Mechanical Acoustic Telephones

It would take about two hundred years before the tin can phone as we know it made another appearance.

Origins of Telecom: Mechanical Acoustic Telephones

Mechanical acoustic telephones

Remember making a “telephone” with tin cans and a string as a child? While tin can phones may be considered fun and games today, they were a big deal back in the mid-1800s.

The first acoustic string phone is believed to have originated in the 1660s when British physicist Robert Hooke first tinkered with a conical glass hearing aid in an attempt to improve it. He experimented with various apparatuses and wire to send sound across a long distance (in this case, from one room to another). Using two hearing aids connected by an insulated, stretched wire, he was able to send sound to his assistant in another room. He started by playing a musical note on an instrument. His assistant heard it perfectly. Next, he spoke into the conical glass hearing aid, and once again, his assistant heard him perfectly.

As far as Hooke, was concerned, the experiment was a success. However, all he did with it was make note of it in the preface of his book, Micrographia, where he wrote, “I can assure the Reader, that I have, by the help of a distended wire, propagated the sound to a very considerable distance in an instant, or with as seemingly quick a motion as that of light, at least, incomparably swifter then that, which at the same time was propagated through the Air; and this not only in a straight line, or direct, but in one bended in many angles.”

It would take about two hundred years before the tin can phone as we know it made another appearance. This time, the inventor was Amos E. Dolbear. He used regular string and two cylindrical containers. As you know, this is about as simple a device as you can create, perhaps too simple. Dolbear approached Western Union with his device but was promptly dismissed due to its simplicity and Western Union’s interest in a competing technology, the telegraph.

Admittedly, it’s hard to capitalize on something as simple as two tin cans and a string. Hooke’s invention was not a commercial success, but it did find an audience among regular people, in particular, lovers. In fact, the tin can phone is often called the “lover’s phone.”

The December 1889 edition of Science magazine describes a demonstration of a simple wire acoustic telephone outside a railway near London. A wire stretched along telegraph poles made it possible for passengers to speak across the distance using nothing but the wire and a standard hat placed against it. The hat served as the receiver/transmitter, amplifying the sounds from the wire. When the passengers arrived at their destination, a local hotel, similar wires were present throughout the property. These lines included a wooden box at each end that acted as both a transmitter and receiver. This simple mechanical acoustic telephone by the British Pulsion Telephone Company worked much like the tin cans, but included a metal diaphragm held in place by clips and screws as well as a few “resonators” on the diaphragm such as springs, which were thought to re-enforce the sound vibrations.

Mechanical acoustic phones were marketed as a niche alternative to Bell’s electrical telephone but failed to gain a major following due to limited range and increased competition once Bell’s patents expired.

A January 1890 article in Hawke’s Bay Herald covering this same demonstration suggests that the Pulsion telephone would “produce a complete revolution in telephonic communication.” Of course, by this time, Bell’s telephone had been patented 14 years prior and was in use by tens of thousands of subscribers.

Mechanical acoustic telephones are an interesting blip in the history of telecommunications.

Sources:

http://simplyknowledge.com/popular/invention_detail/telephone

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/15491/15491-h/15491-h.htm (Micrographia)

http://science.sciencemag.org/content/ns-14/360/434

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/HBH18900130.2.17

Outbound International Calls

Our Caller ID override feature, which is an optional add-on to our global call forwarding numbers, allows you to assign your global call forwarding number as the Caller ID number.

How to Make Outbound International Calls with Caller ID Override

Did you know you can add outbound international calls capability to your global call forwarding number? This is a terrific add-on that allows you to assign your international call forwarding number as your Caller ID number when making international calls.

For example, let’s say you have a global call forwarding number for important business contacts in Europe to use to reach you in USA. A contact in London can dial a UK phone number to call you in the United States. This has its own set of benefits including ease of use, toll-free or local access, localization, and low costs. However, what happens if you need to return or initiate a call?

While you can use our global call forwarding numbers to make a cheap outbound international calls, your Caller ID may cause confusion by defaulting to the physical phone that you are using to make the call. Not only that, if your contacts miss your calls, they might hesitate to call back due to the fact that it’s obviously an international phone call. They might reject the call altogether for that same reason.

Our Caller ID Override feature, which is an optional add-on to our global call forwarding numbers, allows you to assign your global call forwarding number as the Caller ID number. Now, your contacts in London will see a local number when you call. If they miss your call, they can more easily return it as your actual global call forwarding number will be displayed as the Caller ID. Plus, they’ll be less likely to hesitate to return a local or toll-free call rather than an international one.

Caller ID override can be used by multiple phones simultaneously. For example, a call center can be set up to display the global call forwarding number of your choice when making outbound calls.

Why Add Caller ID Override to Your Account?

In short, Caller ID override is ideal for those who will be using global call forwarding numbers to both receive and initiate outbound international phone calls. It’s a cost-effective way to make cheap international phone calls and strengthen your company’s localization strategies.

How to Get Caller ID Override

In order to use our Caller ID override feature for outbound international calls, you’ll need to add outbound calling to your account. From there, you can select any of your associated global call forwarding numbers to be used as your Caller ID override. If you want to use a number from a different provider, you’ll need to provide us with proper documentation proving your ownership of that number. Once set up, you can change your Caller ID override at any time through the control panel.

Virtual Phone Number Information

UK Telecommunications News

Caller ID Definition

Virtual Number for Your Global Business

Month-to-month plans are available ranging from basic with included minutes to enterprise with more than 11,000 included minutes.

How to Add an Australian and New Zealand Virtual Numbers to Your Global Business

Virtual number for Australia and New Zealand look just like other business phone numbers in those countries.

Is your US business ready to do business in Australia and New Zealand? Whether you offer services or import and export goods with these trading partners, having an affordable way to communicate internationally is a must. Virtual phone number is a great way to facilitate communication with local business associates, employees, vendors, and customers alike. Not only can you remote call forward calls from Australia and New Zealand to your American (or any country) office, but you can also appear as if you have a local presence within each country. Here’s how it works.

Virtual number for Australia and New Zealand look just like other business phone numbers in those countries. You can get city-specific virtual numbers or toll-free phone numbers that are local to Australia and New Zealand. Rather than ringing to a local office, you can set up the virtual phone numbers to ring to your main office in the United States.

Benefits of Virtual Numbers 

Everyone benefits when you set up Australian or New Zealand virtual phone numbers. First, your business is able to create a local presence without having to rent office space and staff offices far from your home base. Your US-based employees can easily handle incoming calls from abroad, or if you prefer, you could route incoming calls to different call centers based upon the time of day they come in.

Local business partners and customers benefit because they can reach your office without having to dial internationally. Virtual numbers are completely local to them, so there are no international long distance charges and no country and exit codes to worry about. 

Our Australian and New Zealand global virtual numbers are packed with helpful features, too, including SMS forwarding, fax forwarding, simultaneous ringing, sequential ringing, customized greetings, voicemail to email, and more.

