Portal:Telephones

Candlestick-telephone icon.svg The Telephones Portal Smartphone icon - Noun Project 283536.svg

A rotary dial telephone, c. 1940s

A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently the human voice, into electronic signals that are transmitted via cables and other communication channels to another telephone which reproduces the sound to the receiving user. The term is derived from Greek: τῆλε (tēle, far) and φωνή (phōnē, voice), together meaning distant voice. A common short form of the term is phone, which came into use almost immediately after the first patent was issued.

In 1876, Alexander Graham Bell was the first to be granted a United States patent for a device that produced clearly intelligible replication of the human voice at a second device. This instrument was further developed by many others, and became rapidly indispensable in business, government, and in households. (Full article...)

A mobile phone, cellular phone, cell phone, cellphone, handphone, or hand phone, sometimes shortened to simply mobile, cell or just phone, is a portable telephone that can make and receive calls over a radio frequency link while the user is moving within a telephone service area. The radio frequency link establishes a connection to the switching systems of a mobile phone operator, which provides access to the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Modern mobile telephone services use a cellular network architecture and, therefore, mobile telephones are called cellular telephones or cell phones in North America. In addition to telephony, digital mobile phones (2G) support a variety of other services, such as text messaging, MMS, email, Internet access, short-range wireless communications (infrared, Bluetooth), business applications, video games and digital photography. Mobile phones offering only those capabilities are known as feature phones; mobile phones which offer greatly advanced computing capabilities are referred to as smartphones. (Full article...)

A smartphone is a portable device that combines mobile telephone and computing functions into one unit. They are distinguished from feature phones by their stronger hardware capabilities and extensive mobile operating systems, which facilitate wider software, internet (including web browsing over mobile broadband), and multimedia functionality (including music, video, cameras, and gaming), alongside core phone functions such as voice calls and text messaging. Smartphones typically contain a number of metal–oxide–semiconductor (MOS) integrated circuit (IC) chips, include various sensors that can be leveraged by pre-included and third-party software (such as a magnetometer, proximity sensors, barometer, gyroscope, accelerometer and more), and support wireless communications protocols (such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, or satellite navigation). (Full article...)

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Actor portraying Alexander Graham Bell in a 1926 silent film. Shows Bell's first telephone transmitter (microphone), invented 1876 and first displayed at the Centennial Exposition, Philadelphia.
This history of the telephone chronicles the development of the electrical telephone, and includes a brief overview of its predecessors. (Full article...)
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A payphone (alternative spelling: pay phone) is typically a coin-operated public telephone, often located in a telephone booth or in high-traffic outdoor areas, with pre-payment by inserting money (usually coins) or by billing a credit or debit card, or a telephone card. Prepaid calling cards also facilitate establishing a call by first calling the provided toll-free telephone number, entering the card account number and PIN, then the desired telephone number. An equipment usage fee may be charged as additional units, minutes or tariff fee to the collect/third-party, debit, credit, telephone or prepaid calling card when used at payphones. By agreement with the landlord, either the phone company pays rent for the location and keeps the revenue, or the landlord pays rent for the phone and shares the revenue.

Payphones are often found in public places to contribute to the notion of universal access to basic communication services. In the late 1920s the cost of a pay phone call in the United States was two cents. The 1930s calls were five cents. Early in the 21st century as pay phones became rare, the price of a call was fifty cents. One thesis, written as early as 2003, recognized this as a digital divide problem.

In the 20th century, payphones in some countries, such as Spain, used token coins, available for sale at a local retailer, to activate pay phones, instead of legal tender coins. In some cases, these were upgraded to use magnetic cards or credit card readers over the years. (Full article...)

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Dual-tone multi-frequency signaling (DTMF) is a telecommunication signaling system using the voice-frequency band over telephone lines between telephone equipment and other communications devices and switching centers. DTMF was first developed in the Bell System in the United States, and became known under the trademark Touch-Tone for use in push-button telephones supplied to telephone customers, starting in 1963. DTMF is standardized as ITU-T Recommendation Q.23. It is also known in the UK as MF4. (Full article...)

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Telephones in the news

24 November 2021 – Anglophone Crisis
Gunmen open fire at a school in Ekondo-Titi, Southwest Region, Cameroon, killing three children and a teacher. (AFP via Barron's)

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