This study gives a global summary of the evolution of telephones and economic development around the world, with an interdisciplinary approach based on three major dimensions: a time dimension (from the past to the future), a space dimension (different countries and regions) and a focus dimension (both telephones and economic growth). The analysis uses historical telephone data for 41 major countries over the complete period from 1900 to 2000. A comparative time series analysis is performed using telephone statistics and economic growth as measured in terms of GDP. The analysis shows that, besides the very high correlation between telephones and economic development, there is no general trend for the Granger causality among all countries or regions. Finally, the growth models of mobile telephones and Internet are also considered, even if they do not follow the same patterns of earlier fixed telephones and telegraphs. The mobile telephones in the 21st century are quickly complementing and substituting the old fixed landline telephones of the 20th century, bringing cheaper, faster, better and more efficient ways to communicate in our now interconnected world.