Appalachian Wireless Knowledge Center

You may have questions about some aspect of our service or cellular service in general, and we offer the following information to assist you. We are always happy to answer your questions by e-mail or phone also.

Glossary of Terms Questions
A cellular phone user.

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An undesired radio signal that interferes with a radio communications signal causing extraneous noise and/or signal dropouts.

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A formal name for the worldwide telephone network.

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A unit of measure used to express relative difference in power or intensity of sound.

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An area in which calls can be placed without incurring long distance charges.

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A measure of a receiver's ability to viably receive weak radio signals.

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An analog cellular phone service standard used in the US and other countries.

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The type of wireless communication that is most familiar to mobile phone users. Called 'cellular' because the system uses many base stations to divide a service area into multiple 'cells'. Cellular calls are transferred from base station to base station as a user travels from cell to cell.

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A feature that allows a user to be notified of another incoming call while a call is already in progress, and gives the user the ability to answer the second call while the first call remains on hold.

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A feature that displays a caller's telephone number and/or name before the call is answered.

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A three-digit telephone number prefix assigned to a calling area.

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The ability to send and receive text messages through a wireless handset.

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A fee charged for calls from wireless phones that must be routed to landline phones.

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A radio signal

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A component of a wireless phone that holds in electronic memory, the telephone number, and ESN of the phone.

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Describes a communications medium capable of transmitting a relatively large amount of data over a given period of time. A communications channel of high bandwidth.

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A method of modulating radio signals so that they can carry information such as voice or data.

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Local Number Portability is an FCC mandated action which allows a subscriber to change local service providers while keeping their wireless or wireline number.

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Any hand held device used to transmit and receive calls from a wireless system. Also known as a wireless phone, a cellular phone, a mobile phone, a PCS phone and many other terms.

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A wireless system meant to bypass a local landline telephone system. A home or businesses phone uses a wireless carrier instead of the traditional local phone company to connect to the public network.

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A feature used to reduce fraud by confirming the identity of a phone to the wireless network.

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The unique serial number of a cellular phone that identifies it to the cellular system for the purpose of placing and receiving calls.

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Traditional wired telephone service.

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Federal legislation passed in 1996 intended to increase competition among wireless and wire line carriers for the benefit of consumers.

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The area surrounding a cell site. The area in which calls are handled by a particular cell site.

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A company that provides wireless telecommunications services.

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A feature that allows users to speak words into a wireless phone to cause it to dial pre-programmed telephone numbers without using the buttons.

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A measure of the power of a signal versus noise. A lower ratio means there is more noise relative to signal.

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An office housing switches and computers to which all cell sites in an area are connected for the purpose of eventual connection to the PSTN. The MTSO handles the connection, tracking, status and billing of all wireless call activity in an assigned area.

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An emerging technology standard for high-speed data transmission over GSM networks.

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The transfer of a wireless call in progress from one transmission site to another site without disconnection.

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A signal leak from one channel to another - often the cause of noise and distortion.

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Areas not included in MSAs are divided into RSAs. Generally these are the rural areas of the US. The FCC uses RSAs to license cellular carriers in areas not included in MSAs. There are 428 RSAs in the US.

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A feature of some cellular phones that allows switching between "A" and "B" cellular carriers. This feature is often used when roaming.

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Undesired radio signals that alter a radio communications signal causing extraneous sounds during transmission and/or reception.

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Another name for traditional wired, land based telephone service.

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The time a phone is on and actively transmitting or receiving a call.

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Activity that occurs in order to establish a call connection between a wireless handset and the wireless system.

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A connection point between the wireless phone system at the MTSO and the landline phone system at the PSTN.

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A wireless phone that has been programmed to mimic another wireless phone. Often used to defraud a wireless carrier by placing illegal calls without any intention of payment.

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Using your wireless phone in an area outside its home coverage area. There is usually an additional charge for roaming.

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A flat panel screen used to display numbers and/or characters. Often found on a wireless handset.

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A US government agency responsible for regulating communications industries.

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The ability of a wireless system to forward incoming calls to a handset that is roaming outside its home service area without any pre-notification to the wireless carrier.

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Most areas of the US have two cellular carriers, each of which operates on a different frequency band. One is designated the "A" carrier and the other is designated the "B" carrier. In some markets there may be only one carrier, which may be "A", or "B".

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A company that provides telecommunications services.

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A feature of some wireless handsets that helps reduce power consumption to increase battery charge life.

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The geographic area served by a wireless system. Same as Service Area.

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A feature on some wireless phones that allow the handset to operate on Analog, CDMA and PCS networks.

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Total time that a wireless phone is connected and in use for talking. This includes both received and placed calls.

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A monthly charge for the ability to connect to a wireless network. This fee is assessed monthly whether the phone is actually used or not.

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A digital wireless communications protocol designed for the transport of voice and multimedia content between consumer electronic devices (including PCs) in a residential setting. Operates at 2.4 Ghz.

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The transmission and reception equipment, including the base station antenna that connects a cellular phone to the network.

