Art Yonemoto
Art Yonemoto is President of Yonemoto & Associates. He has been conducting Telecom (Landline and Wireless) audits for 21 years...
Read Full Bio >>

Art Yonemoto | March 26, 2015 |


Demystifying Voice & Data -- Part 2

Demystifying Voice & Data -- Part 2 In part one, we discussed analog, switch and multiplexing. In this article we will try to demystify the topic of digital.

In part one, we discussed analog, switch and multiplexing. In this article we will try to demystify the topic of digital.

While Analog has been effectively used for years, its use is limited. Specifically, in comparison to digital, analog is very inefficient and takes up a lot of resources. With the advent and improvement of digital computers, the cost of processing digital diminishes, while analog becomes more expensive (by comparison). With better transmission techniques (fiber, wireless, etc.), the world of digital is a fait accompli.

The following are some familiar and real world examples of the differences between analog and digital:

ANALOG VS. DIGITAL EXAMPLE #1 -- An analog device used for counting is an abacus. Imagine adding up 1,000 numbers using an abacus. Even an expert would take several minutes to accomplish this task. However, a computer can perform this in a fraction of a second. What is the likelihood of any errors with the Abacus? What if you were adding 10,000 numbers? What about adding 100,000 numbers? The digital advantage is speed.

ANALOG VS. DIGITAL EXAMPLE #2 -- When you call your bank, you are asked to provide your account number. You may either provide this information via the key pad (digital) or speak the individual numbers (analog). The information (account number) is the same, but the means of how it is transmitted is different. The value of digital is clear and unambiguous. Analog (voice) is more problematic. What if the speaker has a heavy accent and the numbers they speak are difficult to understand? The digital advantage in this scenario is clarity.

ANALOG VS. DIGITAL EXAMPLE #3 – Almost anyone is familiar with records, turntables, and stereo speakers. When you play a record, the record player stylus converts the record grooves into voice waves (music), which is then transmitted and played over the speakers. Since there is wear and tear of the stylus on the record, over time, the recording will degrade. A compact disk (CD) is the digital equivalent of a record. Since the CD contains the numeric representation of the record, there is no wear and tear. In this scenario, the digital advantage is better and longer lasting quality.

ANALOG VS. DIGITAL EXAMPLE #4 - Anyone over 35 is familiar with VCRs (video cassette recorders). The VCR reads the VHS (video home system) tape and converts it to an audio and video signal. VHS tapes are now viewed as bulky with poorer quality. The DVD (digital video disc), replaced VHS tapes. Imagine if Netflix started by sending VHS tapes via U.S. Postal Service. Not only would the packages be bigger (more expensive), tapes are more fragile, which would lead to more breakage. Even something as mundane as the size of your mailbox is an issue. If you live in an apartment, would a VHS tape (or two or three VHS tapes) fit in your mail box? Would two or three DVDs fit? The digital advantage in this case is you have more content in a more compact format.

ANALOG VS. DIGITAL EXAMPLE #5 – You may recall the analog to digital conversion back in 2009. On June 12, 2009, the major TV broadcasters were required to shut down analog signals. Consumers who used old style (analog) antennas were given new digital antennas, which converted digital signals to analog. The reason for this change was to "free up" the bandwidth for other purposes such as wireless data transmission. In this case, the digital advantage was a more efficient use of resources.

Your voice calls are digitized (converted) into "numbers." How does this work? In simplistic terms, think of yourself as a computer. You hear someone speak and you transcribe what you hear. For example, you hear a speaker say, "the quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog," and you put it in text. You converted voice (analog) waves into text (digital). Later on, you read the text (digital) and convert it back to analog (speak the words).

You may recall that computers work with 0's and 1's (on or off), and this is the smallest unit of measurement (bit). A byte is comprised of eight bits and can represent up to 256 "characters." As an example; "The Quick Brown ..." is converted as follows:

T converted to --> 01010100
h converted to --> 01101000
e converted to --> 01100101
Q converted to --> 01010001
u converted to --> 01110101
i converted to --> 01001001
c converted to --> 01100011
k converted to --> 01101011

There are different characters (bytes) for upper and lower case:

B converted to --> 01000010 (upper case)
b converted to --> 01100010 (lower case)

There are different characters (bytes) for numbers:

0 converted to --> 00110000
1 converted to --> 00110001
2 converted to --> 00110010
5 converted to --> 00110101
7 converted to --> 00110111
9 converted to --> 00111001

There are different characters (bytes) for special characters:

* converted to --> 00101010
@ converted to --> 01000000
" converted to --> 00100010

The important point to remember is not how your voice is converted to digital; rather, that your voice is routinely "digitized," which opens up a world of possibilities.

"SCTC Perspectives" is written by members of the Society of Communications Technology Consultants, an international organization of independent information and communication technology professionals serving clients in all business sectors and government worldwide.


