All About Cell Phone

June 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

More and more people have been using cell phone nowadays. In fact, some people even consider it as a necessity and we can’t blame them. Cell phone is very useful and helpful for many after all.

What is cell phone?
Unless you’re living under a rock, you do know what a cell phone is. But for the uninitiated, here’s what it means. A mobile phone (also known as a handphone, wireless phone, cell phone, cellular phone, cellular telephone or cell telephone) is a long-range, electronic device used for mobile voice or data communication over a network of specialized base stations known as cell sites. In addition to the standard voice function of a mobile phone, telephone, current mobile phones may support many additional services, and accessories, such as SMS for text messaging, email, packet switching for access to the Internet, gaming, Bluetooth, infrared, camera with video recorder and MMS for sending and receiving photos and video, MP3 player, radio and GPS. Most current mobile phones connect to a cellular network of base stations (cell sites), which is in turn interconnected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) (the exception is satellite phones).

How did it all start? Where did cell phone come from? In the beginning, two-way radios (known as mobile rigs) were used in vehicles such as taxicabs, police cruisers, ambulances, and the like, but were not mobile phones because they were not normally connected to the telephone network. Users could not dial phone numbers from their mobile radios in their vehicles. A large community of mobile radio users, known as the mobileers, popularized the technology that would eventually give way to the mobile phone. Originally, mobile phones were permanently installed in vehicles, but later versions such as the so-called transportables or “bag phones” were equipped with a cigarette lighter plug so that they could also be carried, and thus could be used as either mobile or as portable two-way radios. During the early 1940s, Motorola developed a backpacked two-way radio, the Walkie-Talkie and later developed a large hand-held two-way radio for the US military. This battery powered “Handie-Talkie” (HT) was about the size of a man’s forearm.

Ericsson developed the first fully automatic mobile phone system, called MTA (Mobile Telephone system A). It was commercially released in Sweden in 1956. This was the first system that didn’t require any kind of manual control, but had the disadvantage of a phone weight of 40 kg (90 lb). MTB, an upgraded version with transistors, weighing 9 kg (20 lb), was introduced in 1965 and used DTMF signaling. It had 150 customers in the beginning and 600 when it shut down in 1983.

In December 1947, Douglas H. Ring and W. Rae Young, Bell Labs engineers, proposed hexagonal cells for mobile phones. Philip T. Porter, also of Bell Labs, proposed that the cell towers be at the corners of the hexagons rather than the centers and have directional antennas that would transmit/receive in 3 directions into 3 adjacent hexagon cells. The technology did not exist then and the frequencies had not yet been allocated. Cellular technology was undeveloped until the 1960s, when Richard H. Frenkiel and Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs developed the electronics.

In Europe, radio telephony was first used on the first-class passenger trains between Berlin and Hamburg in 1926. At the same time, radio telephony was introduced on passenger airplanes for air traffic security. Later radio telephony was introduced on a large scale in German tanks during the Second World War. After the war German police in the British zone of occupation first used disused tank telephony equipment to run the first radio patrol cars. In all of these cases the service was confined to specialists that were trained to use the equipment. In the early 1950s ships on the Rhine were among the first to use radio telephony with an untrained end customer as a user.

In 1957, the young radio engineer Leonid Kupriyanovich in Moscow, USSR, made the experimental model of wearable automatic mobile phone (“radiophone”), called him as LK-1, with base station. LK-1 has 3 kg weight, 20-30 km operating distance, and 20-30 hours of battery life. Leonid Kupriyanovich patented this mobile phone in 1957. The base station, in accordance with author’s description, could serve several customers. In 1958, Kupriyanovich made the new experimental “pocket” model of mobile phone. This phone has 0,5 kg weight. To serve more customers, Kupriyanovich proposed the device, named him as correllator.

In 1958 USSR also started the developing of “Altay” national civil mobile phone service for cars, based on Soviet MRT-1327 standard. The main developers of Altay system were VNIIS (Voronezh Science Research Institute of Communications)and GSPI (State Specialized Project Institute). In 1963 this service started in Moscow and in 1970 Altay service used in USSR for 30 cities. Last upgraded versions of Altay system still in use in some places of Russia as trunking system.

