Since the invention of the telephone by Alexander Graham Bell, the entire world is almost connected through some kind of telecommunication service. It makes the world come a little closer and distance is no longer an impediment to staying in touch. The telephone has been an amazing contraption and here are different ways to acquire a telephone service.
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Once upon a time, every residential home subscribed to a local phone company which offers a service plan that may include unlimited local calling, and an attractive out-of-state and international calling plan. This landline service is fed by copper wires and is unaffected by power loss due to a blackout. Looking up someone’s telephone number is done by flipping through a heavy and bulky phone directory with sections for residential and commercial phone numbers. There may be a separate supplemental directory that supports paid advertisements from local sponsors offering discounts and coupons.
Cellular phones or cellphones communicate through network towers constructed on the ground. These mobile devices are the most popular communication tools today enabling the sending of voice, text and data in messages, email, documents and applications. Cell phone usage can become an addiction if uncontrolled and affects face-to-face interaction between people. Instead of using a smartphone which is loaded with software like a computer, use a flip phone that has limited features used only for voice and text communication.
An internet phone utilizes the internet to provide phone services using VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. You can dial someone on any internet-connected device such as your desktop, laptop and mobile phone. Free virtual phone number that you can link to your cellphone number or landline is assigned to you when you register for an internet phone service. You may choose to reveal only your virtual number to others while hiding your real numbers for privacy. One of the benefits of using an Internet phone is its low cost, however, its quality is not on par with a landline or cellular phone.
With the help of orbiting satellites around the earth, satellite phones or satphones communicate through a satellite phone network by radio. Some of these satellites are in fixed positions in the sky and form a geostationary orbit, while others periodically circle the earth on low altitudes under every two hours. These two types of rotations provide different phone coverages and reliability. Use of satellite phones has been linked to terrorist activity and are banned in many countries.
The telephone has been a wondrous innovation of the human mind. Perhaps the technology will evolve to making even smarter and smaller communication devices in the near future.