Telephony is the field of technology involving the development, application, and deployment of telecommunication services for the purpose of electronic transmission of voice, fax, or data, between distant parties. The history of telephony is intimately linked to the invention and development of the telephone.
Telephony is commonly referred to as the construction or operation of telephones and telephonic systems of telecommunications in which telephonic equipment is employed in the transmission of speech or other sound between points, with or without the use of wires. The term is also used frequently to refer to computer hardware, software, and computer network systems that perform functions traditionally performed by telephone equipment. In this context the technology is specifically referred to as Internet telephony, or VoIP.