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Is telecommunications really important to the economy and to the society at large, or how much can consumers benefit directly from telecommunications research in terms of new products and services that enhance their lives and improve their effectiveness and productivity? Is there any scope for innovation left for telecommunications or has it reach a point of maturity that now it is merely a commodity service or a mere technology?
Almost all of us are consumers who know the importance of telecommunications in maintaining a strong economic and social order, and that telecommunications research is essential to keeping this changing world healthy.
A long time ago, before there was internet and other data networks, people used the telegraph, two-way radios, and the telephone in order to communicate to people at a distance by voice, and the way the services were provided were through the public switched telephone network.
And in order to add the ability to communicate documents and data at a distance, the facsimile and data services were placed on top on the switched telephone network. This application however is still considered telecommunication because of the fact that it is still a means to communicate at a distance. This type of communication were also carried over the switch boards.
Data transport, video conferencing, email, instant messaging, web browsing, and other forms of distributed collaboration are now part of the expanded communication from a distance which we have at present.
It is also important to note that these media transmission was at first carried through copper wires then has expanded to include microwave, terrestrial wireless, satellite, hybrid fiber/ coaxial cable, and broadband fiber transport.
In other words, the technology used for telecommunication has changed greatly over the last fifty years. We now see that the industry is broader than it was in the past. It now encompasses multiple service providers, including telephone companies, cable system operators, internet service provider, wireless carriers, and satellite operators. The industry today includes software-based applications with a communication emphasis and intermediate layers of software incorporated into end-to-end communication services.
Whenever communication at a distance is involved at whatever layer then it becomes partially part of the telecommunication industry, and that is how we broadly define telecommunication today.
So today, if you have a facility based telecommunications provider, it means that they serve commercial customers and residential customers with a single line to some of the largest private companies. What is included in their services are VoIP plans, cloud phone systems, and a host of other applications that are relevant to our economic and social needs.
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