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Artech House USA
Signal Failure: The Rise and Fall of the Telecoms Industry

Signal Failure: The Rise and Fall of the Telecoms Industry

By (author): John Polden
Copyright: 2024
Pages: 244
ISBN: 9781685690588

Digital download and online $71.00 Qty:

Signal Failure: How the Telecoms Industry Lost its Way explores the history of the telecoms industry concentrating on the key period from 1950-2000, enabling practicing telecoms engineers to learn from the experiences and mistakes of the industry's history. The book arises from wider research into the history of the United Kingdom electronics industry. The lessons highlighted are very relevant now for any country that aims to grow by supporting technological industries. The book has relevance well beyond telecoms and in particular show the long timescales affecting technological trends and how these can sometimes conflict with the relatively short horizon of political decisions.


The book is intended for anyone who is interested in how innovation affects the realities of technology entering the marketplace as well as the technology’s economic performance. Telecom professionals will find it gives background to the changes that happened in the UK industry. However, the book is also aimed at people who are interested in trends in the world-wide telecoms and other technology industries. Anyone involved with technological development will find the book relevant as it gives an insight into the issues that occur as significant disruptive technology enters a market.



CHAPTER 1 The word of telecoms
1.1 Communications count
1.2 UK then and now
1.3 The UK economy
1.4 The economics of telecoms
1.5 The world’s telecoms industry
1.6 Effect of technology


CHAPTER 2 The UK network
2.1 Evolution of the Network
2.2 BT
2.3 System X
2.4 UK telecoms supply


CHAPTER 3 The mobile revolution
3.1 Mobile technology
3.2 Phone generations
3.3 The international rollout
3.4 Suppliers to the market


CHAPTER 4 Datacoms
4.1 Telegraphy
4.2 Telex
4.3 Data over voice-lines
4.4 Facsimile
4.5 Growth of data services
4.6 High volume data transmission
4.7 Packet switching and the internet
4.8 Effect on the telecoms supply industry


CHAPTER 5 World telecoms supply industry
5.1 North America
5.2 Europe
5.3 Japan
5.4 UK

  • John Polden

    lives in the UK and has a degree in electronic engineering from Southampton University. He gained an MBA at London Business School and pursued a career managing UK electronics companies. He then went on to spend 20 years in the UK venture capital industry investing in technology start-up businesses. He spent 7 years researching the history of the UK electronics industry as an Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sussex until 2023. While he has contributed to several industry publications, this is his first book to be published.

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