Landline telephony

Landline telephony

Landline telephony entails a phone that is connected through a plug to the landline phone network that is built on phone towers and copper wires. Even wireless phones can be included in landline telephony in this sense. Mobile networks and IP telephony are however systems that are built on completely different technologies.

Landline telephony has existed in Sweden since the 1870s and the development of the landline phone network has in large part been a public undertaking. Almost all buildings in the country have been able to connect to the so called copper network. Now we’re in the middle of a paradigm shift.

The landline phone network is being terminated in many parts of the country and will be replaces by the mobile alternative. There are both pros and cons with this and we’ll take a closer look at it in this text.

  • Landline telephony is often called the copper network due to the copper wires it’s built on
  • The system has existed for more than 100 years
  • A benefit with landline telephony is that the phone works during power failures
  • The landline network will be replaced by new technology
  • The new system for telephony has higher capacity
  • Calls through IP telephony and mobile networks will be strong
  • The landline network is also used for ADSI internet

How to acquire landline telephony?

There are a few ways to get landline telephony and some include;

  1. Phone plug (traditional telephony) – Traditional telephony essentially means that the phone is connected to a phone plug in a building or in a home. The technique behind this is PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) and you usually pay a fixed cost for connecting to the phone network and then running costs for the calls you make.
  2. Broadband telephony – This means that calls connect with braodband and you need a conenction to a modem or adapter for this. You can use your regular phone and the most common add-on services with this type.
  3. IP telephony – The definition of IP based telephony may vary. It rooms terms such as broadband telephony, telephony through cable, and internet telephony. These may all have different meanings depending on the context. But what they have in common is a connection to internet to be able to call.
  4. FiberLAN – FiberLAN or IP telephony through fiber means that you call over the data network instead of the phone network.

Rise and downfall of landline telephony

Landline telephony made verbal communication possible over vast distances. The earliest models were different in structure, and some had liquid senders while others had coal. When the technique kept on developing in the field of telecom, it also became cheaper and easier to use. Since the launch in 1876 it has allowed communication between billions of people and has become an accepted standard all around the world.

Highest peak
 Landline telephony hit its highest peak in global users as early as the 200s, whereas 16 landline phones existed for every 100 people in the world. During 2005 and 2006 this number increased to 20 for every 100 people. In developing nations the number between 2000 and 2001 was 57 landline phones for 100 people.


New technology
The development of wireless communication and technology has placed landline telephony in a sticky seat during the last years. The mobile technology revolutionized how we communicate and stay in touch with each other today. It took less that 17 years for wireless phones to reach up to 100 million consumers. On the other hand, it took over 90 years before landline phones would reach the same number.


Decreased use
Statistics show that landline phones has seen a steady decrease in use in correlation with the breakthrough of wireless technology. During 1995 subscriptions coupled with wireless phones constituted a whooping 33.8 million in the US. And under 2008 that number rose to a whole 270.3 million users, which is an increase of 699 percent in just 13 years. Meanwhile 26.6 percent of American households have given up their landline phones completely. Almost 16 percent of the American population receive calls through wireless technology and between 2005 and 2010 the use of landline telephony decreased from 34.4 percent to 12.9 percent. This all shows that the breakthrough of wireless technology will slowly but steadily completely replace landline telephony in the future.


Why terminate the copper network?

Landline telephony is being replaced with modern technique. Copper networks need maintenance and aren’t considered profitable when the customer base is decreasing due to new and better alternatives. The lifeline for the copper network has been its’ use for DSL and ADSL, which are techniques for data transfer in different frequencies than those used for voice.

With almost everyone owning a mobile phone today, the need for landline telephony is steadily decreasing. Parts of the copper network lack the capacity that many require and its’ therefore seen as a less attractive alternative than fiber and mobile telephony.

Telia is today a private company and has, in another way than when it was public, adjusted to what most cost efficient alternatives. Mobile solutions are cheaper for carriers. Another argument for the termination is that it’s far more sensitive to accidents.

Critique against the termination

In some parts where the termination has begun, there’s still no better alternatives. There are many households that get stuck in the gap between two different techniques are suffer because of it.

The landline phone networks had a current supply that was independent of the individual households. This means that it was possible to call even if power failures were to occur. Now it requires charged extra batteries. For those that have yet to adapt to the new mobile technology, this is seen as an issue.

When you’d make emergency calls with a landline phone the carrier could directly see your location, which isn’t possible with a mobile phone. Some feel worries about the new telephony due to radiation exposure. New developments and changes always bring new critiques.

The future of landline telephony

The market for telecom has seen som pretty big changes over the years, both for individuals and companies upgrading their technology. Companies in telecom more all the more customers within landline telephony from the traditional network – PSTN – to new technology like VoIP that carries calls over internet. The change has in turn brought a row of benefits for customers, such as better call quality. The transition has been pretty simple, but will require som extra help from support in order to update services. This migration presents a range of opportunities for us to thing about in regard to how we provide telephony services to meet customers consistently changing needs and expectations.

last update 9/12-19