packet switching system (PSS)

A method of sending data over a wide area network. Packet switching networks are available for general use in most countries. A packet is a group of bits, made up of data, the destination address for the data, etc. In a given situation the size of a packet may be fixed. Since each packet occupies a channel for only a short time, this arrangement provides for very efficient use of the system. Error checking should ensure that errors are detected, and that appropriate recovery procedures are automatically started. If there is an error, it will only be in a small part of the data, and this can be retransmitted quickly.