Evolution of the telecom industry

Telecommunication is defined as the science and technology of communication over a distance. The ability to convey information quickly, accurately, and efficiently has always been one of the main focuses driving human innovation.

Prehistoric period: Fires, beacons, smoke signals, communication drums, horns: Man’s first attempts at distance communication were extremely limited. Prehistoric man relied on fire and smoke signals as well as drum messages to encode information over a limited geographic area as they attempted to contact neighboring clans.

5th century BCE: Pigeon post: Persia and Syria are credited with establishing the first pigeon messaging system around the 5th century BCE with pigeons that have an uncanny ability to find their way back to their nests regardless of the distance. Travelers would bring doves and pigeons along with them, attach messages to them and release them to fly back home.

15th century CE: Maritime flag semaphore: The ability to communicate between ships was very difficult before the 15th century. At that time, flag semaphore, a special code involving the positions of two hand-held flags, was introduced. Each position and motion represented a letter or number. This made it very easy for fleets to communicate.

1838: Electrical telegraph: Samuel B Morse had been working on the idea of a recording telegraph. He realized that when connecting two model telegraphs together and running electricity through a wire, you could send messages by holding or releasing the buttons in a series of intervals. This became known as Morse code and laid the foundation for modern land-line phones.

1858: First trans-Atlantic telegraph cable: At this point, most of Britain and the United States had telegraph stations and were able to regularly communicate within their own countries, but a man named Cyrus Field wanted to lay the first transatlantic telephone cable to connect England and the United States by telegraph. This project was finally completed in August of 1858.

1876: Telephones: The year 1876 was a big one for Alexander Graham Bell. Having come to the US as a teacher for the deaf, he had been trying to figure out a way to transmit speech electronically. Despite little support from his friends, he successfully invented the telephone in March of 1876.

1880: Telephony via light-beam photophones: In 1880, Alexander Graham Bell took the money he’d received for successfully creating the telephone, set up a lab and got to work improving his invention. The fruit of his labor was the photophone, a device capable of transmitting sound in a beam of light. In essence, Bell had made the first wireless call in history!

1893: Wireless telegraphy: Nikolai Tesla was the first to successfully transmit radio waves wirelessly through a transmitter in 1893. He patented his work, which was lucky because shortly after that, Guglielmo Marconi, another inventor, alleged that Tesla had copied his work. Tesla continued to experiment with wireless transmission and attempted to create a more efficient light bulb.

1915: First North American transcontinental telephone calling: Alexander Graham Bell is back in the history books again after he made the first coast-to-coast call by phone in January of 1915 to his assistant. It was the first long-distance call made in history from a land-line. It has significance because it made long-distance communication all over the country a reality.

1969: Computer networking: In October of 1969, the first data travelled between nodes of the ARPANET, a predecessor of the Internet. This was the first computer network and was invented by Charley Kline and Bill Duvall.

1983: Internet: On January 1, 1983, the Internet was officially born. ARPANET officially switched its old network control protocols (NCP) and Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) became standard.

1998: Mobile satellite hand-held phones: The first canopy of 64 satellites was put into place by a company called Iridium in 1998. They also produced the first hand-held satellite phones, which were smaller and less cumbersome than the earlier “bag” phones. This revolutionized mobile telecommunications and would lead to the modern smartphone.

2003: VoIP Internet telephony: In 2003, phone calls were now capable of being transmitted over a computer through Internet protocols. This meant that long-distance charges were not applicable, as callers would use already-established computer networks.

The future of telecoms is certainly an interesting area and as technological advancements improve at an ever-increasing speed, who knows what the future will hold?

Glow’s role

Here at Glow, we believe in keeping pace with the latest technological developments and staying one step ahead of the competition. We make sure that we follow best practices when it comes to serving our clients’ needs. As evolution never stops, we will see great things happening in the future!

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