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Cell Phone Facts for Newbies Print E-mail
What's the difference between a cell phone and a wireless, mobile, or PCS phone? Absolutely nothing.  These are all different terms to describe one of our generation's most indispensable accessories:  the cellular telephone.

Whether it's used as a tool or a toy, the cell phone has become the must-have product of the 21st century.  Ours is a mobile society; we're on the move while we're working, playing, eating, relaxing # and talking on the phone.  The small size and wireless convenience of cell phones make them absolutely essential for the movers, the shakers and the merrymakers of the world.

In their most basic form, cell phones are two-way radios. When you speak into a wireless telephone, it picks up your voice and converts the sound to radio frequency energy, also known as radio waves. These radio waves then travel through the air until they reach a specified receiver at a nearby base station.  The base station then sends your call through the telephone network, until it reaches the person you are calling.

Can Cell Phones Damage Your Health?

There has been a buzz in the media lately about the radio waves emitted by cell phones posing potential health hazards.  While these seemingly harmless devices are nothing more than two-way radios, they are a little more sophisticated than the old walkie-talkies we played with as kids. 

To be more accurate, cell phones operate as low-power, single-channel, two-way radio devices. When you place a call, it goes directly to another low-power, multi-channel, two-way radio as the base station.  These base stations transmit your call through the regular landline phone system, allowing your conversation to take place.

Since cell phones and their base stations are two-way radios, they produce radio frequency (RF) energy, allowing them to be used for communication.  Anyone who uses a cell phone is in direct contact with exposure to this RF energy.  However, because both the cell phones and their base stations operate at low power, they emit only short-range energies.  In other words, the RF energy exposure levels from cell phone use are generally very low.

Some scientists in the United States and abroad have suggested that the power from these cell phone base station antennas is too low to produce health hazards, providing the users stay away from direct access to the antennas.  If you are concerned, take the time to research the topic further. 

Saving on Cell Phones

The cell phone market is extremely hot, and there are always great deals available.  Cell phone manufacturers are always trying to outdo each other with better offers and bigger savings.  So even though you "really need" a cell phone, you don't really need to pay too much.  

Along with a dizzying selection of phones, there is always a huge array of cell phone rate and service plans.  Basically, the plan you choose should be based on how much you'll be using your phone.  If you talk a lot during daytime hours, as in business, choose a plan that offers the most minutes and lowest daytime coverage rates.  If, on the other hand, you plan to use your cell phone infrequently, a 'pay as you go' or limited minute plan can offer you the greatest savings.  Many cell phone providers offer plans for as low as $19.99 per month, so you can enjoy the convenience of a cell phone when you need it, without taking a hard hit in the wallet.

Another smart way to save on your cell phone is to buy only the features you want and need.  If you don't plan on watching television over your cell phone, don't buy one with TV capabilities.  If you don't need a cell phone that takes pictures, you'll save a few bucks by choosing a more basic model.  Even caller features like call forwarding can tack a little extra on to your phone bill.  If you don't need these features, don't agree to take them.  If you're plan includes features that you don't want, call your wireless provider to cancel those extras.

Call it a wireless, a PCS, a mobile or a cell phone; anyway you look at it, these modern little talk boxes have forever cut the wires that held us back.  If you're ready to get mobile with a cell phone, shop around and you'll find a great deal on the phone that's perfect for you.
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