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Cell Phones Glossary

Analog/Analog coverage

Analog cellular phone service was the first cellular system established and is quickly being replaced by digital service. Analog service relies on frequencies similar to radio frequencies. Still, analog coverage is the most widespread system in the United States and most phones have dual analog/digital capability.

Bluetooth is a radio technology that delivers short-range wireless communication between two devices. It is used to connect headsets to cell phones without wires and to link other cell phones and laptops.

Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) is a more recent digital cellular technology. CDMA is utilized mostly by Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless.

Because service quality can vary by geography, service providers offer a service coverage map based on zip code.
Digital camera

Many cell phones now offer a small camera that takes simple, low-resolution pictures that can be stored or sent via the internet to other phones or desktops.
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Digital/Digital coverage

Digital cellular service is considered the highest fidelity service and most versatile. CDMA and GSM are the two major digital standards. Digital coverage will soon overtake analog coverage as the standard and most widespread.

ESN and IMEI are electronic serial numbers that your service provider will use to activate your phone, which are located underneath the phone battery. These verification numbers help service providers check the cell phone's validity and help prevent fraud. If the ESN and IMEI number is reported as stolen, the cell phone will no longer function.

Most phones now come with computer game playing capability, coming complete with several simple games and the ability to download more from the internet. For example, common games are poker, Tetris and solitaire.

Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) is the most popular digital cellular technology worldwide. GSM phones with tri-band technology are called "world phones" since they can be used in many countries. GSM is utilized mainly by AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Cingular Wireless in the United States.

Liquid Crystal Display. High resolution flat panel electronic display, making it easier to interact with advanced features of today's cell phones.
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MP3 player

MP3s are digitized versions of your favourite songs ready for upload or download. Several phone companies have designed their phones to store and play MP3s.

Personal Digital Assistant. Once relegated to belt clips and email access, PDAs such as Handspring, Pilot, and the like have now been incorporated in the design of cell phones.
SIM card

Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) cards, small memory cards, work inside some cell phones using GSM technology. A SIM card typically sits below a phone's battery and stores user information, personal phone settings, and phone book entries. A subscriber can move a SIM card from one cell phone to another that supports SIM cards, which will then operate using the subscriber's phone number and account.

Some cell phone models now offer the loud-speaker function of the traditional office phone.

Sharing capability allowing the user to share certain phone functions (i.e., calendar, contact or email) with desktop and other applications. Not available in all markets.
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Time-Division Multiple Access (TDMA) is an older digital cellular technology. TDMA is utilized mainly by AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless.
Tri-band or Tri-mode

A mobile phone capable of functioning in Analog, CDMA, and PCS service areas. The digital/Web-enabled features of the phone are only functional in CDMA and PCS service areas. Tri-Band phones function on the worldwide network of GSM digital technology and therefore are useful when traveling abroad.

An "unlocked" cell phone will work for any service provider that supports the specific technology of the phone. A user switching service providers can keep a phone that is unlocked for any compatible service network.

• GSM: AT&T Wireless, T-Mobile, and Cingular Wireless
• TDMA: AT&T Wireless and Cingular Wireless
• CDMA: Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS

In many models, simple words or phrases can be spoken aloud to automatically dial a phone number or access a software tool inside the phone.

Some cell phone models now offer two-way communication capabilities, much like traditional "Walkie-talkies" that service personnel sometimes use, although linking distance is only limited by range of the telephone network.
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Web-enabled/Internet access

Cell phone functionality that allows the phone user to access the internet and email.
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