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A wireless data networking protocol generally used to connect PCs and laptops to a network. Also known as 802.11b and WLAN (wireless LAN), it is the most common means of wireless networking and operates at 2.4 GHz.

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A one-time up-front charge for activation of a wireless phone.

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Configuration of a wireless phone so that it is ready to be used to transmit and receive calls on the wireless network.

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A feature of a wireless device that allows reception of a signal or alphanumeric message.

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The geographic area served by a wireless system. Same as Coverage Area.

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A technology for transmitting data over analog cellular networks. Requires a special modem and the wireless carrier's network must be upgraded to accommodate such data transmissions.

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A digital communication technology used by some carriers to provide PCS service. Other technologies used are CDMA and GSM.

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A designated area within which cellular calls are local and do not incur roaming or long distance charges.

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A feature of PCS phones (primarily GSM) that allows users to receive and sometimes transmit short text messages using their wireless phone.

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A service plan offered by some wireless carriers that allows subscribers to pay in advance for wireless service.

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Partial month of charges or credits when service is started, changed, or removed. Charges or credits will be applied accordingly from the current date to the last day of the current billing cycle.

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A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handsets to operate using either the 800 MHz cellular or the 1900 MHz PCS frequencies.

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A service feature that allows a user to receive calls when roaming outside of the phone's home coverage area.

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A feature of a wireless service that if a call is not answered in a specified number of rings, it will be transferred to another phone number of the user's choice.

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A feature on some wireless phones that allows the handset to operate on both CDMA and PCS networks.

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Charges for placing long distance calls.

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Signals between a wireless phone and a wireless system to accomplish call setup.

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An electronic process that identifies each individual wireless handset by examining its unique radio transmission characteristics. Fingerprinting is used to reduce fraud since the illegal phone cannot duplicate the legal phone's radio-frequency fingerprint.

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Any time of day, as determined by a wireless carrier, when there are high levels of communications traffic on the system.

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A feature of some wireless phones that allows the users to talk and listen to calls without holding the phone against their head.

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Any time of day, as determined by a wireless carrier, when there is lower communications traffic on the system. Carriers make this distinction to offer lower rates during these periods when demand is low.

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A system that answers calls and allows users to reply to, save, delete or forward messages.

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A contract between a wireless carrier and a wireless subscriber that details the terms of the wireless service including rates for activation, access and per minute usage.

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A method of encoding information using a binary code of 0s and 1s. Most newer wireless phones and networks use digital technology.

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A digital communication technology used by some carriers to provide PCS service. Other technologies used are TDMA and GSM. CDMA consistently provides better capacity for voice and data communications than other commercial mobile technologies, allowing more subscribers to connect at any given time, and it is the common platform on which 3G technologies are built. CDMA is a "spread spectrum" technology, allowing many users to occupy the same time and frequency allocations in a given band/space. As its name implies, CDMA assigns unique codes to each communication to differentiate it from others in the same spectrum. In a world of finite spectrum resources, CDMA enables many more people to share the airwaves at the same time than alernative technologies.

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The answer is mobile broadband! EVDO, or Evolution Data Only/Evolution Data Optimized, is a 3G mobile broadband technology used by many carriers that provides typical speeds of 600-1400kbps download (with bursts up to 2000kbps) and 144-300kbps upload completely wirelessly. You take the Internet with you and surf the web in your car, on the train, in the airport, at a convention, on the road in your RV, where available. You can even share the connection with multiple computers using a 3G router, just like you would with your broadband connection at home!

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An agreement among wireless carriers allowing users to use their phone on systems other than their own home systems. Roaming fee charged for roaming.

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A feature of a wireless phone that allows multiple numbers to be stored in the phone itself for quick dialing by pressing one or two buttons.

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A digital communication technology used by some carriers to provide PCS service. Other technologies used are CDMA and TDMA.

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Used to describe a newer class of wireless communications services recently authorized by the FCC. PCS systems use a different radio frequency (the 1.9 GHz band) than cellular phones and generally use all digital technology for transmission and reception.

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A device that facilitates the transmission and reception of radio signals.

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A global protocol used in many newer wireless devices that allow the user to view and interact with data services. Generally used as a means to view Internet web pages using limited transmission capacity and small display screens of portable wireless devices.

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A feature that allows the transfer of incoming calls to another number of the user's choice.

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3G wireless technologies allow for much higher transmission rates to wireless devices leading to more useful services and a better user experience.

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A feature of wireless phones that tells the user that wireless service is unavailable in a particular location. Usually an LED on the handset.

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Describes the transmission capacity of a medium in terms of a range of frequencies. A greater bandwidth indicates the ability to transmit a greater amount of data over a given period of time.

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The time a phone is on but not actively transmitting or receiving a call.

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Most areas of the US have two cellular carriers, each of which operates on a different frequency band. One is designated the "A" carrier and the other is designated the "B" carrier. In some markets there may be only one carrier, which may be "A" or "B".

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For any other questions, you may contact us here or call us directly with your questions/comments by dialing *611 from your Appalachian Wireless cellular phone, or you may contact us by dialing: (606) 477-2355.




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