A brief history of the Alcatel E10

November 27, 2017

At the start of the 1980’s, faced with an explosion of new services as well as massive user demand, telecommunication systems needed to remain open to development, flexible to new technology and capable of adding new components. That’s when two companies merged to use their experience to tackle this challenge (Thomson CSF and CIT), which brought together the E10B and MT20/25 product lines to create the Alcatel E10 digital switching system.

The E10 began life with considerable success in the marketplace between 1980-85 (with more than one million lines per year in service), by building and progressing its product development whilst retaining the same basic architecture.

Initially designed to aid in the smooth transmission to a fully broadband based environment, the Alcatel E10’s popularity grew as it retained narrowband as well as introducing broadband functionalities.

Unlike other conventional systems at the time, the E10 was able to take its input signals in the form of a train of pulses. The conversion of the analog signals (which represent speech) to the pulse code modulated (PCM) digital form takes place in the local switch units, each of which serve around 500 subscribers. At the other end of the line, the digital signals are turned back into analog wave form by remote switches and then transmitted on to the receiving subscriber. The use of microelectronics made it much more efficient and lowered the cost of transmitting signals in this way. As the equipment only needed to recognise the presence or absence of the bits to be able to be able to reconstruct the original speech wave-form, the quality and loudness of the speech signals were made independent of the distance between the calling and called person.

Having digital PCM links between all local switched and the main E10 unit also allowed for setting up, ringing, and clearing down all telephone calls progressing through the local units serving the subscribers. Being able to control a complete telephone area with a single computer installation made it far easier for providers to provide customers with new facilities.

The system was introduced along with the Alcatel 1000 and S12 products, as a complete family of SDH and SONET products including line equipment, add drop multiplexers and cross connects as well as optical fiber access products.

Applications of the E10 system:

  • Local Exchange
  • Remote Sub. Unit
  • Transit Exchange
  • Local/Transit Exchange
  • Tandem Exchange
  • Cellular mobile telephony etc

As the product evolved, many versions of the E10 emerged:

  • E10A (E10N3)- Original switch introduced in 1972 one of the earliest deployments of TDM switching in the world.
  • E10B (E10N1)- Major revision in the 1980s which eventually saw ISDN capabilities. Common in France, Ireland, China, India and elsewhere.
  • E10B3 – major revision in the 1990s. Common in France.
  • OCB-283 – Another name for more modern versions of E10B and often the name used in India to distinguish it from older versions.
  • E10-MT formerly Thomson MT-25 found mostly in France, and MT20 too.
  • E10-Five E10B adapted for the North American environment as a class-5 switch.
  • E10S for satellite communications.
  • E10-MSC mobile switching centre for GSM and other protocols.
  • 1000 (MM) E10 – Evolved switch for multimedia / broadband and IP network environments. Provides POTS/ISDN and next generation services.

Continued demand for the E10

There is continued high-demand for Alcatel 1000 E10 parts for networks which still use the technologies to this day. We have found that over the last few years, requests for this equipment has increased in more areas around the world.

At Carritech, we stock thousands of Alcatel 1000 E10 parts and are able to ship most of them out on the same day as the order is received. If you are looking for E10 parts, simply click here to view our current inventory or contact us today for further assistance.

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