Systems : Key Telephone System (KTS)

The different types of systems used in private telephone networks include key telephone systems (KTS), private branch exchange (PBX), Centrex, and computer telephony integration (CTI). Key telephone and PBX systems often use proprietary specifications. There are several industry standards that are used for computer telephony and LAN telephony system.

Key Telephone System (KTS)
A key telephone systems (KTS or key systems) is a multi-line private telephone network that allows each key telephone station to select one of several telephone lines. Key systems contain a key service unit (KSU) that coordinates status lights and lines to key telephones (Key Sets). Key systems have some advanced call processing features such as call hold, busy status, and station-to-station intercom.

KTS are relatively simple non-switching telephone systems. The KSU only interfaces (connects) key sets to the public telephone lines allow calls to directly pass through. The KSU does sensing and provide display status lines to each key service unit. The first generation key systems allowed multi-button telephones to have an appearance (e.g., a button) for multiple end office lines. When the incoming telephone line received a ringing signal, the key system flashed the appropriate button. To answer the call, the user picked up the handset and pressed the flashing button. This off-hook indication is sensed by the KSU which results in the the key set’s line status light to become solid. This indicated to other telephone users that the line was being used.

To place a call, the user would first view the lights on telephone line buttons. If a button was not lit, the user pressed the button. Again, the KSU sensed the off-hook condition and a solid light came on on all key sets.

To allow key sets to talk with each other without connecting through the public telephone network, most KTS systems included an intercom feature. The intercom feature allowed a key set to call one or all the key sets that are connected to the KSU.

Figure 1 shows a typical key telephone system. This diagram shows telephones wired to a key service unit (KSU) that is connected to the PSTN. The KSU allows the telephones to have access to the outside lines to the PSTN. The KSU controls lights on the telephone sets, intercom access, and call hold.

Figure 1: Key Telephone System


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Timothy Manton said...

Thank you for sharing this information about the telephone systems.

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