Phone systems today, especially from the consumer perspective, have come a long way from the ‘you-can-have-any-color-you-want-as-long-as-it’s-black’ days of the 50’s and 60’s. As recently as the middle of the 1900’s there were still lots of homes in the US that did not have a phone.
Of course, most businesses had phones but they were certainly nothing like the sophisticated systems with voice mail, outgoing messaging, multi-party conferencing, recording any many other useful features that you see in businesses (or homes) today.
So…what’s the state of phone systems and the telephone business in the US today?
In a word….it’s HUGE!
Seriously though, the cost of what’s available has come down, down, and down while what it can do has gone up, up, and up. It starts with colors and then goes on to features. About the only thing that phones today have in common with phones of the 50’s is that they’re made of plastic.
The trend today is toward digital technology although there is still a place for the older analog technology. Actually, most home phones are still analog technology at least up to the Dial Central Office (DCO) where the switching is done over to digital.
All phones ‘back in the day’ were analog technology. You may have heard that term but probably don’t know exactly what it means. In analog technology, the air vibrations of your voice are converted into electronic signals. In digital technology, the voice is converted into “1s” and “0s”.
Most home phone systems today are still analog technology. It is converted to digital technology when it gets to the phone company. But suffice to say that analog is the older (and higher sound quality) technology whereas digital is the newer and sometimes clearer technology.
Another key differentiator is that you will usually not find the kind of fancy features on analog phone systems that you usually do find on digital phone systems….e.g. ‘voice-mail’.
It’s very common for office phone systems to have voice-mail but if you find that feature on a home phone it’s likely being provided from the phone company (i.e. from the DCO….Dial Central Office).
The most significant development in the last decade or so in consumer communications has been the advent of VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) technology, pioneered in the consumer market by the well-known company Skype. So how is VoIP unique?
- VoIP technology is unique because it is transmitted over internet networks rather than public telephone networks and also because it is not based on geographical coincidence. You get to select the local area code you want.
- VoIP is also unique in that, for the home user who usually will have an analog phone system, they can get certain features (like voice-mail) on VoIP that they can’t get on their analog home phone.
- VoIP is also unique in that it can be and is offered on a large number of smart devices that are not specifically telephones….thus making those devices much more useful to the customer.
VoIP telephony is routed through an internet connection which obviously implies that the user has and uses the internet. It really started to grow in 2004 and today almost anybody and everybody who surfs the net a lot knows about and uses VoIP calling. Callers with cellphone plans with internet service can also use it.
The reality of telephony for consumers today is that all these technologies interface. Each has certain advantages and some have certain minor disadvantages but one thing if for sure.
With these, you can see that the consumer has more choices than ever.
Want to know more about business phone systems? Call Data Installers Today For A Free Quote. We will install the most advanced OR basic phone system to meet YOUR needs!