Evolution of Telephone – The Journey From the First Telephone to VoIP Phone

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.

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The Telephone – A Brief History

During the 1870’s, two well known inventors both independently designed devices that could transmit sound along electrical cables. Those inventors were Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray. Both devices were registered at the patent office within hours of each other. There followed a bitter legal battle over the invention of the telephone, which Bell subsequently won.

The telegraph and telephone are very similar in concept, and it was through Bell’s attempts to improve the telegraph that he found success with the telephone.

The telegraph had been a highly successful communication system for about 30 years before Bell began experimenting. The main problem with the telegraph was that it used Morse code, and was limited to sending and receiving one message at a time. Bell had a good understanding about the nature of sound and music. This enabled him to perceive the possibility of transmitting more than one message along the same wire at one time. Bell’s idea was not new, others before him had envisaged a multiple telegraph. Bell offered his own solution, the “Harmonic Telegraph”. This was based on the principal that musical notes could be sent simultaneously down the same wire, if those notes differed in pitch.

By the latter part of 1874 Bell’s experiment had progressed enough for him to inform close family members about the possibility of a multiple telegraph. Bell’s future father in law, attorney Gardiner Green Hubbard saw the opportunity to break the monopoly exerted by the Western Union Telegraph Company. He gave Bell the financial backing required for him to carry on his work developing the multiple telegraph. However Bell failed to mention that he and his accomplice, another brilliant young electrician Thomas Watson, were developing an idea which occurred to him during the summer. This idea was to create a device that could transmit the human voice electrically.

Bell and Watson continued to work on the harmonic telegraph at the insistence of Hubbard and a few other financial backers. During March 1875 Bell met with a man called Joseph Henry without the knowledge of Hubbard. Joseph Henry was the respected director of the Smithsonian Institution. He listened closely to Bell’s ideas and offered words of encouragement. Both Bell and Watson were spurred on by Henry’s opinions and continued their work with even greater enthusiasm and determination. By June 1875 they realised their goal of creating a device that could transmit speech electrically would soon be realised. Their experiments had proven different tones would vary the strength of an electric current in a wire.

Now all they had to do was build a device with a suitable membrane capable of turning those tones into varying electronic currents and a receiver to reproduce the variations and turn them back into audible format at the other end. In early June, Bell discovered that while working on his harmonic telegraph, he could hear a sound over the wire. It was the sound of a twanging clock spring. It was on March 10th 1876 that Bell was to finally realise the success and communications potential of his new device. The possibilities of being able to talk down an electrical wire far outweighed those of a modified telegraph system, which was essentially based on just dots and dashes.

According to Bell’s notebook entry for that date, he describes his most successful experiment using his new piece of equipment, the telephone. Bell spoke to his assistant Watson, who was in the next room, through the instrument and said “Mr Watson, come here, I want to speak to you”.

Alexander Graham Bell was born on 3rd March 1847 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His family were leading authorities in elocution and speech correction. He was groomed and educated to follow a career in the same speciality. By the age of just 29 in 1876 he had invented and patented the telephone. His thorough knowledge of sound and acoustics helped immensely during the development of his telephone, and gave him the edge over others working on similar projects at that time. Bell was an intellectual of quality rarely found since his death. He was a man always striving for success and searching for new ideas to nurture and develop.

The telephone – important dates

1. 1874 – Principal of the telephone was uncovered.

2. 1876 – Alexander Graham Bell invents the telephone, beating Elisha Gray by a matter of hours.

3. 1877 – The very first permanent outdoor telephone wire was completed. It stretched a distance of just three miles. This was closely followed in the U.S. by the worlds first commercial telephone service.

4. 1878 – The workable exchange was developed, which enabled calls to be switched between subscribers rather than having direct lines.

5. 1879 – Subscribers began to be designated by numbers and not their names.

6. 1880’s – Long distance service expanded throughout this period using metallic circuits.

7. 1888 – Common battery system developed by Hammond V. Hayes, allows one central battery to power all telephones on an exchange, rather than relying on each units own battery.

8. 1891 – First automatic dialling system invented by a Kansas City undertaker. He believed that crooked operators were sending his potential customers elsewhere. It was his aim to get rid of the operators altogether.

9. 1900 – First coin operated telephone installed in Hartford, Connecticut.

10. 1904 – “French Phone” developed by the Bell Company. This had the transmitter and receiver in a simple handset.

11. 1911 – American Telephone and Telegraph (AT & T) acquire the Western Union Telegraph Company in a hostile takeover. They purchased stocks in the company covertly and the two eventually merged.

12. 1918 – It was estimated that approximately ten million Bell system telephones were in service throughout the U.S.

13. 1921 – The switching of large numbers of calls was made possible through the use of phantom circuits. This allowed three conversations to take place on two pairs of wires.

14. 1927 – First transatlantic service from New York to London became operational. The signal was transmitted by radio waves.

15. 1936 – Research into electronic telephone exchanges began and was eventually perfected in the 1960’s with the electronic switching system (SES).

16. 1946 – Worlds first commercial mobile phone service put into operation. It could link moving vehicles to a telephone network via radio waves.

17. 1947 – Microwave radio technology used for the first time for long distance phone calls.

18. 1947 – The transistor was invented at Bell laboratories.

19. 1955 – Saw the beginning of the laying of transatlantic telephone cables.

20. 1962 – The worlds first international communications satellite, Telstar was launched.

21. 1980’s – The development of fibre optic cables during this decade, offered the potential to carry much larger volumes of calls than satellite or microwaves.

