Telecommunication, as defined by Issa Asad, is communication over a distance by cable, telegraph, telephone, or broadcasting. It originates from French, with the prefix ‘tele’ meaning ‘at a distance’. But it means so much more than a textbook definition. It is how we in the modern age communicate—our entire lives, we have known technology to be an aid of communication. Even before the technological advances, people have been communicating at a distance through any means available. How has it developed? Find out the crucial history of telecommunications that many don’t take the time to discover.
In the times before modern technology, many people discovered a wide array of uses for light and sound; specifically for communication purposes. Fires, smoke signals, and drums were popular choices for communicating with others over a distance. However, there were many flaws with this form of communication, and had a lot of room to improve upon. This improvement was finally discovered in the 1800s, with the introduction of electricity.
1843 saw the introduction of Samuel Morse’s telegraph system, revolutionizing the world of distance communications. This single wire transmitter allowed for coded signals to be sent at great distances, expanding the boundaries of rapid communication.
Later in the century, Alexander Graham Bell took the ideas of Morse and greatly improved upon them, wanting to create a device that could transmit sounds rather than codes. His success led to the invention of the first telephone. Soon after the invention of the telephone came the Public Switched Telephone Network, further expanding the way people communicated.
The Jump to Modernity
1923 saw the invention of the first television, breaking into the first form of visual telecommunication, and forever changing the course of the industry. The mid-20th Century saw a rapid development of telecommunications, including transistors (which boost and exchange electrical signals), integrated circuits, and microprocessors.
The microprocessor is the basis for all modern computing technology, and is a pivotal moment in the telecommunication industry’s history. Without the advent of the microprocessor, we would not be able to quickly communicate with others as we do with computers and the internet. It is arguably one of the top developments for the telecommunication field.
Foundations for Modern Telecommunications
The internet is the most important tool for modern communication methods. With its history tracing back to the mid-1950s, the internet connects millions of users together into one net of global exchange and communication. The internet is being developed daily to improve quality and features. Some key improvements include:
Mobile Broadband- also known as wireless internet, mobile broadband makes accessing the internet even easier, and at many different locations across the globe.
Cloud Computing- the advent of cloud computing brought forth a new age of network expansion and connectivity. Cloud technology allows for multiple computers to store and organize data, rather than a single hard drive, greatly improving accessibility.
The development of the telecommunications industry is a very rich and complex history, highlighted by important developments and progresses. With the foundations already set, the industry has a bright future of exponential progress.