Use Cases for a Virtual Number in Australia and New Zealand

There are many ways US businesses can use a virtual phone number to expand their businesses into Australia and New Zealand. Here are a few common scenarios:

  • Customer care — If you sell products or services internationally, your customers need a convenient way to reach your organization for customer service or technical support. Getting toll free or universal toll free numbers for the countries you serve makes sense.
  • Import / export communications — Placing orders, responding to requests, collaborating on new ideas, and dealing with customs often require voice communications. Make it easy on your local contacts to reach you with a virtual call forwarding number.
  • Consulting — Your expertise knows no bounds, especially when you’re readily accessible via global call forwarding numbers for Australia and New Zealand.

We have toll free, local, and universal virtual phone numbers for Australia to the USA and New Zealand to USA available without a contract. With high-quality PSTN connections and competitive per minute rates, connecting with your partners abroad is much like calling across town. Month-to-month plans are available ranging from basic with included minutes to enterprise with more than 11,000 included minutes. Sign up for a free trial today.

View details about Virtual Phone Numbers here

Desktop Video Meeting and Relocation Packages

Work relationships can begin beforehand, enabling employees to get to know future colleagues or even begin some project work remotely.

Desktop Video Meeting

Sending employees on overseas assignments or relocating them to another office is a complex task, requiring company resources and a great deal of coordination, before and during the relocation. As part of your relocation package, consider adding desktop video meeting services. Desktop video can supplement or even eliminate the need for an orientation trip. While the good old telephone will help with the logistics of relocating, there are some instances where our video conferencing comes in handy. Let’s take a look.

Meeting with Realtors — Your employees will need a place to live, making a video conference with a local Realtor or property manager essential early in the process. Meeting face-to-face in a desktop video meeting is a great way for employees to share their requirements with the agent, form a relationship, and feel confident that the agent understands exactly what type of home to find. The real estate agent can even take employees on video tours of potential homes by joining the desktop video conferencing using a smartphone from the homes themselves.

Meeting with New Colleagues — Work relationships can begin beforehand, enabling employees to get to know future colleagues or even begin some project work remotely. Forming these relationships in advance will make the transition a little easier as your employees will see familiar faces at their new workplaces.

Learning about the Culture — For overseas assignments, it’s helpful for employees to go through a brief cultural orientation. This can be conducted via video conference by one of the local contacts in the other country. In addition, employees can ask about the best areas to live, local transportation, schools and churches, and other areas of interest.

Spousal Requirements — Relocating with a family typically means the spouse must find work. Having access to a desktop video conferencing tool can play a role in the spouse’s remote job search. For example, he or she could meet with a headhunter in a video conference or have a face-to-face interview with a potential employer.

Staying in Touch with Loved Ones — For those on overseas assignments, desktop video conferencing can be a lifeline, helping them to stay connected with their families back home.

Staying in Touch with the Team — Once your employees have settled into their new environments, they can use desktop video meeting to stay in touch with the home office. Whether you want them to provide weekly status updates, stay involved in local projects, or check in periodically, the ability to connect via a face-to-face video conference can help ease the transition and keep work relationships strong.

These are but a few of the many ways a desktop video meeting can be used as part of an employee relocation package. Adding easy to use video conferencing is a low-cost, high-benefit solution that your employees will appreciate. Try a free 30-day trial today and discover just how easy our desktop video tool is for all participants to use.

Try It Free for 30 Days

Global Communications Services in Real Time

Whether you want to celebrate with your family or conduct business internationally, these three real-time communications tools make it possible to connect with others around the world quickly, easily and affordable.

How to Use Real-Time Communication Tools to Collaborate with Your Global Customers and your Overseas Loved Ones

Global Communications are mandatory if you have loved ones or customers around the world, you know that international phone calls can be tricky and expensive. Elderly parents and grandparents may be hesitant to call due to cost concerns or because it’s intimidating to figure out how to dial using all those country codes, exit codes, and calling card codes. It doesn’t have to be this way. In fact, many of the tools you use for conducting business globally, such as our international conferencing, global virtual phone numbers, and video conferencing can be used with family scattered around the world. Below are a few ideas that make it easy for your loved ones to reach out no matter where in the world they are.

Global Communications Services

1. Get a Virtual Phone Number. This is a gift they will absolutely love. Here’s how it works: Start by ordering a virtual number that’s local to the country your loved one is located in. For example, if your parents live in the Philippines and you live in the United States, you’d order a virtual number that’s local for those in the Philippines. Your parents would dial a
Philippines local or toll-free number, just as if you were in Manilla or another local city. There’s no need for country codes, exit codes, or calling cards. Their calls would then be forwarded to your phone in the United States. As the virtual phone number account holder, you’ll purchase buckets of prepaid minutes at some of the most competitive per minute rates in the industry. Now, your parents, associates or Philippines based customers can call you at any time without the barriers that previously caused them stress.

2. Use Our International Conference Call Service. How about a group audio call that brings the entire extended family together? This is a great way to celebrate the holidays, ring in the new year, or have a virtual family reunion. With our pay-as-you-go international conferencing plans, there are no activation fees, no contracts, and no minimum requirements. You simply pay for the minutes used (again, with extremely competitive per-minute rates) during your conference calls and you can cancel at any time with no penalties. Each person, whether located in North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, or anywhere else in the world, will dial into the conference call using an access number that’s local or toll free to their location. You can also use the “dial out” feature to dial your family members directly if you prefer. This is helpful if someone forgets to join or lives in a country with a poorly developed communications system.

3. Try Desktop Video Conferencing. The first two options are voice only, which is ideal for multi-generational communications. If your family members are tech savvy, consider our desktop video conferencing service. We offer a free 30-day trial and low monthly rates without a contract.

Whether you want to celebrate with your family or conduct business internationally, these three real-time communications tools make it possible to connect with others around the world quickly, easily and affordable. Get started today.

View International Telecommunications Services here

Desktop Video Conferencing for a Workgroup

Desktop Video Conferencing for a Workgroup

Looking for an effective way to connect with your team, focus on a specific task, and get work done? Look no further than your desktop video conferencing plan. The idea here is to gather together, state what you want to accomplish, and then get to work independently on the stated task. Thus, in a one-hour session, you might spend 5 minutes in the video conference initially stating your goals, then set the timer for 50 minutes of offline work, and then return to the video conference to share what you accomplished or what you may have struggled with during that time.

Whether you’re part of a small, remote team or an online community of like-minded individuals, regular video meet-ups can help keep you connected and on track. Here’s what you need to get started.

A desktop video conferencing plan — Our Video Pro Conferencing plan is perfect for workgroups. Not only is it affordable, easy to use, and available without a contract, it’s loaded with useful features such as collaborative notes, screen-sharing, personal share space, presenter controls, chats, free VoIP audio, lecture mode, mobile apps, and more. Everyone can join from a standard web browser, making it ideal for groups who may not be tech savvy.

