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What are the technical possibilities to make or receive calls from a fixed appliance?

You need a provider for the connection and a provider for the fixed telephony service (calls).

You can buy a connection and call services from a single operator or from several operators, by using technologies based on the copper telephone line, the TV cable, the Internet or radio waves.

These are the possibilities in a nutshell:

Connection

Technology

Fixed telephony provider

Possibilities and equipment

 

Over the telephone network

PSTN / ISDN (classic analogue or digital telephone line)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Incumbent (Proximus) or alternative operator using the Proximus network

Fixed analogue telephone (PSTN) or digital telephone (ISDN), cordless or not (DECT). You can ask to keep the number of your fixed line (the new operator will have you sign a "letter of authorisation")

 

Over the telephone network

PSTN / ISDN (classic analogue or digital telephone line)

 

C(P)S operator

Call using an access code (CS/CPS). For this a previous subscription with the incumbent or an alternative operator is needed. (The operator has you sign a "letter of authorisation")

Over the telephone network

VoIP over xDSL

 

Alternative operator

Modem supporting VoIP and fixed telephone, cordless or not (DECT).

Fixed number portability ("letter of authorisation")

 

Over the cable television network

TV cable

 

Cable operator

You can ask to keep your fixed telephone number ("letter of authorisation").

Fixed telephone or DECT.

Over the Internet

VoIP out (no number allocated to receive calls)

 Nomadic VoIP (with a number that can be used worldwide)

 

No number portability

Access to emergency numbers (112, 100, 101) impossible

Specific telephone or PC needed

 

Therefore, certain solutions imply that you need to have an Internet connection and appropriate equipment (modem, PC, VoIP phone, ...).