Telecommunication as a device and system that transmit electronic or optical signals across long distances. This enables people around the world to contact one another, to access information instantly, and to communicate from remote areas. It usually involves a sender of information and one or more recipients linked by a technology, such as a telephone system, that transmits information from one place to another. Telecommunications enables people to send and receive personal messages across town, between countries, and to and from outer space. It also provides the key medium for delivering news, data, information, and entertainment.
These devices convert different types of information, such as sound and video, into electronic or optical signals. Electronic signals typically travel along a medium such as copper wire or are carried over the air as radio waves. Optical signals typically travel along a medium such as strands of glass fibers. When a signal reaches its destination, the device on the receiving end converts the signal back into an understandable message, such as sound over a telephone, moving images on a television, or words and pictures on a computer screen.
Messages can be sent in a variety of ways and by a wide range of devices. The messages can be sent from one sender to a single receiver (point-to-point) or from one sender to many receivers (point-to-multipoint). Personal communications, such as a telephone conversation between two people or a facsimile (fax) message (see Facsimile Transmission), usually involve point-to-point transmission. Point-to-multipoint telecommunications, often called broadcasts, provide the basis for commercial radio and television programming.
1. DEFINITION OF TERMS
Information is a data processed in a meaningful way. Information brings out the meaning of the entity. Any data processed according to the order the audience is expecting it is information. So, “the meaningful material derived from computer data by organizing it and interpreting it in a specific way.” (Emory, 1997.76)
This is the process of sharing ideas, information, and messages with others in a particular time and place. Communication includes writing and talking, as well as nonverbal communication (such as facial expressions, body language, or gestures), visual communication (the use of images or pictures, such as painting, photography, video, or film), and electronic communication (telephone calls, electronic mail, cable television, or satellite broadcasts). Communication is a vital part of personal life and is also important in business, education, and any other situation where people encounter each other.
This is the transmission of messages, over significant distances, for the purpose of communication. In earlier times, telecommunications involved the use of visual signals, such as beacons, smoke, semaphore telegraphs, signal flags, and optical heliographs, or audio messages via coded drumbeats, lung-blown horns, or sent by loud whistles, for example. In the modern age of electricity and electronics, telecommunications now also includes the use of electrical devices such as telegraphs, telephones, and teletypes, the use of radio and microwave communications, as well as fiber optics and their associated electronics, plus the use of the orbiting satellites and the Internet.
2. MEASURING INFORMATION: THE BIT
In any communication system the message produced by the source is one of several possible messages. The receiver will know what these possibilities are but will not know which one has been selected. Shannon observed that any such message can be represented by a sequence of fundamental units called bits, consisting of either 0s or 1s. “The number of bits required for a message depends on the number of possible messages: the more possible messages (and hence the more initial uncertainty at the receiver), the more bits required.” (Goffman. 1959. 73)
As a simple example, suppose a coin is flipped and the outcome (heads or tails) is to be communicated to a person in the next room. The outcome of the flip of a coin can be represented using one bit of information: 0 for heads and 1 for tails. Similarly, the outcome of a football game might also be represented with one bit: 0 if the home team loses and 1 if the home team wins. These examples emphasize one of the limitations of information theory—it cannot measure (and does not attempt to measure) the meaning or the importance of a message. It requires the same amount of information to distinguish heads from tails as it does to distinguish a win from a loss: one bit.
“For an example with more than two outcomes, more bits are required. Suppose a playing card is chosen at random from a 52-card deck, and the suit chosen (hearts, spades, clubs, or diamonds) is to be communicated. Communicating the chosen suit (one of four possible messages) requires two bits of information, using the simple scheme:” (Chandler. 1994. 22).
3. ADVANTAGES OF ICT (Information Communication & Telecommunication)
There are many advantages of Information, Communication and Telecommunication in the whole world today especially, in the contemporary generations. They are:
a. Giving and taking of information, sending and receiving of messages through verbal and non verbal means. Communication provides knowledge about company goals, Modern telecommunication centres on the problems involved in transmitting large volumes of information over long distances without damaging loss due to noise and interference.
b. “A wide variety of information can be transferred through a telecommunications system, including voice and music, still-frame and full-motion pictures, computer files and applications, and telegraphic data. For details on the telephone and the development of telephony, see telephone.” (Werner 1988.31)
c. ICT has made some project easier to do. Making a catalogue is a long process, involving a lot of design and research plans, using a computer and IT based materials has cut down the time it would take if one had does it manually. For example, before starting to make a catalogue one have to do some research on the items he wants to advertise, using the internet is a faster more efficient way of doing this. The internet showed the websites one needs to go on that have the right information. If he had not used a computer he would have had to carry task out manually, which is very time consuming, for example, Cropping pictures down to the right size to fit the catalogue. The computer does this accurately and more precise than a human can do, cutting. Also copying and pasting, doing this on a computer, then printing means no Pritt Stick: This can look tacky and bad quality. Using ICT gives the best presentation possible.
d. Processing of data is much faster on a computer. Example: Calculating an annual budget on a spreadsheet is instantaneous, doing the calculations by hand would take some time. Since the invention of computer and other electronic systems calculation and other things has become so easier, people do not suffer to calculate anymore.
e. Repetitive processing can be better done using computerised machinery. Example: Humans get tired, lose concentration and generally fed up if they have to repeat the same task over and over again. Robotic machinery will perform the same task repeatedly with consistent quality and never need a break, or software programs can be written to process all the records in a database.
