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Mobile Phone history
Timeline
How a mobile works
- Network Controllers
- Databases
- Incoming Calls
- Interface
- Digitising
- Encryption
- Handoffs
- Roaming
- SMS
- Fax and Data
- WAP
- Engineering Mode
What the future holds
Interesting facts
Glossary of Terms

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How a Mobile Phone works


Summary
You really don't need to know all this. If you just want an overview, click here. If you really want the technical stuff, read on, but beware: this is the techie zone...

The following pages tell you more about how it works:

The Controllers page explains how the mobile phone, the base and the rest of the mobile network fit together and how they connect to the rest of the telephone system. Refer to this for the acronyms used in this section.

The Databases page describes the databases used to record who and what is where. There are more acronyms here too!

The Incoming Call page follows the steps used to keep track of mobiles, what happens when there is an incoming call, and how the network looks for the mobile.

The Air Interface pages give more details of how the handset communicates with the base station.

The Digitising page explains how voice is processed so that it can be carried reliably in the limited bandwidth available.

The Encryption page explains a little about how the network can be sure it knows which handset is connected, and how the signal is kept secure.

Handoffs tells you about cells and how the decision to move to another cell is made.

Roaming explains how it all continues to work when you are roaming to another network (which generally means in another country).

SMS explains how SMS works. How to use SMS is explained in the Using it section.

Fax and Data describes how the fax and data facilities work, but for how to use them, see the Using it section.

WAP describes the technical background and infrastructure behind WAP services.

Engineering Mode explains the meanings of the numbers that "propellorheads" sometimes get their mobiles to display.


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