In 1966, Bulgaria presented the pocket mobile automatic phone RAT-0,5 with base station RATZ-10 (RATC-10) on Interorgtechnika-66 international exhibition. One base station, connected to one telephone wire line, could to serve 6 customers.

In 1967, each mobile phone had to stay within the cell area serviced by one base station throughout the phone call. This did not provide continuity of automatic telephone service to mobile phones moving through several cell areas. In 1970 Amos E. Joel, Jr., another Bell Labs engineer, invented an automatic “call handoff” system to allow mobile phones to move through several cell areas during a single conversation without loss of conversation.

In December 1971, AT&T submitted a proposal for cellular service to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). After years of hearings, the FCC approved the proposal in 1982 for Advanced Mobile Phone Service (AMPS) and allocated frequencies in the 824-894 MHz band. Analog AMPS was superseded by Digital AMPS in 1990.

One of the first truly successful public commercial mobile phone networks was the ARP network in Finland, launched in 1971. Posthumously, ARP is sometimes viewed as a zero generation (0G) cellular network, being slightly above previous proprietary and limited coverage networks.

Differences Between Cell Phones

Types of Cell Phones:

  • Camera Cell Phone
  • PDA Cell Phone
  • GPS Cell Phone

The cell phone itself isn’t an ongoing expense. You will need to shell out money for this only once unless you want an upgrade. Your own personal taste, style and need should determine what cell phone you want (not the sales assistant behind the desk). Many phones on todays market have a built in camera. The camera phone is by far the most popular phone for its multi-functionality. Not only can you capture that perfect photo you can also send pictures to friends and family or upload to your online accounts. Many of the camera phones have a zoom in/out option and a rotating lens. Add to that the growing fondness of people over Instagram, an app available on Apple and Android that lets you capture images, crop it into a square one then put any of the styles available there. And voila! Your boring photo can now be interesting.

Personal Digital Assistant or PDA are generally the most expensive among existing cell phones. This type of phone has specifications similar to that of personal computer. It has its own processor and memory and even have the excellent TFT display. This type of phone is ideal for sales reps or people who like to work from different locations apart from the office. This phone has word processor capabilities.

Global Positioning System or GPS cell phones are proven to be more and more popular. It is the newest on the market between the different cell phone types. Many companies who issue company mobile phones especially to sales representatives or drivers are diverting to the GPS cell type. This type of phone will give a precise location and whereabouts of someone.

Mobile Phone Signal
A phone is not a phone if it has no signal. This is how important a mobile phone signal is. The Mobile phone signal (or reception) is the strength of the connection the mobile phone has to its network. Depending on various factors, such as proximity to a tower, the signal may vary. Most mobile devices use a set of bars of varying heights to display the strength of the signal where the device is located.

Generally, a stronger mobile phone signal is easier to obtain in an urban area, though urban areas do have some “dead zones” where a reception cannot be obtained. On the contrary, many rural or minimally inhabited areas lack a signal or have a very weak reception, but many mobile phone providers are attempting to set up towers in parts of these areas most likely to be occupied by users, such as along major highways. Even some national parks and other popular tourist destinations away from urban areas now have cell phone receptions.

In an area where the signal would normally be strong, certain other factors may have an effect on the reception, thereby making it either stronger or weaker, or may cause complete interference. For example, a building with thick walls may prevent a mobile phone from being used. Many underground areas, such as tunnels and subway stations, lack a reception. And the weather and volume of network traffic may impact the strength.

Missed Call
A missed call is telephone call that is not answered by its intended recipient prior to the termination of ringing on the recipient’s end. The ringing may be terminated by the caller simply by hanging up the receiver of a landline phone, or pressing the appropriate button on a mobile phone, or if the answering machine or voicemail picks up on the recipient’s end. The term “missed call” is only displayed prominently on mobile phones.

Reasons for Missed Call
A call may be missed if the intended recipient is away from the phone at the time of the call, or if he or she is there, but chooses not to answer, or does not hear the phone ringing.

If the recipient has caller ID and this is known to the caller, one may deliberately place a missed call in order to notify another person of the caller’s presence or to conveniently provide one’s number.

