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The transmission of speech to a distant point by means of electric signals.



the field of science and technology encompassing both the study of telephone-communication principles and the development of telephone equipment.

As a scientific and technological discipline, telephony comprises a number of activities. It studies the properties and characteristics of the sound field, by which interaction occurs between the organs of speech and hearing on the one hand and electroacoustic transducers (telephone transmitter and receiver) on the other. Telephony also investigates the physics of these interaction processes and develops transducers and telephone sets having specified parameters (sensitivity, amplitude-frequency response, level of intrinsic noise, extent of sidetone reduction). In addition, it develops equipment for multichannel communication and establishes criteria for evaluating the quality of speech transmission of telephone sets and telephone circuits (intelligibility, loudness, naturalness).

Telephony also includes the design and construction of switching and control equipment for telephone central offices (selectors, connectors, registers, markers) and the design of telephone networks. Networks must be designed to handle a particular volume of traffic and deliver a certain quality of service, and the design work involves determination of the number of channels and control devices to be used and of the placement of central offices and switching centers. Telephony also concerns itself with developing methods of monitoring, and improving the reliability of, switching equipment.

Improvements in telephone technology have been associated with the development of multichannel systems (with both frequency- and time-division multiplexing) possessing high operational reliability and stability of electrical and other characteristics and with the introduction of high-speed switching and control apparatus for automatic central offices. Of special interest is the development of methods for encoding address and speech information for systems where line multiplexing and channel switching are based on the principle of time division of channels, for example, using pulse-code modulation. Advances in electronics and computer technology have made possible the creation of highly efficient equipment for telephone communication, prime examples of which are quasi-electronic and electronic switching facilities, including automatic central offices with programmed control of switching operations.

Many problems in telephony draw on the principles and techniques of the electromagnetic analogy theory (design of transducers), the theory of linear and nonlinear circuits (design of telephone-set circuits and of control circuits in automatic central offices), probability theory, and queuing theory.


See references under .



Communication, often two-way, of spoken information, by means of electrical signals carried by wires or radio waves. The term was used to indicate transmission of the voice, as distinguished from telegraphy (done in Morse code and usually called "continuous wave" or CW transmission), radio teletypewriter (RTTY) transmission (also called FSK for "Frequency Shift Keying", the modulation scheme used by such machines), and later, facimile.


Meaning "sound over distance," it refers to electronically transmitting the human voice. In the beginning, telephony dealt only with analog signals in the circuit-switched networks of the telephone companies. It later referred to a mix of analog and digital circuits, but still with the telephone industry. Starting in the 1990s, telephony began to embrace sending voice over IP (VoIP) networks, which is now deployed by common carriers, private enterprises and independent VoIP providers (see VoIP and IP telephony).
References in periodicals archive ?
Everyone would be so eager to answer the phones, so customers would never have to wait, and the telephonists would enthusiastically try to find prices for customers as soon as possible.
Telephonists often wear a headset and use anautomated system.
Challenged by North Wales central coroner John Hughes to explain why he told the telephonist the road had been gritted he said, "It was simply a mistake.
Communication is so important, especially during wartime, and I feel telephonists, telegraphists and engineers have been overlooked in the vital work they did at that time.
Mary Lacey from Glenties, Co Donegal, moved to Dublin to work as a telephonist.
JOAN Stewart, now residing in Australia will be visiting Liverpool late august and would like to meet up with colleagues she worked with in Lancaster House, Old Hall Street as a telephonist in the early 1960s.
I have not seen her since the 1960s, but I know she used to work as a telephonist for a company called Donking Services.
She was employed first as a telephonist and then trained to spot German planes for our anti-aircraft 'Ack Ack' guns in the North East of England, braving terrifying Doodlebugs.
They should be taught how to mend a car, change a lightbulb, fry an egg, grow their own vegetables, slag off an incompetent telephonist, treat a girl/boy nicely, book a holiday and fill in a tax return.
Her education authority told her that she should aim for a job as a telephonist and Mrs Leigh, from Audley, Stoke-on-Trent, says that her first husband derided her musical ambitions.
Now back home in Maes Hedd, Holyhead, the mum- of three is still unable to return to her taxi telephonist job and faces further surgery.
1961 King Hussein of Jordan announced that he was to marry a telephonist from Stratford-upon-Avon.