Telecommunications network

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A telecommunications network is a collection of terminal nodes [1] in which links are connected so as to enable telecommunication between the terminals. [1] The transmission links connect the nodes together. The nodes use circuit switching, message switching or packet switching to pass the signal through the correct links and nodes to reach the correct destination terminal. Each terminal in the network usually has a unique address so messages or connections can be routed to the correct recipients. The collection of addresses in the network is called the address space. Examples of telecommunications networks are: [2]

Telecommunication transmission of information between locations using electromagnetics

Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, words, writings, images and sounds or information of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology. It is transmitted either electrically over physical media, such as cables, or via electromagnetic radiation. Such transmission paths are often divided into communication channels which afford the advantages of multiplexing. Since the Latin term communicatio is considered the social process of information exchange, the term telecommunications is often used in its plural form because it involves many different technologies.

Computer terminal computer input/output device; an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying data from, a computer or a computing system

A computer terminal is an electronic or electromechanical hardware device that is used for entering data into, and displaying or printing data from, a computer or a computing system. The teletype was an example of an early day hardcopy terminal, and predated the use of a computer screen by decades.

Transmission (telecommunications) process of sending and propagating a signal

In telecommunications, transmission is the process of sending and propagating an analogue or digital information signal over a physical point-to-point or point-to-multipoint transmission medium, either wired, optical fiber or wireless.


Computer network collection of autonomous computers interconnected by a single technology

A computer network is a digital telecommunications network which allows nodes to share resources. In computer networks, computing devices exchange data with each other using connections between nodes. These data links are established over cable media such as wires or optic cables, or wireless media such as Wi-Fi.

Internet Global system of connected computer networks

The Internet is the global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link devices worldwide. It is a network of networks that consists of private, public, academic, business, and government networks of local to global scope, linked by a broad array of electronic, wireless, and optical networking technologies. The Internet carries a vast range of information resources and services, such as the inter-linked hypertext documents and applications of the World Wide Web (WWW), electronic mail, telephony, and file sharing.

A telephone network is a telecommunications network used for telephone calls between two or more parties.

Benefits of telecommunications and networking

Telecommunications facilitates interaction and information transfer over large distances. Businesses use telecommunications to expand and grow their networks. With Internet, computer, and telephone networks, businesses can allocate their resources efficiently. These core types of networks will be discussed below: Computer network: a computer network consists of computers and devices connected to one another. Information can be transferred from one device to the next. For example, an office filled with computers can share files together on each separate device. Computer networks can range from a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN). The difference between the types of networks is the size. These types of computer networks work at certain speeds, also known as broadband. The Internet network connects computers worldwide. Internet network: access to the network allows users to use many resources. Over time the Internet network will replace books. This will enable users to discover information almost instantly and apply concepts to different situations. The Internet can be used for recreational, governmental, educational, and other purposes. Businesses in particular use the Internet network for research or to service customers and clients. Telephone network: the telephone network connects people to one another. This network can be used in a variety of ways. Many businesses use the telephone network to route calls and/or service their customers. Some businesses use a telephone network on a greater scale through a private branch exchange. It is a system where a specific business focuses on routing and servicing calls for another business. Majority of the time, the telephone network is used around the world for recreational purposes.

Network structure

In general, every telecommunications network conceptually consists of three parts, or planes (so called because they can be thought of as being, and often are, separate overlay networks):

An overlay network is a computer network that is built on top of another network.

In network routing, the control plane is the part of the router architecture that is concerned with drawing the network topology, or the information in a routing table that defines what to do with incoming packets. Control plane functions, such as participating in routing protocols, run in the architectural control element. In most cases, the routing table contains a list of destination addresses and the outgoing interface(s) associated with them. Control plane logic also can define certain packets to be discarded, as well as preferential treatment of certain packets for which a high quality of service is defined by such mechanisms as differentiated services.

In computer networking, the management plane of a networking device is the element of a system that configures, monitors, and provides management, monitoring and configuration services to, all layers of the network stack and other parts of the system. It should be distinguished from the control plane, which is primarily concerned with routing table and forwarding information base computation.

Example: the TCP/IP data network

Data networks are used extensively throughout the world to connect individuals and organizations. Data networks can be connected to allow users seamless access to resources that are hosted outside of the particular provider they are connected to. The Internet [3] is the best example of many data networks [1] from different organizations all operating under a single address space. Terminals attached to TCP/IP networks are addressed using IP addresses. There are different types of IP address, but the most common is IP Version 4. Each unique address consists of 4 integers between 0 and 255, usually separated by dots when written down, e.g. TCP/IP are the fundamental protocols that provide the control and routing of messages across the data network. There are many different network structures that TCP/IP can be used across to efficiently route messages, for example:

There are three features that differentiate MANs from LANs or WANs:

  1. The area of the network size is between LANs and WANs. The MAN will have a physical area between 5 and 50 km in diameter. [3]
  2. MANs do not generally belong to a single organization. The equipment that interconnects the network, the links, and the MAN itself are often owned by an association or a network provider that provides or leases the service to others. [3]
  3. A MAN is a means for sharing resources at high speeds within the network. It often provide connections to WAN networks for access to resources outside the scope of the MAN. [3]

Datacenter networks also rely highly on TCP/IP for communication across machines. They connect thousands of servers, are designed to be highly robust, provide low latency that is typically up to hundreds of microseconds, and high bandwidth. Datacenter network topology plays a significant role in determining the level of failure resiliency, ease of incremental expansion, communication bandwidth and latency. [4]

Related Research Articles

Local area network computer network that connects devices over a small area

A local area network (LAN) is a computer network that interconnects computers within a limited area such as a residence, school, laboratory, university campus or office building. By contrast, a wide area network (WAN) not only covers a larger geographic distance, but also generally involves leased telecommunication circuits.

