Telecom 101 Telecommunications Book

Top-Quality Telecommunications Book,
Textbook and Day-to-Day Reference

6th Edition 2022
Based on Teracom Training Institute's famous instructor-led core telecommunications training Course 101, tuned and refined over more than 20 years and fully up to date.

4.6 ★★★★★Reviews on Amazon

"One of the best Telecommunications books of all time" - BookAuthority
The best Telecommunications books of all time

6th edition • published 2022

7" x 10" softcover or hardcover textbook • 550 pages • printed in color

ISBN 9781894887113 (softcover) • ISBN 9781894887120 (hardcover)

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Packed with information, authoritative, up to date, covering all major topics - and written in plain English - Telecom 101 is an invaluable textbook and day-to-day reference on telecommunications for non-engineers.

Telecom 101 covers the technologies, the players, the products and services, jargon and buzzwords, and most importantly, the underlying ideas... and how it all fits together.

This is the best comprehensive book on telecommunications available anywhere: based on the course materials for Teracom's famous instructor-led Course 101 Broadband, Telecom, Datacom and Networking for Non-Engineers, the selection of content, its order, timing and pacing has been tuned and refined over years to effectively define and deliver the core set of technical knowledge needed by anyone serious in the telecom business today.

In one book, you get consistency, completeness and unbeatable value: a wealth of clear, concise, organized knowledge, impossible to find in one place anywhere else!

Our approach can be summed up with a simple philosophy: Start at the beginning. Progress in a logical order. Build one concept on top of another. Finish at the end. Avoid jargon. Speak in plain English. Bust the buzzwords, demystify jargon, and cut through doubletalk. Fill in the gaps, build a solid base of knowledge, put a structure in place and show how everything fits together... knowledge and understanding that lasts a lifetime.

Many chapters of Telecom 101 are like self-contained reference books on specific topics; get all of these topics bound in one volume for one low price. Compare this to hunting down and paying for multiple books by different authors that may or may not cover what you need to know- and you'll agree this is a very attractive deal.

Telecom 101 is your go-to telecom resource covering all major topics:
• The modern Broadband Converged IP Telecom Network
• Telecom fundamentals: modems and multiplexing
• Network fundamentals: packets and frames, TCP ports, MPLS
• Internet fundamentals: ISPs, DNS, cloud computing, web services, data centers
• Telecom services: residential, business, wholesale
• Digital media: digitized voice, video, images, quantities, text
• VoIP fundamentals: system components, voice in packets, SIP, softswitches, gateways
• Wireless: spectrum, mobile networks, LTE, 5G, broadband wireless, Wi-Fi, satellite
• Fiber: fundamentals, wavelengths, DWDM, Optical Ethernet, fiber to the premise
• Copper: the PSTN, analog, POTS, DSL, Hybrid Fiber-Coax, LAN cables
• Equipment: routers, Layer 2 switches, call managers / softswitches, legacy CO switches and PBXs, gateways
• The OSI Model: the Layers, their purpose, implementation, how protocol stacks work
• Ethernet, LANs and VLANs: MAC addresses, MAC frames, Layer 2 switches, VLANs
• IP: public and private IP addresses, subnets, routers, DHCP, NAT, IPv6
• MPLS and Carrier Networks: Service Level Agreements, virtual circuits, business VPNs, Class of Service
• Wrapping up: Technology deployment steps, analysis, design, implementation, The Future

Telecom 101 is the course materials for Course 101, allowing study and review of topics before attending a course, and a valuable desk reference after. Telecom 101 is also the course book and study guide for the TCO Certified Telecommunications Analyst (CTA) telecommunications certification excepting the security module.

Telecom 101 is also an economical and convenient way to self-study... these are the materials to an instructor-led course that costs $1895 to attend.

Written by our top instructor, Eric Coll, M.Eng., Telecom 101 contains decades of knowledge and learning distilled and organized into an invaluable study guide and practical day-to-day reference for non-engineers: career- and productivity-enhancing training... an investment in life-long knowledge that will be repaid many times over.

Join thousands of satisfied customers. Get your copy today!

The ideal book for anyone needing an understanding of the major topics in broadband, telecom, IP, data communications, and networking. Clear, concise, organized knowledge ... in one place!

Trusted and Proven Content

The sixth edition is totally updated for the 2020s based on the material from Course 101: Broadband, Telecom, Datacom and Networking for Non-Engineering Professionals, Teracom's instructor-led course, tuned and refined over 20 plus years.

Bringing the converged IP telecom network, broadband Internet, cloud computing, data centers and web services to the forefront, this book presents the necessary core knowledge set for anyone serious in telecom.

