Introduction & History People imagine that telecommunications means communications using only electrical or electronic technology, but that isn't so. Telecommunication is communication over long distances, by means such as by newspapers, telephone, radio, satellite, television and the Internet. The idea of telecommunication first came from the telegraph. The word telegraphy comes from Greek.
'Tele' means distant and 'graph ein' to write. So the meaning is writing at a distance The first form of modern telecommunication - the electric telegraph - sent electrical currents along wires. On 24 May 1844, Samuel Morse sent his first public message over a telegraph line between Washington and Baltimore, and through that simple act, ushered in the telecommunication age. By 1868 Jamaica began to use the telegram. The West India and Panama Telegraph Company was the major provider of telecom services in Jamaica and the Anglophone Caribbean in the mid 19 th century. West India and Panama Telegraph Company is now Cable & Wireless today.
However there was limitation to the telegraph you need to put a physical piece of cable between the sender and receiver. That's almost always hard work and expensive - and sometimes impossible. The alternative is to use radio and a code. Using electromagnetic radiation in the form of radio waves. The Radio was now used to connect people who are moving around - on a ship, on foot or in a vehicle.
In the right circumstances radio signals can be sent and received across great distances, but the range is not unlimited. Radio waves decline in strength over distance and are subject to interference from other sources. Directing radio waves accurately is not always feasible; they tend to travel outwards along straight lines from the transmitter and did not follow the curve of the Earth. By 1876 the introduced telephone using basic technology of the telegraph - electrical signals carried along copper wires - but in a different way. For the first time, people could actually speak to each other while many miles apart. Having a conversation was much faster than sending and decoding messages Just two years later in 1883 the telephone was introduced to Jamaica to the office and for commercial use.
Unfortunately it took almost 100 years for the telephone to become available for the residents of Jamaica in 1978. Wireless did what its name said - it liberated telecommunications from the need to have a wire-connecting sender to receiver. At a single bound, telecommunications - first telegraphy, then telephony - could be extended across oceans and around the world. A signal sent from a wireless transmitter could be picked up by any number of receivers - provided they were listening, and in range.
The late 1960 s saw the start of the move from the old mechanical exchanges with their noisy banks of selectors, switch arms and electromagnets, to the electronic exchanges of the future - silent, compact and far more capable. In the process something else was created - switching that had logic and memory, i. e. that could be programmed and had memory. Machine intelligence had arrived on the telephone network hence the beginning of the Internet The introduction of mobile phones took over half a century. The introduction of radiotelephony in the 1920 s made it theoretically possible for people to talk on the move.
However, effective deployment had to wait for the development of computers to allow networks to be created and miniaturization to make the devices small enough to be really mobile. When true mobile telephony finally arrived in the early 1980 s it was a revolution - for the first time telecommunications really was person-to-person rather than just place-to-place. In 1991, Jamaica was one of the few countries having a 100% digital telephone network. By 2002 Jamaica had one of the most sophisticated telecommunications infrastructures in the world. Technologies Involved & Their Determinants Jamaica's information and communication technology outlook has been driven by the needs of the market such as the need for speed, timing, accessibility, accuracy and volume also by the government of Jamaica whose desire it is to make Jamaica a centre of e-business and the information technology of the Caribbean.
To make this possible the telecommunication industry has increase in importance. Types of technologies involve in telecommunications include: 1. Newspaper 2. Radio 3. Television 4.
Mobile phone 5. Telephone &6. Internet The use of the newspaper is influenced by the people's desire for detailed information, as a means of future reference and it is relatively inexpensive to acquire. The radio in comparison to the newspaper provides a faster means for broadcasting information. Television provides a means for entertainment and visual display of information such as the daily news. The use of the telephone is determined by the need for a much faster and easier access to information.
The increase use of cell phones are as a result of people's ever changing lifestyle. People are always on the go so they need a means by which they can have access to information. The use of the internet is determined by a faster access to a much wider range of information. In addition, the privatization of Jamaica's telecommunication industry determines the type of technologies available. This is determined by the company's willingness to provide these technologies that offers positive returns but at the same time something they think consumer may want. Social/Economic Impact The telecommunications sector has a very great impact on the Jamaican economy, as well as social effects.
The telecommunications act of 2000 signaled the deregulation of Jamaica's telecommunications sector. This was as a result of the breaking of the monopoly agreement between Cable and Wireless Jamaica and the Jamaican govt. The original agreement would have allowed Cable and Wireless to be the sole provider of telecommunications to the island until 2038. The breaking of the monopoly allowed other cellular service providers such as Digicel and M iphone to enter the market.
The competition that has resulted from this has increased the quality of service received from C&W and has also resulted in improved signal strength throughout the island. Competition has also resulted n consumers having a choice. Firms offering internet and other telecommunications services have also entered the market. The following graphs show the differences in the amount of cellular phone, land line and internet users over a period of time. In all three cases, the amounts of users have increased, with the most noticeable increases being for cellular and internet users. The radio and newspaper are two of the oldest methods of telecommunication.
