Telecom History

Communication is the exchange of information and therefore it is essential for the social life of mankind and also for the organization of nature. The word Telecommunication comes from the Greek prefix tele, which means distant or far off and combined with the Latin word communicare, which means to share.

I. World First Commercial Telecommunication system

Samuel Morse an American inventor developed a version of the electrical telegraph which he demonstrated on 2 September 1837. Alfred Vail another American inventor saw this demonstration and joined Morse to develop a telegraph terminal that integrated a logging device for recording messages to paper tape. This was demonstrated successfully over five kilometers (three miles) on 6 January 1838 and eventually over sixty-four kilometers (forty miles) between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore on 24 May 1844. By 1851 telegraph lines in the United States spanned over 32,000 kilometres (20,000 miles). 

The most important technical contribution of Morse to this telegraph system was the simple and highly efficient Morse Code, co-developed with Vail. It was having edge over Wheatstone’s more complicated and expensive system, and required just two wires. The communications efficiency of the Morse Code increases efficiency of the Huffman code in digital communications by over 100 years. The duo developed the code purely empirically. The first successful transatlantic telegraph cable was completed on 27 July 1866.

II. India’s First Commercial Telecommunication system

Telecommunications in India began with the introduction of the telegraph. One of the worlds oldest postal and telecom sectors started the first experimental electric telegraph line between Calcutta and Diamond Harbour, in 1850. Telegraph service was opened for the use of the British East India Company, in 1851.

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