A reason to gather virtually — What is the reason for the workgroup? It could be anything from making progress on a team project or on individual goals. For example, an engineering firm in need of a LinkedIn presence might schedule monthly workgroups where each principal commits to working on their LinkedIn profiles or creating content to share. A group of watercolor artists might meet monthly in a video conference to work on their designs. Meeting in this ways has a built-in accountability factor, helping motivate participants to get to work.

Simplicity — The old “keep it simple” adage holds true here. Pick a set time and date for your desktop video workgroups such as the last Tuesday of every month from 1:00pm to 2:00pm. Your agenda should also be simple and consistent from one session to the next such as 5-minute opening where everyone shares their plans for the session, a 50-minute offline work session, and a 5-minute closing/sharing session.

Eager participants — This method isn’t for everyone, but could be the push many people need to work on tasks that they want to do but often get pushed to the back burners. When inviting participants, stress the benefits. This is NOT your typical video conference. It’s a dedicated slot of time for working on work that matters. It’s also a shared experience, which is a welcome reprieve for remote workers who often work in isolation. Your work group can be as small or as large (up to the limits of your video conferencing plan) as you’d like.

Using desktop video conferencing for a workgroup in this manner allows for face-to-face interactions. Webcams can be used by multiple participants or turned off for those who prefer not to appear on camera. Screen-sharing and pass the presenter controls works well for sharing digital accomplishments such as graphic designs, PowerPoints, animations, etc.

We’re currently offering a free, 30-day trial of Video Pro. Get it now and hold your first workgroup today.

How to Host a Series of “Micro” Global Conference Calls

Bob, a regional salesperson in Argentina, doesn’t necessarily need to attend a global conference call discussing custom issues between USA and Taiwan.

Gathering a group into a global conference call has some logistical challenges to overcome, which is why it’s tempting to keep everyone on the line for as long as possible. After all, you want to get as much as possible accomplished since the entire group is present. There’s certainly a time and place for a long, involved global conference call; however, fatigue can set in quickly and your long group audio calls might not be as productive as you’d like. Consider breaking a long international conference call into a series of micro audio conferences.

Benefits of Shorter, More Frequent Global Conference Calls

One of the biggest downsides of international conferencing is the clock. Depending on where your attendees are located, your global conference calls are likely inconvenient for some participants. Joining a conference call at midnight local time is challenging, even more so when the call is expected to be a one- to two-hour experience. If they skip the call and plan on listening to the recording, that’s a one-to two-hour commitment just to get back up to speed on what they’ve missed. Knowing that the call will only last 10 to 15 minutes could be more palatable to these individuals. Likewise, if they missed the conference call, they can quickly get up to speed first thing in the morning.

Even when the timing is convenient, long conference calls can become draining and unproductive. Holding a series of micro conference calls could result in better:
• Focus
• Engagement
• Relationships
• Results

If you limit the length of your global conference call to a maximum of 15 minutes, your agenda must be tightly focused, most likely on a single topic. This laser focus also means that your participant list can be tailored to better match the topic of discussion. For example, Bob, a regional salesperson in Argentina, doesn’t necessarily need to attend a global conference call discussing custom issues between USA and Taiwan.

Since your micro conferences are more relevant to attendees — and significantly shorter, attendees will likely be more engaged during the conference call and less prone to multi-tasking during the call. It’s much easier to give your full attention for 15 minutes than it is to do so for an hour or longer.

Meeting more frequently but in shorter bursts could also foster better relationships. For example, as the calls become more relevant to attendees, they’ll feel more valued and that their time is respected. Since the calls occur more frequently, you can address and resolve issues as they come up.

It’s easier to retain information and take appropriate action when given in smaller doses. It’s also easier to hold others accountable for focused, timely tasks rather than a long laundry list of things to get done.

Hosting a series of micro global conference calls requires access to an easy-to-use international conferencing plan with exceptional audio quality and helpful features. You want to make joining your global conference calls as easy as possible for attendees, especially since you’ll be using it more often. Our pay-as-you-go international conferencing plans are simple, user-friendly, affordable, and loaded with premium features. Local and toll-free access numbers are provided for 150 countries for easy dial-in access. We even have a free mobile app for one-touch access. There are no monthly fees, no minimum usage requirements, and no contracts! Give it a try and find out just how easy it is to host global conference calls on demand or on a schedule.

Learn more about global conferencing here

Communicating with Symbols and Codes

When you think of telecommunications today, what comes to mind? Fiberoptic lines? Satellites? Massive global networks? Those certainly help define modern telecommunications, but it’s not all high tech wizardry. In fact, mankind has long used low tech measures to communicate across distances with symbols and codes helping to make it possible despite the actual delivery mechanism. Below are a few examples of how we have communicated with symbols and codes over time.

Symbols and Communicating Ship to Ship

Symbols with colorful and with bold patterns, nautical flags represent much more than fanciful boat decor. They were, and still are, used to communicate from ship to ship and from ship to shore. Nautical flags are an international code system consisting of 26 square flags (one for each letter of the alphabet) along with 10 numbered pennants. Not only can nautical flags be used to spell out messages alphabetically, one-flag signals have specific internationally-understood meanings. For example, the ‘O’ flag, when flown alone, means “man overboard”; ‘V’ means assistance is needed; ‘W’ means medical assistance is needed; ‘J’ means the vessel is on fire and to stay back. Each letter, except for ‘R’, has a specific meaning.

Morse Code

As you likely know, Morse code was used to send messages over the telegraph. Each letter of the alphabet was assigned a set of dots or dashes which could be relayed by tapping the telegraph key to match. Dots required a quick tap while dashes were held slightly longer. For example, the term “save our ship” — or SOS — in Morse code translates to “… – – – …” (’s’ is three dots; ‘o’ is three dashes; and ’s’ once again is three dots). In addition to using Morse code over telegraphs, sailors used it with lamps to transmit their messages from ship to ship or from ship to shore.

As old-fashioned as Morse code may sound, it’s still in use today. In fact, the U.S. Navy has created a flashing light to text converter system (called the Flashing Light to Converter System) that converts text messages to Morse code, transmits them via a signal light, and then converts the Morse code back to text message. Now, sailors can simply enter a text message and transmit it via light signals to another ship, which can either translate the Morse code by hand or use its own Flashing Light to Converter System unit to read the actual text message.

Pager Codes

In the 1980s and 1990s when pagers were all the rage and before alphanumeric support became available, pager code was developed. Pager code used numbers that resembled letters (for example, the number 3 looks like a backwards E; thus, 3 = E). According to Urban Dictionary, page code is as follows:

A=6 B=8 C=0 D=0 E=3 F=7 G=9 H=4 I=1 J=7 K=15 L=7 M=177 N=17 O=0 P=9 Q=9 R=12 S=5 T=7 U=17(or 11) V=17(or 11) W=111 X=25 Y=4 Z=5.

