A mobile phone (also known as a wireless phone, cell phone, or cellular telephone) is a small portable radiotelephone.
The mobile phone can be used to communicate over long distances without wires. It works by communicating with a nearby base station (also called a "cell site") which connects it to the main phone network. When moving, if the mobile phone gets too far away from the cell it is connected to, that cell sends a message to another cell to tell the new cell to take over the call. This is called a "hand off," and the call continues with the new cell the phone is connected to. The hand-off is done so well and carefully that the user will usually never even know that the call was transferred to another cell.
As mobile phones became more popular, they began to cost less money, and more people could afford them. Monthly plans became available for rates as low as US$30 or US$40 a month. Cell phones have become so cheap to own that they have mostly replaced pay phones and phone booths except for urban areas with many people.
In the 21st century, a new type of mobile phone, called smartphones, have become popular. Now, more people are using smartphones than the old kind of mobile phone, which are called feature phones.
History[change | change source]
Mobile phones in the 1950s through 1970s were large and heavy, and most were built into cars. In the late 20th century technology improved so people could carry their phones easily.
Although Dr. Martin Cooper from Motorola made the first call using a mobile phone in 1973, it did not use the type of cellular mobile phone network that we use today.
The first mobile phone networks were created in the late 1970s in Japan. Now almost all urban areas, and many country areas, are covered by mobile phone networks.
Technology[change | change source]
A cell phone combines technologies, mainly telephone, radio, and computer. Most also have a digital camera inside.
Cell phones work as two-way radios. They send electromagnetic microwaves from base station to base station. The waves are sent through antennas. This is called wireless communication.
Early cell telephones used analog networks. They became rare late in the 20th century. Modern phones use digital networks.
The first digital networks are also known as second generation, or 2G, technologies. The most used digital network is GSM (Global System for Mobile communication). It is used mainly in Europe and Asia, while CDMA (Code-Division Multiple Access) networks are mainly used in North America. The difference is in communication protocol. Other countries like Japan have different 2G protocols. A few 2G networks are still used. 3G are more common, and many places have 4G.
The radio waves that the mobile phone networks use are split into different frequencies. The frequency is measured in Hz. Low frequencies can send the signal farther. Higher frequencies provide better connections and the voice communications are generally clearer. Four main frequencies are used around the world: 850, 900, 1800 and 1900 MHz. Europe uses 900 and 1800 MHz and North America uses 850 and 1900 MHz.
Today there are mobile phones that work on two, three or four frequencies. The most advanced phones work on all frequencies. They are called 'world' phones and can be used everywhere.
Shapes[change | change source]
There are different kinds of phones. A flip phone flips open, and is best for calling. A bar phone is shaped like a candy bar, and the keys and screen are on one face. A slate phone is a phone that has almost no buttons, and uses a touchscreen. Most smartphones are slates. A slider phone slides on rails. It can slide out number keys or a mini keyboard, but some do both. A swivel spins on an axle.
How mobile phones work[change | change source]
When a mobile phone is switched on, its radio receiver finds a nearby mobile phone network base station, and its transmitter sends a request for service. Computers in the base station check if the phone is allowed to use the network. The base station covers an area called a cell. A phone can move between different cells, but will only communicate with one cell at a time. This is why mobile communications are sometimes called cellular communications.
Once connected to a station, the mobile phone can make calls. Because the network knows that the phone is connected to that particular cell, it can also route calls to the mobile phone. Sometimes the radio connection to the cell is lost, for example when you go underground. This means the phone cannot make or receive calls until the connection is made again.
Networks and payment[change | change source]
The network is the company that provides the phone service. In most areas there will be more than one mobile network. Customers choose networks based on how well the different networks work in their area, or by price.
There are two main ways to pay for mobile phone calls:
- If you pay by contract you will pay the network money every month so that you can make calls. Usually you can talk for a lot of time for the monthly fee, but if you do not use the phone a lot you still pay the same money.
- Pay as you use
- If you pay as you use, you will pay for a fixed amount of call time credit which you then use up when phoning people. Once the credit is used up you must buy some more to use the phone. This can be cheaper if you do not use the phone a lot.
