Friday, December 25, 2009

Mobile Phone Terms Glossary

Mobile Phone Terms Glossary

Many technical Terms and their meanings can be found here. Kindly don't copy this to another sites.

3G Stands for 3rd-generation. Analog cellular phones were the first generation. Digital marked the second generation.

3G is loosely defined, but generally includes high data speeds, always-on data access, and greater voice capacity. The high data speeds are possibly the most prominent feature, and certainly the most hyped. They enable such advanced features as live, streaming video.
There are several different 3G technology standards. The most prevalent is UMTS, which is based on WCDMA. (WCDMA and UMTS are often used interchangeably.)

What is my 3G Phone capable of?
Ans: When you get your phone 3G Internet activated, you may get Wireless Internet giving Broadband Speeds (384 kbps).

You may use your set's Front Camera (if there) for Video Calling another person with such setup.

A wireless personal area network (PAN) specification that connects phones, computers, appliances, etc. over short distances without wires by using low power radio frequencies.
Bluetooth allows you to leave your phone in your pocket, while talking on your phone with a Bluetooth headset - with no wires. You can also exchange contact or scheduling information with other Bluetooth-enabled phones nearby, or send such information to a nearby Bluetooth-enabled printer. Also, you can send a Computer file also over Bluetooth.

For playing Wireless Stereo Music, the headset must be Stereo Bluetooth and the mobile must support A2DP Profile.

Remember, Bluetooth has various profiles that determine it's useability. Always Check supported profiles before buying a phone. For example, Apple iPhone has Bluetooth but "File Transfer Profile" is NOT there, so you can't send a file via bluetooth from iPhone.

Bluetooth 3.0 is coming soon, which will have upto 8 times the speed of version 2.0. It can be expected within 2010 or so.

Capacitive Touchscreen.
A capacitive touchscreen panel consists of an insulator such as glass, coated with a transparent conductor such as indium tin oxide (ITO). As the human body is also a conductor, touching the surface of the screen results in a distortion of the local electrostatic field, measurable as a change in capacitance. Different technologies may be used to determine the location of the touch. The location can be passed to a computer running a software application which will calculate how the user's touch relates to the computer software.

Code Division Multiple Access. A type of digital wireless technology that allows large amounts of voice and data to be transmitted on the same frequency. CDMA is second-generation cellular technology (or 2G) and is available in Canada, the United States, Pacific Asia, and Latin America. Most CDMA service providers will migrate to a high-speed data technology called 1xRTT.
Remember, There is NO Replaceable SIM Card Slot in CDMA Phones. Indian CDMA Examples: Tata Indicom, Reliance, etc. Types are:->

CDMAone: The first commercial CDMA cellular system; deployed in North America and Korea; also known as IS-95

CDMA2000: A member of the IMT-2000 3G family; backwardly compatible with cdmaOne
CDMA 1X: The first generation of cdma2000. The standardisation process indicated that there would be CDMA 2X and CDMA 3X but this no longer appears likely.
CDMA 1X EV-DO: A variant of CDMA 1X which delivers data only

Contacts/ Phone book
A list of personal names and numbers stored in a mobile phone’s internal memory or in the SIM card. These numbers can be called by accessing the appropriate memory and making a single key stroke, of the appropriate first alphabet.

The modern phones support more info to be added to a contact like multiple numbers, birthday, anniversary, fax, address, text note, etc.

Phones that can switch between two different bands of frequencies.
In Europe Dual-band usually means GSM900/GSM1800 capable phone, while in USA it might mean GSM850/GSM1900 or combination of two other bands.
GSM 850 band is used mostly in North America.

Dual Band standard is quite old. Even Nokia 6670/ 7610 was tri-band.

Latest Phones including Nokia N96, etc. are Quad Band (GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900) which means they can be used in all the 5 continents.

Enhanced Data rates for Global Evolution. A technology being promoted by the TDMA and GSM communities that is capable of both voice and 3G data rates up to 384 Kbps. The standard is based on GSM standard and uses TDMA multiplexing technology.

