The book you are reading, the paper you read in the morning, the train that takes
you from point A to point B, the telephone calls you make, and the radio and TV
that keep you informed are all examples of communication. Telecommunication,
which embraces the last three examples, is only a part of the communication
concept - one of many ways of transferring information.
But we can take it a step further and view telecommunication as an essential part
of the infrastructure of modern society. Regardless of how we view it we come to
the same conclusion: telecommunications networks play a very important role,
and current developments indicate that this role will become even more important
in the future.
several ways to place the order. We can pick up the phone and call, we can write
a letter, or we can drive a car to the company in town Y. All three cases involve
communication - the exchange of comprehensible information.
If we opt to use the telephone to place our order, we make use of a special form
of communication: telecommunication. "Tele" means "remote", indicating that we
are bridging a geographical distance; that is, a "remote exchange of
comprehensible information". Defining the concept of telecommunication in this
way, we may include such early forms of information exchange as beacons and
hunting horns. Of course, we have more modern examples too. Some of them are
listed in Figure A.1.3.
The field of telecommunication is no doubt one of the most exciting occupational
fields that modern society has to offer. New technology is constantly being
developed and finds its applications in the technical systems that make up a
telecommunications network. This creates opportunities for developing existing
services further, and introducing completely new ones - for the benefit of
customers and society as a whole. The telecommunication industry is often
referred to as an "enabling industry". That is, it creates opportunities for societal
development in the broadest sense.
Ultimately, it is the explicit as well as the expected demands of customers that
govern network operators' business activities. (Throughout our books, the term
"network operator" or "operator" is used to denote a company that administrates
a telecommunications network.) A public service does not awaken customer
interest unless it
All this places great demands on network operators. Far-sightedness and the
capacity to implement long-term, strategically sound investment programmes,
which also yield a good return, are important qualities. And if operators are to
succeed, their customers (private households and businesses) must be convinced
that they benefit from - and can afford - the opportunities offered them by new
The investments do not only aim at providing new or enhanced services. Many
existing services, such as mobile telephony, are expanding and require more
resources. Investments in telecommunications networks must therefore serve a
dual purpose: increasing the capacity of existing services and creating
opportunities and "space" for new services. Figure A.1.4 shows that one of the
telecommunication areas currently expanding most rapidly is mobile telephony.
Let us return to the example in Section 1.1. If we opted to mail our order by
letter, the Post Office's system of mailboxes, sorting and transportation would
serve as the bearer of the letter service. In the case of telecommunication, there
are other types of bearer: for example, the telephone network is the bearer of the
service called telephony.
Since many telecommunications networks use the same physical transmission
systems (such as optical fibre cable), a more appropriate term for "the bearer of
a teleservice" is bearer network. Bearer networks have their own fundamental
plans, which include numbering, charging and transmission plans (see Chapter
10). The telephone network is a bearer network with its own fundamental plans.
Network operators can offer their customers t eleservices and bearer services. A
bearer service solely provides a "transport system" for exchanging information.
By contrast, a teleservice is "complete" in the sense that - in addition to a
transport system - it includes functions for connection, and a uniform "language"
for communication and for shaping the messages conveyed. The most common
teleservice enables two users to talk to each other by means of two telephones
that are interconnected via the telephone network.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?