The digital voice/data PBX is finally reaching its anticipated potential and becoming a major factor when considering the total communications picture for many businesses today. The digital PBX has always been the choice for voice communications but has lagged behind the LAN industry when it comes to data transfers. The pendulum has begun to swing with the enhanced data capabilities of third and fourth generation PBXs. The battle for the total communication market is quite fierce between the LAN and PBX vendors now. This research thesis looks at the history, evolution, and architecture of voice/data PBXs. It traces development of PBXs through the present fourth generation architectures. From the first manual switches introduced in the late 1800's through the Strowger switch, step-by-step switching, stored program control, common control, digital switches, dual bus architectures, and finally what is anticipated in the future. A detailed description of the new fourth generation dual bus architectures is presented. Lastly, speculations on the future direction PBX architectures will take is explored. A description of the mechanics of a possible Wave Division PBX is presented based on a fiber optic transport system.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Telephone--Private branch exchanges; Telephone--Private branch exchanges--History; Packet switching (Data transmission)
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Department, Program, or Center
Computer Science (GCCIS)
Schofield, Ian, "Integrated voice/data through a digital PBX" (1987). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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