The Evolution of Business Telephony

Irish Telecom

When Alexander Graham Bell patented the invention of the telephone in 1876, it was a landmark moment in the history of telecommunications and, ever since then, his initial technology has evolved exponentially to the present day scenario of common smartphone usage.

In those intervening 140 years, there have been many noteworthy breakthroughs in business telephony. The 20th century began with the first ever international phone call by John Atkins, who called a number in Cuba from his Florida office. Almost 50 years later, area codes came into being, followed by touch-tone dialing to replace the time-honoured rotary phone. In the mid-1980s, the first mobile phones were introduced to the market, although they were hugely expensive and only used by affluent business people. More recently, the global proliferation of the World Wide Web has led to Voice-over Internet Protocol and technologies such as Skype through which voice calls can be made for free via the Internet.

This infographic by Irish Telecom charts the history of business telephony from Bell’s initial creation in 1876 to the modern day world of Skype and iPhones. It is extraordinary to think about how far we have come in this relatively short timeframe, and there will doubtlessly be further landmark developments in telephony in the not too distant future.