March 7, 2018

Video collaboration is experiencing significant change and innovation-how can your enterprise take advantage? In this webinar, leading industry analyst Ira Weinstein will present detailed analysis

February 21, 2018

Business agility has become the strongest driver for enterprises to begin migrating their communications to the cloud-and its a benefit that enterprises are already realizing. To gain this benefit

February 7, 2018

Enterprises are starting to grasp the critical importance of security and compliance in their team collaboration deployments. And once the risks are mitigated, your enterprise can integrate these n

March 12, 2018
An effective E-911 implementation doesn't just happen; it takes a solid strategy. Tune in for tips from IT expert Irwin Lazar, of Nemertes Research.
March 9, 2018
IT consultant Steve Leaden lays out the whys and how-tos of getting the green light for your convergence strategy.
March 7, 2018
In advance of his speech tech tutorial at EC18, communications analyst Jon Arnold explores what voice means in a post-PBX world.
February 28, 2018
Voice engagement isn't about a simple phone call any longer, but rather a conversational experience that crosses from one channel to the next, as Daniel Hong, a VP and research director with Forrester....
February 16, 2018
What trends and technologies should you be up on for your contact center? Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center & Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2018, gives us the lowdown.
February 9, 2018
Melanie Turek, VP of connected work research at Frost & Sullivan, walks us through key components -- and sticking points -- of customer-oriented digital transformation projects.
February 2, 2018
UC consultant Marty Parker has crunched lots of numbers evaluating UC options; tune in for what he's learned and tips for your own analysis.
January 26, 2018
Don't miss out on the fun! Organizer Alan Quayle shares details of his pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon, TADHack-mini '18, showcasing programmable communications.
December 20, 2017
Kevin Kieller, partner with enableUC, provides advice on how to move forward with your Skype for Business and Teams deployments.
December 20, 2017
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst with ZK Research, shares his perspective on artificial intelligence and the future of team collaboration.
December 20, 2017
Delanda Coleman, Microsoft senior marketing manager, explains the Teams vision and shares use case examples.
November 30, 2017
With a ruling on the FCC's proposed order to dismantle the Open Internet Order expected this month, communications technology attorney Martha Buyer walks us through what's at stake.
October 23, 2017
Wondering which Office 365 collaboration tool to use when? Get quick pointers from CBT Nuggets instructor Simona Millham.
September 22, 2017
In this podcast, we explore the future of work with Robert Brown, AVP of the Cognizant Center for the Future of Work, who helps us answer the question, "What do we do when machines do everything?"
September 8, 2017
Greg Collins, a technology analyst and strategist with Exact Ventures, delivers a status report on 5G implementation plans and tells enterprises why they shouldn't wait to move ahead on potential use ....
August 25, 2017
Find out what business considerations are driving the SIP trunking market today, and learn a bit about how satisfied enterprises are with their providers. We talk with John Malone, president of The Ea....
August 16, 2017
World Vision U.S. is finding lots of goodness in RingCentral's cloud communications service, but as Randy Boyd, infrastructure architect at the global humanitarian nonprofit, tells us, he and his team....
August 11, 2017
Alicia Gee, director of unified communications at Sutter Physician Services, oversees the technical team supporting a 1,000-agent contact center running on Genesys PureConnect. She catches us up on th....
August 4, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, has lately been working on integrating enterprise communications into Internet of Things ecosystems. He shares examples and off....
July 27, 2017
Industry watcher Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares her perspective on this acquisition, discussing Mitel's market positioning, why the move makes sense, and more.
July 14, 2017
Lantre Barr, founder and CEO of Blacc Spot Media, urges any enterprise that's been on the fence about integrating real-time communications into business workflows to jump off and get started. Tune and....
June 28, 2017
Communications expert Tsahi Levent-Levi, author of the popular blog, keeps a running tally and comprehensive overview of communications platform-as-a-service offerings in his "Choosing a W....
June 9, 2017
If you think telecom expense management applies to nothing more than business phone lines, think again. Hyoun Park, founder and principal investigator with technology advisory Amalgam Insights, tells ....
June 2, 2017
Enterprises strategizing on mobility today, including for internal collaboration, don't have the luxury of learning as they go. Tony Rizzo, enterprise mobility specialist with Blue Hill Research, expl....
May 24, 2017
Mark Winther, head of IDC's global telecom consulting practice, gives us his take on how CPaaS providers evolve beyond the basic building blocks and address maturing enterprise needs.
May 18, 2017
Diane Myers, senior research director at IHS Markit, walks us through her 2017 UC-as-a-service report... and shares what might be to come in 2018.
April 28, 2017
Change isn't easy, but it is necessary. Tune in for advice and perspective from Zeus Kerravala, co-author of a "Digital Transformation for Dummies" special edition.
April 20, 2017
Robin Gareiss, president of Nemertes Research, shares insight gleaned from the firm's 12th annual UCC Total Cost of Operations study.
March 23, 2017
Tim Banting, of Current Analysis, gives us a peek into what the next three years will bring in advance of his Enterprise Connect session exploring the question: Will there be a new model for enterpris....
March 15, 2017
Andrew Prokop, communications evangelist with Arrow Systems Integration, discusses the evolving role of the all-important session border controller.
March 9, 2017
Organizer Alan Quayle gives us the lowdown on programmable communications and all you need to know about participating in this pre-Enterprise Connect hackathon.
March 3, 2017
From protecting against new vulnerabilities to keeping security assessments up to date, security consultant Mark Collier shares tips on how best to protect your UC systems.
February 24, 2017
UC analyst Blair Pleasant sorts through the myriad cloud architectural models underlying UCaaS and CCaaS offerings, and explains why knowing the differences matter.
February 17, 2017
From the most basics of basics to the hidden gotchas, UC consultant Melissa Swartz helps demystify the complex world of SIP trunking.
February 7, 2017
UC&C consultant Kevin Kieller, a partner at enableUC, shares pointers for making the right architectural choices for your Skype for Business deployment.
February 1, 2017
Elka Popova, a Frost & Sullivan program director, shares a status report on the UCaaS market today and offers her perspective on what large enterprises need before committing to UC in the cloud.
January 26, 2017
Andrew Davis, co-founder of Wainhouse Research and chair of the Video track at Enterprise Connect 2017, sorts through the myriad cloud video service options and shares how to tell if your choice is en....
January 23, 2017
Sheila McGee-Smith, Contact Center/Customer Experience track chair for Enterprise Connect 2017, tells us what we need to know about the role cloud software is playing in contact centers today.