Telecommunications 101
April 16-17, 2018
Chicago, IL

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This 1.5 day course for non-engineering professionals will provide an overview of the telecommunications industry and rapidly changing technology. This is a basic course, so experience within in the telecommunications industry is not required.  It is designed for anyone new to the world of telecommunications or for those who have traditionally supported the data side of the business, which now includes telephony.  Yet it is also very applicable to telecommunication professionals who have tenure, yet find their traditional roles changing with the collaboration and cross functional support that is needed for today’s telephony environment. 

Consumers are demanding new and faster ways of communicating and Corporations are struggling to keep up. The focus on application integration and the impact of the “cloud” is changing the way we do business and the technology required to support it.  Who’s responsible for what?  Why and how is “real-time communications” different from data communications?  Join us to gain clarity on today’s confusing landscape and prepare to set your sights on the Next Generation Technologies. 

In addition to the knowledge gained in this course, attendees will depart with valuable resources and industry inks.  These tools will provide the opportunity for ongoing research and increased knowledge. 

This course is designed to encourage questions from the participants.  It will be fun and interactive, however no individual will be called upon or singled out.  PowerPoint slides will be used to illustrate important points; however, it will not be death by PowerPoint and full of dry bullets. 

The course will cover the following:

  • The history of the telephone industry and telephony regulation and why it still matters
  • The historical breakup of the Bell System and its lasting impact
  • Understanding the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and underlying technology
  • The technology behind the migration of the old telephony network to today’s IP-PSTN
  • The technical details related to the transformation from analog, to digital, to Voice over IP (VoIP)
  • The fundamental telephone service concepts needed to support real-time communications
  • The physical networks needed for real-time communications
  • The nature of LANs, MANs, and WANs and the role in connecting users and services
  • Advanced technology such as Fiber to the Premise (FTTP) and Wave-Division Multiplexing
  • Premises-based systems vs. cloud technology
  • SIP trunks, Web-RTC and Software Defined Networks
  • Unified Communications and Collaboration
  • Contact Centers and self-service technologies
  • The key players in today’s marketplace
  • Next Generation Technologies; where do we go next?
  • What does it all mean to the attendee

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the history of Telecommunications and how it impacts today’s world
  • Explain the basics of the many elements of telecommunications
  • Apply knowledge of the fundamentals to understand current technologies
  • Define the meaning of the industry buzz words and acronyms
  • Recognize what it takes to support the emerging technologies
  • Identify and become aware of the “yah-buts” – when promises exceed reality
  • Identify the current technology options and the industry leaders
  • Discuss the future trends and developing technology
  • Identify the impact on career options and learn of valuable resources



EUCI has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  In obtaining this accreditation, EUCI has demonstrated that it  complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of their Authorized Provider status, EUCI is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

EUCI is authorized by IACET to offer 1.0 CEUs for this event.


Requirements for Successful Completion of Program

Participants must sign in/out each day, be in attendance for the entirety of the course

Instructional Methods

Power Point presentations and open discussion will be used


Monday, April 16, 2018

8:00 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. :: Registration & Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. :: Group Luncheon

Introductions, Course Plan, and Expectations

Telephony Fundamentals

  • Historical viewpoint
    • Invention of the Telephone
    • Bell System and Long Distance
    • Local Exchange Carrier (LEC)
    • IXCs, ILECs, and CLECs
    • Regulation and Competition
    • Comparing the PC Industry to the Telephone Industry
    • Resellers and Broadband Carriers
  • Public Switched Telephone Network
    • Basic Model of the PSTN / Central Offices
    • Trunks and Circuit Switching
    • Voice Bandwidth
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
    • Synchronous Optical Networking (SONET)
    • Passive Optical Networking (PON)
    • Ethernet over Copper
  • Basic Telephony – Analog
    • Analog Signals & Circuits
    • Attenuation and Amplifiers
    • Interference and Crosstalk
    • Telephone Service Elements
    • Tip and Ring and Circuit Signaling
    • Loop-Start Signaling
    • E&M Signaling
    • In-Band and Out of Band Signaling
    • Supervision and Call Progress Tones
    • North American Numbering Plan
    • Interconnection and Point of Presence
    • ANI and Caller ID
    • E911 Routing
  • Digital Telecommunications
    • Baseband vs. Broadband
    • Digital encoding / decoding
    • Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)
    • Digital Carrier Standards (DS0, DS1, etc.)
    • Multiplexers and Channel Banks
    • Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)
  • Voice over IP (VoIP)
    • Packetized Voice
    • VoIP Transmission
    • Quality of Service (QoS) Impact
    • Vocoder Comparisons
    • Codec Standards
    • VoIP System Components
    • Channels versus Packets