It is written for anyone new to telecom, getting up to speed, filling in gaps, and for everyone who do not have an Engineering degree specializing in telecommunications. Our goal is to demystify buzzwords and jargon, and to create a structured understanding of telecom including, most importantly, the underlying ideas, plus the technologies and services - and how they fit together.

The knowledge in this book draws from over 30 years of experience in telecom, working in jobs for telephone companies such as Junior R&D Engineer and systems engineer; as a consultant preparing telecom R&D tax credit claims; and through teaching many private courses for carriers onsite.

This book's style, the material included, the ordering and pacing, and even the jokes, are the result of instructing hundreds and hundreds of 2-day and 3-day courses on these topics over 24 years.

This book is the result. Telecom 101 is the course materials for the 3 day instructor-led course, augmented with substantial additional material, available in softcover or hardcover textbook and ebook.

Telecom 101 is designed as a textbook, building one concept on another sequentially like an instructor-led course. It is also designed as a valuable day-to-day reference book and glossary.

Excellent Value

Written by Eric Coll, M.Eng., our top instructor, Telecom 101 distills and organizes 30 years of learning and knowledge into a practical day-to-day reference book and invaluable study guide for non-Engineers.

Below in the chapter list and detailed table of contents, you will see that Telecom 101 is like many self-contained reference books with chapters on specific topics such as Internet, Wireless, IP, LANs and MPLS.

Instead of having to purchase multiple books from different authors to explain each of these topics, you get them all, bound in a single volume, in a consistent style and quality, for one low price.

A career- and productivity-enhancing investment that will pay for itself many times over in the future.

Order today to obtain this invaluable reference!

Other Books Available: CTNS Certification Study Guide, CWA Certification Study Guide, CVA Certification Study Guide

Chapter List

Telecom 101 is organized in four parts: The Fundamentals, Telecommunications Technologies, Equipment, Carriers and Interconnect, and finally Networking - the core knowledge for anyone serious about telecom today.


The first eight chapters of Telecom 101 cover the fundamentals of telecom, explaining concepts, filling gaps and creating a solid knowledge base. The introduction to the book is followed by a high-level pass of all of the topics from a big-picture view.

Progressing in a logical order, we cover provisioning of telecom circuits by carriers, telecom fundamentals, and then IP packet network fundamentals. Next is the business-side of Internet: ISPs, web services like AWS, data centers and cloud computing.

Then we review services by category: residential, business and wholesale. Next is digital media including how voice is digitized, digital text, digital images, digital video, and digital quantities. The last topic in the fundamentals is the fundamentals of VoIP.


In the second section of the book, we explore wireless, fiber and copper - the three main technologies for transmitting information from one place to another.

We cover mobile network components and operation, wireles spectrum, 4G LTE, 5G, Wi-Fi, fixed wireless broadband home internet and satellites.

Next you learn optical basics, how networks are built running Optical Ethernet with point-to-point fibers, wave-division multiplexing, and fiber in the core, metro area and to the premise.

We end with copper-wire technologies: the Legacy PSTN including DSL and POTS on twisted pair, Hybrid Fiber-Coax cable TV systems, cable modem standards, T1 and LAN cable categories.


In part three of the book, we explore equipment like switches and routers that are connected to form networks using the wireless, fiber and copper described in Part 2, and the purpose and place of each.

Then we learn where and how physical connections take place between carriers to connect PSTN phone calls, Internet traffic and CLEC services.


The final part of the book is devoted to IP networking. First, to provide a structure for discussion, we understand the layers of the OSI Reference Model: what the layers are, what a layer is, the functions of each, and the standard protocol for each layer.

The next chapter is on Layer 2: Ethernet and 802 standards, broadcast domains, LANs and VLANs. Then, Layer 3: IP addresses, DHCP, IP routers, Network Address Translation, public and private addresses and IPv6.

We finish by learning about MPLS, the core traffic management system, and how MPLS is used to implement classes of service, VPNs, service integration and traffic aggregation.

We wrap up with a review from the top down of the technologies and finally a peek what is in the future of telecommunications.


Telecommunications is constantly change - technologies that were once widespread are no longer. To make room for the new, the discussion of these technologies and some related technical issues have been demoted to appendices, rather than deleted, so they are still available for those who deal with legacy technologies.  The last appendix lists the acronyms and abbreviations referenced in the book.

