A landline has traditionally been defined as a physical phone line connected to your home or office. This is opposed to mobile networks where calls are connected using radio waves.
While technology has evolved, so has the use of the term “landline”.
Today, a “landline number” simply refers to any phone number that has a prefix (area code) indicating that it belongs to a specific city or region – such as 212 for Manhattan, New York.
In this article, we will explain what a landline is. We will also go through how you can get one that is free forever – albeit without the physical cable to your home.
Over a billion and declining
The landline is also known as the main line, home phone, fixed-line and wireline. In 2003, the CIA World Factbook reported that there were about 1.3 billion landlines worldwide. China had 350 million, and the United States was second with 268 million. The UK had 23.7 million residential fixed home phones.
Ten years later, the amount of landlines worldwide was down to 1.26 billion.
The use is decreasing as a higher portion of the world’s population has a mobile phone, negating the need for having a landline as well.
Getting a landline number online
Today it is possible to buy landline numbers online – with the same local area codes as before. The only difference is that you no longer need to have any physical cable connected to your home.
From a user experience perspective, there isn’t much difference.
- Anyone can call an the number
Online numbers aren’t different from regular phone numbers. Anyone can call a number from their mobile or landline – just as if calling a regular number. Callers will not notice any difference.
- Call forwarding to regular numbers
An online number can be configured to forward incoming calls to regular mobile numbers or to other landlines. This allows you to answer calls on a local number anywhere, regardless where you are in the world.
It is also possible to answer and make calls using apps and software in your mobile or in your computer.
How to get a landline number online
Landline numbers are available from a variety of providers worldwide, at different price ranges, and with different quality and functionality.
From Sonetel it is possible to get a number in a country of choice, from $1.79 per month – or even for free.