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The Evolution of Voice Communication: Past, Present, and Future


4 min


Telephony has transformed drastically over the years and has been a fundamental tool used in communicating for all industries and businesses. From telegraphs to smartphones and cloud-based products, telecommunication has evolved and transformed the way we connect, collaborate, and communicate. In this blog we will dive into how telecom has transformed over the years and what we can expect in the future of communication.

The Past

The first voice communication invention dates to 1876 when Alexander Graham Bell invented the first telephone that changed and shaped what communication is today. In 1877, following Bell’s successful voice transmission device the Bell Telephone Company (now AT&T) was formed. In 1915 Bell made the first intercontinental call from New York to San Francisco making The Bell Telephone Company a nationwide success and quickly expanding across the world allowing people to make and receive voice transmissions using Bell’s invention. Continuing into the 20th century the telephone quickly expanded across continents. In the 1890s the first rotary phone and switchboards were developed which made calling more efficient, causing a rapid expansion as the telephone became a main staple for households and businesses.

Telecommunication eventually continued to evolve with satellite and cabling around the world and further propelled the reach for telephony on a global scale. While PRIs or Primary Rate interface was the main handoff for businesses to use it was limited on scalability and prone to outages from weather related activity which led the way for SIP or Session Initiation Protocol Trunks to be introduced in the 1990s helping businesses utilize Internet to transmit voice and paving the way to how we communicate today.

The Present

In the current world of telephony smartphones, VoIP, and collaboration video tools such as Webex and Microsoft Teams are the modern approach that businesses are taking to keep their communication productive and seamless. VoIP has continued to be a main staple for many businesses that have recently pivoted away from traditional landlines known as PRIs. While PRIs are very redundant and secure, they can be costly and limited on scalability for many businesses with only allowing 23 channels or simultaneous calls at a time. In 1995 SIP Trunks were introduced as a faster and much cheaper option for businesses to transmit voice communication and are still used today. SIP Trunks or Session Internet Protocol helps transmit voice packets to allow a much easier and scalable option for businesses.

A major pivot in how we communicate today was influenced by the pandemic in 2020 when employees were forced to work and stay connected remotely causing a major impact on the telecommunication industry and thus the rise in “telecommuting.” As the pandemic finally started to ease restrictions many companies already adopted a solution that kept employees connected and productive from their home offices. Many workers today are still following a hybrid work model or continue to work remotely.

Teams, Zoom, and Webex are three most common used collaboration tools used today and the uptick in licensing and usage went up an exorbitant amount in 2020 and continues to grow year after year as many companies are realizing remote and hybrid working is here to stay. Even the medical field has adopted their own collaboration tools known as “telemedicine” so they can see their patients and even prescribe medicine using one of these collaboration tools making both patients and medical staffs lives more productive and healthier. These tools allow companies to utilize video conferencing, messaging, voice, file sharing, plus many other features in one easy to use platform. While most of these tools require a voice company to front end the product, companies, like ComTec Systems, excel in the voice component to make Teams and Webex into a fully functional phone and collaboration tool that can make businesses more productive and functional anywhere, anytime.

The Future

In today’s world technology is developing at a rapid rate with the emergence of AI powered tools, voice and telephony will continue to evolve and adapt with these new innovative tools. The invention of 5G technology is set to revolutionize telephony and telecommunication. With incredibly fast speeds, low latency, and higher capacity levels, 5G will allow new applications to emerge that were previously thought to be impossible, such as VR and AR streaming, we will see a new way of connecting in a virtual world. Also, 5G will continue to make connecting “things” known as IoT or Internet of Things possible by connecting everyday household devices such as refrigerators and toasters to smart watches, we are always connected everywhere we go.

Another big play that is making a rapid play in today’s world in AI or Artificial Intelligence. With virtual assistants and chat bots, AI is playing a huge role in communication removing the redundant tasks that many humans had to play in customer service roles by handling customer service issues using AI powered tools.

From the 1800s to 2024 and beyond telephony and telecom has emerged and continues to evolve into unimaginable places. From the first telephone invented to switchboards, party lines and PRIs into internet-based voice communication and AI intelligence the world is diving deeper and deeper into less human interaction. While we see the emergence and the excitement of VR or Virtual Reality and AI artificial Intelligence there are many downsides to where communication and telecom is heading. Cybersecurity has become one of the top threats in today’s world causing companies to have to spend thousands of dollars or cybersecurity programs and insurance to keep their businesses safe from hackers. One cyber-attack on a business can cost a company over 9 million dollars in damages. Another downside to these exciting new communication tools is job replacement. Many human workers are losing their jobs to AI, robots, chat bots, etc. As we continue to utilize the ChatGPT’s, MS Pilot, and virtual assistance we see a decline in the number of layoffs and downsizing from many companies.

So overall this new era of technology in communication has helped businesses with saving money by allowing them to give up their leases, office space, save money by moving their “on premise” devices to data centers and the cloud and allowing employees to work from their homes. It also allowed many employees to be replaced with AI and chatbots. However, this has also opened many companies up to cyber threats and attacks which come at high risk and high cost. Also, the lack of human connection is becoming less prominent in today’s world since communication is so readily available, we can see each other over our laptops, smartphones and even at a  Virtual Reality café.

In the present moment many businesses are now operating with hybrid and remote employees, and we will continue to see a rise in the amount collaboration tools used to keep employees well connected and productive. In 2023 Microsoft Teams saw an increase of 270 million users to over 300 million users in one year making Microsoft Teams one of the fastest growing voice collaboration tools used today. Here at ComTec, we specialize in MS Teams for voice using our own proprietary voice solution that is back ended by MS Teams. Offering 24/7 US based support and full-on hand approach ComTec makes MS Teams Voice an easy solution for any company.