Cooke and Wheatstone electric telegraph

Communications refers to the use of signals to transfer voice, data, image, and/or video information between locations. Its main aspects are communications science, engineering, and technology. Communications technology is among the first practical uses of electrical engineering; the telegraph was first conceived in the 1700s and realized in 1837 by Charles Wheatstone and William Cooke. Later inventions which would completely change how society exchanges information include such devices as the telephone, radio and television.

Spanning the interests of many IEEE technical societies, communications has always been a large part of the Institute’s activities. The IEEE Communications Society promotes the advancement of science, technology and applications in communications and related disciplines, whereas the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society deals specifically with the broadcast element of communications. In addition, IEEE has many publications relating to communications, including IEEE Communications Magazine, IEEE Network, IEEE Wireless Communications Magazine, IEEE Transactions on Communications, IEEE Communications Letters, IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, IEEE Transactions on Network and Service Management and IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications.


  • Broadcasting - The transmission of audio or video to an audience.
  • Communication equipment - This refers to both the hardware and software used for different types of communication.
  • Communication methods - Methods used for different types of communication (broadband, mobile, multimedia, etc.) and for different purposes (biomedical, military).
  • Communication networks - A network of communication circuits managed as a single unit.
  • Communication switching - Used to enable sharing of physical lines of communication.
  • Communication systems - Elements of communications systems, such as protocols, quality of service and routing are covered.
  • Couplers – Coupling is the transfer of energy from one medium to another.
  • High-speed electronics - Includes integrated circuits, networks, and Ultrafast electronics.
  • Image communication - Includes facsimile, picture archiving and communication systems.
  • Message systems - Includes postal services and voice mail.
  • Multiplexing - The combining of two or more signals into a single wave from which the signals can be individually recovered. Examples include time division multiplexing and frequency division multiplexing.
  • Radio communication - Includes types (indoor, land mobile, etc.) and aspects (frequency, spectrum management, etc.).
  • TV - Cable, digital, and mobile television are covered.
  • Telegraphy - A system of telecommunication for the transmission of graphic symbols, usually letter of numerals, by the use of a signal code. Types include electrical, radio, and wireless.
  • Telephony - The use of devices for voice communication, for example, cellular and digital telephone systems.
  • UHF & VHF technology - The technologies used for "ultra-high" and "very-high" radio frequencies.
  • Ultra wideband technology – Technologies using extremely narrow pulses and very wide frequencies.

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