The Online Library of Knowledge

LET'S EXPLORE How things work

What is telecommunication?

A diagram of a telecommunications networkA diagram of a telecommunications networkTelecommunication (or telecom for short) is the sending and receiving of information using electricity, radio waves or light. The information can be text, images, sound or video. Forms of telecommunication include phones, internet and radio and TV. All these use vast communications networks.

Microwave towerMicrowave tower


All the different forms of telecommunication are turned into signals that can travel through a network. A network may be made up of cables, radio and satellite links. Radio and television networks, where signals are sent out to many receivers from one transmitter, are known as broadcast networks.

Microwave transmitters and receivers are dish-shaped aerials. A transmitter focuses the microwaves into a narrow beam, which is aimed at a receiver that collects the waves.

The word broadcasting was originally used to describe the planting of seeds by throwing them by hand over the soil. The term was first used by one of the first radio presenters, the American Charles Herrold (he gave regular broadcasts between 1912 and 1917), who was the son of a farmer.

© 2020 Q-files Ltd. All rights reserved. Switch to Mobile