The telephone when it came out was a great technology. No longer did we need to write letters and send them and wait for the reply after a couple of weeks. Now we could have communication in real time and connect almost instantly. All you needed to do was pick up the transmitter and call your friend and wait for them to pick up the receiver. It was an awesome technology. However it did come at a cost and in its early days was a very expensive piece of technology. Few people had it so most people still used letters for distant friends.
Your voice was transmitted through cables analogly to the receiver. The further away the person was the more expensive the call was. So long distance calls were very expensive in the early days till the earlier 80s, when analog communication improved and also with the rise of fibre optics and digital communication, companies could connect places much cheaper and on a great scale. Prices of phone calls dropped and long distance and oversee calls become much cheaper.
Today with most calls being transmitted digitally, phone calls are quite cheap to do and long distance calls too. However other technologies have arisen to help people to communicate as well. Mobile networks, the internet and it’s whole host of communication tools like e-mails, im clients, voip networks etc. So why do we still pay for long distance calls at a premium ? Why hasn’t the new age of communication technology taken over long distance calls.
The cell phones we have today mostly come with internet connection possibility so to me it should be more advantageous to me to use the internet to call my friends using video call apps or chat with them over facebook or something.
Despite the host of new options to call people today, some things haven’t changed with phone calls. Calls are not necessarily becoming cheaper. It still cost more to call long distance and most importantly the technology is not improving. This is something that should have decreased in price with improvement in technology and greater need for real time communication. However that hasn’t occurred and doesn’t seem likely.
However it may just be the case that phone calls are never to become close to free but just supplanted by another technology like many others before it. The telegraph never became cheap to do and the telephone nevertheless still took over business of telegraphs.
Phone calls through traditional methods seem destined to be taking over by alternatives means like im chatting in real time, voip calls, video chats etc. However probably the main thing blocking these alternatives technology from taking over the business of traditional phone calls is the availability of internet everywhere even on the road and the fact that the main means of having internet on the road is mostly controlled by major phone companies which now looks like a risk they don’t want to take by leaving their phone business vulnerable.
In any case it shouldn’t be long when internet becomes available on a greater scale on the road and at home with much more bandwidth where the direct cost of paying for a phone call or long distance call goes away for the alternatives means using the internet.