Look Up Another Term

Definition: analog telephone adapter

A device that adapts a subscriber's analog telephones to a digital voice service from a VoIP, cable or DSL provider. Connecting to the modem, router or directly to the cable coming into the premises, the analog telephone adapter (ATA) delivers dial-tone, manages the call setup and provides the conversion between digital and analog voice. See IP phone and VoIP.

With this adapter, an analog telephone is connected to either a router (LAN) or the Internet (WAN) for VoIP service. For telco company (PSTN) backup, it includes an FXO port. See SIP and FXS. (Image courtesy of Grandstream Networks, Inc., www.grandstream.com)

Cable ATA
In this earlier Comcast cable example, the coax line was split between the ATA and cable modem. The ATA was wired to an analog telephone for voice, and the cable modem connected to the router for data. Newer Comcast gateways include the cable modem, ATA and wireless router in one device. See cable/DSL gateway.