/tel"eks/, n.1. (sometimes cap.) a two-way teletypewriter service channeled through a public telecommunications system for instantaneous, direct communication between subscribers at remote locations.2. a teletypewriter used to send or receive on such a service.3. a message transmitted by telex.v.t.4. to send (a message) by telex: We telex instructions to the agent.5. to send a message by telex to: They telexed the Paris office.[1930-35; TEL(EPRINTER) + EX(CHANGE)]
* * *International telegraphic message-transfer service consisting of a network of teleprinters.Subscribers to a telex service can exchange textual communications and data directly with one another. Telex systems originated in Europe in the early 1930s and were widely used for several decades. The ability to conduct high-speed digital communication over regular telephone lines led to a decline in the use of telex, but it is still used as a data transmission service for applications in which high transmission speeds are not necessary or in areas where more modern data equipment is not available.
* * *international telegraphic message-transfer service consisting of a network of teleprinters (teleprinter). Subscribers to a telex service can exchange textual communications and data directly with one another. Communication is opened by entering the assigned call number of the destination subscriber, using a dial or the teleprinter's keyboard. The typed message is converted to a low-bit-rate electrical signal, which is transmitted over channels leased from the telephone system and routed by switching centres operated by the telex provider. When the message arrives at the destination teleprinter, it is either printed immediately or stored for subsequent printing or display on a cathode-ray tube monitor.Telex systems originated in the United Kingdom and several other European countries during the early 1930s. In 1931 the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T (AT&T Corporation)) introduced its teletypewriter exchange service, TWX. Since that time telex systems in the United States have been operated by private corporations, while in most other countries they have been operated by government agencies responsible for postal, telegraph, or telephone services. In 1962 the Western Union Telegraph Company (Western Union Corporation) established its Telex system in the United States (where the name Telex is a registered trademark); eight years later it acquired TWX from AT&T. Telex and TWX could not communicate directly with one another because the keyboard coding schemes and transmission speeds were different for the two systems. The Telex system employed the five-bit Baudot Code, while TWX employed the seven-bit American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII). The Telex system transmitted at a maximum of 75 words per minute, while the TWX system transmitted at approximately 150 words per minute. The amalgamated systems were connected by processing computers that translated between the two codes during transmission. This permitted direct communication, though on a somewhat delayed basis.The ability to conduct high-speed digital communication—particularly facsimile (fax) transmission—over nonleased, dial-up telephone lines has led to a decline in the use of telex. (Western Union sold its Telex network to AT&T in 1990, before declaring bankruptcy in 1993.) Nevertheless, telex is still available as a data-transmission service for applications in which high transmission speeds are not necessary or for areas where more modern data equipment may not be available. In many countries the system has been modernized by computer-based switching, which provides enhanced performance and also allows automated conversion to and from formats used in other data-transmission services. See also teleprinter.
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