This article throws light upon the five types of design of communication networks. The types are: 1. Y Network 2. Wheel Network 3. Chain Network 4. Circle Network 5. All Channel or Star Network.
1. Y Network:
Here A is the central person who communicates with B, C and D. It follows the formal chain of command where upward and downward communication takes place in the organisational hierarchy.
The individual, thus, communicates with both his superior and subordinates.
2. Wheel Network:
Here again, all messages flow through A, who is at the centre of the wheel. He communicates with other members of the group, while members cannot communicate with each other. This communication network is found in highly formal organisation structures where task-oriented approach to leadership is preferred to employee-oriented approach.
The superior communicates the information to subordination to subordinates while the subordinates do not communicate amongst themselves.
3. Chain Network:
Similar to Y network, chain network also follows a formal chain of command where information flows vertically upwards or downwards.
A superior and subordinate communicate with each other through vertical chain of command, both upwards and downwards. Information distortion is not likely to take place but communication system becomes time consuming.
4. Circle Network:
This network is similar to chain network except that information flows in a circular direction rather than vertical direction. A can communicate simultaneously with two persons, B and C but to communicate with D, he has to pass the messages through B or C and E.
All five persons cannot directly communicate with each other. In a circle network, the lowest level worker can communicate with the top manager. (A could be the top manager and C could be the lowest level worker). The formal claim of command is, thus, not respected in this network.
5. All Channel or Star Network:
All the members in this network communicate with each other freely and regularly.
It follows the informal channel of communication and provides maximum satisfaction to members. Information flows fast, though there may be problem of coordination. There is one path of communication in single channel network for a specific position and information flows through that path only to various persons. This is usually the official path of communication where information flows ‘through proper channel’ between the superior and subordinates. All information flows through the concerned superior or subordinates only.
It has many positive attributes like:
a. Only essential information flows through this path,
b. Information is authentic and chances of miscommunication are reduced, and
c. Superiors exercise control over subordinates and hold them accountable for the information transmitted to them.
In large organisations, with too many levels, single channel network may not be feasible as geographical distances and gaps in levels can result in information distortion. Multiple channel networks are more suitable in such situations as one position can be linked to various positions.
Single channel networks are also called centralised networks and multiple channel networks are also called decentralised networks. The wheel, Y and chain networks are centralised networks as one person passes the information to others. He is called the central person. The other two networks, the circle and the star networks are decentralised networks because there is free flow of information among the members.
Efficiency of centralised and decentralised networks can be tested on the basis of following variables:
(a) Nature of task,
(b) Leader emergence,
(c) Group satisfaction,
(d) Speed of work.
A telecommunications network is a collection of terminal nodes,links are connected so as to enable telecommunication between the terminals. The transmission links connect the nodes together. The nodes use circuit switching, message switching or packet switching to pass the signal through the correct links and nodes to reach the correct destination terminal.
Each terminal in the network usually has a unique address so messages or connections can be routed to the correct recipients. The collection of addresses in the network is called the address space.
Examples of telecommunications networks are:
Benefits of telecommunications and networking
Telecom munications facilitates interaction and information transfer over large distances. Businesses use telecommunications to expand and grow their networks. With Internet, computer, and telephone networks, businesses can allocate their resources efficiently. These core types of networks will be discussed below:
Computer network: a computer network consists of computers and devices connected to one another. Information can be transferred from one device to the next. For example, an office filled with computers can share files together on each separate device. Computer networks can range from a local area network (LAN) to a wide area network (WAN). The difference between the types of networks is the size. These types of computer networks work at certain speeds, also known as broadband. The Internet network connects computers worldwide.
Internet network: access to the network allows users to use many resources. Over time the Internet network will replace books. This will enable users to discover information almost instantly and apply concepts to different situations. The Internet can be used for recreational, governmental, educational, and other purposes. Businesses in particular use the Internet network for research or to service customers and clients.
Telephone network: the telephone network connects people to one another. This network can be used in a variety of ways. Many businesses use the telephone network to route calls and/or service their customers. Some businesses use a telephone network on a greater scale through a private branch exchange. It is a system where a specific business focuses on routing and servicing calls for another business. Majority of the time, the telephone network is used around the world for recreational purposes.
In general, every telecommunications network conceptually consists of three parts, or planes (so called because they can be thought of as being, and often are, separate overlay networks):
- The data plane (also user plane, bearer plane, or forwarding plane) carries the network's users' traffic, the actual payload.
- The control plane carries control information (also known as signaling).
- The management plane carries the operations and administration traffic required for network management. The management plane is sometimes considered a part of the control plane.
Example: the TCP/IP data network
The data network is used extensively throughout the world to connect individuals and organizations. Data networks can be connected to allow users seamless access to resources that are hosted outside of the particular provider they are connected to. The Internet is the best example of many data networks from different organizations all operating under a single address space.
Terminals attached to TCP/IP networks are addressed using IP addresses. There are different types of IP address, but the most common is IP Version 4. Each unique address consists of 4 integers between 0 and 255, usually separated by dots when written down, e.g. 126.96.36.199.
TCP/IP are the fundamental protocols that provide the control and routing of messages across the data network. There are many different network structures that TCP/IP can be used across to efficiently route messages, for example:
There are three features that differentiate MANs from LANs or WANs:
- The area of the network size is between LANs and WANs. The MAN will have a physical area between 5 and 50 km in diameter.
- MANs do not generally belong to a single organization. The equipment that interconnects the network, the links, and the MAN itself are often owned by an association or a network provider that provides or leases the service to others.
- A MAN is a means for sharing resources at high speeds within the network. It often provide connections to WAN networks for access to resources outside the scope of the MAN.