between one or more EMRPs and the central processor of the parent exchange.