Global Positioning System (GPS)

Telecommunications involves the transmission of information from a sender to a receiver through an electromagnetic or light-wave medium. Data transfer is an important feature in telecommunications operations and it needs accurate timing.

In a telecommunications network, switches directing digital signals have to synchronize with each other, so that the data does not become corrupt or lost. Timely data transfer and synchronization are guaranteed by atomic clocks, which are the best timekeepers. Thus, atomic clock timing is a fundamental component of national and international telecommunications networks.

Atomic clock stability is crucial to the smooth functioning of a mobile network. Without accurate time, there can be no proper functioning of the Internet, mobile phones, and e-mails. The distribution of voice and data around the world via a telecommunications network is very much dependent on accurate timing. Voice and data units are time-stamped to enable the transmitted elements to be rearranged in the correct order at the receiving end. A telecommunications network relies upon atomic clocks to ensure that time-stamped voice, data, and VoIP packets are organized in the correct order.

Global Positioning System (GPS) satellites that orbit the earth send signals in a timely manner from their atomic clocks for the smooth navigation of ships, airplanes, and even cars. GPS is helpful in locating the user's position. With GPS, the timing has to be very accurate, and the smallest error can cause serious navigation problems. This system is of great use in situations such as sea rescue operations and Arctic expeditions. Accurate time maintained in global navigation satellites is used for precision mapping and surveying as well as environmental monitoring of earthquakes.

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Network traffic analysis is the method of intercepting and examining messages in order to assume information from patterns in communications. It can be performed when messages are encrypted and cannot be decrypted. Usually, the massive number of messages observed, or captured and stored, the more can be inferred from the traffic.

Today, IPT vendors and developers are considering the requirement for a management application that takes a view at the whole network, including the patterns of data and real time applications. While much of the ongoing management operation is happening in real time on production network, optimization should be performed first in the test lab. The objective of traffic optimization is to push the network, to define new standards and to improve existing SLAs with specific targets in mind.

As most of the organizations seek to join all communication, both real time and non-real time, to an IP infrastructure, new technologies or applications are being developed and deployed. IPT can be considered as the broader concept of Unified communications. Unified communications cove an array of applications from wireless VoIP, instant messaging to broadband networks, just to name a few.

Some companies are offering effective solutions in order to monitor and proactively manage a network based on either CDR records, IP messages or C7/SS7 records. These solutions are highly scalable and flexible and can handle ample amount of data in real time. They provide alarms, statistics and trending reports crucial to manage and monitor traffic for GSM/CDMA, landline and broadband network.

Each and every application requires its own bandwidth and excellent service. It is the role of optimizer to prepare and test the network for these services by allotting resources properly, and making the essential upgrades. With proper tools, techniques, planning and testing, convergences will future proof a network infrastructure for organizing a host of business for years to come.

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As we move head strong into the New Year, I would like to take this time to look back at the past 12 months as they relate to VoIP and the Telecommunications Industry in general. 2007 was a year of upheaval and innovation, as VoIP became more of a mainstream technology and less of a novelty, the growing pains experienced define the winners and losers in a tumultuous year.

The Pure Play VoIP providers were hit especially hard in 2007. The sudden and unannounced disappearance of SunRocket left subscribers in the lurch as other providers scrambled to fill the void. The once leader of the residential VoIP market, Vonage, was hit by multiple lawsuits for patent infringement, causing its stock to tumble as customers bolted like rats from a sinking ship. To add insult to injury, cable giant Comcast Communications gained the lead for residential market share with its triple play offerings of voice, video and Internet access. Packet8 faired well in 2007 reaching the 10,000 subscriber mark, albeit more due to the SMB than residential market with its hosted IP PBX services.

In the Enterprise market, the appearance of Microsoft's Office Communications Server has caused many an institution to take a wait and see attitude on convergence. An independent study by Psytechnics concluded that the voice quality of the OCS 2007 was considerably better than some leading technologies currently available (CallManager). Microsoft's goal seems to be to make the PBX (IP or otherwise) obsolete, as voice and unified communications morph into just another software application. Potential savings for Business could be huge as hardware and infrastructure costs decline with the adoption of their soft phone technology.

On the wireless front, the ominous firing of Sprint Nextel CEO and WiMax champion Gary Forsee leads to the dissolution of an agreement between Sprint and Clearwire Communications to begin a nation wide rollout of WiMaxin 2008. Although they started their soft launch of WiMax in three major cities in December as scheduled, Sprint says they are reevaluating their long term business plan and will let us know next year. Sprint has been losing market share steadily over the year, and as the largest holder of WiMax spectrum in the U.S., some are calling for them to either put up or spin off. 2008 the year of WiMax? Maybe not here!

The FCC ruled in March that rural telecoms must open their networks to VoIP providers, and in another ruling exempted VoIP providers from state regulations. Another ruling for consumers in November states that consumers' numbers must be ported within 48 hours of signing up with a new VoIP provider. In December, FCC chairman Kevin Martin reaps the wrath of Congress for loosening the longstanding ban on cross ownership that prohibits newspapers and broadcast stations from owning each other in the same market, thus opening the door for big media to consolidate.

On a positive note, for those of us that think VoIP and open source is a positive thing, Verizon announced late in the year that it would open its network to "any" device or application that meets the minimum requirements. A potential road to Fixed Mobile Convergence, Verizon expects that most consumers will still use their existing calling plans. As the first cellular company in the U.S. to open up, Verizon puts itself in a favorable position in the FCC's eyes for the upcoming auction of the 700MHz Spectrum in late January. Verizon also announced shortly thereafter that it would be going with LTE (Long Term Evolution) technology for its 4G network.

The past year has indeed given us a look at trends to come, as shakeups determine which of the wireless technologies will predominate, and tech behemoths like Google and Microsoft enter the telecommunications game for the first time.

Telecommunications; it's not just about phones anymore.

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The world of business has changed and with this change comes the rapid development in the business of telecommunications.

Centuries back, businesses transactions were made through face to face interaction. And perhaps, businessmen, proprietors, merchants and the like would never imagine possible that business can be done with the absence of a face to face interaction, better yet, through a mobile phone. When Alexander Bell invented the conventional phone in 1876, the idea was never foreseen to be a great leap in human invention much like the computer not until Bill Gates imagined it possible for personal computers to be in every home. The idea of business phone systems was a budding concept in Bell's period, slowly making its way into the industrial world, which has come a long way if you look at where it is at present.

Businesses of today and the future is geared to a global touch down, purposely aligning their goals to target not only the local market, but worldwide. This is the businesses trend of today. The demand for a wider coverage prompted the demand for mobility. One form of telecommunications that continues to reinvent itself to meet this demand is the telephone. Business phone systems changed dramatically to address the need for a global perspective.

Today, business dealings no longer just happen in offices alone. Mobile phone business deals are the trend in doing business. Come to think of it, today, everyone has a mobile phone, and organizations recognized the role of mobile phone in building a relationship, demand generation, wider coverage, and closing business deals.

Mobile phone manufacturers developed features beyond the blueprint of calling and messaging. Whatever you do in your personal computer and laptop can now be done with a single device. In this day and age with the development in telecommunications, mobile phone business deals are no longer impossible.

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