Participant (communication system)

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The term participant in a communication network means the users of the services ( English subscriber ) connected via terminals of a communication network can exchange information with other participants. The terms subscriber, terminal, and terminal often appear synonymous in connection-oriented systems.

A subscriber

When A-subscriber (engl. Call originator or calling party ) is referred to at a dial-up connection to those subscribers who initiated the connection. The selected participant is called a B participant. In the case of a connection via a public telephone network , the A-subscriber usually has to bear the costs of the connection.

B subscriber

In a dial-up connection, a B-subscriber ( called party ) is the subscriber who was dialed by the A-subscriber. The B-subscriber can either request the connection

  • accept and thus establish the connection,
  • not accept or
  • reject.

For some services within a public telephone network (for example, a collect call ), the B-subscriber must exceptionally bear the costs of the connection.


A terminal is the place where a subscriber A comes into contact with the communications network with the help of a terminal . Here both the signals for controlling the connection and the information that the users exchange are transferred to the network. Several terminals can be connected to one terminal, which can be used by several participants at the same time.

A phone number identifies a terminal ( also a terminal in ISDN ) in a telephone network . Several devices and services can be reached via this number (e.g. telephone , fax machine , modem ). Several participants can be in contact with one call ( receiver , loudspeaker ). A subscriber does not necessarily have to be reachable at a terminal. There are usually static assignments between the terminal and the number and between the number and person (s).

The type of connection between the participants via the communication system determines the possible exchange of information. In broadcast systems, such as radio , many receiving participants (B) are connected. If a return channel is available, interactive services (e.g. interactive television ) can be set up - limited to consultation with the sending subscriber (A). In the case of telephone conferences, several participants are connected together so that everyone can speak to everyone at the same time.


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