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Good question. As you suggested, it means many different things to many
different people. For us, "telecom" is the buzzword we use to describe the
industry we cater our software to. Though I mostly hear "telecom" used to
describe the market, Newton's TELECOM Dictionary, Updated 15th Expanded
Edition defines it as the following:
"A shortened and perfectly acceptable way of saying the word
British equivalent: "telecoms"
If you look up "telecommunications" you'll get a general definition and a
reference to "telephony", and the definition explodes from there.
Therefore, by association, "telecom" can be and is used to describe pretty
much any aspect of telecommunications, market and practice.