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Essential Guide to Telecommunications, The [Paperback]

Annabel Z. Dodd
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 12 2001 0130649074 978-0130649072 3
The essential guide for all non-technical telecom users -- now completely updated!
The latest edition of a worldwide best-seller -- over 100,000 in print!
Extensive new coverage of optical networking, globalization, digital convergence, speech recognition, and 3G networking.
Reader-friendly coverage! Internet, IP networking, wireless, xDSL, cable modems, ATM, frame relay, SONET, DWDM, and more! Every business decision-maker needs to understand telecommunications- its costs, risks, and breakthrough opportunities for competitive advantage. With The Essential Guide to Telecommunications, Third Edition you can -- even if you have no technical background at all. Leading consultant Annabel Z. Dodd covers all the fundamental concepts you need to understand the industry, and make smarter buying decisions. This new Third Edition has been updated with up to the minute coverage of todays most critical issues, including the rapid globalization of telecommunications, breakthrough optical networking technologies, the latest progress towards digital convergence, speech recognition, next-generation 3G wireless networks, and much more. Dodd covers the powerful new roles played by IP networking in telephony, streaming media, and the state-of-the-art in computer-telephony integration, PBXs, Automatic Call Distributors and other call center technology. Along the way, youll master all the basics of telecommunications, including- the differences between analog and digital signals; what bandwidth is; why protocols and architectures matter; the role of the public network; the continuing evolution of the Internet; and more.
Annabel Z. Dodd is an adjunct professor at both Northeastern University and New York University. Formerly a marketing manager at Bell Atlantic and Telecommunications Manager at a Fortune 500 company, she consults widely with major corporations and institutions in the Greater Boston and New England area, advising on the design of Internet, local and long distance services, and the selection and implementation of telephone systems.

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The telecommunications industry encompasses hundreds of different technologies, which in turn have spawned many trade names, jargon terms, and legal definitions. Those looking for a comprehensive introduction to the technologies, laws, and marketing programs that govern telecommunications need to read The Essential Guide to Telecommunications.

Author Annabel Z. Dodd begins by pointing out that telecommunications technologies have everything to do with signals moving over media. She then goes on to catalog some of the various kinds of signals and media, covering traditional switched telephone service, dedicated lines, public branch exchanges (PBXs), and automatic call distributors (ACDs) along the way. After that foray into technology, she gets into the U.S. telecommunications business environment, focusing heavily on the federal breakup of AT&T in 1984 and the Telecommunications Act of 1996. She then explains additional technologies; data communications and the Internet-ISDN, Frame Relay, and analog modems all get attention. The author also pays plenty of attention to wireless solutions, including satellite communications.

Unlike Newton's Telecom Dictionary (which remains an excellent resource), this book can be successfully read from start to finish by a reader with practically no telecommunications knowledge at the outset. Read and understand--that's what good technical books, like this one, enable you to do. --David Wall --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Author

A non-technical guide to the industry

The issues and topics covered in "The Essential Guide to Telecommunications" are based on the concerns of end-user clients that I work with in my consulting practice. I also rely heavily on feedback from adults, all of whom work in telecommunications, who take my classes at Northeastern University. They include staff that manage their frim's telecommunications systems and people that work with or for telephone companies. My book is based on practical, everyday issues that carriers, customers and people that work with telecommunications firms need to understand.

Over 125,000 copies of the first two editions of "The Essential Guide to Telecommunications" were sold. Moreover, it has been translated into ten languages worldwide including Chinese, Russian and Portuguese. The Wharton School, MIT and other major universities and schools worldwide use it in courses on telecommunications. In addition, telephone companies, consulting firms, law firms and financial services companies have purchased my book for employees who need to understand telecommunications but want a book with non-technical descriptions of technology.

