The New Era of Telephones and Pagers

The most popular electronic communications system ever invented, the telephone, is a mainstay in households and business communities. Worldwide, it is still the primary means of communication for distance calling. Extending its use, a pager or beeper is a personal utility that links itself to a telephone usage.

Although there are controversies as to who the invention is attributed to, this piece of gadget has grown from just a two party calling system to a variation in functionality and range of features the world has grown accustomed. It has become a staple in home and institutions as a source of the rapidly growing inter-relations of internet communication devices.

Over the years, as communications increasingly grew at a tremendous speed in terms of technology, the telephone became one of the leading applications of transfer technology. Telephone cables became the means of sending sound and transmitting messages.

Defining the use of telephones

A telephone is an electronic communications device that converts a user’s voice into an analog signal which then transmits and receives sounds over distances. This telecommunications device has numerous functions depending on the system which it supports.

Fax, a short cut for the term facsimile is a communications device technology used universally in institutions to transfer copies of documents, letter, or messages operating over the telephone network. This is usually done by sending image data over a telephone line.

Mobile telephone or what is commonly referred to as wireless or cellular phone is another electronic device for mobile communication using the standard voice function of the telephone. Additionally it supports services and accessories such as an SMS (short message service) for text messaging, access to the internet, and receiving and sending photos and video, among others.

SATphone or what is known as satellite telephone is another mobile phone device that communicates directly with orbiting communications satellite. It may cover the entire earth or specific regions depending on the structure of the system. The phone equipment is called a terminal or earth station. This system is used primarily in expeditions in remote areas where cellular service cannot function.

Emergency telephones or call boxes stationed mostly along major freeways, university campuses along coastlines in some countries. They are strategically placed in areas where there is a need to make emergency calls. An identifier such as, a caller ID or route mile port reading to gauge the location allows authorities to know where the call is coming from.

Because of the prevailing presence of the cellular phones, a lot of cities are discontinuing the use of these phones. However, in places where the cellular service providers do not have the range, emergency telephones are still a big presence.

IP (Internet Protocol) telephony is a modern form of telephony using TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) transmission protocol popularized by the internet to send digitized voice data.

When used on a personal computer an IP telephone is referred to as a Softphone, a software used to make calls over the internet using a PC.

IP telephony is the next big thing with regard to telephones. This new phone technology is sweeping Asia, particularly Japan and South Korea, by storm. Some 10% of subscribers have already switched as of January 2005.

Before the emergence of the cell phones, pagers were the big fad in personal communications. One-way numeric pagers usually accepted telephone numbers sent to it and the user can only call up the number to return the message. When alphanumeric pagers emerged, short messages similar to text messages were sent.

But because of the big entrance of the cell phones in the 1990s, the pagers became obsolete as a personal communication device. It is now only used by people working in emergency units, medical professions, and information technology staff.

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