Today’s business environment relies upon constant connectivity. Your business can have the most advanced facilities or production equipment in the world, but without a telecommunications network to provide connectivity to the world around it, your business may struggle. A telecommunication network makes it possible for your employees to access business emails on a mobile phone while traveling for business, enable video conferencing in the office with clients around the world, while providing telephone service in your local area.
Telecommunications systems are easily taken for granted. Every day your employees come and go from the office with the assumption that when they want to make a call, access email or conduct research online, they’ll be able to do so. How does all of this work? What does it take to manage and maintain these networks? Who is behind all of this? This Telecommunications 101 guide offers an introduction to this necessary business network.
Telecommunications: What Is It?
Quite simply, telecommunications is any communication that takes place over a distance. Originally, telecommunications was as simple as installing phone lines and switchboards that allowed contact with clients and customers with a phone call. Today, telecommunications is any communication over telephone, video conference, wireless networks, computer networks and cellular networks.
In your office, this means making internal phone calls, as well as calls to outside clients. Internet access and the ability to send emails is also telecommunications. Video conferencing and VoIP phone systems are yet another example.
Telecommunications: Why Do You Need It?
The answer here is quite simple too. Without a telecommunication network, your business would not be able to communicate with suppliers, distributors and customers (or anyone else for that matter). Almost every activity that takes place within your company on a daily basis relies upon communication.
Telecommunications: What Does it Take to Manage a Network?
As mentioned, telecommunications has grown rapidly from the age when it was little more than telephones and switchboards. Today’s telecommunications industry includes not only the devices that you access data through (telephones, smartphones, tablets, and computers), but also the hardware that powers those devices, the software that processes information, and the fiber-optic and coaxial cables that transmit information.
Managing this telecommunication network requires knowledge and expertise to setup a system that works for your office and monitor its performance and activity. Maintaining these systems requires constant vigilance and the ability to perform software updates and repair or replace wired lines, servers, computers and other devices that serve as the backbone and access point.
Telecommunications: Who are the Carriers?
There was a point in history where AT&T was the dominant carrier in telecommunications. However, competition and consolidation (at times) has drastically changed the landscape. The evolving opportunities of telecommunication (beyond the phone, to the Internet and mobile data) have also created new players. There are few providers today that specialize in just one area of telecommunications. For example, AT&T offers traditional telephone service, mobile data and wireless voice coverage. Century Link offers fiber-optic Internet, nationwide MPLS networks, cloud based voice and data services, and VoIP options as well. Today’s list of carriers includes, but is not limited to, CenturyLink, AT&T, Windstream, Level 3, Integra, Enventis, Zayo, Comcast, and Charter to name a few.
Brief Intro to Carrier Services
Telecommunications and its required connectivity is a very complex, advanced field of technology that is often unmanaged within business environments. Trying to manage of all this can be a daunting task for companies of any size. There are a number of quality carrier services that can help your business identify requirements your telecommunications network must meet, and select the voice, Internet and data carriers that best match those requirements.
In the process, your business saves time selecting the right carrier, reduces the risk of selecting the wrong carrier and can even lower the cost of your telecommunications network.