Telephone Technology

We'll look at the different telephone technologies that enable us to easily communicate. Learn about Skype and Vonage, caller ID, fiber optics and more.


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How Interactive Voice Response (IVR) Works

IVR, or interactive voice response, is a new technology that many of us use everyday. Learn more about IVR in this article.

How Telephone Country Codes Work

Telephone country codes make it easy to call another country. Learn more about telephone country codes in this article.

How Reverse Phone Lookup Works

Reverse phone lookup can be invaluable to find information on unknown phone numbers. Find out more about reverse phone lookup in this article.

How Voice Mail Works

Voicemail is a growing necessity in both homes and businesses. Learn more about how voicemail works in this article.

How to Make International Calls

Making international calls can be confusing if you don't have the right information. Learn about making international calls in this article.

Skype vs. Vonage

Currently, there are several VoIP services on the market -- the two most well-known ones are Skype and Vonage. Although they both use VoIP technology, they're quite actually quite different from each another.

How Telephones Work

See how a telephone network works.

What do digits in phone numbers mean?

The phone number you dial to call somebody is basically an address, similar to the street address of your home. Have you ever wondered what all those numbers mean?

Why is the keypad arrangement different for a telephone and a calculator?

It's one of those seemingly-unexplainable lapses in logic -- Why do these two digit-based devices order their number keys in exactly opposite ways?

How does Caller ID work?

How does caller ID work on a telephone? It turns out that the process of making the caller ID display possible is remarkably simple at your end of the line.

How does a fiber optic cable work?

Over the last 20 years or so, fiber optic lines have taken over and transformed the long distance telephone industry. Optical fibers are also a huge part of making the Internet available around the world.

What do the little boxes that the phone company has around our neighborhood do?

If you have underground phone wiring in your neighborhood, rather than pole wiring, you will frequently see these little boxes all over your neighborhood -- one for every two or three houses or so.

Why does the phone still work when the electricity goes out?

One of the relative miracles of modern times is the reliability of the phone system. The power goes out fairly often for most people, but your telephone is always working (as long as you pay the bill). Why is that?

How does a long-distance call work?

When you make a long-distance call, there is an amazing amount of technology working to make your call happen. To understand the computerized systems used today, it's helpful to go back in time and look at how long-distance calls were first routed.

How Telephones Work

Telephones are one of the greatest technological advances of our time. Do you know how your call gets to its destination? Learn all about how the telephone works in this article.