Along with explanations of technology, I have included examples of applications and historical highlights. I explain how the industry evolved and the technology changed. The stories and descriptions that accompany the technical details are key to the book.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yuck! July 26 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Annabel Z. Dodd has a bad case of professoritis. That is, she knows a lot about her subject, but is completely unable to translate that knowledge into a logical and lucid explanation of the topic. The chapters are logically organized, but the subchapters and paragraphs appear to have been randomized. Often important information is placed well after the confusing details, so as to require a second reading for comprehension. A favorite trick of the author's is to tell you the history of something, before defining what it is. The copious charts often have no relationship to the text, or are so simplistic as to be irrelevant to understanding. Often the text bogs down in the minutia of protocols and definitions, and no clarifying examples of real-world uses are given. Finally, the editor (if there was one) did only the most cursory job of correcting the spelling, punctuation, and grammatical errors in the text. I did learn something from this book, but sure had to work at deciphering the information out of triple-encrypted Dodd-speak to do so.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A good basic introduction to telecom tech July 21 2003
Format:Paperback
I read this book while I was a legal intern at the FCC to try to learn the tech side of the telecom world. I knew policy, but I had no idea how the telephone network actually worked. This book gives a great basic grounding in the technology of telecommunications-switches, routers, time division multiplexing, and everything else.

Luckily, basic is exactly what I needed. The "tell it to me like I'm a two-year-old" approach might be frustrating for some advanced readers. I found myself skipping some of the sections on the Internet because it was too elementary for me.

Also, if you're going to read it, make sure you get the latest edition of this book. Technologies change fast, and some of the sections are bound to become out-of-date very quickly.

Once you have the tech side down, you can pick up the regulatory policy side by reading The Telecommunications Regulation Handbook available for free from the World Bank. It's just as basic as Dodd's book, but is better read if you know how the technology works. Get these two under your belt, and you'll be ready to work at your local friendly telecom regulatory agency.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Overview Of Telecom Technology Sept. 8 2002
Format:Paperback
The Essential Guide to Telecommunications is probably one of the most well written and useful telecom books you will find..
Annabel Z. Dodd does a great job in capturing a snapshot of the current telecom industry, in all of its different flavors. You will find technical overviews of numerous telecom technologies and transport methods. These include business telephone systems, circuit switching, local and long distance networks, cable, wireless, cellular and PCS, paging, Voice Over IP, satellites, broadband services, DSL, T-1's, ISDN, ATM, and much, much more.
Dodd's writing is understandable and enjoyable to read. Even those with little or no technical knowledge should be able to understand the text. The author seems to assume that the reader has only a minimal amount of technical knowledge, but does know something about the telecom industry in general. This is the perfect book for telecom salespeople who want to learn more about the products and services they are selling, or for those who just want to keep up-to-date on the latest in telecom technology.
This book not only gives you explanations of how various telecom technologies work, but compares them side-by-side from both technical and practical (business) points of view.
Where and when does using a wireless network make sense? What type of fiber offers the most capacity? How many T-1's are in a T-3? You will find the answer to all of these questions and more in The Essential Guide to Telecommunications. I highly recommend it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Worthless garbage Jan. 19 2002
By jtk
Format:Paperback
This book is obviously written by a person who knows the buzzwords, but fails to understand the technology. It is perhaps the most inaccurate book on technology available. Throughout the book there is mistruth and a glowing misconception of how technology works, particularly related to data network concepts. For example, Annabel claims the following four capabilites of network routers:
1) Sequencing
2) Path Optimization
3) Flow Control
4) Receipt Acknowledgement
Lets see... 1) wrong, 2) sorta, 3) wrong and 4) wrong. This is just one of many examples throughout the book where the fundamentals are completely trampled on.
Rather than buy this book, send the money directly to the author and ask her to read a few good books about the topics she tries to cover rather than contributing a truly awful book in this category.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good Intro/Overview of the Telecom world Feb. 16 2004
Format:Paperback
I just finished reading this book and overall found it to be very informative. It covers a general overview of everything from the Telecommunications Act of 1996 to telecommunications around the world. Landline, wireless, and internet are all covered along with the technologies that make them work. With that being said, this book will NOT make you an expert in telephony or any specific area of telecommunications. It is however, a great start.
The one problem I had with the book was numerous grammatical errors. I found that in some cases I had to mentally disassemble and rebuild a sentence to understand what was trying to be said.
I would (and have) recommend this book to a coworker and/or friend getting started with telecommunications.
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