CELLULAR 101...
Are you a beginner when it comes to cellular phones. Maybe you are not comfortable with the language sales people spit out. Below is a list of the latest cellular phone jargon, abbreviations and details on how the phones work.

Glossary of Terms :

Air Time : It refers to the actual time one spends using a wireless phone. Most carriers, such as AT&T Wireless, Sprint PCS, Nextel Etc., charge their clients based on the amount of minutes of air time used every month.

Any Key Answer : A feature that allows one to answer any incoming phone call by just pressing any key on the cellular phone.

Call blocking : A wireless phone feature that lets you block certain predetermined calls from being received by your phone. You may also be able to block calls that have caller ID blocked.

Calling or Service Plan: It refers to a contractual agreement between a wireless carrier and a customer. It varies from carrier to carrier, but it typically includes the monthly rate, the number of included free minutes, And any plan feature that might apply.

Cancellation Fee : Carrier typically charges a fee if one cancels a service plan before the expiration date of the contract, typically one year..

Car Kit: Cellular phone accessory which allows handsfree conversation in your car while driving. Complete handsfree car kits may require professional installation, while simpler car kits can just be plugged to the car cigarette lighter.

CDMA : Code Division Multiple Access. Standard mainly used by Verizon (GTE, Airtouch, Bell Atlantic) and Sprint PCS.

CDPD : Cellular Digital Packet Data. An enhanced system overlay for transmitting and receiving data over cellular networks. Supports AT&T's PocketNet service.

Cellular : It refers to the way cities and counties are divided into basic geographic unit, called cells.

Cigarette Lighter Adapter : A cellular phone accessory that allows to plug cellular phones into a car cigarette lighter.

Cradle: A cellular phone accessory that hosts the wireless phone while charging its battery.

Digital: Wireless format which converts the signal into a code of 1's and 0's similar to computer data. When compared to analog, wireless digital transmission is better in audio quality, security and costs.

Dual-Band : It refers to cellular phones, which work on both the 800MHz and 1900MHz digital networks

Dual-Mode : It refers to cellular phones, which can work on both analog and digital networks.

End key : It is that key (usually red in color) on wireless phone which terminates a telephone call.

ESN: It refers to Electronic Serial Number . It is the unique identification number embedded in the cellular phone by the manufacturer. It cannot be changed and it helps prevent fraud.

GPRS : General Packet Radio Services. New connection standard which enables web enabled phones to connect to the internet at high speed. Available in Europe.

GSM : Global System for Mobile Communications. Used through out Europe, Asia and by selected carriers in the US: Voicestream (Omnipoint), Pac Bell, Bell South.

Hands-free : A cellular phone accessory which allows to use a cellular phone without having to hold it or lift it. Cellular headsets and car kits are hands-free accessories.

HDML : Handheld Device Markup Language. Text based language used to construct Web pages for wireless phones.

HTML : Hypertext Markup Language. Text based language used to construct to construct Web pages for computers.

Lithium Ion Battery : A Lithium Ion battery allows longer standby and talk times and are generally lighter than NiCad or NiMH batteries.

MIN : It refers to Mobile Identification Number .It is the identification number of a mobile unit within a carrier’s network. It differs from the ESN number, which is assigned by the manufacturer, not the carrier.

NiCad: A battery containing nickel cadmium. These batteries have been generally replaced by NiMH and lately Lithium Ion batteries.

NiMH : A battery containing nickel metal hydride. They are in between the now obsolete NiCad and the new Lithium Ion batteries.

Off-Peak : The period of time during which carriers typically offer discounted airtime charges. Most carriers generally refer to week-nights and week-end airtimes. It varies from carrier to carrier.

One-touch emergency dialing : The latest cellular phones' models offer this feature which allows the user to set up one key for an emergency call.

PCS : It refers to Personal Communications Service.
A two way digital phone service which works at 1900 MHz frequency allowing digital voice, messaging and data transmission.

PDA: It refers to Personal Digital Assistant . It is a portable computing device allowing users to organize appointments, transmitting data, arranging contacts and most recently e-mailing and logging to the Internet.

Peak: The period of time during the day in which carriers charge full price for airtime.. Most carriers generally refer to regular business hours. It varies from carrier to carrier.

Prepaid : A wireless service plan offered by most carriers which allows users to prepay wireless service minutes. Carriers typically do not require users to sign service contracts or run credit checks for pre-paid plans.

Roaming : It refers to when a user travels outside of his/her calling area. It usually involves higher charges and long distance fees.

Send key : The wireless phone key used to initiate a call, after dialing a number. This key may also be used to answer calls.

SMS: Short Message Service. Short text messages that can be sent and received by digital phones. See our main page for "wireless stock alerts" to your cell phone !"

Standby Time: The length of time that a fully charged battery will last until is entirely drained without talking.

Talk Time: The length of time that a fully charged battery will last until is entirely drained when talking.

TCP/IP : Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol.

TDMA: Time Division Multiple Access. Standard used mainly by carriers such as AT&T, Suncom, Cellular One.

Tri-Band : Networks which can operate on three different frequencies.

Tri-Mode: Cellular phones, which can operate on three frequencies: 1900MHz, 800MHz digital or 800MHz analog when digital is not available.

Voice-activated dialing: The latest phones carry this feature which allows the user to dial a number on their cellular phone by just saying the name of the person called into the cellular phone microphone.

UMTS : Third generation of cellular communication adopted mainly in Europe.

Wireless : Radio Frequency spectrum, which allows voice data and video transmission.