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COMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications Services


Most corporations do not have their own circuit or long distance communication route for use in MANs and WANs. They usually rent or lease them from common carriers. Common carriers provide a variety of telecommunications services for the corporations to use them for their LANs and MAN/WANs. Many computer-based communications services are now being provided by common carriers. A common carrier is a private company (usually a telephone company) which offers computer networking services for a fee. These fees are regulated by agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Public Utility Commission (PUC). Two types of services are commonly provided by common carriers: publicmeasured service and private leased service.

Two Types of Services

Public-Measured Service
In a public-measured service, various network systems share common communications channels with other networks. For example, an ordinary telephone line that users pass on your street every day may be carrying data communications generated by a variety of computers in your neighborhood.

Private Leased Service

In a private leased service arrangement, the common carrier provides its customer with an exclusive service. An illustration of this is when the common carrier allows a customer to have access to a dedicated line - one reserved for the exclusive use of the customer. Common carriers figure out their fees for communications services in much the same manner as phone companies decide your monthly phone bill. A dial-up arrangement represents the simplest billing system used by common carriers. Users can establish connection with other terminals by dialing the receiver's number. In this arrangement, customers pay a flat fee for the right to engage in an unlimited number of transactions. Long distance transmissions are charged on a per-transmission basis. Businesses that conduct many network activities with long distance transmissions may consider using a Wide Area Telecommunications Service (WATS). In this service, as long distance usage goes up, rates go down. Both WATS lines and dial-up arrangements are examples of voice grade circuits designed to transmit ordinary voice messages over telephone lines. These systems may be too noisy for computer 1/4


COMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications Services

networking systems that transmit vary large amounts of data in short periods. Therefore, many common carriers attempt to provide higher quality circuits by offering special private lines which filter out excess sound. These lines are known as abovevoice grade circuits.

Four Classes of Communication Services

Communication services come in four basic groups. With a dedicated circuit, the organization pays a fixed monthly fee, while with the other three, the organization pays on a per-use basis. Dialed Circuit Dedicated Circuit Switched Circuit Packet Network

Dialed Circuit Services

Dialed circuit services are regular dialed telephone calls from one point to another through the telephone networks. Dialed circuits are usually slow and noisy. The usual voice telephone network is used for data transmission with DDD (direct distance dialing). In this service, users dial the telephone number of the host computers through a modem to be connected. This service contains an AT& T Megacom WATS (Wide Area Telephone Services), AT& T Megacom services, and DLAL-IT 900 services.

Dedicated Circuit Services

This service is point-to-point circuit service that a leasing corporation can use exclusively to connect two point. A common carrier lends this circuit for the exclusive use. The cable is faster and more noise-free than dialed circuit service. This service includes voice grade channels, Wideband analog services, digital services, T carrier circuits, SONET, and satellite services.

Switched Circuit Services

A switched circuit service is the circuit in which the corporation installs network connection points at many locations and uses the common carrier's network to connect temporarily (switched connections) between locations when necessary. This service includes SMDS and ISDN. Let's see more details of ISDN. ISDN ISDN (Integrated Services Digital Network) is a special type of private leased service called the integrated services digital network (ISDN) is 2/4


COMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications Services

expected to dramatically affect the business environment in coming years. This type of network allows for simultaneous voice, data, text, and video digital communications. ISDN represents an effort to create a universal communications network nationwide. The ISDN consists of two types of channels. The B-channel transmits user information with a transmission speed of 64 kilobits per second (Kbps). The D-channel provides a control function by initiating, terminating, and directing transmissions. In addition, there are two basic types of ISDN structures: basic access and primary access. Basic access networks have two B-channels and one D-channel with a transmission speed of 16 Kbps. These networks are primarily leased by residential users. Business end users are more likely to use the primary access system that uses 23 B-channels and one 64Kbps Dchannel. The ISDN system offers high-quality digital communications as well as many features that enhance the quality and flexibility of network use. For example, the B-channel enables users to simultaneously access multiple databases and computer systems. At the same time, users can take advantage of a variety of office automation technologies and multimedia systems. The D- channel can perform many useful functions such as transmission forwarding, automatic callback, and caller identification.

Packet Switched Networks

This works very much like a switched circuit, except that the user breaks data transmissions into pre-defined packets that conform to network protocols. This service includes packet switching, Frame relay, ATM, public data networks and software defined networks.

Common Carriers A common carrier is a government-regulated private company that sells or leases communication services and facilities to the public. A tariff is the schedule of rates and description of services that are to be received when a particular type of communication service is purchased or leased. If the industry is deregulated, as it is in the United States, it may be more innovative, cost effective, and able to develop new services faster. T Carrier Circuits These services are leased digital circuits from common carriers with a wide range of transmission capacities. SONET 3/4


COMMUNICATIONS Telecommunications Services

SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) has recently been accepted by ANSI as a standard for optical transmission at gigabits per second speeds. It uses fiber optics. ANSI ANSI (American National Standards Institutes) is a nonprofit, privately-funded membership organization. It is the U.S. member body of ISO and IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission). SMDS SMDS (Switched Multimegabit Data Service) offered by most RBOCs (Regional Bell Operating Companies), is essentially a switched version of the T- carrier and SONET services. ATM Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) is very similar to frame relay, except that it uses fixedlength packets. ATM is one of the fastest growing new technologies for packet switched networks. ATM is scaleable, and provides forward error correction on the header.