V5 is a family of telephone network protocols defined by ETSI which allow communications between the telephone exchange, also known in the specifications as the local exchange (LE), and the local loop. With potentially thousands of subscribers connected to the LE there is the problem of physically managing thousands of wires out to the local subscribers (and the costs associated with that).

The protocols are based on the principle of common channel signalling where message-based signalling for all subscribers uses the same signalling channel(s) rather than separate channels existing for different subscribers.

V5 comes in two forms:

  • V5.1 (ETS 300 324-1) in which there is a 1 to 1 correspondence between subscriber lines and bearer channels in the aggregate link to the exchange. A V5.1 interface relates to a single aggregate E1 (2 Mbit/s) link between a multiplexer and an exchange.
  • V5.2 (ETS 300 347-1) which provides for concentration where there are not enough bearer channels in the aggregate link(s) to accommodate all subscribers at the same time. A single V5.2 interface can control up to 16 E1 links at once and can include protection of the signalling channels.

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