Telecommunication is the transmission of signs, signals, messages, writings, images and sounds or intelligence of any nature by wire, radio, optical or other electromagnetic systems. Telecommunication occurs when the exchange of information between communication participants includes the use of technology. It is transmitted either electrically over physical media, such as cables, or via electromagnetic radiation. Such transmission paths are often divided into communication channels which afford the advantages of multiplexing. The term is often used in its plural form, telecommunications, because it involves many different technologies.