TODAY it seems you can’t turn a corner without bumping into someone using their mobile phone.
Constant communication is now not only possible, it’s expected, and this has become especially true in our professional lives.
In fact it’s hard to believe that the way it is now isn’t the way it has always been.
With a history dating back almost 150 years, telecommunication has helped to shape the life and work of almost every person living in the UK. We now have so many choices that we need to take on board the advice of professionals in order to determine which specifications will best suit our needs.
Up until the 1970s, static landlines were the only option for the majority, with exceptions for hand held devices in cars and military vehicles.
Then came the development of the mobile phone as we know it. First introduced in the USA in 1973, the first generation of mobile phone allowed a maximum talk time of just 30 minutes and required a ten hour battery recharge period.
Produced by Motorola’s chief of portable communication products, J.F. Mitchell, the device weighed almost 1kg and was nicknamed, ‘the brick’.
It wasn’t until 20 years later that the second generation (2G) of mobile phones was introduced to the UK market. With the addition of SMS texting and a more compact casing, this model became widely popular not only with business professionals, but in the mass market.
After another decade a new form of mobile device began to emerge, the smartphone. A combination of the usual cellular communication and internet facilities, both the third and fourth generation (3G and 4G) models of mobile phone allow for a wireless connection to emails and web browsers, making them the ultimate business tool.
Although 4G offers faster internet speed, there are very little other variants between this and the less advanced 3G models. The main differences come instead from which network provider you sign up with.
The history of telecommunications cannot however be attributed to mobile phones only. The introduction of broadband also had a significant impact on the way we conduct our business communication.
Until the late ’90s, the majority of homes and businesses used a dial-up internet connection. The introduction of broadband allowed for more users to be online at any given time and drastically increased the amount of bandwidth available which in turn led to a complete overhaul of the way we use the internet.
One example of this comes in the form of Voice over Internet Protocol, otherwise known as VoIP. Online video and voice calls through outlets such as Skype and FaceTime are only available thanks to the introduction of broadband and this is currently being improved upon as bandwidth increases.
VOIP technology effectively offers a phone service which operates through internet connections, rather than standard landlines. The service has proven to be extremely popular with business owners thanks to its flexible nature and the ability it offers to receive calls at the same number, wherever you are.
Understanding the evolution of communications is essential when it comes to making predictions about the advancements that are still to come.
Over the past 150 years, businesses have found it increasingly easier to communicate, and this is sure to continue in the future. In a working environment which often demands 24-7 communication, any further advancement that is made cannot come soon enough.