17103 (Nice).

Symbols | From Emoticons to Emoji

Finally, let’s take a look at the ever-popular emoticon 🙂 and emoji 😀. Emoticons came first and were used to convey human emotion in icon form. They began to immerge in the early 1980s. Using just your keyboard, you can convey your feelings. For example, 😉 is an emoticon for winking while :-/ indicates skepticism or annoyance. In 1999, Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita, a member of the “i-mode” development team for a cellphone carrier, designed an a set of 12-by-12-pixel images that could be selected and sent via the i-mode interface — and the emoji was born. Today, an estimated 92 percent of all people use emoji. In a way, we’ve come full circle to the early days of creating cave art to communicate.

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Symbols Sources:

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=pager%20code

https://www.mysignalflags.com/pages/history-of-the-signal-flag

https://www.wired.com/story/guide-emoji/

https://www.engineering.com/DesignerEdge/DesignerEdgeArticles/ArticleID/15283/Why-the-Navy-Sees-Morse-Code-as-the-Future-of-Communication.aspx

https://www.history.com/topics/inventions/telegraph

https://www.britannica.com/topic/emoticon

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_emoticons

Web Conference Remote Workers

Our desktop web conferencing tool is ideal for human resources departments, enabling you to conduct interviews and onboard new remote employees with ease.

Web Conference Remote Workers

Web conference remote workers and hires has become more common thanks to technology that bridges distances while allowing real work to get done. Various tools make it possible to interact with job candidates without requiring expensive travel. For example, you can use video and audio conferencing tools to conduct interviews remotely, allowing you and the candidate to interact in real time. Video conferencing allows you to see one another face-to-face, emulating an in-person interview. It doesn’t end there. Let’s look at how you can use web conferencing to help your new hire get up to speed during the on boarding process.

How to Use Web Conferencing to Onboard a Remote Employee

Share and Explain New Hire Paperwork

As with any new employee, there are a lot of forms to fill out including tax forms, contracts, NDAs, insurance forms, and more. Using a web conferencing tool allows you to share these forms electronically as well as interact using video or audio conferencing. Not only can you share the forms with the remote worker, you can go over each one as needed. Since you’ll be connected in a web conference, you can answer any questions about the forms or benefits package immediately.

Depending on the amount of initial paperwork you have, you might deliver and explain the company policy manual during this session or schedule a second web conference to go over it. It’s not a bad idea to share the manual at the end of this web conference, give the employee time to read it and then meet again in a second conference to go over expectations and answer questions of the Web Conference Remote Workers.

Conduct an Orientation Session

Once the paperwork has been formalized, consider using a web conference for orientation. If you’ve recently hired several remote employees, this can be a group conference which both saves time and effort on your part while helping them to feel part of a larger team. With our web conferencing service, your remote employees can join from around the world using a standard web browser and Internet connection. During the conference, you can present a PowerPoint, play YouTube videos, demonstrate company software and more. Consider having supervisors or even the CEO join the session briefly to introduce themselves or share their stories and vision.

Introduce the New Hire to the Team

Whom will the remote worker be working with on a regular basis? Whom will he or she report directly to? Schedule a “get acquainted” web conference between these key individuals. Work with the supervisor beforehand to set an agenda and invite the appropriate team members to the conference. For example, in addition to sharing some background information about each team member, the supervisor may want to discuss the current project or first assignment. 

Web Conferencing Remote Workers to Conduct Training Sessions

Web conferences remote workers are ideal for training hires. Whether you use a specific type of software that needs to be taught or have a certain philosophy or proven sales process you want all team members to be well versed in, web conferencing is an excellent tool for training. You can even record and repurpose these sessions with just a click of the record button.

Provide Feedback

Just as you regularly conduct performance reviews with your on-premises team, the remote worker deserves the same courtesy. Fortunately, web conferencing can be used in this situation as well.

Our desktop web conferencing tool is ideal for human resources departments, enabling you to conduct interviews and onboard new remote employees with ease. We offer a free, 30-day trial and competitive monthly rates without a contract.

Try Video/Web Conferencing Free for 30 Days here

Before the iPhone, There was the iPhone Infogear

The so-called Internet appliance was first dreamed up by three engineers at National Semiconductor who had created a crude but working prototype.

Origins of Telecom: iPhone Infogear

Bob Ackerman [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]

The Apple iPhone is legendary and it’s hard to imagine any other product bearing its name. However, long before the Apple iPhone, there was another iPhone — InfoGear’s iPhone (later the Cidco iPhone). The iPhone InfoGear was released in 1998. It looked like a traditional office telephone, but with a large touchscreen display and a slide-out keyboard. The InfoGear iPhone was billed as an “Internet appliance” that combined a telephone with web browsing, email, a speakerphone, and a digital answering machine.

The so-called Internet appliance was first dreamed up by three engineers at National Semiconductor who had created a crude but working prototype. A consultant, Robert Ackerman, stumbled upon their project during a tour of the engineering department and became enamored with it. He realized that what others were starting to predict for the future was right in front of him and began negotiations with National Semiconductor. As a result, InfoGear was born as a standalone entity.

One of the tenets of the early iPhone was simplicity. It had to be as easy to use as an ATM machine, so easy that anyone could understand and use it. In fact, its black and white touchscreen display featured large graphical icons representing email and the web, functioning much like the touchscreens found in ATMs of that era.

The InfoGear iPhone debuted at the 1998 Consumer Electronics Show, winning the Innovations ’98 award. That same year at Fall Internet World ’98, the iPhone won the Best of Show award for Outstanding Desktop Hardware Product.

Among the InfoGear iPhone’s innovations were:

  • Transcribed voicemail — Messages appeared as text on the screen. A touchscreen button allowed you to tap to return the call.
  • Integrated content — Content from People, Sports Illustrated, Money, and Time was available as were movie listings from Hollywood Online.
  • Maps — A Maps application was included with maps data.
  • Early cloud computing — Most of the processing was done on a remote server, long before “cloud computing” became mainstream.

The InfoGear iPhone wasn’t cheap. It cost $499 in 1998 plus required a $19.95 per month fee for Internet access.

The InfoGear iPhone was briefly branded the Cidco iPhone after a partnership between InfoGear and Cidco. In total, only about 100,000 InfoGear iPhone units were sold.

In 2000, Cisco Systems acquired InfoGear along with the iPhone trademark for $300 million in stock. Cisco rebranded a line of its Linksys VoIP phones with the iPhone name. By 2007, Apple had announced its iPhone to which Cisco responded with a lawsuit. A settlement was reached, with both companies allowed to use the iPhone name.

