Distance Communications is the method of sending messages or data over either radio or telephone networks between two or more correspondents located at different locations. The word distance is derived from the words local and long distance; the former refers to the physical distance between two points, while the latter refers to the time difference. It is important to note that the latter is sometimes used in place of the former, especially when considering mobile communication systems. Radio and telephone service over long distance and wire networks usually via long (virtually limitless) distance lines between correspondents situated at different locations.
The term long distance communications came about in the early technologies of wireless telegraph and telephone systems; the former utilised radio signals and the latter utilised telephone lines. Wireless systems did not become widely popular until the Second World War; however, they became increasingly popular after that time due to the need for military communications and information exchange. Wireless telegrams travelled through the air and were received by a reader on the other side of the line before being converted into sound and speech through voice recording apparatus. The same process was used with telephones as well: messages were verbally transmitted from a transmitter on one end of a long distance line to an receiver on the other side, who then converted the signal into sound and speech. This type of long distance telephone service operated by regular telephone lines, but evolved into a separate technology with the advent of the electromagnetic network known as telephone VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol), also know as GSM (General Packet Radio Service). Modern telecommunications utilise this technology which allows voice calls to be made or received by individuals who are not actually sitting directly within the receiving or transmitting range of the network.
A further development which came about as a result of the Second World War was the telephone directory, a device which allowed people to find other individuals either by name or by location through their telephone number. The advent of cellular telephony saw the opening up of long distance communications by radio signals which were broadcast by fixed stations all over the world. These signals were received and telephoned by individuals at their specific points of contact, where a telephone conversation could take place. A further development to the field of long distance communication was the development of long distance telephony, whereby messages and telephone calls could be sent and received by means of a telephone, without the need for the individual being physically present in the receiving or sending location. This made communication more cost-effective and convenient for many people who were regularly making or receiving long distance calls, and it made long distance phone calls much more practical for business people to make when travelling on business trips.
There are many different ways in which long distance communications can take place today. Mobile phones and mobile devices allow people to make and receive calls even when they are away from their desks or houses, meaning that long distance calls can be very economical and convenient. International calling cards allow long distance travelers to place calls anywhere in the world for a low and fixed monthly fee. International calling cards are valid within the calling zone of the card holder’s country, so long distance calls made using such cards can be very cost effective.
Internet based programs such as Skype are another way in which long distance phone communications are made more affordable and convenient. Skype is a free program offered by Microsoft that enables people with a microphone and webcam to call anyone in the world for free. Skype uses an encrypted connection to transmit voice messages and data between the Skype account holders and other Skype users. This type of VoIP system offers a much higher quality than traditional systems for making long distance calls, but the lack of an actual human voice on the line makes this service limited in its effectiveness when it comes to actually reducing costs. However, Skype is one of the few VoIP systems that offer true end-to-end video calling, which can be a highly useful feature for someone who needs a video explanation of what is being said.
Communication via the Internet has been growing at a rapid pace in recent years, and this growth shows no signs of slowing down. The ability to communicate via the Internet has opened up new possibilities for long distance communications. Advances in VoIP have made it possible to make international long distance calls at rates far below the rates charged for domestic calls. Today, nearly every VoIP provider offers some type of value added package that includes high speed Internet access along with voice and data packages. It is easy to take advantage of these new opportunities, and it just makes good business sense.