Key Telecommunications Services
Telecommunications services can be divided into three key categories; voice, data, and video.Each of these categories has specific characteristics such as maximum transmission delay time,minimum and maximum transmission rates, and acceptable transmission error types and rates.Voice services involves the receiving of audio signals, processing audio signals into variousformats (analog and digital), storing and transporting these signals, and converting the signalsback into a form that is similar to its original form. The characteristics of voice networks are verysmall transmission delay (below 100 msec typical), maximum of 64 kbps for each digital voicechannel, and reasonable tolerance to errors. Examples of voice services are Telephony, VoiceMessaging, Call Processing, and Computer and Telephony Integration, CTI.Data services provide transport of digital information from one point to one or more points. Thecharacteristics of data networks are moderate transmission delays (above 1 sec may beacceptable), minimum of 28 kbps for each dial-up digital customer and 1 Mbps for eachbroadband customer, and very low tolerance to errors. Examples of data services includeswitched connections (circuit switched channels / dial-up), dedicated lines (leased lines/circuits),packet switching (e.g. Internet), and multicast and broadcast (one to many) data transfer.Video services transport high information content signals (video) from one point to one or morepoints. The characteristics of video networks are very long transmission delay (above 15 secondsfor digital broadcast acceptable), minimum of 1 Mbps for each digital video channel (3.2 Mbps forDVD), and reasonable tolerance to errors. Examples of video services include television, closedcircuit TV (CCTV), video on demand (VOD), videoconferencing, and interactive multimedia.
Basic Communications Systems
A basic communications system consists of end user equipment, network access connections,network interconnection devices (e.g. switches) and a control system that coordinates thenetwork. A carrier or service provider is company that is engaged in transferring electrical signalsor messages for hire through one or more telecommunications systems.Customers (users) request and may receive telecommunications services from thetelecommunications network. Because customers request and receive services, a customer issometimes called a service subscriber or end user. A telecommunications service provider offerscommunications for a fee directly to the public, or to such classes of users as to be effectivelyavailable directly to the public, regardless of the facilities used.A network operator is a provider of telecommunication services. A network operator manages thenetwork equipment parts of a communications system to allow authorized customers to transferand/or process information via the network. The network operator may provide services directly toend customers or may only manage network equipment and another company (service provider)may manage the provision of services to customers.Figure 1.1shows a basic telecommunications system. This diagram shows various types of end-user equipment that allow customers to access one or more communication systems via anaccess network. The access network links the customer (usually by copper wire, coax or fiber) toa communication network. Communication networks connect end-users to other end-users orinformation services. Different types of networks may be interconnected to each other. Eachnetwork must have some form of intelligence that controls the network.