Although credit for the invention of the telephone remains in doubt and open to much debate and discussion, there is no such doubt over the impact and progress seen from this mode of telecommunications. Inventors including Alexander Graham Bell, Elisha Gray, Johann Phillip Reis and Antonio Meucci all laid claim to having invented the very first telephone.

The late 20th and early 21st century has seen an incredible rise in the popularity of mobile telecommunication devices such as mobile phones or cell phones. Several countries including the United Kingdom now have more mobile phones in circulation than people. The early history of these mobile telephones can be traced back to the 1940’s although the real strides in development and design of these phone began in the 1980’s and mushroomed in the 1990’s. successful mobile telephone manufacturers include Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Samsung and Motorola.

Further advances in technology have led to component parts of telephones becoming smaller and smaller and therefore the telephones themselves becoming smaller, more compact and easier to carry. There is much competition between the companies who manufacture these telephones to provide smaller phones packed with new tahcnology.

Another major step in the development of mobile phones is the advent of 3rd Generation phones (or 3G to abbreviate). Due to these advances, it will soon be possible for everyone mobile phone owner to make use of satellite navigation devices. Also readily available in most mobile phones is the ability to access the internet. The technology used for this is called Wireless Application Protocol or WAP. It allows mobile phone owners to access the internet remotely and nowadays most sites are built to be WAP compatible in order to capture a piece of this market.

The latest and most recent advancement in telecommunications technology is that of the creation of Voice Over IP. Known as VOIP, this technology allows voice communication over the internet. One obvious advantage of this are that most people can use this technology very easily.

Many VOIP providers such as Voipstunt provide the services outlined above for free. For example, you may credit your account with a small amount and then receive free calls to any landline around the world. This in time, as marketing increases and reputation grows will provide a stiff challenge to the traditional telecommunications companies. It is already possible to reduce call costs to zero leaving only the land line element of a bill to pay.

In short, the telecommunications industry is huge and very dynamic. The rapidly expanding market relies on technological advances to make communications cheaper, more mobile and easier to use, and the internet will play a huge role in the future of this industry.