22. 1980’s, 1990’s, to present – Huge advances in micro electronic technology over the last two decades have enabled the development of cellular (mobile) phones to advance at a truly astonishing rate. A cellular (mobile) phone has its own central transmitter allowing it to receive seamless transmissions as it enters and exits a cell.

Some people believe the impact of the telephone has had on our lives is negative. Whatever your beliefs, it is un-doubtable that the invention and development of the telephone has had a massive impact on the way we live our lives and go about our every day business.

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How to Maintain Your Business Phone System

Business phone system is a critical component of business communications and a faulty telephone system can seriously impair all aspects of business functioning. Several extraordinary advancements have taken place in the field of telephone communications and today you have VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) telephone systems, hosted PBXs, online fax services etc.

Most companies are able to stay and survive and thrive in business because of the Internet and today’s advanced telephone features and facilities. It is only natural that every business, regardless of its size and scale of operations, want to avail the latest business phone system with all its attendant features.

Small and mid-size business enterprises are obviously not in a position to employ technicians to maintain the telephone systems in their office and strictly speaking, there is no need to permanently hire such personnel. Today there are a host of VoIP service providers, online fax service providers, toll-free number service providers, hosted PBX providers etc. In fact, you are not even required to buy any costly hardware – much less maintain them.

Besides, most telephone systems are scalable and it is not required that you overbuy all the telephone features and facilities right now in one go. You can arrange with your service company to provide only such telephone features and telephone facilities you need now and gradually upgrade them as your business expands.

Most telephone service providers are sensitive to your business communication needs and will offer you only the features and facilities you now require and be willing to expand the scope of their services as your business grows. Besides, as there are telephone service providers galore, they will offer you effective support and competitive rates.

Certain basic telephone features and facilities are very important and not dispensable by even small businesses. The main facilities required by the phone services are the facility to put the caller on hold and the facility to transfer the call to another system if required by the caller. Most businesses will also need Internet fax facilities and from a marketing angle even toll-free numbers.

The loss that your business can suffer if your business phone system malfunctions or goes dead even for few hours is unimaginable. This apart, your customers and business associates will feel terribly annoyed if they are not able to access your phones and may as well turn to your competitors. It is said construction is difficult but reconstruction is doubly difficult. You will be hard put to regain your customers once you lose them to your competitors.

It is therefore of paramount importance that you tie up with the right telephone service provider who is reputed and reliable and offers you 24 x 7 uninterrupted back-up support and competitive rates. You will have to verify the track record and thoroughly satisfy yourself about the phone service provider. Most phone service providers are aware of their critical roles and will wholly support you to avoid the business loss.

It is also important that your ISP provider is equally efficient as bulk of today’s business phone system works in tandem with high speed Internet connection.

What Are the Advantages of an Underground Drainage System?

When constructing your home or making improvements in your property or garden, one important area that must be considered is that of an efficient drainage system. This can prevent a number of undesirable problems occurring as well as even protecting your health.

All too often many homeowners never think about issues such as flooding or water contamination until they happen, by which time they can be faced with costly repair bills on top of the now evident need to install an effective drainage system. So what are underground drainage systems, and what are their advantages?

An underground drainage system is a solution for collecting excess water and transporting it via underground pipes to a suitable waste water disposal area. Typical water collection sites include guttering and grates in several strategic points around a property, yard or garden, and this group of systems supplies the underground drainage pipes with excess water.

The first obvious advantage of the such systems is that it is out of sight. Other drainage systems that do not use underground pipes can be quite unsightly leaving homeowners searching for a solution that is more pleasant in appearance. Underground drainage systems are out of sight and out of mind whilst they do their job serving your property. The other most significant benefit of the underground drainage system is that it prevents the obvious accumulation of water that comes with not having an efficient system in place. As one can imagine, a complete system can stop rainwater pooling in spaces at the exterior of the property, including in yards and gardens.

Water logging in these kinds of areas can kill the plants of enthusiastic gardeners and provide a serious safety hazard for anyone who has to walk through a flooded area. In addition to this, water that has pooled in a specific area can cause damage to property, machinery or other objects it is in contact with.

Underground drainage also supplies keen gardeners with another major advantages; their plot of land will not be destroyed by soil erosion caused by inefficient draining of excess water. Water which becomes stagnant in the ground can turn soil into a muddy mass, meaning that plants will not only die, but soil can be eroded away, potentially ruining a garden. There is another key advantage to installing an underground drainage system in a property, which affects the health and safety of its occupiers.

In times when your region experiences periods of extremely heavy weather, you may be a victim of flash floods. Flash floods can unfortunately bring contaminants into a garden or property, meaning that potentially dangerous elements can enter into the home and therefore come into contact with the residents. An underground drainage system supplies the occupiers with a sense of security that their property is at reduced risk of being affected in this way. With such systems in place, excess water from flooding and the potentially harmful materials it contains is transported away from the premises so no one living in the property is negatively affected.

A disadvantage; however, to underground drainage systems, is that they can be expensive to install and maintain. That said, it is a factor worth considering when an excess of water threatens the livelihood of a garden, home and its occupiers. Drainage supplies are available from a number of reputable stockists that can enable a competent DIYer to install a simple system of their owner. Similarly, trained professionals can obtain high quality supplies in order to put an effective system in place for you. Either way, an underground drainage system brings many benefits to a home and its residents, and is an option to seriously consider when constructing new house or simply making improvements to an existing one.