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Telecommunications Network Engineers


Telecommunications is the combination of electronics and electrical engineering that brings telephone and high-speed data services to people. The field of telecommunications network engineering has roots in the telegraph industry and later the radio and telephone industries. In the 1800s, the electrical telegraph was used to transmit messages over electrical signals over wires between stations, with the first successful transatlantic telegraph sent in 1866. Alexander Graham Bell introduced his invention, the telephone, in the 1870s, and the use of telephones as a major mode of communication grew in the following decades. The first coast-to-coast long-distance telephone call was made in 1915, between Bell in New York City and a former assistant in San Francisco, California.

The radio was introduced in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with Guglielmo Marconi's invention of wireless telegraphy system and the first wireless transmission between Britain and Newfoundland. Communication satellites were first used in the 1950s and 1960s, for government and NASA projects. Since then, commercial telephone services use communication satellites for long-distance services.

Telecommunications is also tied into computers and computer networking. Computers date back to the 1940s, but were initially used only for government and military purposes. Semiconductors were introduced in the 1950s, and by the late 1970s and early 1980s, smaller, more powerful computers were available to the general public. In the early days, the computer system consisted of several large mainframe computers that were located in computer rooms and terminals throughout companies' office spaces. This system had some drawbacks, however, including delays in information updates from one computer to the next, which is why many companies have turned to network servers instead. The computer network system relies on a network server that is the central processor for all of the computers and related equipment.

Today, telephone services are offered by cable providers through broadband connections, as well as through the Internet on computers. AT&T, Verizon, and other such telephone companies are the main providers of data services via Wi-Fi for computers, tablets, smartphones, and other mobile devices. Another recent service added to the telecommunications industry is voice over Internet protocol (VoIP), which enables phone calls from computers, tablets, and other devices through the Internet, without need of a cellular connection or direct landline. Companies such as Vonage and Skype provide these services.