Telecommunications, also called telecommunication, is the exchange of information over significant distances by electronic means. A complete, single telecommunications circuit consists of two stations, each equipped with a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter and receiver at any station may be combined into a single device called a transceiver. The medium of signal transmission can be electrical wire or cable (also known as "copper"), optical fiber or electromagnetic fields. The free-space transmission and reception of data by means of electromagntetic fields is called wireless.


The simplest form of telecommunications takes place between two stations. However, it is common for multiple transmitting and receiving stations to exchange data among themselves. Such an arrangement is called a telecommunications network. The Internet is the largest example. On a smaller scale, examples include: Corporate and academic wide-area networks (WANs), Telephone networks, Police and fire communications systems, Taxicab dispatch networks, Groups of amateur radio operators