Although business telephone communication remains a staple of enterprise environments, many employees have little or no knowledge on the history of this technology and what is going on behind the scenes. Much has gone into making an office phone system the symbol of collaboration it is today. Here are six facts many people do not know about the telephone:
1) PSTN handles about 85 percent of all calls
While this may change in the coming years as VoIP systems become more popular, this figure regarding the public switched telephone networks serve to illustrate just how prevalent landline-based personal and business telephone communication truly is today, according to The Wilson Quarterly contributor Tom Vanderbilt.
2) Standard phone calls take up almost no bandwidth
Perhaps one reason why copper calling is still widely used is that voice communication does not use up nearly as much bandwidth as video for example. As Internet-enabled processes become more prevalent in the enterprise, companies will need to do everything they can to ensure all employees have quality access to the Web, and business phone solutions can make sure that collaboration initiatives are never interrupted by a lack of connectivity.
3) In the 1800s, the phone almost never came to fruition
Telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell had originally wanted telegraph operators Western Union to disseminate telephone technology, offering to sell his patents to them for $100,000, according to what Ben Horowitz, co-Founder and partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, wrote in a recent blog post. Western Union officials, however, scoffed at the proposal, saying that the technology was largely ineffective and would not advance any further. Luckily, Bell was undeterred and went on to found his own company and transform communications.
4) People once worried that the phone would replace newspapers
In the early part of the 20th century, some newspaper owners thought that people would opt to get their news from a telephone instead of purchasing a daily newspaper, Vanderbilt wrote. While this never really came about, that newspaper ever thought about telephones in this manner shows how disruptive the telephone originally was and just how effective this tool is at disseminating information.
5) Audio conferencing has been around since the '60s, and call waiting since the '80s
These two features are now staples of any good business telephone system, and are likely much older than most people realize. However, just because audio conferencing is close to 50 years old now does not mean it is any less effective.
6) In 2010, the average phone call lasted 107 seconds
This number is down from 2003, when the average telephone call lasted around 3 minutes, according to Vanderbilt. A number of factors could have led to this decline, including that people are seeking out alternative communication mediums or using business telephone systems more efficiently.