Landline

Landline

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A landline was originally an overland telegraph
Telegraphy
Telegraphy is the long-distance transmission of messages via some form of signalling technology. Telegraphy requires messages to be converted to a code which is known to both sender and receiver...

 wire, as opposed to an undersea cable
Submarine communications cable
A submarine communications cable is a cable laid on the sea bed between land-based stations to carry telecommunication signals across stretches of ocean....

. Currently, landline (or land phone or main line or fixed-line) refers to a telephone line
Telephone line
A telephone line or telephone circuit is a single-user circuit on a telephone communication system...

 which travels through a solid medium, either metal wire
Wire
A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Standard sizes are determined by various...

 or optical fibre, as distinguished from a mobile cellular line
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

, where transmission is via radio waves
Radio waves
Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. Radio waves have frequencies from 300 GHz to as low as 3 kHz, and corresponding wavelengths from 1 millimeter to 100 kilometers. Like all other electromagnetic waves,...

. In 2003, the CIA reported approximately 1.263 billion main telephone
Telephone
The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...

 lines worldwide. China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

 had more than any other country, at 350 million, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 was second with 268 million. In 2008 there were 1.27 billion fixed line subscribers in the world.

Fixed phone


A fixed phone line (a line that is not a mobile phone
Mobile phone
A mobile phone is a device which can make and receive telephone calls over a radio link whilst moving around a wide geographic area. It does so by connecting to a cellular network provided by a mobile network operator...

 line) can be hard-wire
Wire
A wire is a single, usually cylindrical, flexible strand or rod of metal. Wires are used to bear mechanical loads and to carry electricity and telecommunications signals. Wire is commonly formed by drawing the metal through a hole in a die or draw plate. Standard sizes are determined by various...

d or cordless
Cordless telephone
A cordless telephone or portable telephone is a telephone with a wireless handset that communicates via radio waves with a base station connected to a fixed telephone line, usually within a limited range of its base station...

.

Fixed wireless refers to the operation of wireless devices or systems in fixed locations such as homes and offices. Fixed wireless devices usually derive their electrical power from the utility mains electricity
Mains electricity
Mains is the general-purpose alternating current electric power supply. In the US, electric power is referred to by several names including household power, household electricity, powerline, domestic power, wall power, line power, AC power, city power, street power, and grid power...

, unlike mobile wireless or portable wireless which tend to be battery-powered. Although mobile and portable systems can be used in fixed locations, efficiency and bandwidth are compromised compared with fixed systems. Mobile or portable, battery-powered wireless systems can serve as emergency backups for fixed systems in case of a power blackout or natural disaster.

Dedicated lines


The term landline is also used to describe a connection between two or more points that consists of a dedicated physical cable, as opposed to an always-available private link that is actually implemented as a circuit in a wired switched system (usually the public switched telephone network
Public switched telephone network
The public switched telephone network is the network of the world's public circuit-switched telephone networks. It consists of telephone lines, fiber optic cables, microwave transmission links, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables, all inter-connected by...

). So-called leased line
Leased line
A leased line is a service contract between a provider and a customer, whereby the provider agrees to deliver a symmetric telecommunications line connecting two or more locations in exchange for a monthly rent . It is sometimes known as a 'Private Circuit' or 'Data Line' in the UK or as CDN in Italy...

s are invariably of the latter type; the implications of a landline in this context are security and survivability
Survivability
Survivability is the ability to remain alive or continue to exist. The term has more specific meaning in certain contexts.-Engineering:In engineering, survivability is the quantified ability of a system, subsystem, equipment, process, or procedure to continue to function during and after a natural...

. For example, a military headquarters might be linked to front-line units "by landline" to ensure that communication remains possible even if the conventional telephone network is damaged or destroyed. .

See also


  • Plain old telephone service
    Plain old telephone service
    Plain old telephone service is the voice-grade telephone service that remains the basic form of residential and small business service connection to the telephone network in many parts of the world....

     (POTS)
  • Local loop
    Local loop
    In telephony, the local loop is the physical link or circuit that connects from the demarcation point of the customer premises to the edge of the carrier or telecommunications service provider's network...

  • Last mile
    Last mile
    The "last mile" or "last kilometer" is the final leg of delivering connectivity from a communications provider to a customer. The phrase is therefore often used by the telecommunications and cable television industries. The actual distance of this leg may be considerably more than a mile,...

  • Telephone
    Telephone
    The telephone , colloquially referred to as a phone, is a telecommunications device that transmits and receives sounds, usually the human voice. Telephones are a point-to-point communication system whose most basic function is to allow two people separated by large distances to talk to each other...