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A communications system is a collection of communications equipment that is integrated into a coherent system. These allow different people to stay in touch over a geographical system. One major application is in disaster response. With a communications system, firefighters, police and paramedics can coordinate their efforts with other government officials.
A communications system is an integrated system of communications hardware. This can include transmissions equipment, relay stations, tributary stations and other data terminal equipment. A communications system can even include other communications systems. A good example would be a regional emergency response communications system that connects several different cities and allows them to respond to a disaster by integrating systems they have installed for their own police and firefighters.
Communications systems can include optical communications networks such as fiber-optic cables, radio and even power line communications. A sophisticated system might mix and match these different types of media.
Another distinction in types of communication is duplex communications. Duplex communications allow both parties to communicate to each other at the same time.
Examples of communications systems in action include tactical networks that allow armed forces to stay in touch with central command securely. Another major application is emergency communications systems that allow officials and first responders to send messages to each other and to the public, such as through the U.S. Emergency Alert System (EAS) and outdoor warning sirens.
Yet another communication system type is an automatic call distributor, which queues calls from outside an organization for routing to certain people. These are typically seen in call centers.