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4. Telecommunications and Networks. Learning Objectives. 4. Identify major developments and trends in the industries, technologies, and business applications of telecommunications and Internet technologies.

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Telecommunications and Networks

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Learning Objectives


  • Identify major developments and trends in the industries, technologies, and business applications of telecommunications and Internet technologies.

  • Provide examples of the business value of Internet, intranet, and extranet applications.

Learning Objectives (continued)


  • Identify the basic components, functions, and types of telecommunications networks used in business.

  • Explain the functions of major types of telecommunications network hardware, software, media, and services.

Section I


  • The Networked Enterprise

Networking the Enterprise


  • Networking business and employees

  • Connecting them to customers, suppliers, and other stakeholders.

Trends in Telecommunications


Trends in Telecommunications (continued)


  • Industry

    • More competitive

    • More options for the firm

  • Technology

    • Unrestricted connectivity

    • Easy access for end users

      • Open systems

        • Use common standards for hardware, software, applications, & networking.

Trends in Telecommunications (continued)


  • Technology (continued)

    • High degree of interoperability

    • Digital networks

      • Higher transmission speeds

      • Moves larger amounts of information

      • Greater economy

      • Lower error rates

      • Multiple types of communications on the same circuits


Trends in Telecommunications (continued)

  • Technology (continued)

    • Fiber-optic lines & cellular, PCS, satellite & other wireless technologies

      • Faster transmission speeds


Trends in Telecommunications (continued)

  • Business applications

    • Dramatic increase in the number of feasible telecommunication applications.

    • Cut costs, reduce lead times, shorten response times, support e-commerce, improve collaboration, share resources, lock in customers & suppliers, & develop new products & services

Business Value of TelecommunicationsNetworks


The Internet


  • A network of networks

  • Popular uses

    • E-mail

    • Instant messaging

    • Browsing the World Wide Web

    • Newsgroups and chat rooms

The Internet (continued)


  • The business value of the Internet



  • Within an organization

  • Uses Internet technologies

  • Business value of Intranets

    • Used for information sharing, communication, collaboration, & support of business processes.

    • Web publishing

      • Comparatively easy, attractive, & lower cost alternative for publishing & accessing multimedia business information

Intranets (continued)


  • Business Operations & Management

    • Used for developing & deploying critical business applications

    • Supports operations and managerial decision making



  • Network links that use Internet technologies to interconnect the firm’s intranet with the intranets of customers, suppliers, or other business partners

    • Consultants, subcontractors, business prospects, & others

Extranets (continued)


  • Business value

    • Improve communication with customers and business partners

    • Gain competitive advantage in

      • Product development

      • Cost savings

      • Marketing

      • Distribution

      • Leveraging their partnerships

Section II


  • Telecommunications Network Alternatives

Telecommunications Network Alternatives


A Telecommunications Network Model


A Telecommunications Network Model (continued)


  • Consists of five basic components

    • Terminals

      • Any input/output device that uses telecommunication networks to transmit or receive data

    • Telecommunication processors

      • Support data transmission and reception between terminals and computers

A Telecommunications Network Model (continued)


  • Telecommunications channels

    • The medium over which data are transmitted and received

  • Computers

    • Interconnected by telecommunications networks

  • Telecommunications control software

    • Control telecommunications activities & manage the functions of telecommunications networks

Types of Telecommunications Networks


  • Wide Area Networks (WAN)

    • Cover a large geographic area.

  • Local Area Networks (LAN)

    • Connect computers & other information processing devices within a limited physical area.

    • Connected via ordinary telephone wiring, coaxial cable, or wireless radio & infrared systems

Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


  • Virtual Private Networks

    • A secure network that uses the Internet as its main backbone network, but relies on fire walls and other security features

Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


  • Client/Server Networks

    • Clients – end user PCs or NCs

    • Server – helps with application processing and also manages the network

Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


  • Network computing

    • “the network is the computer”

      • Thin clients process small application programs called “applets.”