Newspapers keep people up to date with what is happening around them and they also help business men and women stay in touch with the business world. The radio is also a significant method of telecommunication that not only informs, but entertains. Both newspapers and radios allow for advertisements to be placed by businesses. These two methods of telecommunications continue to be very useful. Cellular phones have had a significant social and economic influence over the years.
Users are able to keep in touch much more easily with family and friends. Companies can contact their employees directly while they are on the road to tell them for example to make another delivery, inform them of emergency meetings, etc. Cellular phones also have negative impacts. Many people use their cellular phones in a disruptive manner. Classes in progress are frequently interrupted by ringing cell phones. The same is true in many offices and meetings.
Cell phones also pose a hazard when used while driving. Many countries have banned the use of cell phones while driving, without the proper use of hands free devices. The internet is another extremely useful aspect of telecommunications. The internet provides a world of resources at the users fingertips. The internet has changed the way the world does business. You can shop online, pay bills online, etc.
The internet has changed the way that students are able to study. The internet helps students access information easier, allowing them more time to study. It also provides information that would not otherwise be available. Another important aspect of telecommunications is Voice Over Internet Protocol. This allows users to purchase a device that will enable them to make voice calls through the internet at a surprisingly low rate.
This is of great significance to companies who make a lot of overseas calls. It is also significant for people who make a lot of long distance calls to relatives abroad. The savings can be huge. Another aspect of telecommunications is the television. There has been much debate about the impacts of television. The television allows for advertising by corporations.
The television also allows us to watch educational programs such as news, documentaries, etc. The television has been blamed by some people for exposing violence, sex, etc. to children. International Comparison Between Jamaica & Guyana Jamaica boasts the most sophisticated telecommunications system in the Caribbean, with a 100 percent network. In addition, the Jamaica Digiport (a joint venture between AT&T, Cable and Wireless) has significantly enhanced our country's ability to offer and even greater range of telecommunication services. Cable & Wireless Jamaica has exclusive responsibility for the provision of all telephone services - domestic and international, throughout Jamaica - under a license granted by the Government.
The company is privately owned - 79% by Cable and Wireless (W. I. ) Limited, and 21% by members of the public. Cable & Wireless Jamaica is also a shareholder in Jamaica Digiport International Limited, a company which provides high speed data and other telecommunications services exclusively to free zone and offshore companies. C&W has a fully automatic digital domestic network with over 180, 000 telephones (main lines); direct dialing to most countries overseas is possible with this system. Other international services include cellular lines, PBX systems, pay telephones, credit authorization terminals, data services, toll free services, telegraph, facsimile, television, telex and card lease circuits.
At the moment there are six electromechanical exchanges and 59 digital exchanges serving the island. Following a name change on February 5, 1998 Cable and Wireless Jamaica Limited replaced Telecommunications of Jamaica Limited as the sole provider of the island's domestic and international telephone services. TO was incorporated in May 1987 as the holding company for the Jamaica Telephone Company and Jamaica International Telecommunications Limited. Over the last few years there has been a rapid increase in the number of main stations. Transmission is through PCM or twisted pairs, analogue microwave radios, digital microwave radios, fibre optic systems, digital multiple access radio system for rural telephones, and digital automatic cross connect system. The external plant consists of fixed count terminals, distribution cabinets, pressurized underground cable and unpressurized aerial cable.
All new cables with capacities greater than 200 pairs are being placed in underground conduits. Jamaica has 2 Atlantic Ocean INTELSAT earth stations; 2 AM and 7 FM stations, 2 TV stations and 3 coaxial submarine cables. Direct International Dialing allows for calls to Jamaica to be dialed in the same manner as Long Distance calls within the US Mainland, i. e. , simply dial area code 876 plus the local number. The number of telephone main lines in service has been significantly increased, and at the end of September 2001 stood at 512, 619.
The company has set itself a target of installing another 217, 000 new main lines by March 2003. With funds provided by the Organization of American States, the Jamaican Electronic Network (JAMNet) was completed in 1994, allowing Jamaica to be connected to Internet through a 64 Kbps satellite link between Kingston and the National Science Foundation Network (NSF Net) in Washington, D. C. JAMNet interconnects the following institutions in the academic, research, scientific and technological sector: The University of the West Indies Mona (UWI); the College of Arts, Science, and Technology (CAST) and the Scientific Research Council (SRC). Jamaica also has a booming mobile communication industry. C&W provides services using both TDMA and GSM technology and have around 500, 000 customers.
