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Bearer Channel (B Channel)

What is a bearer channel?

A bearer channel also known as a B channel is a dedicated communication channel that carries user data, and it contrasts with signalling channels, which handle control and coordination functions in a telecommunications system. B channels are distinct from a signalling channel, which is used for control and coordination purposes. Bearer channels are commonly associated with technologies like ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) and provide the pathway for transmitting the actual user information. In the context of ISDN, which is a digital telecommunications standard, bearer channels are known as B channels. These channels are used to carry voice, video, or data information. The B channels operate at a higher data rate compared to the D (Delta) channel, which is the signalling channel responsible for managing call setup, teardown, and other control functions. For example, in Basic Rate Interface (BRI) ISDN, there are two B channels (B1 and B2) each operating at 64 Kbps (kilobits per second) and one D channel operating at 16 Kbps. The B channels are used for carrying the actual user data, such as voice conversations or digital information.

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