Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook / Edition 2

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For an accessible and comprehensive survey of telecommunications and data communications technologies and services, consult the Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook, which includes information on origins, evolution and meaningful contemporary applications. Find discussions of technologies set in context, with details on fiber optics, cellular radio, digital carrier systems, TCP/IP, and the Internet. Explore topics like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP); 802.16 & WiMAX; Passive Optical Network (PON); 802.11g & Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) in this easily accessible guide without the burden of technical jargon.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook…covers the entire telecom landscape, from wireline to wireless, from copper to radio and fiber, from electrical to optical, and from the customer premises to the cloud. It discusses voice, data, fax, video and multimedia technologies, systems, and ap­plications in great detail, and in the LAN, MAN, and WAN domains. The handbook explores every relevant technology, standard, and ap­plication in the telecom and datacom space….It is exceptionally well-written in Horak’s plain-English, commonsense style, making it just as helpful to the neophyte and layperson as to the serious student or seasoned IT professional. Horak makes liberal use of well-constructed graphics to illustrate system and network architectures, topologies, and applications.
It is hard to make a valid direct comparison to this book. The Irwin Handbook of Telecommunications, by James Harry Green, is good, but less complete, less technical, and drier, if such a combination is possible. The Voice & Data Communications Handbook, by Regis “Bud” Bates, is written at a lower level; and, the Essential Guide to Telecommunications, by Annabel Dodd, at a much lower level. These latter two books are breezy reads and appeal more to a mass market than to a serious student or professional. The Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook compares more correctly to some of the more seminal works of Gilbert Held or James Martin, but covers a much wider range of subject matter and is a much easier and more pleasant read.
The Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook is written for the academic and professional community, but is just as relevant to anyone who needs to understand telecommunications system and network technologies and their meaningful applications. It is an exceptional work that should be on every IT professional’s bookshelf…when not in his or her hands.
–John R. Vacca (The Internet Protocol Journal (Cisco Systems), December 2008, pp. 38-40)

There is finally a guide to telecommunications and data communications that non-engineers can understand. Popular author Ray Horak provides comprehensive, up-to-date information in plain English, instead of confusing technotalk….Complete with a discussion of the current regulatory and business environments, including divestiture and revestiture as well as mergers and acquisitions, this is the ideal reference for non-engineering professionals in the end-user, carrier, content or service provider, manufacturing, regulatory, or financial communities. (IEEE Communications Society, August 2008)

"…a thoroughly researched and comprehensive survey of telecom and datacom technologies and services, from the most basic to the most complex. Horak sets the technologies in context, providing an excellent level of detail on the origin and evolution of fiber optics, cellular radio, digital carrier systems, TCP/IP, and the Internet, as examples…. We think that anyone with a compelling need for a complete and accurate understanding of telecommunications can benefit from it." (ASCDI News)

We recently received a copy from Ray Horak of his "Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook" This (literally) weighty tome contains almost 800 pages of current technology, and, maybe more importantly, the historical basis for how we got to where we are today. From frequency division multiplexing to the invention of the Strowger switch by a disgruntled undertaker to the origin of wire "gauge," the book is a great trip down memory lane for us old-timers and a necessary piece of technology background for neophytes. However, the book isn't just history. It's more of an encyclopedia that includes current topics as of the publication date in 2007. As such, is serves as a great foundation for topics like application delivery and virtualization. As we move forward with new ideas, this historical context is mandatory to making sure that the mistakes of the past aren't repeated. And this book is a great resource for providing that context.
—Steve Taylor, Columnist (Network World)

The Handbook is the sort of thing one either has to, or should, read at the beginning of a career in communications. That applies to just about any segment: wireless or wired telecom company, cable TV, satellite or data communications. The Handbook reminds me of the James Martin books I once pored over. More than once, I'd add.
—Gary Kim, founder and CEO Dagda Mor Media and Contributing Editor (, July 14, 2008)

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing Ray Horak's?Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook. The book's 791 pages, divided into 15 chapters, cover everything from legacy technology such as basic telephone switching to leading edge technologies such as DWDM optical networks, 3G wireless networks, and IPTV converged video. I have read other Horak books in the past, but this one is the most comprehensive one that he has done to date.
You would be hard pressed to find a topic that was not discussed in the almost 800 pages of the book. Overall, I found the book to be a well written wealth of knowledge. I plan to use it as the text for my undergraduate course in telecommunications in the spring.—Walt Magnussen, Director of Telecommunications, Texas A&M University (ACUTA: Journal of Communications Technology in Higher Education, Summer 2008)

It has not been easy keeping pace with the rate of development in telecommunications and data communications; a book that presents a comprehensive overview of the wide range of communications systems and networks is most welcome. This book discusses the various aspects of issues in telecommunications and data communications, describing the terminology involved, and visiting their histories when appropriate. It is organized into 15 chapters, preceded by a preface explaining the author's intent, an elaborate acknowledgment, and a concise biography of the author. Two appendices and an exhaustive index complete the book. The book is very well written and accessible to the average reader. Although some of these ideas can be found in other books, this one presents all the current information on telecommunications and data communications.
—William Oblitey, Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) (Computing Reviews, May 6, 2008)

