Telecommunication networks provide a crucial platform in our society for the interchange of data and information in its different forms, namely, audio, images, video, and other data, thus assisting us in living a contemporary life during these digitalized times.
Telecommunication networks are information transmission systems that allow information to be exchanged in analog or digital form between multiple locations using optical or electromagnetic signals. The networks are built on either wired or wireless infrastructure. Commonly, there are 4 types of telecommunication networks, which will be explained in this article.
What are Telecommunication Networks?
If defined formally, a telecommunications network is a collection of terminal nodes, intermediate nodes, and connections that are linked to allow communication between terminals. These transmission lines link the nodes together. The nodes employ several forms of switching, such as circuit switching, packet switching, and message switching, to route the signal through the appropriate nodes and links for reaching the relevant target terminal.
Every terminal in a telecommunications network is generally assigned a unique address so that messages or connections may be routed to the appropriate receivers. The address space refers to the collection of addresses within a network. In modern telecommunications networks, users are linked to one of the nodes, and every link of every user is referred to as a communications channel (could be wired, fiber-optic cable, or wireless, i.e., radio waves).
4 Types of Telecommunication Networks:
Commonly, there are 4 types of telecommunication networks that cater to various requirements and scenarios. These are
A local area network, or LAN, is a network that is meant for small locations such as an office, a school lab, a collection of buildings, or a factory. LANs are popular as they are simple to set up. Thus, in case of any issue, they are easy to troubleshoot as well. The computers and other devices can be linked in a LAN with multiple topologies, including the Star, Bus, Ring, Tree, and so on. It is a basic network that connects two computers for sharing files and networks, but it may be as complex as linking a whole building as well.
LANs interconnect personal computers, computer terminals, workstations, other computer systems, and multiple kinds of computer peripheral devices using a range of telecommunications medium and communications processors. Local networks are linked to wide area networks by communications processors that provide a common interface known as a gateway.
- Sharing of devices, resources, and apps
- Internet Sharing
- Easy setup
- Easy and cheap communication
- Centralized data
- High data security
Wide area networks, or WANs, can be either privately or publically leased. It is used for networks that span wide areas, such as those that connect the cities or states of a country. This category could involve networks that serve a sizable metropolis or city. For instance, several international corporations utilize WANs to send and share data among their staff, retailers, clients, and other companies throughout numerous cities, regions, countries, and even across the whole world.
Nevertheless, due to the large are covered, the transfer speed can be quite low while the setup and maintenance costs can be extremely high. WAN can be built using channels like telephone lines, microwave links and satellites since data in this kind of network is send in the digital form.
- Large area Coverage.
- Quick transfer of data.
- Sharing of resources and software with connected workstations.
- Allows the use of the same data for every node.
MAN can be described as a much larger variant of LAN. Also called Metropolitan Area Network, it makes use of LAN-like technologies. An entire city is intended to be covered by it. It frequently involves using one cable or joining numerous LANs together to form a larger network. A single private firm or public agency can be controlling and running it usually.
MANs are usually built by a combination of the star and other topologies. A main drawback fo this network, though, is that the rate of data transfer is slower than LAN due to the distance. MAN can be set up using various channels such as Fibre Optic Cable, Coaxial Cable, and even Radio waves, etc.
- Extremely efficient
- Fast communication
- Serves as a single backbone for a larger network
- Greater access to WAN.
- Covers several blocks of a whole city
- Uses dual bus transmission of data.
Compared to other communication networks, wireless networks are a significantly superior alternative. The use of morse code to build wireless communications is not a new concept. Although modern digital wireless network systems have far superior technologies, the basic concept of this system remains the same. Wireless networks can be categorized into 4 types:
System interconnection: This focuses on using short-range radio for connecting a computer’s components.
Wireless LANs: For communication between these systems, a radio modem and antenna are required.
Wireless MANs: These offer internet access and high-speed data over a significant geographic area, usually inside a metropolitan area.
Wireless WANs: This wireless WAN has a low bandwidth and is a vast radio network, such as mobile phones.
- Doesn’t require physical cables.
- Reduced the cost of installation and maintenance.
- Can cover larger areas with a single access point.
- Easy to set up
- Supports multiple devices.
WAN vs the Internet: What is the Difference?
The WAN (Wide Area Network) and the Internet are two interconnected systems that are sometimes confused as being the same thing. Nevertheless, there are major variances between the two that distinguish them as distinct entities.
A wide area network (WAN) is a vast network that spans a broad geographical region, such as a country or perhaps the entire globe. Because WANs are usually owned and controlled by a single organization, such as a corporation, they are more controllable and thus, more secure.
Meanwhile, the Internet is a worldwide network of smaller networks that links computers and other devices all across the globe. It isn’t owned by any single company and runs on established protocols. This makes it an open decentralized system. Moreover, contrary to WAN, the Internet isn’t secure and is vulnerable to hacking, attacks, malware, and other types of crimes.
Thus, although WAN and the Internet both are networks that enable transfer of data and communication, they are essentially two different systems. In simple words, WANs are private and regulated, whereas the Internet is open and decentralized.
Benefits of all types of Telecommunication Networks
Telecommunication networks have transformed the way people communicate and gather information. Some of the several benefits of telecommunication networks are as follows:
- Improved connectivity: Telecommunication networks enable people to interact with each other irrespective of their time and place, enhancing connectedness between humans and businesses.
- Access to information: Telecommunication networks enable individuals to have access to a plethora of information and resources, which makes it easier for them to grow, learn, and make educated decisions..
- Increased efficiency: Telecommunication networks improve workplace performance and productivity by facilitating quick communication and easy access and sharing of resources.
- Economic growth: Telecommunication networks promote the flow of products, services, and capital, which drives economic development and growth.
- Improved healthcare: Telecommunications networks allow for remote medical consultations and monitoring, which improves healthcare access and results.
Overall, telecommunication networks have substantially helped society by linking people, facilitating information access, and promoting economic progress across the world.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between a LAN and a WAN?
In contrast to a Wide Area Network (WAN), which spans a considerably greater geographic area, such as an entire city or even several nations, a Local Area Network (LAN) is confined to a smaller geographic area, like a building or a university.
What is a Satellite Network?
A satellite network is a form of computer network that employs satellites to deliver communication services, like TV and internet access, to distant or difficult-to-reach places.
Can wireless networks be hacked easily?
Wireless networks face security issues even though they provide a lot of flexibility. Hackers don’t need to be in the same building as the network in order to track the network traffic. Due to the fact that wireless networks use radio waves to communicate, a hacker may easily track and monitor the network from a nearby area.
Is LAN slower than WiFi?
Direct Ethernet connections are often quicker than Wi-Fi. The difference between these two is that Wi-Fi employs radio waves whereas an Ethernet cable links your router to your computer or other Internet-using devices directly.
Is it risky to use WAN?
Not necessarily. However, you may be more susceptible to viruses, attacks, adware, malware, and phishing schemes if your network is not completely secure. This could also result in harm to your hardware, software, apps, and other vital business components.