Telecommunication is the medium that connects businesses and drives communication in the modern world. It is through the boon of telecommunications that companies can effectively interact with their customers and provide their services and other information. The world of telecommunication joins businesses with other businesses, individuals with other individuals and businesses and individuals with each other to establish short and long term connections that are mutually beneficial. Telecommunications is also a key element in teamwork, allowing employees to collaborate with each other easily from anywhere. It gives companies the opportunity to introduce more flexible work patterns by allowing employees to work from home or while traveling. This clubbed with the introduction of smartphones has enabled employees to reach new levels of productivity, whether at their homes or on the move.
A single complete telecommunications circuit consists of two stations, each equipped with a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter and receiver at any station may be clubbed into a single device called a transceiver. The signal transmission can be done by the medium of electrical wire or cable, optical fiber, electromagnetic fields or light. Wireless communications include free space transmission and reception of data by means of electromagnetic fields.
Types of Telecommunications networks:
A telecommunications network includes multiple stations exchanging data among themselves. The internet is the most common and widespread telecommunications network. Other examples are:
- Cellular networks
- Corporate and academic wide-area networks (WANs)
- Police and fire communications systems
- Taxi dispatch networks
- Amateur (ham) radio operators
- Broadcast networks
Basic Elements of a Telecommunication System
Transmitter: Converts information into the signal.
Transmission medium also called the "Physical channel": The transmission medium carries the signal from transmitting to the receiving station.
Receiver: Takes a signal from the channel and converts it back to usable information.
Most modern-day telecommunications systems are best described in terms of a network. This includes the basic elements listed above but also the infrastructure and controls needed to support the system.
Listed below are six major components to a telecommunications network:
1. Input and output devices referred to as 'Terminals': These terminals provide the starting and stopping points of all communication. A telephone is an example of a terminal. In computer networks, these devices are commonly referred to as 'nodes' and consist of computer and peripheral devices.
2. Telecommunication Channels: The channels are responsible for transmitting and receiving data. These can be various types of cables and wireless radio frequencies.
3. Telecommunication Processors: These provide a number of control and support functions like converting data from analog to digital form and back.
4. Control software: The control software controls the functionality and activities of the network.
5. Messages: These represent the actual data being transmitted through channels. In the case of a telephone network, messages consist of audio as well as data.
6. Protocols: Various types of protocols determine how each type of telecommunication system handles the messages. For example, GSM and 3G are protocols for mobile phone communications and TCP/IP is a protocol used for communication over the Internet.
All telecommunication systems used nowadays are computerized in some form in contrast to traditional telecom systems.