Telecommunication networks refer to digital networks of lines and switches, as well as controls that enable data transport and exchange among different users. When numerous users of telecommunications mediums want to connect with each other, they should be arranged into some kind of network.
In principle, every user may be provided a direct point-to-point link to all other users in a fully linked topology. However, in fact, this strategy is impracticable and expensive. Modern telecommunication networks circumvent these concerns by building a linked network of switches, commonly known as nodes, with every user linked to one of these nodes. Every link in these networks is referred to as a communications channel.
What are Telecommunication Networks?
Take a look at all the different kinds of communications that are taking place in your workplace. Some of these communications are done directly face-to-face, while others use some type of technology. This could include email, phone calls, text messaging, viewing pages on the Internet, and downloading files. All of these communications make use of a telecommunications system. A telecommunications system is a collection of nodes and links to enable telecommunication. Telecommunication is communication at a distance using electrical signals or electromagnetic waves.
Examples of telecommunications systems are the telephone network, the radio broadcasting system, computer networks, and the Internet. The nodes in the system are the devices we use to communicate with, such as a telephone or a computer.
Components of Telecommunication Networks
Take all of the various types of communications that occur within your institute or company. Certain communications are done directly face to face, while others rely on technology. Consider email, phone conversations, text messaging, browsing the web, and downloading files. All of these communications utilize a telecommunications network. A telecommunications network system is a collection of nodes and lines that allow communication. Telecommunication is the transmission of information over a long distance using electrical impulses or electromagnetic waves.
The telephone network, computer networks, radio broadcasting systems, and the Internet are all common examples of telecommunications systems. Here, the nodes are the devices with which one communicates, like a computer or phone.
- Peripheral devices: Input and output devices, often known as ‘terminals,’ are the starting and finishing locations for any communication. A terminal is something like a phone. These devices, known as ‘nodes’ in computer networks, are made up of computer and peripheral devices.
- Telecommunications channels: These contain several types of cables as well as wireless radio frequencies and serve for transmitting and receiving data.
- Telecommunications processors: In several systems, data must be transformed from analog to digital and back again. These processors provide a variety of control and support functions.
- Control software: The software that is in charge of controlling the network’s operation and activity.
- Messages: These are what reflect the actual data being shared across the network. For example, the messages would contain both voice and data in a telephone network.
- Protocols: These define how different kinds of telecommunications system handles messages. GSM and 3G are mobile phone protocols, while TCP/IP is an Internet protocol.
Although initially, communications systems were designed without computers, practically all systems used are computerized in some fashion today.
Types of Telecommunication Networks
There are various types of telecommunication networks, with each having its own set of characteristics and functions. A few examples are as follows:
- Circuit-Switched Networks: This form of network employs a dedicated communication route between two or multiple devices for the duration of a conversation. Traditional phone networks and ISDN are two examples of these networks.
- Packet-Switched Networks: In these networks, data is separated into individual packets and transported individually to its destination, where it is assembled again. n example of these networks includes the Internet.
- Cellular Networks: These are wireless telecommunication networks that employ a network of linked cell sites for providing coverage over a broad geographic region. Every cell site is in charge of delivering and receiving signals to and from mobile devices.
- Satellite networks: These are networks that employ satellites to deliver communication services. They are frequently utilized in rural places where terrestrial telecommunication networks do not exist.
- Optical Fiber Networks: These are networks that employ optical fibers to transport data. They provide high-speed data transfer and are employed in a variety of telecommunications and data center applications.
- Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs): These refer to the local region networks that employ wireless technology, like Wi-Fi, to link devices inside a certain geographic area, such as an office or house.
The type of telecommunications network selected for a certain application is determined by a variety of criteria, such as the geographic region, the communication type needed, the number of users, and the technology and infrastructure available.
Telecommunications Network Topologies
The physical or logical layout of devices on a telecommunications network, as well as how they communicate with one another, is referred to as network topology. It defines the interaction between devices, which includes how data is transported and how devices are linked to one another. There are various network topologies, such as:
- Bus topology: This topology is made up of a single wire, known as the bus, which links all of the network’s components. Data is broadcast in both ways and received by all devices across the bus.
- Star Topology: In a star topology, devices are linked to a central device, like a switch or hub, which serves as the network’s communication center. Data is sent from one device to the central device, which then sends it to the correct device.
- Ring Topology: A ring topology connects devices in a closed loop, with data sent between devices in one direction until it reaches its target.
- Mesh Topology: A mesh topology connects all devices on the network to all other devices, resulting in many pathways for data to flow. This adds redundancy to the network and guarantees that it stays functioning even if one of these links is broken.
- Tree topology: This is a hybrid of the bus and star topologies, having a central device known as the root and numerous tiers of devices linked to it. This is quite frequent in larger business networks.
- Hybrid topology: This kind of topology, as the name implies, is a mixture of two or multiple preceding topologies. This permits alternative topologies to be used in various portions of the network based on individual requirements.
The number of devices, the security level needed, the network’s size and complexity, and the cost and simplicity of deployment all influence the choice of selected network topology.
Telecommunications Network Protocols
A network protocol is a collection of rules that govern how data is delivered between devices on the same network. Generally, it enables linked devices to interact with one another despite variations in their internal operations, structure, or design.
Network protocols divide large-scale activities into tiny, particular jobs or functions. This happens at each level of the network, but every function should collaborate at each level to fulfill the greater available goal. Network protocols are often developed in accordance with industry standards by different networking or information technology groups. Some examples of the most often used network protocols:
- Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP): This Internet Protocol describes how data is sent over the internet and how web servers and browsers must respond to requests. This protocol (or its secure equivalent, HTTPS) can be seen at the start of numerous URLs or web addresses.
- Secure Socket Shell (SSH): This protocol allows for secure access to a computer even if it is connected to an unprotected network. SSH is very handy for network administrators who have to remotely control several computers.
- SMS (Short Message Service): This communication system was developed to transmit and receive text messages across cellular networks. SMS is solely restricted to text-based messaging. Meanwhile, images, videos, and other material need a Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), which is an extension of the SMS protocol.
Difference between Internet and Telecommunication Networks
The Internet and telecommunication networks are two independent yet connected technologies that have transformed the way people interact and access information.
The Internet is a worldwide network of computers linked by the Internet Protocol (IP) that enables the exchange of information, data, and device communication. It is founded on packet-switching technology, which divides data into little packets and transmits them over the network to their destination to be reassembled there.
Meanwhile, telecommunication networks can be described as the transfer of information across long distances utilizing electrical, optical, or electromagnetic means. It comprises telephone systems, satellite communications, and mobile networks.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between circuit-switched and packet-switched networks?
While both of these are types of telecommunication networks, circuit-switched networks employ a dedicated communication route between two or multiple devices for the length of a call. Meanwhile, packet-switched networks break data into little packets and transfer them separately to their destination, where they are assembled again.
What is the advantage of using optical fiber networks in telecommunications?
Optical fiber networks employ optical fibers for transferring data at high speeds. Moreover, they are resistant to electromagnetic interference, which makes them acceptable for use in areas where this is a problem.
How does a Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) work in telecommunications?
A WLAN connects devices inside a certain geographic region, like an office or house, using wireless technology like Wi-Fi. Devices on the telecommunication networks can communicate with one another without the use of physical connections.
What is the importance of network topology in telecommunications?
The physical or logical layout of devices on a network and how they communicate with one another is referred to as network topology. The selection of the ideal network topology is significant since it affects the network speed, dependability, and security.