Types of Telecommunications Networks (continued)


  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P)

    • Two major models

      • Central server architecture

      • Pure peer-to-peer

Telecommunications Media


  • Twisted-pair wire

  • Coaxial cable

    • Minimizes interference and distortion

    • Allows high-speed data transmission

  • Fiber optics

    • Glass fiber that conducts pulses of light generated by lasers

    • Size and weight reduction

    • Increased speed and carrying capacity

Telecommunications Media (continued)


Wireless Technologies


  • Terrestrial Microwave

    • Line-of-sight path between relay stations spaced approximately 30 miles apart.

  • Communications Satellites

    • Geosynchronous orbits

    • Serve as relay stations for communications signals transmitted from earth stations

Wireless Technologies (continued)


  • Cellular & PCS Systems

    • Each cell is typically from one to several square miles in area.

    • Each cell has its own low-power transmitter or radio relay antenna.

    • Computers & other communications processors coordinate & control the transmissions to/from mobile users as they move from one cell to another

Wireless Technologies (continued)


  • Wireless LANs

    • Spread spectrum

    • Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity)

  • Wireless Web

    • Uses Web-enabled information appliances

    • Very thin clients

Telecommunications Processors


  • Modems (modulation/demodulation)

    • Changes signals from analog to digital and back to analog

  • Multiplexers

    • Allows a single communication channel to carry simultaneous data transmissions from many terminals

Telecommunications Processors (continued)


  • Internetwork Processors

    • Switches

      • Makes connections between telecomm circuits so a message can reach its intended destination

    • Router

      • Interconnects networks based on different rules or protocols

Telecommunications Processors (continued)


  • Hub

    • Port switching communications processor

  • Gateway

    • A processor that interconnects networks that use different communications architecture

Telecommunications Software


  • Provides a variety of communications support services including connecting & disconnecting communications links & establishing communications parameters such as transmission speed, mode, and direction.

Telecommunications Software (continued)


  • Network Management

    • Traffic management

    • Security

    • Network monitoring

    • Capacity planning

Network Topologies


  • Star

    • Ties end user computers to a central computer

    • Considered the least reliable

  • Ring (sometimes called Token Ring)

    • Ties local computer processors together in a ring on a more equal basis.

    • Considered more reliable & less costly

Network Topologies (continued)


  • Bus

    • Local processors share the same bus, or communications channel

    • Tree is a variation which ties several bus networks together

Network Topologies (continued)


Network Architectures & Protocols


  • Protocols

    • A standard set of rules & procedures for the control of communications in a network

    • Standards for the physical characteristics of cables and connectors

  • Network Architecture

    • Goal is to promote an open, simple, flexible, efficient telecommunications environment

Network Architectures and Protocols (continued)


  • OSI Model

  • TCP/IP

    • Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol

      • Used by the Internet and all intranets and extranets

Bandwidth Alternatives


  • Bandwidth is the frequency range of a telecommunications network

  • Determines the channel’s maximum transmission rate

  • Measured in bits per second (bps) or baud

  • Narrow-band

    • Low-speed transmission

  • Broadband

    • High-speed transmission

Switching Alternatives


  • Circuit switching

  • Packet switching

  • Cell switching

Discussion Questions


  • The Internet is the driving force behind developments in telecommunications, networks, and other information technologies. Do you agree or disagree?

  • How is the trend toward open systems, connectivity, and interoperability related to business use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets?

Discussion Questions (continued)


  • How will wireless information appliances and services affect the business use of the Internet and the Web?

  • What are some of the business benefits and management challenges of client/server networks? Network computing? Peer-to-peer networks?

Discussion Questions (continued)


  • What is the business value driving so many companies to rapidly install and extend intranets throughout their organizations?

  • What strategic competitive benefits do you see in a company’s use of extranets?

Discussion Questions (continued)


  • Do you think that business use of the Internet, intranets, and extranets has changed what businesspeople expect from information technology in their jobs?

  • Do you believe that the insatiable demand for everything wireless, video, and Web-enabled will be the driving force behind developments in telecommunications, networking, and computing technologies for the foreseeable future?



  • James A. O'Brien; George M. Marakas. Management Information Systems: Managing Information Technology in the Business Enterprise 6th Ed., Boston: McGraw-Hill/ Irwin,2004

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