Types of Telecoms Services
- Voice - Fixed line - PSTN
- Voice - Carrier Pre-Selection
- Voice - Carrier Access & Carrier Selection
- Voice - Single Billing (SB) - Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
- Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
- Internet - Broadband Connections
- Different types of broadband service
- Business Data Services
- Line Share (LS)
- Unbundled Local Metallic Path (ULMP)
- Leased Lines & Partial Private Circuits
Voice - Fixed line - PSTN
PSTN is short for Public Switched Telephone Network, which refers to the international telephone system based on copper wires, which carry analogue voice data. This service allows only a limited amount of information to be conveyed, such as for fixed line telephony.
Voice - Carrier Pre-Selection
Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS) is an another mechanism to provide narrowband access that allows customers to select, in advance, CPS Operators (CPSOs) to carry their calls without having to dial a prefix or install any special equipment at their premises. The customer subscribes to the services of one or more CPSOs and chooses the type of calls (e.g. all calls, national, international) to be carried by them. The customer may have a direct retail relationship with the CPSO, or may purchase the service via a CPS Reseller. The customer is billed for these calls by the CPSO or CPS Reseller. Note the end user will continue to be invoiced separately for the line rental charges and maintains a contract with Eircom for the rental of the line.
The end-user may opt for CPS on three different types of voice call:
1. International Calls – An (OAO) other authorised operator is chosen to carry calls to an international location;
2. National Calls – An OAO is chosen to carry calls to a location within
3. All Calls – An OAO is chosen to carry all calls, whether the destination is within Ireland, or international.
Voice - Carrier Access & Carrier Selection
Carrier Access (CA) and Carrier Selection (CS) are narrowband access products which enable customers to choose their carrier on a call-by-call basis. This is achieved by dialing a prefixed access code and is usually used, though not exclusively, for routing international calls to an Other Authorised Operator’s (OAOs) network for onward routing and termination.
Voice - Single Billing (SB) - Wholesale Line Rental (WLR)
SB-WLR enables service providers to issue one single bill to customers for Carrier Pre-Selection (CPS) “all calls” and line rental charges. The service provider may offer its own branded telephony service to its SB-WLR to customers based on wholesale services provided by Eircom. Eircom provides wholesale billing details to service providers, which then bill customers at their own retail rates for calls. Initially, when the end-user transfers to a single billing service, the appropriate ancillary services and Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) rental product elements will also be transferred to the customers SB-WLR account. In addition the end-user will receive a final bill from Eircom for services that will now be billed for by the new service provider. The final bill will contain any credits due to the customer, for example retail charges that may have been paid in advance by the customer. Most types of outgoing traffic will be routed to the Carrier Pre- Selection Operator’s network in line with the CPS all-calls routing rules.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP)
Internet - Broadband Connections
There are two main types of internet service available – dial-up internet (sometimes known as narrowband) and broadband. Dial-up internet services offer users slower connection speeds than with broadband services. This means it will take longer to download from the internet or send and receive e-mails with large files attached. Unlike with a broadband service, you have to ‘dial up’ each time you want to go online and cannot make normal phone calls over the same line while online.
Broadband internet services offer high-speed internet connections which enable users to download large files such as large documents, reports or technical designs very quickly. With broadband, the customer’s phone line is independent to broadband while online.
Slower connections speeds (up to 28.8 Kbps) = slower internet access
Takes longer to send/receive or download larger files
May be more suitable for very infrequent internet customers who require a speedy internet connection.
Enables fast downloading of reports, large files etc
Always on connection (no need to 'dial up') and fixed monthly fee
Phone line free to make calls while online
Different types of broadband service
Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
DSL is a wireline transmission technology that transmits data faster over traditional copper telephone lines already installed to homes and businesses. DSL-based broadband provides transmission speeds ranging from several hundred kbps to millions of bits per second (Mbps). The availability and speed of your DSL service may depend on the distance from your home or business to the closest telephone service provider facilities as well as the physical condition of the line.
The following are types of DSL transmission technologies:
Cable modem service enables cable operators to provide broadband using the same coaxial cables that deliver the television service.
Most cable modems are external devices that have three connections: a pass through from the cable wall outlet to the television, on two f connecters and the other a USB or RJ45 jack to a computer. On a properly engineered cable network they can provide speeds and quality of service similar to DSL grades.
Fixed (FWA) and Nomadic Wireless Access (NWA)
Wireless broadband connects a home or business to the Internet using a radio link between the customer’s location and the service provider’s facility. Wireless broadband can be nomadic or fixed.
Wireless technologies using rooftop directional antennas provide broadband service in remote or sparsely populated areas where DSL or cable modem service would be costly to provide. They also provide a more consistent user experience compared to the plug in nomadic cards or dongle devices. Speeds are generally comparable to DSL and cable modem.
Wireless broadband Internet access services offered over fixed networks allow consumers to access the Internet from a fixed point while stationary and often require a direct line-of-sight between the wireless transmitter and receiver. These services have been offered using both licensed spectrum and unlicensed spectrum. consumers should note that in the case of unlicensed spectrum the service is not protected from interference and therefore would be more likely to suffer degradation from other legally operated wireless devices.
Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) or WIFI as it is colloquially called provide wireless broadband access over shorter distances and are often used to extend the reach of a "last-mile" wired or fixed wireless broadband connection within a home or building such as an apartment block. Typically WLANS use unlicensed devices and can be used for private access within a home or business, or for public Internet access at "hot spots" such as restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, airports, convention centers, and city parks. Consumers should note that encryption and password protection should be used to prevent unauthorised access.
3G broadband services using High speed Packet Access (HSPDA) devices are available from mobile telephone service providers. For the best service the consumer needs to be close to the serving site mast (typically under 1 km).
These services are generally appropriate for highly-mobile or nomadic customers and require a special laptop PC card or USB dongle available from mobile service providers. Mobile broadband is a term used to describe various types of wirelesshigh-speed internet access. It offers internet access without the need for a fixed landline and is wireless. The most common devices used by Irish mobile service providers to connect customers to the internet are USB modems. The small devices usually branded with the Mobile Network Operators logo, plugs into a laptop or Computer and connects the user to the internet. Mobile broadband services are available from most Irish mobile service providers.
Just as satellites orbiting the earth provide necessary links for telephone and television service, they can also provide links for broadband. Satellite broadband is another form of wireless broadband, and is most useful for serving remote or sparsely populated areas.
Downstream and upstream speeds for satellite broadband depend on several factors, including the provider and service package purchased, the consumer’s line of sight to the orbiting satellite, and weather conditions. Typically a consumer can expect to receive (download) at a speed of about 500 Kbps and send (upload) at a speed of about 80 Kbps. These speeds may be slower than DSL and cable modem, but they are about 10 times faster than the download speed with dial-up Internet access. Consumers should note that service can be disrupted in extreme weather conditions.
Fibre optic technology converts electrical signals carrying data to light and sends the light through transparent glass fibres about the diameter of a human hair. Fibre transmits data at speeds far exceeding current DSL or cable modem speeds.
The actual speed you experience will vary depending on a variety of factors, such as how close to your computer the service provider brings the fibre and how the service provider configures the service. The same fibre providing your broadband can also simultaneously deliver voice (VoIP) and other data and video services.
Business Data Services
Business Data Services
Service Providers currently offer many types of data services to business users. These data services typically offer products which allow business users connectivity between their various sites or offices; for instance connecting a warehouse or production facility to a sales office etc which could be used for combined voice and data services, or access to a particular business-to-business service e.g. ordering material from a supplier or advertising services on a website.
Access to such services may be achieved over private networks (commonly referred to Wide Area Networks (WAN) supplied by a Service Provider such as: Connecting all the sites with a leased line network, MPLS (Multi Protocol Label Switching) network, Frame Relay Network, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) Network etc, or, via public networks i.e. via Internet Access over the World Wide Web on DSL or wireless access, or via telephone lines.
Business can also use a combination of both of these access types, where for instance its offices are interconnected via a private network, its sales force connect to the office network via wireless (using a laptop dongle), homeworkers connect using home broadband DSL and customers connect them via the WWW.
These services are regulated to varying degrees and it is usually the access mechanisms to these services which fall within the scope of what are normally regulated services e.g. DSL/Broadband services, leased lines, mobile/wireless and telephony.
Other services such as Data Warehousing, Hosting Services, Cloud computing, Storage Network etc are unregulated per se but may contain some regulated elements.
Business can purchase a combination of all of the above (and indeed more) where a Service Provider can provide a “one-stop-shop-solution”. A more discriminating or knowledgeable business user may purchase individual portions of their requirements from different suppliers for example have separate contracts for the mobile telephony requirement to their internet requirements etc.
Some Service Providers will also offer services to provide and maintain “internal systems” within the individual office or site, in addition to the normal “telco” services referred to above. These are normally internal ‘phone systems, commonly referred to as a PABX (Private Access Branch Exchange), and internal computer networks called LANs (Local Area Network). The latest industry developments are now converging both of these requirement into a single system (combined voice and data LANs).
Line Share (LS)
GLUMP is combined LLU (Local Loop Unbundling) and GNP (Geographic Number Portability) product which was launched in August 2006. This product enables End-users to move between Operators to take an LLU service with an alternative service provider and keep their existing telephone number.
Unbundled Local Metallic Path (ULMP)
ULMP provides other authorised operators (OAOs) with exclusive use of a metallic path between an Eircom exchange facility and a customer's premises. (See annex for diagram)
Leased Lines & Partial Private Circuits
Leased lines are symmetric telecommunications lines connecting two locations. Unlike traditional PSTN lines they do not have a telephone number, each side of the line being permanently connected to the other. They can be used for telephone, data or Internet services.
Partial Private Circuits (PPCs) are leased lines which are delivered or handed over to operators via interconnect (ISH In-Span Handover) or existing voice or ISI (In-Span Interconnect) interconnects, or directly into the Other Authorised Operator’s (OAOs) premises on CSH (customer sited handover). PPCs enable OAOs to gain efficiencies by expanding their infrastructure rather than relying on traditional leased-line delivery.
Telecoms buzzwords explained