Most phones support upto 177.16 kbps of EDGE Speed. EDGE has different classes with varying speeds.

Enhanced Message Service. An extension of SMS that enables the sending of a combination of simple melodies, images, sounds, animations and formatted text as a message to another EMS-compatible phone.

Picture Messaging, Polyphonic Tone messaging are included under this. One picture sms (Black ands White) alongwith some text, takes up network charge of upto 3 SMS's.

General Packet Radio Service. A packet-switched technology that enables high-speed wireless Internet and other data communications. GPRS offers a tenfold increase in data speed over previous technologies, up to 115kbit/s (in theory). Typical real-world speeds are around 30-40 Kbps. Using a packet switching, subscribers are always connected and always on-line.
GPRS is considered a 2.5G technology. EDGE is an extension to GPRS, which increases speed quite a bit.

Global Positioning System. A system of satellites, computers, and receivers that is able to determine the latitude and longitude of a receiver on Earth by calculating the time difference for signals from different satellites to reach the receiver.

Our Earth has 31 GPS Satellites surrounding it. A GPS Device connects with any (or nearest) 3 or 4 of them, to determine the Global position of the device.

GPS is used :- to measure speeds (in straight lines), to safeguard against car thefts, touring & navigation, etc..

Global System for Mobile communications. The international digital radio standard created by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. GSM is currently the dominant 2G digital mobile phone standard for most of the world.

GSM Phones have a SIM Card Slot usually, unless purchased by contract. Example: Nokia N70, N95, etc..
Phones may have both GSM & CDMA capabilities, but most phones can run only 1 connection at a time.

GSM-Railway, A variant of GSM designed to meet the special communications needs of international train operators

The transfer of control of a cellular phone call in progress from one cell to another, without any discontinuity

The operation of a cellular phone without using the handset. A Hands-free system usually includes a Call Accept Key, Microphone, and an earphone/ speaker.

The latest standard is Bluetooth Hands-free, whereby a hands-free becomes wireless, using the bluetooth technology to transfer data from handset to hands-free and vice versa.
One can also use such an Hands-free to listen to Music. For stereo music however, the hands-free must support stereo music playback, and the Mobile handset must support Bluetooth 2.0 A2DP Profile.

High Speed Circuit Switched Data. An enhancement to GSM networks that enables data speeds to be boosted from 9.6 kbps in multiples up to 57.6 kbps.
By co-catenating a number of timeslots, each delivering 14.4kbit/s, much higher data speeds can be achieved.

High Speed Packet Switched DataIub. The interface between the Node B and the RNC in a UMTS network

International Mobile Equipment Identity. A unique serial number used on digital mobile phones.
Press *#06# to see your Mobile's IMEI ... It's unique to your mobile only.

Infared port (IrDA)
Allows cell phones, PDAs, and other devices to connect to each other for various purposes. Infrared is a wireless technology that uses a beam of invisible light to transmit information.
It's the same technology used in TV & DVD Player Remotes, just a bit better implemented in mobiles.

In fact, Most Symbian OS mobiles support an Infrared Software to handle TVs, VCD Players, etc.

Java (J2ME)
Java 2 Micro Edition. A feature that allows the device to run specially-written applications. J2ME applications can provide specific functions such as a tip calulator, they can be games, or they can be custom-written corporate applications. Some phones allow you to download new applications directly from Internet while others require a data cable to transfer the applications from a PC.

This programming language developed by Sun Microsystems Java is characterised by the fact that programs written in Java do NOT rely on an operating system. SO, Java has the largest support of Mobile Phones. Phones from Nokia, SE, Samsung, etc. usually support Java, if not anything else.