Readers wanting to gain insight into the terminology of the field would be advised to consult this outstanding reference book. (American Reference Books Annual, March 2008)

A must-have acquisition for both beginners and practioners highly recommended. (Choice, February 2008)

Although the book is written for reasonably astute engineers, analysts, regulators, attorneys and other telecom professionals, Horak develops each topic in a common sense and patient manner so it is informative and useful to a student or relative newcomer to telecom.—Mark Simon, President, Evince Media (Telecom Reseller, May/June 2008)

This book is the top center of my telecom book shelf. Although I have only had it for a few months, some wear is already beginning to show because of overuse. It is organized simply and logically into 15 chapters, from the fundamentals to regulation. There are diagrams and illustrations as necessary, but not enough to make it look like a comic book. Most technology books fall into one of two categories inane or arcane. Horak's book is written in clear English, understandable by the unwashed masses, but covers highly technical concepts without glossing over the necessary details. Best of all, even though Horak is a Bell veteran, the book is acronym friendly. (Bell heads have a tendency to cling to acronyms, even converting them to verbs on occasion.) Horak uses acronyms, to be sure, not gratuitously; they are an essential part of the telecom scene. If you can only have one book on voice and data communications, this is the book to have.
—Gene Retske, Senior Vice President/Editor (The Prepaid Press, May 15, 2008)

"an exhaustive survey of communications technologies supposedly for non-engineers. I write supposedly because the book frequently gets technical. Its value to engineers and management is as a starting point, and the topics covered include everything from CATV and fax through to VoIP, WiMAX and ZigBee every corporate IT library should have copies. Highly recommended."
—Mark Gibbs (Network World, May 5, 2008)

While Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook may not be a book that will appeal to everyone, everyone in the telecommunications industry should read it. It provides a concise guide to the telecommunications industry and is written in a way that even non-technical types can understand.
If you have had to try to understand how Broadband network services work, or Frame Relays, or even mobile communications, then Telecommunications And Data Communications Handbook is the book for you. If you work in the telecommunications industry, then you need this book.
—T. Michael Testi (BC Books, October 31, 2007)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470396070
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 6/30/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 832
  • Sales rank: 496,014
  • Product dimensions: 7.40 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Ray Horak held management and executive management positions with Southwestern Bell, Continental Telephone Company (CONTEL), and Communications Group Inc. An independent consultant and popular speaker, trainer, author, columnist, and writer, he is the author of the bestselling Communications Systems and Networks, published most recently by Wiley and now in its third edition. Mr. Horak teaches seminars around the world on a variety of telecommunications subjects. He also has considerable experience as a consulting technical expert and expert witness in litigation involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, and other intellectual property matters.

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Table of Contents



About the Author.


