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Telecommunications & Networks

Overview of Communication

Communications is the transmission of a signal by way

of a medium from a sender to a receiver.

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Electronic transmission of signals for communications

Lessens barriers of time and distance

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Data communications
Specialized subset of telecommunications
Includes the electronic collection, processing, and distribution
of data

Telecommunications media
Anything that carries an electronic signal and interfaces
between a sending device and a receiving device

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Elements of a Telecommunications

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Analog and Digital Signals
Continuous fluctuations over time between high and low

A discrete voltage state

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Analog and Digital Signals

Fig. 6.4

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Analog Waves
The number of times per second a continuous wave completes
one cycle

The difference of the extremes from the midpoint in a cycle

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Basic Modulation Techniques
Amplitude modulation (AM)
Converts digital data to analog signals using a single frequency
carrier signal
High-amplitude wave denotes a binary 1
Low-amplitude wave denotes a binary 0

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Basic Modulation Techniques
Frequency modulation (FM)
Uses a constant amplitude carrier signal and two frequencies to
distinguish between 1 and 0

Phase modulation
Uses a phase shift at transition points in the carrier frequency to
represent 1 or 0

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Communications Speed
Bits per second (bps)
Number of bits that can be transferred in one second
Range of signal frequencies that can be sent over a medium at
the same time
Bandwidth of 256,000 to 1 million bps

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Types of
Communications Media
Twisted wire cable
Coaxial cable
Fiber-optic cable
Microwave transmission
Cellular transmission
Infrared transmission

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Twisted Wire Cable
A cable consisting of pairs of twisted wires

The twist helps the signal from “bleeding” into the

next pair

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Coaxial Cable
Inner conductor wire surrounded by insulation, called
the dielectric

Dielectric is surrounded by a conductive shield, which

is in turn covered by a layer of nonconductive
insulation, called the jacket

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Fiber-Optic Cable
Consists of many extremely thin strands of glass or
plastic bound together in a sheathing

Transmits signals with light beams

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Wireless Transmission
Microwave: Terrestrial
Microwave: Satellite

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Telecommunications Devices
Fax modems
Special-purpose modems
Communications processors

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How a Modem Works

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Allow several telecommunication signals to be
transmitted over a single communications medium
Time division multiplexer (TDM)
Multiple incoming signals are sliced into small time intervals
Frequency division multiplexer(FDM)
Incoming signals are placed on different frequency ranges

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Time Division and Frequency Division

[Figure 6.14]

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Communications Processors
Called front-end processors because they are in front
of and before the main system CPU
Incoming and
outgoing jobs

[Figure 6.15]

Main Front-end
system processor

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Carriers and Services
Common carriers
Long-distance telephone companies

Value-added carriers
Companies that have developed private telecommunications
systems and offer their services for a fee

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Carriers and Services
Switched line
Standard telephone line that uses switching equipment to allow
one transmission device to be connected to others
Dedicated line
Provides a constant connection between two points
Also called a leased line

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Carriers and Services
Private branch exchange (PBX)
Manages both voice and data transfer within a building and to
outside lines
Wide area telephone services (WATS)
A billing method for heavy users of voiceband media
Phone and dialing services
Additional services from the common carriers (i.e. ANI)

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Carriers and Services

Integrated services digital network (ISDN)

Technology that uses existing common-carrier lines to
simultaneously transmit voice, video, and image data in
digital form
Digital subscriber line (DSL)
Businesses/homes that have a DSL over existing phone wires
can use a special modem that transmits up to 768 Kbps

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Telecommunications Act
of 1996
Completely rewrites the 62-year-old Communications
Goal: To promote competition and eliminate
monopolies for a wide range of communication
May cause profound changes in U.S. communications
that can lead to a complete renovation in the way
information is delivered to consumers

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Global Telecommunications
One of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the
global economies

Criticality of implementing and managing global

Increase of international acquisitions and mergers
Need to compete on a global basis

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Computer Network
Includes communications media, devices, and
software needed to connect two or more computer
systems and/or devices
Benefits of a Network
Can turn a company into an agile, powerful and creative
organization, giving it long-term competitive advantage
Can be used to share hardware, programs, and databases across
the organization

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Data Processing Strategies
Centralized processing
All processing occurs in a single location
Decentralized processing
Processing devices are placed at various remote locations
Distributed processing
Computers at remote locations are connected to each other via
telecommunications devices

