Most cell phone users have no idea how cell phones work. They are just glad of the convenience of being able make and receive phone calls no matter where they are. Unless you are in a really remote area, the chances are pretty good that you can use your cell phone at any time. This allows people to stay in constant contact with the office or with family when they are travelling, whether it is by land or sea.
In essence, a cell phone is like a radio. In order to make and receive calls on the cell phone, first of all you have to have a package from a cell phone carrier. This carrier receives about 800 frequencies that it can use in any one location. Then it divides the location into small sections called cells, each one with a base station with the equipment needed to relay the calls.
The typical cell phone has two frequencies it can use for each call, but for international calls, you can get a tri mode cell phone. Each carrier gets about 356 voice channels, which means that there are about 56 channels available. Up to 56 people can use the same frequency at the same time.
Each cell phone contains a low power transmitter. This means that the transmissions and the phones do not work well outside the cell, unless they are within range of another transmitter. This allows the same frequencies to be used all over a specific location. Cell phones operate by batteries and when the power supply from the battery is low, the cell phone will not work. You will have to recharge it.
Each cell phone has a code installed inside, called a SID. This is the frequency of the phone and when you turn on the phone, it listens to find a control channel. If there is no control channel in the area, you will get a message saying “No signal”. When the phone does pick up a control channel, it compares it with the SID of the phone. When there is a match, then you can use the phone.
A cell phone also transmits a registration request, which keeps track of whether you are calling from within or outside your local area. This is also used to keep track of your usage and long distance calls for billing purposes.
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