Overview of the Telecommunications Industry

Modern players in the telecommunications industry produce communications equipment and provide a set of voice, data and broadband services using wired or wired infrastructure of cables, networks, servers, computers and satellites. In this article, we will define the telecommunications industry and discuss some of the key business drivers. Understand the different components of the telecommunications services industry followed by a small discussion of current industry trends.

Telecommunication is the transmission of information over significant distances for communication. In the past, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke signals, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags and optical heliographs, or audio messages such as coded drumbeats, blown horns through the lungs and loud whistles. In modern times, telecommunications involves the use of electrical devices such as telegraph, telephone, radio, and microwave communications. Communication channels use optical fiber and its associated electronics, orbiting satellites and the Internet. Modern players in the telecommunications industry produce communications equipment and provide a set of voice, data and broadband services using wired or wired infrastructure of cables, networks, servers, computers and satellites.

This industry is very sensitive to the slightest change in regulatory, technological and economic factors and has its own share of challenges stemming largely from these factors. With wireless and broadband providing the impetus for their growth, industry players are adopting unique strategies to overcome these challenges and move forward to connect people to people and organizations.

In our world, the telephone, long distance, cable/video and cellular telecommunications equipment industries are now intertwined. The main challenges in this industry are globalization trends, the competitive implications of new technologies and the changing regulatory environment.

Modern telecommunication tools:

Modern telecommunications tools are the telephone (including mobile telephony), radio and television, Internet and communication networks (LAN and WAN).

1. Telephone:

In a telephone network, the caller is connected to the person he wants to talk to through switches at various telephone exchanges. The switches form an electrical connection between the two users and the setting of these switches is determined electronically when the caller dials the number. Line phones in most residences are analogous to telephone service providers converting them to digital for transmission before converting them back to analog for reception. This allows digitized voice data to travel side-by-side with Internet data.

2. Mobile phones:

Mobile phones have had a significant impact on telephone networks. Mobile phone subscriptions now outnumber landline phone subscriptions in many markets. Mobile phone sales in 2005 totaled 816.6 million.

3. Radio and television:

In a broadcast system, the central high-power broadcast tower transmits a high-frequency electromagnetic wave to many low-power receivers. The high frequency wave sent by the tower is modulated by a signal containing visual or sound information. The receiver is then tuned to pick up the high frequency wave and a demodulator is used to recover the signal containing the visual or sound information. The broadcast signal can be analog or digital.

The audiovisual media industry is at a critical juncture in its development, with many countries transitioning from analogue to digital broadcasting. This development is made possible by the production of cheaper, faster and more efficient integrated circuits. The main advantage of digital broadcasts is that they avoid a number of complaints common to traditional broadcasts.

4. Internet:

The Internet is a global network of computers and computer networks that can communicate with each other using the Internet Protocol. Every computer on the Internet has a unique IP address that can be used by other computers to send information to it. Therefore, any computer on the Internet can send a message to any other computer using its IP address. These messages carry with them the IP address of the originating computer allowing two-way communication. The Internet is therefore an exchange of messages between computers.

5. Local Area Networks and Wide Area Networks:

Despite the growth of the Internet, the characteristics of local area networks (“LAN” – computer networks, the size of which does not exceed a few kilometers) remain distinct. This is because networks at this scale do not require all of the features associated with larger networks and are often more cost effective and efficient without them. When not connected to the Internet, they also enjoy the benefits of privacy and security. However, the deliberate absence of a direct connection to the Internet will not provide 100% protection of the local network against hackers, military forces or economic powers. These threats exist if there are methods of connecting remotely to the LAN.

There are also Independent Wide Area Networks (“WANs” – private computer networks that can and do stretch for thousands of miles.) Again, some of their advantages include their privacy, security, and complete ignorance of any potential hacker – who cannot “touch them. Of course, the main users of private LANs and WANs include the armed forces and intelligence agencies who must keep their information completely secure and secret.

Telecommunications is the fifth largest and fastest growing industry in the world. Telecommunications plays an important role in the global economy, and global telecommunications industry revenues were estimated at $3.85 trillion in 2008. Global telecommunications industry services revenues were estimated at $1.7 trillion in 2008 and is expected to reach $2.7 trillion by 2013. The telecommunications industry can be classified into the equipment sector and the service sector.

The equipment segment is made up of companies that manufacture products that are used by both customers and other companies in the same industry. Customers use these products to access telecommunications services, while other businesses use these products to create and maintain telecommunications infrastructure and provide telecommunications services. The Equipment segment includes satellite and broadcast network equipment, wireless and wireline equipment, as well as computer networking equipment. The services segment also includes wireline, wireless, Internet and other broadband services.