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What Is the Telecommunications Sector?

A telegraph, an old type of telecommunications technology.
Resellers of cables, antennas and earphones are part of the telecommunications sector.
Satellite technology is a key part of the telecommunications sector.
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  • Written By: Alexis W.
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 24 July 2014
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The term telecommunications covers an immense assortment of technologies that send information over long distances. The telecommunications sector is the portion of the economy that relates to businesses who provide these technical services. These businesses range from cable companies and satellite companies, to TV and internet companies.

The earliest forms of telecommunications encompassed the use of smoke signals, relay fires, beacons, and semaphores. These primitive tools were eventually replaced by the telegraph, Morse code, and signal lamps. Eventually, with the advancement of technology, telecommunications extended beyond the earth to the heavenly bodies when men sent back images from the moon and pictures from Neptune traveled three billion miles to get to the Earth.

Radio, television, mobile phones, satellite technology, the Internet, and telephony are all technological advancements that have impacted lives for better or for worse. These industries are the lifeblood of the telecommunications sector. Each of these tools is used to communicate across cities, states and continents.

Providers of wire line telephone communication used to make up the bulk of the telecommunications sector. These are the providers of telecommunications services that rely on wires and cables to connect the residences and work spaces of their clients to central offices maintained by their companies. Their vast cable networks connect one part of the country to the other, and one country to another.

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Voice used to be the initial medium transmitted by wires and cables. As technology advanced, data in the form of graphic images, sound, and video also began to travel through the wires. Much of this expansion resulted from the rise of the Internet.

Wireless communication services, cable and satellite program distribution, and Internet service now accompany voice signals in the telecommunications sector. The use of digital technologies has made more effective use of telecommunications networks possible. Wireless communication services may be better able to keep up with the growing demand for high-capacity transmission of video, graphics, and other data.

Mobile phone carriers and paging services are a growing part of the telecommunications sector as well. Message communication services such as e-mail and facsimile services also form part of the sector, as do satellite communications, operators of radar stations, and radio networks used by cab companies. Distributors of cable and pay television programs are also a part of the telecommunications sector, as are direct broadcasting satellite (DBS) operators.

Related professions, including the resellers of telecommunication services that lease transmission facilities from the big networks and resell the service to other customers who are also part of the telecommunication sector. Finally, manufacturers of the related accessories that depend on telecommunications are also considered to be a part of this branch of the economy. This includes resellers of antennas, earphones, adapters, coaxial cables, and Bluetooth products and accessories used in telecommunications.

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