Liquid Crystal Display. LCD displays utilize two sheets of polarizing material with a liquid crystal solution between them. An electric current passed through the liquid causes the crystals to align so that light cannot pass through them.
Monochrome LCDs in phones usually have both a backlight and a reflective backing, allowing them to be equally usable in both bright light and complete darkness.
Color LCDs come in many types. STN, TFT, and TFD are several common technologies used.

Li-Ion battery
Lithium-Ion type of battery, often used to power wireless communication devices. Considered superior to NiCd and NiMH batteries - they are lighter weight, have a relatively long cycle life and generally do not suffer from "memory" effect.

Li-Po battery
Lithium Polymer type of battery. Similar to Li-Ion batteries, but slightely lighter and the batteries can be molded to any shape.

A function on a cellular phone which, when activated, prevents use of the phone until the user enters a security code. Default Codes are usually 12345 or 00000. They can be changed by Users later on.
They are required at times of changing such lock codes, enabling factory settings, unlocking phones, etc.

Multimedia Messaging Service. A further extension of SMS and EMS. MMS is designed to make use of newer and quicker mobile transmission methods such as GPRS, HSCSD, EDGE and UMTS, involving the attachment of multimedia extensions to messages, such as video and sound.

All Networks & Sets support 100KB of data in one MMS. Some Sets and networks may support upto 300KB too. The feature packed sets like N95, N91, N73 etc. support 300 KB of MMS.

Organic Light-Emitting Diode. A next-generation display technology that consists of small dots of organic polymer that emit light when charged with electricity. OLED displays are thinner, lighter, brighter, cheaper to manufacture and consume less power than the current LCD displays.

An AMOLED Display is used on the latest Nokia N85. Everything improved, except for Direct Sunlight visibility, which is a small issue.
Another big problem is Usage life. LED's & TFT's may operate for 60,000+ hours. OLED's work for 14,000 hour only, which is some 1 year & 4 months of continuous use...

Optical Touchpad
It is like a virtual Mouse in mobiles. It is touch sensitive pad, built into the Navigation Key. One can move his thumb over the navigation pad to move the cursor. It helps to navigate in Web Pages smoothly.
Samsung INNOV8 has this feature, taken from an earlier Samsung set itself.

Personal Digital Assistant; a sophisticated handheld device with advanced display facilities and a range of business-oriented software programs.

Personal Identity Number; a number, usually four digits, that must be keyed into a mobile phone to make it work. A security measure to prevent unauthorised usage.

Polyphonic Ringtones
Polyphonic ringtones can create multiple tones simultaneously. This produces a more natural and realistic sound for melodies.

Predictive Text Input
A technology which allows you to enter text by pressing only one key per letter. The phone will automatically compare all of the possible letter combinations against a built-in dictionary of words. The current Predictive Text Input implementations are T9, iTAP and eZiText.

So, if you want to type "Hello", you will type 43356, with Dictionary On. The dictionary will autodetect it.
All S60 v7.0+ have this dictionary, including N & E Series. While typing text, press # 2-3 times ...

Random Access Memory. It is working memory of any active computer/ operating system. All the processes/ tasks running at a point of time, are stored in the RAM.

If RAM is less, programs might work slow or not function at all. Moreover, less RAM also limits the number of programs and tasks that can run together.
128 MB RAM is found in Top end sets like N95, N96, Samsung INNOV8, etc. which seems quite enough to most users.

Resistive Touchscreen
A resistive touchscreen panel is composed of several layers, the most important of which are two thin, metallic, electrically conductive layers separated by a narrow gap. When an object, such as a finger, presses down on a point on the panel's outer surface the two metallic layers become connected at that point: the panel then behaves as a pair of voltage dividers with connected outputs. This causes a change in the electrical current which is registered as a touch event and sent to the controller for processing. Resistive touchscreens can also support Multitouch.
Generally, phones are Resistive Touchscreen like Nokia 5800/ N97 is.

The ability to make and receive calls on the same mobile phone when travelling outside the area of the home network operator.
So, if a State#1 mobile user takes his mobile phone to State#2, he has to activate Roaming to use it there, provided that network is available. Roaming Usage may invite a rental, or high call rate on calls, including incoming calls too.

