A type of telecommunications equipment that allows multiple analog signals to be transmitted over a single digital connection. Channel banks are typically located at the telco’s central office (CO) and support the digital switching functions of the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
A channel bank interfaces with the wires of the local loop connection that carry the phone signals from the customer premises to the telco’s CO. The channel bank combines the analog signals using a technique called multiplexing, which allows multiple signals to be combined for transmission over a single line. The channel bank also includes circuits for converting the analog signals to digital signals using pulse code modulation (PCM) techniques. The resulting digital signal format conforms to the standard 64-Kbps DS0 (Digital Signal Zero) format. The signals can then be routed through the digital switching backbone of the PSTN as necessary.
Channel bank equipment can also be installed at customer premises for larger enterprises.