Table of Contents / Detailed Outline

1 Introduction to the Book

1.1 Our Approach

1.2 How the Text is Organized

1.3 How to Use This Text

1.4 The Three Answers

2 Introduction to Telecommunications

2.1 History of Telecommunications

2.2 Convergence

2.3 Broadband

2.4 Today's Converged Telecom Network

2.5 The Network Core

2.6 Network Protocols: Ethernet, IP and MPLS

2.7 Network Access: The Last Mile

2.8 Anatomy of a Service

2.9 Inside the Network Cloud

2.10 Network Edge Equipment

2.11 Interconnect to Other Carriers

2.12 Services

3 Telecom Fundamentals

3.1 Communication Circuit Model

3.2 Terminals, Clients, Servers and Peers

3.3 Representing Bits on Digital Circuits:Pulses

3.4 Representing Bits in Frequency Channels: Modems

3.5 Serial and Parallel

3.6 Sharing: Frequency-Division Multiplexing

3.7 Sharing: Time-Division Multiplexing

3.8 Efficient Sharing: Statistical Time Division Multiplexing

3.9 Overbooking: Reducing User Cost

4 Network Fundamentals

4.1 Essential Functions for Communication

4.2 Shared Multidrop Links: Wi-Fi, PONs, CATV, CAN-BUS

4.3 Point-to-Point Links: Ethernet

4.4 Data Link Frames & MAC Addresses

4.5 Packet Networks

4.6 Carrier IP Networks

4.7 IP Packets vs. MAC Frames

4.8 IP Packet Format

4.9 TCP, UDP, Ports and Sockets

4.10 MPLS Labels

5 The Internet

5.1 A Network To Survive Nuclear War

5.2 The Inter-Net Protocol

5.3 Internet Service Providers (ISPs)

5.4 Domain Name System

5.5 Web Clients

5.6 Web Servers

5.7 Web Services and Cloud Computing

5.8 Data Centers

5.9 Internet VPNs

5.10 SD-WAN

5.11 Net Neutrality

6 Telecom Services Overview

6.1 Residential Services

6.2 Business "Data" Services

6.3 Business Voice Services

6.4 Wholesale Services

6.5 Content Delivery Networks

7 Digital Media: Voice, Video, Images, Quantities, Text

7.1 Analog and Digital: What do we really mean?

7.2 Continuous vs. Discrete Signals

7.3 Voice Digitization (Analog-Digital Conversion)

7.4 Voice Reconstruction (Digital-Analog Conversion)

7.5 Voice Digitization: 64 kb/s G.711 Standard

7.6 Digital Video, H.264 and MPEG-4

7.7 Digital Images: JPEGs and GIFs

7.8 Digital Images in Email: MIME

7.9 Digital Quantities: Number Systems

7.10 Digital Quantities: Binary

7.11 Digital Quantities: Hexadecimal

7.12 Digital Text

8 Fundamentals of Voice over IP

8.1 The Big Picture

8.2 Business VoIP Phones

8.3 Voice in IP Packets

8.4 Call Managers / Soft Switches / SIP Servers

8.5 Media Servers: Video Servers

8.6 Gateways

8.7 Voice over IP over LANs and WANs

8.8 Key VoIP Standards

8.9 Where All of This is Headed: Broadband IP Dial Tone

9 Wireless

9.1 Radio

9.2 Spectrum

9.3 Mobile Network Components and Operation

9.4 Cellular Principles

9.5 Second Generation: Digital

9.6 PSTN Phone Calls using the Phone App: "Voice Minutes"

9.7 Mobile Internet: "Data Plan"

9.8 Mobile Operators, MVNOs and Roaming

9.9 3G: CDMA and HSPA

9.10 4G LTE: Mobile Broadband

9.11 5G NR: Enhanced Mobile Broadband, IoT Communications

9.12 Spectrum-Sharing Roundup: FDMA, TDMA, CDMA, OFDMA

9.13 3.5-GHz Fixed Wireless Broadband Home Internet

9.14 Wi-Fi: 802.11 Wireless LANs

9.15 Communication Satellites

10 Fiber Optics

10.1 Fiber Basics

10.2 Fiber Optics and Fiber Cables

10.3 Optical Wavelengths, Bands and Modes

10.4 Wave-Division Multiplexing: CWDM and DWDM

10.5 Optical Ethernet

10.6 Network Core

10.7 Metropolitan Area Network

10.8 Fiber to the Premise (FTTP, FTTH): PONs

11 Copper

11.1 The Public Switched Telephone Network

11.2 Analog

11.3 Capacity Restrictions

11.4 Problems with Analog Transmission

11.5 Plain Ordinary Telephone Service (POTS)

11.6 Network Addresses: Telephone Numbers

11.7 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)

