[techbooks] REVIEW: "Fundamentals of Telecommunications", Roger L. Freeman
- BKFNTELC.RVW 990514
"Fundamentals of Telecommunications", Roger L. Freeman, 1999,
%A Roger L. Freeman
%C 5353 Dundas Street West, 4th Floor, Etobicoke, ON M9B 6H8
%I John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
%O 416-236-4433 fax: 416-236-4448 rlangloi@...
%P 676 p.
%T "Fundamentals of Telecommunications"
A footnote to the first paragraph in chapter one put me somewhat at
ease. If somebody knows that there is more than one "billion" in the
world, it bodes very well for the technical accuracy of the following
This book is intended as an introductory, and entry level, text on
telecommunications. It covers the field, but does not require
engineering level math or physics. For those with a weak background
in mathematics or electricity, some material is provided in
Chapter one covers introductory concepts, but jumps around a fair bit
in doing so. Data signalling is dealt with in chapter two (and from
the description of semaphore, we know that the author was never a Boy
Scout). Quality of service, and signal, is discussed in chapter
three. Chapter four looks at the network basics of transmission and
switching. Transmission for voice telephony gets special
consideration in chapter five. Chapter six talks about some physical
level protocols, which doesn't quite explain the title of "Digital
Networking." Chapter seven details network control signalling. Long
haul network components are reviewed in chapter eight while the
specifics of the transmission segments are in chapter nine. Data
communications gets a bit of a late start in chapter ten, but the
basics are all there. Chapter eleven presents local area networks as
the first half of a look at enterprise networks, and continues with
wide area networks in chapter twelve. The unique aspects of
signalling system number 7 are outlined in chapter thirteen. Coverage
of television transmission, in chapter fourteen, is quite detailed.
Chapter fifteen looks at cable television systems, and also briefly at
the requirements for two way transmission. Cellular, PCS (Personal
Communications Services), and wireless are discussed in chapter
sixteen. High bit rate optical links, in chapter seventeen,
concentrate on SONET (Synchronous Optical Network) and related
protocols. Chapter eighteen looks at ATM (Asynchronous Transfer
The questions and exercises at the end of the chapter are not the best
I've ever seen, but not the worst either. They tend to ask students
to pull mere definitions from the text, but some do require a bit of
analysis. References tend to be protocols or standards
specifications, and there are few citations of more generally
available works. With the exception of framing diagrams, the
illustrations are not very illuminating, and are frequently
The structure of the book, while not exactly disorganized, does tend
to jump from topic to topic and back again. There is a heavy emphasis
on telephony, and, despite the very successful limitation of
prerequisite requirements, a definite engineering tone and bias.
Still, the fundamentals are all here, and, in the hands of a good
teacher, this work could be quite successful.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999 BKFNTELC.RVW 990514
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http://victoria.tc.ca/techrev or http://sun.soci.niu.edu/~rslade