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A land line is a physical - as opposed to wireless - telecommunications medium that uses a metal wire or fiber optic cable to transmit a signal. The term landline is most often used to refer to a telephone line, although it can also be used to refer to wired data transfer services.
This technology is increasingly being replaced by cellular telephone and other wireless transmission services.
Up until fairly recently, land line telephones were the only option, but new wireless infrastructure has allowed many users to switch to wireless systems. As a result, existing land line infrastructure is an issue in current public administration as the number of land line users continues to decline. Many homes that are wired for land line service do not use it, and some experts speculate that this will lead to changes in how land line infrastructure is maintained. Meanwhile, a similar shift is going on in data transfer; where cabling data into homes and other locations used to be the norm, vendors are now offering mobile hot spots that send data from the Internet using a wireless signal. The smartphone or mobile device is also another major factor in changes to how land lines are used to provide telecommunications services.