TAE Socket

A TAE socket is a jack for telephones and peripheral devices such as faxes or answering machines used primarily in Germany. TAE sockets and TAE plugs have up to six different connecting contacts with certain contacts being used depending on the device. A TAE socket is also often called a monopole socket. It is typically the first socket, from the network provider's perspective, on the customer's premises and for the network provider it represents the network termination. Additional TAE sockets can be installed downstream from this socket. With DSL connections the internet routers or DSL modems are connected to the TAE socket using a splitter.

Introduction of TAE with the deregulation of the device market

TAE was introduced in the late 1980s in preparation for the deregulation of the device and telecommunications market in Germany through the postal reform. It was intended to create a defined network termination and allow subscribers to connect certified and suitable devices such as phones, answering machines, modems and faxes to the telephone network themselves. Before this, telephone connections were typically hard-wired, which did not allow for switching devices. Additional devices could only be connected to the telephone network with a special socket (ADo). For testing purposes, the subscriber's initial TAE socket has a passive test connection (PPA). It therefore must not be replaced with a regular TAE socket.

TAE socket coding

TAE sockets and plugs can be coded differently. They're either F- or N-type. An F-type is intended for telephony. Here the F stands for "Fernsprechen" (telephone). N stands for peripheral devices or "non-telephone" and is intended for any device but phones. NTBAs or DSL splitters, however, are typically connected to the F-socket. U-type sockets are very rare. U stands for Universal and allows both F- as well as N-type plugs to be connected. TAE sockets commonly have several (often three) different socket types such as NFN sockets.