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Book Review – Signaling In Telecommunication Networks Second Edition by John G. van Bosse and Fabrizio U. Devetak

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Signaling In Telecommunication Networks Second Edition is the updated version of the highly acclaimed book first released in 1997. It has been enhanced to cover the most recent developments in signaling systems and procedures. It covers both subscriber and network signaling in both fixed as well as mobile networks.

The book is divided into 22 chapters that begin with an introduction to telecommunications and a broad overview of communication networks and how telecommunications systems work. The next 18 chapters are devoted to what this book is about; signaling in communications networks in the traditional sense with circuit-switched networks. The last three chapter cover packet networks with the focus on convergence of voice and data.

Coverage begins with an introduction to circuit-switched telephone networks, including an examination of trunks, exchanges, access systems, transmission systems, and other basic components. Next, the authors introduce signaling concepts, beginning with older Channel Associated Signaling (CAS) systems and progressing to today's Common Channel Signaling (CCS) systems. The book then examines packet networks and their use in transmitting voice (VoIP), TCP/IP protocols, VoIP signaling protocols, and ATM protocols.

In the past ten years, new technologies have come in to use and hence there are now new as well as expanded signaling systems available. To this end Signaling In Telecommunication Networks Second Edition has added six new chapters.

Chapter eight examines how "Access Systems" have become part of the local network architecture. How such systems, once called remote line concentrators, which use to have proprietary interfaces, now have become standardized.

Chapter 13 explores how in code-division multiple access wireless systems, originally developed for the military because of it's superior anti-jamming and anti-eavesdropping characteristics is now being use for the civilian market. It has now become the technology of choice for third generations of wireless systems worldwide.

Chapter 18 covers Intelligent Network Application Part (INAP) which is the ITU-T standard protocol used for communications between application entities in an intelligent network. The authors explain about the four different planes and how they relate to the four different ways of looking at an intelligent networks and services.

Chapter 20 covers data communication, a topic that the first edition did not cover. More specifically it covers packet networks and VoIP. The authors explain that data communications encompass a wide range of applications including e-mail, file transfer, messaging services as well as many others. They contrast and describe the differences between these and traditional voice services and what it will mean to you.

Chapter 21 continues this discussion with more in-depth coverage of signaling and VoIP. The specifications of VoIP protocols totaling thousands of pages, this chapter condenses those specifications into a high-level look at the most important protocols, namely; H.323, SIP, Gateway Control Protocol/H.248, SIGTRAN and BICC.

Chapter 22; the last chapter, covers signaling in ATM networks which is a digital technology for voice and data convergence based on short, fixed-length packets called cells. The authors discuss the packet technology that supports broadband multimedia communications and how, although widely deployed, seems to be loosing momentum to TCP/IP protocols.

In my opinion this book is well written and, because the authors are very skilled in their field, it makes for an easy to read and understanding on a topic that is, by its very complex and detailed. They concentrate on the functionality as opposed to the details of the protocols and they highlight with a lot of examples.

If you need to understand the topic of telecommunications signaling or want to update your knowledge of some of the new or expanded technologies, then Signaling In Telecommunication Networks Second Edition may be the only book that you need.

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