1.1 Fundamental Definitions.

1.2 Dedicated, Switched, and Virtual Circuits.

1.3 Two-Wire versus Four-Wire Circuits.

1.4 Bandwidth.

1.5 Analog versus Digital.

1.6 Loading Coils, Amplifiers, and Repeaters.

1.7 Conversion Process: Modems and Codecs.

1.8 Multiplexers (Muxes).

1.9 Switches and Switching: The Basics . . . and Then Some.

1.10 Signaling and Control.



2.1 Electromagnetic Spectrum.

2.2 Transmission Media Selection Criteria.

2.3 Twisted Pair: Introduction to Telephone Wire.

2.4 Shielded Copper.

2.5 Coaxial Cable.

2.6 Microwave Radio.

2.7 Satellite Radio.

2.8 Free Space Optics.

2.9 Fiber Optics.

2.10 Powerline Carrier.

2.11 Hybrid Transmission Systems.



3.1 Key Telephone Systems.

3.2 Private Branch Exchanges.

3.3 Centrex.

3.4 Automatic Call Distributors.

3.5 Computer Telephony.

3.6 IP Systems.

3.7 Futures.



4.1 Facsimile (Fax) Systems.

4.2 Voice Processing Systems.

4.3 Electronic Mail (E-Mail).

4.4 Instant Messaging.

4.5 Mobile Messaging: SMS and MMS.

4.6 Unified Messaging and Unified Communications.



5.1 Network Characteristics.

5.2 Numbering Plan Administration.

5.3 Domains.

5.4 Signaling and Control: Expanded View.

5.5 Network Services.

5.6 Portability: A Special Issue.

5.7 Equal Access: Another Special Issue.

5.8 VoIP: Next-Generation PSTN.



6.1 Functional Domains.

6.2 DCE: Expanded View.

6.3 Protocol Basics.

6.4 Network Architectures.

6.5 Security.



7.1 Dataphone Digital Service.

7.2 Switched 56.

7.3 Virtual Private Networks: In the Classic Sense.

7.4 Digital Carrier Systems and Networks.

7.5 X.25 and Packet Switching.

7.6 Integrated Services Digital Network.



8.1 LANs Defined.

8.2 LAN Dimensions.

8.3 LAN Equipment.

8.4 LAN Operating Systems.

8.5 Virtual LANs.

8.6 Remote LAN Access.

8.7 LAN Standards and Standards Bodies.

8.8 Life in the Fast LAN: The Need for Speed.

8.9 Wireless LANs.

8.10 Minding Your Ps and Qs.

8.11 IEEE 1394 and FireWire.

8.12 Nonstandard LANs.

8.13 Broadband over Power Line.

8.14 Storage Area Networks.



9.1 Access Technologies.


9.3 IEEE 802.17, Resilient Packet Ring.



10.1 Frame Relay.

10.2 Switched Multimegabit Data Service.

10.3 Asynchronous Transfer Mode.

10.4 Metropolitan Ethernet.

10.5 Broadband ISDN.

10.6 Advanced Intelligent Networks (AINs).



11.1 Wireless Defined.

11.2 Standards and Regulations.

11.3 Advantages and Disadvantages of Wireless.

11.4 Cell Concept: Frequency Reuse.

11.5 Multiplexing and Access Techniques.

11.6 Specialized Mobile Radio.

11.7 Paging.

11.8 Cordless Telephony and Wireless Office Telecommunications Systems.

11.9 Cellular Radio.

11.10 Packet Data Radio Networks.

11.11 Satellite Systems: LEOs, MEOs, and GEOs.

11.12 And That’s Not All.



12.1 Video Communications: Defined and Evolved.

12.2 Video Basics.

12.3 Analog TV Standards.

12.4 Digital TV and High-Definition TV.

12.5 Bandwidth and Compression.

12.6 Video Standards.

12.7 Internet Protocol TeleVision (IPTV).

12.8 The H.320 Family of Multimedia Standards.

12.9 Session Initiation Protocol.

12.10 H.248: Media Gateway Control.

12.11 Videoconferencing Systems.

12.12 Videoconferencing Equipment.

12.13 WAN Videoconferencing Networks.

12.14 Video over IP.

12.15 Multimedia Conferencing.

Applications and Benefits.



13.1 The Internet Defined.

13.2 Internet Physical Topology.

13.3 Internet Access.

13.4 Internet Standards, Administration, and Regulation.

13.5 IP Addressing.

13.6 Domain Name System.

13.7 Internet Protocols.

13.8 Internet Applications.

13.10 Internet2.

13.11 World Wide Web.

13.12 Intranets and Extranets.

13.13 Internet Security: A Special Issue.

13.14 Misuse and Content.

13.15 Internet Oddities, Screwball Applications, and Some Really Good Ideas.

13.16 The Dark Side: An Editorial.



14.1 Convergence Defined.

14.2 Driving Forces.

14.3 Conventional Convergence: Wireline Networks.

14.4 The Race Is On: Mergers and Acquisitions (M&As).

14.5 One Potato, Two Potato, Three Potatoe, Four . . . .

14.6 NexGen Convergence: Wireline and Wireless Networks.



15.1 Telecommunications Act of 1996.

15.2 Rates and Tariffs.

15.3 The Internet.

15.4 Number Portability.

15.5 Laws and Sausages.





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Customer Reviews

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  • Posted August 27, 2010


    If you want to really learn and understand the world of telecommunications and data communications this book is a must read. Written in plain English, Horak's book is equally useful to the uninitiated and professional alike. In 15 chapters and two appendices spanning 762 pages, Horak has created a complete course of instruction that would cost the reader thousands of dollars to attend if it were offered live. The depth and breadth of information contained in this single volume is unmatched by other books I've read. Equally important is the use of plain English and Horak's writing style making this book eminently readable.

    Horak has created a full course in a single book that will give the reader more overall knowledge of telecommunications and data communications than most practitioners working in the field today. In my years in this field I have not been more impressed by a single publication. I enthusiastically recommend this book to all who want to better understand this industry: be they students, professionals, or merely interested.

    Jeff Owen is an independent consultant with 20+ years experience in telecommunications/networking and IT. He has worked in engineering, project management, and management positions for major corporations in the telecommunications, finance, aerospace, and IT consultancy industries. As an industry analyst for Datapro and Gartner, Owen authored numerous analytical reports published for international consumption.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2008

    Outstanding book for Telecom Professionals

    'Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook' is a great building block to Ray's previous book, 'Communications Systems and Networks'. I have been in the Telecom industry for over 30 years and have used 'Communications Systems and Networks' since it was published in 1997. I had also provided each management employee that has been in my organization with a copy of 'Communications Systems and Networks' and am in the process of providing 'Telecommunications and Data Communications Handbook' to each employee. The book has been a valuable resource to me in every aspect of the various positions I have held and it will benefit any Telecom professional.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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