Mobile phones use different technical standards. GSM phones need a separate microchip, called a Subscriber Identity Module or SIM card, to work. The SIM has information like the phone number and payment account and this is needed to make or receive calls. The SIM may be supplied by the same company as the phone, or a different one. Sometimes you can change the network by using a SIM from another network, but some companies do not want this to happen and they lock the phone so that you have to use their SIM.
The others have a special radio inside them that only makes phone calls when the phone is activated. When someone buys a contract, the network gives them a code, that if they enter it into the phone, the phone will then make calls. It is usually impossible to switch to a different network's code on this type of phone. The majority of these CDMA phones are used in the United States and nearby countries.
Smartphones[change | change source]
For more details, see Smartphone
A majority of new mobile phones from the 21st century are smartphones. These phones can be used for email, browsing the internet, playing music and games,and many other functions that computers can perform. This is because mobile phones basically are small computers.
Smartphones are often built on a common mobile operating system platform. This allows developers to make mobile apps that work on many different phones without needing to change the code. Examples of smartphones include Apple'siPhone (which uses iOS software) and Samsung's Galaxy series, one of many phones that use the open sourceAndroid platform made by Google.
References[change | change source]
Mobile phones have really changed the way of communications. Cell phones are the most used communication tool today. But they are not just limited to communication purposes today. Read on to find out importance of mobile phones in our daily life.
Mobile phones are crucial part of our lives these days.
Gone are the days when mobile phones were considered as luxury thing to have with. The growing competition in mobile manufacturers has lowered the prices of mobile phones to that extent that nowadays, buying a mobile phone is not a big deal. Just spend a few bucks and you are proud owner of a mobile phone. In today’s time, it’s very hard to find a person who does not own a mobile phone. The small gadget is a basic necessity of life. But why everyone tags the mobile phones as basic necessity of life? What is the importance of mobile phones in our lives? Here is the answer.
Easy Way of Communication
What the mobile phones are meant for? Yeah, you answered it right- for communication. So the first and foremost role that mobile phones play in our lives is that they provide us an easy and fast way of communication. Go wherever you want, whenever you want; your mobile phone will stay you connected with all. Got an important message for your friend/family member? Just send instant SMS or call straight away and make your important message reach the intended person in no time. Simple!
Internet Access & Social Media
The Internet is one of the biggest blessings to man by technology. One just cannot imagine the life without the Internet. Everyone likes/wants to stay connected with the Internet all the time. Thanks to the mobile phones that make it possible. The mobile phones let users enjoy the social media on the go. A major part of modern world is addicted to social networking sites. Mobile Phones let them be active in social media on the move.
Mobile Phones Save Money
Yes, they do. Just buy mid-range or high-end mobile phone, and ultimately, you become proud owner of many gadgets, the gadgets that are packed in the mobile phone. For example, by buying mobile phone, you don’t need to spend money on a home phone, you don’t need to buy any music or video player, you don’t need to buy radio etc. If the mobile phone is high-end, then you need not to buy gaming console and maybe a computer as well.
Mobile Phones Ensure Safety
The mobile phones provide us security. How? Well, to understand this better, just consider any situation in which you urgently need to contact fire brigade or police. What would you do in such case? The landlines are not available everywhere, but the mobile phones do. Just take your mobile phone out, dial the number and that’s it. Your one good step of buying mobile phone will prove as great money saver for you.
Mobile Phones Helps in Business
Got an important message for your client or employee? Pick up your mobile phone and communicate with the intended person straight away. Since businesses require constant communication, so one just can’t imagine any business without the use of mobile phones. And with all those new smart phones available in market these days, a businessman can organize the schedule and set reminders, so he does not forget any important meeting. Mobile phones come packed with lot of business apps which makes their life easier. Thus mobile phones are like a boon for businesses.
So, folks! These are the main benefits of having mobile phones in our life. Now it’s your turn, tell us why Mobile phone is important for you in the comments below.
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