Telephones Product Guide
The telephone was developed over 100 years ago. Throughout the 20th Century, improvements in telephone production, design and service have totally revolutionized the ways that people communicate with each other. Until the 1970's, American Telephone & Telegraph (ATT), virtually quenching any competition, exclusively distributed telephones. When ATT was divested into several different companies, in 1984, the manufacture and sale of telephones was open to competition. Since then, the development of telephone products and services has been occurring at incredible speed.
The telephone has become a standard item in homes and businesses. Many additional features have been added to the basic telephone for convenience and necessity. You can store telephone memories for speed-dial, you can walk around your home and use the phone with completely hands-free communication, you can access multiple telephone lines, and you can have the phone store messages and calls when you're away. There are phones that can even send sheets and photos (with fax capabilities) and access the Internet.
The vast majority of telephones consist of a handset with a base. The base requires connection to a telephone jack, provided by your local telephone service carrier, sometimes an AC power cord, in order to make and receive telephone calls.
Corded Telephones use a handset cord to communicate from the handset to the telephone base (which is wired to the phone jack). Although these are considered the most economical category among telephone models, they can encompass a wide-range of uses and features. With models starting at prices below $15.00, corded phones can be used with multiple telephone lines, have built-in hands-free speakerphones, have auto-dial telephone number memories, have LCD screens to display Caller-ID listings, include an integrated answering machine, allow intercom and paging among phone stations, and much more.
With few exceptions, all corded telephones allow you to replace handset cords. Most are shipped with 7-foot long cords. Optional 12 to 25 foot long handset cords may be purchased separately.
Cordless phones use FM radio technology to replace the familiar handset cord. You're no longer limited to the length of a phone corded. You can roam around your home freely, as you converse on the handset. Cordless phones are made up of at least 2 parts; the handset and the base station. The handset has a numeric phone keypad, along with some additional features. Handsets may have the ability to remember a quantity of phone numbers for quick-dial, page or intercom, adjust loudness, and display Call-ID (where an integrated LCD screen is present). In some cases, the handset may have a port that permits connection of an optional headset. This headset has an integrated microphone and earphone that can enable hands-free communication (no need to hold the handset to your ear). A rechargeable battery is in the handset to provide power for cordless operation. The base station is wired to a telephone service jack and an AC electrical plug. When the handset rests in the base station, the handset battery is recharged. In some models, the base may also have a keypad and a built-in speakerphone.
The cordless telephone handset communicates with the base through the use of FM radio frequencies. The earliest models used 46/49 Megahertz. Virtually none of these are sold anymore. Today you'll find cordless telephones that are available with one of three frequency bands 900 Megahertz, 2.4 Gigahertz, 5.8 Gigahertz (GHz). Either of these frequencies provides excellent sound with a reasonable wireless operating range for most homes.
2.4 and 5.8 GHz offer better performance in areas or buildings where many cordless phones may be operating simultaneously. These frequencies deliver greater bandwidth. They significantly add a wider range of channels that reduce interference and increase security. Some models allow the addition of more than one handset for more flexible use. The wireless operating range may be somewhat farther but is still intended for in-home use.
Some phones also come with Spread Spectrum technology. This allows for interference-free talking. Phones with this technology automatically sense static or interference and routinely switch channels without users noticing to find the best available frequency or channel for optimal performance.
Cordless telephones are among the most popular of telephones used at home. But what happens if you inadvertently forgot where you left your handset? Most base stations have a handset-page button that can be used as a handset-locator. When you press this button, your handset rings repeatedly so you can find it easily.
Most models of cordless telephones consist of one handset and one base. Recently, a few models were introduced that allow you to add additional handsets. These are gaining popularity among small businesses and large homes.
Saying 'Hello' (or 'Good-bye') to friends, acquaintances, family, and associates can't be easier. You see people doing it everywhere. They're carrying on conversations using portable, pocketsize cellular phones. In some cases, they seem to be talking to themselves but they're not crazy. They are using a portable headset for completely hands-free conversation. Though several people now call them Wireless Phones, 'Cellular Phones' and 'Cell Phones' remain as the more popular terms right now.
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