Service Charge – The fixed amount a wireless customer agrees to pay each month for wireless service.
Service Plan – The monthly plan selected by a wireless subscriber that usually includes an allotted number of minutes, and may include other services such as text messaging.
Short Messaging Service (SMS) – The ability to send and receive short alphanumeric text messages on a mobile device.
SIM Card – A small, usually rectangular chip that is associated with a wireless subscriber’s account and phone number. Inserted into a device to associate it with a subscriber, and allow for incoming and outgoing calls, as well as data access.
Sleep Mode – The mode a device automatically enters to conserve battery life after a specified period of inactivity. In most cases, pressing any button on a device’s keypad will “wake” the device.
Smartphone – A term used to refer to any device that offers advanced abilities to handle data beyond just voice. Smartphones often have a keyboard or large touch screen, and usually provide access to email and other data.
Standby Time – The amount of time a mobile device can remain in an on and active state where it is able to receive calls before the device must be recharged.
Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) – See ‘SIM Card.’
Sync – See ‘PC Sync.’
T9 – See ‘Predictive Text Entry.’
Talk Time – The amount of time a mobile device can be talked on before it must be recharged.
Text Messaging – See ‘Short Messaging Service (SMS).’
Third Generation (3G) – See ’3G.’
Unlocked Device – Usually refers to a device that is capable of operating on any compatible wireless network. Also see ‘Locked Device.’
Usage charge – A fee additional to monthly service charges that accounts for usage overages or the use of services not subscribed to. Minutes used beyond a monthly allotment, for example, will be assessed usage charges.
Voice Activation & Voice Calling The ability to make a phone call or activate a particular feature or application by speaking a name or command.
Voice Memo – The ability to record a short voice message that can be played back at any time. Often used to record a reminder or grocery list, for example.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) – A data transmission technology that allows standard voice calls to be transmitted over the internet or other-packet based network.
Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) – A set of standards that enables mobile devices to access and display web pages or other online resources.
Wi-Fi – Refers to a wireless local area network. The technology used to access a network, notably the internet, wirelessly if in range of a wireless router.
Windows Mobile – An operating system developed by Microsoft specifically for mobile devices.
Wireline – See ‘Landline.’
World Phone – Usually refers to a mobile device that supports four bands or frequencies. Able to connect to varying wireless networks around the world.