A telephone company, also known as a telco, telephone service provider,or telecommunications operator, is a kind of communications service provider (CSP) (more precisely a telecommunications service provider or TSP) that provides telecommunications services such as telephony and data communications access. Many telephone companies were at one time government agencies or privately owned but state-regulated monopolies. The government agencies are often referred to, primarily in Europe, as PTTs (postal, telegraph and telephone services).
Telephone companies are common carriers, and in the United States are also called local exchange carriers. With the advent of mobile telephony, telephone companies now include wireless carriers, or mobile network operators.
Most telephone companies now also function as internet service providers (ISPs), and the distinction between a telephone company and an ISP may disappear completely over time, as the current trend for supplier convergence in the industry continues.
Telco or TELCO may refer to: Telephone company, a provider of telecommunications services, such as telephony and data communications. TATA Engineering and Locomotive Company, an Indian automobile company firm. Telco Systems, a telecommunications systems manufacturer based in Mansfield, Massachusetts, USA.
A telecommunications service provider (TSP) is a type of communications service provider that has traditionally provided telephone and similar services. This category includes incumbent local exchange carriers, competitive local exchange carriers, and mobile wireless communication companies.