Picture this: You are walking down the street wondering what the weather is going to be for tonight, because you are going to a restaurant that you still haven't made reservations for and need to buy those theatre tickets for the after-dinner show. Nothing like last-minute plans. However, all of your problems can be fixed with the push of a few buttons on a cell phone.
The evolution of the personal cellular phone is quite amazing. The technology was created in the late 1970s, and at first it was only accessible by the very wealthy. Years later the first commercial cell phones were released, which were bulky, didn't have a great signal, and were very expensive. At first used primarily by law enforcement and business professionals, cellular phones have since evolved into smaller, easy to use electronic devices, now owned by millions of individuals across the globe.
Cell phones work by sending and receiving radio signals through any number of "cell sites." These sites are usually mounted on a tower, pole, or building located throughout populated areas, then connected to a cabled communications network and switching system. The phones have a low-power transceiver that transmits voice and data to the nearest cell sites, normally not more than 5 to 8 miles away from each other.
When the mobile phone or data device is turned on, it registers with the mobile phone exchange, or switch, with its unique identifiers, and can then be alerted by the mobile switch when there is an incoming telephone call or text message. The handset constantly listens for the strongest signal being received from the surrounding base stations, and is able to switch seamlessly between sites. As the user moves around the network, the "handoffs" are performed to allow the device to switch sites without interrupting the call. The more cell sites, the clearer the call and the less chance of losing the signal.
Styles of Phones
The candy bar phone looks pretty much as its name implies. It is shaped like a rectangle or a square, and its screen and the majority of its operational keys/digits are located on the face of the phone. Each of these phones provides a locking mechanism to prevent you from accidentally pressing a digit or dialing a number while the phone is bouncing around in your pocket or purse.
Flip phones require you to open the face of the phone to dial and receive calls. These provide the most natural phone experience, mimicking the kind of telephone you would have in your home. The earpiece and mouthpiece are perfectly aligned with your ear and mouth, respectively.
The smart phone is built like a candy bar phone, but instead of simply having a keypad for numbers, they provide a full "QWERTY" keyboard. Installed on each smart phone are computer software products such as Windows OS, Symbian OS, and BlackBerry OS.
Widows OS and Symbian OS are more commercially friendly operating systems, as they allow for simple configurations and web browsing. If you use a computer regularly, these operating systems will make you feel as if your home computer is in your pocket.
BlackBerry OS is used predominantly within a corporate/business atmosphere. E-mail is the biggest factor that makes BlackBerry useful. Its communication is instantaneous, whereas e-mail support from a Windows or Symbian OS will use a different network, creating e-mail delay. On the BlackBerry OS, you can have up to 10 e-mail accounts on one phone, many of which can be aligned directly with your company's network, allowing you to send and receive messages without having to be in your office.
More Than Just Calling Friends and Family
Each cell phone carrier provides these different services as part of their cell phone packages. Typically, the more features you want, the mores expensive your monthly bill will be. However, carriers are now creating special packages that allow consumers to have the "whole package" for one reasonable, set rate.
Accessing the internet on your cellular phone is a feature that has been getting better and better since its implementation almost 10 years ago. The newer cell phones, the ones with larger screens, allow for full HTML browsing, while the smaller, less expensive phones do not provide that service. What's the difference? The difference is in the quality and speed at which you can surf the web. The phones designed to provide full HTML service allow you to navigate a website like you were sitting at a desktop computer. The cell phones not designed to handle that can either crash, or take an extremely long time to upload a website.
Connecting to other electronic devices has never been easier. Some cellular phones allow wireless connections via Bluetooth. You can operate your phone through Bluetooth and transfer files to other phones, use hands-free mobile headsets, connect to your computer, and communicate with other electronic devices that use the Bluetooth signal.
Besides tapping into the internet, cell phones can become a portable entertainment source. Some phones have built-in memory as well as a slot for a memory card. With these features, you can take pictures, video, and even turn your phone into a full-fledged MP3 player, storing hundreds of songs.
How Does it All Work?
Before the introduction of WAP, service providers had extremely limited opportunities to offer interactive data services. Interactive data applications are required to support currently commonplace activities such as sending e-mail or searching for sports scores, stock market quotes, or news headlines.
Just like on a computer, different internet speeds and services are provided. The evolution of cellular phone internet access has been: Dual Mode connection, Tri-Mode connection, Edge, 2G and 3G. These provide the full HTML experience on your phone. Currently 3G is the fastest internet access available for cellular phones, but it is not available in all locations. To remedy this situation, some newer cell phones have built-in Wi-Fi, which allows you to connect to the internet through the local wireless router.
Crossing Contract Lines
There are some other warranty risks involved with buying an unlocked
phone. Some unlocked phones come with warranties honored by the manufacturers;
however some do not come with U.S. warranties. Many unlocked phones have
warranties that are only honored overseas. If an issue arises with an
unlocked phone that has a warranty honored overseas, it can be 2-3 months
or more to get the phone fixed. Therefore, consumers must be careful and
understand the risks of buying an unlocked phone and ask the right questions.
Most stores that sell unlocked phones offer very limited warranties and
often charge restocking fees or have a no-return policy on these. That
is why at Abt Electronics, we currently offer a limited selection of unlocked
Windows OS: An operating system used on cellular phones based on the Windows PC format.
Symbian OS: The most popular operating system on cellular phones. This system allows phones to text, receive and send messages, and run the majority of all operations on a phone.
BlackBerry OS: Operating system used primarily with BlackBerry smart phones. Predominantly used by businesses.
QWERTY: The representation of the first line of the American keyboard. Cell phones that feature a "Full Qwerty Keyboard" have a standard alphabetical keyboard.
HTML: HyperText Markup Language is the text predominantly used in the creation of standard web pages.
Texting: A way of communicating by using the keys on your phone to spell out words and send brief messages from one phone to another.
Bluetooth: A wireless way of communicating and transferring information to other electronic devices with built-in Bluetooth technology.
SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) Card: This is a small card that is provided by cell phone carriers and identifies a user's telephone number and service package. Can be removed and placed in unlocked phones except for users with Sprint or Verizon contracts, as their phones have built-in SIM cards.
Wi-Fi: The popular wireless technology used in home networks, mobile phones, and other electronic devices.
Click here to see all the Cellular Phones available at Abt.