Telephone Industry, Technology Of - Research Article from Encyclopedia of Communication and Information

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The Telephone Network

The basic telephone technology of the United States, despite many refinements, is still known by the acronym POTS (plain old telephone service). The telephone instrument combines a microphone, a speaker or earphone, a ringer, and a touch-tone keypad or rotary dial (on older devices). A call is initiated when the handset (combining the microphone and earphone) is lifted, thereby activating the circuit. The destination telephone number is "dialed" by pressing a sequence of numbers on the keypad, thereby generating distinct tones for each number pressed. The older rotary-dial device generated a series of electrical pulses that corresponded to each number that was dialed.

At the local level, telephone subscribers (residential and business) are served by a local-exchange carrier (LEC). Each telephone in "the local loop" is served by a separate line that is connected to the central office of the LEC, giving the...

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This section contains 2,751 words
(approx. 10 pages at 300 words per page)
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Telephone Industry, Technology Of from Encyclopedia of Communication and Information. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.
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