A telephone, or phone, is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are not in the same vicinity of each other to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals suitable for transmission via cables or other transmission media over long distances, and replays such signals simultaneously in audible form to its user. The word telephone has been adapted into the vocabulary of many languages. It is derived from the Greek: τῆλε, tēle, far and φωνή, phōnē, voice, together meaning distant voice.
First patented in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell and further developed by many others, the telephone was the first device in history that enabled people to talk directly with each other across large distances. Telephones became rapidly indispensable to businesses, government, and households, and are today some of the most widely used small appliances.
The essential elements of a telephone are a microphone (transmitter) to speak into and an earphone (receiver) which reproduces the voice of the distant person. In addition, most telephones contain a ringer which produces a sound to announce an incoming telephone call, and a dial used to enter a telephone number when initiating a call to another telephone. Until approximately the 1970s most telephones used a rotary dial, which was superseded by the modern Touch-Tone push-button dial, first introduced by AT&T in 1963. The receiver and transmitter are usually built into a handset which is held up to the ear and mouth during conversation. The dial may be located either on the handset, or on a base unit to which the handset is connected by a cord containing wires.
A landline telephone is connected by a pair of wires to the telephone network, while a mobile phone, such as a cellular phone, is portable and communicates with the telephone network by radio transmissions. A cordless telephone has a portable handset which communicates by radio transmission with the handset base station which is connected by wire to the telephone network.
The transmitter converts the sound waves to electrical signals which are sent through the telephone network to the receiving phone. The receiving telephone converts the signals into audible sound in the receiver, or sometimes a loudspeaker. Telephones are a duplex communications medium, meaning they allow the people on both ends to talk simultaneously. The telephone network, consisting of a worldwide net of telephone lines, fiberoptic cables, microwave transmission, cellular networks, communications satellites, and undersea telephone cables connected by switching centers, allows any telephone in the world to communicate with any other. Each telephone line has an identifying number called its telephone number. To initiate a telephone call the user enters the other telephone's number into a numeric keypad on the phone. Graphic symbols used to designate telephone service or phone-related information in print, signage, and other media include ℡ (U+2121), ☎ (U+260E), ☏ (U+260F), ✆ (U+2706), and ⌕ (U+2315).
Although originally designed for simple voice communications, most modern telephones have many additional capabilities. They may be able to record spoken messages, send and receive text messages, take and display photographs or video, play music, and surf the Internet. A current trend is phones that integrate all mobile communication and computing needs; these are called smartphones.
Other articles related to "phone, phones":
... The Gizmo5 mobile phone application used the phone's carrier voice network for all calls ... The service called the phone numbers of both parties and bridged the call ... On mobile phones that support SIP applications, calls may be placed over WiFi or 3G ...
... Bondi 283 Bondi Road, Bondi, New South Wales, 2026 Phone +61 5276 ... Carlton 314 Railway Parade, Carlton, New South Wales, 2218 Phone +61 5757 ... Darlington 370 Abercrombie Street, Darlington, New South Wales, 2008 Phone +61 8557 ... Granville 24 South Street, Granville, New South Wales, 2142 Phone +61 1633 ... Leichhardt 156 Norton Street, Leichhardt, New South Wales, 2040 Phone +61 2638 ... Paddington 237 Glenmore Road, Paddington, New South Wales, 2021 Phone +61 5055 ... Randwick 2 Perouse Road, Randwick, New South Wales, 2031 Phone +61 3006 ... Ryde 68 Blaxland Road, Ryde, New South Wales, 2112 Phone +61 5956 ... Sutherland 45 East Parade, Sutherland, New South Wales, 2232 Phone +61 7774.. ...
... TDS Metrocom is TDS Telecom's local phone business, providing customers with phone, data, and Internet services in a five-state area in the midwestern ... a deal brokered by Tommy Tomphson to allow for local phone service competition on AT T's lines in exchange for long distance plan selling rights over landline ...
... In an era decades before cell phone use, Cannon was using a "mobile phone" in his car, which was highly rare at the time ... Phones of this type were precursors to modern cell phones ... The phone prop itself, in his car, was a Motorola brand IMTS mobile phone ...
... A prepaid mobile phone (also commonly referred to as pay-as-you-go, pay-as-you-talk, "pay and go", prepaid wireless, or Prepay) is a mobile phone for which credit is purchased in advance of service use ... credit is used to pay for mobile phone services at the point the service is accessed or consumed ... If there is no available credit then access to the requested service is denied by the mobile phone network ...
Famous quotes containing the word phone:
“ET phone home.”
—Melissa Mathison, U.S. screenwriter, and Steven Spielberg. ET, ET The Extra-Terrestrial, realizing he can contact his home planet (1982)
“You may be used to a day that includes answering eleven phone calls, attending two meetings, and writing three reports; when you are at home with an infant you will feel you have accomplished quite a lot if you have a shower and a sit-down meal in the same day.”
—Anne C. Weisberg (20th century)
“leaving the page of the book carelessly open,
something unsaid, the phone off the hook
and the love, whatever it was, an infection.”
—Anne Sexton (19281974)