11.8 DSLAMs

11.9 Fiber to the Neighborhood (FTTN), DSL to the Premise

11.10 DSL Standards

11.11 Broadband Carriers: FTTN & Broadband Coax to the Premise

11.12 DOCSIS and Cable Modem Standards

11.13 T1 and E1

11.14 TIA-568 LAN Cable Categories

12 Telecom Equipment

12.1 Broadband Network Equipment: Routers and Ethernet Switches

12.2 Broadband Customer Premise Equipment

12.3 Call Managers, SIP, Soft Switches, Hosted PBX and IP Centrex

12.4 Telephone Circuit Switches

12.5 Traditional PBX and Centrex

12.6 Gateways

13 Carriers and Interconnect

13.1 IX: Interconnect for Internet Traffic

13.2 Telephone Network Architecture

13.3 PSTN Switching Centers, COs and Toll Centers

13.4 Implementing Competition: LECs, POPs and IXCs

13.5 Wireless and CATV Local Exchange Carriers

13.6 CLEC: Collocations and Dark Fiber

13.7 SS7

14 The OSI Layers and Protocol Stacks

14.1 Protocols and Standards

14.2 ISO OSI Reference Model

14.3 The OSI 7-Layer Model

14.4 Physical Layer: 802.3, DSL, DOCSIS, Wireless

14.5 Data Link Layer: 802 MAC

14.6 Network Layer: IP and MPLS

14.7 Transport Layer: TCP and UDP

14.8 Session Layer: POP, SIP, HTTP

14.9 Presentation Layer: ASCII, Encryption, Codecs

14.10 Application Layer: SMTP, HTML, English …

14.11 Protocol Stacks

14.12 Protocol Stack in Operation: Ukrainian Dolls

14.13 Standards Organizations

15 Ethernet, LANs and VLANs

15.1 LAN Basics

15.2 Ethernet and 802 Standards

15.3 LAN Cables and Categories

15.4 LAN Switches: Layer 2 Switches

15.5 VLANs

16 IP Networks, Routers and Addresses

16.1 Definition of Network

16.2 IPv4 Address Classes

16.3 Subnets and Classless Inter-Domain Routing

16.4 DHCP

16.5 Assigning Subnets to Broadcast Domains

16.6 IP Network: Routers Connected with Point-to-Point Circuits

16.7 Routers and Customer Edge

16.8 Public and Private IPv4 Addresses

16.9 Network Address Translation

16.10 TCP and UDP

16.11 IPv6

16.12 IPv6 Address Allocation and Address Types

17 MPLS and Carrier Networks

17.1 Introduction

17.2 Carrier Packet Network Basics

17.3 Service Level Agreements

17.4 Provider Equipment at the Customer Premise

17.5 Virtual Circuit Technologies

17.6 MPLS

17.7 MPLS VPN Service for Business Customers

17.8 MPLS and Diff-Serv to Support Class of Service

17.9 MPLS for Integrated Access

17.10 MPLS for Traffic Aggregation

17.11 M is for Multiprotocol: Virtual Private LAN Service (VPLS)

18 Wrapping Up

18.1 Technology Deployment Steps

18.2 Requirements Specification

18.3 High-Level Design

18.4 Technology Roundup

18.5 Review: Circuits and Services

18.6 Private Network

18.7 Carrier IP Services

18.8 The Future

Appendix A Modulation Techniques

A.1 Modulation of Carrier Frequencies

A.2 Amplitude Shift Keying (ASK)

A.3 Frequency Shift Keying (FSK)

A.4 Phase Shift Keying (PSK)

A.5 Quadrature PSK (QPSK)

A.6 Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)

A.7 Constraints on Achievable Bit Rate

Appendix B Legacy Channelized Transmission Systems

B.1 The Digital Hierarchy: Legacy Channelized Transmission Speeds

B.2 Digital Carrier Systems: Legacy Transmission Technologies

B.3 Framing


Appendix C All About T1

C.1 T1 History and Applications

C.2 T1 Circuit Components

C.3 Operation

C.4 T1 Framing

C.5 Pulses and Line Code: AMI

C.6 Synchronization: Bit-Robbing

C.7 56 kb/s for Data

C.8 B8ZS and 64 kb/s Clear Channels

C.9 How T1 Is Provided

C.10 Fractional T1, DACS and Cross-Connects

C.11 Subrate Data Circuits 1.2 kb/s to 56 kb/s

Appendix D Legacy Voice Services and Jargon

D.1 Local Voice Services

D.2 Long Distance Voice Services

Appendix E Legacy Data Communications Technologies

E.1 "Asynchronous": Start/Stop/Parity

E.2 X.25: Packet-Switching using Virtual Circuits

E.3 Frame Relay


Acronyms and Abbreviations

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