Communication between parties at a distance from one another. Modern telecommunication systems—capable of transmitting telephone, fax, data, radio, or television signals—can transmit large volumes of information over long distances. Digital transmission is employed in order to achieve high reliability with minimal noise, or interference, and because it can transmit any signal type, digital or analog. For digital transmission, analog signals must be subjected to a process of analog-to-digital conversion; most television, radio, and voice communications are analog and must be digitized before transmission. Transmission may occur over cables, wireless radio relay systems, or via satellite links.
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United Nations agency headquartered in Geneva. Its roots can be traced to 1865, when the International Telegraph Union was established to coordinate international development of the telegraph. It acquired its present name in 1934 and became a UN specialized agency in 1947. Its activities include regulating allocation of radio frequencies, setting standards on technical and operational matters, and assisting countries in developing their own telecommunications systems.
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An electronic communication network (ECN) is the term used in financial circles for a type of computer system that facilitates trading of financial products outside of stock exchanges. The primary products that are traded on ECNs are stocks and currencies. ECNs came into existence in 1998 when the SEC authorized their creation. ECNs increase competition among trading firms by lowering transaction costs, giving clients full access to their order books, and offering order matching outside of traditional exchange hours.
Some ECNs may offer additional features to subscribers such as negotiation, reserve size, and pegging, and may have access to the entire ECN book (as opposed to the "top of the book") that contains important real-time market data regarding depth of trading interest.
In a credit structure ECNs make a profit from paying liquidity providers a credit while charging a debit to liquidity removers. Their fees range from $0.002 to $0.0027 per share for liquidity providers, and $0.003 to $0.0025 per share for liquidity removers. The fee can be determined by monthly volume provided and removed, or by a fix structure, depending on the ECN, and it's known as a liquidity rebate, or credit. This structure is common on the NASDAQ market. In a classic structure, the ECN will charge a small fee to all market participants using their network, both liquidity providers and removers. They can also give lower price to large liquidity providers in order to attract volume to their networks. Fees for ECNs that operate under a classic structure range from $0 to $0.0015, or even higher depending on each ECN. This fee structure is more common in the NYSE, however recently some ECNs have moved their NYSE operations into a credit structure.
Major ECNs that became active at this time were Instinet and Island (part of Instinet was spun off, merged with Island into INET, and acquired by NASDAQ), Archipelago Exchange (which was acquired by the NYSE) and Brut (now acquired by NASDAQ). Another example of an ECN would be Bloomberg's TradeBook.
ECNs have enjoyed a resurgence since the adoption of SEC Regulation NMS, which required "trade through" protection of orders in the market, regardless of where those orders are placed. The most prominent ECNs currently are Direct Edge ECN (owned by a consortium of Knight Capital Group, Citadel, and Goldman Sachs) BATS Trading and Baxter-FX.