This method can also be used by one who simply wishes to save money or minutes. This phenomenon is common in developing countries, particularly India, Pakistan, the Philippines and large parts of Africa, where cell phone use is increasing, but people still have to cope with the costs of calling on a regular basis.

The missed call serves as a cheap method of communication for those who cannot maintain a high credit balance such as people with low income. The Cellular Operators Association of India, COAI, has instituted a study to understand the revenue implications of the same in India. Industry estimates of loss of revenue due to this social phenomenon are 20-25% to as much as 30%.

At least one company in Bangalore is using this “tool” to generate business.

Missed call, as the Philippine-adapted homonym miskol, was declared the Word of the Year in 2007 at a language convention held in the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Uses Of Cell Phone
No one can deny that indeed cell phone is very useful. It gives us what we need and more. Here are some things you can do with your cell phone.

For Instant Messengers
Most of the latest cell phones with Internet connection permit you to chat with your friends and family using IM+ an All-in-One Instant Mobile Messenger to connect to Google Talk, AIM/iChat, MSN or Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo!, ICQ, Jabber, and MySpace IM all in real time.

Video Player
Enjoy ease of use and great video quality using the Mobiola xPlayer. Features include a video converter with file drag and drop that will convert your movie to the correct format and transfer it to the cell phone in a few seconds.

You can make voice recordings and e-mail them to anyone anywhere in the MP3 format. Including the capability to upload voice messages to online storage space and from there you can post them to online networking communities such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Blogger.

Now you can easily chat with family and friends by using your mobile or cell phone as a webcam simply by connecting your cell phone to your PC via USB, WiFi and Bluetooth with screen capture capabilities and great video effects.

Works with Yahoo messenger, Skype, AOL IM, YouTube, MSN, ICQ messenger and many other messengers as a standard USB webcam.

There are two ways of paying for your cell phone plan: postpaid and prepaid.

As the words obviously point out, in postpaid, you’ll have to pay after using your phone, usually every month. Companies often make their customers pay a fixed price, depending on the features availed. Even there’s a fixed price though, some customers still get shocked with their bill because sometimes, they use their plan way much more than what they planned to.

On the other hand, in prepaid, you have control of how much you’ll pay. Prepaid cell phone planes used to be sketchy alternatives for those with less than stellar credit ratings, but not anymore. They can be ideal for anyone who’s had enough of restrictive two-year contracts, scary overage fees, or micromanagement of cell phone minutes. Likewise, while they used to be more expensive than traditional plans, prepaid costs have begun to fall, and the plans have become just another way to break into the cell phone game. As the popularity of prepaid has skyrocketed, even the big brand-name carriers have jumped onto the bandwagon.

Prepaid plans are pretty self-explanatory: you open an account and pay for airtime up front. When you run out of minutes, you either pony up for more or, if you’ve had enough, simply let your plan expire. Want to switch carriers or cancel your service? No problem–you’re not under contract, so you’re free to jump ship anytime.

The Prepaid’s Benefit
The big advantage of prepaid is that there’s little hassle and no commitment. By contrast, if you sign up for a traditional plan with a major cellular carrier, you’ll likely sign a contract binding you for a year or more. If, for some reason you don’t want to use your postpaid anymore, you will have to pay a penalty fee for this act. Another plus of prepaid plans is that you won’t have to endure a credit check; in some cases, you won’t even need a credit card. With Virgin Mobile in Canada, for instance, you can walk into a Virgin Mega store, grab a phone with prepaid minutes off the rack, plunk down your cash, and start dialing.

How To Use Prepaid Plan
To get started with a prepaid plan, you buy a phone and a set amount of service. For some carriers, you pay specifically for a bucket of minutes, ranging from 30 to 1,000; for other carriers, you buy the equivalent of a calling card (say, $25). When you use up your minutes or your calling card, your phone stops working, and you must buy more–thus, avoiding overage charges. You can shop through the carrier’s Web site, or you can go to a carrier store or a local retailer and buy your phone and minutes in person. While most carriers have simple plans where you just buy minutes as you need them, others have monthly rates or auto pay options where your credit or ATM card is automatically charged a set dollar amount each month. As you make calls, the per-minute cost is deducted from the monthly amount until you have no more money or time left.

