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What is Telecommunications?

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Telecommunications devices are all around us and it includes some of the oldest technologies in our human history. In simple terms it means transmitting a signal over a distance, but this can be anything from smoke signals to iPads. The telecommunications industry then is one of the largest and most important because the ability to communicate with people who are not standing right beside us has become increasingly important. Could you imagine a world where the only way we could communicate was by face to face? It would mean no more telephones, emails, television, or anything else that is part of the telecommunications world.

The Types of Telecommunications

When most of us think of telecommunications we probably think of high-tech devices but the term actually covers a lot more than this.

  • Probably the earliest form of telecommunications was smoke signals; using this method our ancient ancestors would have been able to communicate with people in other settlements. To make these smoke signals all that was needed was a fire and something that could be used as a blanket.
  • Over time our telecommunications became more complex; we were able to communicate with people who were further and further away. An example of this was the fire relay; people would be placed at distances apart and would pass on a fire signal in a chain.
  • With the discovery of electricity we were able to further improve our telecommunications technology. The telegraph revolutionized the world, and this was later followed by the telephone.
  • In the last few decades our telecommunications have grown at a rate never previously witnessed in history. Technologies like the internet have meant that it is now possible to cheaply communicate with people no matter where they are situated on the planet; we can even chat with people who are out in space. There are new devices being created every week and it is impossible to predict where it is all going to lead.
  • As well as communicating with people here on Earth there have also been attempts to contact life forms on other planets. So far nobody has taken our call, but our attempts at communication are traveling through space as we speak. A few thousand years ago our smoke signals could allow us to communicate to people a few miles away, but look how far we can communicate nowadays.

The Importance of Telecommunications

There is no doubt that telecommunications is one of the most important industries for human societies. The speed by which it has changed our world in recent decades is astounding.  In fact for the first time in our history we really can feel like we are all part of one large family. This technology means that we can get to know people from different cultures and broaden our own views about life; we can feel a lot less isolated. The twentieth century was a time of wars and destruction, but it is hoped that now that we are all communicating there will be far less chance of this type of horror occurring again.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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