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Wireline vs. Landline: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on October 2, 2023
Wireline refers to the technology involving the use of physical cables or wires, whereas landline typically refers to telephone services transmitted through fixed, wired connections.

Key Differences

Wireline and landline are terms often used in telecommunications but refer to different concepts. Wireline is a broad term that refers to any telecommunications technology that relies on the use of physical cables or wires to transmit data, voice, or other services. This encompasses various services, including broadband internet, landline telephones, and cable television. It is a comprehensive term reflecting the foundational infrastructure allowing wired communication and services.
Landline, on the other hand, typically pertains to telephone services that are transmitted through fixed, wired connections, usually copper or fiber-optic cables. It specifically denotes voice communication services and is seen as a subset of wireline services. Landline phones are often contrasted with mobile or cellular phones, emphasizing the fixed, stationary nature of the service, which is bound to a specific location.
While the term wireline covers a range of services including landlines, it also extends to other wired telecommunications services. For instance, a broadband internet connection that uses physical cables is a wireline service but is not a landline service. The defining characteristic of wireline services is the use of physical cables, regardless of the nature or type of service provided.
Landlines are known for their reliability and clarity in voice transmission compared to mobile services, especially in areas with poor cellular reception. The term landline is predominantly associated with voice communication, and it represents a traditional and established mode of communication, especially before the advent of mobile telephony.
It’s crucial to recognize the inherent interconnectedness and the differences between wireline and landline in telecommunications. Understanding the broad and encompassing nature of wireline services and the specific, voice-centered application of landlines can help in distinguishing these terms in various contexts.

Comparison Chart


Technology involving the use of physical cables or wires
Telephone services transmitted through fixed connections

Type of Services

Broad, including landline, internet, and cable TV
Specifically related to voice communication


Physical cables
Usually copper or fiber-optic cables


Fixed, stationary services
Fixed, bound to a specific location

Associated Services

Telecommunications services
Telephone services

Wireline and Landline Definitions


A general term for wired communication services.
Wireline networks are crucial for stable internet access.


Telephone services transmitted through fixed, wired connections.
Our landline offers clear voice quality and is very reliable.


The use of cables or wires for transmitting data and voice.
Many rural areas lack access to advanced wireline services.


A traditional phone service associated with a specific location.
We have a landline at home for local calls.


Telecommunications technology using physical cables.
The company specializes in wireline services, offering fast and reliable connectivity.


A stationary telephone service transmitted through cables.
Landline phones are often used by businesses for their reliability.


Pertains to the transmission of electronic signals over a wire.
The company is expanding its wireline infrastructure to improve service quality.


A telephone connected by a wire, typically fixed in a location.
Many businesses still maintain a landline for official communications.


Reflects foundational infrastructure for wired communication.
With advancements in technology, wireline systems have become more sophisticated and efficient.


A phone service that is not mobile or cellular.
Despite the prevalence of cell phones, having a landline can be beneficial in emergencies.


Of or relating to the transmission of electromagnetic signals through wires
A wireline network.


A traditional telephone line in which a telephone is connected to the public network by cables.


(telecommunications) A landline.


Telephone service provided by such cables
I don't have a landline.
Please call me on my cellphone.


(oil drilling) A wire that runs from a drill rig down into the drill hole to support a dead load or other downhole tool.


An aboveground communications cable on land.


A fixed telephone communications cable; originally, one run over land, as opposed to a submarine cable.


(by extension) A telephone connected by such a fixed wire, specifically not wireless/mobile.


(attributively) That which is connected by such a fixed wire (telephone, internet etc.).


A telephone line that travels over terrestrial circuits;
A land line can be wire or fiber optics or microwave


Can wireline services be wireless?

No, wireline specifically involves the use of physical cables or wires.

Is every landline a wireline?

Yes, landlines are a subset of wireline services.

Are landlines obsolete?

While less common due to mobile phones, landlines are still used for their reliability and clarity.

Do all businesses use landlines?

Many do for reliability, but some rely on mobile or VoIP services.

Is the installation of wireline services labor-intensive?

It can be, depending on the infrastructure and service type.

Can a landline be portable within a premises?

Yes, cordless landline phones offer mobility within a certain range.

Are all wireline services related to communication?

Most are, including internet, telephone, and cable TV services.

Can you have a landline without a wireline connection?

No, landlines are inherently wireline services.

Can wireline refer to internet services?

Yes, wireline includes wired internet services.

Is the term wireline used interchangeably with broadband?

It can be, as broadband is a type of wireline service.

Are landlines more secure than mobile phones?

They can be less susceptible to certain security risks like interception.

Is landline service usually cheaper than mobile service?

It can be, especially for local calls, but it varies.

Can wireline services transmit data at high speeds?

Yes, especially with advanced technologies like fiber optics.

Do wireline services always require a physical connection to the device?

Typically, yes, unless connected to an internal network.

Is it common to have both a landline and a mobile phone?

It's less common but some people maintain both for different needs.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

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