Subscriber Identity Module. The smart card used in digital phones. It carries the user's identity for accessing the network and receiving calls and also stores personal infromation, such as phone directory and received SMS messages.

A combination of mobile phone and personal digital assistant. Such phones can run multiple softwares at once, in background too. Every smartphone has an Operating System for sure. They have calenders, assistants, organizers, etc.

These OS's include Microsoft Windows Mobile, Symbian, Linux, Android, Blackberry, etc. Symbian is the most popular, usually used by Nokia.

Short Message Service. A service that enables subscribers to send short text messages (usually about 160 characters) to and from mobile phones. A very popular service, particularly amongst young people, with 400 billion SMS messages sent worldwide in 2002.

-->Picture Message is an extension of SMS, where at cost of 3 SMS, a user can send a Black & White Image (small) as picture message. It is supported on almost all phones including the Puny Nokia 1100.

Also see EMS above in the list.

Speed Dialing
It is a feature found mostly in Symbian Handsets, that enables dialing a particular number from contacts, by long pressing or dialing one specific key from 2-9. Key #1 is fixed for voice Mailbox, but you can add any number to it.

So, if I long press "3" on my 6670/ 7610/ N73/ N96, it dials a particular contact's number given earlier.

Standby time
The length of time a battery can power a mobile phone when it is switched on, receiving network, but left completely idle, (without using any of its features).

If a music player/ Mobile is said to support Stereo, then it can give an output of two different audio sounds at the same time, one meant for the left ear/ speaker and other for the right.

The first set by Nokia to support Stereo Sound was Nokia 6630, but only in its' Earphones.
Nowadays, it is a very common feature, and a must for listening music. The common MP3 file available nowadays also supports stereo data.
Some stereo sets: Nokia 5130, 5220, 3110 Classic, Sony Ericcson W305, etc.

Super Twisted Nematic. A type of LCD display technology. STN uses less power and is less costly than TFT technology, but at the expense of image quality and response time.

A company created by Psion, Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola in 1998 with the aim of developing and standardising an operating system which enable mobile phones from different manufacturers to exchange information.
Later, Samsung also joined it.

Symbian OS
It is a very famous open source Operating System, used primarily by Nokia. It is found on almost all of Nokia's Smartphones.
Sony Ericsson also used it, but the UIQ version, which is now officially abandoned by SE due to less popularity.
As Symbian evoluted, some of it's features came as standard, like Office Document Reader, Notes, T9 Dictionary, etc.

It's latest iteration is S60 5th Edition, which supports new display resolutions, touch screen support, etc. found in Nokia 5800 XpressMusic.
It has mostly 4 Standards:

1st Edition :--> Old SmartPhones like 3650, 3660, N-Gage, etc. Runs 1st Edition apps only. Symbian OS 6.0.

2nd Edition :--> Mid aged smartphones like 6600, 6630, 6670, etc. upto N70, N72 & N90. Runs 1st & 2nd Edition apps. Symbian OS 7.0 & 8.0+.

3rd Edition :--> Latest & famous N-Series Phones like N71, N91, N95, N96, etc. Runs 3rd Edition apps only. Symbian OS 9.0+, 9.1, 9.2 & 9.3.

5th Edition :--> Currently only in 5800 XpressMusic. Does Run 3rd Edition apps, more details unavailable at the moment. Symbian OS 9.4+.

Look at Predictive Text Input above. Basically, it's called a T9 Dictionary.

The length of time a battery can power a mobile phone during continuous talking over calls.

Thin Film Diode. A type of LCD display technology. TFD technology combines the excellent image quality and fast response times of TFT, with the low power consumption and low cost of STN.

Thin Film Transistor. A type of LCD display technology. Compared to other types of LCD technology, TFT features excellent image quality and response time, but uses more power, and is more expensive.