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Network Concepts
and Considerations
Network topology
Logical models that describe how networks are structured or
Star network
A network that has a central hub or computer system

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Four Basic Types
of Network Topology

(a) ring (b) bus

[Figure 6.17]

(c) hierarchical (d) star

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Types of Networks
Local area networks (LAN)
Connect computer systems and devices within the same
geographical area
Regional networks
Tie regional areas together via telecommunications systems

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Types of Networks
 Wide area networks (WAN)
 Tie large geographic regions together using microwave and satellite
transmission or telephone lines
 Private WANs
 Computer equipment owned by users and data communications equipment
provided by a common carrier
 Value-added networks (VAN)
 Offer services in addition to those offered by a traditional network (e.g.,
 International networks
 Link system together between countries

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Fig 6.20

Applications and databases reside on the same host

User interacts with the application using a “dumb”
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LANs and WANs

[Figure 6.18] [Figure 6.19]

A Typical LAN in a BUS Topology A Wide Area Network

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File Server

Fig 6.21

 Applications and databases reside on the same host

 File server transfers data and programs to PCs on the
network, which do the processing
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Fig 6.22

 Applications and databases reside on specialized host

 Servers do most or all of the processing and transmit the
results to the client
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The Client/Server Approach
 Cost potential
Improved performance
Increased security
Increased cost potential
Loss of control
Complex multivendor environment

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Functions of
Communications Software
Error checking
Message formatting
Communications logs
Data security and privacy
Translation capabilities for networks

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Communications Software
Network operating systems
Systems software that controls the computer systems and
devices on a network and allows them to communicate with
each other

Network management software

Software tools and utilities available for managing networks

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Communications Protocols
 Open systems interconnection (OSI)
 A protocol (or standard) endorsed by the International Standards Committee
 Developed by the U.S. government to link its defense research agencies
 IBM’s communications protocol
 Ethernet
 A popular protocol often used with local area networks
 Other protocols

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Bridges, Routers,
and Gateways
Connects two or more networks
Features more sophisticated addressing software than bridges
Links LANs or networks that employ different higher-level

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Bridges, Routers, & Gateways

[Figure 6.24]

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Coordinating Communications & Networks

A procedure in which the main computer checks each device
one at a time to see if there are any messages waiting to be
communicated to other network devices
Token passing
A technique in which an electronic “token” is passed from one
device to another
A procedure in which a device checks to see if a message is
currently being transmitted

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Data Transfer Modes

Packet switching
Communications process that divides electronic messages into
small segments (data packets)
Frame relay
Uses wideband communications media and high speed
switching devices
Voice-over frame relay
Moves voice traffic onto frame relay to bypass the public
telephone network

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Data Transfer Modes
Asynchronous transfer mode (ATM)
A high-speed network technology that provides transport for
voice, video, text, and other multimedia data

Fiber distributed data interface (FDDI)

Designed specifically to serve the needs of high-performance,
mission-critical LAN applications

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Telecommunications Applications
Links between PCs and mainframes
Facilitates the upload or download of data

Voice storage and forwarding

Sometimes called voice mail
Allows users to leave, receive, and store verbal messages for
and from people around the world

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Telecommunications Applications
Electronic mail
Users connected to a network can send messages to others by

Electronic document distribution

Involves transporting documents over communications lines
and networks

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Telecommunications Applications
Electronic software distribution
Involves installing software on a file server for users to share by
signing onto the network and downloading the software onto
their computers over the network
Working at home on a PC and communicating with the central
office or other workers via networks

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Telecommunications Applications
Allows groups to have conferences in one connected voice
phone call
An extension of teleconferencing that combines voice, video,
and audio transmission

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Telecommunications Applications
 Electronic data interchange
 Uses network systems and
follows standards and
procedures that allow output
from one system to be processed
directly as input to other  [Figure 6.27]
systems, without human

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Telecommunications Applications
 Public network services
 Give PC users access to vast
databases and other services,
usually for an initial fee plus
usage fees
[Figure 6.28]

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Telecommunications Applications
Specialized information systems
Include legal, patent, and technical information
Regional information systems
Include local electronic bulletin boards and electronic mail
facilities that offer information regarding local club, school, and
government activities
Distance learning
Extends the classroom by using telecommunications

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Network Design Considerations
Response time
Privacy issues
Vendor services and support
Company support

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Communications Audits
Purpose: To make sure the communications system is
operating as intended

Types of communications audits:

Software check
Network check
Policy and procedures
Program and database check

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