Report: Timeline of Communication Systems

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  Timeline of Communication Systems: Introduction

The timeline of communication systems presents a chronological overview of the most important events in the history of communication systems from the 4th millennium B.C. to the present.

It shows that from the very beginning - the first Sumerian pictographs on clay tablets to today's state-of-the-art technologies - broadband communication via fiber-optic cables and satellites - the amount of information collected, processed and stored, the capabilities to do so, as well as the capable speed of information transmission exponentially accelerate.

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Timeline of Communication Systems
0   Timeline of Communication Systems: Introduction
+1   4000 - 1000 B.C.
+2   1000 B.C. - 0
+3   0 - 1400 A.D.
More and more, faster and faster, but...
Communications satellites are relay stations for radio signals and provide reliable and distance-independent high-speed connections even at remote locations without high-bandwidth infrastructure.

On point-to-point transmission, the transmission method originally employed on, satellites face increasing competition from fiber optic cables, so point-to-multipoint transmission increasingly becomes the ruling satellite technology. Point-to-multipoint transmission enables the quick implementation of private networks consisting of very small aperture terminals (VSAT). Such networks are independent and make mobile access possible.

In the future, satellites will become stronger, cheaper and their orbits will be lower; their services might become as common as satellite TV is today.

For more information about satellites, see How Satellites Work ( and the Tech Museum's satellite site (