Today, the Apple iPhone is a huge international success. Where the InfoGear iPhone sold roughly 100,000 units during its entire existence, the Apple iPhone sold more than 46 million units in the fourth quarter of 2018 alone.

https://aitelephone.com

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Sources:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/263401/global-apple-iphone-sales-since-3rd-quarter-2007/

https://www.cultofmac.com/519065/apple-history-iphone-new-name/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_iPhone

Creative Commons Terms : https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/

Download here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys_iPhone#/media/File:White_iPhone_1.jpeg

Global Virtual Number can Help Elderly Loved Ones

Global Virtual Numbers can Help Elderly Loved Ones Stay Connected No Matter Where in the World You Are

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Firenze, Italy

The telephone is a comfortable, familiar tool that has been used for a lifetime. As adult children move away, it becomes a vital lifeline in keeping those relationships strong. However, the telephone often becomes more difficult for the elderly to manage as they age and cognitive function declines.

While they may be able to handle dialing a local phone number, international calls may be virtually impossible. Not only are they unfamiliar looking, they require the use of country codes and exit codes. In addition, concerns about the cost of making international long distance calls could be a tough mental barrier to overcome — even if the calls themselves are cheap or even toll-free. If you have an elderly loved one living in another country, using global virtual numbers could be the answer to these dilemmas.

For example, let’s say your mother lives in Firenze, Italy and you live in New York City. While you can call her easily enough, she wants the ability to do the same. However, to dial your phone number in New York, she must first dial Italy’s exit code (39) followed by USA’s country code (1) followed by the area code for your location in New York followed your seven-digit phone number. That’s 13 digits that she must dial correctly — and that’s before any calling card codes she might want to use to keep her costs as low as possible. Failing vision or cognitive decline makes something this extremely difficult.

With global virtual numbers, you could give your mother a local Firenze phone number to call. The familiar 055 regional code will immediately put her at ease as it’s a local phone number. There’s no need to use an international calling card or dial international country and exit codes. All she needs to do is make a local call, just as if you lived in the same neighborhood.

Global virtual numbers look and act local, but it actually forwards the call to your designated phone in New York City. For even greater peace of mind, you can change this designated number as needed so you’ll never miss a call from Mom when you’re away from home or on vacation. You could even set it up in such a way that various phones (such as your home phone, mobile phone, or office phone) ring in a sequence or a certain phone rings at a specific time of day.

Getting Italy global virtual numbers (or a virtual phone number for any other country in the world) is a great way to help your loved ones reach out to you without hassles or concerns. It’s also an affordable choice with low per minute rates and no contracts required.

Learn about virtual phone numbers here

Conference Call Agenda

How to Create an Effective International Conference Call Agenda

Conference Call Agenda

The most effective international conference calls result in attendees having a clear understanding of the topic they’ve just discussed and what they are expected to do next. This doesn’t usually happen by accident. It’s typically planned and detailed on the conference call agenda.

You probably know how to create a meeting agenda. The process is the same for conference calls. However, let’s dig a little deeper.

Who’s On the Call?

With an international conference call, everyone joins remotely from around the world. Since the meeting is audio based, participants have no sense of how large or small the group is let alone who else is participating or which countries they are in. Including a list of attendees, or for larger calls, countries, on the agenda itself is helpful in this regard. Likewise, you may want to include a brief introduction as your first agenda item.

Understanding the Different Types of Agenda Items

As you’re planning your agenda items, it’s helpful to understand their type (informational, advisory, problem solving, or a request for feedback/help). Each type has its own unique purpose and expectations.

  • Informational agenda items — An informational agenda item doesn’t require any back and forth between participants. These items have already been decided and are being relayed strictly as information. Informational agenda items don’t generally require a lot of time. If necessary, you can include written handouts after the conference call. For example, if you’re announcing a new companywide policy, you can briefly discuss the new policy and then send a PDF detailing it to your attendees after the call.
  • Advisory agenda items — In this case, you haven’t yet made a decision on a given item and would like input from attendees. There’s no need for a formal vote or to come to a decision during this discussion. Rather, you’re gathering information in order to make a decision later. Since you’ll likely encounter varying opinions and have a lot of back and forth as attendees share their thoughts, these agenda items tend to require some time allotted to them. It’s important for attendees to understand that the decision is the presenter’s to make.
  • Problem-solving agenda items — Oftentimes, problems need to be solved and group decisions are needed.  In these cases, the agenda item falls under the problem-solving umbrella. These agenda items are often the most complex and time-consuming as the group learns about the issues, works out any differences of opinion, and ultimately comes to a decision during the meeting. The moderator must work to ensure everyone’s concerns have been heard and addressed and that most everyone is comfortable with the decision. With an international audience, there could be additional considerations and cultural differences, so allow extra time to ensure that you understand the global perspective.
  • Request for help agenda items — Some groups have a standing agenda item called “request for help” where participants can ask for assistance. These are short, brief requests alerting others to contact that person to get more details and assist. For example, if a team member in Brazil requests help on translation marketing materials from English to Portuguese, this isn’t the time for everyone to chime in with their favorite translation service providers or ask which materials are in question. It’s a time for those who can help to take note of the request and plan on getting in touch afterward to assist.

As you build your conference call agenda, classify your items using these four types. This will help you allocate sufficient time as well as set expectations. You might even want to label each agenda item as such so your attendees have a better understanding of their role in the discussion.

Creating Action Items on the Conference Call Agenda

During the conference call, decisions will be made and next steps identified. It’s helpful to take note of these directly on your existing agenda and then summarize them at the end of the call so that everyone is clear on the outcome of the call and the actions they need to take.

Understanding your agenda items can help you to set expectations, which, in turn, can lead to more productive international conference calls.

Global Conference Call Access Countries

Audio Conference Call Handouts

How to Use Handouts During an International Audio Conference Call

Audio Conference Call Handouts

Preparing and distributing handouts prior to an international audio conference call adds a visual dimension to your group audio call. By including handouts, your participants can follow along as well as reference any materials you deem necessary. Distributing them in advance can help streamline the call as well since everyone should have the materials at their fingertips without having to wait for you to find and email them to the group. Below are a few ideas to help make the process as smooth as possible.

What to Include

Handouts can be anything you’d normally distribute at an in-person meeting including the agenda, reports, bulletins, reference materials, graphic designs, project documentation, proposals, estimates, or even a PowerPoint or video presentation. You’ll want to ensure that the files you prepare and send are in a universal format, such as PDF, so that everyone can easily open and view them. For international calls, it may be helpful to have multi-lingual versions of your materials available.

How to Distribute Your Audio Conference Handouts

If you intend to share a lot of handouts, consider creating a designated shared folder for your call in a file-sharing application such as Dropbox or Google Drive. Consider pre-pending the file names with a number that corresponds with your agenda items. For example, if agenda item one is “Australia export legislation,” then your materials related to that should have file names such as “1_export_rules” and 1_impact_analysis.” By using a numbering and naming scheme like this, you and your participants will more easily be able to open the appropriate documents at the appropriate time.