New comer Digicel Jamaica uses GSM technology and have around 550, 000 customers. Oceanic Digital Jamaica, the owners of Centennial Jamaica, uses CDMA mobile technology and have about 100, 000 customers. In comparison to Jamaica, Guyana has been a bit slower in the telecommunication progress but they are currently in an admirable state and have become very up to date in recent times. As a country, Guyana suffered from the poorest infrastructure and service. The technology was obsolete.
Social contact, communication, and business were greatly affected, and many foreign investors expressed a reluctance to do business in a country with such poor infrastructure. Something needed to be done urgently if Guyana were ever to develop. The telecommunication industry needed to be rescued. Towards the end of the 1980 s the Government of Guyana took a decision to privatize telecommunications.
It was ATN who took up the challenge. In 1990, the Parties signed an Agreement in which ATN acquired eighty percent of the telephone company and the Government retained twenty. When this Agreement was consummated, the new Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company Limited replaced the Guyana Telecommunication Corporation. GT&T commenced operations on January 28, 1991.
They brought switching and other network components into the digital age and deployed fibre optic cable in the transmission networks with a view to increasing transmission throughput and speed, improving service quality, and facilitating the provision of advanced vertical services. Today, Guyana can boast of having a fully digital network. They have also applied in-house engineering competence to customize a Rural Radio System to facilitate voice telephony. GT&T simultaneously migrated switches to the Multi-Market Platform 13 (MMP 13) software and upgraded our Operator Services network from the old International Traffic Operator Positions (I TOPS) system to the modern (Global Traffic Operator Positions) G TOPS system. These upgrades facilitated automated processing of calls to our operators, the sale of enhanced, customer activated services (e. g.
3-way calling, call waiting), and delivery of advanced PBX services and features to business customers via a centrally managed network. Also introduced the following enhancements: a) a frame relay service to serve the needs of the business community and selected rural and remote communities. b) dedicated, always-on Internet access with the deployment of Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) technology; and c) augmented Internet bandwidth delivered to Guyana from around 1 E 1 when the service was introduced in 1996, to 12 E 1 s in June 2004. GT&T deployed submarine and other fibre optic cable, introduced wireless and radio technology, increased the number of Earth Stations from the one which was in place when the Company started it operations in 1991 to five.
They purchased rights in a number of international undersea cables, including the Americas II cable that connects North America, South America, and the Dutch, French, Spanish and English-speaking Caribbean. They have also invested in excess of US$35 million to bring digital mobile service to a mass market. Currently, GT&T is investing a further US$15 million to commence migration to a second generation (so-called 2. 5 G) mobile network that relies on Global System for Mobile Communication (GSM) technology with a General Package Radio System (GPRS) -high speed data- overlay. With this migration customers will be able to enjoy a) seamless international roaming, b) data services on mobile phones, c) multi-media messaging, d) the use of camera phones, and e) number portability between GT&T's mobile networks. Conclusion & Importance To Society You have heard about how telecommunications first came about, from the telegraph, where Samuel Morse sent the first public message, from one state to another, using electric wires.
We have seen that Jamaica has its' fair share of the types of telecommunications, such as the, newspaper, radio, television, telephone, mobile phones and the internet, which we use everyday to obtain and give information. You have also heard about how telecommunication has impacted on the country, both positively and negatively, where C&WJ has broken its, monopoly between them and the Jamaican government. This has enabled other mobile providers to enter the market, Digicel and Mi-phone. Mobile phones have made it easier for people to communicate. You can speak to the person you need, wherever you are and whenever you want directly. In contrast mobile phones can be a nuisance, as some people do not know when to answer their mobile phones.
In addition there are other companies that provide internet services enabling us to purchase things, pay bills and get information for research online. You were also told that Jamaica has the most sophisticated telecommunications system in the Caribbean. Telecommunications is very important as it has been providing more businesses and households, with the ability to conduct business with each other and the rest of the world, more effectively, efficiently and economically, through the introduction of mobile phones, landlines, the internet, etc. with the dramatic advances in e-business and the increased success of digital industries in Jamaica, in generating growth and expanding employment opportunities, are clear indications of the vast potential that exists for Jamaica, and underscores the potential benefits of liberalization in telecommunications.
Soon we will have more submarine fibre-optic networks that will link Jamaica to North America and the rest of the world. This type of technology is very affordable in comparison to existing services we have, hence more people will be able to acquire this service from an economical standpoint. These cables can withstand natural disasters that affect Jamaica, for example, hurricane Ivan, than that of other technologies, like satellites. Several benefits will be gained from this, as Jamaicans will have competition in the routing of data and voice traffic into Jamaica, using non-satellite infrastructure, which is a significant achievement in the development of a knowledge- based society. The provision of the fibre-optic networks will significantly enhance the country's emergency telecommunications infrastructure and its capacity to recover from disasters, which affect the region from time to time. With reasonable priced cables, entrepreneurs will be able to invest in the deployment of domestic fibre networks, bringing retail services close to businesses and households, thus ensuring the availability and affordability of the necessary computer hardware and software..