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
Bells Telephone - 1876
Telephone Switchboard - 1878
Telephone Switching 1891
Rotary Dial - 1896
Touchtone - 1963
Nortel SL1 - 1970's
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