You’ll want to distribute your handouts before the global conference call, ideally at the time you send the invitation. You can also send them in a reminder just prior to the call.

Referencing Your Handouts

Refer to your documents in the same manner in which you named them. For example, when you’re discussing the legislation, you might ask participants to refer to the document labeled 1_export_rules rather than “the legislation document.” This makes it easier for everyone to find the file in the shared folder.

Your agenda should also note the handouts for each agenda item, making it easy for attendees to pull up the appropriate materials during the discussion.

After the international conference call, keep the MP3 recording and the handouts together in a folder dedicated to the call. This creates a neat historical record of the call for future reference as everything will be stored together and readily accessible.

Handouts fill the gaps in any meeting and are just as useful to participants of a global audio conference call as they are to participants of a live meeting. Though you’re located worlds apart, technology bridges the gap.

View global audio conference call details here

Global Conferencing Assignment of Roles

For international conference calls where two or more languages may be spoken, it might make sense to have an interpreter available.

How to Determine Who Does What During Global Conferencing

Global Conference Calling Assignment of Roles

As the account holder of an international conferencing service, you may think that the entire task of hosting and moderating a global conference calls falls squarely on your shoulders. While you may be the host, you don’t necessarily have to do all of the work. In fact, it’s a good practice to assign different roles to different people. Below are the most common roles required and how to select the right person for each.

  • Global Conferencing Leader or Moderator — The leader or moderator of the call is responsible for running the conference call. This involves everything from scheduling the call, developing the agenda, inviting participants, assigning roles, keeping the conversation on track, assigning action items and responsibilities, summarizing the meeting, and following up after the call. As the account holder, you’ll often be the leader by default. However, you may have colleagues who want to take the lead. We can set up company accounts where each person has their own global conferencing credentials to host and lead their own international conference calls.
  • Time Keeper — One of the best practices of any meeting is to manage the amount of time spent on each agenda item. Consider tasking an individual to set a timer and nudge you when it’s time to move to the next agenda item. This allows you to perform your leadership duties without having to keep your eye on the clock the entire time. Since your time keeper will jump in when time is up, you won’t accidentally run over time. Who should you pick? Ideally, someone who is physically located in your same office. That way, you can sit side-by-side during the conference call and he or she can communicate the time limits non-verbally. If that’s not possible, ask a co-worker, your assistant, or another trusted person on your staff to take on this role. 
  • Secretary or Recorder — Many meetings require a written record, and this is true of many international conference calls as well. Even if not required, it’s a great idea to have someone take detailed notes to document the audio conference. While everyone in attendance can certainly take their own notes, if you let them know that someone is taking a master set of notes that will be shared afterward, this frees your participants from having to take notes. They may be more engaged as a result. Who should you select as secretary? Ask one of your co-workers who is known for his or her organizational or note-taking skills. The secretary should be prepared to help prepare and distribute the agenda, record any decisions, action items, or conclusions, and distribute the notes afterward.
  • Global Conferencing Interpreter — For international conference calls where two or more languages may be spoken, it might make sense to have an interpreter available. If someone in your office is bilingual, ask them to be available to translate or clarify phrases as needed during the audio conference. If not, consider using an over-the-phone interpreting service.
  • Global Conference Call Participants — Everyone in your international conference call has a role. Those not assigned a specific role such as leader, time keeper or secretary automatically fall into the participant role. Participants should be prepared to contribute their ideas and insights to the meeting. Who should you invite as a participant? Think about the purpose of the call and its relevance to potential participants. If it’s relevant, then they’re probably a good candidate for participation. If not, the call could be perceived as a waste of their time. The more relevant the call’s purpose to your participants, the more likely they’ll be engaged, active participants.

Assigning these key roles to members of your team can help ensure a well organized international conference call.

Global Conferencing Service Details

Fax Forward Digital Faxes

Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is one of the many free features included in our global call forwarding service.

Fax Forward Globally

Digital fax forwarding

Fax Forwarding Uses. When another business or customer wants to send you a fax, it’s tempting to say, “Can’t you just email me a PDF?” because of all the disadvantages listed above, but that shifts the burden to them. Fortunately, there’s a much better way that allows you to ditch the physical fax machine, dedicated phone line, and all of the associated hassles of faxing while still accommodating those who need to send you faxes: Fax forwarding.

Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is one of the many free features included in our global call forwarding service. With this service, you can select a toll-free virtual phone number for your city, state, country — or any other country of the world, and use it to receive faxes. There’s no need for a fax machine, ribbons, ink, or paper because the faxes will be digitized and forwarded to your email inbox.

From the other party’s perspective, they simply place a document in their machine, dial your fax number, and hit the “send fax” button as usual. From your perspective, you receive a PDF via email. Now you can respond promptly from your desktop or mobile phone and there are no more worries about missed faxes.

Fax Forwarding Digital Faxes is ideal for global faxing:

  • Receiving orders or POs from overseas customers or suppliers
  • Receiving food orders at a take-out restaurant
  • Receiving health care orders
  • Receiving signed documents

Your forwarding number can do even more than just receive and forward faxes. You can also use it to receive voice calls from the originating country. For example, if you need to receive faxes from an overseas customer in Singapore, you’d want to order a global virtual forwarding number that’s local or toll-free Singapore and set up your email address to receive faxes. However, if you’d also like your customer in Singapore to have a convenient means of reaching you by phone, set up a “ring to” number (such as your office or mobile phone number) for voice calls. Now, your customer can reach you via phone without having to dial an international number. Your business will feel more local as a result.

Whether your business is established or just starting up, our contract-free virtual phone number services are an affordable choice that enhances communications.

Learn more about sending digital facsimile documents internationally

International Conferencing Activities

Spend some time examining a time zone map to determine a few optimal times for your global conference calls. Depending on how to spread out your team is, you may have to make a few compromises.

Setting Ground Rules for Timing International Conferencing Activities

International Conferencing Activities and video conferencing are outstanding communications methods for global teams. They allow everyone, regardless of location, to meet virtually. If your team members are located in the same time zone, or in relatively close time zones, impromptu and scheduled conference calls are as easy as domestic ones. However, the further apart they are, the more complicated it gets. Few people are willing to set their alarm clocks for 3:00 am in order to attend a work-related conference call. With that in mind, it’s helpful to set some ground rules. Below are a few tips to get started.

Determine Your Business’s Master Working Hours

This is helpful in general for businesses with satellite offices around the world. All branches should be aware of your main office’s working hours. If your main office is in Los Angeles, California, consider making Pacific time your official “home office” time. This doesn’t mean all branch offices will need to match their working hours to your home office time, but they should be aware of it.

For example, if your Tokyo office wants to hold an ad hoc global conference call at the end of day on a Monday at 4:00pm local time, that would actually be 11:00pm on a Sunday night home office time. A better choice would be to schedule the global conference call for Tuesday at 8:00am Tokyo time which would be 3:00pm Monday in Los Angeles.