A touchscreen is a display that can detect the presence and location of a touch within the display area. The term generally refers to touch or contact to the display of the device by a finger or hand. Touchscreens can also sense other passive objects, such as a stylus. However, if the object sensed is active, as with a light pen, the term touchscreen is generally not applicable. The ability to interact directly with a display typically indicates the presence of a touchscreen.
It's main types are Resistive Touchscreen, and Capacitive Touchscreen.

Refers to a mobile phone able to operate on the three internationally designated GSM frequencies- 900, 1800 and 1900MHz.
Very common standard, supported even by Nokia 6670, 7610, etc. Also see Dual Band in this page.

TV Out
It is a feature found in high end phones now-a-days like Nokia N96, N85, Samsung INNOV8, etc. It lets the user connect the mobile to a TV, so that anything on mobile's display and sound system, will be played on TV.
It can be used for watching Movies, listening Music, etc. on TV. It uses the Audio-Video IN slot, from where the TV receives Video & Audio from VCR, DVD Players, etc.

Universal Mobile Telecommunications System. A third-generation (3G) wireless communications technology and the next generation of GSM. UMTS is a wireless standard approved by the International Telecommunications Union and is intended for advanced wireless communications.
UMTS uses WCDMA technology, and the two terms are often used interchangeably with each other.

Voice dial
A feature that allows a user to dial a phone number by spoken commands.
N & E Series phones have automatic voice detection. One doesn't need to record every command to use it (as with older Symbian Sets like 6670, etc.).

To use press & hold your Right Soft key for 5 seconds, and then speak "Bluetooth" (example) into the Mic, to open it. Even Contact names can be spoken to dial their number.

Voice Mail
A service offered by network operators whereby calls received when the mobile is in use, switched off or out of coverage can be diverted to an answering service which can be personalised by the user.
Later, the user can hear the recorded message from the answering message service of the network.

Wireless Application Protocol; a common standard for enabling mobile phones to access the Internet and advanced services.
Users can access websites and pages which have been converted by the use of WML into stripped-down versions of the original more suitable for the limited display capabilities of mobile phones.

Wideband Code Division Multiple Access. An approved third-generation (3G) wireless standard which utilizes one 5 MHz channel for both voice and data, offering data speeds of 144 Kbps to 2 Mbps.

Wireless Local Area Network; a short range radio network normally deployed in traffic hotspots such as airport lounges, hotels and restaurants.
WLAN enables suitably equipped users to access the fixed network wirelessly, providing high speed access (up to 11Mbit/s download) to distant servers. The key WLAN technologies are the IEEE 802.11 family and ETSI HIPERLAN/2

An extension of WLAN is Wi-Max which will provide more speeds, but both equipment and the server must be equipped with it, for full performance. In India, Wi-Max was first installed in Bangalore City's Airports.

Currently found in only high end sets like Samsung Omnia, this feature is the other manufacturers' reply to Nokia's Active Standby (used on S60 3rd Edition)
This feature allows you to configure your desktop any way you like. You can move signal bars, battery bars, time clock, wallpaper, Apps shortcuts, etc. to any point on the display. This allows more flexibility to setup the desktop.

Windows Mobile OS
It is an Operating System created by Microsoft, previously used in Cars, but it was implemented in phones quite later.
It is more known for it's business minded-ness, professional appeal & business features & support.
Manufacturers using WM majorly in their phones include HTC, O2, etc.


nthenge said...

I found this really helpful. I have been trying to figure out what some of these things mean. Thanks for making this available.

Petrovic said...

I use linux more secure surfing Net.

syed rameez mohiuddin said...

i have been looking for this type of article which have all the info
thanks alot for sharing...

OneWinged said...

Hi guys. Glad I could help. Thanks for visiting. Please do visit again.

bianca said...

Very informative, I always see those terms but I didn't know what it meant. Thanks!

OneWinged said...

no prob dear... come visit again... i update daily... happy new year!

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