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|“||This book is an entry-level text on the technology of telecommunications. It has been|
crafted with the newcomer in mind. The twenty-one chapters of text have been prepared
for high-school graduates who understand algebra, logarithms, and the basic principles of
electricity such as Ohm’s law. However, it is appreciated that many readers require support
in these areas. Appendices A and B review the essentials of electricity and mathematics
up through logarithms. This material was placed in the appendices so as not to distract
from the main theme, the technology of telecommunication systems. Another topic that
many in the industry find difficult is the use of decibels and derived units. Appendix C
provides the reader a basic understanding of decibels and their applications. The only
mathematics necessary is an understanding of the powers of ten.
To meet my stated objective where this text acts as a tutor for those with no experience
in telecommunications, every term and concept are carefully explained. Nearly all
terminology can be traced to the latest edition of the IEEE Standard Dictionary and/or
to the several ITU (International Telecommunication Union) glossaries. Other tools I use
are analogies and real-life experiences. Examples are the train analogy for ATM (asynchronous
transfer mode) and the short division experience with my younger daughter for
We hear the expression “going back to basics.” This book is back at the basics. It is
written in such a way as to bring along the novice. Thus, the structure of the book is
purposeful; later chapters build on earlier material. The book starts with some general
concepts in telecommunications: What is connectivity? What do nodes do? From there
we move onwards to the voice network embodied in the public switched telecommunications
network (PSTN), digital transmission and networks, and an introduction to data
communications, followed by enterprise networks. It continues with switching and signaling,
the transmission transport, cable television, cellular/PCS, ATM, and then network
management. CCITT Signaling System No. 7 is a data network used exclusively for signaling.
It was located after our generic discussion of data and enterprise networks. The
novice would be lost in the explanation of System 7 without a basic understanding of
I have borrowed heavily from my many years of giving seminars, both at Northeastern
University and at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. The advantage of the classroom
is that the instructor can stop and reiterate or explain a sticky point. Not so with a book.
As a result, I have made every effort to spot those difficult issues and then give clear
Brevity has been a challenge for me. Telecommunications is explosively developing.
My goal has been to hit the high points and leave the details to other texts.