Determine the Best Times for Most Conference Calls

Spend some time examining a time zone map to determine a few optimal times for your global conference calls. Depending on how spread out your team is, you may have to make a few compromises. Let’s use Los Angeles, Tokyo, and London as an example. If you plan on holding a global conference call during your home office hours of 9:00am to 5:00pm Pacific time, it will be the middle of the night in Tokyo and evening to midnight in London.

Some participants will need to join the call outside of their own local office hours. The most optimal time in this example would be 1:00 or 2:00pm Pacific time. Participants in Tokyo would need to join at 6:00 or 7:00am local time while those in London would join at 9:00 or 10:00pm local time. Though not ideal for your participants, it’s preferable to an international conference call during their normal sleeping hours.

Thus, for all-hands-on conference calls, you might establish 1:00 pm home office time as the ideal time for this type of conference call. For global conference calls between the home office and Tokyo, you might determine that 4:00 pm home office time is best. For international conference calls between LA and London, 8:30am Pacific time might be the best compromise.

Whatever you determine to be the optimal times for each office, create a master chart and share it with your team.

Consider the Proportion of Attendees in Each Time Zone

Finally, not all calls will require everyone’s attendance. If you’re the only person in Los Angeles who will be on a given conference call and everyone else is overseas, it might make more sense to schedule the call during your participants’ office hours. This may mean you’ll have to host an international conference call late at night or early in the morning, but you’ll be the only one who’s inconvenienced.

Read on about International Conferencing Activities

Mobile Radio Wireless History

Modern SMR systems offer both a traditional dispatch mode, which allows for walkie-talkie-like voice communications over the air between two or more units, and interconnected mode, which uses the public switched telephone network for a more mobile phone-like experience.

Mobile Radio Early Wireless

Before the cell phone, many commercial businesses relied on (and many still do) specialized mobile radio, or SMR, to communicate with service workers out in the field. While public agencies such as law enforcement agencies had access to mobile radios starting in the late 1920s, commercial licenses weren’t available until the SMR service was established by the FCC in 1979. This opened the door to businesses operating fleets to communicate with their drivers in real time.

Varias Personas [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Specialized mobile radio systems typically include a base station transmitter and antenna for the dispatch office along with mobile radio units for the field technicians. The mobile radio units could be car- or truck-mounted or handheld. In the early days of SMR, vehicle-mounted units were common. Typical use cases for SMR included dispatching taxis and tow trucks.

Modern SMR systems offer both a traditional dispatch mode, which allows for walkie-talkie-like voice communications over the air between two or more units, and interconnected mode, which uses the public switched telephone network for a more mobile phone-like experience. In dispatch mode, the entire fleet can hear these communications while interconnected mode allows for private conversations.

Motorola was a pioneer in the two-way radio era and a mainstay in police cruisers for decades before SMR was introduced to commercial businesses. Motorola improved upon SMR technology and developed MIRS (Motorola Integrated Radio System), which later became the Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN), a mobile telecom technology that blended cell phone technology with trunked radio service in 1991. Motorola’s improvements increased the number of users on a single part of the bandwidth dramatical compared to the standard, analog version of SMR.

A company called Fleet Call (at the time) used Motorola’s iDEN network to power its mobile devices, which were marketed to service-based companies such as pest control, mobile auto repair, plumbing, HVAC, cable TV, and uniform companies. Fleet Call’s devices looked and acted much like typical cellular phones of the early 1990s, but with a unique “push to talk” feature that instantly converted the phone into a two-way radio. By 1993, Fleet Call had changed its name to Nextel.

The push-to-talk feature differentiated Nextel phones from the rest of the pack and was seen as a marketing advantage. However, Nextel resisted including this feature on its phones initially but the FCC insisted since the iDEN network was licensed to use bandwidth reserved for dispatch use.

Nextel phones had several advantages in that era: they could be used as pagers, cell phones, and two-way radios depending on the business’s needs at any given time. For example, a dispatcher could send a short text message or alert to call the office at the next opportunity, which was similar to the most advanced pagers of the time. A dispatcher could also call an individual for a private phone conversation or use the push-to-talk function to get a quick status update.

Nextel was later acquired by Sprint in 2005. Sprint abandoned Nextel’s iDEN network in favor of its own CDMA network. In 2013, Sprint decommissioned the iDEN network and integrated the spectrum in the Sprint LTE network.

aitelephone.com

— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —

Sources:

https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/broadband-division/specialized-mobile-radio-service-smr

https://ethw.org/Milestones:One-Way_Police_Radio_Communication,_1928

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/vb7vk4/roger-that-a-short-history-of-the-walkie-talkie

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IDEN

http://www.company-histories.com/Motorola-Inc-Company-History.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nextel_Communications

Virtual Conference Room

Virtual Conference Room with Audio, Video and Web Conferencing

The rise of smartphones, tablets, Skype, and FaceTime have fundamentally changed how we work and communicate with one another. Just a few years ago, having a physical conference room was an absolute necessity for most businesses. Today, you may be wondering how you might put that space to better use. After all, a good portion of employees work remotely. Even when a business hosts a video or web conference to include remote team members, it’s not unusual for those huddled around the conference room table to log in on their laptops so they can take advantage of all the real-time collaboration features offered by desktop video conferencing in their virtual conference room.

Whether your office has a conference room or not, creating a virtual conference room with audio, video, and web conferencing capabilities could eliminate the need for a dedicated meeting space without having to compromise on human interactions. Here’s what you need to know.

  • It’s no longer necessary to invest in extensive audio / video hardware — For example, our desktop video conferencing solutions run in a standard web browser and utilize each participant’s onboard webcam and microphone.
  • Virtual conferencing is easy to use and packed with helpful features — Hosting or participating in a video or web conference is easy with our service. If you can navigate a basic website, you can easily manage a video conference. Features such as screen sharing, collaborative notes, recordings, chats, personal share space, pass-the-presenter, and a companion mobile app enhance the virtual conferencing experience. In fact, you’ll probably miss these tools the next time you’re in a regular in-person meeting.
  • Geographic boundaries are no longer obstacles to getting things done — Getting your entire team together in person has become increasingly impractical, especially when many work from home, in co-working spaces, in various branch offices, in the field, or in entirely different countries for that matter.  With a virtual conference room, location no longer factors into the equation. Everyone simply joins at the appointed time from wherever they happen to be. They can join using any type of device, too, including desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, or tablets.
  • Different types of conferencing services are available — It’s not always necessary to meet with webcams on or with screen-sharing enabled. In many cases, an audio conference is a desirable choice. We offer audio, video, and web conferencing, allowing you to build the right conferencing solution for your needs. Even better, each of our services is offered without a contract, which means you can add or remove services as your needs change. For example, if you’re working on a short-term contract with overseas vendors, you may need our international conferencing plan for a few months. Once that contract is up and you no longer need to communicate internationally, you could stop using the service without penalty. Likewise, you may want to host a series of web conferences after a product launch. Once you’ve completed the series and have posted the recordings on your website, you may want to take a break with that service. Again, since there’s no contract, you can start and stop the service as needed.