Disadvantage of Prepaid
While you might like the idea of no hassle or commitment, you’ll pay a price for that convenience. First of all, you’ll probably end up spending more per minute over the long run than you would if you signed a contract. This is especially true for anyone who uses a cell phone several hours a week. While you can get as low as 10 cents a minute with some prepaid carriers, there are often additional costs such as daily access fees (sometimes as much as $1 a day) or minutes that expire after just 30 days. On the equipment side, prepaid-only carriers typically don’t have the latest bleeding-edge phones, and the majors will limit your handset choices. While some carriers are starting to break the trend (for example, the sleek Motorola Razr V3 offered by Cingular and T-Mobile, as well as Verizon’s prepay Razr V3c), others offer little more than budget models. So if you’re dying to get a smart phone such as the Trio 700w, you’ll have to sign a contract to do so or pay a premium for an unlocked version. Finally, with some prepaid carriers, you won’t be able to port your current phone number over to a prepaid phone–and you can’t take your prepaid phone number with you to another carrier. Be sure to check first.

How Much It Will Cost
Most prepaid carriers charge anything from 10 to 60 cents a minute, depending on the plan–and there are a bewildering number of variations to consider. The bottom line is that there’s no one prepaid carrier with an exceptionally good or bad deal, just a dizzying array of variations that may or may not make sense depending on how you use your phone. Read the fine print and consider the big picture before making your choice.

The Plans You Can Choose From
Of the major U.S. carriers, Cingular, T-Mobile, and Verizon now offer prepaid plans. Meanwhile, other companies without the network infrastructure of the big four carriers are getting in on the act. These MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators)–including Virgin Mobile, Boost Mobile, TracFone, and Liberty Wireless–buy huge batches of minutes from the traditional wireless carriers, essentially piggybacking on those networks to offer their own brands of pay-as-you-go wireless service. While MVNOs didn’t used to have the extra services that the big carriers did, such as text messaging, ring-tone and gaming downloads, and Web browsing, that’s beginning to change.

Prepaid Plans From Other Carriers
Alltel A smaller carrier, Alltel’s coverage is almost nationwide, but significant areas remain where only roaming coverage is available.

Boost Mobile An offshoot of the staid, business-focused Nextel, Boost Mobile is a “lifestyle based” MVNO carrier that’s aiming squarely for the youth market. Armed with snazzy versions of Motorola’s sensible handsets and push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkie functionality on Nextel’s I DEN network, Boost offers some features not available on Virgin Mobile.

Liberty Wireless Launched in 2002 by In Phonic, a U.S.-based online seller of wireless products and services, Liberty Wireless offers a generic, stripped-down prepaid service through the Sprint PCS network.

TracFone Wireless A subsidiary of Latin American wireless giant America M vil, TracFone offers a bare-bones prepaid service that doesn’t have the bells and whistles of youth-oriented MVNOs such as Virgin Mobile or Boost; however, it has a large national service footprint thanks to its agreements with a variety of wireless carriers, and its phones are available in more than 65,000 retail stores.

Which plan will suit you?
If you want to get a cell phone plan, here are some things you must consider before shelling out that hard-earned money of yours.

  • The first step is knowing what exactly do you want. Armed with your self-knowledge, you can now start surfing the internet or go to different companies and ask them about their services. You will have to compare these information you’ll get so as to determine which company will be the best to provide your needs in a phone. The following are some of the questions you should ask yourself when deciding about buying a cell phone plan.
  • How many minutes of calling will I need during the day? At nights? On weekends?
  • What features do I want? There are tons out there: voice mail, text messaging, Internet browsing. Some providers let you bundle them to save money, but always keep your budget in mind and don’t sign up for features you don’t need.
  • Do I want to commit to a contract or go the prepaid card route? A contract usually lets you get your phone for a lower price, but cancelling one often entails a hefty fee. With prepaid cards, you only pay for what you need and you can stop using your cell phone whenever you want, without a fee. But cards often have a higher cost per minute rate and you would lose any unused minutes when the card expires.
  • Be aware that on top of the cost of your plan, cell phone companies generally charge activation, system access and 911 fees, as well as taxes.
  • Keep more money in your pocket, watch those extra minutes, downloads and texts – they add up. In Canada, at 30 cents/minute, only an hour over your plan will cost you almost $20!
  • Look over your bills: if you are constantly using more or less minutes than your plan allows, consider changing your plan.
  • Notice something in your bill that you didn’t sign up for? You’re paying than the amount set out in your contract? Your plan is different than what the salesperson described? Contact your service provider in writing to discuss your concerns.