Physical Networking

  • LAN Cables and Categories
    • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)
    • Shielding Types
    • Twisted-Pair Copper Cabling Standards
    • TIA-568A vs. TIA-568B
  • Fiber Optics
    • Light Pulses
    • Fiber Optic Basics
    • Multimode and Single-Mode Fiber
  • Wave-Division Multiplexing: CWDM and DWDM
  • Metropolitan Area Networks (MANs)
  • Fiber to the Premise (FTTP)
  • FTTN & Broadband Coax to the Premise
  • Cable Modem Termination System
  • DSL Access Multiplexer
  • Wireless
    • Cellular Technologies
    • 4G Mobile Cellular: LTE
    • RF Spectrum
    • Wireless LANs
    • WiFi Generations
    • Communications Satellites
    • Free-Space Optics


  • Telephone Network Architecture
    • Transmission Network
  • Legacy Telephony Systems and Key Features
    • Key Systems
    • PBX and PBX Trunks
    • Analog PBX – Switch Matrix
    • Analog vs Digital Telephony
    • Switching Evolution
    • Data, Voice, and IP
    • Direct Inward Dialing (DID)
    • Line Hunting and Call Forwarding
    • Attendant & Automated Attendant
    • Automated Call Distributor (ACD)
    • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
    • Centrex
  • VoIP Service, Hosted/Cloud Solutions
    • Session Initiation Protocol (SIP)
    • SIP Signaling
    • SIP Trunks
    • Session Border Controller
    • Multi-Tenant and IP-Centrex
    • Hosted / Cloud PBX Systems
    • VoIP Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Key Network Concepts for Telephony

  • ISO OSI Reference Model
  • Wide Area Networks (WANs)
  • Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM)
  • MPLS Networks and Traffic Profiles
  • IP Networks
  • Virtual Circuit Technologies
    • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
    • Internet VPNs
    • VoIP Encryption                                                                  


  • What is Cloud Telephony?
    • Standard Cloud Telephony
    • Hosted Telephony with Local Access
    • Hosted Telephony with Dedicated WAN Link
    • Hosted Telephony with SD WAN
  • VoIP Service Reliability
  • Private Cloud
  • Cloud Fit: Public vs. Private
  • Web-RTC
  • Software Defined Networks (SDN)
  • SDN Benefits

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. :: Continental Breakfast

8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. :: Course Timing

Recap of Day One and Questions from Attendees

Unified Communications

  • The Fuzzy Definitions
  • System Architecture and Convergence
  • UC beyond IP Telephony
    • Peer-to-Peer Video
    • Audio and Video Conferencing
    • Mobility
    • Instant Messaging
    • IM and Presence
    • Unified Messaging
    • Personal Assistant & Speech Access
    • Collaboration Players
  • Enhanced Systems
    • Contact Centers
    • Interactive Voice Response (IVR)
    • Communications Enabled Business Processes
  • Analytics and Reporting
  • Speech Analytics
  • Leading UC Manufacturers
  • Leading Network Services Providers/ Carriers
  • Leading UCaaS Providers

