Evolution of Telephone – The Journey From the First Telephone to VoIP Phone6 min read
Nobody is ignorant from the fact that the first telephone was invented by Alexander Graham Bell in March 1876. That is where the telecommunications field of modern times takes its roots from.
This invention would perhaps not have gathered much attention, which Bell’s weak expectations said, but it was the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, where Brazil’s Emperor Dom Pedro de Alcantara took notice of this rather interesting manmade invention. He could not help but be amazed by bell’s profound creativity, which reflected in his creation the telephone.
In the early days, telephone was only seen as a luxury of life rather than a commodity. It only gained more popularity as an essential medium of communication at the time when many corporate and government offices began to use it.
During the 1880’s, when metallic circuits were introduced, they took over long distance communications. However, for a decade, its usage remained restricted to a certain class who could afford paying for the heavy calling expenses. Until in the 1890’s, with the emergence of party line, it became convenient for people living in rural areas in particular to divide the cost of the line used by many.
Prior to 1891, calls were made by exchange operators, but until a new system for direct dialing system. Then there it was putting telephone to its best use in 1927, when the first transatlantic phone call was made with the help of radio waves. It was the throughout the time of First and Second World War, when telephone went through a major developmental period, all thanks to the huge expenditures made by the Defense Department for ensuring safer communication across. These series of advancements also led to the creation of the first mobile telephone system, which easily connected mobile vehicles to phones using radio waves.
In 60’s era, the transatlantic cables were introduced to facilitate for dialing international calls.
Nevertheless, the biggest shifts seen in the history of telephones was in 1962, when the first telephone satellite TelStar was launched. Telstar was a joint business venture between Bell and NASA for brining in a more advanced form of communication. This paved way for satellites revolving within the geosynchronous orbit to be used for making long distance calls directly without relying on the cable lines, not to mention suffering because of the repeated cable damage and repair pain.
Fiber optic cables were first introduced in 1977. By mid 80’s, fiber optic cable took precedence over other modes of telephone transmission, because it could facilitate higher number of calls with lesser interference, compared to its predecessor methods. It could transmit information more quickly to farther areas and strongly resisted any mishaps particularly lightning strikes. In short, it offered a number of advantages and safer than other modes. Owing to the benefits, these fiber optic cables also began to be used for computers too.
After the US government relaxed the regulations on telephone service, AT&T met up to face a tough competition from MCI, Sprint and many other local companies. This paved way for fiber optic lines to be used vastly in every industry, even began to be used for natural gas pipelines and railroad tracks.
It was in 1973 when Dr. Martin Cooper belonging to Motorola Corporation created the first cellular telephone call using a portable handset, namely the Dyna-Tac. After it accomplished a successful test run, it was introduced in New York Public. It was in 1977 when the cell phone became popular among the people. Initially introduced models seemed slightly bigger and commonly used by those who were used to stay in touch by two-way radio communication mode. At that time, one could not imagine that it was going to be used by everyone. Cellular phones functioned with small “cells” for service range, to increase the facility of handling more calls. Cell phones made it possible to attend an increased number of calls at a time in one area.
However, initially, the primary cellular services rather used analog system of technology, which functioned at 800 Megahertz incessantly. As the time went on, the industry increased the standard to 1850 MHz with PCS. In 1988, a committee, namely Cellular Technology Industry Association, was formed to formulate guidelines and put on regulations for the cellular service providers and functioned for development and growth of the cell phone industry. Today, we have approximately over 60 million cellular telephone customers, an overwhelming huge number for a service that only started working commercially merely thirty years back.
Today, we use digital cell/mobile phones, in place of analogue phones. The digital technology transfers data in form of “pulses”. The benefit of digital signals is that they are rather more securely transmitted compared to its analog contenders, and it gives more efficient bandwidth and a higher quality of sound. You can even share videos and photos while surfing the internet. All at the same time integrated within your phones.
However, in digital technology there is a slight problem with coverage. For example, owing to three different technologies a cellular phone uses, in case you are using a TDMA (time-division multiple access) system but you move in an area, which caters to CDMA (code-division multiple access) digital coverage, then you might have to face technology problems.
There is a perfect solution for it and the united analog-digital technology that the cell phone providers are shifting to. This way you can get excellent great coverage for all types of communication, with high speed and uncompromising quality.
To talk about the first “audio conferencing” to be ever used could be the time when part lines had been introduced for the first time back in telephone’s early days. Although, at that time, the only benefit people could seek from the part lines was the economical factor but there was a problem that a number of people in dissimilar locations could pick up and talk on the same simultaneously, leading to an eavesdropping situation and zero privacy element.
The idea of calling a number of people, which was initially derived from part lines, was revived again but this time in a better and more private package. It had time limitations and only to be accessed in times of need.
Following this notion, companies all over the world began to offer services, which coordinated a facility for conference calling for companies, giving them fixed rates, monthly fees or based on the number of calls made. This served fruitful as it saved traveling expenses and other calling expenditures. They provided a trained operator to enable connections between every participant onto a dedicated line. This way, a group of people could easily communicate with one another all at one time. The service providers offered affordable rates to their customers.
Sooner, many telephone-manufacturing companies namely Polycom, AT&T and Panasonic developed office telephone systems that allowed office users to invite a client, put them on hold and then dial up another party. This helped in building a multiple-connection set up for callers to communicate easily with more than two people at a time to discuss significant business deals.
Along came internet, which happens to be the best communication medium ever created throughout the history of mankind. The Internet paced up the competition between phone service providers, particularly challenging the audio conferencing facility and the long distance calling cost. Nevertheless, they have lowered their calling costs to a greater extent, yet the unbeatable broadband phone or internet phone is becoming everyone’s favorite, beating its contender – the traditional telephone, because it is much cheaper and affordable.
Voip, which stands for “Voice Over Internet Protocol” is now the most popular mean of communication because it charges only for call, no regulatory taxes or hidden charges, like the charges put up by traditional phone companies. Voip phones or broadband phone use high-speed internet to function and let you enjoy the same quality of service offered by traditional phones. You can not only make calls with your voip phone but also the high-speed internet phone lets you enjoy services of high-speed data transfer services like data sharing, audio conferencing and video conferencing. With voip, you are guaranteed to save a lot on your calling and communication needs.
VoIP offers you audio conferencing facility to network with multiple groups or parties no matter what their geographical locations are. This enables the customers to connect with their clients spread worldwide and arrange for a virtual meeting online. Today, Voip calling solutions are being provided by Axvoice, Vonage, 8×8, Voxwire, Packet 8, TTCGlobalTalk and VoiceCafe among many others, giving an excellent quality of service.