Radiation And Health
Mobile phone radiation and health concerns have been raised, especially following the enormous increase in the use of wireless mobile telephony throughout the world (as of August 2005, there were more than 2 billion users worldwide). Mobile phones use electromagnetic radiation in the microwave range, and some believe this may be harmful to human health. These concerns have induced a large body of research (both epidemiological and experimental, in non-human animals and in humans). Concerns about effects on health have also been raised regarding other digital wireless systems, such as data communication networks.

The World Health Organization, based upon the consensus view of the scientific and medical communities, states that health effects (e.g. headaches) are very unlikely to be caused by cellular phones or their base stations and expects to make recommendations about mobile phones in October 2009.

However, some national radiation advisory authorities, including those of Austria, France, Germany, and Sweden recommended to their citizens measures to minimize exposure. Examples of the recommendations are:

  • Use hands-free to decrease the radiation to the head.
  • Keep the mobile phone away from the body.
  • Do not telephone in a car without an external antenna.

The use of “hands-free” was not recommended by the British Consumers’ Association in a statement in November 2000 as they believed that exposure was increased. However, measurements for the (then) UK Department of Trade and Industry and others for the French l Agence fran aise de s curit sanitaire environmental showed substantial reductions. In 2005 Professor Lawrie Challis and others said clipping a ferrite bead onto hands-free kits stops the radio waves travelling up the wire and into the head.

Overall Health Risks
Many scientific studies have investigated possible health effects of mobile phone radiations. These studies are occasionally reviewed by some scientific committees to assess overall risks. The most recent assessment was published in 2007 by the European Commission Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR). It concludes from the available research that no significant health effect has been demonstrated from mobile phone radiation at normal exposure levels:

Normal exposure to mobile phone radiation cannot cause headaches or dizziness, nor can it cause brain cancers, neurological effects or reproductive effects.
A few inconclusive studies suggest that it may cause a benign tumour of the auditory nerve.

However, more studies concerning potential health effects on children are needed.

Mobile Phones and Cancer
In 2006 a large Danish study about the connection between mobile phone use and cancer incidence was published. It followed over 420,000 Danish citizens for 20 years and showed no increased risk of cancer. The German Federal Office for Radiation Protection (BfS) consider this report as inconclusive.

In order to investigate the risk of cancer for the mobile phone user, a cooperative project between 13 countries has been launched called INTERPHONE. The idea is that cancers need time to develop so only studies over 10 years are of interest.

The following studies of long time exposure have been published:

  • A Danish study (2004) that took place over 10 years and found no evidence to support a link.
  • A Swedish study (2005) that draws the conclusion that “the data do not support the hypothesis that mobile phone use is related to an increased risk of glioma or meningioma.”
  • A British study (2005) that draws the conclusion that “The study suggests that there is no substantial risk of acoustic neuroma in the first decade after starting mobile phone use. However, an increase in risk after longer term use or after a longer lag period could not be ruled out.”
  • A German study (2006) that states “In conclusion, no overall increased risk of glioma or meningioma was observed among these cellular phone users; however, for long-term cellular phone users, results need to be confirmed before firm conclusions can be drawn.”
  • A joint study conducted in northern Europe that draws the conclusion that “Although our results overall do not indicate an increased risk of glioma in relation to mobile phone use, the possible risk in the most heavily exposed part of the brain with long-term use needs to be explored further before firm conclusions can be drawn.”

Other studies on cancer and mobile phones are:

  • A Swedish scientific team at the Karolinska Institute conducted an epidemiological study (2004) that suggested that regular use of a mobile phone over a decade or more was associated with an increased risk of acoustic neuroma, a type of benign brain tumor. The increase was not noted in those who had used phones for fewer than 10 years.
  • The INTERPHONE study group from Japan published the results of a study of brain tumour risk and mobile phone use. They used a new approach: determining the SAR inside a tumour by calculating the radiofrequency field absorption in the exact tumour location. Cases examined included glioma, meninigioma, and pituitary adenoma. They reported that the overall odds ratio (OR) was not increased and that there was no significant trend towards an increasing OR in relation to exposure, as measured by SAR.