Next Generation Technologies

  • SD WAN
  • Communications Platform as a Service (CPaaS)
  • Intelligent Low-Voltage Lighting
  • 5G Wireless Technologies
  • Expansion of the Internet Cloud
  • Artificial Intelligence
    • Machine Learning
    • Deep Learning
  • The Future of Telecom

Course Recap and General Questions

  • High-quality Industry Resources


Understanding Telecom Invoices

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


This ½ day workshop for non-technical professionals will provide the fundamentals for understanding telecommunication carrier invoices, both wireline and wireless.  This is a basic course, so experience within in the telecommunications industry or accounting is not required.  It is designed for anyone who has responsibility for monitoring and evaluating invoices for accuracy or comparing service options.  Yet it is also very applicable to telecommunication professionals who have tenure, who want to improve their knowledge of the procurement process.   

Carrier invoices are confusing and often paid without close examination of the charges, which can result in overpayment.  The FCC or state utility commissions oversees some of the tariffs, which dictates the rates that the carriers can charge.  Other rates are not regulated in any way, which produces some misleading practices.  Understanding the services, rates, surcharges, and taxes will facilitate proper monitoring of invoices for accuracy and identify erroneous or inaccurate charges.  The process for procuring services will also be discussed.  Join us to gain clarity on today’s confusing invoices, know how to dispute charges, and what to do when evaluating alternatives. 

This workshop can be taken as a standalone program for those solely responsible for invoicing or taken in conjunction with Telecom 101 to compliment your overall knowledge.  

This course is designed to encourage questions from the participants.  It will be fun and interactive, however no individual will be called upon or singled out.  Some PowerPoint slides will be used to illustrate important points; however, it will not be death by PowerPoint and full of dry bullets. 

The course will cover the following:

  • The complicated and confusing telecommunication carrier invoices
  • How to read and analyze the invoice
  • The regulatory fees, taxes and surcharges that cannot be avoided
  • Usage charges that should be expected on the invoices
  • Hidden charges and tricks the carriers use to inflate total costs
  • Why monitor invoices, and how to monitor
  • Tools for evaluating invoicing and tracking services inventory
  • How to question or dispute charges
  • Methods used to procure new services
  • The benefit of termed agreements vs month to month
  • Knowing contract terms and conditions (beware of auto-renewing agreements)
  • Service Level Agreements
  • Leading Carriers

Learning Outcomes

  • Explain the basics of the carrier services invoices
  • Become familiar with the terminology
  • Define the carrier charges
  • Identify appropriate fees, taxes, and surcharges
  • Recognize how to spot hidden charges
  • Apply the fundamental knowledge to evaluate invoices
  • Identify the steps to take when procuring services
  • Collect negotiating and contracting tips
  • Identify tools for monitoring and managing invoices


12:30 – 1:00 p.m. :: Registration

1:00- 5:00 p.m. :: Workshop Timing

Understanding the Invoice  

  • Monthly Recurring Charges (MRC)
  • Non-Recurring Charges (NRC)
  • Usage Charges
  • Long Distance Detail
  • Mobile and Roaming
  • Bundled Services vs. Monthly Services
  • In-Advance vs. In-Arrear Components
  • Pro-rated Charges
  • Interstate Access Charges (IAC)
  • Interconnection Fee (IFC)
  • Regulatory Fees, Taxes, and Surcharges
  • Other Charges and Fee’s

Evaluating / Validating the Invoice

  • Customer Service Records (CSR)
  • Benchmarks
  • Billing Challenges
  • Over Charges
  • Refundable and Non-Refundable Charges
  • Disputing the Invoice
  • Tracking and Evaluation Tools
  • Call Detail Records (CDR)
  • Spreadsheet vs Software Applications

Procuring Services

  • Request for Information (RFI)
  • Request for Pricing (RFP)
  • General Terms and Conditions
  • Fixed Rate Costs
  • Variable Fees and Hidden Cost Identification
  • Discounted Services
  • Bundled Services vs Monthly Services
  • Volume Discounts
  • Contract Commitments
    • Monthly vs. Annual
    • Methods of Calculation
  • Group Contracts and Convenience Contracts
  • Service Level Agreements (SLA)
  • Installation / Provisioning
  • One-time Fees
  • Equipment Lease
  • Managed Services
    • Renewals and Termination Liability Agreements
  • Vendor Round-up
  • Carriers
  • Brokers
  • Aggregators


J.R. Simmons, Principal Consultant, COMgroup, Inc.

