Landline phone

Landline phone

A landline phone is an apparatus that is connected to the landline network to communicate. This may either be wireless or with a cable. Due to fast development of mobile phones today, there are far less landline phones in Sweden and the market keeps shrinking.

Many may believe that the American Alexander Graham Bell was the inventor of the phone. But it was in fact the Italian/American Antonio Meucci that invented the phone in 1849. Alexander Graham Bell was however the first that acquired the patent of the technique, first in year 1876.

One of the first commercial phones for the household was Ericsson’s table phone “Taxen” which became a huge success both in Sweden and abroad. This landline phone was sold in 2 million copies for 40 years up til the 1930s. This was a successor of the bakelite phone which thereafter became a standard phone in Swedish homes up until the 1960s.

  • Landline telephony is telecommunication via the landline network
  • Antonio Meucci invented the landline phone in 1849
  • Ericsson’s landline table phone “Taxen” was the first landline phone that had a huge breakthrough
  • There are landline networks and digital networks for telephony, so called IP telephony
  • The number of subscriptions for landline telephony in the world is decreasing
  • Some of Ericsson’s first landline phones have a huge collectible value today
  • All landline phones have a bound number

The history

The first phones were much more simple in form than we know today, and they consisted of a magnet, a copper coil, and a membrane of iron. The phones also weren’t sold separately as today. You always . had to buy a pair and manage the wires between them yourself. Landline telephony became the popular way to call after the telegraph. That system was named the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) which today is a world covering network.

Both the telegraph and the phone are wire based electrical systems, and the breakthrough with the phone was a direct result of Graham Bells attempt to improve the telegraph. The telegraph became popular but was limited due to the fact that it could only receive one message at a time. The phone made it possible to send several messages simultaneously over the same wire with electricity. Bell patented the phone in 1876 and it quickly picked up speed. In 1877 the first telephone lines were built between Boston and Massachussets and by the end of 1880 there were 47,900 phones in the US.

Developed use

When the phone was invented, it wan’t available to a big market and was initially only presented to royals. By the time of the first world war there was a phone for every 10 people in the US. And by the end of the second world war, there were 5 people for every phone. The technology hit a milestone in 1998 when there was a phone for every human being in the US. In 2017 there were 455 million phone numbers for the 325 million residents in the US. Approximately three fourths of these numbers were connected to mobile phones and a little over 10 percent were landline phone, and the rest were connected to internet.

Rent a phone?

This might seem odd, but up til the early 1980s many consumers had to rent their phones form AT&T. Sound weird, but this spanned up to the 1980s. The company had monopoly on the American telephone system. And in many states it was the only alternative. This changed in 1983 when the government abolished the monopoly. This resulted in that consumers all over the country could finally buy their own phones.

Different types of landline phones

Today you can find different types of phone. The portal phone is common in buildings and apartments or even offices. IP telephony is phone calls over internet through the landline network. Prices are ofter higher and the quality of the call could be better. Broadband carriers offer IP telephony in most cases.

DECT is a technique standard in Europe for wireless landline phones. In fact, the technique uses a digital technique to perform the wireless communication. The base station is connected to the landline network and a digital signal is send from the base station to the mobile landline phone.

Wireless landline phones have a reach of 30 meters inside and 300 meters outside, if nothing should be in the way of the base station and the mobile phone. In 1980n the first wireless phones from Asia appeared on the market, but they hade issues with interference. In 1992 DECT technique became an attractive alternative due its’ problem free transfer without wires.

Decreased use

According to statistics the use of landline phones have seen a steady decrease. This is in direct correlation with the development of wireless technology. Between 2005 and 2010 the use decreased from 34.5 percent to 12.9 percent. These statistics show the real breakthrough wireless technique had, and it’s predicted to completely replace it in the future. You can get in touch with whoever you want, wherever you want, and whenever you want. The network is also under immense development with 5G soon entering the market.

From old to new technique

Sweden is undergoing a change where all old technique in regards to telephony is slowly but steadily being replaced. This entails old copper wires that were used for landline telephony (and ADSL broadband) for a long time. The technique has been replaced by IP telephony that is managed via fiber optics. Part of the old landline network that is mostly owned by Telia, is being replace by fiber or mobile technology. This means that Telia is replacing landline telephony with solutions via the mobile network, and broadband via the phone plug (ADSL) with fiber or mobile broadband. In some cases you may have to switch carrier for broadband or telephony since Telia’s changes affect carriers renting their network.

Another reason for the switch in technology is that the old copper wires don’t live up to the government goals of fast communication. Changing technology is therefore needed and if you want to rely on fast telephony you need to change to IP telephony through your broadband supplier in the future.