Telecommunications companies provide an important service: They allow us to better communicate with each other. Telecommunications companies include local exchange carriers (LECs), regional Bell operating company (RBOC or BOC), competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), wireless communications providers, digital local exchange carriers (DLECs), interexchange carriers (IEC) (a synonym for long distance carriers), cable companies, resellers of telecommunications goods and services, and organizations involved in a combination of these functions. This chapter will focus principally on the needs of enterprises that provide communications connectivity; although many of the data structures in this chapter may apply to other industries as well. For instance, enterprises with information needs to manage their infrastructures, such as utility organizations, may use similar types of data constructs (even though the entities may have different names).

Telecommunications companies are concerned with issues such as the following:

  • How can we build and support high-quality telecommunications networks?
  • How can we build innovative products and services to enhance communications?
  • How can we improve customer service and satisfaction with our offerings?
  • How can we maximize revenues and minimize costs?
  • How can we ensure that our systems accommodate the fast technological pace within telecommunications?

To answer these types of questions, telecommunications enterprises ...

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