BTEC Unit 8: The Theory of Data Communications

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Farnham College        BTEC National Certificate IT P (Software Development)

        Unit 8: Communications Technology

Assignment 1: The theory of data communications

I have taken a job as a junior technician at NetCo, a company that makes networking hardware (switches, routers, etc.). They are planning to set up a networking academy (rather like the Cisco Network Academy) and create related qualifications. The project manager has asked me to prepare some learning materials for ‘Chapter 1’ of the online course. Chapter 1 is entitled ‘The Theory of Data Communications’. The chapter is subdivided into a number of sections. The materials must be produced in the form of a Word document.

Chapter 1

Chapter 1a

Identify and explain types of communication devices

Communications devices are electronic hardware which communicates with each other to perform specific tasks. The technologies that are used to communicate are data terminal equipment (DTE) and data circuit-terminating equipment (DCE). Another type of communication devices would be Wireless devices. These will be explained in detail.

Data Terminal Equipment (DTE)

DTE is a term for a device that is at the end of the line. Examples of this could be a modem (including cable modems), network card, mobile phone or Bluetooth. DTE varies widely depending on its purpose, for example, with Bluetooth, size and range are an important factor and with mobile phones, the quality and bandwidth are more important. Network cards and modems exist in a range of formats that are designed for a wide range of speeds depending on the type of network being used.        

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Data Circuit-terminating Equipment (DCE)

DCE and DTE work together by the DTE connecting to the Internet or network service offered by the DCE. This is network equipment which controls the communication. Some examples of these are:

  • A Bluetooth dongle in a PC, which is sued to synchronise a mobile phone or PDA.
  • A switch in a communications/server room at school, college or work, which will connect all the computers to the Local Area Network (LAN) and the Internet.
Wireless Devices

Wireless devices are devices which transmit their data over the air. Types of mobile commutation devices ...

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