Telecom : Protocols

Protocols are the precise set of rules and a syntax that govern the accurate transfer of information within a communications network. Protocols are used within a communication system to establish, carry out, and terminate communication circuits. Protocols are also used to coordinate billing and customer care systems, manage network devices, and any other process that requires coordinated communication and control.

There are thousands of different protocols used in communications systems. Usually, protocols are grouped into families of protocols so they can serve specific types of networks and services. When interconnecting different networks, protocols need to be converted.

Protocol conversion involves the translation of the protocols of one system to those of another to enable different types of equipment, such as data terminals and computers, to communicate. This is done by an inter-working function (IWF). An IWF system (such as a data bridge) adapts the communications between two different types of networks. Protocol conversion may be used to interconnect circuit switched or packet switched networks.

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