We offer a variety of virtual conferencing tools including international audio conferencing, video and web conferencing, special event conference calls, global virtual phone numbers, and more — all without a long-term commitment on your part, and all powered by modern, high quality telecommunications networks.

View Virtual Conference Room Services here

Pager History Origins of Telecom

Pager Use Over 100 Years

100 Years of the Pager

When was the last time you saw someone wearing a pager? Largely a relic of the past, a few professions still rely on pagers for alerts including surgeons, nuclear engineers, and emergency responders. While pagers had their heyday in the 1980s and 1990s, their use dates back much further into the 20th century. Here’s a brief history of the pager.

Pager of the 1920s

Pagers trace their roots to one-way radio, which first came into existence in the 1920s with the Detroit Police Department leading the way. Kenneth Cox, Walter Vogler, and Bernard Fitzgerald, all Detroit patrolmen and all amateur radio buffs began tinkering with radio sets they installed in a Model T police car. Cox later partnered with Robert L. Batts, an engineering student, to build a one-way radio receiver and antenna. In 1928, their one-way radio was installed and the Detroit Police Department began dispatching patrol cars by radio. Other police departments followed suit.

Pagers of the 1940s and 1950s

In 1949, Al Gross, who also invented the walkie talkie, cordless telephone, and CB radio, patented the first telephone pager device. It wasn’t called a pager just yet. The device was pocket-sized and included circuitry that responded selectively to specific signals. Gross showed his device to healthcare professionals at a medical convention in Philadelphia in 1949 but was met with skepticism. Most featured that the device would either update patients or interfere with their golf games! In 1950, Gross’s telephone paging system was implemented in New York’s Jewish hospital.

In 1959, the term “pager” was finally coined when Motorola entered the market with a personal radio communications device. This device was about half the size of a deck of playing cards.

Pagers of the 1960s and 1970s

Motorola’s 1964 PageBoy 1 was the first successful consumer pager. It alerted users with a tone.

Pagers of this era came to be known as “beepers” as that’s exactly what they did. They beeped you with an audible tone. A series of different tones meant that different meanings could be attached to the tone type. For example, a short beep might mean, “incoming ambulance” whereas a long tone might mean “call the dispatch desk.” Pagers during this time also had a limited range, making them useful in hospitals and buildings.

Voice pagers arrived, improving the practical use of pagers, albeit still within an onsite network. With voice pagers, instead of just an alert telling the user to call in to the dispatch desk for details, the pager relayed audible instructions such as “you’re needed in room 2.” Numeric pagers soon followed and were preferred over voice because they were more discreet. At this time, the displays were small and limited. Either the phone number the receiver should call would be displayed or an internal code for a predetermined action.

Pagers of the 1980s and 1990s

By the 1980s, wide area paging had arrived. This allowed pages to be transmitted via radio waves across wide distances — across cities, states, and the country. The popularity of pagers rose as a result. Businesses of all types recognized the value of pagers and equipped their field technicians and employees with pagers. Even drug dealers got into the act.

Alphanumeric pagers soon arrived, allowing dispatchers or pager callers to enter a text message. Now, instead of using internal codes, it was possible to send typed instructions. At this point, paging was still a one-way affair. The end user could receive the message but had to find a phone and make a call to respond in any way. In the late 1990s, two-way pagers appeared, enabling users to respond back directly from their pagers. Motorola’s Tango two-way pager could even receive email. In 1996, Research in Motion (BlackBerry)’s Inter@active Pager arrived complete with a QWERTY keyboard and graphical display.

The Death of Pagers

By 2001, paging manufacturers began exiting. It had become clear that new technologies were making pagers all but obsolete.

Sources:

https://electronics.howstuffworks.com/everyday-tech/who-still-uses-pagers.htm

https://blog.commontime.com/100-year-pager-history

https://ethw.org/Milestones:One-Way_Police_Radio_Communication,_1928https://lemelson.mit.edu/resources/al-gross

International Conference Calls Timing

How to End International Conference Calls on Time

International Conference Calls Timing

Conference calls, international or otherwise, often run longer than anticipated. When this happens, participants may leave before you’ve officially wrapped up the call due to other commitments. In addition to losing engagement, you may lose some credibility as the meeting’s leader. Conference calls and meetings that run long can be annoying, inconvenient, or even signal a lack of respect for others’ time. Participants may perceive you as being unorganized if you don’t focus on International Conference Calls Timing.

None of the above is what you want. It’s important to create and stick to a schedule so that your global conference calls are productive and engaging and respect International Conference Calls Timing.

In order to end international conference calls on time, you will need to:

  • Plan your conference call.  What is the call about? What is the desired outcome? What topics do you need to discuss? Will you field questions from attendees as you go or at the end? Plan out your conference call and allot a certain amount of time to each topic.
  • Allow time for the unexpected. Pad your times a little to allow for unexpected delays. For example, with international conference calls, English may be a second or third language. You may need to clarify some topics to ensure everyone understands their meaning.
  • Front-load your conference call. Start with the most urgent matters and end with those of lesser importance. If, despite your intentions, your meeting progresses slower than expected, you can still end it on time with confidence knowing that the most pressing matters have been addressed.
  • Include time for questions and answers at the end of the call. This also serves as padding. For example, if you’ve scheduled 10 minutes for questions and answers at the end of the call but are running five minutes behind schedule, you’ll still be able to field questions for five minutes and end on time.
  • Include time at the end of the call to detail the next actions. Summarizing what’s next is important in ensuring that everyone knows what’s expected of them. Take notes during the international conference call, writing and highlighting any action items. At the end of the call, go over these action items.
  • Start promptly on time. If your international conference call is scheduled to start at 10:00am, start it at 10:00am. You will always have latecomers, and that’s not your problem nor it is the problem of those who joined your call on time. If you wait five minutes to start your call, you’re automatically starting with a five-minute deficit which could cause your meeting to run long or prompt you to skimp on a topic in order to make up lost time.
  • Watch the clock or use a timer. Keep an eye on the clock in relation to your agenda. As the end time for a given topic draws near, wrap it up and move on to the next topic.
  • End the conference call early or on time. Best case, your call is productive and your timing estimates were spot on. Since you padded your agenda items, you may even finish early.
  • Your participants will likely be happy to have participated in a productive international conference call and thrilled to have extra time on their hands. Worst case, your call went slower than expected and you weren’t able to cover everything you wanted to cover in the allotted time. As you wrap up the call — on time — with your action steps, mention that you’ve tabled the remaining topics for your next meeting.
  • Since you prioritized the most urgent matters, this should be acceptable. Your participants will walk away with the most important information and be happy that the call ended on time.

Learn more about international conference calls here