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Hands-free – Refers to the ability to talk without holding a phone to one’s ear. Both Bluetooth and wired headsets allow for hands-free operation.
Hot Spot – A physical location where access to Wi-Fi is available.
Internet Message Access Protocal (IMAP) – A protocol used by email clients to communicate with email servers. Email messages on stored on the messaging server rather than the mobile device or computer.
Infrared (IR) – Can be used to wirelessly connect a mobile phone to any number of devices. Most often used to exchange contacts between mobile phones.
Instant Messaging – A service that enables users to chat through typed text over the internet. Software found on many mobile devices allows subscribers to communicate using Instant Messaging through any number of popular servers, including AOL Instant Messenger, MSN, ICQ, and Google Talk. Separate fees are usually associated with mobile Instant Messaging.
Key Guard – See ‘Key Lock.’
Key Lock – A feature found on most mobile devices that key be activated to prevent accidental key presses while a device is in a pocket or purse, for example.
Kilobyte – A unit of information equal to 1000 bytes.
Land Line – Refers to traditional, non-wireless, telephone communication.
Local Number Portability (LNP) – Refers to the ability to transfer a mobile number between carriers. A phone number associated with an AT&T account, for example, can be switched to Verizon if the subscriber decides to switch carriers.
Locked Device – Usually refers to a state where a wireless carrier has made a phone such that it is ‘locked’ to that carrier, and cannot be used with another carrier’s wireless services. It may be possible to unlock a locked device. Also see ‘Unlocked Device.’
Megabyte – A unit of information equal to 1000 kilobytes.
Megapixel – A unit of resolution in digital cameras. One megapixel is the equivalent of one million pixels. A higher number of megapixels is associated with higher quality images.
Memory Card – A chip of varying sizes that can be used as storage in many mobile devices. Often used to store pictures, music, and video for use on a mobile device.
Mobile Identification Number (MIN) – The unique ten digit phone number that is associated with a specific wireless account and device.
Mobile Virtual network operator (MVNO) – Any company that sells wireless services but doesn’t own its own wireless infrastructure or licensed frequency allocation. MVNOs lease extra wireless capacity from a wireless carrier and resell services under their own branding.
Number Portability – See ‘Local Number Portability (LNP).’