Tariffs & Technologies
A cell phone has combined two technologies: telephone (invented by Alexander Graham Bell in 1876) and radio (invention of Nikola Tesla in the 1880s). 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. There are two types of cell telephone networks: Analogue networks Digital networks
Digital networks are also known as second generation, or 2G, technologies. They differ either by technology or by speed. 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. Other countries like Japan have different 2G technologies.
Networks and payment.
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.
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..
Many 21st century mobile phones are smart phones. 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 they basically are small computers. Older phones also used computer technology, but lacked many of the parts of a computer that were too big to fit into a phone. Modern phone makers have been able to use smaller parts. Most smartphones are also GPS receivers.