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A Brief History Of Telecommunications Systems

See how far telecommunications systems have come in our latest blog

A Brief History Of Telecommunications Systems

In light of the current pandemic, chances are that your San Mateo business is using telecommunication systems to function more than ever. Luckily for your company, telecommunication systems have come a long way in the past few decades. From the clunky speaker phones of the nineties to the advanced apps of today, collaboration in the workplace has ben entirely transformed. Below we highlight three giants in the telecommunications industry to showcase the ways this industry is more reliable and comprehensive than ever.



Jeffrey Rodman and Brian L. Hinman founded Polycom in 1990 to create a phone that would transform the business landscape. In 1992, Polycom kicked off the telecommunications industry with its release of the first SoundStation conference phone. Then, in 1997, the company released the ShowStation, the first document conferencing projector with live annotation. Finally, in 1998, they entered the video market with the ViewStation. After that, they integrated HD voice products to enhance audio communications and created the Real Presence media application for multi-point enterprise video calls. While Polycom has certainly adjusted to new trends, their focus is still more on communication than collaboration.


Skype released its first beta version to the public in 2003 and added video conferencing options that revolutionized the way businesses communicate. Skype converts voice signals into data, sends it to the host computer, and restores the audio on the receiving computer, a technology called Voice over IP, or VoIP. The system was free to those with computers and offered a variety of features such as voicemail, call forwarding, and video. In 2005 eBay bought Skype, increasing the reach of the already popular video service. Microsoft then purchased the platform and in 2012 made it the primary Microsoft messaging service. Skype allowed for more digitized communication, greater participants, and easier media sharing than some of its predecessors but was never primarily designed for interactive telecommunications.


In 2011, Eric Yuan resigned from Cisco to create his own video conferencing company. In 2012, Zoom launched as an app for browsers or iOS devices that allowed up to fifteen concurrent meeting attendees and could support even unstable connections. The app offered high-quality audio and video and worked well on mobile. Best of all, only meeting hosts needed a Zoom account.

The appeal of a mobile-friendly videoconferencing software was widespread. In 2013, Zoom updated to include 40 concurrent attendees and ran seamlessly on all platforms, with exceptional screen-sharing functionality and image quality. In 2014, they released Presence, a room-based video conferencing product compatible with a variety of software, as well as a Webinar product vital for B2B marketers. By 2016, its revenue grew 300% and today it is one of the most used teleconferencing products in the world.

Telecommunication has come far in the past few decades. We can now easily chat with someone across the world with HD video while easily sharing content with each other without needing a hefty network to handle it all (though one certainly won’t hurt). Are you interested in upgrading the telecommunication systems of your business in San Mateo? Give our team a call or fill out our online contact form here to schedule a no-obligation consultation with us. We’d love to hear from you!