Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systemsby A. Michael Noll
Now in its third edition! Introduction to Telephones and Telephone Systems provides telephone system managers, telecommunications sales professionals, and students with a non-technical, easy-to-understand explanation of every major aspect of today's telecommunications systems. The book gives you comprehensive coverage of the four major areas of telephone systems -- station apparatus, transmission, switching, signaling.
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Chapter 1: IntroductionThe main thrust of this book is the telephone and the switched network, and the technology that makes telephone service possible. The information about the workings and evolution of this technology is mainly focused on developments in the United States. However, the basic principles apply universally, and hence the descriptions of basic technology should be useful to those interested in international telephony.
The telephone is generally acknowledged to have been invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876 with the assistance of his colleague Thomas A. Watson. Bell had the vision to see a world wired together by his invention. After a decade or so of intense competition, the Bell companies emerged as the monopoly supplier of telephone service in the United States. Theodore N. Vail founded the Bell System as a vertically integrated monopoly to supply telephone service. Nearly a century later, as a result of the drastic restructuring of the Bell System that occurred on January 1, 1984, competition returned to the provision of telephone service. In many ways, it was technology that led to the breakup of the Bell System.
The provision of telephone service is subject to regulation on a number of governmental levels. Interstate long-distance service is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Intrastate toll service and local service are regulated by state public utility commissions, and possibly county and city commissions in some circumstances. As a result of the divestiture of the Bell local telephone companies from AT&T, the U.S. District Court, the U.S. Congress, and the U.S. Department ofjustice now all also have a voice in telecommunication policy and regulation. From a policy perspective, telecommunications has many players and can appear very confusing and contradictory at times. The last chapter attempts to give some perspective on divestiture and telecommunication policy.
The consumer shapes the future
Telephone communication has not stood still during its century of existence, and new services and new uses of the public switched network continue to emerge. Some of these new services, such as video teleconferencing and videotex, are technologically most impressive, but consumers have expressed little interest in many of them. Other new services, such as mobile cellular telephony, are also technologically impressive, and consumers have responded enthusiastically to them. Technology indeed suggests many new services, but ultimately it is the consumer who determines success and failure in the marketplace. Later in this book, we will examine many of these new services and the apparent reasons for their success and failure.
The telephone system is a network, involving telephones, various transmission media, switching, and signaling to control it all. A network perspective of telephone service is covered in Chapter 2 as a general overview that should always be kept in mind as later chapters describe individual aspects of the provision of telephone service.
The technology of a telephone communication system consists of four major system elements. The first element is the telephone instrument itself, along with any other form of apparatus that is attached at the telephone station, as described in Chapter 3. The second element, transmission, is involved with the various media used to transmit a telephone signal over distance. In this book, transmission is covered in Chapters 4 and S. The third element, switching, concerns the various ways in which one telephone circuit is connected to another telephone circuit. Switching is described in Chapters 6 and 7. The last element, signaling, is involved with how the telephone network is controlled and instructed to make an actual connection and is covered in Chapter 8...
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