The Erlang B traffic model is used by telephone system designers to estimate the number of lines required for PSTN connections (CO trunks) or private wire connections. The three variables involved are Busy Hour Traffic (BHT), Blocking and Lines:
  • Busy Hour Traffic (in Erlangs) is the number of hours of call traffic there are during the busiest hour of operation of a telephone system.
  • Blocking is the failure of calls due to an insufficient number of lines being available. (for example 0.03 mean 3 calls blocked per 100 calls attempted, or 3 percent of the calls).
  • Lines is the number of lines available to the telephone system.

For Erlang B calculations to be considered accurate, three assumptions must be made:

  • Holding times are constant and exponential
  • Blocked calls are cleared (i.e. busy calls are not put on hold)
  • Calls are taken in random order.

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