Stephen King’s Cell
Those who’ve read this novel of the macabre master King may have conflicting opinion about cell phones. In fact, after reading this novel, some admitted that they’re now afraid to use their phone. Such is the effect of Stephen’s novel. But this isn’t a novel that scares people. This is a novel that shows us what might happen to us (in a metaphoric way because we don’t expect to see zombie-ish people like the characters there) if we get too dependent on cell phone. The apocalypse in the story started with the scene where in a girl was using her cell phone and then she let her friend hear what she was hearing there. Soon enough, they’d gone mad and later almost the whole city was thrown into a chaos of cell phone crazies. Of course, the main character in the story rarely uses cell phone.

The Effect Of Cell Phone on Social Skills
Many people have opinion about this. Some say cell phone decreases humans’ social skills, while others believe it actually increases our social points (Now I just made that seem like we’re characters in The Sims). Some of those who are on the side of Cell-Phone-Rots-Our-Social-Skills complain about how some people fake a call just to avoid human interaction when they are surrounded by people. To which someone half-jokingly replied “I play Fruit Ninja to avoid human interaction.” But can we really blame cell phone for this? And if you avoid human interaction, is that something sociologists should be alarmed about? They should not. Being sociologists, they would understand that not everyone actually wants to interact every minute of their life. There are different kinds of people after all. And personally, I would prefer a Fruit Ninja-player beside me than someone who can’t stop complaining about the ugliness of the world and keeps bugging me about other things I don’t really care about. And yes, I do play Fruit Ninja.

My personal opinion aside, here are some pros and cons of using cell phone.

Cell phone advocates point out that thanks to these devices, you can speak to anyone in the world. In the workplace, these devices are indispensable. It is easier for companies in two different countries to do business with each other. They can also be used to hold interoffice meetings between various departments and branches. Cell phone usage can help you to perform better at work, since the office can contact you whenever it needs to. With the Bluetooth devices that are available with many of the newer models of these phones, you can download your files from your office computer that will enable you to continue your work on your personal computer at home. You can also use your cell phone features such as the calendar to remind yourself of important meetings and appointments.

Cell phones can also allow you to stay in closer contact with your family members. Your children can call you if they need a ride home or your spouse can call to remind you to pick up a gallon of milk on the way home. For family member who live out of town, you can talk for hours at little or no cost to you. Cell phones seem to be a perfect way to bring people closer together.

Other individuals feel that cell phones are actually breaking down communications between people. These opponents of cell phone use point out that there are times that you may not want to disturbed by your office. If you have a cell phone, this contact is almost unavoidable.

Lack of personal communication in your workplace might also happen. Before cell phones, you might have had to leave your office several times a day to talk to an associate, greeting other employees along the way. Now you may find that you can go all day without seeing another living soul.

Having the ability to bring you work home can also lead to you spending less time with your family. If you are able to work at home, you probably will, which will cut into any quality time that you may have planned to spend with your spouse and children.

Family relationships may also be harmed by the use of cell phones. You may find that you talk to your children more on the phone than you do face to face. Your children may communicate more with their friends than they do with other family members. Many families may have forgotten how to turn off their cell phones and speak to each other.

A child’s written skills may suffer due to the use of text messaging. This form of communication has developed its own language using initials and shorter forms of ordinary words. Children that are growing up using this type of format can carry it over into their written and oral communications.

As well as a lack of communication in the workplace and at home, people do not talk to strangers as they once did. In the past, people who rode the same bus to work or shared a taxi would strike up a conversation. Thanks to cell phones, people are having their own conversations, missing the opportunity to begin new friendships. People have also ceased to talk to their neighbors. In today’ society, you may not even know who your neighbors are.

Both sides to the communication issue have made valid points. While cell phones are great communication tools, they are not the only ones. You need to remember to turn your cell phone off every once in awhile to help you stay involved in the world around you. Or maybe here’s a better idea. Let’s be more accountable of our actions and stop blaming cell phone over our social mishaps.


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