Router (computing) Device that forwards data packets between computer networks, creating an overlay internetwork

A router is a networking device that forwards data packets between computer networks. Routers perform the traffic directing functions on the Internet. Data sent through the internet, such as a web page or email, is in the form of data packets. A packet is typically forwarded from one router to another router through the networks that constitute an internetwork until it reaches its destination node.

Routing is the process of selecting a path for traffic in a network, or between or across multiple networks. Broadly, routing is performed in many types of networks, including circuit-switched networks, such as the public switched telephone network (PSTN), and computer networks, such as the Internet.

Wide-area network Computer network that connects devices across a large distance and area

A wide-area network (WAN) is any telecommunications network or computer network that extends over a large geographical distance/place. Wide-area networks are often established with leased telecommunication circuits.

Frame Relay


Network topology arrangement of the various elements of a computer network; topological structure of a network and may be depicted physically or logically

Network topology is the arrangement of the elements of a communication network. Network topology can be used to define or describe the arrangement of various types of telecommunication networks, including command and control radio networks, industrial fieldbusses, and computer networks.

Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), also called IP telephony, is a methodology and group of technologies for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over Internet Protocol (IP) networks, such as the Internet. The terms Internet telephony, broadband telephony, and broadband phone service specifically refer to the provisioning of communications services over the public Internet, rather than via the public switched telephone network (PSTN).

DECnet is a suite of network protocols created by Digital Equipment Corporation. Originally released in 1975 in order to connect two PDP-11 minicomputers, it evolved into one of the first peer-to-peer network architectures, thus transforming DEC into a networking powerhouse in the 1980s. Initially built with three layers, it later (1982) evolved into a seven-layer OSI-compliant networking protocol.

Systems Network Architecture (SNA) is IBM's proprietary networking architecture, created in 1974. It is a complete protocol stack for interconnecting computers and their resources. SNA describes formats and protocols and is, in itself, not a piece of software. The implementation of SNA takes the form of various communications packages, most notably Virtual Telecommunications Access Method (VTAM), the mainframe software package for SNA communications.

Virtual private network virtual network extending a single private network across a public network like the Internet, appearing to users as a private network link

A virtual private network (VPN) extends a private network across a public network, and enables users to send and receive data across shared or public networks as if their computing devices were directly connected to the private network. Applications running across a VPN may therefore benefit from the functionality, security, and management of the private network. However, contrary to common misbelief, encryption is not an inherent part of a VPN connection, but optional even though rather common.

A softswitch is a central device in a telecommunications network which connects telephone calls from one phone line to another, across a telecommunication network or the public Internet, entirely by means of software running on a general-purpose computer system. Most landline calls are routed by purpose-built electronic hardware; however, soft switches using general purpose servers and VoIP technology are becoming more popular.

In telecommunications networks, a node is either a redistribution point or a communication endpoint. The definition of a node depends on the network and protocol layer referred to. A physical network node is an active electronic device that is attached to a network, and is capable of creating, receiving, or transmitting information over a communications channel. A passive distribution point such as a distribution frame or patch panel is consequently not a node.

A network access server (NAS) is a single point of access to a remote resource.

A terminal server enables organizations to connect devices with an RS-232, RS-422 or RS-485 serial interface to a local area network (LAN). Products marketed as terminal servers can be very simple devices that do not offer any security functionality, such as data encryption and user authentication. The primary application scenario is to enable serial devices to access network server applications, or vice versa, where security of the data on the LAN is not generally an issue. There are also many terminal servers on the market that have highly advanced security functionality to ensure that only qualified personnel can access various servers and that any data that is transmitted across the LAN, or over the Internet, is encrypted. Usually companies which need a terminal server with these advanced functions want to remotely control, monitor, diagnose and troubleshoot equipment over a telecommunications network.

The AMPRNet is a name used by amateur radio operators for computer networks connected over amateur radio. Other names for the network include IPv4 Network 44/8 and Network 44.

WAN optimization is a collection of techniques for increasing data transfer efficiencies across wide-area networks (WANs). In 2008, the WAN optimization market was estimated to be $1 billion, and was to grow to $4.4 billion by 2014 according to Gartner, a technology research firm. In 2015 Gartner estimated the WAN optimization market to be a $1.1 billion market.

Software-defined networking (SDN) technology is an approach to cloud computing that facilitates network management and enables programmatically efficient network configuration in order to improve network performance and monitoring. SDN is meant to address the fact that the static architecture of traditional networks is decentralized and complex while current networks require more flexibility and easy troubleshooting. SDN attempts to centralize network intelligence in one network component by disassociating the forwarding process of network packets from the routing process. The control plane consists of one or more controllers which are considered as the brain of SDN network where the whole intelligence is incorporated. However, the intelligence centralization has its own drawbacks when it comes to security, scalability and elasticity and this is the main issue of SDN.


  1. 1 2 3 "Design Elements - Telecommunication networks".
  2. "Telecommunication Network - Types of Telecommunication Networks".
  3. 1 2 3 4 "Metropolitan Area Network (MAN)". Retrieved 2013-06-15.
  4. Noormohammadpour, Mohammad; Raghavendra, Cauligi (28 July 2018). "Datacenter Traffic Control: Understanding Techniques and Tradeoffs". Communications Surveys & Tutorials, IEEE. 20 (2): 1492–1525. doi:10.1109/COMST.2017.2782753.