What is Telecommunications?

Telecommunications as a word has its origins in Greek. It's a combination of tele which means 'Far Off' and Communications which is an 'exchange of information'. In its simplest terms "a far off exchange of information".

Early forms of telecommunication include smoke signals and drums. Drums were used by natives in Africa, New Guinea and tropical America. Smoke signals were used by natives in America and China. One may think these were used to announce the presence of a camp. But often they were also passing along information about the camp.

Other early forms of telecommunications were signal flags and lights. More modern uses were the telegraph, telephone and even data transmissions. Even radio and TV are forms of telecommunications, television even has the same root word tele.

The basic elements of a telecommunications system are:

a.) a transmitter. This device will take the information to be communicated and produce;

b.) a signal to be transported.

c.) a transmission medium, this could be over a wire or over the air using the airwaves. The transmission medium, by its physical nature, is likely to modify or degrade the signal on its path from the transmitter to the receiver

d.) a receiver, which reverses any actions performed by the transmitter in the exact reverse order of the transmitter. The receiver can be designed to tolerate a significant degree of signal degradation.

Telecommunication can be point-to-point, from one transmitter to one receiver or point-to-multipoint which is also known as broadcasting.

Developments in telecommunications:

Signal lights - Ancient times

Telegraph - 1835

Bell’s Telephone - 1876

Telephone Switchboard - 1878

Telephone Switching – 1891

Rotary Dial - 1896

Touchtone - 1963

Nortel SL1 - 1970's

© 2006-2007 Steven G. Atkinson – All Rights Reserved


Steven G. Atkinson is a Technology Consultant based on Maryland's Eastern Shore. His goals are to assist the Small Business Owner and Office Manager in getting the correct technology for their business needs. He has written and self-published a book - Technology Tips for Small Business - to assist small businesses to better understand their technology. Technology Tips for Small Business - Website for the Book

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter