In communication, computers are used on all levels of telephone networks, and some systems can even replace phones entirely. Voice-over-IP networks have become very popular. Traditional telephone technology lacks the bandwidth of Internet connections, and many companies advocate for full replacement.
Telephone calls are traditionally placed over copper lines that carry a signal. Along the way, these signals are often routed through multiple locations. Increasingly, phone companies are replacing copper wires with Internet connections. The Internet allows information to be compressed, and the higher throughput of Internet connections makes them a more robust option.
In addition, many offices are relying on computers as well. VoIP installations can replace the expensive copper wiring used by traditional office phone networks. Switching to VoIP allows companies to control their infrastructure through software instead of having to purchase hardware upgrades for new features. These networks also provide better call quality, and they allow phones to operate wirelessly.
Most experts believe that the Internet will eventually replace all existing telephone infrastructure. However, it is unclear if traditional telephone numbers will be replaced as well. As mobile Internet connections become faster, some are predicting a future where all calls are placed over the Internet and where telephone numbers will be replaced by other forms of identification.