J.R. Simmons has over 40 years of experience in the telecommunications systems industry, including over 30 years as a consultant providing strategic planning, design, analysis, and implementation management skills.  He is considered a thought leader in unified communications and collaboration technologies. J.R. is the owner and Principal Consultant of COMgroup, Inc., which is located in Kirkland Washington. COMgroup is one of the most widely respected independent telecommunications consulting firms in the nation and a recognized leader for telecommunication systems design and communications infrastructure consulting projects.  

As an industry expert J.R. has provided expert testimony in several legal cases.  He contributes to two of the most respected industry web sites (No Jitter and BC Strategies) and frequently gives speeches on a wide variety of telecommunications management and technology subjects.  He taught advanced telecommunications courses for a Community College Certificate program and continues to teach via independent seminars, and educational programs such as this one offered by EUCI.

J.R.’s experience includes work on complex telephone systems and call centers, cabling infrastructure and layer one electronics, and both local and wide area networks.  His current projects tend to focus on strategic planning and business process analysis, but also include data networking design, systems analysis, unified communications, and contact centers. 

COMgroup works with organizations of all sizes with increasingly complex technical environments. As a teacher at heart, J.R. has a passion of sharing his knowledge of trends and emerging technology in an effort to educate others and assist his customers in making the best decisions.  J.R.’s team are experts in all facets of voice and data communications; they provide professional services that incorporate multiple technology disciplines including:

  • Strategic planning
  • Functional and technical requirements definition
  • System design
  • Infrastructure communication design and cabling coordination
  • Contact Center design and operational improvements
  • Carrier services including Telecom Expense Management
  • Telecom facility/utility audit
  • Project management services


Millennium Knickerbocker Hotel Chicago
163 E Walton Pl
Chicago, IL 60611

To reserve your room, please call 1-312-751-8100
Please indicate that you are with the EUCI group to receive the group rate.

Click here to book online

Room Rate:

The room rate is $139.00 single or double plus applicable taxes.

Room Block Dates:

A room block has been reserved for the nights of April 15 – 16, 2018.

Rate Available Until:

Make your reservations prior to March 19, 2018. There are a limited number of rooms available at the conference rate. Please make your reservations early.


Please Note: Confirmed speakers do not need to register and are encouraged to participate in all sessions of the event. If you are a speaker and have any questions please contact our offices at 1.303.770.8800

EventEarly Bird Before
Friday, March 30, 2018
Standard RateAttendees
Telecommunications 101US $ 1195.00US $ 1395.00

This event has the following workshops:

Understanding Telecom InvoicesUS $ 495.00
US $ 595.00

Take advantage of these discounts!

  • Attend the Course and workshop and pay US $ 1,595.00 per attendee (save US $ 95.00 each)

Register 3 Send 4th Free!

Any organization wishing to send multiple attendees to these conferences may send 1 FREE for every 3 delegates registered. Please note that all registrations must be made at the same time to qualify.

Cancellation Policy

Your registration may be transferred to a member of your organization up to 24 hours in advance of the event. Cancellations must be received on or before March 16, 2018 in order to be refunded and will be subject to a US $195.00 processing fee per registrant. No refunds will be made after this date. Cancellations received after this date will create a credit of the tuition (less processing fee) good toward any other EUCI event. This credit will be good for six months from the cancellation date. In the event of non-attendance, all registration fees will be forfeited. In case of conference cancellation, EUCIs liability is limited to refund of the event registration fee only. For more information regarding administrative policies, such as complaints and refunds, please contact our offices at 303-770-8800