Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation. A radio wave has a much longer wavelength than does visible light. We use radio waves extensively for communications. Radio waves have wavelengths as short as a few millimeters (tenths of inches) and as long as hundreds of kilometers (hundreds of miles). Visible light, for comparison, has wavelengths in the 400 to 700 nanometer range, about 5,000 times shorter than the shortest wavelength radio waves. Radio waves oscillate at frequencies between a few kilohertz (kHz or thousands of hertz) and a few terahertz (THz or 1012 hertz). "Far infrared" radiation borders radio waves on the electromagnetic spectrum; far IR is slightly higher energy and shorter wavelength radiation than radio. Various frequencies of radio waves are used for television and FM and AM radio broadcasts, military communications, mobile phones, ham radio, wireless computer networks, and numerous other communications applications. (Russell, 2005)
When we pick up our cell phones, most of us expect to find a signal and be able to place a call, send a text, browse the internet or open an application. A lot of us don't realize, however, that the cell phone is a radio. Essentially, cell phones are small radios with small two-way transmitters allowing you to send and receive radio wave communications. The signals are bridged by base stations we call “towers”.
Today, we call our wireless devices “cell phones” and our wired telephones “land lines”. “A landline telephone involves a phone that has a wired connection to the telecommunications grid by way of utility lines...A cell phone works by sending and receiving microwave frequency signals over a wireless cellular network” (Ianello, 2015)
In my house, we haven't had a landline phone for a number of years. Once cell phone plans became affordable enough with unlimited minutes, free nights, free weekends, etc, the usage and need to depend on the landline diminished. We kept our landline...