f. Searching for data is much faster. Example : Finding a patient's record in a doctor's surgery can be done in seconds on a computerised database system, whereas it would take a receptionist some minutes to locate a folder in a paper filing system. Today computerised database system is been used in many offices, factories, industries, institution, churches and others for keeping of record and for easy retrieval.
g. Data storage capacity is almost limitless in a computer system. With the use of computer system, people can store their data as much as they want. The storage capacity of computer is very higher to compare with human brain and office flat files, a computer system with about 300GB of Memory can store huge amount of documents, without any problem.
h. The use DVDs instead of needing enormous quantities of paper and many large filing cabinets. E.g. In a national driving licence database. The introduction of DVD. (Digital Video Disk) seems to bring the world nearer, now you can convert some long work digitally in a simple DVD for its compatibility.
i. Data communications are fast and accurate. Data transmitted over a network will arrive at its destination anywhere in the world in just a few seconds. Example: A computer user can place an order for an item on an Internet website and it will be received immediately - posting an order in the mail would take a day or two to arrive.
j. Data can be output on a computer in a variety of different formats. Example: Annual sales figures for a retail business can be printed as a spreadsheet, displayed as a graph, or as a multimedia presentation involving text, sound, graphics and animations.
4. DISADVANTAGES OF ICT (Information, Communication & Telecommunication)
Whatever that have advantage may at same time have some disadvantages, ICT is a well known technology of the contemporary generation, but despite all that has been done, a lot of insufficiency are been recorded as its disadvantages.
v Networks can get hacked into. Shopping online leaves shoppers prone to online credit card theft. It is so obvious that a good number of people today do steal on-line, especially those doing some on-line businesses, they spend much of their time in the internet for business, but they use it as a medium for stealing from others.
v Viruses can come through the internet damaging the files in your computer. A lot of virus in people’s PC (Personal Computer) are been gotten from the internet at the cost of downloading some contaminated files and this is very dangerous for people who do not know much about the work and use of internetworking.
v Some software can be difficult for some generations and people to learn how to use. There is some software that is very hard for some generation to operate with. Some of this software when bought or downloaded through the net became useless to the person all because he does not have the knowledge on how it operates.
v People start to rely on computers too much and use them to do everything. In this generation; the use of computers had rendered a lot of people useless. In many institutions; most students don’t attend lectures any longer, some do not study their book, all their assignments and term-papers are being done on internet. They do rely on this and therefore became lazy in the class. It is also the same in other fields of work.
v Repetitive strain injury, strain on tendon in the arms, back problems and painful eyes are caused from prolonged use of computers. It is quite true that a lot of people suffer eye problem due to the contaminations they go on computer screen. Majority suffer back problem because they spend most of their time sitting with their computers. All these are disadvantages of ICT.
v “Work sometimes does not look exactly like what you want it to look like. “ (Millar 2005. 92)
v Information is very expansive, with limits apparently imposed only by time and human cognitive capabilities. “Its expansiveness is attributable to the following: (1) it is naturally diffusive, (2) it reproduces rather than being consumed through use, and (3) it can be shared only, not exchanged in transactions.” ( Littlejohn, S.W. and Foss, K.A. 2008.190). At the same time, information is compressible, both syntactically and semantically. Coupled with its ability to be substituted for other economic resources, its transportability at very high speeds, and its ability to impart advantages to the holder of information, these characteristics are at the base of such societal industries as research, education, publishing, marketing, and even politics. Societal concern with the husbanding of information resources has extended from the traditional domain of libraries and archives to encompass organizational, institutional, and governmental information under the umbrella of information resource management.
5. OTHER DISADVANTAGES OF ICT
v DISTRACTION FACTOR
Online business usually entails working from home and therefore you can find any distraction at home in order to take you away from working on your online business. the examples of distraction are television, stovetop, microwave, bed and backyard that can lose your concentration. All these technologies can bring distraction to a man if he tries to use them. A student who normally enjoy watching movies and had a laptop computer will hardly read or study in school because he will always stay tuned with his laptop.
v COMPETITIVE NATURE
If one wants to get involved in a particular niche, chances are there are already going to be people there ahead of you. And with the internet, larger people can crush smaller people a lot easier than big businesses can crush small ones. Competitors think nothing of discrediting each other and ultimately everyone is only interested in selling their products and making money. It is a cut-throat world on the internet and people that aren't aware of this could get crushed so fast it would make their head spin. The internet server can go down randomly, so you cannot connect to a webpage.
A good way to think about ICT is to consider all the uses of digital technology that already exist to help individuals, businesses and organisations use information. ICT covers any product that will store, retrieve, manipulate, transmit or receive information electronically in a digital form. For example, personal computers, digital television, email, robots. So ICT is concerned with the storage, retrieval, manipulation, transmission or receipt of digital data. Importantly, it is also concerned with the way these different uses can work with each other.
In business, ICT is often categorised into two broad types of product: - (1) The traditional computer-based technologies (things you can typically do on a personal computer or using computers at home or at work); and (2) The more recent, and fast-growing range of digital communication technologies (which allow people and organisations to communicate and share information digitally)
Businesses of all types can use ICT to good effect whether it is a TNC or small firm in different areas of their work. Computer systems have the capacity to make a business more efficient, more cost-effective and responsive to the needs of its customers. Computer analysis of existing sales data can provide insights on likely markets for new products or services. New product designs can be modelled using software to simulate and test products services in a virtual environment. ICT can use in a variety of ways within a business. Its presence in some areas of business is more important than other areas, depending on the business. Its use can mean that businesses improve their efficiency and ultimately their profits. However, it often requires investment and usually takes time to pay off its cost.
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