The word telecommunications comes from the Greek prefix tele, which means distant, combined with the Latin word communicare, which means to share. Telecommunications, also known as telecom, is the exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means and refers to all types of voice, data and video transmission. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology. It is transmitted either electrically over physical media, such as cables, or via electromagnetic wave. This telecommunication is a broad term that includes a wide range of information transmitting technologies such as telephones (wired and wireless), microwave communications, fiber optics, satellites, radio and television broadcasting, the internet and telegraphs.

Society nowadays has made itself so used to telecommunication that the world would collapse if it was taken away. The reason for the tremendous growth of telecommunications is because we needed a better way to relay messages to each other.

Telecommunications systems are generally run by telecommunications service providers. These providers historically offered telephone and related services and currently offer a variety of internet and WAN services, as well as metropolitan area network and global services.

In many countries, telecom service providers were primarily government owned and operated, but that is no longer the case, and many have been privatized. The International Telecommunication Union is the United Nations agency that administers telecommunications and broadcasting regulations, although most countries also have their own government agencies to set and enforce telecommunications guidelines.

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