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Search in Book Reviews

The ACCU passes on review copies of computer books to its members for them to review. The result is a large, high quality collection of book reviews by programmers, for programmers. Currently there are 1949 reviews in the database and more every month.
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Telecommunications A Software Professional's Guide
Clive Tomlinson
0 201 67473 4
Ian Bolland
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When I elected to review this book, I was uncertain what to expect. The title is fairly non-committal and could fit almost anything from a hard-core technical book to a high-level industry overview.

The book could best be described as a high-level overview with a strong technical bias. It is intended mainly for people with a background in IT who are entering the telecoms industry, or for those in the industry who want to get a broader understanding of their environment.

It starts out by giving an overview of the telecoms market, who the players are, how they get their revenues and what their goals and challenges are. It then describes the different transmission technologies such as copper network and optical fibre, satellite and microwave radio, cellular networks and WAP. It then describes switching technologies, signalling systems, telephony switches and intelligent networks, ATM and IP. It concludes by describing telecoms business processes and operations and the software systems that support them. Coverage is broad rather than deep, e.g. the whole of IP is covered in only twenty-six pages.

The author does a good job of explaining his material. The telecoms industry is perhaps one of the few to use more jargon and acronyms than the IT industry but the author provides simple and clear explanations of all the terminology. Every once in a while I would come across an acronym that I didn't recognise, or didn't remember, but fortunately this is one of the very few technical books I have read to contain an index which is genuinely useful.

If you are thinking of moving into the telecoms industry and are looking for a book that provides a high-level technical overview, then I can recommend this one.